October has been an exciting month of learning about and celebrating our differences! It’s Mi’kmaq History Month, and schools throughout the region have been exploring and honouring Mi’kmaw culture in a number of ways, many of which will be highlighted in this report. Students and staff also took the opportunity to learn more about the impact of residential schools on Indigenous children and families by observing Orange Shirt Day. Acknowledging our shared history through education is an important act of reconciliation. We are all treaty people! Validating and affirming the culture and lived experiences of our students was the key theme of province-wide professional development supported by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD) this month. Over a two-day period, more than 6,000 HRCE staff members came together to build on their knowledge around culturally and linguistically responsive teaching and learning with Dr. Sharroky Hollie. Dr. Hollie, a North American expert on the topic, engaged our teachers, administrators, student support workers, library support specialists, EPAs and early childhood educators in a highly-dynamic presentation that focused on supporting every student’s success by anchoring instruction in lived experiences and cultural strengths. The workshop was inspiring, invited personal reflection and provided concrete examples of how to build instructional range so that all students feel validated and affirmed in school. I am confident that staff at every level are doing things a bit differently to connect with students after spending a day with Dr. Hollie! I look forward to hearing stories of impact in the coming weeks and months. Check out page 5 for testimonials and three video excerpts from Dr. Hollie’s VABB-ulous presentation. Special thanks to all of the volunteers in the lime green shirts who helped pull off a conference for 3,000 people – two days in row! Without question, you were part of the magic! Thank you. Also this month, 12 members were appointed to the new Provincial Advisory Council on Education (PACE). Three of our community members will serve on the council that will provide advice directly to the Minister of EECD. Archy Beals, Suzy Hansen and Gin Yee have been selected to bring regional and diverse perspectives to the table. The intent of the council is to be a strong voice for the needs of students, their families and their communities. PACE will hold its first meeting on November 4. Thirty-seven new buses are being added to Stock Transportation’s fleet to address challenges with student transportation. New buses will be phased-in a few at a time so that Stock can ensure a successful roll-out in one area (or family of schools) before moving on to the next. This week, three new special needs buses were deployed in Sackville, Central Halifax and Spryfield. Buses will be added every week until the roll-out is complete. EECD will soon begin its student transportation public consultation process with the launch of a parent and guardian survey to determine a new bussing policy for the province. School Advisory Councils, PACE, bus drivers, principals, teachers and students will also be consulted. We’ll share this survey as soon as it becomes available. Please add your voice to help inform future decisions on student transportation. I’m expanding my monthly report to include more information about our system. I’ll also continue to highlight the work around improving student achievement. HRCE is laser-focused on student learning and achievement and we know that’s what families care about too. We’ll do our best to share our stories of impact! The diagram below outlines six themes that will appear next to stories in this report. It serves to identify the goal we are demonstrating, the progress we are making and the impact on student achievement in that particular area. Look for this each month. Finally, if there’s something you’re curious about, let us know. Do you ever wonder what number sense looks like in Grade 2? Or what it takes to teach a Primary student to read? Or why play-based learning is important? Connect with us at connect@hrce.ca. We are listening! Elwin LeRoux Regional Executive Director’s Message 2 Our Goals: watch for these symbols next to featured stories each month Improving Student Achievement Equitable Education Fine Arts Programming Inclusive Education Council to Improve Classroom Conditions System Review: Transition and Expansion Instruction and Leadership