Can someone please tell me where April and May went? I can’t believe it, but I find myself suddenly in June, once again at the end of a school year, and wondering where the time has gone.  Interestingly, I’m hearing this from all corners as I make my way into schools and offices. I personally don’t think we are or have been any busier than in previous years. I do think, however, that there is a new concentrated focus on the way we teach and learn which has people excited and energized.  Of course, when you are excited about what you are doing, when your efforts have an obvious impact, time tends to go by very quickly.  As we wind down another highly successful year, I wanted to take an opportunity to share some thoughts, thanks and best wishes for the well-deserved summer break ahead.

Over the past few weeks, I’ve had some wonderful opportunities to sit in on and participate in some year-end discussion around collaborative inquiry. These projects that have resulted in engaged, progressing students and extremely enthusiastic teachers and support staff in both the elementary and secondary panels.   Those who were involved in these discussions were excited about their work and sharing their own learning to a degree I haven’t witnessed before.  I was encouraged by the inspirational ideas and results and have asked that we find a way to capture the learning that has taken place this year, so we can make sure our momentum is built upon in the coming years.

As you may be aware, we also began an enhanced focus on healthy, active living in our elementary schools this year.  I am very proud and pleased with initial feedback from our efforts this year.  We all know that physical and outdoor education are key components to student well-being and their ability to concentrate and focus on learning, and I look forward to continuing this work when we return in September.  We are moving into our last year of implementation for full day Kindergarten with continued plans in place to ensure a smooth transition for our youngest learners, including early intervention where it is needed thanks to established and continually evolving community partnerships.  We continue to explore and implement improved approaches to behaviour concerns in our schools, and I’m grateful for the opening of doors that happen both in our schools and with our partners who support our work. Collaborative Problem Solving this year has been an excellent avenue for us to engage with many of our community partners who are joining us in providing new intervention strategies to help students. These are just a few items from a very long list of projects and initiatives taking place throughout our board.  It’s no wonder the weeks and months slip by!

I know I speak for our senior administrators as well as our school board trustees when I say we are so grateful for all that our teachers and support staff do each and every day to ensure that every single student has the opportunity to be engaged and successful.   Without the high level of commitment I witness in our entire system, we would not be enjoying the success we do, and we would not be continuing to build public confidence in our system; something I believe is going to be of the utmost importance in the years ahead.

As always, this is the time of the year when I encourage everyone to take time to enjoy the upcoming summer with all that it has to offer. For many it will include vacation time, for others, a welcome opportunity to catch up and to prepare for next year. Whatever the break holds in store for you, I wish you the very best and offer my sincere thanks for your contributions over the past year.  Our collective impact can’t necessarily be measured, but I know TLDSB schools make a difference for so many, every single day.   All the best for a wonderful summer, and see you in September!

Larry Hope
Director of Education