Board Highlights - December 12
The Board acknowledges the traditional territories of the peoples of Treaty 7 region in Southern Alberta and the Métis Nation of Alberta Region 3.
Presentation: Transforming Classrooms into Thinking Cultures (CPIP)
The goal of this project was to nurture the thinking capacity of Grade 3 students and to deepen understanding, spark intellectual engagement, and promote independence. To explore this, teachers participated in online courses offered through Harvard’s Graduate School of Education’s Project Zero, they delved into professional literature, and spent time in reflective practice and collaboration. The impact on student learning was shared with the Board. The team have been very grateful for the CPIP grant to support this learning.
Presentation: Building a Culture of Thinking School at Oilfields High School (CPIP)
The goal of this project was to advance student learning through the increased collective efficacy of teachers and build cultures of thinking. Teachers engaged in learning through the online courses through Harvard Graduate School of Education. Through leveraging the eight forces of a culture of thinking school, they adapted their professional learning plan to facilitate collaborative learning based around research and best practice. Teachers identified evidence of student learning as essential areas for growth. Students reported that using thinking routines allows them to better direct their thought process during tasks, and that their learning was at a deeper level as they used visible thinking routines across all disciplines.
Presentation: Outdoor Education - Teachers from École Percy Peglar; Turner Valley and Westmount (CPIP)
The goals of this program were as follows:
- Use place-based, outdoor learning that will engage students within our communities, and strengthen their relationships with nature, each other and their teachers.
- Cultivate engaged, ethical, and environmentally conscious students through interaction with their community environment.
- Use experiential (lived) learning to provide context, and bring curriculum to life.
- Foster a strong sense of belonging in the classroom community, our town, and the broader community of the Foothills.
- Improve student well-being (social-emotional, physical and mental health).
They are three months into their project and will continue to gather evidence of student learning to inform their next steps and best practice.
Okotoks Boundary Approval
Ms Kohlhammer presented three key scenarios for the Board to consider. The criteria used to determine boundaries included:
- Impact on Neighborhoods
- Walkability and Transportation
- Enrolment, School Programs and Student Experience
- Boundary Realignment
- Transition Plan.
The Board of Trustees made a motion that the Board select Scenario 2 as the preferred option, in principle, for boundary changes to Okotoks and area, made necessary by the opening of the new Meadow Ridge School. The Board intends to open the school to include Grades K-8 with Grade 9's starting in the 2020/21 school year. The Division subsequently directs administration to fully vet these changes with parents, staff and community and then bring a recommendation for final approval to a March 2019 Board Meeting.
Learn more about the proposed school boundary and provide your feedback online. An in-person community consultation will be available Thursday January 24, 2019 at 6:45pm at Dr. Morris Gibson School.
Monthly Financial Update
Denise Gow, Director of Finance, presented the October 31, 2018 Financial Report.
Student Matters Committee
Trustees Letendre and Nichols provided a report on the committee and their recent focus on Mental Health Matters. Students engaged in an interactive workshop that deepened their understanding of terms connected to describing mental health. They worked as small groups to consider how to promote awareness of the protective factors to build up resilience that support positive mental health. Their challenge was to initiate three top actions for Prevention, Promotion, and Programming that they would like to see happen in their schools. Their ideas will be given to the Family School Liaison Counsellors in their schools in order for the work to continue.
The Board received for information updates to these Administrative Procedures to align with existing Bullying, Threatening Behaviour, Student Code of Conduct, and Policy 18 Welcoming, Safe, Caring, Inclusive, Respectful Learning Environments policies and procedures.
Public Announcements / Recognition / Division Highlights
- Monday mornings were identified as a day that had attendance challenges at École Senator Riley School. They continue to utilize a “Monday Madness Crew” that welcomes students with a variety of fun and zany antics. Students never know what will surprise them on a Monday morning and school attendance & timeliness continues to increase.
- Dr. Morris Gibson School received a donation of $10,000 from the Town of Okotoks toward the installation of their Inclusive Playground – very much appreciated.
- Dr. Morris Gibson School is honored to have Junior A Oilers hockey players mentor some of their students. This may be in the form of addressing healthy lifestyle choices, positive mindset or physical activities – such an amazing experience for everyone involved.
- Every year Grade 7/8 students at Blackie School pair up with Kindergarten students to write a letter to Santa - magical moments for both younger and older students.
- Kudos to the all of our dedicated staff and volunteers for the amazing concerts and plays enjoyed during the Christmas season.
- Chair Albrecht mentioned the ESFCHS/AHSFA art display held at the Leighton Centre displaying the amazing artwork of our students.
- The grade 5 students at École Percy Pegler School participated in the Drug Abuse Resistance Education program this fall and celebrated the completion of the course with their graduation on Wednesday, December 5, 2018.
- Grade 3 students at Red Deer Lake School worked with Mindfuel and the University of Calgary on a Virtual Reality experience. Students worked on classifying animals, specifically vertebrate versus invertebrate. Over the course of the two-day lesson, the students engaged with VR devices in exploring an arctic ecosystem to assist with visualizing the animals.