"Lord, make me an instrument of your peace; where there is hatred, let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is discord, union; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.”
This passage from the Prayer of St. Francis presents us with a beautiful vision of how to live our lives. When we view ourselves as an instrument of God, created and intended to share His love in the world, then we can live a life that is full of the sacred. In this month of November, as we honor our fallen soldiers on Remembrance Day and the victims of the Ukrainian genocide on Holodomor Memorial Day, this prayer offers us an excellent starting point for reflection on how we, as individuals, help to build a more peaceful and just world.
There are many ways in which we evaluate the quality of educational experience that our students receive. At our Public Meeting of the Board on October 22, we were very pleased to share the results of our Alberta Education Accountability Pillar. This “report card” provides all school jurisdictions in Alberta with ratings in sixteen measures that are combined into seven categories which track our progress towards reaching our education goals. We have received a rating of Excellent in 9 measures, Good in 4 measures, and Acceptable in 3 measures. We also presented our Division Satisfaction Survey Results at the Board meeting. This survey measures areas such as satisfaction with our Catholicity, quality of education, leadership, and so much more. You can read more about our excellent results by visiting www.ecsd.net and looking under Annual Reports and Results or by clicking here.
Each year, the Catholic Bishops of Alberta and the Northwest Territories celebrate the first Sunday of November as Catholic Education Sunday. It is an opportunity for all of us to reflect upon and give thanks for the great gift of publicly funded Catholic education in the province of Alberta. The theme for this year is United in Prayer and Grateful for Catholic Schools. It speaks to the ongoing call for us to unite in our advocacy and prayer for Catholic education. Please visit our website by clicking here to read the Bishops’ letter and the Novena for Catholic Education Sunday, as well as to view their video message.
The provincial budget was tabled on October 24. During the upcoming weeks, as we receive the detailed information about our funding, our budget team will unpack that information and its implications for our Division.
In closing, I will leave you with a thought from Pope Francis: “This is our mission: to show by our lives, and perhaps even by our words, that God loves everyone and never tires of anyone.” (Oct.20/19)
Have a blessed November!