We are now back into full swing after our February break, which saw our staff engage in quality professional development. The Alberta Teachers’ Association provides for the two day convention which featured Rick Hansen as their opening keynote and Dr. Yong Zhao as a sessional presenter. Both speakers provided engaging and thought provoking messages to our teachers. In addition, our division hosted a 2-day support staff conference that is always extremely well received and appreciated. Lifelong learning cannot be just a phrase we use in education but rather an attitude we embrace. These opportunities are beneficial to our staff but more importantly to the students in our classrooms.
March begins with an invitation to assist the division through our public consultation process. Our public consultation will be held on March 5th at Catholic Central High School Campus East beginning at 7:00 PM. Registration is required and available by clicking here. Each year the Board asks our staff and parents for further direction towards meeting our strategic priorities of Catholic Identity, Student Success and Generative Governance. This year we have invited high school students and community members to bring their perspectives as well. We would love to see you and hear your voice as we build the future together.
Schools continue to be a bedlam of activity this month. Every school is well involved with Lenten activities. Teachers are busy preparing report cards and getting ready for parent teacher interviews. Interviews are a great method of continually building a strong partnership between home and school and I would encourage all parents to attend. In addition, we have two fabulous drama presentations beginning next week. Alice in Wonderland is being performed by students at St. Francis and Cinderella is playing at CCH. Both of these productions will be highly engaging and will demonstrate the many talents of our students and staff. Finally this month, we bring all of our staff together for our annual Spiritual Development Day on March 19th. Michael Chiasson, who will be facilitating the upcoming Lenten Mission at All Saints Parish and then the Diocesan Youth Rally in May, will be our Keynote Speaker. In addition, there are over 20 breakout sessions planned to support the spiritual growth of our staff.
Our regular February board meeting began with a cheque presentation for the Food for Thought campaign from the Lethbridge Herald. Our division received nearly $12,000.00 from generous donations made to this campaign. The money is distributed by our Mother Teresa committee to support breakfast, lunch and other nutritional programs in our schools. I would like to take this opportunity to thank the Lethbridge Herald and all who generously gave to this campaign. The major discussion item at the board meeting was the proposed Education Act and its impact on Catholic Education. There are some concerns with the new Act and as a result the Board will be communicating these concerns to our local MLA’s and the Minister of Education. Although Catholic Education is a constitutional right in Alberta, we must never take it for granted and remember that it is also a gift. The importance of Catholic Schools is communicated here in this short video. To learn more about our meeting, check out the Board Briefs.
Last weekend I returned to Medicine Hat to attend the funeral of a former student. Joe was a student of mine for three years and one of the students I took on an exchange to Ottawa and Montreal in my early teaching career. The gospel reading at his funeral was taken from Luke. “Be dressed for action and have your lamps lit; be like those who are waiting for their master to return from the wedding banquet, so that they may open the door for him as soon as he comes and knocks. Blessed are those slaves whom the master finds alert when he comes; truly I tell you, he will fasten his belt and have them sit down to eat, and he will come and serve them. If he comes during the middle of the night, or near dawn, and finds them so, blessed are those slaves. But know this: if the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, for the Son of Man is coming at an unexpected hour.” (Luke 12: 35-40) Joe’s untimely death reminded me that we do not know when the Son of Man will return and, as such, we must always be ready for that return. During this Lenten Season, may we all prepare ourselves for that unknown time when God returns or calls us home. Be loving! Be compassionate! Be forgiving! Be prayerful! And may we welcome God’s cup of grace so that we may be His light in the world.
May God continue to bless you and your family during this season of Lent.