Our Engagement Opportunities
Foothills School Division encapsulates diverse communities, which include many different perspectives about what is important for students and public education. At times, opinions are conflicting and wide-ranging. As a result, it’s important for members of the public to make efforts to learn about opportunities to get involved in sharing their perspectives. It’s also important that members of the public participate in a respectful way and have a clear understanding of the FSD’s community engagement processes. This will help them to understand their role in each engagement initiative.
Most FSD community engagement initiatives are initiated by the Division Executive Team and Board of Trustees, as set by the organization’s Mission, Vision, and goals of the Education Plan.
Internal Engagement Opportunities
Students’ Matters Committee: All FSD schools have students represented on this committee (Gr. 5 – 12). The committee meets three times a year to provide student voice and perspective on division programs, initiatives, and education plans. This committee engages, empowers, and honours students as education partners and leaders of change in their school and community.
Student Councils: Student councils give students opportunities to share input and perspectives on school programs and initiatives. They improve relationships between students, teachers, parents, and school leadership. Students take responsibility and ownership of their learning and school community while promoting a welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environment.
Staff Advisory Committee: Representatives from all employee groups are represented on this committee from each school and facility site. The committee meets three times a year to provide staff voice to decision-making.
Superintendent Advisory Sessions: Administrators from all schools in the division come together regularly throughout the year to collaborate, thinking critically, and solving problems together to advance educational excellence in Foothills School Division. The purpose of the advisory sessions is for the superintendent to consult and gather feedback, voice, and recommendations for the executive team to consider in operational decision-making in a shared leadership model with school administrators.
Ask the Superintendent Anything: This button, available on our staff portal allows any staff member across the Division to ask the Superintendent a question. Staff often have a curiosity about why we have made a decision. Whether or not we have considered a particular challenge to our work. Or simply want to know if a new idea is possible. This allows staff the opportunity to type a quick question and send it to the Superintendent. A response usually follows within a week or so, and a monthly video is posted that provides an overview of the questions and responses received and sent every month.
Weekly Digest: An internal communication summarizing non-urgent information generated within and outside the division. The weekly digest is an opportunity to glance at the headlines or further engage with the activities that influence our community.
Footnotes: A monthly synthesis of the work that is governed by the Board of Trustees and how it is actualized within the classrooms. Each month is focused on an overarching theme that may address policy, projects, outcomes, and the planning of advancing a flourishing community.
Shared Leadership Teams and Lead Teachers: Teacher teams come together throughout the year to collaborate, thinking critically, solving problems together and design high quality engaging learning to support student success and advance goals for student growth and achievement in Foothills School Division.
School Councils: School councils enhance student learning by engaging parents, staff, and community members to advise the principal and the board on matters concerning school improvement planning. School councils are a means for parents and community members to work together with the school to support and enhance student learning.
Council of School Councils (COSC): COSC enhances communication among the school councils, the division, the superintendent, trustees, and the community. Each school council within the division has a member of COSC. COSC provides parents, staff and interested community members an opportunity to discuss significant matters relating to student learning. They advise the board regarding matters of common interest and enhance parental engagement through learning opportunities.
Indigenous Advisory Circle: The Foothills School Division Indigenous Advisory Circle began in the fall of 2021 and meets frequently throughout the year. It is a community of various stakeholders including parents, guardians, educators, leaders, and students. The advisory circle’s main goal is to build reciprocal relationships and work together to advance truth and reconciliation within Foothills School Division. This will be accomplished through authentic voice and action with participation from self-identified Indigenous students alongside volunteer parents and guardians and volunteers from Foothills School Division Staff.
Flourishing Community Committee: A multi-stakeholder engagement committee consisting of staff, parents, community representatives and trustees has provided voice in supporting continuity of learning and quality education through the pandemic. Moving forward, the committee’s work will be repurposed for operational consultation on annual assurance actions (i.e., budget, education plan, AERR) and/or emergent issues (i.e., post-pandemic planning forward). The committee’s purpose is to consult and gather feedback, voice, and recommendations for the executive team to consider in operational decision-making. The committee is committed to communicating, collaborating, thinking critically, and solving problems together to advance educational excellence.
- The Network: This year saw a reimagination of the Foothills Children’s Wellness Network (FCWN). This work was inspired by the information collected last May at the inaugural Foothills Youth Mental Health Summit, organized, and hosted by the former Foothills Mental Health Task Force. The newly minted Network (formerly the FCWN) includes the former Task Force members- FSD, AHS Mental Health, Addictions, Allied Health and Rural Health, the Calgary Rural Primary Care Network – and the Foothills area Towns as well as the many community organizations that serve our community and youth in their work. The Network is a data-driven group that aims to advance School Readiness through a primary working group called Ready to Learn. And, a second priority working group advancing positive mental health and well-being through a focus called Mental Wellness. A common approach, language and commitment to advancing this work through strong partnerships is the goal of the Network. FSD is well represented in this Network with a Steering Committee Co-Chair and a Priority Working Group Co Chair for each group representing the Division.
- University of Calgary: Foothills School Division has renewed its partnership with the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. FSD staff now have opportunities to participate in Werklund School professional learning. And, student teachers also have access to FSD learning on Division wide professional learning days. We are also partnering with the Werklund School to advance the work of the Network cited above as well as to advance our work in supporting staff wellness and wellbeing.