2 Another significant change coming to our system in September is the lengthened school day for students in Grades Primary, 1 and 2. The decision to extend the day to 300 minutes was made to provide students and teachers with more time for learning and teaching. An extra 30 minutes each day will result in an additional 93 hours (the equivalent of more than 18 days) of instructional time each year for P-2 students. This extra time will allow students and teachers opportunities to boost literacy and mathematics skills, which are critical building blocks for future success. Students in Grades P-3 will also receive an additional 30 minutes of physical education each week with a qualified physical education teacher. HRSB is currently the only board in Nova Scotia with an early dismissal for all P-2 students. This change will bring us into alignment with the rest of the province. Research indicates that increased time to learn, when paired with effective instruction, is beneficial for all students. I am excited to see how the additional 18+ days will impact student achievement! While all of the behind-the-scenes planning is taking place, teachers and administrators have been honing their skills through various professional development opportunities. May has been an outstanding month for teacher learning! From our first-ever Culturally Relevant Educational Symposium, to our second annual Innovation in Teaching Day, to a two-day session on New Pedagogies for Deep Learning, staff members have had various occasions to explore new technologies, discuss innovative ideas and dig deeper into student-centred learning. In many cases, participants then shared their newfound knowledge from these three amazing sessions with staff at the board-wide school-based professional learning day on May 19. I noticed that some schools even held their own mini-innovation days – this is capacity building at its best! Check out #HRSBpd on Twitter to see what others were sharing and learning that day. As always, please check #SeeWhatImLearning regularly to see how students are benefitting from all of this strategic teacher training. You can learn much more about these professional learning opportunities in Goals 1 and 3 of this report. In addition, Goal 2 outlines the work that is happening through our Safe Schools division. Goal 4 brings you an update on the progress of the Auburn Drive/Cole Harbour District High school review. Finally, I would like to congratulate Halifax All-City Music (HACM) and all of its participants. HACM celebrated 50 years of music education this month with three amazing gala concerts, with one more scheduled for June. I had the pleasure of attending the choral program gala as well as String Night at the Forum. Both events demonstrated tremendous student talent and a deep appreciation for music. Special thanks to HACM Department Head Nathan Beeler, as well as all of the HACM staff, for this wonderful series and fabulous music program. There are many people to thank for the success of HACM – teachers, students, parents/guardians, board members – but above all, I thank the citizens of our municipality for supporting both Halifax and Dartmouth All-City Music programs through supplementary funding. Supplementary funding is collected by Halifax Regional Council through a municipal tax assessment on residential and business properties, and is used to enhance the Public School Program. A heartfelt thanks goes out to our city councillors for leadership that supports supplementary funding and of course, to all residents for the ongoing support! I urge everyone to attend the final gala concert celebrating HACM on June 9 at St. Andrew’s United Church. Best, Elwin LeRoux