Superintendent of Schools – I try to be out at schools as much as possible. It can be a challenge with all the meetings I need to be part of, but it is important for me to connect with our students, staff and communities. Over the past week and a half, I’ve been at over 10 schools and these are just a few observations from those visits:

  • Kids are happy to be in school – serious;
  • Each of our schools are clean and well maintained due to the great work of our maintenance and custodial crews;
  • Our staff put tremendous efforts in building warm and welcoming learning environments;
  • Middle school students can really eat hotdogs;
  • Professional learning is critical;
  • The amount of paper that goes through a school office at this time of the year is daunting – we need to continue to find ways to automate processes and reduce the volume of paper going back and forth between school and home;
  • Building early connections between home and teacher/school is a great way to support the success of students;
  • Some school welcome back breakfasts can rival Stampede events;
  • We have over 35 new teachers who just graduated in 2017 that are keen to make a positive difference in our schools;
  • Principals and Assistant Principals are magicians in how they juggle so many competing demands on resources and their time;
  • Schools care about kids and do great things to support them to help achieve success;
  • Students consistently demonstrate that they value inclusion;
  • Opening a brand-new school is even more work than I thought it was and our staff who have been through it are owed a great amount of appreciation;
  • Teacher creativity is limitless;
  • Attendance in week one really matters – establish good routines to start the year off well;
  • School Councils provide meaningful ways to help shape your school – get involved;
  • RVS team members that work in support roles create the conditions that allow students to succeed; and
  • Sitting in day-long meetings is physically demanding.

I am so proud of our schools and our RVS team. I will continue to be out and about in our schools and communities so remember to stop me and say “hi”.

Greg

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