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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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February 3, 2020 - a message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

February 04, 2020

Research has shown that reading to our children just 20 minutes a day can improve listening skills, literacy skills, prepare students to excel in school, build strong family relationships, and set your child up for a lifelong love of reading and learning. It’s a great way to spend quality time together and one of the best daily routines we can have as caregivers to set our children up for success. This past week was Family Literacy Week (January 26-February 1), and January 27 was Family Literacy Day. The theme this year is “Take 20 in 2020”.


On Monday, I was able to spend some time catching up on items that were pressing before heading to Saskatoon to prepare for our Director meeting and Provincial Leadership Team meeting. On Tuesday, I joined Directors for a Directors’ meeting at Saskatoon Public School Division to review a number of items necessary for discussion, including the 2020-21 calendar and MySchoolSask and an update from LEADS Executive Director, Ben Grebinski. To date, 13 school divisions are on the provincial student information system and the other 14 are slated to be on board in the next year(s). The 2020-21 calendar has been an ongoing discussion and usually by this time, I’ve sent out a survey to consider options around the calendar. Unfortunately, with the late long weekend, we have been having conversations with the Ministry to look at calendar options. I will be able to provide these options in the next couple of weeks and we will be able to finalize Horizon’s options for our Board to consider for approval.


On Wednesday, I joined the Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) for meetings also at the

Saskatoon Public School Division office. The PLT is made up of my fellow Directors of Education, Ministry of Education personnel, and First Nation partners. These meetings are an opportunity to discuss our sector plan and share data and information with our colleagues to continually develop and refine our best practices in support of the students and staff of Saskatchewan. As a priority owner, I presented on SaskMATH and the stage of its development.


I travelled to Englefeld School Thursday morning for a personnel matter and then made my way back to our central office for a meeting with the Board’s Governance Committee. Governance Committee Chair, Jennifer Lemky, led us through the committee’s review of Board Policy and other items, and I was happy to be there with CFO, Sarah Reding and Executive Assistant, Melanie Grey to support their work. That afternoon, the Board’s SCC Engagement Committee held a meeting, with Committee Chair, Christine Gradin leading these discussions. As we get closer to our SCC Workshops on March 4, there is much to discuss and plan and more information will be provided to our schools.


Since students were off last Friday for a non-instructional day, we began our latest round of Learning Improvement Plan (LIP) meetings in schools. Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Jason Neville, and I travelled to Ituna School, Foam Lake Composite, Foam Lake Elementary, New Horizon Hutterian School, Wynyard Composite, and Wynyard Elementary on Friday.


This coming week is Canadian School Counselling Week (February 3-7). It is an opportunity to share our appreciation for school counsellors and the work they do to support our students on their academic journey.  Alfred Adler, a medical doctor, psychotherapist, and founder of the school of individual psychology, wrote, “Overcoming difficulties leads to courage, self-respect, and knowing yourself”. This is what our school counsellors do to help students achieve each day. We are so grateful for the counsellors we have in our system and I am proud to thank them on behalf of everyone in Horizon School Division.


Have a great week, everyone. Stay Horizon Strong.


- Kevin

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