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    The Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees approves new Vision, Mission, Values and Priorities

    At yesterday’s public meeting, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees passed a motion to approve the District’s new Vision, Mission, Values and Priorities.

    The District Vision, Mission and Priorities are foundational statements for our District. They guide the work of the Board of Trustees, the Administration and all District staff.

    The Vision, Mission and Priorities provide a road map for our District and clearly outline the key areas we will focus on over the next four years. Supporting the Vision, Mission and Priorities are the core values of accountability, collaboration, equity and integrity.

    “The Vision, Mission and Priorities were developed in consultation with parents, students, staff and community partners,” says Hoffman. “As a Board, we recognize that in order to be successful, we need their ongoing involvement and support.”


    Transforming the learners of today into the leaders of tomorrow


    We inspire student success through high quality learning opportunities, supported by meaningfully engaged students, parents, staff and community.

    District Priorities 2014-2018

    1. Foster growth and success for every student by supporting their journey from early learning through high school completion and beyond.
    2. Provide welcoming, high quality learning and working environments.
    3. Enhance public education through communication, engagement and partnerships. 

    Board approves revised school year calendars

    At yesterday’s regularly scheduled public meeting, the Board of Trustees approved the revised school year calendars for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016. This September, the District, in collaboration with the ATA, will undertake a pilot project aimed at enhancing teachers’ skills to support student success. The project involves a shift to common, district-wide professional development (PD) days and one additional day in lieu for teachers for time they have invested in parent-teacher conferences.

    “We believe this pilot project has the potential to deliver some great benefits to teachers, students and their families,” said Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “Shifting to common PD days will allow large groups of teachers from across the District to come together to share their knowledge and expertise – we know this work will have a positive impact on our students.”

    The pilot project will involve lengthening school days by five to eight minutes to allow for two additional PD days and extended weekends in November 2014, as well as May 2015 and 2016. The slightly longer school day will also help to ensure instructional time for students remains the same as it is now.

    “We hope the changes to these calendars make it easier for families to organize their busy schedules,” continues Hoffman. “If parents have children who attend different schools, they’ll be better able to plan for childcare, transportation and recreation or educational programs because their children will be off school on the same day.”

    In the coming months, principals will determine how to adjust their schools’ daily schedules to incorporate the slightly longer school day while still meeting their unique programming needs.

    View the printable revised calendars for 2014-2015 and 2015-2016.


    Planning underway for joint public and catholic school bus service

    Edmonton Public Schools and Edmonton Catholic Schools have agreed to work together to create the Edmonton Student Transportation Authority (ESTA), a separate legal entity that will deliver joint transportation services for both school districts.

    “Our school districts have common transportation challenges. By working together, we will find efficiencies and build a better transportation system that students, families, both school districts, and taxpayers will benefit from,” says Board Chair Sarah Hoffman. “We’ve looked carefully at this, done our due diligence through a feasibility study, and we’re looking forward to working with Edmonton Catholic Schools to make this a reality.”

    “The Edmonton Catholic School District is pleased to be collaborating with the Edmonton Public School District on Phase 1 of the transportation consortium,” said Cindy Olsen, Board Chair for Edmonton Catholic Schools. “By working together, we hope to reduce ride times for our students, increase efficiencies and lower costs for both school districts,” added Olsen.

    The proposed ESTA is targeted for full implementation in the fall of 2016 and will be:

    • Governed by a Board of Directors with equal representation from both school districts;
    • A separate legal entity with an independent office location;
    • Operated with 24-28 FTE employees; and
    • Operated with a single service delivery model, harmonized from the current transportation policies of each of the Boards.

    The ESTA will improve efficiency, reduce ride times and reduce costs for both school districts, in the neighbourhood of $2.5 million annually.

    The creation of ESTA will involve three phases.  Phase 1, which will take about a year, includes finalizing the consortium structure and developing all required agreements. Phase 2, which will take about six months, will include the operationalizing of the consortium. This process involves transferring or seconding staff to ESTA, completing the integrated bus routes and contracting carriers.  Phase 3 will mark full integration of the two districts’ transportation services.

    Currently, transportation costs for both jurisdictions combine for total approximate annual expenditures of $55 million. Boards recover about a third of the total transportation costs through bus pass fees. Two-thirds of costs are covered by provincial grants.

    Transportation demands are expected to increase as Edmonton grows. As an independent transportation service provider, ESTA will be better suited to address the gap between available funding and growing transportation costs. In addition, the ESTA will continue to support the ability of both boards to make independent programming and student accommodation decisions.

    Creating ESTA is about working together to overcome our collective transportation challenges to benefit students and families in both school districts.


    Board committed to joining cause to end child poverty

    January 23, 2014

    At its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday, the Edmonton Public Schools Board of Trustees approved plans to submit a statement of endorsement for the report, From Words to Action: Alberta Can Afford a Real Poverty Reduction Strategy. The report, developed in collaboration between the Alberta College of Social Workers, Public Interest Alberta and the Edmonton Social Planning Council, calls for actions that would help the Province make significant progress in ending child poverty by 2017.

    “Our Board’s statement of support will be in alignment with Premier Redford’s goal, made in 2012, of committing to a five-year plan to end child poverty,” says, Board Chair Hoffman. “This is a cause that resonates with us – something we see great value in being a part of. We work with amazing community partners every day to support our students at school and in life, and this initiative will help to strengthen that commitment.”

    The Board’s endorsement is anchored by the District’s focus on ensuring every student feels confident and ready to learn. Through programs such as Full-day Kindergarten and ongoing partnerships with various community organizations, students living in socially vulnerable neighbourhoods are able to benefit from critical supports and resources that help them overcome challenges and experience success.

    The next public Board meeting will take place on February 4, 2014 at 2 p.m.

    For further information, call the Edmonton Public Schools media relations line at 780-429-8282.


    *November 21, 2013*

    *Bill Comrie pays it forward*

    At the launch of the full-day Kindergarten held yesterday morning at Calder School, Edmonton Public Schools Foundation Director, Sandra Woitas announced Bill Comrie has donated $500,000 over the next five years to support a full-day Kindergarten class at one of the high needs schools. Bill is well known in Edmonton for not only his business accomplishments, but his giving back to the City.

    “I am excited about helping make a difference in the lives of young children in Edmonton, “says Bill Comrie. “What I’ve learned through Sandra Woitas is that full-day Kindergarten can make all the difference in ensuring disadvantaged students have every opportunity to succeed now and in the future. It’s all about putting them on a level playing field with their peers. I’m not only proud to be part of that; I challenge others in the community to support the Edmonton Public Schools Foundation.”

    The school site where the *Comrie Family Learning Center* full-day kindergarten program will be offered will be determined in the new year.

    The Edmonton Public School Foundation was launched February 10, 2010 to spread the word about the great things happening in the public education system and to support Edmonton Public Schools across Edmonton. They do this by offering opportunities for improved learning such as full-day Kindergarten through financial, in-kind and human resource contributions.

    “We know investing in children today means investing in their future, our communities and our society,” explains Foundation Director Sandra Woitas. “Every child deserves the best teachers, resources and learning opportunities to help them blossom as they transition into Grade 1 and get ready for life.”

    For further information, contact:

    Sandra Woitas, Director, Edmonton Public Schools Foundation