Superintendent's Message - February 2017
I like to tell this story. A long time ago, (Justin’s dad was still prime minister) I was working on my education degree, and planning to be an English teacher. I was in secondary education; however, I felt that I should know more about reading. I believed that if I had a better understanding of how we learn how to read, I would be better equipped to help students who struggled in this area. Just so you know, “reading” was considered to be the sole domain of elementary teachers. On my quest then, I ended up at the door of the Assistant Dean of Elementary Education who emphatically told me that I was ineligible to take the reading course and was unwelcome to do so. He seemed perplexed by my request; I was in secondary ed. after all. I was disappointed but resigned to the decision. I wonder if I would be met with the same degree of resistance today.
Since then, many years have passed, and I truly regret not knowing more about early literacy. I have come to believe that literacy and numeracy are so fundamental to a student’s chances for success, that as a school division, we need to ensure all youngsters have the best literacy start in their first years in school.
By February 23 of this month, each student in Clearview is to have been assessed in literacy using Star Reading. The data garnered from this assessment will provide staff with a wealth of information. I must admit that I am truly invigorated by this work. It will be challenging but immensely rewarding.
World Read Aloud Day - February 16
World Read Aloud Day motivates children, teens, and adults worldwide to celebrate the power of words and creates a community of readers taking action to show the world that the right to literacy belongs to all people. World Read Aloud Day is celebrated by millions of people in more than 100 countries thanks to people like you who participate and spread the word across the globe! Click here for a link to a website on this topic.
Family Oriented Programming
Wendy Coppock, our early learning coordinator, has organized two engaging days of learning for parents with children ages 3-5 in Coronation on February 15 and in Stettler on Friday, February 17. The day starts with Dr. Jody Carrington and the afternoon has mini-sessions on literacy and nutrition etc. Thanks to Wendy and Barb Gano for helping our parents with this important work.
Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day is on Wednesday, February 22. Wearing pink on that day signifies a promise to promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying.
Being proactive in preventing bullying means that we accept shared responsibility for the creation and maintenance of learning and work environments that are safe and welcoming for all students, their families and staff. Participating in events like Pink Shirt Day shows leadership in our schools and communities. This display of support is the foundation for creating bullying prevention strategies and modelling healthy relationships.
On February 22, show your commitment to creating welcoming, caring, respectful and safe learning environments and promoting healthy relationships by:
· wearing a pink shirt;
· using social media with the hashtag #PinkShirtPromise (Shaw will donate $1 to bullying prevention programs for every positive message posted online prior to February 22); and
· participating in events around your community.
For more information, please visit the Alberta Education website at: www.education.alberta.ca/bullying-prevention andwww.education.alberta.ca/safe-and-caring-schools/. For more information about making a Pink Shirt Promise, visitwww.shaw.ca/corporate/community/skip/pinkshirtday/.