This fall, the Edmonton Public school board will welcome its 100,000th student to the classroom! While there are no plans for ticker tape parades or school assemblies to celebrate this achievement, it is a significant milestone representing Edmonton Public’s growth and potential. There’s no way to know exactly who this student will be, but if I had the chance to sit down and talk with that student here’s what I would say:

You are well served at Edmonton Public. We have one of the best school systems waiting to meet your needs and help you learn. Our teachers and staff are outstanding and our community and resources are dedicated to supporting students. You will be well poised for growth and success at your new school.

Edmonton Public is for everyone. Public education belongs to all of us and we are focused on ensuring all students are welcome and thriving. For example, your board of trustees is working on a revised First Nations, Métis, and Inuit education policy. As we craft this policy, we want to hear from you, our 100,000th student, as well as your family, friends, and classmates, regardless of whether or not you identify as an Indigenous person. Good policy is only as strong as the people who help create it. Please take a few minutes and complete the survey by Sept. 28.

Edmonton Public is building new schools and renovating old ones. This could be important, depending on where you live and where you plan to go to school. For example, work is steadily going on behind the scenes for the modernization of Highlands Junior High School, turning one of Edmonton’s oldest schools into a kindergarten-Grade 9 school. This exciting modernization project for the 118 Avenue area and for surrounding neighbourhoods is due to be open in 2020. Many students, parents, and neighbours have provided valuable feedback for this project and more public meetings are planned this fall.

There’s a new curriculum planned for all kindergarten-Grade 4 students. The curriculum is basically all the content that students like you across Alberta will be learning during these early years of formal education, so it matters a lot and you should talk to your parents about it. This summer, the Alberta government released a draft of the new curriculum on its website. Parents have been involved in drafting this curriculum and the Government of Alberta will be holding more information sessions this fall before they finish the work by the end of 2018.

That’s it for now, except to wish all the 100,000 students attending Edmonton Public a fabulous 2018-2019 school year.

Finally, a big thanks to everyone who has reached out to me either through email or a phone call since the 2017 election. I am here to serve you, to advocate for a strong public education system, and to ensure that all children who attend Edmonton Public schools receive the support they need. I look forward to hearing from you and continuing to work on your behalf so that your child has the best experience in Edmonton Public schools.

Trisha is the EPSB Trustee for Ward D. She is a former journalist with CBC.


Featured Image: Trisha Estabrooks is the Edmonton Public school board trustee for Ward D. | EPSB