Canadian Education News

Okotoks’ Needs Support for Catholic School System to Flourish

Western Wheel reported that the Okotoks’ separate school system has requested support from their stakeholders in order for the publicly-funded Catholic school system to continue to flourish in the province of Alberta.

PACE, or Parents Advocating for Catholic Education, is a committee of 10 Christ the Redeemer (CTR) Catholic District parents and 2 trustees.  Bonnie Annicchiarico, CTR Catholic associate superintendent said, “PACE emerged from school councils in our district —[a] conversation parents were having about their desire about Catholic education and their desire to be more involved as vocal advocates for Catholic education.”

Another meeting will be held on January 23.  The point of the engagement of the parents, Annicchiarico said, was to ensure that they are ‘thoughtful and informed’ on the reasons for selection of Catholic education and its importance to them (the parents).

The Alberta education minister from 1979-86, David King, started Inclusive Diverse Education for All in 2017.  King wants the dissolution of Catholic school boards and instead have Catholic education as an alternative within the public school system.  He noted the benefits would save money for busing and administrative costs, and others.

Annicchiarico stated, “Quebec no longer has publicly-funded Catholic education and neither does the Maritimes, there is only three provinces that do, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta…So it pays for us to be aware, diligent and thoughtful.  Historically, other provinces have lost their opportunity for publicly-funded Catholic education.”

Canadian Lawyers and Law Students Discuss the Future of Their Profession

Canadian Lawyer said that over 150 lawyers and law students heard a panel of eminent jurists discuss legal education’s future.  The event took place at McGill University’s Faculty of Law.  The managing director of Legal – Canada/Australia/New Zealand for Thomson Reuters (publisher of Legal Feeds), Neil Sternthal, said this is an important discussion for the legal profession.

He said “The pace of change caused by globalization, the disaggregation of legal services, the emergence of alternative legal service providers [and] disruptive technologies” were important to discuss to prepare the next generation of legal professionals.  Because lawyers support the rule of law and that effects clients and society.

McGill’s dean of law, Robert Leckey, asked the participants about the requirements to be a successful lawyer.  The group across the board noted that diversity and practical training were important.  Diversity related to “personal and educational background and in the sexual and racial makeup of the profession.”

Survey Asks Principals about Dealing with Limited Funding

According to the Calgary Herald, the province has been touting increased education funding with news releases, but one parent advocacy group has been looking at the data from the schools that are still challenged by limited resources.

The second annual Alberta Schools Survey is being sent out by Support Our Students (SOS) to every publicly funded school in Alberta.  Principals have been asked anonymous surveys to suss out information about they are balancing the tight school budgets.

The balance can require forced options between janitorial services, librarians, music teachers, school psychologists, and special-needs assistants.  “Principals have very difficult decisions to make with very limited amounts of money,” Barb Silva, SOS spokesperson, said, “We need them to provide us with this critical information so we have something to arm ourselves with when we go to the minister.”

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