I have had the privilege of working with C21-Canadians for 21st Century Learning and Innovation.  Twenty one Superintendents were invited to join the CEO Academy to look at the future of education in Canada.  Recently “Shifting Minds 3.0 – Redefining the Learning Landscape in Canada“, was released, authored by Penny Milton (former head of the Canadian Education Association of Canada).  All members of the CEO Academy contributed to the position paper that “…offers a vehicle for learning systems to reflect and inspire innovation that supports competency and resiliency in a global economy”.

Recently one of my colleagues from the CEO Academy, Chris Kennedy, blogged “Keeping a National View“.  Whether it be Chris or other members of the CEO Academy, it became clear  to me, we have similar cultures being developed that allow each division to move forward in shifting our learning in Canada.  In Parkland School Division, we have created an innovative culture where we see the necessity of learning together.   Creating a team that is diversified and also focused on putting our children first in an ever changing world, have been keys to our growth.  Our vision of exploration, creativity, imagination, exciting learning and aspiring to reach ones dreams has brought us together as a division.  Speaking to one vision has been integral in growing our culture.  Our vision/purpose united a team of dedicated educators creating a culture which accelerated amazing learning opportunities for all learners of PSD70.

Goals2015In Parkland School Division, we are focused on two priorities – engagement (students, staff, parents and community) and stewardship of resources. Our goals of inclusion, quality learning, culture of wellness, and universal leadership, continue to be embedded in all we do.  To be successful, our work must be embedded in our culture.  It has become part of our daily work as we prepare, engage, and inspire our students to be their best in a quickly changing global community.

Our school division values and beliefs, speak about learning for all; collaboration; engagement; open honest communication; trust; respect; leadership; excellence; innovation; risk taking; citizenship; safe and caring;  and resiliency.   All wonderful words yet they mean nothing without implementation.  Here in PSD, no matter the position, we strive to bring these values/beliefs, as well as the mission, to life. Trustees and our senior executive team must model the culture we are striving for, but also we are open to learning from all stakeholders in our community.   From there the culture grows.

Parkland School Division students/staff and community are helping to grow a culture that is guided by what is in the best interest of our students.  Here in PSD a culture of learning together is well underway.  I look forward to leading the continued growth of  this culture.

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources

In Parkland School Division we believe we are all learners.  Each one of us challenges ourselves to do the best we can to create a world that truly opens up for our youth, for our future leaders.  True change means as leaders together we must strive to create a culture where we share our learning so innovative practices can flourish.   Collectively we can have an impact on the future  and create  an environment where our children are developing key 21 St century skills and competencies; where our children have s strong literacy and numeracy base; where we have engaged ethical citizens with entrepreneurial spirit.  In PSD I am proud to say sharing our learning, creating a culture of innovation continues to grow.  This can be seen through recent sharing and tweets from PSD’s attendance at the  #NCTCA2015 convention

 

Teachers sharing what they are learning…

Teachers presenting at convention 

The importance of change from Hayley Wickenheiser

As always, I am proud of our school division for being one that constantly shares their learning with others and models the idea of, “where the world opens up”.

Engaging Our Staff

One of PSD priorities is engagement – of students, staff and community.  Continuing our engagement feedback loop, today in PSD we had a wonderful opportunity to bring together a group of teachers to talk about student engagement and innovation.  We asked a number of questions, one of them being;  what is innovation in education?  Here are some of the responses:

“Innovation is about creativity, originality and the teacher’s role in setting the environment for the students.”

“Innovation is doing what works best for students; not what works best for the teacher.”

“Innovation should NOT BE change for the sake of change, it needs to be purposeful.”

But what does innovation “look like”?  That was also shared by participants in the day.

“Innovation models risk taking, it’s more about the process than the product.  It captures more learners and learning styles.”

“Innovation allows ALL students to shine.”

“In order for innovation to be successful, the teacher also needs to be comfortable to take risks and learn with their students.”

This was a great opportunity for PSD to hear from our teachers that inspiring education is alive.  It was exciting to hear the passion in our teachers voices are they strive to ensure our children are ready for the 21st Century.  We are keenly aware that innovation is not only associated with technology.  We know we have teachers who have embraced the shift from a focus on knowledge acquisition (what to learn), to the focus on skill and competency development (how to learn).  Teachers are helping students “think to learn” and “learn to think”.

Hearing our staff speak about innovation needing to be purposeful, that we are a learning organization and the importance of creating an environment of creativity was inspiring today!  We look forward to hearing more from staff.

It is exciting to be on this journey of creating a school division where exploration, creativity, imagination and aspiring to reach one’s dream is alive and well!

