What is VOICE? The ability to express one’s opinions and to influence the decisions of others. – September 29th, 2013

Calgary is a large growing city with many diverse voices.  As a trustee, I am here to listen, analyze what I hear, and then make decisions that I believe are best for student success. I gather this information from a wide variety of sources – for example, talking with parents at school councils, or at school and system events, or by e-mail and phone, at aldermanic ward meetings, at community association meetings, at partnership and agency events,  at provincial committee meetings, professional development opportunities, with thought leaders in the community.  Internal voices come from board reports, provincial government reports,  and visits to schools and principals.

What I hear from parents:

I want my child to be understood at school for her individual needs.

I want my child to wear a uniform at school.

I want my child to be able to express himself through a variety of ways.

My child can’t walk to school because the winter climate is too cold

I want a school in my community so that my child can walk to school.

I don’t like the new principal but I love my kid’s teacher this year.

I don’t think I should have to pay fees to send my kid to school.

What I hear from communities

Can we have free access to the school to teach children our heritage language?

Please do something about parents always driving their kids to school. The traffic congestion is terrible.

The school is the best thing about this community.

There’s always graffiti on the walls of the school.  The community looks terrible. Can you talk to parents and the police about those kids?

What I hear from students

I want my teacher to respect me as a person, to listen to my opinion.

I want my teachers to understand that I learn differently than other people.

My classroom’s cold especially by the windows.  Can we fix them?

I want to be involved in helping make decisions that affect my learning.

Some kids are mean on the playground.

I love my school. Everyone is nice to me. I want to come here every day.

What I hear from seniors

I don’t have kids in school. I don’t understand why I am paying taxes to support schools.

I walk my grandchild to school every day. I just love the chance to talk with people in the playground.

I don’t have kids anymore. Parents should pay fees to help pay for their kids’ bussing.

What I hear from employers

We want people who show up for work on time, dress for respect and know how to work together.

I want someone who can assess a situation, step in, show leadership and think on their feet.

We need kids to make up their minds early what they want to do so they can be trained at school and ready for the workforce.

Things are changing rapidly.  I need people who can adapt their skills to new technology.

 

It is important that as I do my job, I engage with as many of these diverse voices as possible and bring that experience back to the board as part of our decision making process. Together, the Board of Trustees works hard to make sure the public school system has the best people in place to support student success and then monitors student progress regularly.

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