PUBLIC 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 Public 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?
8/10/2017 15:14:51michelle.draper@epsb.caMichelle DraperWard BI will continue to endorse our ever expanding pre-kindergarten programming, collaborate with our community partners who provide early years programming and support our Foundation (funding full day K). Prior to being elected I was the Coordinator for the North East Early Childhood Development Coalition. I have a strong understanding of the Early Childhood Mapping Project and Early Years Evaluation — Teacher Assessment (EYE-TA).Since elected in 2013, I have been a champion in the District and our Community advocating for early childhood development. I sat on the EndPoverty, Early Years Working group, was a spokesperson for our pre-kindergarten program and will continue to be a champion when re-elected for another term. I advocated for early years to be included in EPSB's strategic plan, which it is!A recent article came out supporting the benefits of full day kindergarten ( and advocating for it to be universal. I have shared the information and will explore the costs and implications for this at Edmonton Public Schools.
8/15/2017 10:41:21info@bridgetstirling.caBridget StirlingWard GI will continue to advocate for the expansion of pre-K/early childhood education (including working with provincial partners to open access to more families). I will also support early learning that is grounded in good research on development in the early years. I will also continue to support access to full-day kindergarten. Additionally, I will work to strengthen our partnerships with early childhood organizations and will seek opportunities for facility sharing and other ways to improve families' access to partners' programs and services.I will support our expansion of pre-kindergarten sites and will seek opportunities to improve access to these programs. I will also support our full-day kindergarten initiatives and continue to seek provincial funding for this important, equity-building program that helps children get ready for school. I will continue to support an evidence-based, research-driven model that works with experts and community to ensure that we make the right decisions for early education programming. Additionally, I will uphold our commitment to building community flex space, especially space for early childhood programs such as daycare and preschool, in new school builds.I believe that opening up partnerships through community hub models can have huge benefits for early childhood development when they are considered through a lens that looks at the benefits to our youngest citizens -- library partnerships, work with groups such as the early childhood coalitions and the City of Edmonton to offer onsite programs and education for families, and improving access to childcare and early learning through shared facilities. While this model is not new, we have not always had leaders who put these ideas into action. I believe that the purpose-built childcare space at Mill Creek, an initiative which I championed, can be an example that will open up more opportunities for these key partnerships.

Education should be viewed as a continuum that begins in early childhood and carries on into post-secondary and beyond, and we need to advocate for a system that will strengthen this continuum and create a model that does not segregate the early years from K-12 education.

I also believe that we must continue the work on providing access to nutrition programs and other public health and wellness initiatives that improve developmental outcomes for kids.
8/16/2017 9:33:23info@tylerduce.caTyler DuceWard GMy campaign is focused on the fundamentals of education. With math and socials scores in Alberta being among the worst in Canada, we need to make sure that our budget is focused on delivering world class educational results. To that end, I'm excited to explore possible partnerships with Early Years to find ways to improve educational outcomes. Child development before school impacts school performance enormously, so it falls squarely within the focus of my campaign.Wherever these initiatives will help deliver world class education for Edmonton students, I will support them. EPSB resources need to focus on the fundamentals of education.Nothing yet, but I'm excited to hear about your ideas and to connect with parents who share these concerns!
8/17/2017 9:54:02epsbwardicampaign@gmail.comSaira WagnerWard IThe early years of children are critical to their long-term, cognitive development. If elected, I will advocate for more stable funding. Being able to identify, assess, and follow up with children with learning challenges is centered on the financial feasibility to do so. Secondly, I will champion community hubs. Increasing access and communication on health services or other resources through community partnerships will support students learning in school and at home. And lastly, I will advocate for further access to early programs that are conducive to supporting children with learning challenges. Whether physical, intellectual, language, social, or emotional, these struggles require more time and classroom resources. I think we need to push toward reinforcing more pre-kindergarten and full-day kindergarten programs into our education system, as well as providing our educators with access to more focused, professional development. In this way, we can ensure a more nurturing and effective learning environment for all. I will support the board’s effort to increase access to pre-kindergarten and kindergarten programs. I will support its initiatives to gather, analyze, and communicate data so that programs evolve around our population growth and the discovery of new information. Children with learning challenges need to be identified as early as possible and I think by improving our outreach to new parents, we can make more people aware of the necessity to identify learning challenges and available resources. I think partnerships within healthcare can help very much in this front as well.
8/17/2017 22:15:50trisha.estabrooks@gmail.comTrisha Estabrooks Ward DI will continue to push for full-day kindergarten, a promise made by the NDP government and not yet implemented across our city and province. The research on the benefits of full-day kindergarten are overwhelmingly positive and I would like to see all EPSB students be given this opportunity for early learning. While there are many successful pre-kindergarten programs offered within Edmonton Public I am concerned there are not enough, especially for families who cannot afford to send their child to a day home, day care provider or pay the fee associated with many pre-kindergarten classes.
