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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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January 25, 2019 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

January 28, 2019

January 27 was Family Literacy Day. In the words of Marilyn Jager Adams, renowned scholar and cognitive-developmental psychologist, “Reading aloud to children is known to be the single most important activity for building the knowledge and skills they will eventually require for learning to read.” As one of Horizon’s foundational goals, literacy is part of everything we do. It is a fundamental skill for all future learning. Family Literacy Day was a great opportunity to spread awareness about the importance of modelling literacy and reading for young readers. You can visit the Sask Literacy Network website for resources to continue to encourage literacy in your home, here: http://saskliteracy.ca. Thank you to our parents, caregivers and family members for everything you do each day to support literacy and reading with your children!    

The Director’s Leadership Team (DLT) came together last Tuesday for a professional development day at central office. We engaged in sessions on instructional leadership, supporting improved graduation rates, and Human Resources scenarios. This was also the first time we utilized our combined Boardroom and flex space for a large professional development session. Just by using our own space, we saved approximately $600 in facility rentals for this one meeting. I know in the first three weeks since school is back, close to 200 Horizon teachers and staff have been through the office due to various professional development opportunities being provided within our system. In each case, listening to the perspectives of the staff who are utilizing and learning in the space, it is clear there are not only savings, but it is a tremendous environment we can all be proud of. We certainly look forward to hosting many more opportunities such as this, as well as realizing the continued savings.

Departmental exams began this past Wednesday and will continue this week. I want to share my thanks to students, staff, and families once again for the work that goes into preparing for these assessments.

In the office on Thursday, I took part in interviews with media related to the ongoing process of healing for all involved with the Humboldt Broncos, including those across our school division. I had the opportunity to share about the great support our students and staff have received from professionals across our system and beyond as well as the tremendous support provided by our Board of Education. They provided space and time to name just a few things, and through them, our school division personnel were able to work as effectively as possible.

This past Thursday and Friday, staff from across Horizon School Division were together in our office for Mental Health First Aid training. The two-day training session was offered for adults who interact with youth and we were happy to host this training and help support staff who in turn support our students. Thank you to all who attended, and to Jan Paproski, Coordinator of Learning Services, for organizing this learning opportunity.

I finished the week on Friday in the office, meeting with several of our central office personnel on a number of issues. I cannot overstate how great it has been having all of our office staff under one roof. Rather than splitting time between two offices, being able to simply walk down the hallway and meet with staff over issues such as facilities, learning, and transportation is both efficient and effective. Once again, I can’t thank our Board enough for this opportunity.  

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