CATHOLIC School Trustee Candidate Response Form (Responses)
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TimestampEmail AddressNameIn which ward are you running?If elected, how will you champion the Early Years in your governance work on the Edmonton Catholic School Board?How will you support your Board’s current initiatives focused on young children and their families?Do you have any new or different initiatives to propose that will improve the early childhood development results for young children? If so, what are they?
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9/6/2017 6:54:17dposa1@outlook.comDan PosaWard 72It is imperative that children get off to a strong start at Edmonton Catholic Schools and I fully support providing teachers with the resources they need to do this. We also need early and immediate intervention when we know a child is struggling with a learning disability. Having strong supports for kids right from the start creates a path to long term success for our students. I say "start early, start right!"The 100 Voices program is an initiative that I fully support. It ties into research stating that early intervention is critical for student success.I would like to see more testing completed at earlier ages to quickly diagnose potential learning and developmental issues. Early diagnosis and professional, caring intervention before the age of 6 years will make a world of difference to many kids.
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9/9/2017 21:36:08glenargan@shaw.caGlen ArganWard 75I applaud the Edmonton Early Years Coalition for continuing to bring to public attention the importance of early childhood education. There is no question that children who receive the benefit of supportive, nurturing environments fare much better throughout their lives. The NDP, in the last election campaign, promised to introduce full-day kindergarten, a promise it has been unable to implement due to the decline in government revenues. Full-day kindergarten would be an important development in that it would provide universal access to early childhood education.
Yet, if the province’s economic fortunes change and this promise becomes realizable, it will be important to ensure that all-day kindergarten be designed in a manner that best promotes the long-term development of creative and critical thinking.
I also believe the results of the 2014 Early Childhood Development Mapping Project, which showed that 29 per cent of kindergarten-aged children in Alberta are experiencing great difficulty in at least one of five areas of development, ought to be given special attention. What more can be done to overcome that lack of development?
Further, I would be willing to meet with your coalition to hear and discuss the solutions you offer.
Edmonton Catholic Schools’ 100 Voices program which promotes the learning through play of three- and four-year-old children is a program which deserves continued support. If I am elected a trustee, I would like to learn more about this program and the benefits it provides.Serious attention should be given to the Finnish model of early childhood education in which children do not begin formal schooling until they are seven, partake in 75 minutes of recess per day and are involved in daily vigorous exercise. Children in Finland under age seven are entitled to subsidized, quality daycare. Play and physical fitness have been shown to be important components in intellectual development. I am partial to the belief that emphasis on maximizing each child’s joy in learning would best serve the long-term development of the child.
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9/13/2017 21:33:46minaangotti72@gmail.comMina AngottiWard 72Like the foundation of a structure in design, the Early Years initiative is the foundation of life-long learning for a child. Edmonton Catholic is a strong, proactive leader in Early Education. An outstanding example of that is the very successful 100 Voices program. To assess the learning strengths and challenges of a child is instrumental for our students so that they have the best possible chance of effective outcomes. I plan to champion the Early Years program by supporting its growth and listening to the needs of the students and families in the program.When we look at the success of Early Years, I will ensure, with the support of Board members, that funding will continue to be available for its viability and growth. Families in the early stages of child development need to have resources that support and educate them so that they are enabled to navigate the strengths and challenges of their children. It centers around evidence-based learning, and on effective and collaborative communication with parents. Although I am not an expert in the field, as a mom, I realize the importance of understanding at an early stage, what is effective for each child. The more accurate the assessments are, the greater the chance of meaningful learning. I look forward to engaging conversations with experts to facilitate what is essential for a child’s early development and supporting the resources that are required.
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9/22/2017 18:12:23gbj1@me.comGabrielle JohnsonWard 74
There is no doubt about the importance of the early childhood years and as trustee I would work to promote the awareness of the priority of early childhood development for motor function, socialization, and cognitive skills alongside the Edmonton Early Years Coalitions. I will also promote a wholistic view of learning as a life-long process, with the goal of helping students to become intelligent, well-rounded adults kept in mind from their earliest years.
The Edmonton Catholic Schools 100 voices program provides early learning opportunities for children (along with their pre-school outreach programs and family programs). As trustee, I would like to learn all that I can about these programs and promote a spirit of adventure in early learning for Edmonton Catholic students, in ways similar to the Genesis School that Edmonton Catholic currently offers, to provide children with engaging learning opportunities in non-traditional settings.
I would like to see the programs intended to promote early childhood development become ever more discovery-oriented. Young children should be allowed the autonomy to pursue interests, use their imagination, and initiate the process of growth, maturation and learning in ways that they find intuitive, in ways that work for them.
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9/22/2017 20:26:20info@terryharris.caTerry HarrisWard 71
I can and will speak to the importance of these from a foundation of lived experience. As a parent of a child (now young man) with autism, I understand the importance of early diagnosis and early intervention. They made all the difference in the world to my son.
Also, I have been active in the autism community for many years and know that my impressions of the importance of this work is commonly held by families in similar circumstances. This work can be life changing for the child and is a life line for families in need.
Fully and unequivocally, through words and action.
I would support continuing research into best practices and support efforts to adapt and apply these in our district and community. Further, I would support efforts to connect with global centers of excellence in this field, building relationships with the intent to become a global center of excellence in early childhood diagnosis and development.
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9/19/2017Debbie.Engel@ecsd.net Debbie EngelWard 74I believe early learning is the key to long term student success. Early Learning has been a focus of the work I have done on the Board and will continue to be if I am re-elected. We know that early learning is a great indicator for future success. Long-term benefits of Pre-Kindergarten & full-day Kindergarten include improved literacy and linguistic, social, emotional, and physical development . Stunted growth in any of the aforementioned areas become risk factors in socio-economically vulnerable children.  Edmonton Catholic offers several Pre-Kindergarten programs, including “100 Voices” and “Little Bethlehem.” We also have an Early Learning Mobile Unit (EMU), which is a classroom on wheels, to assist in cases where parents of pre-school-aged children need help, but cannot come to our Early Learning Centre. The EMU allows us to take the Early Learning Centre to them. These programs are primarily funded through Per Unit Funding (PUF) grants given to children facing developmental challenges. I have been most supportive and involved in the development of these programs, and will continue to do so. I speak of their benefit to those with the power of the purse strings on a regular basis.Earmarked funds to support full day kindergarten programming, especially for vulnerable students. The government must make good on their funding commitment.  Mandatory universal assessment of children by age 30 months in order to identify children at risk of not achieving to the highest level of their potential, and setting them up early for success.  Space is a problem in our District.  I would like to see more partnerships with city facilities (Rec Centres) to provide space for early learning classrooms.
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Form Responses 1