Superintendent's Message October 2014
This verse in scripture is a wonderful statement of our theme for the year, Life of Grace… Journey of Shalom. Psalm 119 speaks beautifully to our relationship with God and the richness and well-being that can be found in living His Word. We can imagine Jesus walking our journey alongside us, giving us strength when the path becomes challenging.
Edmonton Catholic Schools is off to a great start this year. Our September 8 enrollment count shows an increase of 1,600 students over last year. We are thrilled that the parents of 38,902 students have chosen to enjoy the fullness of Catholic education with us.
Through our professional development model, Transform: Engaging in Christ-Centred Learning for Today and Tomorrow, all staff are taking part in four district-wide professional learning afternoons. On our first afternoon (September 25th), some sessions were led by teachers about topics such as reporting and assessment practices and creating flexible learning environments. We also had sessions led by outside presenters. Dale Skoreyko shared balanced assessment practices with 15 teachers from each of our 10 high schools, and Michael Furdyk presented on the benefits of accessing social media (e.g., video conferences) about issues of importance to youth through a non-profit organization, TakingITGlobal. We are very excited about our Transform professional learning opportunities!
Ongoing faith formation and professional development are extremely important to us. On the afternoon of October 30, all of our teaching staff will engage in a session entitled I am a Catholic Educator. The goal of this afternoon is to allow teachers to continue to grow in their ability to permeate our faith through all aspects of curriculum. This afternoon is one of four opportunities that we have each year to explore our faith more deeply as the ECS community.
Did you know that you can install Microsoft Office on up to 5 computers at no cost through ECSD's Microsoft Office 365 student accounts? To install the latest version of Microsoft Office onto up to 5 personal Windows or Mac PCs at no cost, have your child log into Office 365 'My Mail' at http://school.ecsd.net . Once logged in, click the gear in the upper right corner, select "Office 365 Settings", and on the settings page select "Software".
In 1994, UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization, declared that October 5 of each year would be World Teachers' Day. The intent of the day is to draw attention to the issues surrounding teachers and to highlight the importance of their vital role to society globally. The theme this year is Invest in the Future, Invest in Teachers. You can learn more at http://www.worldteachersday.org/map/index.php/page/index/1.
There are many ways that you can get the most up to date information about what is going on in Edmonton Catholic Schools. You can visit us at www.ecsd.net, follow us on Twitter, subscribe to us on YouTube, and like us on Facebook. Please visit my blog at https://www.ecsd.net/Blog/default.aspx for frequent updates on life in our District.
In closing, I would like to share with you a Tweet from Pope Francis that speaks to us of living Shalom. "It is by God's mercy that we are saved. May we never tire of spreading this joyful message to the world." This is truly, our calling as Catholic educators! Wishing you a great year ahead!