Superintendent’s Report to the Halifax Regional School Board 33 Spectacle Lake Drive Dartmouth, NS., B3B 1X7 902.464.2000 @Elwin_LeRoux @HRSB_Official Providing a high quality education for every student every day IMPORTANT DATES: September 29 Professional Development Day for Staff (no classes) September 30 Orange Shirt Day September 2017 October is Mi’kmaq Heritage Month October 9 Thanksgiving Monday (no classes) October 13 Innovation Day October 27 Provincial Conference Day (no classes) It’s the most wonderful time of the year! In education, there’s nothing more exciting than the start of a new school year… September always brings a sense of renewal, of promise and of possibility for the months ahead. There is much to look forward to, and I can’t wait to watch the story unfold. I congratulate our Governing Board Members on completing their first year as representatives of our school communities. Welcome to a second year in office. We begin the 2017-18 school year with a number of enhancements to our system. I’m confident that our (approximately) 49,000 students, their families and staff members will feel a positive difference as we roll out new supports, programs and resources to classrooms and schools. Please know that every staffing decision was made with student learning at the forefront. What’s new? Lots! Welcome to our new employees! For the 2017-18 school year, we have increased staffing in schools which will have a direct impact on student learning. New FTEs include 122.5 classroom teachers; 49 educational program assistants (EPA); 28 new resource and learning centre teachers; and a number of student classroom supports, including guidance counsellors, school psychologists, English as an additional language (EAL) teachers, speech language pathologists (SLP), math support teachers and student support workers. There are always jobs to be filled, so please visit www.myhrsb.ca/jobs to see what is currently available. By September 30, all schools are required to meet class caps for Grades Primary to 12 as set out by the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development (EECD). Dismissal times for students in Grades Primary to 2 have changed. A combined dismissal time with the upper grades allows for an additional 30 minutes of instructional time each day, which is the equivalent to more than 18 days of school in a year! This increased time for learning gives students more contact time with teachers, more time for literacy and math and more time for physical education (delivered by a qualified physical education teacher) each week. EECD’s new Pre-Primary Program launched this month. There are 11 HRSB locations, including: Admiral Westphal, Colby Village, Duncan MacMillan, Harbour View, Hillside Park, Joseph Howe, Nelson Whynder, Oyster Pond Academy, Rockingstone Heights, St. Stephen’s and South Woodside schools. The Pre-Primary Program is a wonderful opportunity for our province’s youngest learners to get an introduction to school through play-based learning. All sites are now up and running thanks to the hard work of many! Due to the intense interest in the Pre-Primary, we are already expanding the program to another school. A site at Sycamore Lane Elementary will open on October 10. EECD’s new Student Attendance and Engagement Policy was recently released. Working with the Council to Improve Classroom Conditions, EECD has developed a policy intended to help improve student attendance. We know students have a greater chance of academic success when they are in school. This policy comes into effect on October 1, 2017.