Monday, 7 September 2015

Challenge and Opportunities

It seems like just yesterday everyone was looking forward to a restful summer break. Now the start of a new school year is nearly upon us.  These next few days are always exciting, and more than a little bit scary, as it becomes clear just what challenges and opportunities lie ahead. No doubt there will be more than a few bumps and hurdles to clear. SD 60 needs to get a better picture of where district enrollment will be, and there's much work to be done to match resources to different needs. However, I have every confidence that our personnel will rise to the occasion and do all they can to make the coming school year as positive as possible for students and families.

As our communities continue to grow the district will continue to work with partners at the Ministry of Education and within the provincial government to provide students with engaging and valuable learning opportunities, that are adequately resourced and housed within appropriate facilities.  The district also looks forward to working with local governments and parents and families.  Sometimes the challenges will seem very great, and no doubt responsive action may never come as quickly as some would like, but all district employees are committed to doing the best we can for the students we serve.

The immediate challenge will be to find out exactly how many students we are working with. Unlike many school districts, SD 60 continues to grow, and at a great rate. Many districts might see such growth as a good problem to have, but here, it is hard to predict whether growth will come where we can accommodate additional students or whether we will need to find creative and cooperative solutions to ensure that every student has a place.  

Similar challenges are faced in ensuring the district resources are deployed in an effective and sustainable manner. Measures like the new transportation registration fees are never popular, but they have been developed in coordination with ongoing efforts to secure new resources and funding and with measures that ensure existing resources are deployed wisely. As a result the district continues to operate from a sound financial foundation.

Over the course of the next ten months, there will be many exciting initiatives and events at schools right across the district. I look forward to sharing many of them in this blog, but also encourage everyone to connect with their local school. The closer your connection the better informed you will be, as teachers and staff bring new and exciting learning opportunities to our students. Welcome to a new school year with all its challenges and opportunities. Our district motto " Together We Learn" has never rung so true, and I truly look forward to bringing you many updates about "Education Matters!"