Welcome to another school year!  I hope everyone has had an opportunity to recharge and we are all energized and ready to take on new challenges and opportunities.  The summer break is an opportunity for many of us to relax and enjoy time with family and friends, take a trip, or to pursue further learning or educational ventures.  Whatever it is you did this summer, I trust it was rewarding and all you hoped it would be.

As we start the journey into the 2014-15 school year together, I’d like to begin with some things I believe each and every one of our staff, parents, and community partners will need to think deeply about regarding the work we undertake on behalf of our students, their families, and our communities.  We all take our work in supporting students very seriously, but I sometimes wonder if some of the things we do out of habit and tradition are truly supporting our goals around student engagement and achievement, staff development and engagement, and parent and community engagement, or if we do them because we’ve always done them in a certain way.

There can be no doubt we are living in a rapidly changing world, and our students need us to be on the leading edge when it comes to our teaching practices, our assessment strategies, and the use of technology to support their learning.  There can also be no doubt that with rapid change comes uncertainty.  Uncertainty about whether we are doing the right things and whether we truly understand our learners and their needs.  I’m convinced that the next few years in education will be transformative ones; there’s a new vision of the future of education from our government, economies are being transformed, the world is demanding things from our young thinkers that many citizens never would have considered.  With transformation comes both challenge and opportunity, and as we move forward, we need to identify the challenges and seize the opportunities we encounter so we can continue to offer our students the very best educational experience possible.

There will be many, many possibilities that arise in TLDSB, and I look forward to finding ways of supporting creativity and innovation on the part of our staff and students alike.  I will be interested to hear about and to be a part of inspiring changes this year including the strengthening of partnerships that support our student achievement and well-being as well as grassroots solutions to issues like equity and poverty in our communities.

I wish each and every reader the very best for a successful and rewarding school year.

 

Larry Hope
Director of Education