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Draft to be approved at next meeting Greenfield School by hubeybrown


									                                                                   Draft – to be approved at next meeting

Greenfield School Council 2007-2008
April 17, 2008 General Meeting

2007-2008 Executive:

Chairperson:            Tamara L.
Secretary-Treasurer:    Colleen K.
Key Communicator:       Judy T.-L.
Kindergarten Rep:       Rachel W.
Member-at-Large:        Rhonda H.
Teacher                 Shared position by all
Representative          teaching staff
Curriculum              Gail A.
Coordinators            Kyril M.
Principal               Karen L.

General Attendance (18): Karen L., Andrew H., Colleen K., Kyril M., Kate K., Tamara L., Ambreen
A., Joan C., Rachel W., George G., Gloria W., Marg Y., Pearl R., Jocelyn O., Laurie T., Catherine R.,
Shelley J., Judy T.-L.

1. Call to Order: 8:30 P.M by Tamara L.. Tamara L. welcomed all parents, Trustee Catherine R. and
teachers. Teacher Reps are: Jocelyn O., grade 5 English; and Laurie T., grade 2 English.

2. Approval of Agenda: Two additions to the agenda were made by parents under New Business:
HLAT Testing; and Student Transportation/Bussing to & from school. A motion was made by Kate K.
to accept the agenda. Rachel W. seconded. Passed by majority.

3. Adopt Minutes of March 18, 2008 meeting: The minutes from the March 18, 2008 meeting were
circulated. Correction was made by Joan C. to add keyboarding skills to be looked at along with
handwriting, as per discussion at last meeting. Andrew H. made the motion to adopt minutes. Judy T.-
L. seconded. Passed by majority.

4. Special Guest: Catherine R., Ward H Trustee for Edmonton Public Schools on “What is the role of
a Public School Trustee?” A summary of her presentation:

According to the Alberta School Boards Association, a trustee wears many hats including those of
communicator, planner, policy maker, advocate, lobbyist, legislator, politician, adjudicator and

Simplified, the two main parts of the role are Representation and Governance.

Representation: Since the first school was established in Edmonton in 1881, people have elected
trustees to represent them in making decisions about education, thus the trustees represent the public in
PUBLIC education. A key part of the role of Trustee is to be out in the community to listen and learn
about what is on the minds and spirits of community members. What are the goals you have for your
children? What problems do you see in meeting the needs of your child? What are your ideas on
improving the system? The more community input, the better balance and understanding there is to put
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                                                                    Draft – to be approved at next meeting

into decision making. Community includes organizations and businesses, such as the YMCA for
community programming needs and corporations and businesses and employers for their needs. Based
on all the input, the nine trustees meet regularly as a Board, deliberate and vote on decisions. Those
decisions become the “wisdom of the board” and ideally, represent the broad community’s values
around educational issues.

In addition, because the provincial government is public education’s major funder, trustees must also
represent the district’s successes and challenges to the province, so they can secure the moral support,
resources and partnerships needed to support “our” children’s educational needs. The Board is legally
responsible to the provincial government and must speak up effectively and strategically to meet the
educational needs and priorities of the district’s collective children, and community.

Governance: In 1881 there was only one teacher, no schoolhouse, and three trustees. Today we have
almost 7,300 staff in the district working in 197 schools and an operating budget of $700 million.

The nine trustees come together as a Board, which is then responsible to hire and work with the
Superintendent. The Board provides direction to the Superintendent by defining the desired
educational end results based on community voice. What is the long-term vision our community has
for our students? What are the priorities the community wants schools to work on? And, given a finite
amount of resources, what are the guiding principles by which tough funding decisions will be made?
Based on the answers to the questions, and once the direction set by the trustees, it is up to the
Superintendent to implement the educational practices that will achieve the goals.

For example, in February, after extensive consultation with the community, the Board set the District
Priorities for 2008-11, and now all school and central department plans and budgets are being based on
these priorities. The priorities are revisited every year to ensure they are still appropriate, and
reviewed in depth every three years. Policies are also reviewed on a rotating basis to ensure that they
are still the right decisions for the district. For example, the multicultural policy will be reviewed over
the next year to ensure it reflects the new cultural mosaic in Edmonton, with the influx of immigrant
workers into the community.

Once the vision, direction, priorities and the resulting policies are established, the trustees monitor how
goals are being met and budgeting is being allocated. The on-going monitoring process includes
looking at questions like: Are the budgeting decisions supporting the directions we set? Are we being
wise with our spending allocations? and What do the district results tell us? Are we on track with our
goals for our kids? Are all students achieving success in their program of studies? If not, why? Results
are reviewed in the fall each year.

Ultimately, while the Superintendent makes the budgeting recommendations, the Board is fiscally
responsible and accountable for how public money is being spent.

In summary, “trustees are representatives whom you elect to represent you in a number of ways, and
we are also the people who govern the district, through the Superintendent, on your behalf.”

Edgar S., our Superintendent, wants all kids and parents in on the process. Catherine R.’s contact
information is available on the district website under Board of Trustees. She welcomes your phone
calls and emails, and responds as quickly as possible to your questions and comments.

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                                                                    Draft – to be approved at next meeting

Catherine R. fielded several questions from parents in attendance at the meeting.

On behalf of the parents and staff at École Greenfield School, Tamara L. thanked Catherine R. for her
time and informative presentation.

5. Reports:

       A.          Family Dance: The African Extravaganza will be held on Friday, April 18th. Thank
                   you in advance for all of the volunteer assistance with this school event.
       B.          Plan Sponsorship: We have our age 6 boy, and are waiting to hear on our other
                   sponsored child.
       C.          Teacher Report: No update at this time.
       D.          School Report:

2007-2008 School Plan Action Items Update: The depth of teaching and commitment of staff were
commended. Mandatory implementation for math will occur for Kindergarten, grades 1 and 4. The
curriculum is inquiry based. Critical thinkers are being developed at our school with our writing focus.
When students write, they become better thinkers.

                       i. Development of the School Plan for 2008 - 2011: 510 students are
                          registered at the school for next year. Planning is underway. An excellent 5-
                          page summary of the Parent Input process was distributed for review and
                          brief discussion.

       E.        School Council Finances: tabled to May 27, 2008

6. New Business:

       A.         Elections: Election meeting for 2008-2009 executive will be held at new time at 7:30
                  on May 27, 2008.
       B.         HLAT: Testing date will be adjusted due to evening Spring Concerts next week.
       C.         Bussing/Transportation: A discussion was had around the extended travel times for
                 bussed students from outlying communities. George G. made a motion to send a letter
                 to the Trustees outlining their concerns. A notice in the school newsletter will be sent
                 to parents and those concerns will be included in the letter. The letter will be in final
                 form and submitted before May 27, 2008. Ambreen A. seconded the motion. Passed
                 by majority vote.

7. Adjourn: Rachel W. motioned to adjourn the meeting at 9:50 P.M. Joan C. seconded the motion.
Passed by majority vote. Meeting adjourned by Tamara L..

                                    Comments? Please email Greenfield School Council:

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