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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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December 7, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

December 10, 2018

Our first round of Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) review meetings for this school year wrapped up last week. These meetings include school administrators, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, and myself discussing the important work that drives and continually develops our school goals. Last Monday, Crandall, Darrell, and I travelled to Foam Lake Composite School, Foam Lake Elementary School, Wynyard Elementary School, and Wynyard Composite High School. On Tuesday, we visited Raymore School and George Gordon Education Centre, and on Friday, we met at Sask Central Hutterian School. Each of our meetings over the last several weeks have been truly inspiring, with principals and vice principals sharing information about the phenomenal work our staff does in support of kids. I want to thank staff in each of our schools across Horizon School Division for your efforts in support of improved learning. 

Prior to our LIP meetings on Tuesday, I took part in the Board's agenda meeting. Our Board Chair, Jim Hack, joined this meeting by phone, while Vice Chair, Linda Mattock, joined the meeting at the office. This was Linda's first agenda meeting since becoming Vice Chair at the Board's recent Organizational Meeting. The work of our Board Table Officers and my staff will go a long way in preparing an efficient and informative agenda for the monthly Board meetings.

Following LIP meetings on Tuesday, I joined a teleconference with the provincial MySchoolSask (MSS) Strategic Leadership Team. The Strategic Leadership Team includes personnel from the Ministry of Education, school division senior leadership designates, and representatives from technology vendors. The team has a mandate to provide strategic-level advice and guidance on behalf of the education sector to support the overall success of the MSS program and the new Student Information System that will be implemented for all school divisions in the province.

The Director's Leadership Team (DLT) of school administrators and senior leadership met via Skype on Wednesday morning. A couple of our discussion topics for the meeting included Cycle 4 of the provincial Education Sector Strategic Plan, a preliminary conversation about 2019-2020 school-based budget development, and a number of professional development opportunities to come in the weeks and months ahead. Thank you to staff for your preparation and engagement in another excellent meeting – our last DLT meeting of 2018.

Following our DLT meeting, I met with Ed Wurz, Minister with a newly established Colony that has begun operation within Horizon School Division. Marilyn Flaman, CFO, joined us for a good part of the meeting as we discussed the tremendous opportunity to add a school within our boundaries. While trustees and other central office staff travelled to Bruno School for the latest Celebration Day Lunch, I was on the road to Saskatoon where I joined an I-Health and Education Partnership Meeting in Saskatoon. These meetings are an important opportunity to strengthen the partnership Horizon and other school divisions enjoy with Health, and ensure that our students and staff continue to benefit from a collaborative effort between both sectors. Of course, our Board's Celebration Day lunches are always a great way for trustees to spend time in schools with staff and students and a great opportunity to show our appreciation for the staff and students at Bruno School.

I began my morning on Thursday with Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, and Supervisor of Literacy and Early Learning Services, Katherine Oviatt, preparing for a meeting with representatives from George Gordon First Nation. We then met with Byron Bitternose, Acting Chief representing the George Gordon First Nation Council and two of his council members including Horizon trustee Nathan Bitternose, to discuss our collaborative work for the students, staff, and families of George Gordon Education Centre.

On Thursday evening, I had the pleasure of visiting Imperial School for their Dessert Theatre student performance of Grease. It was a truly fantastic show, and I am always amazed at the talent of our Horizon students. With concerts and performances happening across our system this holiday season, it is always a joy to see the hard work and preparation of our students and staff pay off.   

Following our LIP review meeting at Sask Central Hutterian School on Friday, I met with Principal Kalie Hendry at Nokomis School to discuss some emergent matters before heading to Drake for a short meeting with staff. I then joined Principal Cory Popoff for a meeting regarding the current work that is happening in support of the Math as it relates to our Reading, Writing, and Math Outcome of the ESSP. As owner of the SaskMATH priority, I am thrilled with the progress our system has made towards improving math outcomes for students, recognizing a large part of this work was due to the input of Horizon teachers. I finished up my day in Horizon meeting with Justin Arendt, Superintendent of Operational Services and Jocelyne Possberg, Manager of Transportation Services, discussing various bussing matters within our system. Bussing is always a moving target in a system and I can't thank Jocelyne and Justin enough for their work in effectively managing the needs of the system and the needs of parents and students.

Friday was also our annual central office and Board Christmas party. Mrs Linda Mattock shared a few words of thanks on behalf of the Board to begin the festivities, and we enjoyed an excellent meal, some games, and fellowship. It is always great to get together this time of year, and I appreciate the work that goes into planning a party like this. Thank you to everyone involved for an enjoyable time.   

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