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Edmonton Public Schools is building a foundation for student success (AERR 2016-17)

Edmonton Public Schools is building a foundation for student success (AERR 2016-17)


We really look at this report as an opportunity
to open a conversation with our community. We’ve long held the belief that we need to
engage parents as partners in their children’s education. The community needs to know about the quality of education
that kids are receiving in Edmonton. And so we embrace this through
our cornerstone value of accountability as an opportunity to share our successes, talk
about our challenges, and really look forward into the future of how we’re going to meet
the complex needs of the almost
100,000 children that we serve in Edmonton. Every year we talk about the results for our kids
and Provincial Achievement Tests and and Diploma Examination Results, and
those are very important learning activities that our kids engage in every year. And, some years we’re up in
some areas and down in other areas, but the big metric that we look towards
is how our kids are doing with high school completion. And so I’m really excited to say
that we’re at 80.6% high school completion with our kids with 5 years of access to high
school. And so you can see with that statistic while we’re happy and continually improving
our high school completion results we still have lots of work to do. Early childhood is an incredibly important
period of time in a child’s development. We really have a window of opportunity in those
early years to make a difference. Young children learn best through a play-based program and that’s what our Pre-Kindergarten
and our Kindergarten programs do. They offer learning through play
to help children problem solve, be more resilient, have a greater opportunity to develop
strong, positive relationships and language skills. Everything that we do in the District is about
putting the students at the centre of our work. Period. And for every student that could
be a different story or different journey. So the reality is that we need to get to know
each student, what their needs are, and we need to look at programming
through the lens of where do we need to take them next
in their learning journey. Literacy skills are critical in helping us
make sense of our world. Having literacy skills for students
is going to give them opportunities and open doors, and give them choices in moving forward. We take that very seriously and we
feel it’s almost a moral imperative. Numeracy, just like literacy, is extremely
important for student success. As students become numerate, they become more confident and able to engage with quantitative and spatial information to make informed decisions. We know that from Pre-Kindergarten
all the way up to high school we all have a huge part in helping support our
First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students succeed. Supports that we have in place, each of our schools does do
strategic planning to support First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students and we’re
going to continue focus on that area because we know that we are all in this together and it takes team to support our students
and get them across the finish line. The District finds itself in a very
unique position because we’ve had unprecedented growth in the outlying areas, coupled with aging infrastructure that needs
attention in the mature neighbourhoods. And so, we have tried to find that balance because we want to make sure that every student
has a high-quality learning environment. To get there, we’re engaging the community in the conversation
of what the infrastructure needs to look like. So we’ve had extended stakeholder engagement
with community members, parents, students to talk about what the future
will look like for our District. We’re very transparent in sharing information about what the challenges are and
what the opportunities are in those communities. We engage them in a conversation,
we don’t come in and say,
“This is what we’re going to do.” We have them help shape what
the future will look like. And that level of engagement is quite different than what we’ve ever experienced in the past. The complexities that we face today
in education demand collaboration. And so, our staff have embraced
that notion of collaboration. We’ve opened up our classrooms,
we’ve opened up our practice, we’re open to new ideas and approaches.
And we’re also keeping an eye on, What has been impactful?
What has worked well?
What can we share with each other? How can we ensure that children that
go to school in northeast Edmonton have similar experiences and opportunities to kids that are in southwest Edmonton or southeast Edmonton? And, so, as one team we’re moving forward through this work and I’m incredibly proud of that dedication and commitment of our team in service of kids.

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