On behalf of NSSBA I would like to welcome everyone back to another year of school.
I'm thrilled to have been elected as the NSSBA president at the Annual General Meeting for a second term this past spring and look forward to working with all of you to ensure we're providing students with the best education possible.
As you know, this was an election year, with a new Liberal government elected to represent our province. We're looking forward to collaborating with the new minister of Education and Early Childhood Development, Karen Casey, on issues and initiatives that impact our students.
Over the next year, NSSBA has a number of exciting projects and initiatives planned that are aimed at raising public awareness of the value of school boards.
Most recently, we've embarked on a process to create a vision and future direction for public education, which you can read more about below. In addition, we've recently developed a position paper on the school review process which we intend to present to government as a guideline/policy to improve the program.
We look forward to working with board members over the next year and please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Visioning and future direction for public education
NSSBA is in the process of working with key leaders in our education system, communities, students and families to create a vision for public education that will provide students with the skills they need to succeed.
To assist with this initiative, NSSBA has commissioned Penny Milton, former Chief Executive Officer of the Canadian Education Association (CEA). Most recently, Penny has been conducting short telephone interviews with leaders in the business, government and education sectors. Watch for updates on this project, which will include formulating a vision statement and conducting sessions with key groups to develop our future direction for public education.
NSSBA Strategic Plan
At the June 2013 AGM, our membership adopted NSSBA's new strategic plan. The strategic plan was developed through a collaborative process and includes four key goals aimed at building relationships and raising awareness of public education:
Goal #1 Advocate for a sufficiently funded, equitable public education system that meets the diverse learning needs of all students and prepares them for future success.
Actions will include: developing a communications strategy that will raise awareness of the impact of funding reductions, engaging political education critics and others who are advocates for public education, providing boards with a template and support to conduct a similar exercise to Cape Breton-Victoria Regional School Boards "Looking Inward" report (A Planning Framework for Long-Term Facility Provision and System Sustainability in a Time of Changing Demographics) and forming partnerships with post-secondary institutions.
Goal #2 Promote quality education for our students as a priority with the public and with government.
Actions will include: engaging the public and communities, including older demographics, to take an interest in the value of public education; utilizing research to show the connection between quality education & economic and social prosperity; raising awareness of the value of teacher and board member professional development; completing and promoting the vision for 21st century learning; participating in political community debates and advocating for a holistic approach to educating our students.
Goal #3 Provide professional development and support to school boards/board members in Nova Scotia to better advocate for our students.
Actions will include: providing a follow-up professional development session on governance for all school board members, coordinating facilitators to deliver professional development modules on requested topics, continuing to coordinate and provide relevant information and guidance to boards as the need arises, periodically surveying boards to ensure that NSSBA professional development offerings match their needs and ensuring the theme and professional development topics at the AGM reflect NSSBA goals.
Goal #4 Develop and maintain strong partnerships for the well-being and learning needs of all students.
Actions will include: including stakeholders/partners in all communications from NSSBA, investigating possible interagency partnerships, encouraging board members to inform schools that they are available to attend SACs, inviting a member of the Black Educators Association to become an Associate Member of NSSBA, meeting regularly with education partners to investigate partner priorities and engaging in dialogue with post-secondary institutions.
This month, NSSBA offered members a professional development session on community engagement. We were joined by Suzanne Lundrigan, director of communications from the Alberta School Boards Association and Paul Bennett, Superintendent of Peace River School Division, who spoke to the community engagement initiatives ASBA has been focusing on for more than a decade. We were also joined by Dr. Meredith Greene Burton, a Resource Instructor with the Annapolis Valley Regional School Board, who brought a panel of students on board via an online conference. The students spoke to what engages them in school, and what changes they'd like to see happen in their school.
Copies of the speakers' presentations can be found on NSSBA's website.
NSSBA is also in the process of planning another session focused on Board Governance. Watch for updates as they're available!
Newly-elected CSBA President Michael McEvoy advocates strong role for school boards
MONTREAL, Aug. 1, 2013 /CNW/ - Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) President Michael McEvoy stated that a strong and united CSBA will support and advocate alongside its provincial partners to safeguard the key role of publicly and democratically-elected school boards.
McEvoy assumed the Presidency before more than 400 school trustees from across Canada attending the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA) www.cdnsba.org annual conference in Vancouver, British Columbia from July 4-7, 2013.
Many trustees expressed concern at the conference about a growing and worrisome trend by provincial governments to bypass or limit the legitimate role of publicly-elected school boards in delivering quality education and maximizing student success.
The annual conference, hosted by the British Columbia School Trustees Association, offered delegates an engaging and inspiring opening keynote address by the Right Honorable Michäelle Jean, former Governor General of Canada, who reminded delegates of her own personal journey and who gave true meaning to the conference theme, Diversity Matters.
Excellent speakers and presentations on such important CSBA themes as Aboriginal Education, Student Health and Wellness and 21st Century Learning Skills were all explored through the prism of respecting diversity within our public school communities.