March 21-24


Thought of the Week: Remember this quote from School Culture Rewired (Gruenert and Whitaker, 2015)?  


Remember, CLIMATE becomes CULTURE over time…the celebration of Mondays, the happiness to return to work that we love, is part of the positive morale -the degree of happiness among our staff – that we are working to build. Imagine if we celebrated Mondays- what impact might that have on student attendance?

(thanks to Chris for reminding us of this portion of our summer reading – revisit page 13!)

Health and Safety Reminders:    

How many people must you have on the Joint Health and Safety Committees?
6-19 employees – committee is not required, but one employee must be chosen as the Health and Safety Representative.

20-49 employees – two members required both certified

50+ employees – at least 4 members, 2 certified.

Who on the committee must be certified?
At least one member of the committee representing the workers, and one member of the committee representing the employer must complete certification training.

How often must the committee meet?

Committee members are required to meet at the workplace at least once every three months [subsection 9(33)]. MMPS, DPS and BEPS do not require quarterly meetings. 

What are the powers and functions of a committee?

  • Inspect the workplace
  • Identify hazards
  • Make written recommendations
  • Be consulted about workplace testing
  • Participate in information gathering
  • Be consulted about workplace training on hazardous materials


Walking School Bus – don’t forget to reply to the email that I forwarded on to you if your School Council is interested in using funds to promote this event prior to the end of the school year. They will send you a cheque that you will make available to your school council. Also, Colleen Kjellman indicated that they have promotional materials that you can access as well.

April 22 PD Day – The following is a draft outline of this PD Day:

9:00-10:00 Whole Board/all staff teleconference regarding the EA Handbook

10:00-3:00  Elementary Schools – Teachers/EAs/Admins are working on the implementation of their School Learning Plans, with particular emphasis on Numeracy.  All Numeracy PLCs must meet and continue with their work.

  • Please ensure that your EAs understand that it is necessary that they be involved in this work to increasingly support students in the classrooms.
  • Please ensure that you have a section of your agenda that has all staff engaged in Making the Connection to the BLPSA Theory of Action. It is vital that we are continuously making this connection so that our staff see the relevance of their learning on PD Days.  The Theory of Action google presentation can be accessed through the Board Learning Plan Google Folder – it will provide you with some help!

Child and Youth Workers may be meeting with Suzanne and the Attendance Counselors to support the positive attendance work.

Library Techs – please work with your Library Techs to determine site specific PD that they require.

Secretaries – Erica is hoping to have Trillium Training for these individuals. Stay tuned.

Special Education Teachers – these individuals are valuable resources at the Math PLC table. Their lens is the students with needs lens – they can be supporting the learning by bringing that perspective to the table, engaging in further research to support the strategies that are being explored, etc.

Your PD DAY agendas should be posted to your VLE site (or Google site) no later than April 18.

Elementary Principal PD Session – We will come together on April 29th (which happens to be Principal’s Day)  at GOPS from 9:00-3:30. The morning portion of the day will involve us working with Pearson – we are seeking your input into the Action Plan that must be developed in response to the data that Pearson collected.  Our 5 Aspiring Leaders will be joining us for the morning portion of the day. The afternoon portion will involve a review of the Staff Meeting Success Criteria (you will be applying this criteria to one of your agendas, and we will finally have Kellie and Will share their agendas for us), we will engage in the Education Law case study from KPDSB regarding exclusion, we will unpack Belonging in a deeper way, Kellie will share her math  PLC tracking and record keeping, and we will have various operational items (please send them) including TIC, Ombudsman Role, travel to PD, etc.

BLPSA Self-Assessment – Please remember that the deadline for diagnostic self-assessment data entry  is March 31.  I will be publishing this data (board data) in the Director’s Newsletter for April.  I will be asking each of you to share how you have communicated the WHY to your staff – why are we engaging in this work?  Helping your staff to see the purpose of this work is an important part of your role as school leaders. In addition, how are you making the success criteria come to life in your school? How are you embedding it into your School Learning Plan? One best practice to share is to embed some of the success criteria into your SLP success criteria!

