The challenge of educating students during a global pandemic has highlighted the strength of Saskatoon Public Schools, according to the Saskatoon Board of Education's chairperson.
Colleen MacPherson, who was acclaimed to a third term as chair during the board's inaugural meeting Nov. 9, said the past year has shown that Saskatoon Public Schools "does education really, really well."
"On behalf of the board I want to acknowledge the great work that goes on every day in our schools," she said. "We have seen everyone do their very best, in the face of unprecedented challenges, to continue to bring joy and learning into our schools."
MacPherson highlighted the leadership of the division's senior administration team during the past year "even as the sand seems to shift under our feet on a daily basis," along with the work of the board's 10 elected trustees and their commitment to students and schools.
"As we move in to the next year, I am really looking forward to seeing our strategic plan continue to drive everything that we do here at the board table and across our division," she said. "We've made tremendous progress toward bringing to life our vision that every student is known, valued, and believed in and toward achieving our student goals of academic excellence, character, engagement, and well-being."
Trustees will continue to advocate for adequate provincial government funding for Saskatoon Public Schools, after several years of tight budgets.
"This is funding that will allow us to meet the needs of every student in our division. Personally, I will take every opportunity to share that message because the chronic underfunding that we face is simply unsustainable," MacPherson said.
"We need to be loud about the fact that funding education in this province is not an expense, but it is an investment."
The coming year will also see the design phase and start of construction on a new school to serve the King George, Pleasant Hill, and Princess Alexandra school communities.
"I think the City Centre project is visionary in many ways, not the least of which the important partners who have joined us in this effort to be builders of a holistic support network for students and their families in those communities," MacPherson said.
In addition to MacPherson's one-year team as chair, trustees Ross Tait and Kim Stranden were selected to serve six-month terms as vice-chair. Trustee responsibilities for various board committees were also determined during the meeting.
Information about the Board of Education and trustees is available at saskatoonpublicschools.ca.