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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. Find this report on the Superintendents page on To improve student achievement and personal success. After ten years of school improvement planning in the HRSB which schools are on a track of improvement Which ones have yet to gain traction These are questions we asked ourselves in the spring of 2014. To find the answers we analyzed provincial data in math and literacy over a five year period for nearly 100 elementary schools. What we discovered is that there are 20 schools that need different models of support in order to help them improve overall student achievement. This past year we made those 20 schools our priority schools and provided strategic supports specific to their unique needs. Our Continuous School Improvement CSI team pulled together small teams to work with each of the 20 schools. These teams consist of the schools Princi- pal a School Administration Supervisor a Human Resources Manager a leader from Program and a Student Services Facilitator. The teams work collab- oratively to ensure that they are accessing the supports provided effectively. Assistance available to the priority schools includes but is not limited to math and literacy coaches math support teachers and student services special- ists. Teachers were also given professional learning focused on using data to inform instruction and assessment and at the same time setting up the classroom learning environment to support these practices. Various staffing supports through Human Resources were also provided to assist with consis- tency and address the turnover rate of teachers. In addition financial assistance was provided to ensure that the priority schools have books technology and other materials to aid in the implementation of effective classroom instruction and assessment. We are working to support our priority schools in a way we never have before. Classroom based data is showing that its already making a difference We will continue to provide focused support to our priority schools next year through a differentiated model of support. We will continue to monitor and assess progress and adjust our tactics in order to provide the best possible opportunities for these schools to find their success. At George Bissett Elementary School students in all grades have had the opportunity to engage in math clubs and literacy clubs. In this video students dem- onstrate their love of reading as a result of attending bi-weekly book clubs and talking about what theyre reading with their peers. At Southdale - North Woodside School students love to read and write and theyre not afraid to tell you all about it Teachers are using classroom data to inform their instruction and direct the right supports to learners. In this video its clear that students in this Grade 3 class know what they are expected to learn and can articulate the steps they are taking to get there. Staff at Rockingstone Heights School are focusing on helping students learn in a way that is reflective of their lives and experiences outside of school. 2 To maximize exemplary teaching practices to support high quality instruction. Toachieveequitablelearningopportunitiesforallstudents. When students speak other students listen. Thats why the Youth Advisory Council at Sack- ville High which is supported by SchoolsPlus and the schools Youth Health Centre recently researched and created an informational video around anxiety. This was a student-led project that was responding to studentsinterest in learning more about this topic. The students who created the video presented it in class- rooms throughout the school. The video was extremely well received because it was students teaching students. Madeline Mitchell Levi Marshall are members of the Youth Advisory Council. They are two of the many members of the group who contributed to and created the video. The video was widely shared on social media by students staff SchoolsPlus the IWK the RCMP Com- munity Health teams mental health clinicians across the province as well as Dr. Stan Kutcher who is the Sun Life Financial Chair in Adolescent Mental Health. SchoolsPlus and the Youth Health Centre is a partnership that exists to encourage and amplify student voice. Hear from Lisa Messervey and Maya Williams about their role in supporting youth at Sackville High Inside every HRSB high school there is a Youth Health Centre. To learn more about their role in schools watch this video about the Lockview Youth Health Centre. 3 How do you keep junior high students with various learning styles engaged in a six-week project that encompasses all course outcomes You connect the topic to studentslives beyond school and give them the freedom to learn in the way that best suits them on really cool computers. Lorna Bennett is an English teacher at Park West School. This spring she introduced a six-week online magazine project focused on digital citizenship for her Grade 9 students. Ms. Bennett gave students the freedom to explore topics that were meaningful to their lives and allowed them to express their learning in a way that matters to them. In Ms. Bennetts class there are a number of new- comers to Canada. She co-teaches with English as an Additional Language EAL teachers and uses a variety of techniques to assist with dual language instruction. To make sure that every student is able to express themselves in the way thats best for them Ms. Bennett embraces many ways of showing and knowing their learning. The six-week magazine project incorporates all course outcomes while focusing on student engage- ment and ensuring quality instruction and assessment for every student. To learn more watch this video. Find this