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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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May 17, 2019 - A message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

May 22, 2019

I hope everyone had a great long weekend spent with friends and family. I’m sure we’re all thankful for the weather we’ve enjoyed the last few days. It’s always good to take time to recharge our batteries, especially as we head into the busy final weeks of the school year. Our students were not in classrooms on Friday, due to a non-instructional day, so I hope they return to each of you having had a great extra-long weekend.     

The Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) Liaison Committee met on Monday afternoon with President Gerard Frison and members of the executive. During our meeting, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt shared an update regarding MySchoolSask, the provincial student information system (SIS) that is in the works. Horizon will be in place to implement the program if the company involved in the plan is able to ensure our data is converted. It is still a work in progress but, as a system, we are anxiously awaiting this long overdue sector-wide SIS. The implementation of the program has great support from our HTA members and I thank each of you for your commitment to this necessary program.

Following the liaison meeting, Horizon’s Board members and the HTA met for their annual supper. The supper has become somewhat of a tradition as we approach the end of the school year. Trustees, central office, and the HTA have established a very positive working relationship, and it was a great opportunity to share in conversation as we get closer to bringing the school year to an end.  

On Tuesday, I travelled to Foam Lake Composite for their Review of School Effectiveness (ROSE) event. ROSE is a strategic process that gathers feedback and data from staff, students, administrators, parents/caregivers, School Community Council (SCC) members and community members and celebrates the great things happening for our students while identifying those items necessary to support school and system growth. I would like to thank each of the organizers of the ROSE event, including Principal Nevin Halyk and his staff, Horizon's Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, Coordinator of Learning Services, Jan Paproski, and Supervisor of Student Services, Jason Neville. I also want to thank our visiting principals for this event, Corinne Harcourt (Englefeld School), Jess Michalchuk (Ituna School), Rob Lissinna (Kelvington High School), Kim Nicholls (Robert Melrose Elementary), Rick Hamel (Rose Valley School), and Darin Faubert (Wadena Composite). Finally, I want to thank the students, staff, and community members for the feedback and input they provide.

While I was in Foam Lake for their ROSE, the provincial Student Transportation Working Advisory Group (WAG), of which I am a member, held a meeting in Regina. I was able to attend via teleconference and hear about and share in conversation around the next steps of the province and country as student transportation is considered. I know I will be able to share more with you in the upcoming weeks.

Our Board held their regular monthly meeting on Wednesday, May 15. We discussed several items, including a discussion of Horizon’s preventative maintenance and renewal 3-year plan, their Director and Board appraisal process, and more. The Board also approved Horizon’s 2019-2020 budget for submission to the Ministry of Education. More information on the budget will be coming soon. While this has been another challenging year in the budgeting process, I am proud of our staff and Board for ensuring that the funding dollars we receive are put to the best possible use in support of learning.  

Following our Board meeting, the Board enjoyed supper with our staff who are members of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE). This traditional annual supper was just another excellent opportunity for our Board and union representatives to come together and continue the critical relationship-building that makes this relationship so effective. I want to thank President, Marie Moore and her executive who took time out of their schedules to attend.

On Thursday, I travelled to Lakeside Colony School and met Trustee, Christine Gradin. We had a chance to meet with staff, students, and community leadership. It was a valuable discussion regarding the future of education in Saskatchewan. Following our meeting, I was able to meet with Quill Lake Principal, Michele Presber before travelling on to Englefeld for a meeting with Principal, Corinne Harcourt before heading back to Humboldt for an evening meeting.  

On Friday morning, I travelled to the Touchwood Agency Tribal Council administration office in Punnichy to celebrate an Elder’s book launch. The book,Posakanaciwiyiniwak: Nitaskinan (The Touchwood Hills People: Our Land), collects stories and history from Elders including Irvin Buffalo, Bill Strongarm, Miriam McNab, and more, in collaboration with Firsts Nation University of Canada professor, Andrew Miller. It is an important part of our history and also a celebration of our partner First Nations. I was honoured to be there representing our school division at this powerful event.     

Have a great week, everyone. Stay #HorizonStrong.

Kevin

Kevin C. Garinger  B.Ed., M.A.Ed.
Director of Education/CEO
Horizon School Division No. 205