SSBA Pleased With Introduction of Teacher Regulation Legislation
Dec. 3, 2014
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) is pleased with today’s introduction of legislation to establish the Saskatchewan Professional Teachers Regulatory Board (SPTRB).
“We are appreciative of the process followed to review teacher regulation in the province and of the resulting outcome with today’s announcement,” said SSBA President Connie Bailey. “We are encouraged by the movement toward increased transparency and clarity.”
Education Minister Don Morgan today introduced legislation to form the SPTRB, which will be responsible for teacher certification and discipline in Saskatchewan. The change is intended to create a professionally led, self-regulated body for the teaching profession in the province and is expected to result in more open processes.
Early next year, the Ministry of Education, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the SSBA will establish an interim board of directors to develop bylaws and structure for the SPTRB.
Consistent with the practice of other professionally led and self-regulated bodies, the SPTRB will be governed by a nine-person board that includes seven registered teachers and two members of the public. The permanent board of directors is expected to be in place by the spring of 2015, with the SPTRB becoming operational by the fall of 2015.
Following a review, the Ministry announced in late 2013 that it would work with education stakeholders to create a separate entity for teacher regulation and discipline. The SSBA was represented on the Teacher Regulation Transition Committee that provided input into the development of the new legislation.
“While we still have some questions about how the SPTRB will be funded in the long-term, we are satisfied with the commitment to the best interests of students, families, teachers and the public,” Bailey said.”That commitment is evident in the progress being announced today. ”
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Receives Premier’s Award
Nov. 19, 2014
Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and the Kihtōtēminawak Council have received the 2014 Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for the Urban Aboriginal High School Reform project at Oskāyak High School.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association coordinates the Premier’s Award each year. The award was presented by Government of Saskatchewan Education Minister Don Morgan on behalf of Premier Brad Wall during the SSBA, LEADS and SASBO joint conference banquet Tuesday night.
“There are great things happening in schools across Saskatchewan and Oskāyak is just one example of how our boards of education are working to meet student needs,” said Morgan. “I thank Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and the Kihtōtēminawak Council for their leadership and for the great work they do every day.”
Diane Boyko, chair of the Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools Board of Education, said the board is extremely proud to have worked in partnership with the Kihtōtēminawak Council to help guide the turnaround at Oskāyak.
“By integrating First Nations culture, providing strong student supports and offering a renewed learning program infused with technology, we are helping Oskāyak students reach their full potential. We have gone from three graduates in 2010 to 55 in 2014,” Boyko said. “Students and staff have done amazing work.”
Chris Sicotte, co-chair of the Kihtōtēminawak Council, said he and his colleagues are very pleased and humbled that Oskāyak was selected for the award.
“Over the past several years, we have worked closely with all of our partners, including Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools, to provide innovative educational programs to the students of Oskāyak. Our emphasis on cultural awareness and activities aligned with traditional First Nations and Métis values have allowed for greater academic success for our students. This work could not have been done without the hard work and dedication of the teachers, support staff and administration of Oskāyak,” said Sicotte.
The $3,000 award is sponsored by Xerox Canada and the award recipient is recommended by a panel that includes representation from the Faculty of Education at the University of Regina, the College of Education at the University of Saskatchewan, the Ministry of Education, the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation, and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents.
“The Premier’s Award shines a spotlight on the great work being done by boards of education throughout Saskatchewan to support student achievement,” said outgoing SSBA President Janet Foord. “Although there is only one recipient of the award, each submission is worthy of recognition for advancing the goal we all work to achieve, which is improved outcomes for students in Saskatchewan.”
First-Ever Joint Conference Supports Student Success
Nov. 18, 2014
Providing leadership on shared priorities to support student success is the mission of the historic first-ever Joint Conference of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA), the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents of Saskatchewan (LEADS) and the Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO), in Saskatoon this week.
“When we first entered into discussions about the potential of a joint conference, it seemed like an impossible feat, but here we are,” said outgoing SSBA President Janet Foord. “A common thread binds us all together – the students of Saskatchewan. With a spirit of shared leadership and a common focus on improving student achievement and eliminating the gaps that currently exist, we can achieve great things in education.”
The presidents of SASBO, LEADS and SSBA addressed media at TCU Place in Saskatoon on Tuesday about the significance of the conference, which is being attended by more than 400 delegates from across Saskatchewan.
