Red Deer Public School District

Bill Christie




* Candidate profiles are published as submitted by the candidate.

Phone 403-597-8354 
Website and Social Media Pages Twitter
Background Married 41 years to Terry (nee Holmes) a 5th Generation Red Deerian Trustee Red Deer Public 2010 - present Currently the Chair of the Boards Teacher Negotiations Committee Currently the chair of the Boards Audit Committee Don Campbell Elementary School - participated on the Design Committee and attended Construction Meetings bi-weekly for almost two years. Red Deer Regional Health Foundation Board Member 2008-2014 United Way of Central Alberta Public Service Co-Chair 2010 Chair Red Deer Highland Games 2009-2011 Retired British Columbia Government Manager Trustee, Prince George, B.C. 1995-2008 (Board Chair 6 yrs) Coach Greater Prince George Minor Hockey 5 years Treasurer 9.5 years for Employment Action (the Prince George Society for the Employment of Persons with Disabilities) Recipient of British Columbia Community Achievement Award 2007 Mackenzie, B.C. Hospital Board Member 1984-1986 Trustee, Nelson, B.C. 1969-1980 Secretary-Treasurer of Kootenay International Jr. Hockey League 1970-1974
Why are you running for Trustee? My reason for seeking re-election is that I really, really love the job of being a School Trustee, But even more than that being able to contribute in a meaningful way to the Education of our Youth. I also am a strong advocate for local decision making and more autonomy. Provincial Governments have been slowly centralizing control - Boards must continue to be vigilant in this area or all decisions will be made by Gov't. in Edmonton and local voices & issues may not be considered. I am a good listener - when I left Prince George for Red Deer the President of the Teachers Association stated "while we did not always agree - we always knew that you listened". That statement alone really hit home with me and I will never forget it. I have years of varied experiences per my biography - that provides me with the knowledge to represent our; students, staff and public effectively and efficiently. 25 years of Trustee experience in two different Districts in B.C. that gives me in-site into how things are done and can be done in different Districts. Our two children have gone through the Public System in B.C. and we now have two grandchildren in the Public System in Central Alberta. I have the time, energy, knowledge, experience to commit to being a Trustee -and ask for your support at the polls on October, 16th.
What are your priorities for Red Deer Public Schools? - As Chair of the Boards Teacher Negotiations Committee - I am hoping to reach a settlement with our Teachers on the first Local Contract under Provincial Bargaining.
- West Park Middle School will be starting Construction and I would like to be part of the Board in seeing this project through to opening
- Local Autonomy and decisions making - this Provincial Gov't. stated in during during the 2015 campaign that they were supporting more local decision making and autonomy for School Boards. It now appears that this Gov't. is looking for ways to centralize more control. Therefore one of my priorities would be to advocating for local input and lobbying the Prov. Gov't. on these issues.
- I support the rights of parents to make choices for their children
- Safe and Caring Schools for our students and staff - free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, cyber-bullying or any other form of demeaning action. - I support community use of Schools and grounds
- Student Wellness - working with and supporting our Administration in bringing together community services to better meet the needs of our students and families in areas such as; mental health, nutrition, family wellness.
- Fiscally Responsible best use of dollars for our students.
- Students first - I always ask my self when making a decision "What is in the best interests of our students".
- Public School Act - work to ensure local input into knew Act.
Question Week 1 - September 26

How would you ensure that parents are informed and meaningfully engaged in their child's education?

I would ensure that there is open ongoing communication in forms such as; newsletters,District & School Websites, Community Forums, Town hall Meetings (for Parents, Students,Teachers, Administration, support staff and community members), News Releases, Report Cards, Parent Teacher Meetings, District Facebook & Twitter pages, Surveys, promote School Councils & City Wide School Council, include Parents/Staff/Students on Board Committees. Webcasting Board meetings would allow the access to Board Meetings at times convenient to the community. Reporting back to our Community as to the Districts Performance on Provincial Achievement Tests & Diploma Exams to name two. Ensure that our Education Plan is made available to all parents as this shows the Districts Goals in; Literacy & Numeracy, Equity & Wellness and Student Success & High School Completion. In these priority areas outcomes & strategies and performance measures are outlined. I would also refer parents to website where they can click on an area called "my childs' learning".This is an excellent resource for parents to become knowledgeable in what their child should be learning in each grade and subject area.

What changes should be made to the curriculum to best meet the needs of students?

Alberta Curriculum is one of the best but it is also between 8-30 years old. Even at that Alberta has one of the highest standards of Education in Canada and in the world Canada is ranked about 2nd or 3rd best. So we are doing good but we must also ensure that changes can be made allow Alberta to maintain that level of excellence. I am not a Teacher so I will not state what changes should be made but I would expect to see proposed changes to Curriculum, Math Education, Core Subjects so I might make suggestions. This would be what I would expect to get parents and our staff involved in. Curriculum Redesign is being looked at as presently there is no common curriculum design. Curriculum changes Province wide are being looked into already. A fall 2016 Provincial Curriculum Survey was conducted on-line to confirm future directions. Curriculum working groups and focus groups are being established. Spring 2017 another on-line Survey was conducted and this will help the development of learning outcomes this Fall and will continue to December 2022. So the Board will have to ensure that we are communicating with our community so that those wishing to provide input have that opportunity.

Question Week 2 - October 3

How would you ensure that resources are most effectively and efficiently allocated across the District to meet the diverse needs of all learners?

Initially consider the funds that the District will be receiving to fund Education in Red Deer Public. Prioritize funds for programs in Schools across the District for: staffing, facilities, maintenance, IT and other operational costs. Consider the District Education Plan with emphasis on Equity & wellness. This is where planning is provided for to meet the diverse needs of our learners. I support the Pyramid of Support and Refresh which helps our teachers in planning & assessment of students. This will help the District provide the programs and supports that individual students would need to be successful.

Part of the Equity section is Wellness - where staff also consider our students mental and social well being.

Looking into supports the School can provide and also partnering with Alberta Health Services to bring Professionals into our Schools to assist students and their families. This is crucial as quite often some of these families are not able to access this help on their own.

I would want reports back to the Board showing how our students are progressing and do we need to move resources to other areas? The District has placed professionals ( LAT's, ED's, CLW's, and also Mental Health Practitoners in Schools to help meet student needs. I supported these placements and will continue to do so.

Inclusive Education is one area that the Provincial Government does not fund 100% - in fact most Districts have a shortfall in this area of a minimum of about $2-$4 million. This is an area that I would work on to Lobby Alberta Education to adequately fund.

What is your position on policies related to sexual orientation and gender identity?

I believe and support the rights of all students and staff to be able to be in our Schools free from any; harassment, bullying, discrimination, cyber bullying, intimidation.

To me these actions cannot and will not be tolerated.

This Board and District as stated in policy is committed to "supporting inclusion of all students & staff in all aspects of school life, irrespective of their actual or perceived sexual orientation or gender identity" and I wholeheartedly support this as well.

We also have to keep in mind that we are also guided by legislation such as; Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms, Human Rights Act which take precedence over other legislation and we as a District are obliged to adhere to.

I would like to see another policy that would provide for: First Nations, Metis and Inuit, ethnicity, religious beliefs, physical & mental abilities or disabilities, race and others.

The District has the LGBTQ+ Policy but I would suggest that there are other areas of concern that should also be addressed in policy to ensure all of these students and staff are also treated with respect and dignity.

Question Week 3 - October 10

Are you in favour of one publicly funded education system?

Yes I am in favour of one publicly funded education system.

Will this happen? Probably not in my lifetime, as it would require a change to the Constitution and to the Alberta Act of 1904. More than likely the lead would have to be taken by the Provincial Government of the day. Or even better why could we not hold a referendum and settle this issue once and for all??

But let me be very clear - this does not mean that I do not support Catholic or other Faith Based Schools.

What I would like to see in the meantime are discussions looking into ways that the different systems work together sharing: infrastructure, staffing, HR, Payroll, Transportation, Administration without outside interference ( Catholic Schools are Catholic Public Schools not Catholic Parochial Schools) in the operations of Publicly Elected School Boards.

I do support Parents Choice and I think that can be achieved within one Publicly Funded System as long as there is a will to try!

My end goal was and always will be to ensure as many dollars as possible go to the classroom!