What does Diversity mean to you?

Diversity.

When you hear the word diversity, what does it mean to you? How does it make you feel? For our Members and our Association, it means something very real and guides us as we move forward in our work.

To us, diversity means learning options for our students in classrooms. It means teachers having the flexibility and option to teach their students in responsive ways that enable their students to understand the concept at hand.

Diversity means embracing the personal experience that each educator and student brings with them.

Diversity is democracy , the variety of experiences and ideas Board members bring to the table so that we can be confident that we are making the best, informed decisions for our students.

When we come together because of shared values, when we focus on that which bonds us rather than that which makes us different, that is when diversity shines.

Diversity in a Public School system means choice. It means respect. It means opportunity.

That’s what diversity means to us.


About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of  Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."  
Connect with Arlene on Twitter.

A Fresh Start...

When you work in Public Education, there are two beginnings each and every year: the beginning of a new school year and the beginning of a new calendar year.

With the beginning of a new school year, we see goals, focus and a fresh start (and new non-marking gym shoes 😉)  but with the beginning of a new calendar year, we see things a little differently. While we’re only a few months into the school year, so much has already happened and we have the ability to see things a little more clearly so typically, January means a reflection and refocus leading to a renewed commitment to our goals.

Here we are, at the beginning of February in the year 2017 and I am so looking forward to refocusing on this blog and starting fresh with it once again. So, with this short, but necessary post, I say, here’s to an amazing 2017, to fresh starts, and to doing our best for kids!

Warmly,
- Arlene


ArleneHrynyk(small).jpg

About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of  Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."  
Connect with Arlene on Twitter.

I have been following, with much interest, the recent debate and discussion surrounding the development of policy to support LGTBQ students and staff of a separate school system.   My interest is largely because, I believe, as an individual elected by the Public, to make important decisions for children, it is my job to stay in the know regarding all social and educational matters.

You can also appreciate that this topic is now at the centre of many conversations.  I have personally received many calls and questions from those who know me as a strong advocate for children, families and community, and as a long serving, locally elected Trustee for public school education.  I appreciate the views that have been shared with me for they assist me in performing my role.

The one thing that is astoundingly clear to me, is the lack of understanding regarding LGTBQ issues, as well as the difference between publicly funded and public education. In a blog post, written by separate school Trustee Patricia Grell, a clearer understanding of this is expressed. 

It is critical that at all times, we are listening to our public and that they know their voice is necessary and valued by their public school board. 

I also know that we simply cannot please everyone in our decisions, however our ultimate priority and concern must always be based on what is best for our children.

In saying that, we must challenge ourselves to grow our understanding of each and every matter.  We must set aside our personal opinions to ensure at the very minimum, our actions are reflective of supporting and protecting our youth, while modelling the values that will strengthen our society long after our period of influence.

We may not always agree on matters, but we must always do what is right for our children. Our children are watching and they are counting on us.

-Arlene

 

ArleneHrynyk(small).jpg

About Arlene: Arlene Hrynyk serves as the President of the Public School Boards' Association of Alberta. She is unwavering in her commitment to always put Children First and is guided by the words of  Dr. Haley Simons who says, "children are worth our life's blood to fight for."  
Connect with Arlene on Twitter.

 

Welcome back!

For many, September means harvesting the crops, pulling out the garden and the changing colours of the leaves, but for us in Education, September means the time of year when our wonderful children enter the doors of our schools… but we’re sure there’s a slightly different perspective coming from each of us who are impacted by the back-to-school “season.”

For students, September means finding the perfect, stylish pair of non-marking running shoes, being pulled out of bed before 9AM, and looking at a perfectly organized locker (which we all know, can only last for so long).

For the adults in our students’ lives, it means searching for the dreaded school supply list, ensuring your child is registered in their new school and finding that unexplainably expensive calculator that your high-school student needs.

For school personnel, September means cleaning buses and organizing pick up routes, planning lessons and timetables, and preparing for the most precious assets our earth holds to enter back into our lives, and into our care.

To every Albertan family and to each and every human who has devoted their time to making a difference in the lives of our children, welcome back to school! 

I can’t wait to see the wonderful learning and passion this school year will bring and I’m also incredibly excited to bring you along on my journey this school year through this blog. 

Keep smiling, 

Arlene