I believe it should be mandatory for all new schools built by Edmonton Public to include space for before/after school care. Additionally, when daycare space is allocated within a school it needs to be protected. Too often, daycare space is the first space to disappear from a school when enrollment increases. Families need daycares within schools and they need to be a reliable option for parents considering care options before and after school. As well, I will continue to advocate for nutritious hot lunch programs within schools, including programs that feed some of our city’s most vulnerable students; those living in poverty. If elected, I look forward to regular meetings with early childhood organizations, such as yours, Edmonton Public Libraries, and groups working in our downtown core to improve the lives of families and children. I’m pleased to see EPSB has included early childhood as part of its strategic plan. If elected I will work hard to ensure this plan is put in place. 
I look forward to listening and talking to people who specialize in early childhood development about ways our students and families can be supported. One area that I think EPSB could improve would be to encourage greater communication between parents and school administrators. A child whose parent is involved in their school and invested in their education early is more likely to have a positive school experience. Additionally, I think EPSB should work on developing relationships with our city’s many community leagues, as they often provide early learning opportunities for kids and families and are a great resource in building healthy, safe communities for our children.
8/19/2017 Joseph LuriWard AThe early years have a huge impact on a person’s whole life. A generous investment in programs to support early childhood development will produce positive results in success all through a child’s education, as well as contributing to overall good health and relationships. I will be a consistent voice for improving and expanding Edmonton Public’s early childhood services and programs and supporting an adequate budget commitment for this. I am aware of valuable research (including local work done in relation to End Poverty Edmonton). Using this research for informed decision-making will ensure that EPSB policies never waver in commitment to the value and necessity of excellent early learning services. I want EPSB to be a leader in working for a comprehensive city plan for integrated early learning and care with all the relevant partners. I also think EPSB can support a city commitment to young children by investigating what can be done to make school facilities more available for diverse early childhood and whole-family activities. In particular, EPSB must seek to address the greater challenges families living in economic poverty face, to ensure young children are not disadvantaged by this. I know from my years of working with newcomer children and their families in schools that the current EPSB Pre-Kindergarten program is vital. Children who do not have English proficiency or who have developmental delays must be supported as early as possible to ensure they begin the school years as prepared as possible with language and motor skills as well as personal confidence and social skills. I will support the current initiatives by urging the board to work with a wide range of community partners such as day cares, cultural and faith organizations, recreation facilities, and health care professionals to ensure each child eligible for Pre-Kindergarten is identified, and families are encouraged to participate, so children do not miss out on the program. And I will be watchful that practical issues such as need for transportation or out-of-school care does not create a barrier for a child. I also want to ensure there is close coordination between the Pre-Kindergarten services and the school system and that EPSB has educators for this program who have the best possible qualifications and equipment and facilities to properly support the curriculum. And one of the major elements of my campaign is to commit to work for the expansion of full day kindergarten services in EPSB. The value of this is clear from the schools where it is available and there is a tremendous need for it for both children and their families on a wider scale.Involvement with early learning and the relationship between the early years and the school years is still a new focus for many in the school system so I believe we need a comprehensive plan for the next few years to ensure that at the same time as the Pre-Kindergarten program is being fully implemented, there is a parallel process underway to ensure teachers and administrators in the K-12 system all fully understand the reasons why this is a key aspect of a child’s life. I think more effort is needed to ensure EPSB schools are aware of and taking advantage of the newest research and curriculum developments for young children wherever it is happening in the world. For example, from my work over the years with immigrant children and families, I believe more attention is needed to aspects of social-emotional development as part of early childhood learning. Social issues that affect the larger community, such as racism, can be effectively addressed with young children, and not develop to larger problems later. Consideration of whether the Pre-Kindergarten program can be offered in bilingual versions should also be investigated, given what research tells us about the lifetime value of retaining proficiency in a mother language. EPSB should also be a clear voice with the provincial government to ensure other aspects of life, such as housing and access to health and recreation services, that impact young children are getting more attention.
8/31/2017 23:10:59shelagh@dunnfortrustee.caShelagh DunnWard CI believe that the early years are critical to a child’s cognitive, social, and emotional development. I will champion funding for expanded full-day kindergarten programming for our students, as well as increased communication between early childhood educators and teachers when these programs are not part EPSB. Early childhood educators can provide valuable information to teachers, particularly when a child may be struggling with cognitive, social or emotional challenges.
I am happy to run for a board that includes early years in the strategic plan. I fully support the need for excellent programming for our youngest citizens, including the EPSB full-day kindergarten and pre-kindergarten programs and I would love to work to have these more widely available.
I think this is extremely important to include space within schools for out-of-school care as well as daycare for younger children. I believe that space for daycare should be included in all new schools and protected or invited into current schools. As a parent, I have appreciated first-hand how having our daycare right next to my children’s school has improved their relationships with children they then attended school with, helped them feel comfortable in their school and developed a sense of community in our neighborhood.

I also believe that partnerships with community are so important for social-emotional learning in the early years. I would love to explore innovative partnerships between seniors and early childhood development programs.
