It is hard to imagine that the month of September has already blown by! It seems like only yesterday, that we gathered here at St. Basil’s Catholic Education Centre, for our opening mass and our journey of walking together. I would venture that part of the reason time seems to fly is due to the busyness in our schools. While we try to imagine the school year as a marathon, lengthy with a steady pace, it is more often ran as a sprint. Before you know it Christmas will be here. We just go all out!
The final numbers are in and our total division enrolment is 4838. This is a whopping increase of 211 students or a 4.36% increase from last year. From a budget perspective, we came in at 2 more students than we budgeted for in May so this growth was certainly anticipated. Like previous years, there are schools who have experienced growth or decline and some were anticipated while others were not. While rural schools in most of the province are challenged with declining enrolments, our rural schools saw only positive growth. In fact, our newest member, St. Michael’s in Bow Island had an over 10% increase in enrolment. The bottom line is we are growing because of what is happening in our schools. I will speak more about this in my keynote presentation, but please hear my sincere gratitude for the work that you do!
The September board meeting contained regular reports from trustees and senior administration. These reports serve an important communication function to our public and provide excellent information to our staff. Board meeting agendas can always be found online as well as a synopsis document entitled Board Meeting Briefs after the meeting. The Board will be looking for a date to meet with Bishop Henry in the near future. Additionally, the Board has invited the new Minister of Education to come to Holy Spirit for a visit. Given our recognition as being a high performing and innovative division, I think it would advantageous for our new Minister to visit our system and see our process of Inspiring Education.
October will be another busy month and it will be highlighted with some tremendous professional learning opportunities for staff. I’m extremely excited about our upcoming Division PD day. The day is really taking shape with some great sessions featuring our own talent, although I’m not sure about the keynote!!! A big thank you needs to go out to our PD committee for their work in organizing this event. The learning we experience on these days is so valuable and it is critical to remind our public of the importance of Professional Development Days. It is sad when too many believe they are simply days off when in actual fact, they are days we use to better assist and serve the students in our classrooms.
Congratulations on an excellent start to the 2014-15 school year! Have a wonderful October!