The Province of Manitoba is currently asking for input from residents, including families in St. Vital, for an independent, province-wide review of education from kindergarten to Grade 12, with a commission currently underway.
The commission depends on public consultation and input from students, parents, teachers, academics and researchers, businesses, or anyone with an interest in public education. There will be ten public workshops held across Manitoba throughout May, with the last session in Winnipeg on May 15 from 6:00pm to 8:30pm at the Caboto Centre.
The commission is addressing some key areas, including student learning, teaching, accountability, governance, and funding. Co-chair Clayton Manness said the commission’s “focus will be on student outcomes, long-term sustainability and enhanced public confidence.” And, in such a province as Manitoba is, both in geography and demographics, local and public input is even more important. It is important to ensure that the needs and abilities of all students, including Indigenous students and the growing number of newcomer students, are met and developed.
The Louis Riel School Division has been actively involved since the review was announced, and Superintendent for the Louis Riel School Division, Christian Michalik, has committed to keeping the LRSD community, including students, parents, staff, and teachers informed of the review.
Michalik encourages residents of St. Vital to make their concerns and priorities known by attending the public workshop, completing an online survey, or sending a written submission to the Commission before the deadline of May 30th. Michalik notes, “it’s really important for the community to engage in a conversation that may result in significant changes to the public education system in Manitoba.” Whether you are an educator, parent, or simply someone with an interest in improving education, you should make your views and concerns known.
The current priorities for the Louis Riel School District, as established by the school board in 2013 include ensuring that every student develop strong literacy and numeracy skills, that students are engaged in learning, academically, emotionally, physically, and intellectually, and that they are citizens who actively contribute to their communities.
These goals are lofty, yet achievable, especially with a strong and responsive education system, but they also require alignment between the Province and local school boards, and the input and support of residents, not just in St. Vital, but across Winnipeg and Manitoba. As Michalik notes, this review “is about the type of Manitoba we want for the future.”
This article was originally published on May 6 , 2019 by Winnipeg Free Press.