October 31st, 2020

Schools could use Santa’s help

By Submitted Article on December 11, 2019.

Dear Santa,

I’m sorry it has been such a long time since you heard from me. I hope you and Mrs. Claus are doing well. I know you are very busy working hard to bring joy and happiness to children everywhere, and I don’t want to take up too much of your time, but I think I need your help.

Alberta’s economy is suffering. Unemployment is high and investor confidence is low. The provincial government is facing a difficult fiscal reality, and there are some tough decisions that are being made in government, in businesses and in private homes this year.

Despite the difficulties that our province is facing, we still have one of the best education systems in the world. I am grateful to work in a province that places great value in supporting strong public education. I am grateful that we have continued funding from the Ministry of Education for school nutrition programs that help support families. Santa, I know you see every day how blessed we are in Alberta to have so many hard-working professionals with the knowledge, skills, abilities and attributes that allow them to work day in and day out to support our children’s educational progress. I am grateful for those who sacrifice and dedicate themselves to this most noble work.

Santa, if you will help me out with my wish list, I know Alberta will continue to benefit from the teachers, programs, facilities and systems that provide such a high-quality education for our amazing young people.

My first wish Santa is for school jurisdictions to receive long-term, predictable and sustainable funding, and adequate supports for the complex classrooms of today. My second wish is for ample mental health supports to allow schools to be more proactive and less reactive when assisting our most vulnerable students through difficult times.

Third, I wish for a revised funding framework that recognizes the unique circumstances of rural schools, for sufficient transportation funding to provide reasonable ride times for students and for modernized facilities where learning is maximized because learning spaces are designed for education today. Finally, Santa, I wish for lower insurance rates. The recent hike of 274 per cent is unsustainable and draws much needed resources away from students.

In return, Santa, if you will grant these wishes, I know that Alberta’s public schools will use their resources prudently. I assure you that Alberta will continue to attract the very best and brightest staff in the country to work in our schools. I am confident that stakeholders will be innovative and work together to redesign education in Alberta to operate even more effectively and efficiently.

With your help, Santa, we can contribute through our education system to an Alberta that will always be a great place to for families to live and work.

Thank you, Santa.

Oh, I almost forgot! We made an extra plate of delicious cookies for you to take home and share with Mrs. Claus. Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Darryl Seguin is the Superintendent/CEO of Livingstone Range School Division

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