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Horizon School Division
Creating a better world, one student at a time.
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June 8, 2018 - A Message from Kevin C. Garinger, Director of Education

June 11, 2018

Horizon School Division completed our switch to Google Mail for all students and staff this past week. Horizon’s Teacher Efficacy and Workload Intensification Committee – comprised of teachers, division staff, and members of Horizon’s Board of Education – recommend this direction for Horizon’s email, contacts, and calendars. This decision was informed by feedback and data collected by a survey shared with all members of the Horizon Teachers’ Association in the fall of 2016. The availability of support for the Google for Education suite, the ease of use of the product, and the continual innovations for use in classrooms were major factors in the decision to move to this web-based platform. Thank you to all staff for helping make this a smooth transition. Thank you to the Teacher Workload Intensification Committee and the Horizon Teachers’ Association for the work that led to their recommendation to pursue this direction for our email platform. I also want to thank Horizon’s Information Services team for their tireless work to migrate our data from Outlook into Google, and for their help training staff and resolving issues. As with any change, there will be an adjustment period as we become comfortable with the new platform, but it is an exciting time as we move to streamline work for teachers and support staff and provide access to this leading-edge platform for education.

This past Monday, a Math Outcome Sharing Day was held in Saskatoon. Educators from across the sector met to discuss and share the work of our systems to achieve the math outcome of the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP). I joined the group in the morning as the math day facilitator to say a few words and to introduce our Assistant Deputy Minister, Susan Nedelcov-Anderson. HCI Principal, Cory Popoff, has been providing leadership in support of Horizon’s Assessment goal, and he delivered a presentation about our development of the mathematics common assessments for the numbers strand in Grades 1-9 that were developed by a number of Horizon teachers. Again, thank you to Cory and thank you to Horizon teachers for contributing to this work.

Also on Monday, Horizon’s Board held a special meeting to discuss the 2018-19 budget. The Board had a very productive meeting and they brought us one step closer to finalizing Horizon’s budget later this month. A great deal of preliminary work has been done by Horizon’s Finance Services team, our school administrators, and our budget managers, which ensures the budgeting process is efficient and effective for another year.

Following the special meeting, Board Vice Chair, Wil Lengyel, Board Chair, Jim Hack, and I met to plan the agenda for the upcoming June Board meeting. We were joined by Superintendent of Finance Services/CFO, Marilyn Flaman, Superintendent of Operational Services/COO, Justin Arendt, and Deputy Director of Education, Randy MacLEAN for this meeting, as well as Lance Hiltz, Communications Services Officer, Marni Sogge, Executive Assistant to me, and Melanie Gray, Executive assistant to our CFO.

On Tuesday, I joined my fellow Saskatchewan Directors of Education for a day of meetings, hosted at the offices of Saskatoon Public Schools. On Wednesday, my fellow Directors and personnel from the Ministry of Education took part in a Provincial Leadership Team (PLT) meeting and data wall walk. I appreciated this opportunity to share and review data from other systems.

We also held a meeting with colleagues in the morning on Thursday and then had some time to relax before beginning with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association Public Section, who held their annual general meeting in Saskatoon this past Thursday and Friday. I joined members of Horizon’s Board at the event on Thursday evening and took a short hiatus to visit one of the high schools in Saskatoon for a meeting with some of their students before returning to hear from the likes of Mr. David King, former Minister of Education in Alberta and strong proponent for public education in Canada.

While I was in Saskatoon, Superintendent of Learning Services, Crandall Hrynkiw, and Superintendent of Student Services, Darrell Paproski, met with administrators at Humboldt Public School and Humboldt Collegiate Institute to review their Learning Improvement Plans (LIPs). I want to thank staff at each of these schools for their work to develop and implement the direction of these documents for the benefit of their students.

This past Friday evening, a number of ceremonies were held across Horizon School Division to celebrate this year’s graduates. At Bruno School, Muenster School, St. Brieux School, Lanigan Central, Raymore School, Imperial School, Wadena Composite, Wynyard Composite, Kelvington High, and Englefeld School, students, staff, and families joined together to commemorate this milestone. I know our students will go out and use their creative genius along with their passion and compassion and care, to make positive change in the world. As Steve Jobs stated, “People who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”.

Congratulations to all and a heartfelt thank you to everyone who helped our students along the way.  

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

kevin.garinger@horizonsd.ca