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March 2, 2020 - a message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education
March 02, 2020
February 26, 2020, was Pink Day in Saskatchewan. As we know, Pink day is an opportunity for schools, organizations, communities, and individuals to show that they support our students and do not tolerate bullying behavior. Considering Pink Shirt Day originated in Nova Scotia through the efforts of two boys would wanted to stand up against bullying behaviours by some of their peers, it reminds of the impact our kids can have in our world. I want to thank our staff and students, who participated in and organized events to mark this important day. As Mr Rogers said, “There are three ways to ultimate success: the first way is to be kind. The second way is to be kind. The third way is to be kind.”
With students and staff back in schools last week, I continued my school meetings with Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, and Assistant Superintendent of Student Services, Jason Neville. We were discussing school Learning Improvement Plans (LIPs), which are documents developed annually at each school, to guide their work towards the school’s goals which align with Horizon’s Strategic Plan and the provincial Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP). On Monday, we made our way to Archerwill School, Rose Valley School, Kelvington High School, Robert Melrose Elementary School, and George Gordon Education Centre. On Tuesday, LIP meetings were held in Annaheim School, Lake Lenore School, Three Lakes School, Wakaw School, Cudworth School, and Bruno School.
I was away for a couple of days last week, competing in the Senior Men’s Curling Provincials Championship. At central office, Horizon was once again very proud to host the provincial SaskMATH Working Committee for a 2-day work session. Over 40 educators from across the education sector have been working hard to develop a resource for Saskatchewan teachers that will support student outcomes in Math. As an owner of the ESSP SaskMATH Priority, I want to thank the working committee for their continuing contributions, time, and passion towards this important initiative. Finally, I want to thank Horizon’s Supervisor of Literacy & Early Learning, Katherine Oviatt, for her outstanding leadership in planning and preparing for the two days as well as leading the team through what I know was a highly effective process.
On Wednesday afternoon, a conference call was held to discuss contingency plans that will ensure the province is well-prepared for possible sanctions resulting from the ongoing collective bargaining process between the Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation (STF) and the Government Trustee Bargaining Committee.
The possibility exists for Saskatchewan teachers to participate in some form of job action with direction from the STF. A vote was held for STF members on February 10 and 11, asking for input regarding such sanctions and the STF announced on February 24 that results of the vote were 90.2% in favour of providing the STF with the ability to institute some form of job action, if a need exists. While talks between the two parties continue, our Board and I will ensure staff and parents are provided ongoing communication from my office. I do want to thank everyone for their understanding as this process plays out.
On Sunday, March 1, I joined my fellow League of Educational Administrators, Directors, and Superintendents (LEADS) in Saskatoon for our annual policy conference (APC). This 3-day conference will keep us busy with critical discussions around the LEADS organization, our work in the sector, our partnerships in education, and our shared, strategic goals.
Have a great week, everyone.
Kevin C. Garinger B.Ed., M.A.Ed.
Director of Education/CEO
Horizon School Division No. 205