Division News

Division News

Welcome Message - Superintendent of Schools

Posted on September 5

Tansi, Edlanat’e, Hello!

It is my great pleasure to welcome everyone back for the 2018-2019 school year. We hope you had an enjoyable summer break. To our new families and staff, welcome to the Northland School Division (NSD) family.

Before discussing priorities for the new school year, I have to take you back to a historic moment for NSD. On October 16, 2017, parents and community members participated in elections for the first time since 2010 and a swearing-in ceremony for the newly elected Board of Trustees took place October 26th. Since then, the Board has hit the ground running to ensure students are strong in identity, healthy and successful. They have updated and established new policies; which includes our foundational statements. Policy 1- Foundational Statements includes our new vision statement “Our students love to come to school in Northland”.

The vision, along with our Outcomes Statements, support our commitment to inspire students to be the best they can be by providing outstanding holistic educational opportunities, with amazing staff and strong partnerships with families and communities. To ensure we fulfill our commitment, we are going to focus on division priorities aimed at increasing student success: numeracy and literacy, student attendance, wellness, and professional learning opportunities for staff. The Numeracy Working Group, which was established in 2017-2018, is working on drafting a kindergarten to grade 12 framework to help students understand mathematic concepts. In May 2017, we officially hired Don Tessier to specifically focus on student attendance. Hiring Tessier as Director of Student Engagement, Attendance and Completion, is part of NSD’s ‘Every Day Counts’ Attendance Improvement Operational Plan; which was approved by the Board on February 23, 2018.  

In an ongoing effort to improve wellness, we hired Family Wellness Workers for our school communities. Family Wellness Workers (FWW) are certified social workers who will be available to provide services to students and families in order to support emotional, behavioural and social wellbeing. To help NSD achieve Outcome #4 - NSD has excellent teachers, school leaders, and system leaders, we hired mentors to specifically support school leaders and teachers. These mentors also help to run our Aspiring Leaders Program; which launched in February 2018.

At NSD, it is critical parents and community members are involved in the education of students. One way to participate is becoming a school council member. Schools will be establishing school councils in September. Please contact your local school for more information. If you’re not able to participate in school council, that’s okay. Even just reading to your child goes a long way in helping them achieve their goals and dreams.

Thank you in advance for support and involvement. Your contributions will help NSD achieve its vision “Our students love to come to school in Northland.”

Yours in education,

Gord Atkinson
Superintendent of Schools