Dear friends,

It has been an honour to serve as your Trustee and as the Board Chair for Edmonton Public Schools.

With another election coming this fall I’ve decided to let my name stand for a second term.

It’s been a pleasure to meet so many parents, school staff and students. I am excited by the progress we’ve made on a number of important issues, but I’m humbled by the new challenges on the horizon.

I’m pleased the Board passed my motion imposing a two-year moratorium on school closures to give us  time to understand the issue and to try and find alternatives.

I’ve worked with parents and students on many issues, including:

  • Establishing a task force for students with special needs. This has resulted in new supports such as an inclusive learning section on our district’s website.
  • Creating an advisory committee on bullying. We now have a clear, universal understanding of what bulling is and new resources to support parents, students and  staff in preventing it.
  • Increasing transparency of decision making through webcasting of meetings, passing a campaign disclosure bylaw and increasing the amount of business done in public.

I’m proud of the work I’ve done so far but there are huge challenges ahead.

In spite of promises to do the opposite, the budget for Edmonton Public Schools has been slashed by the Redford government.

Our infrastructure needs continue to grow. Seventy-five schools are more than 50 years old, including many in Ward G. We have a school built for 750 students with over 1000 enrolled for the fall. The provincial government will not fund our portable classroom needs, but our board felt we had no choice but to spend reserve funds to expand the number of classrooms.

We need to stand up for students, communities and public schools. For over a century public school boards have been elected in our province to ensure that local values and voices are involved in setting the direction for students. With education funding being reduced and budgets tightening every year, it’s never been more important for school trustees to speak out loudly in support of public education.

 I won’t be able to do this alone. I am going to need your help in getting ready for another election. Please consider volunteering and giving a financial contribution to ensure that all residents of Ward G know that if re-elected I will continue to stand up.

Sincerely,

Sarah