February is the shortest month of the year…right? Given this nonstop cold snap, it has felt like the longest month of the year. I know that when Donna and I eventually move to Red Deer, I’ll expect a longer and colder winter but until then, I’m still looking for the break that comes from a good old chinook! Hopefully warmer weather is right around the corner.
I’m finishing up this message from my hotel room in Vancouver where I’ve been the past couple of days attending my C21 Canada winter meetings. Surrey Schools hosted the event and as always the ability to visit schools and meet with superintendents from across Canada is a tremendous learning experience. I know our senior team at the board office often fears when I return from these meetings rubbing my hands together with always some great ideas to be shared.
We finished off the afternoon yesterday with a presentation on social and emotional learning and the impact on student achievement. Wanting to reflect on that information and given the temperature of 6 degrees Celsius, I decided to go for a run along the ocean. I was pretty impressed with my pace as I was even passing a few of my fellow joggers on the boardwalk. However, that didn’t last long and my running ego was crushed as a race walker passed me, not once but twice!!! So if you hear me say that I’m going for a run, it is probably a much better visual to think of a plodder and not an actual runner…more Clydesdale than Thoroughbred!
One of the bright lights this past February was some tremendous professional learning. Teachers’ Convention had keynote presentations from Michael Landsberg and Sarah Prevette and our support staff had the pleasure of hearing a no-nonsense full day presentation from Dr. Jody Carrington. Additionally, many staff, students, parents and community members heard a very powerful talk from Holocaust survivor, Dr. Eva Olsson. When we are immersed in the education system, we sometimes take for granted all the wonderful learning opportunities provided compared to the non-educational world. It truly is a blessing to be within a learning community.
Superintendent interviews were held by the Board earlier this week and a motion was made at Wednesday meeting. The process will now be offering the position to the successful candidate and negotiating a contract within the new compensation regulations and then sending the request to appoint a superintendent to the Minister of Education. As I’ve stated in various communications, the timeline for Ministerial approval can take up to 4 weeks once submitted. A public announcement cannot occur until this approval is received. Let’s keep our fingers crossed for a quick turnaround.
The February Board meeting had information provided on brain research, enrolment projections and a report on the status of our Board Continuous Improvement Plan. Planning also occurred for the upcoming Council of School Council Chairs meeting and discussion on the upcoming election. The board brief is available here.
Finally, we begin the season of Lent on Ash Wednesday which is March 6th. Joann Bartley has provided all staff some great resources to assist in making your Lenten journey one of great significance. Please take advantage of these resources not only from a personal but also a family and community basis to make the season of Lent a focal point in your life. May God guide you along your Lenten journey!