September 9, 2020
Laurie French, President of the Canadian School Boards Association (CSBA), and Vice President Alain Fortier, call on all education leaders to engage in authentic collaboration as they work to plan a safe and smooth return to school.
It is very clear that marginalized communities and families have been greatly disadvantaged throughout the pandemic. As systems prepare for the new school year, it is critical that equity be at the forefront of all decisions.
Through regular sharing sessions with the Canadian Association of School System Administrators (CASSA), trustees and school system leaders are well positioned to work with provincial and territorial governments to ensure that common concerns and issues are addressed. While there are differences throughout the country, there are many issues that are common to all. An overview of some of the major educational policies across Canada related to school return is available at (link to website). Working with employee leaders and relying on expert health advice is essential to inform decisions for safety and success for all.
In areas of the country where all levels of elected officials have worked together and communicated effectively, students and their families benefit from consistent and clear messages. When governments act unilaterally and replace collaboration with consultation or one-way communication, students and their families lose, and confusion results.
Local school boards are leaders in advocacy and communication to ensure that the return to learning plans are flexible and meet the needs of each community.
Together, we can serve all students and their families and meet the needs of those who serve them for a safe return.