Superintendent of Schools – Shortly I will be joining the trustees as they tour every RVS site over a period of nine days. These visits provide both new and veteran trustees with the opportunity to physically see each school and learn a bit about it. We are riding on a bus to visit about six sites each day, so I’m sure we will have plenty of conversation between each visit.
A comment I’m sure to hear is that each school is unique. That is so true! Every school has a culture that reflects its community, physical space, staff and students. In RVS we do not have a cookie cutter approach to our schools. We support diversity in approaches while collectively working towards the goals of our Four-Year Plan. We try to effectively blend both choice and standards – and it can be a delicate balance. Most importantly, schools are responsive to the needs and aspirations of their students.
This past week we had grand opening ceremonies for two schools that opened this fall in RVS. Fireside School in Cochrane held their event in the morning and Windsong Heights School in Airdrie was held later that same day. Both schools have almost the same physical plant, but they are unique. These differences are more than just the colours on the walls; you can see the passion of staff and reflections of the community in the differences between the two schools. The schools are building their cultures around similar narratives, but not identical. And the ceremonies were both great. Like their cultures, each school’s event was similar, but not identical. Both celebrations were student-led and included speeches from dignitaries, videos and student performances, but the type of student performances varied due to the different people in each school.
Our schools, like the students and staff within, reflect the diversity of our communities. We come together to support each other while celebrating both our uniqueness and our common experience. In my humble opinion and to quote Martha Stewart, it’s a good thing.