Over the past two years I have greatly appreciated the discussions in schools, at school council meetings, board meetings and even over coffee with staff, students and parents. It has given me a clearer understanding of what our CBE community values. From your feedback, I have outlined my priorities and vision below.
Many believe education is about how a child does on their report card, but it is about much more than that. A child will not do well if they don’t feel well about themselves or the environment they are learning in. How do we create learning environments where students feel welcomed and safe, so they can be their best in school and beyond? With the introduction of Bill 10, The CBE System-Wide Code of Conduct, and CBE Results: Personal Development, Character and Citizenship, I see we are making progress in our schools. But more needs to be done.
Just as we have engaged students, staff, parents and community on literacy and math, I believe we need a system-wide engagement on mental health and well-being. We need to get a clearer picture of how to support our kids in the system.
I will advocate to create stronger partnerships with Health Services, Social Services and not-for-profits to support mental health initiatives in schools. Beyond that, I am committed to finding opportunities within the system and with the province so kids can feel and do well in school.
Understanding our parents’ perspectives is an important part of my job as trustee, and working with parents has been a highlight of my work so far. I have worked to build relationships and partnerships with parents. The CBE Engagement Strategy, which your voice helped us create, has strengthened CBE’s understanding of parent concerns and, in turn, helped us communicate with you. The CBE is a complex, diverse system, and we need to continue to find ways to learn together.
Parents relate to the CBE through the lens of their own child. Your voice helps me understand the needs of each child, so we can best meet the needs of all children within our school system. We need partnership with parents and community to make sure every kid has proper access to the system.
A strong public education system builds a society of innovative and empathetic critical thinkers. Every school at the CBE is publicly funded, so advocating for public education is part of my job. The CBE needs predictable, stable funding from the government so our staff can adequately meet the needs of our students. Public education is a common good. I will work hard to keep that common good at the top of the government’s priority list.