Osborne aims to be the voice of PSD stakeholders and fight for a better curriculum


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Jill Osborne is mobilizing for the students of the Tri-Region.

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A mother with her own children in the division, Osborne is the latest candidate to run for election to the Parkland School Division Board of Directors. She hopes to fight for a better K-6 curriculum while listening to stakeholders about what matters most to them.

“I was hoping our board would take a stronger stance against the program by saying that it is just not age-appropriate… Taking indigenous knowledge from Virginia or even state textbooks is insulting. for me when there are so many good people that we can take aboriginal content from, ”Osborne said. “The curriculum the province worked on for eight years on a new curriculum and it was a good curriculum. I would not see a complete rewrite, I would go back to the agenda started by the previous Conservative government and taken over by Rachel Notley’s NDP. It was a good program and it was ready to be deployed. Having this total farce of a school curriculum has been a huge disappointment for the parents, for the teachers, for everyone. “

Another factor in the decision was the reluctance of the current council to implement reconciliation policies following the discovery of the unmarked graves at Kamloops Indian Residential School. During a presentation on the issue at Memorial Composite High School, administrators hesitated to act based on the fact that the issue was something the newly elected board should decide.

Knowing that these decisions will be left to the new board of directors, Osborne saw the opportunity to provide her opinion on an issue she sees as of critical importance to the division.

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“It was right after the discovery. There was an urgency among the parents to do something, and it felt like the administration was at a standstill due to the upcoming elections. The direct quote was that we have an election coming up this summer and we don’t even know who our directors will be. That just sealed the deal for me, ”Osborne said. “It also meant learning about the responsibilities of trustees. I won’t just stand up for my agenda, I want to be a voice for what stakeholders want and need.

Osborne also touched on the widely debated topic of director compensation, saying she supported a policy in which teachers receive more money for professional development than directors.

The PSD board of directors voted in a Base pay cut 10 percent two years ago and levels constant this year. They also cut the division’s professional development budget. Each Trustee currently receives $ 2,000 for professional development and an additional $ 1,500 for the Chairman of the Board. This is a significant reduction from the $ 7,700 previously allocated for PP to each trustee, but there have been votes for a further reduction in both PP and base pay. .

“A lot of professional development can be done virtually, and professional development for an administrator, I think, should be at levels below what is allocated to teachers. Now, coming from a small town, I made the decision to show up before I knew there was compensation. I was disappointed they didn’t dig a little deeper at the September 14 meeting, ”Osborne said.

As a longtime community member and mother of children in the division, Osborne ultimately hopes to be the voice of what matters most to PSD stakeholders.

“I have spent a good part of my summer and always go to meetings with people whom I consider to be leaders across the community, to find out what they want in our school division. I spoke with teachers and coordinated with Melissa Purcell who is the Aboriginal Coordinator for the Alberta Teacher’s Association.

[email protected] twitter.com/joshthomasrepex

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