Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Moving Forward

So, the decisions of the Board have been made regarding school closures and now we focus on next steps. I believe in democracy and therefore, after all the viewpoints have been articulated, it is the decision of the majority that carries the day. I know that our District is providing support to children and staff at the affected schools and that we will work to ensure that transitions to the new schools are as smooth as possible.  I have heard from many parents over the past week- these are emails of great emotion- and I appreciate the difficulty many people are having  accepting our decisions.  I believe that each trustee evaluated the information and viewpoints presented and voted according to their best thinking, their conscience and their sincere desire to improve educational outcomes. I encourage families to continue to reach out and tell us what they need to make this a positive step forward.

I received one email from a parent who talked about focusing on their strengths as a family and trying to help their child look forward with optimism. To be able to reach this point, in one short week, I thought was truly commendable. But everyone moves through grief in their own time and their own way, so we should be prepared for different responses and be ready to provide support as needed.

I also need to look forward with optimism!

I am going to attend the Emerald Awards Semi-Finalist event in Calgary tomorrow. One of the schools in my ward, Westglen, is a semi-finalist in these provincial environmental awards. I believe Westglen is the only elementary school to make it this far, this year. I am bringing along a special guest with me: a grade six student who is part of the Earth Patrollers (environmental club) and who also happens to be my daughter.  We are both looking forward to the event and have our fingers crossed that Westglen will be one of the finalists. If so, she will be speaking on behalf of the school to the media about their entry.

I am also looking forward to the important budget work ahead. I will post my budget review sessions as soon as the particulars are known. The public is invited to attend any or all of these sessions, which will all be held at the Centre for Education (Blue building, 1 Kingsway Ave.). This is a good opportunity to understand the District's current financial situation and how individual schools and central decision units are dealing with the challenges of budget constraint. I hope to see some of you there! 

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