Happy New Year and welcome to 2012. I have certainly enjoyed the time off between Christmas and New Year. It is always wonderful to have some extra time to spend with the loved ones in our lives. I’m coming back to work fully rested and ready to take on an extremely busy January… even as I enter another decade!!! Who said 50 was old???
December always seems to fly by in a blur due to the bedlam of activity that occurs in our schools and throughout the division. I try and make it a point to get out to the schools for as many Advent and Christmas activities as possible in December. Although I’ve seen my fair share of concerts and other activities over the years, I’m always excited to see the many talents of our staff and students at this time of the year. These talents share the Christmas message which is foundational to our Catholic schools. Thanks to all involved for their time commitment and more importantly their faith commitment to ensuring that Christmas is about Christ.
The December Board meeting was highlighted by a presentation on Alberta Schools Wind Power Project. The Board passed a motion to be part of the Wind Power Project which will provide long term predictable costs and a great benefit to the environment. Other highlights included: Presentation of the 2012 Infrastructure Maintenance Renewal Plan, CUPE 1825 contract ratification, and the transfer of funds from capital reserves to finance the two additional modulars for St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary. For more information on the board meeting, please see the Board Meeting Briefs.
January begins with a special ASBA meeting on the 9th for Board Chairs, Superintendents and Secretary Treasurers to discuss the progress of the current tripartite discussions being held. There is no doubt that while the desire for long term sustainable funding and labor peace is the goal, I am concerned that some decisions made at the provincial level could have a negative impact on our local system. Although the relationships between the Alberta Education, Alberta Teachers’ Association (ATA) and the Alberta School Boards’ Association (ASBA) are much improved, negotiations have an ability to cause lines to be drawn and ultimatums to be given. Let’s hope that our students and our staff are not negatively impacted by these decisions.
Another big event will be our west side public consultation hosted by Children of St. Martha School. All parents and staff from St. Patrick Fine Arts Elementary, Children of St. Martha and Father Leonard van Tighem are invited to this event on January 16th beginning at 6:30 PM. Please click here for the link to register. A small committee of parents and staff from each of the three schools and senior administration have been working together to provide some potential options to ensure the best utilization of our west side schools. The input provided will assist the Board in their long term planning.
Finally, the Board of Trustees and Senior Administration will be busy as they begin their staff appreciation lunches in January. This is the third year that the Board has been involved in providing lunches for our staffs. These luncheons serve as a token of appreciation for their excellent work and dedication. It is a great opportunity for board members and senior administration to mingle with the staff at each school and further recognize their positive impact made on the students of Holy Spirit and the community at large.
In closing, I would like to leave you with this New Years Prayer video. May God Bless you in 2012.