Jan 13

From the Desk of the Superintendent- January 13, 2014

Happy New Year to one and all! It is hard to believe that we have already been back a week and soon will be coming to the end of the quarter or semester and the midpoint of the year. Teachers and students are busy preparing for final exams and completing final projects. I want to wish everyone the best of luck in these preparations.

Last week marked the beginning of our annual grade level meetings. These half day meetings, led by our Director of Learning Lorelie Lenaour, bring our teachers together in a collaborative community. Given the Ministerial Order on Student Learning and a focus on the educated Albertan for 2030, Inspiring Education is a central theme. “What does inspired learning look like in your classroom” provides our teachers with an excellent opportunity to reflect on their own practice. Additionally, since the return from Christmas holidays, our French Language Consultant Wendy Urquhart has been visiting all of our French Immersion and French as a Second Language classes celebrating the French Feast of Epiphany.

Professional learning seems to always be at the forefront of what we do in Holy Spirit. This coming week many of our Learning Leadership Team will be involved in a workshop with Michael Fullan. Michael will be discussing, “The Principal: Three Keys to Maximizing Impact.” At our regular LLT meeting, our high school principals will be discussing their redesign and flexibility projects. We will also be welcoming administrators from Kainai Board of Education to share our learning. Our new teachers gather on Wednesday evening for their third faith formation evening. These sessions are led by Director of Religious Education Joann Bartley, Deputy Superintendent Brian Macauley and ATA Local President Mark Nixon. Finally, our FNMI Advisory Committee will meet on Thursday evening.

The Board of Trustees will have a busy week as they begin on Monday with their first meeting with School Council Chairs. Board sponsored appreciation lunches will commence this week as well. Their first stop will be at Children of St. Martha School on Thursday. The agenda for the board meeting next week will go out on Friday, so trustees will be working on their reports as well. Finally, the Board will be heading to Pincher Creek on the weekend for their annual retreat.

Looking at the division calendar, I see that basketball is in full swing in our junior and senior high schools. Go Teams Go! I certainly appreciate when our schools post the results on Twitter under the hashtag #hs4 so that I can keep up.  The written portions of English, Social and French Language Arts Diploma Exams are scheduled this week. Catholic Central High School hosts their School Council Meeting on Wednesday evening, St. Mary Taber is planning a mass for grade 8 students in their chapel on Thursday and a Divine Liturgy is being held at St. Paul on Friday. Please check with your local school for more events.

Since my last update, I’ve read some excellent articles from my Twitter feed. My highlights are:

  1. Busy isn’t respectable anymore http://www.tylerwardis.com/busy-isnt-respectable-anymore/ 
  2. Academics: What’s it good for http://shelleywright.wordpress.com/2014/01/02/academics-whats-it-good-for/ 
  3. Managing with the brain in mind http://www.davidrock.net/files/ManagingWBrainInMind.pdf 
  4. Evaluate traditions while leading change http://blogs.edweek.org/edweek/leadership_360/2014/01/evaluate_traditions_while_leading_change.html 

Have a great week!

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