The end to a successful school year in HWDSB

As we come to the end of another school year in HWDSB, we have the opportunity to reflect upon our accomplishments over the last year. And there have been many accomplishments!!!!

We continue to strengthen our learning organization. As we engage in the process of collaborative inquiry, always focusing on our students, we are working together to provide the best possible instruction so that our students achieve and succeed. None of us needs to work alone. As I visit our schools, I see the energy that comes from learning together for our students.

We have created focus in every school and we are supporting professional learning around that focus. I continue to state that we are becoming an intelligent-responsive system. This means that we have created clear direction at the system level expecting all schools and departments to engage in this collaborative process intended to improve practice. The system then provides support to the schools in an appropriate fashion. We are really knowing our students, one of the significant pillars of our annual operating plan.

We are changing the culture in HWDSB. This change in culture includes holding high expectations for our students, sharing our expertise and our leadership in coordinate ways as well admitting what we do not know, all necessary conditions of an effective learning community. As we change our culture, we are staying the course in terms of the work we are doing. This focused work includes understanding what all of our students need, what some of our students need and what a few students need in order to succeed. This focused work includes the implementation of our program strategy which is making every school in HWDSB a great school. Where we do have specialized programs, we will insure access and opportunity for our students. More of our students are reading by grade 2 and more of our students are graduating. This is a significant improvement, one that will make a huge difference for our students. This focused work will continue to include our commitment to student well-being along side student achievement, as we understand the importance of safe, caring and inclusive schools and positive mental and their relationship to effective learning conditions that improve student achievement.

We continue to think about the skills our students will need to be positive contributors in our 21st century world. Critical and creative literacies are important, and we will address these literacies through classroom instruction supported by our arts strategy and our 21st century fluencies strategy. We hope to support each other to change our practice as appropriate by creating learning environments that allow our students to explore, create, critique, and to take responsibility for their learning always with the precise and powerful instruction from our teachers.

Next school year, I am planning to use this blog a little differently. I will be asking our HWDSB community to help me experience the “stories of our Strategic Directions” so I can share them here. As educators, we are privileged. We are privileged because we have the opportunity to change our students’ lives. We are educators because we believe we can make a difference and it is this passion and this dedication, I believe, that motivate our work. Now that our direction is clear in HWDSB, it will be important to tell the story of how we are fulfilling our mandate, ensuring that All Students Achieve their Full Potential.

I am proud to be part of an organization that is so committed to its vision of all students achieving their full potential. We are seeing our commitments of effective instruction in every classroom, shared leadership in every school and department, optimal conditions for learning and engagement as well as exemplary service in every department come to life.

I hope you have plans over the summer to relax and spend some time with friends and family. There will be new challenges as we move into the new school year and we’re excited about the journey that lies ahead.

Have a great summer!!

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