What a month we have had! From our opening Professional Development Day with approximately 1100 staff members gathered at Memorial Composite High School to the first day of school for 9700 students, to the many school-community events that have already taken place (i.e. BBQs, School Council Meetings, Awards Celebrations, volleyball games, cross-country running), 2011-2012 looks to be an exciting year!
You will hear us talk about Success for Every Student as one of our goals in Parkland School Division and you will come to understand that while there are some common themes, success is individual and looks somewhat unique to every learner. This fall, I have been thrilled to see the foundations of success developing in classrooms across the School Division. Relationships between staff members, between staff and students, students and students and staff with families, are critical in establishing an environment of trust.
So to those wonderful nurturing relationships, great teachers add high standards and a belief that every child can learn and then they go about finding the ways to support every child. Thankfully, we have moved away from assessment that ranks and sorts students into a much more robust process that is less about “judgment” and more about holding students accountable and ensuring that learning happens.
In a planning session with our Board of Education last week, there was great discussion about the importance we must continue to place on the “whole” child. Trustees spoke passionately about those needs beyond the academic needs of students and reinforced the value that we place on citizenship and social responsibility and on serving the physical, emotional and behavioural needs of our children and youth. This is a tall order. This is important work and nothing that is ever taken for granted.
We are serving students in 21 schools and 4 alternate sites. In each and every case, the individual student is at the center of the teaching and learning experience. It is the student who is the focus of our energy and while you will see Parkland School Division moving ahead with many initiatives please understand that the reason for everything that we do is to improve student learning.
Thank you for the privilege of serving your children. It is an honor to be working alongside so many terrific families as we continue to collaborate, create and learn together. With your help and with the commitment of an amazing staff we are moving from good to great!
Superintendent – Parkland School Division