Since the beginning days of the renovations at Three Oaks Senior High (TOSH), concerned parents have been expected to simply “trust” that their children have been safe throughout construction, though it was found that breaches in asbestos safety protocol have occurred.
Air quality test results that started being shared with these parents in April 2018 have led to email exchanges and a few select meetings with representatives from the Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, the Department of Education, the construction company leading the project, and others. However, many questions have been left unanswered, and concerns for the current and future wellbeing of students persist. Some parents have even been forced to request (and pay for) information through the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy act- a process that has been slow and frustrating.Read more
“Sexuality is a part of our humanity and an integral part of who we are as individuals. Good, current curriculum recognizes this and promotes nurturance, understanding, appreciation, knowledge and community.”
In Jane Ledwell’s opinion piece printed in the Guardian on the first anniversary of the #MeToo movement, she asks the question – “what can we do?” One solution she provides is to develop good, sound policy. In light of recent headline news, it is more important than ever to connect the dots and draw the lines between education, awareness and behaviour.Read more
Hoping for something does not make it so - a lesson most of us learn early in life when the magical thinking of childhood is lost. Training teachers to deliver curriculum designed to increase knowledge of mental health issues does one specific thing - increases knowledge of mental health issues. A worthy goal in itself, but what does the evidence actually tell us about this program’s ability to support student mental health and wellbeing?Read more
The work of educators is absolutely critical in shaping the future. Entering 2018, Grade 3 assessments are looming. The results of past assessments have not met expectations. This isn't a new outcome: test results have been plummeting in writing, reading and mathematics since 2014. It's a great source of stress for all involved.Read more
Our Health Minister Robert Henderson continues to assure us that there is no mental health crisis on Prince Edward Island.
In June 2015, I had the honour of representing Prince Edward Island as a member of the Canadian Citizen Reference Panel in Ottawa. Alongside the Mental Health Commission of Canada and countless other organizations and individuals too numerous to list, we aided in the creation of a mental health action plan for Canada.
I did my best to represent Prince Edward Island, and the voices of all our communities were well represented, including LGBT communities, Indigenous and First Nations communities, immigrant and refugee communities, our youth, elders, families struggling with mental health/health issues, people living with addictions, professionals working in these areas, families living in poverty, caregivers, our farmers, among others.Read more
Closing schools is an easy fix: it’s quick, decisive and demonstrates action on a file. The flip side of course is that it’s also unimaginative and shortsighted. I’ve been pondering school closures and hub schools through an economic lens, and I wonder if the Minister of Education will sit down for coffee with the Minister responsible for economic development.
Rural PEI has been neglected and overlooked, the Bell Aliant contract serving as a powerful example of this. Our current approach to job creation tends to focus on incentivizing industry to set up shop, creating a measurable amount of new positions in one shot. It looks good on paper, and a government can state with confidence a set number of jobs created during their mandate. Whether the jobs stay or go is secondary.Read more