Every student deserves access to quality public education
Sarah doesn’t communicate verbally. Before her school started using specialized VOCA (voice output communication aid) equipment that “speaks” for her, she was often frustrated and disruptive to her class. Sarah’s teacher and principal worked with a team of specialists to get her the support she needs, and now, she’s excited about starting Grade 7 next year.
Samir is 12. His family recently arrived in Canada, after years of fleeing from turmoil in his home country. After the age of six, Samir stopped attending school regularly. Samir struggled to learn to read and write in his native language, and now, in a country where everything is new and strange and a little different, he needs help learning to communicate in a second language.
Samir also has fear about leaving his mother and siblings at home and taking the bus to school. As a young boy, he witnessed explosions, destruction and death on a daily basis. It takes a leap of faith for him to step on the school bus each morning and trust that he’ll be safe at his school. Samir’s teacher is working with him not only to learn to read, write and speak English, but also to help him understand his feelings about what he and his family have experienced. Because she is a L.E.A.D (Literacy, Education and Academic Development) teacher and has specialized training, she understands how to help students like Samir.
Madison is starting Grade 11 this year and soon she will be applying for university. She is getting ready to write her diploma exams and wants to do her best. Exams can be intimidating, so Madison talks to her teacher about how she can improve.
The teacher works with Madison to develop exam-taking strategies and a study plan so that she can improve her confidence and achieve the grades she wants.
Jordan has dreamed of being a hairstylist for a long time. He was excited to learn that he has the opportunity to not only take cosmetology classes at his high school, but also to earn credit in a Registered Apprenticeship Program. Jordan loves working at the salon and is learning so much about how to interact with clients, manage a business and be successful in his chosen field. These skills will be a real advantage when he has finished high school.
These are some examples of what just four of the 117,000 students in the Calgary Board of Education (CBE) face every single day. They are supported by almost 14,000 teachers and other employees. Every single CBE student requires support at some point in their education. Sometimes this support is significant and life-altering; sometimes it’s a matter of an adjusted deadline, a listening ear, or simply something to eat before a student can focus on learning.
The CBE is proud to accept all students in our schools and system; no matter their need, their background or their ability. We believe that everyone can learn. Each student is unique and worthwhile. We acknowledge, recognize and celebrate the diversity of our learners.
Our mission is to ensure that our students develop the skills and knowledge to thrive at school, work and in life.
To accomplish this, our students need support.
Investment in public education must be adequate to meet the needs of all of our students. We appreciate that the Government and Albertans recognize this need and have provided funding for stability and enrolment growth. This investment is one of the best tax-payers make. Successful students become successful citizens who contribute their ideas, passion and economic energy to society.
Public education is essential for a vibrant democracy. The principles of democracy drive our accountability to the public and the public's participation in our work. The Calgary Board of Education is accountable to Calgary tax-payers for using resources wisely to meet students' learning needs.
As a major employer and landowner in Calgary, investment in public education benefits not only our students, but many of our partners.
The CBE works with thousands of service providers, partners and contractors; many of them small businesses whose entire client base is the CBE. The economic activity generated by our system has a significant impact on the economy in our city – which benefits all of us.
The CBE works hard to manage this investment wisely to best support our students. We don’t work alone. We all have a part to play in ensuring our public education system succeeds. Together, we work for Sarah, Samir, Madison and Jordan, and the other 117,000 students in our system. Their success is what matters – and we believe in success for each and every one of them.
The Calgary Board of Education wishes to recognize and honour its many volunteers. These are the people who offer their time, talents and resources to make our schools better places to learn and better places to teach.
Every day our schools welcome volunteers in the classroom, on field trips and in our schools to help support the learning of our students. We know that there are a number of activities or field trips would not be possible without the active participation of our volunteers.
The Calgary Board of Education extends our sincere thanks to all those who have volunteered their time and energy to support our students, teachers and schools.