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Horizon School Division
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December 8, 2017 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

December 13, 2017

I want to begin this week by sending out one final reminder regarding the Christmas Hamper project and the ability for school staff to contribute to the efforts to support 144 families and well over 300 children across Horizon during this holiday season. As I mentioned last week, staff are able to email Corinne Thoms, Manager of Payroll Services, as Corinne is able to address all donations through a December payroll deduction. Lori Washkowsky-Lucyk, Manager of Accounting Services is also able to provide a tax receipt for any personal donations received for the project. I want to thank the numerous staff members who have contributed to this very worthwhile cause including our CUPE staff, who provided a very generous donation this past week.

I began this past week travelling to Wynyard Elementary School later in the morning for the majority of the day on Monday. While I was in Wynyard, Deputy Director, Randy MacLEAN met with trustees Mark Fedak, Albert Pinacie, and Cheryl Vertefeuille and members of the HTA who make up the Teacher Efficacy and Workload Intensification Committee. The committee, in partnership with Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and EdTEch, have organized the 2018 Google Summit for Education and have made recommendations regarding moving forward with Google in Horizon. I look forward to examining their recommendations further and ensuring that technology is meeting the needs of education. The professional development event, which is open to all staff in Horizon, will be hosted in Saskatoon at Holy Cross High School on February 24 & 25 and more information, including a registration form, can be found on the Ed Tech website at: https://edtechteam.swoogo.com/saskatoon2018

On Tuesday, I travelled to Bulyea School, William Derby School, Nokomis School and Drake School to review Learning Improvement Plans (LIPs). Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw and Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski joined me in my travels as we reviewed these important documents and the work of school staffs with school administrators.

First thing Wednesday morning, my Director’s Leadership Team of school administrators and central office staff held a meeting via Skype. The meeting was an opportunity to discuss such items as the upcoming Christmas Hamper project, the 2018-19 school budgeting process, enrolment projections, and School Community Councils. A great deal of time, cost, and travel is saved by engaging in these meetings over Skype, and I am grateful to have the technology and willingness of my team to meet this way.

Following our DLT meeting, Crandall, Darrell, and I met with Principal Clayton Parobec, and Vice Principal Darlene Popoff of Humboldt Public School to review their school’s LIP. On Wednesday afternoon, I joined trustees Christine Gradin and Wil Lengyel and staff members Randy MacLEAN, Marni Sogge (Executive Assistant), and Marilyn Flaman (Superintendent of Finance) for a Horizon Teachers’ Association (HTA) liaison meeting held at central office. I want to thank the HTA executive, including President Gerard Frison, for their commitment and support of our HTA staff members. I believe the most critical aspect of meetings such as these, is truly related to building and sustaining critical relationships with our partners in education. Our relationships with HTA, CUPE, and Horizon Support Staff Association are important to the overall success of our organization and I greatly value the discussions that come from these opportunities.

My Central Office Administrative Team (COAT), made up of managers, supervisors, officers, coordinators and the senior leadership team (SLT), met for our regular meeting on Friday morning. I find these meetings to be an excellent opportunity to share a number of important items from each of our areas of responsibility. COAT members have also begun a book study, looking at The Five Dysfunctions of a Team by Patrick Lencioni. Through our study of Lencioni’s book, we had an opportunity to engage in a number of team-building activities where we got talk about the strengths that each of us bring to the team.

During our COAT meeting, I stepped out briefly to take part in a teleconference with the Provincial Leadership Team (PLT). The PLT consists of Ministry of Education personnel and my fellow Directors of Education from the provincial and federal systems. During the meeting, we discussed the use of student data in our reporting practices, specifically the disaggregation of student data that separates First Nations, Metis, and Inuit results from non-First Nations results in school division annual reports. While the disaggregated data is critical for educators, families/caregivers and everyone directly involved in the education of students, we are exploring whether it is in the best interests of students to present the information in the manner in which it is currently being reported. It is really about examining “why” the data was gathered in the first place and the expectations on where it should be shared and our discussions will continue in the New Year. On Thursday, I had a chance to sit down with Johnathan Charlton of Bolt FM to talk about this issue and the conversations being had within the PLT. I want to thank Jonathan and Bolt FM for taking the time to meet with me and for sharing these important messages with our public.

Following our COAT meeting, I travelled to Punnichy to take part in the grand opening and official naming ceremony for the new Carlton Trail College Four Winds Learning Centre. Their facility will provide young people in the Punnichy area with training space close to home. During the ceremony, we heard from Glenn Hepp, Board Chair for the Carlton Trail College and Shelley Romanyszyn-Cross, CEO, who spoke to the College’s pride in being able to operate their new facility and the gratitude to the Governments of Canada and Saskatchewan for their financial support of the project. The Four Winds training centre will provide great opportunities for Horizon students and I am grateful to all involved for their support of the community of Punnichy and area.

After the ceremony, Crandall, Darrell, and I visited Punnichy Community High School to review their school LIP with Principal Donna Nurse and Vice Principal, Don Ireland. We then returned to Humboldt for a holiday celebration with Board members and staff.

With the holiday season fast approaching, members of Horizon’s Board and central office staff held our annual Christmas party on Friday evening. We enjoyed a great supper and fellowship with staff and families. Following dinner, Horizon’s social committee organized an excellent game of Family Feud that was enjoyed by all, followed by a few rounds of bowling. I greatly appreciate the work of all staff members involved in planning this fantastic celebration, particularly members of our social committee, including Jan Paproski, Kyle Lamont, Chris Nienaber (who served as our Family Feud host for the night), Bruce Maxwell, Jocelyne Possberg, Marni Sogge and Kim Loose. As the holidays draw closer and we near the final weeks of 2017, I am grateful for times like these when our Horizon staff, Board, and families can enjoy time together outside the school or central office.

I would like to close this week by asking each of you to send your thoughts and or prayers to our Trustee, Jennifer Lemky, who has undergone a significant surgery in recent days. You will be in our thoughts, Jenn, as we hope for a speedy recovery.

Have a great week, everyone.

- Kevin

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