The excitement of year-end is starting to build as we approach the final few weeks of the 2018-19 school year! This time of year is a favourite of mine - a time when students are finishing up their final projects, demonstrating their growth and planning for closing ceremonies and graduations. It’s a time to celebrate the journey of learning! Behind the scenes, it’s also a time when system leaders are fully engaged in preparing for the year ahead. We’re adjusting our sails to chart a course that will meet our students’ needs in September. From staffing to new programming opportunities to a system-wide success plan, student achievement and well-being are always at the center of our decisions. And these decisions are not made in isolation. We have made a very conscious effort this year to listen differently and act in response. HRCE’s senior team has been exploring a number of ways to bring more voices to our decision-making table. This is an approach that was identified as a way to build stronger connections between system and school-based leaders, and in turn, best support student learning. So far this year, members of HRCE’s senior staff have, on four separate occasions, visited a total of 61 schools. Our purpose was to hear from administrators, teachers and other staff who are in schools each and every day. We are asking questions and listening to ideas on how we can help strengthen instruction, support leadership and improve student achievement. In addition, we struck an Advisory Panel of Principals (APP) who have come together four times this year. Discussions were anchored in resource allocations, instructional leadership and our new Regional Student Success Plan. This spring, we formed a working group to develop an allocation plan for Guidance Counsellors for the 2019- 20 school year. The group included several principals, vice-principals and guidance counsellors. The group’s recommendations were implemented and, as a result, for the first time, we will meet the provincial ratio of 1:500 for Guidance Allocations and all HRCE schools will have a Guidance Counsellor. This is great news! You can learn more about this process here. We’ve also used an online engagement tool called Thoughtexchange to collect thoughts and ideas from Principals, Vice Principals and School Advisory Councils (SAC) on a wide range of topics. In short, we are listening. We are also acting on what we are hearing from those who know schools best. This is a practice that we will continue next year. Thanks to everyone who leaned in. Your experience, expertise and willingness to share is deeply appreciated, and will make a positive difference for students. Together, we will raise the bar and close the gap. Elwin LeRoux Regional Executive Director’s Message 2 Improving Student Achievement Equitable Education Fine Arts Programming Inclusive Education Council to Improve Classroom Conditions System Review: Transition and Expansion Instruction and Leadership Our Goals: watch for the above symbols next to featured stories each month Have you seen HRCE’s 2019-2020 School Calendar? Click here to view all of next year’s important dates.