Fulfilling Election Promises 2010

Safer, Healthier Schools:

– A need for full-day caretakers in all St. James-Assiniboina Elementary schools, like all other Winnipeg School Divisions!

The caretaker services at Phoenix and Brooklands schools were increased 1.5 hours but unfortunately 10 elementary schools (Assiniboune, Athlone, Bannatyne, Buchanan, Brooklands, Crestview, Heritage, Phoenix, Robert Browning & Voyageur) still remain 1.5 hours short of a full 8 hour day caretaker.  A petition in support of full day caretakers is presently being circulated.  If you would like to sign it, please send me an email at (edrhume@gmail.com).

– More public input into safer schools by discussing the issues of bullying, violence, alcohol and drugs.

Two school resource officers SRO’s (police officers) have been hired by our school division to build positive relationships with our students on a daily basis.  Anti-bullying programs and safe school forums have also been included.

More Open, Transparent, Accountable School Board:

– More public discussion of issues effecting parents and community members rather than so many in camera (private) sessions by the school board trustees.

Moved to have debates on such issues as Bill 18, smudging in schools, and review of Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) materials in high schools but could not get a seconder!

– Develop innovative methods for encouraging more public input at school board meetings.

Board Meetings are now advertised on our Reader Board with the added words, Public Welcome.  Tried to encourage developing more innovative methods for public input but the majority of the Board were satisfied with the status quo.

– Greater involvement of school trustees in schools by increasing their visitations to gain a better understanding of the educational process in classrooms.

Visited all ward schools (St. James Collegiate, George Waters Middle School, Assiniboine, Linwood, Strathmillan, Stevenson and Brooklands) at least once a year.  Also viewed the Jet’s Hockey Academy, Reading Recovery Program and was a regular reader at schools during I Love to Read Month in February. 

– Limited terms for School Board Trustees.

Eight to twelve years would be reasonable.  If re-elected, this could possibly be my last term.

– Wiser more efficient management of taxpayer money.

St James still enjoys one of the lowest tax rates in the City.  This years increase was approximately 4.8% (about $50 for the year), when you consider that inflation is about 2%, the provincial increase to education was 2% (St. James is one of 18 school divisions who received 0% increase), then our actual increase was only .8%.

– By-law change so that a member of the public can ask any question at a school board meeting not just what is on the agenda that night.

As Chair of the Governance Committee (3 trustee members) for the last 4 years, this issue was raised twice and both times defeated 2-1.

– By-law change necessary to make St. James more FIPPA (Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act) compatible and more public friendly.

This was fully accomplished just before the 2010 election, with the assistance of the Manitoba Provincial Ombudsman.  The words “correspondence will not be given to the public” were struck from the Organizational by-law and the right to appeal a decision to the Provincial Ombudsman was also acknowledged.

Greater Parent Involvement:

– More public input into the new report cards and “authentic” assessment.

Lobbied for public meetings but didn’t get too far.  Please check out Winnipeg Free Press story “Trustee Urges Public Forums” under my News Articles tab on the home page.

– Greater encouragement and assistance to school parent councils.

Tried to encourage more opprtunities for school parent councils to meet directly with the board but it was felt that the once a year public budget meeting in Feb. was sufficient, the status quo prevailed.

Programs/Program Reviews:

– Money/credit management courses for all high school students.

Supported the first pilot of a money management course in 2 of our schools which was eventually replaced by the Canadian Foundation of Economic Education (CFEE)’s new program “Money and Youth” a Guide to Financial Literacy which I fully support.  www.moneyandyouth.cfee.org  The program is designed to reach students in grades 4 – 10.

– Thorough evaluation of division initiated programs.

Some program evaluation occurred but there could be more.

– Increased fitness opportunities for all students.

We have maintained a full time physical education co-ordinator and have a strong intramural and athletic program. The Jet Hockey Academy was expanded to other schools.  This program offers the students some great exercise opportunities twice a week from Oct. – March.

This is my report to the public with regard to my political promises in the 2010 election.  I feel I have raised all my previous election promises with varying levels of success.  Please feel free to comment directly on this post or send me an email (edrhume@gmail.com) with your comments.  Thank you.