Actively engaging students, parents, teachers and administrators
Agenda packages are posted on the web (this already occurred). At this point I have not been successful in having the packages sent directly to PACs as a matter of course.
The practice of assigning trustees to families of schools continues. I have made a point of visiting schools outside of my own family of schools, particularly where specific circumstances warrant closer examination.
I have enjoyed meeting with PACs of schools I am assigned to; this has been insightful when local concerns have been raised or new initiatives have been unveiled. I am very appreciative of the opportunities school administrators have afforded me to meet with members of their staff and students. Scheduling has been a challenge at times but I look forward to adding more visits to my schedule.
There has been a growth of focused ad hoc committees over the past several years which have assisted students, education partners, parents and community members to have opportunities for meaningful engagement. Question periods have been added to Board meetings to support public engagement and education partner groups have the ability to provide comments to the Board prior to debates at Board meetings.
The District has been making use of surveys and other instruments to provide more comprehensive opportunities for the public to engage in discussions. There are still challenge with providing detailed background information to members of the public prior to asking for input but effort is being made to improve this, for example budget information.
Along with other trustees, I was able to celebrate the signing of our Aboriginal Enhancement Agreements by all education partners for the first time in several years.
Directly supporting school programming is a step across the line for trustees; consequently my work on caring schools has been limited to drafting policy proposals in support of positive school environments.
Along with another trustee, I have been active in supporting school gardening initiatives and look forward to a renewed environmental policy to be presented to the Board in the next few months.
Walking and cycling initiatives have been pursued at the school level with a number of schools joining with municipal partners to encourage human powered transportation options and safer route planning.