Supporting and Celebrating Success before, during and after Education Week.

Supporting and Celebrating Success before, during and after Education Week.

In my last blog, I promised to update you on some of the plans and responses our Division Leadership team has undertaken in response to feedback from employees. It is fitting that this response comes during Education Week in Saskatchewan (October 21-25). Its theme is “supporting and celebrating success.” Where better to demonstrate that theme for our students than by listening and responding to Regina Public Schools employees?

The feedback form Regina Public Schools employees came from three main sources:

  • Focus groups with grade level groupings in both August 2012 and August 2013;
  • The Results Team work from 2012-13; and
  • The Employee Survey completed in April 2013.

In simple terms please read what we heard and how we responded:

  • That money and fee collection take up too much valuable instructional time

    • We researched and piloted a new on-line collection software program that was launched in September, 2013.

 

  • That you missed the blue book sessions and needed more access to professional learning opportunities.

    • We acquired and implemented a new on-line system called PD Place to assist with planning and tracking teachers’ professional growth opportunities.

 

  • That we needed to improve our communication with the field

    • We initiated a weekly, Monday Morning bulletin for principals to better collate and disseminate information from multiple sources. The goal being to share information in a useful, predictable fashion.
    • We realigned Superintendent duties and job descriptions so that they can (and do!) spend more time in schools.
    • We acquired and implemented a new online School Connects program (Synrevoice) that can very quickly and accurately send messages by phone or text to parents/contacts in the event of an emergency or operational disruption, such as a power outage, or weather-related issue.
    • We launched two new Twitter social media accounts @Director_RBE and @RegPublicSchool. The number of followers has increased steadily since both accounts became live and we are reaching, responding and retweeting information that is relevant to the entire Regina Public Schools community.

 

  • That we needed to continue to focus on curriculum instruction and assessment as key areas for more professional learning.

    • We planned and delivered a solid week of professional learning from August 27-31, 2013, with a balance of system-wide grade groupings, and school-level activities.
    • We had Damien Cooper (http://damiancooperassessment.com/) share his expertise on assessment and provided all teachers with copies of his book “Redefining Fair”.
    • We acquired additional Fountas and Pinnell resources for Grade 3 students.
    • We continue to in-service principals and teachers on the use of INFORM and POWER SCHOOL, as well as creating an additional consultant position to support this important work.

 

This list is by no means exhaustive. There are many other examples and there will continue to be new ones as our year goes on. (I hope to have Results Teams resume their work by the end of this month).

But as we put the first two months of the new school year behind us, and as we celebrate Education Week, I thought it best to affirm for you that a) we are listening and responding and b) that I personally continue to appreciate each and every one of your for the work you do to ensure our students succeed.

Speaking of student success, in my next blog, I will share my experience working with my 27 director of education colleagues and Ministry of Education officials on the draft of a new Education Sector Plan. We did this last week over an intense, four days. It was well worth the investment of time! Look for the next blog entry the week of November 12 to 16, 2013.

Until then – let’s continue to appreciate the gift we’ve been given to work in a great school division, with great colleagues and doing our best for Saskatchewan’s greatest students.