My Valentine to my public school district: Canadian Rockies Public Schools (CRPS)

Feb 11 2013 018This picture of our home-grown Amaryllis blooms is meant to convey the love, respect and pride I hold for our community of schools. We aren’t perfect, but it is not for want of trying, or disciplined mindful work. I have seen examples of staff at all levels – teachers, custodians, bus drivers, educational assistants, principals, admin. assistants, senior administration – everyone – going above and beyond to make things work. Kudos and thank you.

kindy_regLast night I attended the Kindergarten Information & Registration Session at École Elizabeth Rummel School. I became quite nostalgic: both our boys, Ben and Beamer, went through school in Canmore. But how different it was then! When Beamer started in 1988, there was just one public school in Canmore. French Immersion (FI) – an alternative program –  had just been introduced the year prior (1987, ) but started at Grade 1; FI Kindergarten was established the following year. At the Info/Reg night 25 years ago, the parents were mostly moms; “I’ll do the car and house repair stuff, honey, you do the school stuff”. Last night moms and dads were almost equally represented.

By the time Ben rolled up in 1993, there were three public school buildings in Canmore (but only one elementary level). The separate and Francophone schools – also public – would open more than five years later. There was also a private school, Mountain Gate,  which opened in 1996 and closed at the end of the ’06 – ’07 year.

Now the registration for ’13 – ’14 has begun and there are more choices than ever. As the staff presented and the parents listened intently, I realized that the district’s strengths lie in our people. The focus of our district must be on doing what we do. We do it excellently well and will never stop striving to improve. I was a passionate advocate of public education back then – what I saw and heard last night reaffirmed my conviction.

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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