Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Committee(s) update

RE: "Ad Hoc Committee to review the school closure process and sustainability process and all matters relating to this issue" (We're going to need a snappier name!)

The steering committee had its first meeting to begin the work of setting out the terms of reference. When the terms have been finalized, we will bring these ideas forward to the Review Committee (which includes every member of the Board) to discuss, deliberate, change and modify. It will be exciting, challenging work. As I've said before: the issues surrounding school closures are complex and emotional. Solutions are not going to come from the wave of a wand, but I feel confident that the Review Committee will accomplish a great deal. I have been very impressed by my colleagues' willingness to roll up their sleeves and get to work.

Another committee I sit on (District Priorities) has completed the bulk of its work. Soon, the new District Priorities will be appearing in schools across Edmonton. It was incredibly challenging to try and condense the input of over 800 surveys into a three-sentence statement! We tried very hard to reflect the predominant and reoccuring themes. Of course, some people will look at the priorities and wonder where "their" comments are. I hope if anyone feels unclear about the Priorities or has questions about why "this" or "that" was left out, that they will contact me.

The third committee I'm on (Community Relations) has developed an extensive list of recommendations, which we are now fine-tuning based on input from our colleagues. It will be great to see some of these ideas kick into action. The overall aim is to increase public awareness, confidence and commitment to public education.

There is so much work that happens out of the public's eye. I had no idea!

I hope I can shed a little light on the work, so that people can understand what trustees do and why it is important.

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