Friday, July 25, 2008

Special Needs Review

The Alberta government will be conducting a review of special needs education. For more information, visit this link:

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Focus Groups- Sustainability/Closure Review

The focus groups for the Sustainability/School Closure Review have now been completed. Sessions were held with parents, staff and community members to gather their insights on the current processes and how they might be improved. The sessions were all conducted by an independent facilitator, at a professional research location. In order to more fully understand the context and body language of the comments made by participants, trustees were invited to observe behind a one-way glass. (The participants were informed of this!) I attended several sessions and was very impressed--- by the depth of conversation, the honesty of the participants and the skill of the facilitator in ensuring that everyone's point of view was heard.

The committee will be receiving a summary of the sessions and an on-line survey will be created based on the most common themes. Anyone who has experienced either sustainability or closure (including receiving schools) will be welcome to complete the on-line survey. This should be up on the EPSB website in the fall; I'll be sure to let you know when it goes up.

All of this feedback will help the Board to improve the process. I feel quite optimistic that this work will be very helpful and informative and I look forward to the results. The exact mechanism for providing feedback to participants and the public in general has yet to be determined.... but rest assured, I'll let you know as soon as it is clear!