- Councils are advocating for a provincial recruitment strategy to ensure we can adequately staff our schools with qualified teachers and support staff. EECD’s announcement of a public consultation on the entry point for the French second language program caused a lot of anxiety within the districts. The Auditor General’s report criticized the previous government for the sudden change from grade 3 entry to grade 1 entry which caused significant staffing issues across the province. It was announced in May that the current entry point will hold for at least a year and the matter will be further considered as part of a broader education review in the fall of 2019. Knowing the Education Act will be opened for revision, the Anglophone and Francophone sectors are working collaboratively to identify ways to enhance the governance structure and clarify the co- governance nature of the New Brunswick model. Unfortunately, immunization has recently come to the forefront with outbreaks of whooping cough and measles in New Brunswick schools. This has prompted discussions around mandatory vaccination, improved record management and risk management. The New Brunswick Legislature is currently considering removing the option for parental objections so that only students with medical exemptions can attend public school unvaccinated. This year the English School Districts saw the roll out of a collaborative project to improve policy monitoring and superintendent evaluations across the province. The project was a joint effort between Councils and Superintendents and was supported by our Department. Training and support have been available to the councils throughout the year to help transition to new processes. The Councils participate in an annual professional development event each spring. While we were able to reschedule the 2018 event that was cancelled due to historic flooding, the impact was having to plan and execute 2 events in 6 months. It was a significant challenge but both events were well attended by District Education Council members, Parent School Support Committee representative and EECD staff. Minister Cardy attended our May event for an open discussion on trades in education, student support services and Education’s role in supporting student mental health. Looking forward, we are preparing for the District Education Council Elections in May of 2020 and are undertaking a joint project with our Francophone counterparts to revise and revamp the training resources that will be made available through our orientation and training. We will no doubt be looking to our CSBA counterparts for inspiration and best practices. Respectfully submitted, Robert Fowler, Chair of the Council of District Education Council Chairs Stacey Brown, District Education Councils Manager