This Christmas I am extremely thankful for the gift of partnership. In June 2023, as we wrote goals for this school year, we wrote the following; “We will explore ways to include parents in our school community, so they have a stronger sense of partnership with South Oaks”.This goal was written because our PAC reported that parents were feeling disconnected from the school. The pandemic was difficult in many ways and it definitely kept parents very separated from school life. So, our hope was to re-establish the connection with parents through the return of some of the regular events such as parent/teacher meetings, student led conferences, assemblies, concerts, etc.There was no way of knowing, at that time, that there would be an EA strike this year.

At the start of the strike, we found ourselves suddenly with much less support than we have ever had. The staff was stressed and concerned about how we could continue teaching in such a context. It was at this point we began to realize that parents could be so much more than “guests” in the school. Parents could take ownership of the day to day responsibilities in the school environment, which is exactly what they did.

So, I want to publicly thank the many parents that gave their time and energy to do crosswalk duties, recess supervision, lunch supervision, etc. Your consistent commitment over the past weeks have provided the students and staff with a sense of routine, rather than chaos. You provided support so that we could continue educating the students during the duration of the strike.  So, from the bottom of our hearts, we thank-you for this gift . . . the gift of partnership. It is exactly what we needed this year.

Merry Christmas from all of us at South Oaks,
Dale Martens

in: General