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Superintendents Report to the Halifax Regional School Board 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth N.S. B3B 1X7 902.464.2000Join the conversation on Twitter Elwin_LeRoux HRSB_OfficialJoin the conversation on Twitter Providing high quality education for every student every day. What is innovation And what does it mean in the classroom Innovation is often what we see in response to a question that begins with I wonder what... Innovation is about new ways of doing things. Its about stretching our minds and stepping outside of tradition in order to discover something new and promising Innovation is the path forward when our current strategies have not yet resulted in success for all of our students. Innovation could be an approach a strategy a tool or a resource. Innovation is not necessarily technology albeit most technology is founded on an innovation or a new way to solve a problem. Innovation is not simply about replacing a paper novel with a digital one its wondering what a digital novel allows students to do that a paper one does not. Innovation is happening throughout the Halifax Regional School Board. And it doesnt necessarily happen by accident. Innovative instructional strategies are intentionally and thoughtfully designed to achieve greater success for students. Teachers who use innovative strategies clarify the challenge they are trying to solve search for all the modern resources they can bring to the learning and explore questions such as I wonder what would happen if Innovation is how we take learning and teaching to new levels in order to achieve greater results. Its about imagination. Earlier this month I had the opportunity to discuss strategies around innovation and learning in Canada with my colleagues with the C21 Canada CEO Academy. C21 Canada is a national not-for-profit organization that advocates for 21st century models of learning in education. I am always invigorated after collaborating with educational leaders who are equally as passionate about advancing innovation in public education. The Academys most recent publication Shifting Minds 3.0 provides our collective perspective on redefining the learning landscape across Canada. As we continue our work going forward I am very happy that the Academy will focus its attention on Shifting Pedagogies as the priority system driver. This will assure a sharing of successes in instruction from across the country and continue to prioritize what teachers do in classrooms as key leverage for improved student learning. At the conference I was also a participant in a panel organized by the College of Alberta School Superintendents CASS where I had the opportunity to share some innovative successes in the HRSB. Of particular interest was our work around community engagement and public confidence through our social media campaigns. I was proud to share stories about how the hashtag SeeWhatImLearning has helped to continued page 2 Important Dates November 26 am PD Day pm ParentTeacher Interviews no classes November 27 We Day December 7 Hour of Code December 18 Last day of classes before break January 4 Schools reopen November 2015 shift the conversation on Twitter from events happening at schools to the deeper learning that is happening in our classrooms and beyond. SeeWhatImLearning allows students teachers and staff to write their own stories to share with parents guardians and the world I also shared how we use our own YouTube channel as a strategy to tell our own stories and celebrate learning innovation and engagement in all of its forms. In my experience innovation and student engagement are deeply connected to student learning. This report will explore a few of the many innovative strategies approaches tools and resources the HRSB is using to ensure we are providing the best possible support so that learning is happening for all students. Elwin LeRoux November 2015 What is innovation And what does it mean in the classroom continued Goal 1 To improve student achievement There are countless examples of how teachers are using innovative strategies to engage students in their learning. No two strategies are alike but they all consider interesting approaches that are connected to the real world and make learning fun. Makerspace At Michael Wallace Elementary many students in Grades 4 5 and 6 are choosing to spend their lunch breaks inside the old portable classroom turned Makerspace. Every lunch hour you can find kids imagining creating coding building problem-solving collaborating connecting circuits and even making pigs fly Most importantly theyre LEARNING while innovating by simply having fun dabbling in engineering programming and physics. See for yourself Learning and innovation go hand in hand. The arrogance of success is to think that what you did yesterday will be sufficient for tomorrow. - William Pollard 2 What is a Makerspace Makerspaces provide hands-on creative ways to encourage students to design experiment build and invent as they deeply engage in science engineering and tinkering. - Edutopia Makerspaces are popping up in many schools and each one is unique to the school the students and materials available. Heres a glimpse into the Makerspace at the Bedford site of Bedford Forsyth Education Centre BFEC. 