Individual trustees are part of a team, charged with guiding the “big picture” policies of the school board in the interest of all students. The Halton District School Board’s Multi Year Plan is based on the values of relationships, responsibility and ingenuity.
The team is focused on building strong, resilient, happy and engaged students and communities for lifelong learning. The trustee role is one of listening actively to school communities, teachers, staff and administrators, facilitating, strategic planning and most importantly, clear communication. To do this well, it is important to look inward and outward, and forward and backward in time. As part of this team. I bring my core values, which include inclusion, collaboration, transparency, progressiveness, creativity and safety. I will work to:
- Foster activities and policies that value each student for their strengths and talents, and are inclusive of diversity, arts, culture, academics and athletics.
- Create an environment of collaboration between students, teachers, administrators, families and Trustees.
- Gain and understanding of the unique needs and aspirations of each school community by connecting with families, students, teachers and administrators in ways that are most suitable to each. One size does not fit all.
- Give people the tools to participate in the decisions that matter most to their families by committing to distribute regular information about upcoming decisions to be made, seek ongoing input, provide easy-to-follow details about how to participate in Board meetings and committees, and communicate what happened and why.
- Build strong community connections by bringing together School Councils and Student Councils to share experiences and explore common opportunities and challenges in a proactive way. A shared database of best practices could be created so that limited resources can be shared and stretched, where appropriate.
- Leverage existing programs and community volunteers to benefit schools. For example, local environmental groups have various programs to green school yards at no cost. Local Council members are also a wealth of information and opportunity. As an example, it would be great to work together to expand the safe biking network.
- Work to address aging school infrastructure by gaining and communicating a thorough understanding of opportunities to harness traditional and nontraditional funding sources.
- Develop clear messages for students and families about Internet safety, which means staying on top of the latest on-line buzz to keep families in the know and our students safe.
- Build connections to the broader community, Canada and its First Nations and the world to promote inclusion and tolerance.
- Assist in building understanding of who does what in public education, by creating a plain language resource with links to additional information for those who want more details.
Interested in reading more about the role of trustees? Here’s a couple of resources for you.
- Ontario School Trustees (ontarioschooltrustees.org)
- Ontario’s Ministry of Education http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/
- Town of Oakville Trustee Guide for Candidates and Communities http://elections.oakville.ca/assets/general%20-%20town%20hall/2014ELESBTrusteeGuide_eng.pdf
All action starts as an idea!