“This opportunity will allow us to get a better understanding of each other’s roles and how we can work together for the common, over-arching goal – the best education and environment possible for the students of Saskatchewan,” SASBO President Justin Arendt said. “By working together, we can truly make a difference.”
The theme of the Joint Conference is “Navigating Our Future – Sharing the Vision.” The agenda includes keynote speakers on education issues, a provincial government political panel and a student panel.
“With the implementation of the Education Sector Strategic Plan, it is important that all aspects of each school division work more closely together to meet the ambitious goals the province has set, connected to student outcomes,” said LEADS President Mike Walter. “This conference provides a unique opportunity to bring the public’s attention to positive work happening in our schools.”
New President and Vice-President for SSBA
Nov. 17, 2014
The membership of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association has chosen Connie Bailey of the Sun West Board of Education as the new President of the organization and Ronna Pethick of the Living Sky Board of Education as the new Vice-President.
“I’m thankful for being given the opportunity to represent Saskatchewan’s 28 boards of education in my new role,” said Bailey. “Our vision is that by 2025, Saskatchewan will have a globally recognized education system that others wish to emulate. To support student achievement, the SSBA provides leadership, coordination and services to member boards.”
Bailey previously served as Vice-President on the SSBA Executive. Pethick previously served as Central Constituency Representative on the Executive. Bailey and Pethick were acclaimed to their new roles during the SSBA’s Annual General Meeting on Monday. They will officially assume their new duties following the close of the meeting later in the week.
Bailey thanked outgoing president Janet Foord, who did not seek re-election, for her years of service. Bailey said she looks forward to continuing to work together with Foord in her capacity as president of the Canadian School Boards Association.
The SSBA Executive members are all school board trustees. Representatives for the SSBA’s seven constituencies – Aboriginal, Catholic, Urban Public, Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, Central, Southern and Northern – are chosen by their counterparts. All trustees in the province are eligible to vote for the SSBA President and Vice-President.
NOTE: New SSBA President Connie Bailey will be available along with Janet Foord at the SSBA-LEADS-SASBO Joint Conference media availability – Tuesday, Nov. 18, 11:45 a.m., TCU Place, Salon A/B/C Lobby. Bailey is also available to be scheduled for interviews at any time upon request.
Enrolment in the SSBA’s Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program more than doubles across Saskatchewan for Year Two
Oct. 7, 2014
Enrolment in the Saskatchewan School Board Association’s Aboriginal Youth Entrepreneurship Program (AYEP) in Saskatchewan has more than doubled for its second year of province-wide operations.
There are 327 students enrolled in the program for 2014-15, up from 146 who participated in 2013-14.
“The AYEP has been very successful,” said Duane Favel, chair of the SSBA’s Aboriginal Council and AYEP Steering Committee. “The program is aimed at Aboriginal youth to increase attendance and graduation rates. Evidence supports that the program has done just that.”
Saskatchewan was first Canadian jurisdiction to launch the Martin Aboriginal Education Initiative program province-wide last year, led by the SSBA, with funding partners PotashCorp and Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, and support from many education and community partners, including the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations and the Métis Nation – Saskatchewan.
“The AYEP builds confidence and teaches skill sets required to meet the future,” Favel said. “Thanks to the generosity of corporate sponsors like PotashCorp, we have been able to provide and expand this important program in Saskatchewan.”
Scott Farmer, principal of Saskatoon’s Mount Royal Collegiate, said the AYEP compliments and supports the learning priorities of Saskatoon Public Schools by empowering and engaging Aboriginal youth and celebrating the successes of Aboriginal business ventures and Aboriginal entrepreneurs.
“While anchoring its values within Aboriginal traditions, the program invites students to access the wider community for support and guidance as they develop their own business plans. Most importantly, as students work their way through the program, they develop a greater sense of independence and confidence,” Farmer added.
The AYEP is part of the SSBA’s continued focus on supporting boards in improving education outcomes for First Nations and Métis students in Saskatchewan.
“The SSBA is unwavering in its belief that all children – no matter where they live in this province or their personal circumstances – must have the resources and supports they need to achieve and succeed,” Favel said.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Janet Foord today acknowledged and thanked Patricia Prowse and Russ Mirasty for their report on Student First engagement.
“Ensuring improved student achievement is a shared responsibility. The voices of students, teachers, parents and community members must be heard and considered as plans for K-12 education are being developed and implemented by the province and boards of education,” Foord said.
