Thought of the Week: Silver Linings…This week I have challenged many of you to find the “silver lining” in our current situation. I truly appreciate the number of you who have been taking the opportunity, when you can, to capitalize on opportunities that may present themselves. While recognizing and acknowledging the challenges, please do know that your work is noticed and sincerely appreciated. When I think about the “silver lining” for me, it has been the chance to really see and hear how passionate the leaders in our district are about the learning agenda. This is more evidence that supports the shift that we are making towards a culture of learning. Thank you!
- Health and Safety: A reminder to everyone that you must be inspecting all storage rooms during your Workplace Inspections – gym storage, equipment storage, supply cupboards, etc. Please also remind all staff to be diligent in reporting potential safety concerns to you or to the worker representative. It is extremely important that everyone remember that Occupational Health and Safety is a joint commitment to safety that requires everyone to participate. We also are strongly suggesting that you allocate the first 10 minutes of every staff member to OH and S. This would ensure that ALL staff – including custodial and support staff, are able to attend to participate in these important conversations.
- PD Day – the PD Day for elementary schools will be a school based day comprised of time to work on your School Learning Plan (half day) and engage in math learning (1/2 day). We are still planning the Trauma Informed Schools Session for the Greenstone area so will speak with each principal individually about this. If things have returned to normal, we will be asking that your agendas be posted to your VLE school site by Monday, November 2 for review by senior admin. Schools will be engaged in their self-assessment at this time so much work will need to be done on this day.
- OFIP Tutors – we have received a small amount of funding for this project once again this year. I would like to target our schools that have at least 100 students as these schools have “larger” class sizes and thus, our impact can be greater. Recall that this is a program that targets grade 3 and 6 students in literacy or numeracy, with numeracy being our priority. We hire a tutor who can support them for a specified number of hours (has been 40 hours in the past); they engage in diagnostic assessments and then use a program to intervene – LLI or Leaps and Bounds for example, and then complete summative assessments to measure the impact. I am seeking expressions of interest at this time. Please notify me by Friday, October 30 of your interest. I would also suggest that you have an idea of who might be able to do this work as often this is the challenge. The hours must be completed by the end of May.
- LLI – if you are interested in having more LLI training for your teachers, please let me know by this Friday, October 30. I will also need to know what areas of need the teachers are indicating so that we can ensure that this training meets their needs. This training would take the form of a webinar in hubs.
- Suspensions – be sure to send the S17-001A and 001B forms to Nicki, Dave and Deb Skworchinski via email (please remind your secretaries). We do not need to have a copy of the parent letter. Barb Willcocks is reviewing this policy and our procedures for Safe Schools Code of Conduct and Progressive Discipline so we will address some of the issues that you have indicated over the course of this year. Please note your concerns as she will be seeking your input.
From Last Week’s Information/Updates (carried over)
- Last week at our Board Policy Principal/Vice Principal Teleconference, we discussed the Safe Arrivals Program. Please be sure to review this policy and management guideline as there are action items for principals to take regarding review of the program and communication to parents/caregivers. We need to ensure that we are compliant with the policy and with PPM 123.
- Critical Friends – please be sure to send me (if you have not already) the name of your critical friend for your POP.
Nicki’s Schedule for this Week:
Mon – MNPS School Visit and Board Meeting in Marathon
Tues – TBPS and SPS SChool Visits and Director’s Update
Wed – GOPS (9:30 teleconference)
Thurs – GOPS in am, 1:30 -3:30 Transition for Students with Special Needs meeting in Thunder Bay
Fri- GOPS (11:00 teleconference maybe, 2:30 Senior Admin)