Koni Macdonald and Donna Swiniarski
Peggi Kendel, featured on the Public Education Action Centre page in the October 3 ATA News, says it takes a team to put together a strong public relations plan. Kendel says all the teachers in Grasslands deserve credit for the Local's program.
Local smorg of events
Locals are serving up a smorgasbord of excellent ideas for promoting public education in Alberta. Featured are some of the many activities undertaken by locals.
Locals are using various media to spread the message by
- advertising in daily papers;
- encouraging reporters to profile teachers in newspapers;
- writing monthly columns in local papers;
- writing letters to editors;
- using the community news channel to make announcements and run the "Public Education works" slogan;
- featuring a school of the week in local papers;
- distributing information pamphlets to media;
Other means available to spread the message are by
- promoting PR programs in schools;
- advertising "Public Education Works" on bus benches;
- featuring the logo on all communications;
- producing traveling displays for schools; and
- sponsoring information rallies for teachers;
Locals are busy distributing "Public Education Works" items such as shirts; binders; letterhead; pins, memo pads, coffee mugs and buttons.
Building links with stakeholdersTop of page
Locals are developing relationships with education stakeholders by
- inviting trustees to sit on local public education committees;
- inviting retired teachers to get involved in local projects;
- sponsoring public awareness nights with guest speakers;
- writing to MLAs;
- sending fact sheets to schools and businesses;
- establishing partnerships with other locals for joint projects;
- entering education floats in community parades;
- hosting election forums;
- encouraging local executive members and teachers to join the Chamber of Commerce;
- presenting information sessions to school boards on the "Public Education Works" program; and
- setting up exhibits in local trade shows.
Locals report on activities
Lethbridge Public School Local No. 41Top of page
President Nora MacGregor and Vice-President Bob Tarleck will make a presentation November 6 to Lethbridge City Council on the subject "Celebrate Success in Public Education." MacGregor and Tarleck will ask the mayor to declare November 13 to 19 as Education Week in Lethbridge.
During the October municipal election, the local cosponsored with CUPE three school board election forums.
Local members have been speaking to service clubs and other groups about "Public Education Works."
Horizon ATA Local No. 4Top of page
Our new president Doreen Pawlowski is anxious to raise the profile of public education in our area. "Public Education Works" buttons were distributed to all teachers during our division-wide professional development day on October 30. Also that day, our ATA display featured highlights from the ATA's "Edufacts." Our executive plans to host a supper for newly elected trustees and parent council chairs. As well as eating and mingling, the executive will give a public education presentation and distribute materials to parent council chairs.
Greater Black Gold Local No. 8Top of page
- Trustee forums
Trustee forums were organized and held at the following venues:
- Leduc Composite High School (Leduc Ward)—Organized by the Parent Council of Black Gold Public Schools
- New Sarepta Community High School (County East Ward) Organized by the Social 30 class and their teacher for Black Gold Public Schools
- Sacred Heart Catholic School (Wetaskiwin Ward)—Organized by staff and parents council
- St. Matthew's Catholic School (Rocky Mountain House Ward)—Organized by staff and parent council
We sent a package containing a questionnaire to each new trustee. Their responses were printed in the local newspaper.
- Quality Teaching
Along with other locals, we are preparing a joint response to the government's discussion paper entitled Quality Teaching: Quality Education for Alberta Students. Local members have been asked to send us their comments regarding the discussion paper.
- Chamber of Commerce
Our local has a membership in the Leduc/Nisku Area Chamber of Commerce. I have made a presentation to the Chamber executive on how we can/should work together to ensure that public education works in our schools.
We purchased large "Public Education Works" posters for all 32 schools and 3 central offices. Teachers and trustees have responded positively to the posters.
Our newsletter, At a Glance, is published monthly. We ask for input on government issues, TECC committee meetings, EAFEC meetings and practicum. Recently, we featured a vice-principal and outlined our goals for the upcoming year.