School boards in Saskatchewan have been elected by and accountable to parents and local communities for more than 100 years. A key responsibility of elected boards has always been to ensure the wishes of local communities are understood and reflected in the operation of Saskatchewan schools. As a result, boards regularly communicate with and engage parents, teachers, students and communities in a variety of ways.
“As boards work to advance the immediate Education Sector Plan priorities of improved reading levels and First Nations and Métis student achievement, the information contained in the report will no doubt be helpful. Boards will also continue to rely most strongly on their engagement with education partners and stakeholders at the local level,” Foord said.
For more information on how boards of education engage students, teachers, parents and communities, please contact local school divisions in Saskatchewan. Contact information for all Saskatchewan school divisions can be found on the SSBA website.
SSBA Highlights Priorities for New School Year
August 27, 2014
Students across the province return to classrooms next week and school boards are ready to help ensure they succeed.
Saskatchewan School Boards Association President Janet Foord says there are three concerns for the 2014-15 year on which all boards have agreed to focus, in addition to all the important work already being accomplished throughout the province to support K-12 students.
“We have ambitious — yet attainable — targets for student success, locally and province-wide, ” Foord said. “There continue to be challenges around the delivery of education, but we believe in focusing on ensuring our students have the tools they need to succeed. ”
Here are the three focuses for 2014-15 that the SSBA would like to highlight:
- Reading Levels. Boards agreed to focus this year on reading as part of the Education Sector Strategic Plan accepted by the Ministry of Education earlier this year. That plan seeks to see 80 per cent of students at or above grade level in reading by June of the year 2020.
- Aboriginal Outcomes. Developing a shared plan for First Nations and Métis education outcomes is also a specific objective for the Education Sector Strategic Plan during 2014-15 and the SSBA and its members and partners will continue to work on that goal all year long.
- Funding Sufficiency. The provincial government is now responsible for providing boards with the funding necessary to run schools in the province. The SSBA’s membership has agreed that certain principles should guide all funding decisions – and those include predictability, sustainability and transparency. Ensuring funding is sufficient will also be a major focus for 2014-15.
“All students deserve the resources they need to achieve and succeed — regardless of where they live or their personal circumstances, ” Foord said.
Foord says school boards look forward to continuing to serve students and their families and communities during another school year and she welcomes back to school all students, teachers and everyone working together in the province toward achieving a globally recognized education system.
The SSBA is a non-profit organization dedicated to excellence in education by providing leadership and services to Saskatchewan’s 28 school boards.
The Education Sector Strategic Plan was developed earlier this year based on feedback of more than 1,000 people and is the first-ever province-wide plan developed by in co-operation with all sector partners. The historic plan sets short- and long-term goals for education leading up to the year 2020.
Provincial Education Sector Strategic Plan Announced
April 11, 2014
Education Minister Don Morgan, along with Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) President Janet Foord, announced the historic Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) at the SSBA Spring Assembly. The ESSP is the first ever province-wide plan to be developed in cooperation with all education sector partners, approved by the 28 school boards and accepted by the Government of Saskatchewan.
“This is an exciting time for the education sector and I look forward to moving ahead with all school boards on a unified approach to education in Saskatchewan,” Morgan said. “This sector plan is the first of its kind in Saskatchewan; it aligns our province’s shared goals while still recognizing local priorities and was designed to put the student first.”
“We have appreciated the opportunity to work in shared leadership with the Ministry of Education throughout the development of this plan,” Foord said. “It’s a great opportunity for us to achieve the ambitious, yet attainable, desired outcomes we have for Saskatchewan students. I want to express my appreciation to board members, senior administrators, and professional and support staff who worked in partnership with the Ministry of Education to develop the plan. Now it’s time to put the plan into action.”
The ESSP provides short and long term outcome goals for education leading up to 2020. The sector priorities for this year are reading and First Nations and Métis learning outcomes.
The development of the ESSP incorporated the feedback of more than 1,000 people, including public school divisions, catholic school divisions, Conseil des écoles fransaskoises, First Nations education directors and principals, the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Ministry of Education, school boards, and students.
The ESSP is the action plan that will prioritize and deploy the work the sector needs to do in order to achieve the common goal of supporting every student to reach their full potential, as well as fulfilling the targets in the Plan for Growth. Moving forward, the ministry and each division will use the ESSP to develop regional plans, evolving from the Student First discussions and priorities identified in the ESSP.
Saskatchewan Students to Benefit from Two Major Donations to Breakfast for Learning
April 11, 2014
Saskatchewan students will continue to benefit from the Breakfast for Learning Program (BFL) which received two major donations on Friday, April 11 at the Saskatchewan School Boards Association’s Spring Assembly in Regina.
