Division News

Division News

NSD taking steps to better prepare students for future careers

Posted on March 7

Photo courtesy of Denis Carnochan

Photo courtesy of Denis Carnochan

Northland School Division No. 61 (NSD) is taking steps to better prepare students for future careers. NSD is moving forward with a Learning and Technology Plan strategy to increase device to student ratio to 1:1. On March 1, 2018, NSD announced the device to student ratio at Mistassiniy School in Wabasca-Desmarais is 1:1.

“We are pleased that our school [Mistassiniy School] is a 1:1 Google Chromebook school,” said Shelly Hamelin, Principal, Mistassiniy School. “Each student and staff has a Google Chromebook to assist them in their learning and teaching journey. These devices not only help our students and teacher remain current with educational technology but it also allows us to be very creative in program design and course completion. We are all learning together with these new devices and this has been very exciting for all of us.”

“Going paperless in my classroom has led to increased work output by students, no lost assignments, the ability for students to work ahead and begin other assignments or use other applications,” says Leeanne Bowman, Teacher, Mistassiniy School. “Students who may be shy to respond in class are able to private message their teacher using Google Classroom and get feedback that way if they are stuck on a question. A student who has been ill has been able to email the teacher and get all the assignments emailed to him and has remained on pace with his classmates.”

A Chromebook is a laptop computer that runs on the Chrome operating system. They are versatile devices with Google Suite built in, which is used division-wide.  

“As a school division, we are striving to achieve the device to student ratio 1:1,” said Gord Atkinson, Superintendent of Schools. “Technology plays an important role in how students achieve learning competencies such as critical thinking, problem-solving, managing information, creativity and innovation, communication, collaboration, cultural and global citizenship and personal growth and well-being. At the same time, we have to ensure students use technology safely and effectively. We have to find the right balance between devices and the benefits of students participating in land-based education and learning about Indigenous language and culture. I encourage parents to learn more about the technology their child and/or children are using and to participate in student learning.”

Technology integration is also helping NSD improve communication with parents:

  • launched School Messenger to send notifications to parents and guardians for emergencies, student attendance and other event taking place in schools or across NSD,
  • purchased myBlueprint to support students with career planning,
  • preparing to launch an online portal so parents can view student marks and attendance, and
  • piloting a new report card system.

 “We encourage parents and guardians to take advantage of the online tools available,” said Atkinson. Parents and guardians can contact the school for more information about School Messenger and myBlueprint. NSD will have more information about the new report card system and the online portal when it becomes available.”