Category Archives: Staff professional learning

3 months

aug26It has been 3 months since our launch on September 2, 2014.

Can you believe it?

Now is a perfect time to celebrate the work we have accomplished collectively, including:

Coming back to school in a brand new building.

– Developing classroom programs for our learners.

Developing spaces for learning in our school.

Establishing our first school council.

Building collaborative culture with all of us.

Working with our families in partnerships.

Welcoming our youngest learners in our Full Day Kindergarten program

Opening our Discovery Hub

– Beginning various committees including: Healthy Schools, EcoSchools and Parent Engagement

Meeting our wonderful team

– Celebrating special events like Dot Day and Take Me Outside.

You can see even more examples of our work through our school twitter feed.

3 short months that have helped to create many memories.

December is a wonderful month for us to give thanks for all we have and we have much to be thankful for.

We look forward to the final 3 weeks of school in 2014.

Mr. Collins




Professional Learning


A professional learning space that has been developed by our Teacher-Librarian Ms. Mott for our Professional Learning Teams.

We sometimes think of learning as “something that students do”. This week, I also want to share some of the professional learning our staff engages in at our school. The scope of that learning is wide.

We use our P.A Days to also look at our School Improvement Plan (SIP). Our plan complements the Board Improvement Plan developed each year. This year our plan will have four main areas:

  • Learning and Teaching
  • Environment, Engagement and Well Being
  • Equity and Inclusivity
  • Building Leadership Capacity and Succession Planning

Today, staff members from various school committees shared their initial planning and work that has been achieved. These committees included: Eco Schools, Healthy Schools, Parent Engagement and Safe & Supportive Schools. Each of these committees work under the umbrella of Positive Climates for Learning in our school. This work represents additional time staff devote beyond their instructional programs to support student achievement and well being. We look forward to sharing more of our work on our School Improvement Plan at our November 6th School Council Meeting.

Last week, our school also launched it’s Professional Learning Teams. This year we have committed to job embedded learning opportunities for teams of staff to work through collaborative inquiries on student learning. Our work has focused on student learning needs that we started to discuss at our September P.A Day. We meet in grade teams that also include our Teacher-Librarian, Special Education Resource Teachers and myself as principal. We have made a commitment to meet early in the year, learn, implement our learning and thinking in our classrooms and then reconvene 6-8 weeks later to monitor our work. We work through a cycle of determining student learning needs, planning, teaching, assessing, evaluating student progress and monitoring our overall results. So far the sessions so have provided rich dialogue and planning.

I appreciate the staff’s commitment to building professional learning communities at our school.

Mr. Collins



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.