2 #FirstDayHRSB click to see more tweets from the first day of school Overall, it’s exciting to think about what these changes will mean for students, families and staff. I foresee enriched learning opportunities for students, and enhanced opportunities for teachers to focus on high quality instruction. With change, especially significant change such as the above-mentioned, there is always an adjustment period. I recognize there have been challenges with start-up this year. I offer my sincere thanks to students, families and staff members for showing patience as we worked through the transition period. We have learned through this experience and I assure you that going forward, we will consider those lessons learned in order to improve. We are a system that is continuously looking for ways to improve the educational experience for students. As educators, it is our nature to reflect, review and modify our practices to better serve students in our classrooms. On a larger scale, the best perspective often comes from the outside. EECD has announced it will appoint a third party to conduct an administrative review of school boards in the province. I welcome any opportunity to discover ways to improve public education in the HRSB and throughout Nova Scotia. What hasn’t changed? Our priorities! Our number one Business Plan goal is to improve student achievement. This has not changed. Neither have our two priorities that fall within this goal: 1. We will improve the academic achievement results of our African Nova Scotian students and Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal students; and 2. We will improve the academic achievement results in our priority schools. How are we continuing to work toward improving student achievement? The list is long. This month’s report takes a look at what we have done, and what we’re doing, to position our system to meet the needs of each student. Goal one explores how we have set up our newest staff members for success this year. Ensuring staff success leads to improved student achievement. Goal two looks at how students, staff and schools set the tone for a safe and inclusive environment this year. Culturally Relevant Pedagogy and knowing each learner is the key theme of goal three. We asked HRSB students to share what they wish their teachers knew about them in a powerful video that was shown to principals and used by many schools at opening to reinforce the importance of knowing each learner. Also, we took a trip back in time with staff from St. Joseph’s-Alexander McKay to learn more about the history of the school community and the impact on families today. Goal four looks at how municipal taxpayers are supporting improved and enhanced fine arts and music in HRSB through Supplementary Education Funding. This is a story I’ll continue to share as it unfolds throughout the year. These are exciting times! Finally, I’d like to thank all of our custodians and caretakers and members of our Operation Services department who spent much of the summer preparing our schools for students and staff. Thanks also to our Human Resource Services department for working diligently to hire hundreds of employees in record time. Your incredible work does not go unnoticed! Here’s to a great year, Elwin LeRoux