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth N.S. B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 3 Green Screens Ozobots Osmo Technology is an integral engaging and extremely fun part of Erica Phillips Grade 34 classroom at John W. McLeod-Fleming Tower School. See how students use green screens Ozobots and Osmo to innovate create and enhance their learning. iPad Kiosks It started as a project to encourage students at Basinview Drive Community School to develop a deeper love for reading. Grade 2 teacher Sheila McMullen came up with an idea to have students create book reviews on video using iPads. The reviews are available to the entire school to access on a set of iPad kiosks in the library. Not only has the project engaged Ms. McMullens students in reading writing and technical skills it has also allowed for students in the school whose first language is not English to access books in their mother tongue thanks to family and community member involvement. Storied Math Citadel High Schools Math Department Head Jocelyn Procopio loves to find and solve the math that exists in everyday situations. Students however do not always share in her joy along the mathematical journey. Ms. Procopio says students often complain about word problems but she says the real-life story behind the math is what makes it interesting and engaging. Thats why she recently launched a math quest called Storied Math. Ms. Procopios goal is to encourage others to discover the beauty in mathematics and to apply it to achieve great things in life Augmented Reality In Greg Doyles Grade 7 Sciences Humaines class at Madeline Symonds Middle School students are using modern technology to engage in Canadian history. In this French Immersion class students are learning about the Charter of Rights and Freedoms through an augmented reality program called Aurasma using iPhones and iPads. This is a great example of how the right use of technology creates real student engagement 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth N.S. B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 4 Transgender Awareness Highland Park Junior Highs HPJH GSA is an enthusiastic group of students who meet weekly at lunch. The GSA encourages everyone to see others as peoplenotlabels fostering an inclusive and welcoming environment within the school community. The group has made some amazing strides this fall. Not only has this enthusiastic group of students worked to designate an all gender or an everyone washroom in the school theyve also become mentors to other GSAs in the community. The HPJH GSA has also been recognized by the Youth Project for work promoting acceptance of transgender people within the school and in the greater community. Last week the groups name was added to the Youth Projects Transgender Supporters Mosaic. In addition members of the GSA also found out they were recipients of a Nova Scotia Human Rights Award for 2015 This is the first student group to be recognized for advocacy and support for the LGBTQ community. The ceremony will take place on December 10 at Government House. To learn more about the Highland Park Junior High GSA watch this short video created by students. Goal 2 To strengthen safe and inclusive school environments Assistive Technology Every student comes to us with different strengths and challenges. Its up to us to find ways to ensure that we are providing a high quality education for every one of those students every single day. Assistive technology is one of the tools that our Student Services team uses to provide the right learning opportunities for students with special needs. Discovering what it might look like takes innovation and collaboration with a students family his or her health teams and our partners. Heres an example of an innovative use of technology that is allowing Tonia a Grade 2 student at George Bissett Elementary School to engage in the curriculum and interact with her peers in ways she couldnt otherwise. Goal 3 To achieve equitable learning opportunities for all students 5 November 16-20 is Transgender Awareness Week At the Board level innovation also involves developing new strategies to provide supports for our students and school communities so that all learners can be successful. We are committed to improving the academic achievement results of our African Nova Scotian and Mikmaq Aboriginal learners. How are we working towards these priorities The HRSBs Board Services Department was recently restructured to include a Diversity Team. This team brings together four employees who have primary responsibilities in areas of diversity and inclusion. The work of the Diversity team will focus on building capacity throughout the system to create welcoming schools that are responsive to the needs of all students by valuing their culture race socioeconomic status country of origin and sexual orientation. This will be accomplished through the development and facilitation of professional