Did you know that many of the ideas that go into a school division’s Education Plan are conceived up to nine months before the start of the school year? It seems strange to be thinking about the 2019-20 school year when the current school year is just underway. But it takes time to gather the thoughts and perspectives from several hundred staff members plus thousands of students and parents. It takes more time to sift through the information to unveil the common priorities.
The education planning cycle doesn’t really have a start or an end. It is continuous, just like the learning journey of our students. Our teachers, support staff and principals are always observing and talking about the pressures on students to learn and the successes of teaching strategies. Nevertheless, the winter season is also when we designate time to reflect on data and listen to the voices of our stakeholders.
Phone surveys coming up
During the month of January, support staff from Pembina Hills will be reaching out to every family to ask for their opinions about their children’s experiences at school. The short telephone survey provides us with specific data about everything from school safety to extra-curricular opportunities. PHPS has been collecting this information for about 15 years. Sometimes we see trends that give rise to caution. Other times, the trends reveal improvements. These surveys are an important way for parents to offer their ‘voice’ to the planning process. Thank you in advance for your participation.
Students and staff will also be completing surveys. This data, plus the results of student achievement and observations of the school community’s needs, are all reviewed by the school and system leaders, along with the school board trustees. Together, the leaders review current strategies, consider changes, or come up with new strategies.
System leaders use research from successful institutions to set priorities. For instance, we strive to focus on actions that have the highest impact for modest cost and energy. We aim to do a few things really well rather than many things poorly. When we have too many priorities the energy we can devote to each becomes diluted. Our current priorities are:
- Address the Diversity of Student Needs – Addressing the Diversity of Student Needs is everyone’s responsibility.
- Student-Teacher Relationships – Student-Teacher Relationships are everyone’s responsibility.
- Numeracy – Everyone is a teacher of Numeracy.
- Literacy – Everyone is a teacher of Literacy.
We anticipate that these priorities will continue to be important to all of our stakeholders. It’s not likely that our direction will change too much, but we can certainly consider how we move forward. We can always try to be more efficient, more effective, and more impactful. We need your point of view to help make the adjustments we need to make.
Our board of trustees has identified some powerful principles on which our Education Plan is built:
- Purpose – Our purpose is to deliver an excellent education.
- Mission – We will ensure the delivery of an excellent education to our students so they become ethical and responsible members of society.
- Motto – “Together we learn”
We value success for every student. We can achieve success for every student when:
- All participants in the education system are engaged in learning
- Students, staff, parents and community commit to building an inclusive culture that is welcoming, caring, respectful and safe, in every area of the system
- We accept all students for who they are and what they need
- We provide all students with a sense of belonging
- We teach the literacy and numeracy skills students need to be confident and competent in school and in life
Thank you for the role you play in the lives of our children. We wish you a restful and peaceful holiday season.