Category Archives: Learning Together

Dot Day

Thanks to Ms. Mott our Teacher-Librarian for this announcement:

On Monday September 15, 2014, our school will host a special event for our first school assembly: Dot Day. As you might know, Monday September 15th is International Dot Day.  This is a day organized by Peter Reynolds, author and illustrator of The Dot and …ish.  Dot Day is dedicated to celebrating the unique gifts within each of us, and encourages people to explore their creativity and to make their mark on the world.

To add to the fun, we are encouraging everyone to wear something with polka dots on this special day of celebration. Let’s show our RMPS spirit Monday morning.

Thanks to Ms. Mott and Ms. Fortnum for organizing this event.

Modes of Learning

Used with permission under Creative Commons

Used with permission under Creative Commons

This week, a number of our staff are participating in our board’s professional learning conference called Great Beginnings. The annual learning opportunity takes place over four days in August and is facilitated by YRDSB staff. Sessions are grade or subject specific and cover K-12. It is indeed, a great way to begin to think about…beginnings this September.

Many of our staff are also taking courses that lead to additional qualifications or certification including: workshops, online courses, conferences, Additional Qualification courses and training sessions. Lots of our staff enjoy reading also as a means of professional development that includes: professional books, magazines, publications from professional organizations, and scholarly articles. Many of our staff use online opportunities for learning including: websites, blogs, twitter, professional learning teams and e-learning modules. Finally, many of our staff participate in face-to-face learning opportunities such as workshops, book studies, learning networks, traveling and even visiting host schools or classrooms.

I thank the staff who are participating in professional learning this summer in preparation for the coming school year. The various way our staff engage in learning reminds us of the various modes of learning available to our students. Please let us know if you have enjoyed some learning this summer.

Building Capacity, Learning Together

normsOur Board’s Early Years Learning Strategy contains this important tenet of “Building Capacity, Learning Together”.

As a board, we believe that “if all individuals supporting children and families have the knowledge, skills and attitudes required to meet the diverse strengths, needs and interests of each child then children will experience growth, success and well-being”.

This tenet will be a focus of our school’s learning next year for sure, but it has also been important over the past few months. As a new school staff coming together, we look for opportunities for us all to share in the learning together. Part of our work is getting to know “us” as a team and what strengths we each bring to the school as a whole.

I want to thank the staff who have already volunteered their time and demonstrated their commitment to learning together, specifically:

– sharing and facilitating our Family Engagement Evening in April.

– planning, organizing and facilitating our Welcome to Kindergarten Evening.

– participating in a “Vendor’s Fair” in May that allowed us to look at potential resources for our school and meet as a staff.

– participating in collaborative planning through online surveys and a virtual workspace through a Google Site.

– dialoguing together as staff both formally and informally.

At the end of June, we also met as a whole staff to begin planning for next September. During the meeting, we explored the Early Years Strategy, dialogued about our collective work and also considered norms for our work next year. From that discussion several themes emerged: collaboration, partnerships, safe and supportive learning environments and an understanding that all students can succeed given the right time and supports. This dialogue mirrored our discussions throughout the spring in many ways. Ultimately, our work is to support everyone in learning together collaboratively.

I am really excited about the staff who will launch our school year this September. Our team will be made up of caretakers, Educational Assistants, teachers, Designated Early Childhood Educators, office staff and Lunchtime School Assistants. Over time, we will also be joined by board professionals such as Speech and Language Pathologists, who will work with us to support student achievement and well being.

I look forward to us building capacity together in our work to support all of our learners.

Here’s to learning, together.

Mr. Collins