We began This Week, the first week of May, in a budget meeting
with Horizon’s Board of Education. Joined by Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO,
Marilyn Flaman, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt and Deputy
Director, Randy MacLEAN, we presented options to the Board to consider in order
to meet the 3 million dollar reduction in funding Horizon saw this year. The
Board continues to review options to meet the funding shortfall with an
understanding that school staffing needs will move forward based on the current
plan. This is great news as it allows Human Resource Services to continue their
planning and hiring in order to ensure our teacher and support staff needs are
met in our schools. Our meetings will continue in the coming weeks prior to our
Board presenting its finalized budget in June. More information will be shared
about the 2017-18 budget as it is finalized through our on-going discussions.
Following our budget meeting, our Board Chair, Jim Hack, and Vice
Chair, Wil Lengyel, joined us for a meeting to finalize the agenda for the
Board’s regular monthly meeting on May 10. A number of delegations are planned
with the Board, including the accountability report for Safe and Caring.
On Tuesday, Horizon held a Pre-K/Kindergarten workshop in Humboldt
as a consultation and professional development day for our Pre-K and K
teachers. The day was also open to administrators from our schools with elementary
in order to support their important work in leading our early learning
programs. Horizon’s Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski and
his team of Katherine Oviatt, Supervisor of Literacy and Early Learning and Kim
Scharf, Early Learning Coach, spent the morning reviewing Horizon’s newly
developed Early Learning Document. It is a compilation and a “one-stop-shop”
for all early learning documentation developed in the province and in Horizon. In
the afternoon, Debbie Pushor, professor of Curriculum Studies at the University
of Saskatoon, lead a discussion on Family Engagement.
After welcoming our staff to the Pre-K/K workshop, I returned to
our central office for a meeting with the property owner of our current north
office building. As you are likely aware, Horizon currently leases our north office
space from Olymel and the meeting between Olymel management and Marilyn Flaman
and me was to determine the future of the lease. Last year Horizon began groundwork
relative to the construction of an office building that our Board would own, an
option that offers a variety of cost-saving opportunities. Due to our immediate
financial situation in the province, however, the option for our central office
has been on hold. Further information relative to the results of the meeting
with Olymel will be shared with the Board at their May 10th meeting.
Our central office came together to offer best wishes during the
break as Executive Assistant, Melanie Gray, recently celebrated her birthday.
The gathering was also a chance to celebrate the birthday of yours truly,
although, I am trying to forget them! Although I greatly appreciate the
gesture, the opportunity to spend this time with our central office staff is
the greatest benefit of all.
On Wednesday, Horizon’s members of the Saskatchewan Association of
School Business Officials (SASBO) travelled to Saskatoon for their annual
convention and AGM. This group includes our Superintendents, Managers,
Supervisors and officers who serve the education sector in a variety of roles. The
convention provides PD opportunities and a chance for members to discuss and
share ideas with colleagues from other Saskatchewan school divisions.
Back at the office, I joined a teleconference call with the Educational
Governance Review “Organizational Staffing and Design” team. The teleconferences
are scheduled to take place each week for the remainder of the school year, and
I will continue to share what I can with staff and the Board during the
meetings. Currently, the team has been working on establishing the processes
that will see a contracted resource review compensation of managers and senior
staff as well as to continue a review of Board member compensation. Most
recently, the Ministry has requested that we also review out-of-province travel
for staff and boards. An RFP is
currently in process in order to hire a contracted resource to review the HR
components of the mandate.
On Wednesday afternoon, I met with Cory Popoff, Principal of
Humboldt Collegiate Institute, and teachers in grades 4-6 who spent the
afternoon reviewing the mathematics common assessments teachers developed. Cory
has taken a leadership role relative to Horizon’s Assessment goal and a great
deal of work that has gone into developing and reviewing the math assessments
in advance of the province’s heightened focus on numerical literacy. In
2018-19, the province will undergo assessments relative to the number strand
and Horizon is out in front of this initiative by establishing our own
effective assessments. This work will lead to opportunities for teachers to
share their instructional practices with colleagues from across our system and
I am grateful for the teachers who have volunteered to spend time building and
critically analyzing our assessments.
Members of the SLT met on Thursday morning and afternoon in order
to review the current plan regarding the upcoming Director’s Leadership Team (DLT)
professional development day on May 17. The team also reviewed the agenda for
the DLT meeting on Monday morning and had some discussion regarding Horizon’s
I had the pleasure of travelling to a number of schools on Friday
in order to meet with principals from Lanigan Elementary, Wynyard Composite,
Wadena Elementary, Bruno Central and St. Brieux. While on the road, I joined a
conference call to finalize the agenda for an upcoming meeting of the
Provincial Leadership Team (PLT).
Horizon held two more graduation ceremonies this past week, at
Muenster School and Winston High School in Watrous, each occurring on Friday,
May 5. Thank you to Mr. Mark Fedak, Trustee for Subdivision 4, and
Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, who brought greetings at
the Muenster graduation on behalf of the Board and my office, respectively. I
also was to thank Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, who
brought greetings at Winston High. Congratulations to the graduation classes at
Muenster and Winston. As the final weeks of their high school careers draws
near, it is important our grade 12 students know that their Board and staff
from across Horizon wish them all the best in the challenges, opportunities and
successes they will most certainly experience now and in the future.
I will end This Week with a quote that each of us can appreciate
but is a great reminder to our graduates. It’s by Millard Fuller, the founder
of Habitat for Humanity International, who stated, “It's not your blue blood,
your pedigree or your college degree…it's what you do with your life that
Have a great week, everyone.- KevinKevin C.
Garinger, B.Ed, M.A.EdDirector of
Division No. 205