9/5/2017 10:46:42voteneda@gmail.comNeda AsadiWard HI am a true believer in the importance of early childhood education and I am very thankful for the early childhood program that is offered through the Edmonton public schools. Particularly, because the program engages families who might not be able to receive similar level of support form other resources. Obviously, I believe in the importance of education, but if education is going to be meaningful students need to be engaged with schooling and one way for learners to be engaged with schooling is through experiencing success. I believe the early education program offers the tools for students to experience success. Through the program learners continue building their skills in an welcoming environment. Therefore, not only they enjoy their educational experiences but also, they contribute to the classrooms and make it a more enriching learning experiences for all learners.
If I am elected as part of the school board, I will do the best I can to ensure the program remains a vital part of the Edmonton public school programming. I am a supporter of full day kindergarten programming for areas that need the program, as such, I will advocate for full day Kindergarten classes. Further, I believe strong and vibrant society is built on strong foundations and early childhood program is one such program in our education system. Given the values I embody I will support and advocate for the programs that help all learners to develop the skills and behaviours to fulfill their full potentials.
Given my educational background, I have strong research skills which allows me to support the Board by providing them with strong evidence based reports on the importance of early childhood education. Further, I have connections with scholars in university whose focus are early childhood education, as such I can help bridge the knowledge that exist in university and community to help foster and grow the existing programs. If I am elected I will learn the specifics and will do my best to fill in the existing gaps given my knowledge and experiences. Part of my research is focused on multi-literacy programs. While there are some theories and limited practices on this topic showing the effectiveness of this program, there is little long-term focused projects. I intend to develop modules on this topic which are accompanied by lesson plans that can be used as guidelines and templates by educators. I am also aware that there was a multi-literacy project in early childhood education programs supported by Edmonton public schools focused on 3 languages. However, the pilot project didn’t continue and as a board member this is something I am interested in re-initiating but also supplementing it with research and evidence to ensure the continuation of the program. Further, I very interested in the Funds of Knowledge programs used in other places where they build education based on students’ life experiences. This will be another topic I will further study and introduce to the Board. Introducing practices that help bring equity to our learning environment is my life passion and I will be active in doing that work be it as a trustee or a researcher, advocate or an educator. Thank you for your support and consideration.
9/6/2017 11:53:24michael@michaeljanz.caMichaelWard FIf Re-elected, I will continue to prioritize early learning initiatives across Edmonton, advocate for an expansion of focus at the provincial level, and continue to marshall the support of partners in other levels of government to address these pressing needs. As a Father and as an educator, I know how pressing and important the early years are to social-emotional development and that great advances in Brain science and the early years must be increased. I'm currently finishing my Brain Science training through Alberta Family Wellness and encourage all leaders to educate themselves further on the importance of growing health brains and the tremendous impact of the early years.I will continue to champion support for public education, an expansion of early years programming and attempt to bring more partners to the table such as the City of Edmonton. The Board has seen an increased focus in terms of advocacy in this area and I think Albertans are realizing that success in K-12 depends on success in the early years. The more we can do to Marshall investment, the better. It is not about taking away resources from K-12, but rather on investing in youngsters and helping address challenges that are barriers to success later on in school.The more Albertans who are involved in public policy or working with young people can educate themselves on Brain Development (such as the fantastic free course from and Alberta Family Wellness Initiative, the greater we can all adapt our practice and do better by our young people. I will continue to advocate for investment and expansion in these areas, and as a new Father, I firsthand experience many of the challenges that parents in our city encounter everyday. My perspective will continue to support our continued advocacy. I previously served as a Trustee on the Edmonton Public Library Board, so I appreciate how it takes a community to come together and spread the word(s)...
9/20/2017 21:59:49voteforkurt@gmail.comKurt KronebuschWard CAiding Parents in the beginnings of educating their children is key in the success of students. As children are prepared for school they will have more skills to succeed. That preparation will vary depending on the child and their parents. Educating the parents of the benefits and opportunities available will make this work successful. Partnerships with other agencies can help stress the importance of the Early years.I will support providing continue options for parents that seek out Pre-K and full day kindergarten. I also understand that each child is unique and the best way to educate them in the Early years will be the decision of the parents. Educating the parents of the benefits and options available as well as providing these options is essential.I am open to listening to yours and other ideas in providing choice to parents in helping their children succeed in life. Communication partnerships with other agencies that interact with children at a young age will help.
9/14/2017 Ken GibsonWARD EThe 2013-2017 Board of which I am a member explicitly added support for Early Years education to the District Strategic Plan.  This decision was in recognition of the critical importance of a child entering Grade One with appropriate emotional, social, intellectual and physical development milestones to that child's success as a student.  I will continue to advocate for inclusion of early years development as a priority focus for Edmonton Public Schools. The Board significantly expanded early learning "Pre-Kindergarten" programming under a new delivery model. The Edmonton Public Schools Foundation raises funds to support provision of full day Kindergarten.  I support expansion of Pre-K and full day Kindergarten based on current research and evidence from our existing programs.1. Early development encompasses a number of development milestones.  I believe it important that Edmonton Public Schools expand its partnerships with health care and other service providers to ensure timely assessments and supports to help children achieve these milestones. 2. Edmonton Public Schools has been working to ensure child care spaces in new and modernized schools.  I would welcome the opportunity to explore greater partnerships to ensure that early years child care services throughout the city incorporate developmentally appropriate early learning programs into their service.
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