The first day of school is September 4th however, the official start for all staff began last Wednesday with our division’s opening mass. It was a powerful celebration organized and hosted by FLVT staff. Bishop Henry was the main celebrant for the mass and provided a motivating, positive message. Board Chair, Sandra Dufresne opened with a message about the importance of parental involvement especially how it relates to our new AISI project on student engagement. My opening message to the staff can be viewed here. Finally, our celebration concluded with the presentation of the Board’s Share the Mission Award. This year’s recipient was Mrs. Jill McNally, a teacher at St. Francis School who truly lives our vision; where students are cherished and achieve their potential. More information can be found in the media release available here.
The energy on that day was electric. The staff has come back well rested and rejuvenated and most of all full of hope. Hope is a characteristic that is always present in our Catholic schools. It is more than wishful thinking! It is the belief that our students, your children, have the ability with support, effort and a strong partnership between school and home to achieve their potential. This partnership between school and home is of critical importance to maintaining hope for all. I would encourage all parents to become engaged in their children’s education.
This year, I will be initiating a student advisory committee. Over the next two months I will be visiting schools and talking to students from grades 9-12 about the best structure to engage our students. I want our students to drive the development of this committee. Often, we forget about the voice of students when we search for ways to continually improve their educational experience. It is my hope that their involvement will allow us to make the best decisions available to support their learning needs.
The Board of Trustees will be looking at further engaging parents and the community at large. It is their desire to ensure stakeholder involvement as communicated in the Continuous Improvement Plan document. Their priority of Generative Governance seeks collaboration and engagement with the community, positive culture and relationships throughout the division, transparency and communication. We will be piloting an online engagement tool which we believe will assist in achieving this priority.
I will continue to use my blog as a primary communication tool from the Office of the Superintendent. It is my intent to produce a weekly post that communicates information about the division as well as highlights current educational topics. For those of you engaged in Twitter, please follow me @cdsmeaton.
As we begin this new school year, I would like to wish our students, parents and staff much hope. May God bless each of you with a year of great learning and positive relationships.