REGINA – In a submission released today, Saskatchewan’s school boards are sharing that they consistently heard about the importance of Connections for education during local public engagements conducted earlier this year.
The report from boards to the Minister of Education highlights the need to enhance and expand Connections for education in three categories of main findings: Connections Among People and Relationships; Connections Between Systems and Structures; and, Connections to the Future and Navigating Technology.
“Taken together, our analysis of the themes can be summed up in one word: Connections,” said SSBA President Dr. Shawn Davidson. “This thread runs through the many ideas about the education system in the province that were identified and explored by thousands of people who engaged with this process. More specifically, all the themes identified from the engagements support the three categories of main findings.”
The findings resulted from more than 300 engagements school boards conducted across the province, involving more than 10,500 people. Many engagements took place in-person, while some divisions also used surveys and other tools to consult with students, families, communities and other stakeholders. In total, more than 36,500 comments were received.
“Our sincere thanks to all of the many diverse voices from across this province who engaged with this process and shared their views on the future of education,” said Davidson. “We are presenting this report to the Minister of Education as our submission as a partner involved in co-constructing a vision and a plan for education in the province beyond 2020, the last year covered by the current Education Sector Strategic Plan. This is our input into this process on behalf of the local voices we represent.”
In addition to the engagements, a review of documents related to education that have been produced in recent decades found there are ongoing similarities and consistency with the Connections findings.
“Seeing repetition of themes over some time presents both challenge and opportunity,” Davidson said. “The challenge is to identify the barriers that impede the sector from successfully attending to these themes. The opportunity is to learn from previous attempts and develop and adapt strategies that will focus Saskatchewan’s education sector in ways to successfully address the necessary Connections.”
In their report, school boards also present recommendations (see attached Backgrounder) aligned with the Connections findings, for the education sector to consider in moving forward toward co-construction of a new vision and plan.
“School boards are committed to continuing to improve education in the interests of all students,” Davidson said. “We want to ensure we are creating an environment for success and working together. We value and respect the role of all education and community partners and strongly believe that the path forward is about listening to what we have heard and working together to adapt and change for the benefit of all students.”
Backgrounder: Connections Recommendations