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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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September 14, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

September 17, 2018

Horizon’s Wall of Fame includes so many impressive individuals who have done or continue to do great things for our communities. Inducted in 2016, Henry Kloppenburg is one such Horizon Wall of Fame inductee who continues to give back, and Mr. and Ms. Kloppenburg are great supporters of the arts. This past Tuesday, I travelled to Saskatoon for the Cheryl and Henry Kloppenburg Award for Literary Excellence luncheon.  Past recipients of this award, which was established to recognize Saskatchewan writers with a substantial body of work, include Yann Martel and Trevor Harriot. This year’s award was presented to Sylvia Legris – renowned Canadian poet based in Saskatoon. I am always honoured by the invitation to this event, and proud of Horizon’s connection to the illustrious award.

Horizon’s Board of Education met last Wednesday for their September meeting. With the new school year, there was much to cover, and our Trustees had several productive conversations around programs and projects that support our students and staff. Some topics of discussion included opening day student enrollment numbers, which will be shared publicly once reported to the Ministry following September 30, planning for an upcoming strategic direction session, and preparing for the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) Fall General Assembly and Annual General Meeting. The Board also heard a report about Horizon’s literacy data, presented by Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, and Supervisor of Literacy and Early Learning Services, Katherine Oviatt. While work remains to reach our goals for Literacy, we have made great progress thanks to the work of our students, families, staff, and Board.

With the Humboldt Broncos season opener taking place last Wednesday, there were many emotions brought to the surface for people across Horizon and beyond. I want to thank our staff, and partner organizations such as Sask Health and Partners Family Services, for being there for any students or staff in need of support at this time. I also want to thank Humboldt Collegiate Institute Principal, Cory Popoff, for representing his school and our system so well in a number of media interviews this past week, sharing about the supports in place for students and staff on our paths to healing.

On Thursday, several of Horizon’s newest school administrators gathered at central office for training with Horizon’s Literacy Team on our literacy assessment tools, Fountas & Pinnell Benchmark Assessment (F&P) and the Ontario Comprehension Assessment (OCA). F&P measures reading levels for students in grades 1-8, while the OCA is a tool for understanding and strengthening literacy for students in grades 9-12. Both F&P and the OCA have helped us measure the growth of our students, recognize where interventions are needed, and improve results in relation to Horizon’s overall literacy rates.

It is hard to believe that we are already halfway through September. At this busy time of year, I hope you will continue to take time out of your day to appreciate the people around you, as each of you work towards the betterment of your students, colleagues, and communities.

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