 

Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Uncategorized

In Alberta we have been talking about inclusion, wrap around services and the RCSD model (Regional Collaborative Services Delivery).   What are examples to show this work is coming to fruition? In Parkland School Division I am excited to share our story about a recent Traveling Low Vision Clinic that was hosted at our PSD office. The Low Vision Traveling clinic ensured that no one was working in isolation, an example of collaboration at its best; doing what is right for children. Partners in attendance worked from their area of expertise to contribute to solving each and every child’s educational challenge created by visual impairment. This one stop shopping as some call it saved a great deal of time, ensuring that professionals worked together to create a full service program that would have taken months for families and educators to access.

This innovative work is essential to ensuring inclusion comes alive and every child is supported both in and out of school. No longer do we need to be talking about what it might look like because the example of the Low Vision Clinic provides us with the experience and confidence to move forward on initiatives, bringing them to life.   Parkland School Division Board of Trustees speaks about risk taking as long as we are doing it in the best interest of our children.   We cannot wait for Provincial mandates, we must move forward to support our children now!

Below is the video that was recently shared across the province.

Thank you to each member of this team for ensuring our children are supported and able to strive to reach their dreams. I am proud to be part of a school division where we always focus on what’s best for children.

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students

I don’t want to scare anyone but today marks the start of the one month countdown to Christmas!  The school year is flying by and there is so much great work being done throughout the Division. I’d like to take the opportunity to thank you all for your efforts.  It really is an exciting time to be a part of Parkland School Division.

We want to continue the practice started last year with our video messages.  It’s proven to be an effective way to keep our staff and stakeholders up-to-date on topical subjects.  I hope you enjoy the modified format.  I also encourage you to check out other PSD stories being told on our Division YouTube channel.

Part of the video message below covers the topic of Thoughtexchange.  Our Board of Trustees along with Senior Executive hosted a stakeholder engagement event last night at Memorial Composite High School with parents representing all of our schools.  I learned it’s a great forum to receive direct feedback and suggestions from our parents.  We’re learning more about ‘Assurance’ everyday and bringing our priority of Engaging our Community to life with an event like last night, truly helps us to answer the question:  “How do we know what we know?”

Have a great week, great December and a restful Christmas break!

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized

I would like to welcome all of you to the 2014-2015 school year.  I am honoured to submit this year’s first entry into 184 Days of Learning.  In Parkland School Division, we value collaboration and engagement with both students and staff.   This blog is a great tool for that and I’m looking forward to watching, listening to and reading your stories that will unfold on this platform throughout the year.

What did I learn today?  I’ve learned that no matter how young or ‘experienced’ we are or how many years we’ve been involved with education, there’s nothing like the nerves, excitement and joy that comes with the first day of school.  There’s an energy in all our schools that is contagious.   Remember this feeling.  Experience it every day.  Tap into that passion and the possibilities are endless.

I’d like to challenge our students and staff to continue to take risks when it comes to learning.  Try some new technology this school year.  You never know what results you may produce.  Share your fresh ideas.  We’re on this learning journey together.  184 Days is a great way see and read about what your friends and colleagues are doing.  Some of the most exciting learning, creativity and inspiration comes when we don’t even realize it because we’re just having fun.  Welcome back and have a safe and enjoyable school year!

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized

As I reflect on this past year, I have really grown to appreciate how both our students and staff have committed to learning. We all live in an environment of change and it’s the way we’ve embraced it that impresses me the most. It’s summed up nicely with the philosophy behind Inspiring Education – We’re changing the way we think…because the world is changing.

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I’ve caught myself commenting a number of times in the boardroom or at recent meetings that our discussion often finds its way back to talking about ‘I-T’. Technological advancements are influencing all we do. Our way of teaching and learning is more collaborative than ever before. The world outside borders of our schools is looking for ethical citizens with an entrepreneurial spirit. I’m proud of the work we’re doing at Parkland School Division to produce that talent and engage all our stakeholders.

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Our underlying goal is always to do what is right for our kids. There are amazing transformations happening but it’s also important to recognize what’s really working. We don’t want to throw out the baby with the bath water! We are primed in PSD to move ourselves forward but need to realize that sometimes the best strategy is go slow, to go fast. Finding that mix is our task and I know we’re up to the challenge. Our children must be ready for this global community.

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‘184 Days of Learning’ is all about what we learned today. I’ve learned that we can’t thank our students and staff enough. They are the reason PSD has the reputation we have today. They are the reason our future looks so bright.

See you two months in the future. Have a safe and fun summer everyone.

Tim Monds is the Superintendent of Parkland School Division

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Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized

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Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized

Engaging Our Community Engaging Our Staff Engaging Our Students Stewardship of our Resources Uncategorized