A busy new year!

A busy new year!

A belated Happy New Year to all our professional colleagues and to all our Regina Public Schools community!

As we complete the first month of 2013, it is my sincere hope that you have come back to your school or workplace both rested and reinvigorated for the second half of the school year. The work of making all of our students successful will require our collective best efforts.

While many of us were on holidays and took a well-deserved rest, a number of Regina Public Schools staff, particularly those working in the Facilities and administration areas continued to work to ensure that the return to school would be a safe and pleasant one. Working in the Division Services department, these employees do much of the work that is essential to the operation of the school division. Although, not often working directly with students, Division Services Facilities staff ensure that our schools continue to be maintained, cleaned, repaired and upgraded to meet the changing needs of students, and in-school staff. It is these caring individuals, both in Facilities and in Stores, who ensured that on the first day back at school, the snow had been cleared and the heat was working. They also cleaned the floors and classrooms and delivered all the furniture and supplies so that schools were ready for students and classroom staff.

It is not widely known that Regina Public Schools employs a number of trades people including carpenters, electricians, welders and plumbers, just to name a few of the trades. These employees work hand in-hand with in-school Facilities staff to complement students’ learning experiences.

A recent article in the Leader-Post, highlighted one of our trades people and the need we continue to have for the skilled trades. It is no coincidence that, along with our academic programming, we also have a range of trades programs and curricula that is available to our high school students through Campus Regina Public and other programs.  These are high demand jobs in our growing province!

While students were away from school during the holidays, back at Division Office on 4th Avenue, administrative staff continued to do all the behind-the-scenes work that is just as important as keeping our buildings safe. Their responsibilities also support the efforts of those working in the schools with students.

Division Office staff in Human Resources & Workplace Diversity worked to meet the employment-related needs of all current staff and those planning to retire. They also continued to do their recruitment work of new staff. Similarly, in Payroll, dedicated staff completed the salary payment requirements of all employees and prepared for the coming month.  After a busy holiday of shopping, gift giving and travel, it is a relief to know that one’s earned paycheck will be processed and deposited as expected!

In Accounting and Purchasing, bills were paid and payments were processed. This means that our partners and suppliers similarly got paid for their services so they too can pay their own bills.

In Transportation, bus and light transport routes continued to be reviewed as a new group of Kindergarten, Pre-K students and new Canadians join Regina Public Schools for 2013.

In Library Technical Services and Lending Services, staff worked to get books, multi-media and other materials ordered and made available for teachers and students for the new year.

Information Technology maintained the computer and database infrastructure that the school division and so many of us is dependent on. Similarly, they ensured that in-school computers and networks were upgraded and maintained.

Overseeing most of the administration activities, Business Affairs staff worked on the fine print. Their responsibility is to make sure the school division continued to be in compliance with the countless federal, provincial and civic requirements and legislation. These requirements never take a break – even over the holidays!

Regina’s public ratepayers and parents have entrusted teachers and all who work with students with a great responsibility. This is our foremost priority, especially when school is in session.  Not everyone in the private sector, in other public jobs or at the school division had the opportunity to take much time off work during the holidays. I know that those of us that did are thankful for the opportunity and returned for work refreshed and ready to be our best.

As we head into 2013, I am grateful and hope to recognize some of the behind-the-scenes work that gets done for the benefit of student achievement at Regina Public Schools. Thank you to Division Services staff for your continued work. Welcome back to our school-based and teaching staff. Most of all, welcome back to students and parents and thank you for your continued interest and support of your public school division.

If you are would like to learn more about your public school division and particularly some of the activities carried out by our Division Office staff, I encourage you to review the Continuous Improvement Report. In that document, you will not only find information finances and budget, but also details about student achievement. You can find that document here.  You are also welcome to attend the 2013 Annual Meeting of Electors on January 29th at Arcola Community School at 7 p.m.

Have a great year!

Julie MacRae

Director of Education