Local Voices, Local Choices Campaign Launch At the end of September, MSBA launched its new public information campaign entitled “Local Voices, Local Choices” (Voix Communautaires, Choix Communautaires). The campaign debuted with a video profiling the importance of school boards as vehicles for local voice and local choice in public education. A letter writing template was also produced to encourage Manitobans to communicate their support for retention of school boards. The campaign then shifted focus to the importance of democracy by way of promoting the school board elections and ramped up through to Remembrance Day with the release of the Veteran’s Voice Project in conjunction with the 100th anniversary of the signing of the First War Armistice. Following Remembrance Day, MSBA produced a series of quick snapshots, each communicating an important idea concerning school boards. In the months that have followed, MSBA also produced a series entitled “This is Local Choice”, showcasing why local voice and local choice matters in terms of distinctive programming, supports and services that reflect local community needs and requirements. To peruse the array of materials that MSBA has produced as part of this campaign, please visit: www.localvoices.ca Talking to Kids About Cannabis With great concern leading up to the legalization of cannabis on October 16, MSBA partnered with the Manitoba Association of Parent Councils to produce a trilingual fact sheet resource entitled “Talking to Kids About Cannabis” (English, French and Tagalog). Unlike other resources, MSBA’s fact sheet addressed the social and legal dimensions of decriminalization, in addition to the general overviews and health-related foci produced by other entities. We are appreciative to MAPC, as well as to the Filipino Journal, for working with us to ensure that this resource was made available to parents in the weeks leading up to legalization! To access the materials, please visit the right hand column at http://www.mbschoolboards.ca/studentSafety.php School Board Elections In Manitoba, school board elections occur every four years, with the latest election occurring October 24, 2018. The fall of 2018 was therefore very busy, as MSBA prepared pre-election candidate and public information, while also working with partners and the media to provide good information through to the end of the elections. A total of 403 candidates ran in the election for a total of 297 seats. Of these: 144 (48.5%) were decided by contest, while 142 (47.8%) were acclaimed. Eleven (3.7%) seats were filled by local appointment following the elections. Of the acclaimed and contested seats, 203 (68.4%) were incumbents. Gender equality also increased in 2018, with women now representing 59.6% of all trustees. For all results, please visit: http://www.mbschoolboards.ca/ elections2018.php Post-election, MSBA distributed a new trustee profile survey to all trustees. Based on an 85% response rate, we have observed that: • The majority of trustees are parents or grandparents of children in schools; • A majority are working professionals who balance full-time employment with their duties as trustees; • A majority hold post-secondary credentials; • Approximately a quarter of trustees represent important diversity categories, including: Indigenous peoples, newcomer communities, visible minorities, and persons with disabilities; and • Twenty percent are bilingual. MSBA believes that our communities continue to benefit from this strength and level of representation among school trustees. ManitobaUpdate 2018/2019 Annual Report to the CSBA Board of Directors Local Voices Local Choices Because schools belong to communities School Boards are Gender Equal: Over half of all school trustees are women, the highest level of representation among all elected officials in Manitoba‎ . mbschoolboards.ca