Welcome Message - Superintendent of Schools/CEO
Posted on September 6
Tansi, Edlánat’e, Hello students, parents, guardians, staff, and community members.
Welcome back to another school year! I hope you had a safe and enjoyable summer. To our new families and staff, welcome to Northland School Division.
As you know, the last two and a half years have been challenging due to COVID-19. While things have returned to some level of normalcy, Northland School Division will continue to have important health and safety strategies in place for students, staff, and visitors. Strategies include:
- Promoting the importance of proper hygiene. For example, washing hands and using hand sanitizer provided by Northland School Division.
- Intensive cleaning protocols in all schools and facilities.
- Visitors sign in upon arrival and sign out before leaving.
Choice in Learning
One of the things we will continue to do is offer families a choice between in-school learning and an online school. For families interested in online education, parents and guardians can register their students to attend Northland Online School. We believe the more flexibility and choice we can provide for NSD students, the better chance they’ll achieve success and achieve their goals and dreams. The online school has been a tremendous success. 69 Kindergarten to Grade 9 students enrolled with Northland Online School in 2021-2022. Grade 10 students are now able to attend Northland Online School this year! Visit the school’s website to learn more www.northlandonlineschool.ca.
Literacy and Numeracy
Literacy is an important learning foundation for student learning. Northland is continuing to focus on the division-wide learning approach that focuses on language comprehension and word recognition. Schools have developed goals and plans for how they will work with families to support these literacy focus areas.
For numeracy, Northland is involved in a partnership with the University of Calgary’s Werklund School of Education. As a result of this partnership, Northland educators have been learning well researched practices to help students in grades 1-8 better understand math, using the program Jump Math and the teaching practices covered in Math Minds. The professional learning of staff is delivered by one of the top Mathematicians in Western Canada! We are very lucky to have this level of expertise working with our teachers.
More opportunities for High School students
I am excited to share that Northland has developed a common high school calendar for the 2022-2023 school year. This will allow students in any Northland school to take courses offered in other schools by attending the class virtually. To support a high school student's path toward post-secondary education, they are able to take dual credit courses. In 2021, Northland and MacEwan University signed a five-year agreement that gives students access to dual credit courses. Once again this year, students will be able to take the following courses:
- PSSC 112 - Policing in Canada
- PSSC 121 - Law and the Administration of Justice
- TAST 101 - Child and Adolescent Development
- Indigenous Studies 100/ Aboriginal Studies 30
Last year, students who took the dual credit courses earned 60 university credits and 86 high school credits! Northland is working towards developing even more exciting courses for high school students. We will provide updates when the course offerings are finalized.
More exciting learning with TELUS World of Science - Edmonton
Another exciting partnership NSD has is with the TELUS World of Science - Edmonton. Since the beginning of our relationship with TELUS World of Science, NSD teachers have been able to learn innovative ways to deliver science-related topics into the classroom environment. In addition, the Science in Motion team organizes science-themed events exclusively for NSD. Last year, 1547 students participated in 13 TELUS World of Science - Edmonton events! These events have enhanced the science experience and improved student engagement.
NSD launched a new brand identity
As mentioned by Board Chair Robin Guild, Northland officially unveiled a new look on September 1, 2022. This is an exciting time for the school division. As Northland has engaged in new programs, partnerships, and opportunities for both students and staff, it was felt that we needed to update our logo. I was excited to see the level of enthusiasm from the communities in designing the new logo. It was only fitting that the new logo was designed by a former Northland grad, Regan Auger!
We will be launching a new online store very soon. Students, parents, and community members will be able to order clothing with the new Northland logo.
Welcome back, everyone! Thank you for your continued support. Have a great school year!
Dr. Nancy Spencer-Poitras
Superintendent of Schools/CEO
Northland School Division