Breakfast for Learning is a national charity that educates and empowers communities to deliver school based nutrition programs, helping children and youth realize their full potential in life.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association(SSBA) and BHP Billiton Canada both stepped forward to contribute to the Saskatchewan Chapter of Breakfast for Learning. The SSBA donated $25,000 to the program and BHP Billiton Canada donated $150,000 to the program.
In the 2013/2014 school year the BFL program provided over $417,000 in grants in Saskatchewan which went towards: serving over 17 thousand children daily; providing over 2.7 million snacks and meals; supporting 125 school sites; and funding 127 programs.
“BHP Billiton values our relationship with Breakfast for Learning and we believe that supporting a health, wellness and education project such as this is integral to the Saskatchewan community in which we operate,” said Serge Pelletier, Principal Community Engagement, BHP Billiton Canada. “BHP Billiton is pleased to be in a position to offer our support.”
“With the support of our many wonderful donors and partners, Breakfast for Learning has been able to increase grants to Saskatchewan school breakfast, lunch and snack programs by over 400 % since 2005,” said Kelly Berlinic, Director, Community & Organizational Development for BFL. “Thanks to the strong leadership and support of organizations like the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and BHP Billiton Canada, Breakfast for Learning continues to grow and is able to provide support to nutrition programs throughout the province.”
Foord presented the cheque on behalf of the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and Pelletier presented the cheque on behalf of BHP Billiton Canada.
Saskatchewan Chapter members Ruth Griffith, Trustee for Sun West School Division, and Glenn Revet, District Manager for the Real Canadian Superstores, Loblaws, were also on hand for the presentation.
School Boards Optimistic with Provincial Budget Announcement
March 19, 2014
Saskatchewan school boards are optimistic about the direction the government is heading with today’s budget announcement.
Two of the targets for K-12 education contained within the government’s Plan for Growth plan are to reduce the gap in graduation rates between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students by 50 per cent and to lead the country in Grade 12 graduation rates by 2020.
“The government’s Plan for Growth and the proposed Education Sector Strategic Plan contain exciting and optimistic targets for K-12 education that require shared leadership if they are to succeed,” said Foord. “Today’s budget announcement is a sign that the government has heard boards of education and is willing to work with us to meet those targets.”
Also announced in today’s budget were investments in “The Children’s Infrastructure”, which is in addition to the P3 school funding announcement in the fall of 2013.
“School boards are currently facing close to a $700 million backlog of education infrastructure funding, and with the average age of K-12 education facilities being 50 years this is a serious problem for students. Today’s announcement that the government will provide additional capital funding outside of the previous P3 school announcement is much welcomed news,” said Foord.
The government is following through with the development of a more transparent priority list for upgrading or replacing schools.
“We will continue to work with our partners in education to ensure the capital priority list is equitable in meeting the needs of our students. If we truly wish to capture opportunities and meet the challenges of our growing province we need to remember that it is the students that will carry us into the future,” said Foord.
Achieving Education Targets Requires Funding Support
March 14, 2014
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) expects that education funding announced on Budget Day will support the achievement of the ambitious and important goals for K-12 education in this province.
“Achieving the targets established in the province’s Plan for Growth and the proposed Education Sector Strategic Plan is vital to student success and the continued growth and prosperity of the province,” said SSBA President Janet Foord. “We recognize that a financial plan and a strategic plan are not one in the same. However, boards of education are responsible for the outcomes and require the necessary funding to successfully implement at the ground level the shared goals set out for K-12 education in the province. At the end of the day, both a financial plan and strategic plan must support student achievement.”
Recently, Premier Brad Wall floated a “trial balloon” for school boards, municipal partners and Chambers of Commerce to discuss the use of education property taxes to fund municipal infrastructure projects.
In February, Foord indicated to media outlets across Saskatchewan “that if education property taxes are to be sourced, these funds should be devoted to meeting the pressing operational and capital funding needs of K-12 education in Saskatchewan.”
Meanwhile, in a letter to the Premier, Saskatchewan Urban Municipalities Association President Debra Button said, “For the Government of Saskatchewan to access [education property tax] to fund projects beyond education would, in our opinion, be unjust.”
“We trust the Premier and the Government of Saskatchewan has heard our collective concerns and that our shared goals for education will be supported by funding resources dedicated solely to education,” Foord concluded.