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2021 Board Updates

The work of the Board of Trustees at EPSB has been continuing through the pandemic. My blog updates have been a bit sparse, but I thought it was time to highlight some important work and information that has been coming forward at our board meetings this year so far.

At our last board meeting in January, the board unanimously passed the first reading of a policy that has been renamed and significantly changed, the Anti-Racism and Equity policy. The board’s policy committee worked in collaboration with an advisory committee of community members to refine their work, and now the policy is out to the public for engagement. I believe that this policy will provide an important foundation for ongoing work on anti-racism and equity in Edmonton Public Schools. There is still some work to do on this policy and I encourage you to provide feedback by visiting EPSB’s website for more information. The policy will then come back for a second and third reading.

At our board meeting yesterday, the board received an information report on the impact of the pandemic. Of note, are the impacts of the pandemic on daily life in schools, such as the disruption to learning caused by important and necessary measures to self-isolate. Between November 11 and January 26:

  • 17,508 students were recommended or required to quarantine
  • 2,040 staff were recommended or required to quarantine

The board continues to advocate for increased information sharing with the province, and the resources we need to provide a safe and healthy learning environment for students, staff and families.

We also received an incredibly informative report on the impact of early education. I remain very disappointed withe the provincial decision to cut PUF supports to early learners in Pre-Kindergarten and Kindergarten. This report highlights the impact of early intervention on school readiness and links to a summary of research on the impact of early learning on society. Our board continues to advocate for the needs of early learners and the restoration of PUF supports. I’d recommend listening to this conversation if you are interested.

As always, I would love to hear from you. I’m curious about how the pandemic has been impacting your family and community, and your thoughts about the future of education in Alberta and at Edmonton Public Schools. You can watch our most recent board meeting below: