Red Deer Public School District

Patrick O'Connor





* Candidate profiles are published as submitted by the candidate.

hone  403-598-0870 
Website and Social Media Pages None

I am proud to say that Red Deer has been home for all my life; my family has deep roots here. This city is where I was born, went to school, met my wife…and where my children were born. I am a blue-collar, middle-class father, and know the needs of working parents and their children. I want to make education better for my son Seamus and my daughter Olivia, along with all the children of Red Deer. The RDPSD Board needs a progressive parental voice and I am proud to be that voice. My campaign is focused on “Equity and Accessibility in Education” because I feel that all children deserve a chance to succeed. Please join me in achieving the goal of Equity and Accessibility in Education!

Why are you running for Trustee?  
What are your priorities for Red Deer Public Schools?  
Question Week 1 - September 26

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

It is well known that parent involvement in a child's education is a huge contributor to a child's success in school.  It is vitally important to strengthen the connection between the child's school and home.  School staff, trustees, and parents need to work together to support the learning and development of every student.

Many parents are not comfortable in engaging. Therefore it is imperative that schools be open doors and take the initiative to invite parents into the school. Having frequent and a wide variety of opportunities for parents to become involved, allows for the diversity in all parent comfort-levels of engagement. Connecting with, and building positive relationships with parents, and making sure the school is a welcoming and pleasant place for parents to come, is critical in developing strong links between the home and school, and for promoting parental engagement.

As a trustee, we need to maximize parental involvement. I would strongly advocate for the board meetings to be changed from the current 1:00 pm to a more suitable time that working parents can attend. Being approachable and connecting with parents at every opportunity is important. Building relationships and connections with parents by attending school functions, being active in the community, and engaging parents at every opportunity will improve the involvement of parents in the education process of their child. I believe in empowering parents to have a voice.

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

Alberta Education has started the process of curriculum redesign. There have been many opportunities for involvement from the public, including parents, students and educators. I believe this is long overdue and am very pleased that it is being completed.

Most importantly, we need to develop students who are fully connected and globally ready. The knowledge and skills to be successful in this modern world have been identified by The Partnership for 21st Learning: critical thinking, collaboration, communication, creativity, technology literacy, and socio-emotional development. Providing our students with the P21 competencies ensures they will flourish in an ever-changing world where lifelong learning is essential. Early learning is imperative in developing these skills, as this is a time when brain development is at a critical stage. I am a strong advocate for pre-kindergarten programs, where these early childhood experiences affect the brain development, and have long-term outcomes which impact the success of the child.

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?
What is your position on policies related to sexual orientation and gender identity?
Question Week 3 - October 10 Are you in favour of one publicly funded education system?