Regina, July 11th 2016 -- Hello. Thank you for being with us this afternoon. The Conseil scolaire fransaskois (CSF) held its last meeting for the 2015-2016 school year.
I would like to take this opportunity today to share with you our thoughts, our analyses and the recent decisions that our Board has taken in the best interest of students, teachers, school principals and parents.
Quite frankly, this year has not always been easy. The CSF’s credibility has been questioned repeatedly. First, allow me to set the record straight so that you can get a better understanding of the situation in which the CSF trustees and Mr. Bernard Roy have recently faced.
Many things, which were said about in recent months, were unfounded. Some systematically refer to the 2014 provincial Auditor General’s report. This has cast doubt on the integrity of the CSF/CÉF as well as on Mr. Bernard Roy’s character.
In reality, M. Roy had been in office only five months during this period, including two months on sick leave. During his time, Mr. Roy reported to the Board (CSF).
He put forth budgets and projects as it pertained to the Board’s 2010-2015 strategic plan. The Board approved them. In such circumstances, all elected trustees were fully accountable for the decisions that were taken then and continue to stand behind these decisions today.
With respect to the Auditor General’s report, the Auditor pointed out the following :
• a policy regarding roles and authorities for decision-making approval in writing;
• a policy on risk management;
• an evaluation of CEF managers;
• a code of conduct monitoring procedure, revised by the CÉF.
We must not forget the Provincial Auditor General’s acknowledgment that the CSF practises have in fact improved and that her team had the full cooperation of both the Board and the CÉF employees. There were never any allegations to embezzlement, neglect or incompetence.
The Board has been extremely sensitive to the controversy surrounding the (possible) return of Bernard Roy at the Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF).
Many allegations and rumours have circulated. Some were downright false and may fall short of legality. We are a nation of rights and democracy. Criticism and comments are welcome insofar as they are part of process that is respectful and constructive.
Clearly, the CSF has met many challenges and the current issues remain complex. I understand that the role of a Board Chair is to create consensus, to foster trust in the Fransaskois community, particularly with CSF families and voters.
In the wake of recent publications by certain parents, I can assure you that we subscribe to key principles :
• a quality education for our children
• excellence in French language learning and appropriation in our schools
• a responsible financial management of public funds and our schools
I would like to invite all stakeholders who are concerned with the CSF mission to get involved and work with us. I also would like to create a positive and productive working atmosphere.
It is therefore in accordance with its powers under the Education Act (Gv SK 1995) that the elected Board trustees decided to change the CÉF’s organizational structure in order to appoint joint Directors.
The CSF decided that the CÉF will have henceforth :
1. A joint management body.
- A joint Director of Education, Mr. Bernard Roy, who will oversee all aspects of educational programs, services and activities.
- A joint Director of Administration, Mr. Ronald Ajavon, who will oversee all operational and administrative functions.
The choice of Bernard Roy was based on :
- his recognized expertise throughout his career in education;
- the strengths of his achievements and contributions (see attached document);
- his test results throughout the selection process conducted by Conroy-Ross-Optimum Talent;
- the quality of his interview with the CSF hiring committee.
The choice of Ronald Ajavon was based on :
- his extensive knowledge of the CÉF’s administrative operations;
- his seniority at the CÉF;
- his professional qualities and achievements.
The joint Directors will be accountable towards the CSF.
2. The CSF will develop an integrated communication plan.
The goal of this communication plan is to unite all the dynamic forces in the community to achieve the objectives of the 2016-2021 CSF strategic plan. The development of this strategic plan has been the subject of consultations among right-holders over the course of the past months. We will be present in all communities and on all relevant forums.
The first stage of our communication process will start tomorrow. We will meet with every school council and parents throughout the CSF-CÉF territory. This is concrete proof of the CSF’s (elected trustees) willingness to fully play its role and to better communicate with the school community. The Board Chair or the Vice Chair or both will take part in this tour.
Finally, I would add that I fully intent to take on a convening role in the coming months, drawing together the community for the benefit the Fransaskois education system.
In a spirit of openness and transparency, I will work in full cooperation with the Vice Chair, my trustee colleagues as well as the joint Directors to serve our students, parents, teachers and school principals.
Thank you for your attention. I now turn it over to Mr. Bernard Roy, followed Mr. Ronald Ajavon.
- 30 -
A first-language school today, a bilingual Francophone for life! - The Conseil des écoles fransaskoises (CÉF) is home to 1,800 preschool to Grade 12 students in 14 elementary and secondary schools across the province. Financed by the Ministry of Education, it is the only French as a first language school board in Saskatchewan.
Contact information :