Learning, the whole child & one busy (but focused) trustee

I am still playing catch-up. The previous post got to November 9th – 16 days ago. Here’s what filled my days, distracted me and informed my learning to November 17th.             Keep in mind that my 9-to-5 job takes up the work-week days.

November 10th ~ The CRPS Board set directions and received information in a four-hour committee meeting:

  • Inspiring Hearts & Minds +  enrollment and budget updates
  • Governance team: process and time-lines report from sub-committee
  • brainstorming on key issues and opportunities (not solutions)
  • planning Board retreat (Sunday, Nov. 28th) agenda
  • planning public Board meeting (Dec. 7th at 18:30, CCHS) content and format
  • effective meetings and ground rules. We need to play well together!

November 11th ~ Remembrance Day

  • I always take time to remember my grandfather (WW1), my dad and my uncle John who survived WWII and my Uncle David who did not – a 20 year-old pilot who crashed while landing the plane in foggy weather in England.  After the ceremonies at the Canmore Cenotaph, outside the Royal Canadian Legion, Branch # 3, I warmed up over coffee, chatting about kids, schools and learning with Mr. Callaghan (CRPS Superintendent).

Friday, November 12th ~ TIME OUT: Scrabble© with my pal.

Saturday & Sunday, November 13th/14th ~ Alberta Party Policy Convention

  • Politics fascinate me – well, I am a politician. I lunched with Danielle Smith, leader of the Wildrose Alliance, in October. The CRPS Board regularly visits our MLA, Janis Tarchuk (PC), to let her know about both our successes and our challenges. I follow various political blogs and columnists. I wanted to see this newly reinvented Alberta Party for myself, out of curiousity and also because many people I respect sit on its Board. There was great intelligence, energy, youth, big thinking and Big Listening over the two days. Very interesting.

Monday, November 15th ~ 3½ hr. Canmore Folk Music Festival Board Meeting. Collaborations with the CFMF have resulted in great projects for CRPS students. In 2011, this organization will again partner with CRPS to the benefit of children.

Tuesday, November 16th ~ Reading blog posts, newspaper articles, school board docs, tweets and e-mail; answering and commenting on the preceding items.

Wednesday, November 17th

  • 17h – 18h: Book launch for John Reilly’s Bad Medicine: A Judge’s Struggle for Justice in a First Nations Community. I bought a copy and read it immediately. The story is a good read as a personal and historical account. It is relevant to me personally: as a trustee since CRPS has a substantial number of First Nations students; as a Bow valley resident for the local content; as a Canadian with an interest and, I believe, an obligation to access any resource to shed light on a tragic past, a troubled present and an uncertain future with regard to Canada’s relationship with its FNMI population. The book is bound to create controversy, as it is one individual’s take on events and the surrounding causes and results.
  • 18:30h Ecole Elizabeth Rummel School Council Meeting. Wonderful to see parents so engaged in their school community and kids’ learning.

Highlights for me were:

  • the teacher librarian, Mrs. Becker, presenting on the development of a Learning Commons at ERS and how it will enhance learning at the school
  • Right from the Start program’s brand new DVD, which describes the impact of this three-year pilot program (now in its final year) on staff, students and families in CRPS. Tears flowed as appreciation and support was expressed by the people at the table. Watch it here.

In my mind, the Right from the Start DVD resonated with the themes of Dr. Oberklaid’s presentation and linked with the Inspiring Hearts & Minds graphic of the whole child.

The focus is that whole child.. and my focus sharpened once again.


About Esmé Comfort

My husband Jim and I moved to the Bow Valley in 1980, settling in Canmore in 1983. Both my children were born in Canmore and attended K -12 in Canadian Rockies Public Schools District (CRPS), French Immersion. For the past six years I served as vice-chair of the board. Alberta Government support to the CRPS Inspiring Hearts & Minds initiative created opportunities for provincial, national and international outreach. In the past I held positions on the Canmore Daycare Board, the preschool board, and various school councils/PACs; I served as president of the local chapter of Canadian Parents for French for five years and sat on the provincial board for two. I currently sit on the board of the Canmore Folk Music Festival, work full time at an events management firm and edit, copy-edit and proofread on contract. My husband and I ran a small main street business for 18 years: supply and install floor wall and window coverings.
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