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The Board Connection

Board Connection - October 2015

October 22, 2015

On October 6, our Board of Trustees welcomed a new Trustee for Ward G, Bridget Stirling. Welcome Trustee Stirling, and thanks to all who participated in the Ward G by-election, both as candidates and voters.

The start of the school year has been a time of excitement and new beginnings. I have had the chance to read in many schools during Read In Week, and have talked to many parents at school council meetings.

As I meet people around Edmonton, one question I’m sometimes asked is: how is Edmonton Public Schools turning the learners of today into the leaders of tomorrow? People want to know if our vision is working, and what we are doing to make it a reality.

Accountability is critically important to our school District, and I believe it’s important for all people who care about public education to understand the opportunities and challenges facing today’s students and what we’re doing to address them. Fortunately, there are several ways that anyone can stay connected to the work of our District.

You are invited to come to an Edmonton Public Schools Results Review Meeting

From November 18 – 25, schools and Central departments will discuss last year’s results and their plans for the upcoming year. These meetings are open to the public, and give Trustees a chance to hear first-hand some of the challenges in our schools. They are an opportunity for Trustees to ask questions and get a deeper understanding of the issues our schools and administration are working to address. Read more about the meeting dates, times and locations.

As a policy maker, having an opportunity to sit with a school and have a frank discussion about the stories behind the numbers gives me tremendously valuable insights. These discussions are a helpful reminder that we, as the institution of publicly funded education, are accountable to the community for our results. Bringing schools, administration and Trustees together to share best practices, always sparks further conversation and helps new ideas to germinate. Whether or not you have children in school, I invite you to come and listen to these inspiring conversations. I always find they are a highlight of my time as a trustee.

Student Achievement Results are Strong

On October 8, we announced the District’s student achievement results for 2014-2015. These results show how our students have done on Provincial Achievement Tests and Diploma exams, as well as high school completion rates.

Some of the highlights include:

  • An increase in the five-year high school completion rate, up 3.2 per cent over five years, and a decrease in the drop out rate
  • Accountability Pillar results from the province show improved performance, with all measure category evaluations at good or excellent.
  • Science results are very strong at the high school level, with increases in acceptable standard and standard of excellence for biology, chemistry and physics.
  • Math 30-1 and 30-2 diploma exam results have increased in both the acceptable standard and the standard of excellence. 
  • Compared to the Province, students in Grades 6 and 9 continue to do well in achieving the acceptable standard and standard of excellence on provincial achievement tests.

Read more about the 2014-15 achievement results.

These are strong results that build on our success over the last five years. We’re hopeful that these positive results indicate that the priorities, goals and common focus we’ve identified in our strategic plan are working.
Naturally, we’ve still got lots of work ahead of us as we work together to go even further to support student success. But I am confident that our conversations about our results, and taking a closer look at what’s working to help our students will move us closer to our goal of turning the learners of today into the leaders of tomorrow. I hope you’ll take the time to engage with us and be part of that conversation.