October 28 Reflections…

I attended part of an intriguing iminds webinar over lunch to gain further insight into the issue of underage drinking and to find out what more we can be doing as a school.

The following were suggestions from the webinar:
*We increase risks to their safety and wellbeing when we disconnect students from school.
* It is important for us to continue to engage in a broad dialogue within our school and the community.
*Providing cross-disciplinary training within health sectors is important. it could be an annual event that provides training for schools, social workers, etc across disciplines.

It is evident that restorative practices benefit children. Keeping kids in school is preferable to a zero tolerance practice where kids are expelled immediately for getting caught under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Dr. Martin Brokenleg would refer to this practice as a reclaiming strategy. Either approach requires a clear policy in order to have a mandate to act upon.

Another community meeting will be held on Tuesday to discuss the issue, so expect to hear more about the path we take as a collective. We recognize that it takes village to address the issue.

We had an interesting and lengthy staff meeting about a number of topics. one item was a report on the results of the homework survey which was conducted last month. Parents made it clear that teachers know best when it comes to assigning homework and recognize its value in reinforcing learning. What they also said was that their children require support from teachers in making sure that students have homework written down including directions and what resources to use.

I’d like to see regular use of the agenda books to help students with organization and to help parents and teacher have a direct line of daily written communication. There are so many ways to use the agenda book besides as a way to record homework and notices. A suggestion was to have students reflect on their day as an exit activity. A thoughtful teacher can take a moment at some time during the course of a day to compose a good news note to parents. An initial would be all that it would take to ensure the note or comment was read and it can create an opportunity to recognize a child’s smallest effort or breakthrough. One keen teacher had her students bring their agenda books to Nuqai (small student advisory groups) to help them to better understand its use. I will be looking to see if the agenda books are being utilized as an organizing and communication tool and look forward to feedback.

I attended a potlatch on Friday and was overwhelmed by the dignity and respect that was evident in the events that took place. I honoured the request not to photograph any thing, but it is all imprinted in my memory.

In all, it has been a hectic weekend with a 7.7 earthquake and the tsunami advisory which had all the front row homes evacuated and earlier this evening the alarm went off at the school due to fireworks being too close to the ducts in the building… Hallowe’en will be the theme of the week! Have a good one everyone!

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