Westwood School Council
October 16, 2019
Chair: Pam Bowie Vice-Chair: Shelley Fisher
Secretary: vacant Networks Rep: Lorna Spargo
ASCA SCETF: Lorna Spargo Member at Large: Suzy Miller
Principal: Cynthia Shelley
Vice Principals: Tifanie Book Craig Upper (regrets)
Julianne Bourque Lisa Vaters Amisha Parikh Shilpa Arvikar
To approve the agenda and the September 18, 2019 Minutes as presented
Moved and Seconded
Pam Bowie and Julianne Bourque
Please note, if you wish to speak with your child’s teacher or teachers, you are always encouraged to contact them through email or a phone call to set up an appropriate time to meet.
We have received our first question from ASCA. They will be using our answers, in conjunction with those from across Alberta, to share the parental perspective when they speak with the Minister of Education and other Education stakeholders. Please take a look at the question and follow up information. We will be discussing the École McTavish School Council’s response to this at the October 15, 2019 School Council meeting. (There has been some discussion about this opening the way for a “Voucher System”, similar to the US. For more information on that, please check out https://www.teachhub.com/what-voucher-system and https://www.teachhub.com/what-voucher-system.
ASCA School Council Engagement Task Force - September 2019 REQUEST FOR INPUT
Thank you for participating in the School Council Engagement Task Force (SCETF) for the 2019 – 2020 school year.
The feedback your school council parent representative compiles and submits to the ASCA is greatly appreciated by the Board to assist in their considerations on education issues in Alberta.
The Board utilizes information gathered to inform the advocacy work of the association. This may include advising at external committee meetings, sharing with appropriate Ministries or provincial education organizations, and the potential for Board sponsored Advocacy Resolutions.
Request for input regarding “Choice in Education”.
It is known that the Minister of Education will begin work on the promised Choice in Education Act, for tabling in the spring of 2020. The Minister has indicated that consultations will be forthcoming, and it is highly anticipated that ASCA will be asked to contribute to consultations related to the contents of the Act.
At this time, ASCA has no distinct Advocacy Policies that represent Member perspectives related to Choice in Education. It is also possible that ASCA Member School Councils are not aware that greater access to alternative programs, like languages, sports, and other disciplines, is not likely what is intended with the Choice in Education Act.
10. Affirm parental choice through a Choice in Education Act.
Alberta has a strong legacy of diversity in education. A UCP government will uphold the established right of parents to choose the education setting best suited for their children including: public, separate, charter, independent, alternative and home education programs.
*What does “Choice in Education” mean to your school council/community?
*Does your school council have any additional thoughts or concerns you would like the ASCA Board to consider in any discussions it may have with Alberta Education on this topic?
We had a lengthy discussion about this question. We settled on agreeing that our primary concern is that ALL Alberta students should be following the same curriculum. There is room for extra, but students should not be limited by exposure to less. We are also concerned with keeping funding for schooling fair and equitable.
Next month’s question will have to do with vaping. Please join us to share your views.
If you are interested in learning more about the Minister’s initiatives and direction, register to participate in this. If you are interested in participating as a group, please contact our Task Force Rep and Networks rep, Lorna at firstname.lastname@example.org who will make arrangements for us to participate as a group.
Networks Committee Meetings: Oct 7, 2019/Feb 3, 2020/Apr 6, 2020
At the October 7, 2019 meeting, we discussed changes to Education with the new government. We discussed:
*Education Act Summary, https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3Ncau1oUoRdWWhYclhXdWo2a1ZnSzNVQnQzQ1lEandHWTZz/view,
*Education Act and School Act Comparison
*Education Act and School Act Regulations Comparison
*MacKinnon Infographic AB vs BC
The Trustees have requested feedback on two topics prior to our next Networks Meeting.
We agreed that the various types of technology allow students to access information quickly regardless of time and place. It is especially helpful in accessing class work and lessons online, through Google Classroom. It eliminates the frequency of occasions where students avoid homework because they’ve forgotten it at school. It allows students to access, complete, and submit work from anywhere, at any time. Permitting its usage allows students to learn self-management.
BUT, it’s hard for teachers to monitor, students and staff are at the mercy of the technology and its glitches. It’s a form of distraction for many students and many show indications of being unable to put it away. Its misuse takes up valuable school/staff time and can have a detrimental impact on students. Students need to learn the boundaries and “rules of the road” when using social media. They often interact with people more on social media than in real life. Students are also not developing skills for writing, spelling, and editing.
As parents, it is helpful to know what is happening at school, have access to the Google Classroom to see assignments and our students’ work. Having access to PowerSchool, while not always perfect, allows us to keep tabs on how our students are keeping up and performing.
We see serious disadvantages with technology in school, but we would not support a ban since that would detract from the positives.
We felt that a variety of techniques and activities were important. Variety prepares kids for real life.
If you would like to contribute any thoughts to these discussion topics, please contact secretary, Lorna at email@example.com by October 30.
Wednesday, November 13, 2019
Wednesday, January 8, 2020
Wednesday, February 5, 2020
Wednesday, March 4, 2020
Wednesday, April 1, 2020
Wednesday, May 13, 2020
Wednesday, May 27, 2020 AGM
Write letter to City Councillors re bus fee hike
Compile parent answers on Board questions and Task Force questions
Submit ASCA Task Force Questions Nov. 1
Arrange location for those interested in teleconference
For Your Information:
Westwood School Council MINUTES OCTOBER 16, 2019 -- APPROVEDPage