My name is Richard and I am Chairperson of the Parkland School Division No. 70 school board.
One Hundred and Eighty-four days ago Parkland School Division started a journey of exploration and learning. Our Division Principal of Innovative Teaching and Learning, George Couros, initiated the project based on ideas he had gained while the edu180atl project based out of Atlanta, Georgia. The purpose was to share with the world some of our stories of teaching and learning. The project was designed to share the voices of Parkland School Division and how we are all learners together in this lifelong learning journey.
For the past one hundred and eighty-three days we have witnessed and interacted with the learning stories of students, staff, administrative and parents. Each story has had a positive message to send about learning and being a member of a dynamic learning organization.
So what have I learned? First and foremost, “if you build it, they will come”, and they have. I and my fellow trustees have had numerous conversations at provincial, national and international meetings about the project. The most prevalent comment is “How can we get involved?” I have learned that education today is a global enterprise and that our students and staff have a vast array of collaborative opportunities anywhere in the world. That the power of the internet, so often regarded with suspicion, is really an opportunity to move forward in our learning journey.
Recently the Board undertook an exercise with our stakeholder groups to look at the fundamental basis for our policy and planning processes. The feedback we received clearly indicated that our fundamental Vision, Mission and Beliefs/Values were not in synchronization with our needs to educate our 21st century, global citizens. As a result we now have new Vision, Mission and Belief Statement that embrace a forward looking 21st century focus.
Our new Vision:
Parkland School Division is a place where exploration, creativity and imagination make learning exciting and where all learners aspire to reach their dreams.
In conclusion, I would like to thank George Couros and all the contributors from day 1 to day 183 for putting themselves and Parkland School Division on the global map. I am looking forward to next year and the collaboration with other organizations that this year’s success will spawn.