GYPSD news

The McLeod River Post - - Education matters -

May 16 meet­ing

Rep­re­sen­ta­tives from the Ed­son Early Child­hood Mat­ters’ Coali­tion gave a pre­sen­ta­tion to the board on the 2016 com­mu­nity pro­file re­sults col­lected from the Early Devel­op­ment In­stru­ment, a tool used to as­sess chil­dren’s lev­els of devel­op­ment in their pre-school years.

• Trus­tees were very pleased to hear about the re­cent stu­dent en­gage­ment ac­tiv­i­ties and events that GYPSD youth par­tic­i­pated in over the last school year. Dur­ing the 2017-2018 school year, GYPSD be­gan an ini­tia­tive that specif­i­cally fo­cused on ‘stu­dent voice’. The ini­tia­tive fo­cused on three key pieces: MiniYouth Sym­po­siums held at GYPSD mid­dle schools, a di­vi­sion-wide Youth Sym­po­sium, and the cre­ation of a Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth

Coun­cil, with stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives from all five high schools and the di­vi­sion’s out­reach school, The Learn­ing Con­nec­tion.

• Each mini-sym­po­sium in­volved 30 stu­dents from the five mid­dle schools who fo­cused their ef­forts on de­vel­op­ing ideas to im­prove their schools based on data from a stu­dent sur­vey con­ducted ear­lier that this year. Stu­dent rep­re­sen­ta­tives from these min­isym­po­siums then at­tended a di­vi­sion-wide Youth Sym­po­sium on April 24, 2018, in Hin­ton. Stu­dents spent the day work­ing with stu­dents on the Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth Coun­cil and School Health Cham­pion fa­cil­i­ta­tors, to de­ter­mine and plan the spe­cific ac­tions that stu­dents will com­plete to im­prove their schools this year, and for the 2018 2019 school year. Many of the trus­tees were also present for the Youth Sym­po­sium and were ex­cited to watch the high level of en­gage­ment and en­thu­si­asm shown by the youth.

• The high­light of this year’s stu­dent en­gage­ment ini­tia­tive was the cre­ation of a Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth Coun­cil and the numer­ous ac­tiv­i­ties that the group took on to de­velop their in­di­vid­ual lead­er­ship skills, as well as the op­por­tu­ni­ties they each had to share their voice on is­sues around ed­u­ca­tion. The Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth Coun­cil was com­prised of 30 youth from Grades 9-12. In ad­di­tion to work­ing to­gether on the var­i­ous sym­po­siums and meet­ing three times this school year to share their voice on their schools, a spe­cific email ad­dress was also cre­ated to fos­ter con­tin­ued con­ver­sa­tion and di­a­logue Mon­day, May 7, 2018 be­tween the Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth Coun­cil mem­ber­sand Carolyn Lewis, Su­per­in­ten­dent of Schools. Su­per­in­ten­dent Lewis met with the Coun­cil first through a Google hang-out in the Fall, and then spent a valu­able af­ter­noon in March of 2018 with the Coun­cil in per­son. “I was thor­oughly im­pressed with the level of en­gage­ment and pas­sion our youth have when shar­ing their voice about ed­u­ca­tion and how the di­vi­sion can help them meet their needs,” she noted. “Their lead­er­ship and depth of in­sight was in­cred­i­bly valu­able, and I will con­tinue to seek op­por­tu­ni­ties to en­sure that our stu­dents have the abil­ity to be heard.”

• In ad­di­tion to par­tic­i­pat­ing in many in­ter­nal events, each of the Youth Coun­cil mem­bers were in­vited to put for­ward their names for in­ter­est in at­tend­ing var­i­ous ex­ter­nal learn­ing op­por­tu­ni­ties. These en­gage­ment ses­sions in­cluded at­ten­dance at a week-long con­fer­ence, ‘En­coun­ters with Canada, and stay­ing at the Terry Fox Youth Cen­tre in Ottawa; be­ing a “Mr. Speaker’s MLA for a Day at the Al­berta Leg­is­la­ture, and re­ceiv­ing a spe­cial in­vi­ta­tion to at­tend the Fall and Spring Pub­lic School Boards’ As­so­ci­a­tion meet­ings in both Ed­mon­ton and Red Deer, with the GYPSD Board of Trus­tees. Carra Aschen­meier, Su­per­vi­sor of Men­tor­ship and As­sess­ment, was the lead co­or­di­na­tor with the Stu­dent En­gage­ment Ini­tia­tive this year. “The Su­per­in­ten­dent’s Youth Coun­cil played a crit­i­cal role in pro­vid­ing their voice and build­ing pos­i­tive work­ing re­la­tion­ships within GYPSD. The Coun­cil Youth were sup­ported in their lead­er­ship devel­op­ment as fa­cil­i­ta­tors, and ac­tively en­gaged with var­i­ous ed­u­ca­tion stake­hold­ers this year. I was very for­tu­nate to have worked with these in­spi­ra­tional youth and the shar­ing of their valu­able per­spec­tives.”

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