Catchball at RPS

Catchball at RPS

Catchball at RPS

On Wednesday, January 14th, approximately 90 participants including school principals, Division staff, and RPSTA executive members gathered for a “catchball” or feedback session to provide input to the 2015-2016 year (Cycle 2) of the Education Sector Strategic Plan. They were also invited to provide feedback on the Division’s strategic plan. 

The information gleaned from this session about the provincial plan will be provided to the Ministry of Education, and will be used by the Provincial Leadership Team to inform plan finalization in early February. The feedback on the Division level plan will be used by Division staff to inform Division and departmental planning for next year. Principals have been encouraged to share information from the session with their staffs; and also to continue to ensure that local school plans are aligned with Division and Education Sector priorities.  The links here will take you to the documents. Please note that, currently, you must be logged in as a staff member to review these reports.  I invite you to take a moment to review them and share any responses or ideas you might have about how your school level plans need to be adjusted for next year with your school principal.

One of the key messages I shared with the participants on-site at the session was a reminder that while our planning model and some of the vocabulary has changed in the last year or so, our priorities for our Division, and our aspirations for our students, have not. Regina Public Schools has always been committed to having as many students as possible performing at grade level, transitioning smoothly through our Pre-K – 12 system, and then graduating successfully.  What has had to change is the level of attention we are paying to the results we are getting from our efforts in terms of student performance, and while there are promising signs in one or two areas, there has not been a consistent system-wide improvement. Our graduation rate for example still lags behind the provincial one by about four per cent and has done so for the last five years.

We will be challenged in the months and years ahead to find the breakthrough strategies that make a difference to our graduation rate, (which is a measure of our collective success, not just that of our high schools!), and our other measures of student performance. We will also be challenged by the current economic situation and the fiscal restraint it will require of our school division.

Based on my observations of our talent pool and their professionalism during the last three and a half years, I am convinced that, as a system, we have the capacity to both tighten our belts and achieve our goals. To that end I invite each of you to identify ways in which our operating costs could be reduced in order to protect our classrooms and please share your ideas with your principals and supervisors.

Our classrooms are not only our “front-line”, but are also the “crucibles of hope” for our students and their parents. Our Shared Values at Regina Public Schools exhort us to be inclusive, curious, respectful, and responsible. It will serve us well as an organization to both rely on these Values and to model them as we move forward!