learning for central office staff school-based administrators and school staff. This incredibly important work will encompass the principles of Race Relations Cross Cultural Understanding and Human Rights RCH and strengthen our understanding and skills in the area of culturally relevant pedagogy. The team consists of a Senior Diversity Advisor an English as an Additional Language EAL Consultant and two RCH Facilitators who also provide direct support to our African Nova Scotian Student Support Workers and Mikmaq Aboriginal Student Support Workers. While the Diversity Team will show leadership as we work towards our goals its up to all of us to create the conditions to ensure that all learners are finding academic success in our system and beyond. The transgender pride flag is bluepink whitepinkblue The light blue is the traditional color for baby boys pink is for girls and the white in the middle is for those who are transitioning those who feel they have a neutral gender or no gender and those who are intersexed. The pattern is such that no matter which way you fly it it will always be correct. Did You Know Goal 4 To build engagement support and confidence in HRSB 6 As our work on the Lights off. Green on project continues we continue to realize incredible energy savings in our schools. Last summer lighting was upgraded at Ellenvale Junior High. This upgrade resulted in an electrical demand reduction of 37 which saves approximately 1000 per month. Note the graph depicts a significant drop in consumption during the summer. This is because the Air Handling Unit for the gym was undergoing a heating coil upgrade and the unit was off during this time. At Chebucto Heights Elementary there has been a drop of energy consumption by 22 during peak demand as a result of a lighting upgrade. This drop is saving approximately 2400 a year Innovation distinguishes between a leader a follower. - Steve Jobs It is expected that all of the work for this fiscal year will begin by December 31 2015. To date of the 71 schools expected to be completed by the end of this fiscal year we have completed 56 of 70 Building lighting upgrades 14 of 22 Boiler upgrades 40 of 64 Building Automation System Upgrades 43 of 71 Energy Dashboards 23 of 33 Water reduction projects Sandra Starratt wins Women of Excellence Award 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth NS. B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 7 Congratulations to Halifax Wests Sandra Starratt Ms. Starratt received a Progress Women of Excellence Award in the Education and Research category on November 18. Ms. Starratt is the Department Head for Languages and Social Studies as well as Student Government Advisor. In this role she oversees 19 committees that fundraise 50-100K annually for various organizations. Ms. Starratt encourages kindness and giving in young leaders and recently was a lead organizer of a five-day national student leadership conference in Halifax this fall. Bravo Teachers Make a Difference Congratulations to Kelly Barteaux English Department Head teacher at Auburn Drive High School and Janice Gavin an APSEA teacher working with deaf and hard of hearing students in the HRSB. Both are being recognized by the NSTU as teachers who make a difference We agree Recipients receive a 300 donation for their school breakfast or library program. From November 9 to 30 a series of 15-second video spots featuring student testimonials and announcing the winners will run on TV programming. Special thanks to students at Southdale North Woodside School Eric Graves Junior High and J.L. Ilsley High who helped demonstrate how teachers make a difference in video. Four Grade 6 students from Shatford Memorial Elementary School and their teacher Jessica Ledroit recently placed first in the Science Technology Engineering Arts and Mathematics STEAM Olympics at Saint Marys University. Congratulations Faces of the HRSB Congratulations to Prince Andrew High School Principal Greg MacKinnon who recently received the Dr. Samuel R. Laycock Memorial Award from the Canadian Home School Federation. Charla Dorrington and David Smith are former members of the SAC who nominated Mr. MacKinnon. They are also on the NS Home and School Executive. Well done Mr. MacKinnon Shatford STEAM Champions PA Principal Recognized by Canadian Home School Federation 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth N.S. B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 8 Other searchable hashtags SeeWhatImLearning HRSBpd ThanksPassItOn MathIsAwesome ThanksHRSBTeachers Special thanks to Engineers NS for co-hosting an event with HRSB on November 20 at Central Office. The event brought together 2 female students from each HRSB junior high and high school for a breakfast with professional engineers. The purpose was to introduce female students to engineering through informal discussion and fun activities like Ship the Chip where students had to engineer a contraption that would keep a potato chip from breaking in the mail With Thanks HRSBRemembers Many HRSB schools shared Remembrance Day ser- vices artwork and poetry on Twitter using the hashtag HRSBRemembers.