Chairperson’s Report to Council for June 2022
by Judy Kelley, Chairperson, LBPSB
Looking ahead to the summer and fall of 2022 there is much to consider. The LBPSB recently received excellent news that we have been given the authorization to build a second new elementary school, off-island. With two new schools on the horizon, in the near future, the opportunities for our families and students will be tremendous as we open up more space and possibilities for this growing population on our western territory. The summer months are some of the busiest for building projects and capital budget expenditures, so when you notice on-going work at your local school, you will know this is to enhance the learning and work environment for years to come. Usually, in June, we expect to pass a resolution approving the LBPSB budget for the upcoming school year, from July1st to June 30th, but this year’s budget resolution will now be on our August Council agenda due to delays in the receipt from the Ministry of all of the operational budget details. We are almost there, but not quite. Commissioners attended a budget workshop this month to help us to fully understand the budget parameters and budget consultation responses and to ask important questions. This workshop was extremely informative. As well, the work well under way this year in ensuring equity, diversity, dignity and inclusivity are part of the backbone of our vision and values, is work that will grow and that we will all benefit from as we become more aware of the ways to strengthen this systemic change in the LBPSB’s commitment to its community. And, as part of that work, we will continue to move forward with a focus on anti-violence and anti-bullying policy and action, to again to provide and promote safe and caring spaces for our students.
Looking back at the end of the school year, anyone involved in or connected to education will reflect deeply on the year’s events and the learning that has taken place. They will celebrate the accomplishments and successes of the students and all of the people who have been close by, every step of the way, to ensure the best educational experience possible for each student. They will think about the challenges and obstacles for some, as well, and will contemplate about how to make each student’s experience better the next time, with more knowledge and more understanding tucked into their repertoire of skills.
This month the LBPSB has celebrated the end of year in a multitude of ways with renewed excitement and energy that trumped the disappointment of not being able to do so for the previous two years. Those who attended graduations and end-of-year activities would have noticed exuberance and the true joy in celebrating meaningful and important milestones. Although I would like to list the many, many people who worked so hard this year, both in and outside of the classroom, every day, to bring us to the final school days of June, I am afraid the list would be too long and that I would forget to thank that one person who made such a difference in someone’s school life. My thank you, then, is to you all, in as many ways as I could possibly say thank you, for all you have done and have accomplished this school year.
I would, however, like to take a moment to acknowledge, with gratitude, the retirees and 25-year employees of the LBPSB for their astonishing careers in education. You are amazing.
As well, I need to state what an honour it is for the Council of Commissioners to work with and learn so much from our Director General, Dr. Cindy Finn, Assistant Directors Carol Heffernan and Thomas Rhymes, Secretary General Genèvieve Dugré, François Hamel, and their teams of devoted directors and managers and employees. The time and commitment to the never-ending work you do is truly phenomenal. Please, take a good break and much-needed rest this summer. Thank you for everything you do for the LBPSB. And to the Council of Commissioners, I would like to extend my great appreciation for the work we all do together, for your commitment to the LBPSB, always with the goal to make a positive difference. Thank you.
I will end my thank you “letter” with one last underlying message of thanks for the kindness and caring shown across the LBPSB as we all work together to ensure the LBPSB is a leader in education and the best it can be.