Everybody Matters Week April 11-15 (Neurodiversity Day is April 15) – our 2016 theme is WE BELONG! More to come from George, however there will be a week long Activity BINGO for schools to engage in during is week. Remember, Neurodiversity day culminates that week on Friday, April 15.

Capturewe belong

EQAO – A reminder that the EQAO window for our SGDSB students is June 1-8.  What actions is your school taking to prevent student anxiety, to communicate with parents about how these results are used and the importance of attendance, to make this a whole school celebration of learning, etc.  Do your students have the  necessary EQAO vocabulary to ensure that they are successful?  Spend some time on the EQAO site – there are many resources there to support your work!  This is just around the corner!

Education Week – May 2-6 is Education Week and the  theme this year is “Achieving Excellence: Promoting Well-Being”.  What are your school plans? Remember that Dave appreciates being sent the plans ahead of time so that he can speak to them on the radio. Also, remember to take photos for the Director’s Newsletter!

Problem of Practice – by the  end of March you should have met at least once with your Critical Friends to work on your POP.  Remember that we are going to carry on with these POPs next year, however this summer we will share our evidence to date in short presentations.  Don’t forget about your own learning – what are you learning about yourself as a leader? What are you learning about leadership?

Transition to Kindergarten – be sure to send photos to Dave and to the local newspapers (and post on social media) capturing your Transition to School activities. Be sure to get parental permission for students!  Also, Nicole Richmond is available to participate with you when you visit our local First Nations partners for Kindergarten Transition Activities/Registration.  Be sure to connect with her!

Carried Over from Last Week

Board Policy Review – this meeting has been cancelled for the month of March – our next meeting is April 5.  Thus, our Principal Policy Meeting will take place on Friday, April 8, 2016 from 2:00-3:00. Please confirm your attendance by April 4!

Nicki’s Schedule


Mon – Meeting in TBay with Ministry, Board Meeting at NRRDHS

Tues – SNB Diagnostic Session at GOPS, Labour Management, Director’s Update

Wed – GOPS  (9:15 PPA Meeting, 1:00 tentative meeting with Stacey, 2:00 teleconference with some Leads re Math Work Plan, 4:00 Teleconference with Melissa B, Will, Suzanne re: BMS)

Thurs- GOPS in am, Jean Clinton Meeting at Brass Bell in pm


Upcoming Dates


March 21 – Board Meeting

March 22 – Director’s Update

March 22 – Labour Management

March 29 – George Couros Session (Stacey)

March 30 – Early Years Book Study 9:00-11:30

March 31 – Before and After School Care Survey Results entered onto the Google Doc

March 31 – BLPSA Self Assessment Results entered on Google Form

April 4 – Leads’ Meeting

April 5 – Meeting for Regional Planning Teams regarding Dr. Jean Clinton event (7:00)

April 8 – Principal Policy Meeting (2:00-3:00) confirm attendance by April 4

April 10-15 -Everybody Matters Week Celebration

April 10- NTIP Steering Committee Meeting (9:00-10:30)

April 15 – Neurodiversity Day Celebration

April 16 and 17 – GAFE Summit for those involved

April 18 – PD Day Agendas due to your VLE/Google site

April 18 – Board Meeting

April 19 – Director’s Update

April 20 – EY Book Study 12:30-3:00

April 21 – Office 365 Training Session (location TBD)

April 22 – PD Day and Earth  Day

April 27 – Primary Math PLC

April 27 – Administrative Professionals’ Day

April 28 – Junior Math PLC

April 29 – Elementary Principal Meeting at GOPS 9:00-3:30

May 2-5 – Education Week – “Achieving Excellence: Promoting Well-Being”

May 5 – Staff Appreciation Day

May 20 – All Inquiry/PLC release days completed

June 10 – all Teacher Performance Appraisals are complete and signed off on (and sent to the Board Office).

June 15 – Fair Start Completed

June 21 – National Aboriginal Day

June 28 – School Learning Plan Evaluations Due to NMC (with school team input!!)

Learning Fair Celebration Dates – The Elementary Learning Celebration Fair will take place on Friday, May 27, 2016 at GOPS.



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