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Elwin_LeRoux HRSB_Official 2015 Superintendents To the Halifax Regional School Board Providing a high quality education for every student every day Organization Day P-12 no classes First Day of School for High Schools Elementary Junior High Only PD Day no classes First Day of School for Elementary Junior High Schools Labour Day no classes Stand Up Against Bullying Day High Schools Only PD Day no classes 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth NS B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 View the HRSB calendar online September 1 September 2 September 2 September 3 September 7 September 10 September 25 Important Dates Lets talk about... Engagement If its ABOUT us dont do it WITHOUT us. This is a phrase I recently heard while taking part in a discussion around the importance of public engagement. It came from a member of a youth group who was trying to explain why young people didnt show up to a community event targeted at youth organized by adults. If its about us dont do it without us. It makes perfect sense no matter who theusis. The Halifax Regional School Board has begun a journey of shifting our culture towards greater participa- tion and engagement. What does that mean It means that we are learning ways to better incorporate the voice of the people we serve into the work that we do each and every day. This month 36 leaders in the HRSB were invited to take part in a two and a half day training activity with Tim Merry a local expert on the topic of community engagement and participatory decision making. If you want a system to be stronger connect it to more of itself. - Margaret Wheatley The group included staff mem- bers at various levels in the organi- zation along with two Governing Board members and two students. During the training the group learned by participating in a set of techniques that can be used to engage people in important conver- sations and to harvest the opinions that are truly reflective of that community. Those who participated in the training are now expected to use those tools to encourage greater public participation in our decision making. They are also expected to share their knowledge with others so we can build capac- ity within our system. The culture shift will take time but we have begun the journey. On Page 4 of this report you will see one of our first attempts at using some of the techniques learned in our training. We are excited to continue using these methods as we move forward. The philosophy behind public engagement is simple its about listening learning and then acting. Its about considering the wisdom in a crowd. Its about the collective voice. We know that if we want something different in our schools we have to be different ourselves. As we move towards a culture that is more participatory please dont be afraid to speak up. Your voice matters. Tell us how we are doing. Tell us what we can do better. Participate in public meetings. We are committed to giving you the opportunity to have a voice in a system that is dedicated to provid- ing a high quality education for every student every day.