The first month of the school year has come and gone…in a flash. The start of our new three-year faith plan, new administrators in buildings, a number of new staff and an increase in student population of 1.75% from last year has certainly caused some excitement. Speaking of new staff, last night I attended our local ATA’s new teacher induction ceremony and witnessed the firsthand exuberance of our beginning teachers, either to the profession or to Holy Spirit. The ceremony provided an excellent opportunity to remind our new teachers of the tremendous work they do with students and the overwhelming importance of building relationships.
The month of September is the usual month for annual evaluations of the board and superintendent. Both of these evaluations are facilitated by an external member to the Board of Trustees and are evidence based. In addition to providing trustees with evidence to demonstrate my meeting of the quality indicators set out in my role description, I also provide reflections on my own work for their review. There is also a requirement in year 4 of my contract that all of my direct reports (senior adminstration, principals and associate principals) are interviewed in confidence by the external member. This data is provided to the Board of Trustees as part of the evaluation process along with all survey data. Compiling this documentation (over 870 pages) is time-consuming (especially for my Executive Assistant Anisha Gatner) but it allows me a chance to reflect on the past year’s work. While I was exceedingly satisfied with the positive evaluation I received, I recognize that it is the work of my direct reports and the work of the staffs in the school who really are most deserving.
September also brought about nomination day for the civic election, which includes school board elections to be held on October 21st. Five of our current trustees have decided not to seek re-election and so there will be considerable difference in our board for this next four-year term. I would like to take this opportunity to thank current board chair, Sandra Dufresne, past board chair, Nadine King and trustees Bosco Baptista, David DeCock and Connie Gross for their exemplary service to our Holy Spirit community. Each of them have contributed to the growth and development of our division. The new board will be sworn in on October 30th. For more information on trustee elections, please click here.
The regular meeting of the board saw a number of approvals. For a complete review of the meeting, please check out our Board Meeting Briefs.
The Division will bring the entire staff together for our annual Professional Development Day on October 15th. Check out this introductory video to learn more about our day. We are very excited to have Mr. George Couros as our keynote speaker for the day. The day will be filled with exceptional opportunities for our staff to gain professional knowledge and learn from George and one another. Additionally, George will be providing a workshop for parents entitled Parents 2.0 that evening at 7:00 PM at St. Basil Catholic Education Centre. George is sought after around the world to talk to educators and parents and should not be missed. More information is available in each school newsletter.
Finally, the month of October brings our Thanksgiving holiday. Often we take the many gifts we are given for granted. We watch the horrors around the world sometimes without an appreciation of just how fortunate we are to live in this area, this province and this country. But we must also recognize that there are many within our communities who do not have the same quality of life that many of us experience. During this upcoming Thanksgiving weekend, take time to offer thanks for your many gifts and look to share them with those less fortunate.
Enjoy the beauty of the fall season. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and God bless!