report on the Superintendents page on www.hrsb.ca4 To build engagement support and confidence in HRSB. Our journey of shifting HRSBs culture towards greater participation and engagement has begun Three weeks following the training around public engagement with Tim Merry Ron Heiman Director of Operations and Pam Nicholson-Comeau School Administration Supervisor held a public engagement session for the Beaver Bank Kinsac BBK Elementary School community. The question was around how to memorialize a building on the BBK property affectionately known asthe Bungalow. The Bungalow must be torn down due to deterioration and repair costs beyond HRSBs ability to fund. The Bungalow is an old schoolhouse building that became home to the schools breakfast program for many years. It is not required to run public school programming. However the building holds many fond memories for the community. HRSB the schools principal and the School Advisory Com- mittee held a public meeting to discuss ways to memorialize the Bungalow. Attendees were given the opportunity to talk about the space and share their thoughts and ideas. This meeting was organized and run very differently than it would have had it been held prior to the public engagement training. The community was given a voice and that voice was heard by decision makers. The ideas will be considered when the deci- sion around memorialization of the Bungalow is made. Kevin Copely a community member who attended the meeting sent the following email to the schools principal Shelly Smith What an exceptional meeting hosted by HRSB last night While it was disappointingly under-attended no fault of HRSB you Ron the SAC and HRSB staff hosted an incredibly informative and engaging meeting and I think the community is fortunate to have an organization that is as open and transparent as HRSB. I hope we on the Beaver Bank Community Awareness Association can continue to bring messaging to the community on the next steps of the project and help to ensure the demolition goes safely and smoothly. Thanks again for taking the time to reach out to our community To see a short video of a community member sharing her ideas at the public meeting click here. There will be more public engagement opportuni- ties in the future. We know that there is wisdom in the community we serve. We look forward to hearing your voice The Bungalow at BBK. Participants met in small groups to discuss and share ideas about how to memorialize the Bungalow and recorded their ideas using posters like this. Congratulations Team Gorsebrook Lights off. Green on Energy Project Update 5 Congratulations to Gorsebrook Junior High School winners of the Lights Off. Green On Energy Dashboard Competition Twenty-five HRSB schools with energy dashboards recently participated in a challenge to reduce their schools electricity consumption as much as possible between May 19 and June 8 2015. Over the course of the three week competition the 25 schools reduced their electricity consumption by a combined total of 53250 kWh which equates to almost 6000 of savings over the previous three weeks leading up to the contest. Gorsebrook Junior High ended up with the largest overall decrease over the period of the contest with a 35 decrease How did students and staff reduce their electricity consumption Turning off classroom lights and using natural light from windows. Turning off staff room lights when empty and unplugging the appliances when not being used. The elevator was used less frequently and more stair use was encouraged. Computers were intentionally turned off instead of waiting for the automated shutdown at 6 p.m. Computer monitors were intentionally shut down instead of letting them go into sleep mode. Millwood Elementary came in 2nd with an overall decrease of 26. Beechville-Lakeside-Timberlea Junior Elementary finished 3rd with an overall 24 decrease. Prince Andrew High and Graham Creighton finished the competition with impressive final weeks with decreases of 24 and 23 respectively in week 3 and receive an honourable mention. Thank you to everyone who participated in the Energy Dashboard Competition Find this report on the Superintendents page on Suzanne McKenzie Wins DENny Award We love to hear from you Follow us at HRSB_Official Awesome HRSB Students Nova Scotia Instructional Leadership Program Graduates Congratulations to Mr. DeBaies Grade 56 Class at Saint Marys Elementary winners of the Entrepreneuial Adventures BMO National Student Innovation Award in the Teamwork category 6 Congratulations to Suzanne McKenzie VP at Michael Wallace Elementary School. Suzanne recently won a DENny award as an outstanding contributor to Discovery Education and for integrating the use of digital technology in the classroom. Suzanne uses digital media and resources to enhance her teaching practice and therefore her studentslearning experiences. She readily shares her knowledge and learning with colleagues and encourages them to use technology in their practice. Suzanne has recently created amaker spaceat her school and students are very excited Twenty-one HRSB principals and vice-principals received their Diplomas in Instructional Leadership for completing the Nova Scotia Instructional Leadership Academy NSILA Program in late May along with peers from across the province. The goal of the three-year program is to increase student learning and achievement by increasing the capacity for school-based instructional leadership. Congratulations to all of the HRSB graduates of the program Armon Fraser a Cole Harbour District High student in the Co-operative Education Program recently completed a placement learning about careers in orthopedic and sport medicine under the tutelage of renown surgeon Dr. Bill Stanish. Well done Armon