February 2014: Newsletter

Another Wednesday night at home. Newsworthy? If you’re a school board member, yes. We’re accustomed to spending most Wednesday nights from September to June at the board offices in Burnside. But regular Wednesday night meetings have given way to regular Wednesday cancellations. Welcome the winter of Wednesday storms!

That said January still managed to offer up six board-related events in one nine day period and a seventh, unattended by this member, involving SAC chairs and the superintendent in big picture consultative discussion. The item receiving the most attention in January was arguably the follow-up to Robert Fowler’s School Review Discussion Paper. Made available in November, anyone and everyone with an interest in overhauling school review was provided with an opportunity to respond. And respond they did: the general public, SACs, governing boards and board staff province-wide,  the Nova Scotia School Boards Association, HRM, the Small School Initiative. In scope and scale both the recommendations and response were heartening. Everyone, it would appear, is ready for real change in this now 20-year old process. Mr. Fowler will be making his final submission to Minister Karen Casey before the end of February.

The entire board now acts as Policy Development Review Committee, an aspect of board business given a dedicated spot on the monthly calendar. Policies and related discussion recently or soon to be addressed: harassment, school boundaries, student registration, policy development and review, tragic events protocol, bussing, start times. In general business we are or will soon be turning our attention to: Park West-Grosvenor Wentworth boundary review, February meeting with the Minister, identification of capital projects, business plan updating, budgeting.

Reminder: The Nova Scotia Federation of Home and School Associations (NSFHSA) wants to make contact with all other HSA, PTA, PTOs in District 4. The fullness of a school’s richness typically owes to the efforts of a select number of parents and teachers going above and beyond. Home and school associations are a great and longstanding example of this. Please send an email introducing yourself to David Smith or Teresa Orser at nsfhsa@staff.ednet.ns.ca

If interested in knowing what the business of building a new school involves once approval has been given, let me know. With a new LeMarchant-St. Thomas on the horizon things will soon begin happening.

Making the rounds and going viral last week: http://momastery.com/blog/2014/01/30/share-schools/

And always worth a read for thought provoking education-related news Educhatter’sBlog.

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