Educational Forum Meeting Analysis

Educational forum meetings are very important for both educators and parents since they are focused on questions that are really important for educators, students, and their parents. In this respect, the Ward 20 Forum Meeting at David Lewis Public School attended February 15, 2007 is quite noteworthy as the forum where the questions and problems disturbing the school life, parents, students and educators were raised. It is very important that the forum meeting provided ample opportunities for both parents and educators to make their suggestions as for the implementation of possible improvements or changes in the current agenda and policy.
Basically, the meeting was focused on the most important issues the school faced at the moment. At the same time, the major goal of the meeting was to inform the audience with the present achievements, plans and issues discussed at the moment. It should be pointed out that in general this goal was met and what is more important, this was not just a kind of information simply directly delivered to the audience but the participants of the forum meeting had an opportunity to make their own remarks concerning the questions discussed and, consequently, if there were arguable points they could be openly discussed.
The organization and structure of the forum meeting were quite logical and well organized. At the beginning, the chairperson introduced the three superintendents present at the meeting and than the agenda of the meeting was discussed. As there were no objections or remarks the first issue, the 2006-2007 budget was discussed. It should be pointed that parents had an opportunity to protect some special programs and services and they were amply encouraged to participate in the development of the budget as their opinion would be taken into consideration. Moreover, parents were also informed about the details of the school funding.
After the discussion of the budget, the current situation in the school, its plans and achievements were discussed. Notably, among the recent achievements of the school may be named the fact that it was ranked #1 elementary school in Canada. Also the school turned to be extremely concerned on the problem of education and development of both students and educators as the distribution of special magazines was planning as well as organization of conferences for educators. At the same time, there were plans concerning the further development of Young Leaders’ Forum aiming at the improvement of leadership skills and abilities of students. By the way, students education and cultural development are of a paramount importance for the school since many traditions are highly honored and, it is noteworthy, that the school is particularly concerned about Asian heritage and traditions, such as the celebration of Chinese New Year, that is natural for this school where Asian community is widely represented.

Moreover, parents are also not excluded from the educational process since the functioning of the Provincial Parental Committees, as well as the functioning of board committees, was also discussed during the forum meeting with the participation of parents.
After that the current problematic issues were discussed and the problem of students nutrition was discussed as there was the problem of the lack of lunch tables and of the supervision of the lunch room. In the process of the discussion, some recommendations were developed as for the improvement of the situation, including the change of the lunch room location and the lunch supervision of older students over younger ones. At this point it is important to underline that the opinion of parents was of a paramount importance at this point, as well as at the point of discussion of the quality of cafeteria food which was decided to change for better, making food more healthy and refusing from dangerous food items containing trans fat. Finally, there were discussed technical issues concerning the future plans.
On analyzing the forum meeting discussed above, it is necessary to point out that basically the atmosphere was good and the general effect was quite positive. It should be pointed out that the forum meeting was carefully planned and well-organized but, what is even more important, it was characterized by wide representation of specialist educators and parents, though it would be possible to recommend to take into consideration the opinion and needs of students that could be defined with the help of special questionnaires, for instance, and than discussed during the forum. Furthermore, despite significant achievement of the school it still has serious problems, especially concerning nutrition, but these problems could be solved positively judging from the plans and recommendations elaborated during the forum meeting. Anyway, it is obvious that the academic and cultural development of students remains the major concern of educators who readily cooperate and involve parents in educational process at large and school life in particular.

1. Minutes of the February 15, 2007 Ward 20 Forum Meeting at David Lewis Public School.

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