ARTES (Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools) has organized a Wine and Cheese Mixer that for people interested in local education issues, including potential trustee candidates in the fall election.
Sunday, March 10 2–4pm
North Glenora Community Hall
13535 – 109A Avenue
The focus of the event will be on building connections.
The work of ARTES promoting good governance of schools and districts continues. Given the challenges of Education Budgeting this year, these efforts are more important than ever.
We are happy to introduce another organization to you, ARTICS, Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Calgary Schools. ARTICS is an organization that is independent of ARTES, but shares many of the same values and goals.
ARTES’s EPSB Trustee Candidate Report Cards can be viewed here.
ARTES, the Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools, has released report cards for each trustee candidate for the Edmonton Public School Board.
ARTES represents people committed to the welfare of children and public education in Edmonton. It seeks to encourage high quality candidates for school boards. ARTES’ mission is to encourage and support school trustee candidates who are independent, transparent in their views and values, accountable, forward-looking, and responsive to the community.
EPSB candidate report cards are part of ARTES’ mission to raise the level of public awareness and engagement in elected school boards. Each candidate has been evaluated against five criteria: ability, accountability, independence, responsiveness and vision. Candidates’ experience and track record, platform, and public comments are all part of the evaluation process.
Each candidate’s report card was assessed on the following five principles:
- Ability (competence, experience, professionalism)
- Independence (courage, open to new ideas, does not rubber-stamp, questions assumptions)
- Accountability (honest, trustworthy, transparent, understands board governance)
- Responsiveness (communication, listens to and represents public, supports disadvantaged groups)
- Vision (leadership, co-operation, passion)
ARTES does not support or oppose any particular position on any issue. A candidate’s political ideology is not part of the evaluation, and has not been included in the report card grading.
All publicly available information on candidates was compiled and considered to the grading committee. This includes attributable sources such as (but not limited to) EPSB board minutes and transcripts, media articles, and internet resources created or authorized by the candidate (website, blog, Twitter, Facebook). Other sources considered were videos produced by EPSB and by Shaw TV, and candidate surveys.
A grading committee of seven people with an interest in public education in Edmonton was formed to review the public material and to grade each candidate based on the five guiding principles listed above. Members ranged from university students, to parents of school-aged children, to seniors.
(A podcast of this discussion is now available.)
ARTES (Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools) has organized a Panel Discussion for Edmonton region school board trustee candidates, their associates and members of the public.
The panelists will be:
Janice Sarich former Ward 2 – Edmonton Catholic School Board Trustee, and currently MLA, Edmonton – Decore and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education.
Dr. Morag Pansegrau Chair of St. Albert Protestant Schools; Past Chair ASBA Zone 2/3; Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Educational Policy Studies, University of Alberta
Sue Huff former Vice Chair of the Edmonton Public School Board
The discussion will be moderated by David Beckman of ARTES. Topics may include: Trustee Leadership, Legal and Ethical Responsibilites, Generative Governance and Advice to Trustees.
Sunday, September 12th, 2010 9am–12pm
Woodcroft Community League Hall
13915 – 115th Avenue
On July 13th ARTES held a panel discussion on special needs education at NorQuest College.
Trustees are elected to demonstrate vision, leadership, and responsiveness to their constituents. In this role trustees are accountable for the expenditure of large amounts of public funds and for actions that touch the lives of 100s of thousands of people. A top priority for trustees is the success of children. Special needs education is one of many important issues that school board trustees provide leadership on. The “buck stops” with school boards.
Holding this panel discussion was important because understanding the requirements of special needs students is not something that one can learn from a text book or effectively research from the Internet—It requires deep learning obtained by asking questions and sharing experiences.
Attendees included incumbent trustees and trustee candidates from both the public and separate boards plus members of not for profit organizations and Alberta Education.
- Lori Fankhanel, President, Sensory Processing Disorder Canada Foundation. Lori is a parent of two elementary aged children with exceptional learning needs.
- Wendy Sauve, member of the Edmonton Regional Coalition for Inclusive Education (email). Wendy is a parent of a child transitioning into high school in an inclusive setting.
- Kathryn Burke, Executive Director, Learning Disabilities Association of Alberta. Kathryn is a parent of two children with exceptional learning needs.
The discussion was moderated by Dale Hudjik, President of ARTES.
We learnt that is imperative that we enable the talents of all students. This is all the more true for students with special needs.
We must reduce the unnecessary suffering that special needs students endure when their challenges are trivialized and they do not get the help they need. Some children will “only” suffer the pain of not being accepted or the reality of not achieving what they could. But for some children the consequences are much more serious—a leading cause of suicide among children is a failure to succeed in school.
Panelists gave examples where schools excelled and they were appreciative of caring educators. However, trustees at times are shown only the nice side of the “bubble”. Students and parents are living the more complex and often less pretty reality inside the bubble.
The system often falls short. In order to improve, is imperative that trustees look at shortcomings with a cold eye. When it comes to children, especially those who are disadvantaged, it is imperative to not rest on the laurels of perceived excellence—but to take realistic actions to continuously improve and indeed eliminate tragic problems.
Throughout the discussion panelists articulated their grave concern that the “Setting the Direction” initiative will remove the process of diagnostic coding and emphasized the need for trustee candidates to lobby for its retention.
Panelists also pointed out that parental choice for inclusion must be respected and honoured over time. Children must be welcomed into their neighbourhood schools. It is the responsibility of district leaders to ensure that individual schools are following legislation and policy when it comes to inclusion in the regular classroom.
It is important that children are not looked at as medical case-histories, behaviour problems or challenges to budgets—but whole and valued individuals. Management practices that are inflexible and idealistic can hurt children. Administrators must be held accountable for how well they are serving the needs, special and otherwise, of children and not just meeting budgetary or formulaic strictures.
The interest and questions at this well attended panel discussion bode well for the future leadership of our schools in Edmonton.
The Association for Responsive Trusteeship in Edmonton Schools (ARTES) hosted a wine and cheese mixer on May 15th for people interested in local education issues, including potential candidates who are eyeing the possibility of running in the fall election.
The event was well attended and included advice and inspiration from former MLA, trustee and teacher Ray Martin and Edmonton City Councillor Ben Henderson.
Ray Martin spoke about the difference in the roles and responsibilities between school Trustees and School District Administration. Trustees must show leadership and represent their constituents. It is not the role of a trustee to “rubber stamp” Administration initiatives.
Councillor Ben Henderson spoke about the challenges in communication between local governments and how “bad decisions” are made when this communication is not effective.
The President of ARTES, Dale Hudjik, kicked off the event with a few words about of effective and responsive governance. But the success of the event was heard in the volume of discussion between attendees.
ARTES (ar-tes) represents people committed to the welfare of children and public education in Edmonton. It seeks to encourage high quality candidates for school boards.
Its mission is to encourage and support school trustee candidates who are independent, transparent in their views and values, accountable, forward-looking, and responsive to the community.
For more information about ARTES please add your name to the mailing list or contact Dale Hudjik at dale.hudjik[AT]responsivetrustee.com