Blog Posts

January 3, 2023

Three Wishes for 2023

It has been my practice for the last few Januarys to make predictions about possible changes in the K-12 sector. This practice goes back as far as 2015 when I highlighted the top ten issues facing our education system and some things to watch for as we sought to transform it.

December 13, 2022

Conversation, Awareness, Transformation

Student success is a focus of the Abbotsford School District. The desire for student success permeates through all levels, from senior management to building administrators, classroom and support teachers, education assistants, and students. At Abbotsford Traditional School (ATS), we have a reputation for preparing our students for the expectations and rigours of university–academic student success. This is one kind of student success. Another kind of student success is accomplishing academic achievement in parallel to student well-being.

December 13, 2022

Pausing for Gratitude

Many of you will know that I am a big football fan, (and an especially big Raider fan). The inspiration for my post this week does not come from Raider Nation, but from the Seattle Seahawks quarterback Geno Smith. If you follow the Seahawks, you will know that their Super Bowl winning quarterback, Russel Wilson was traded away and that most pundits thought that with back-up quarterback Smith at the helm, the team would be lucky to win half of their games this year.

November 24, 2022

Rick Hansen Street Data: Supporting Staff Mental Health and Wellness Through Inquiry

The teaching and support staff at Rick Hansen are actively pursuing their commitment to student achievement and understand that getting a pulse on the mindset of the current teaching climate is an essential factor in this pursuit. As every teacher in our school community is trained in Inquiry-Based Learning, they know that IBL is the best vehicle to not only hear from as many of their colleagues as possible but also to create in-house ideas, strategies, and solutions for everyone can buy into.

November 24, 2022

Celebrating Student Leadership

I had the pleasure this week of meeting with around fifty of Yale Secondary’s Leadership 12 students. They are an amazing and diverse group of go-getters who help to make their school and community better through service. In addition to the work they do, they are also curious about leadership and routinely invite leaders from various parts of the community to talk about their roles and perspectives on leadership. This week I was the invited guest. Among the things they wanted to learn more about were my background, how I became superintendent, as well as the joys and challenges of the job.

November 8, 2022

Building School Culture Through the Lens of Equity, Anti-Bias and Anti-Racism

Two months into our new school year, we are well underway in intentionally making Yale a more equitable, culturally inclusive, and responsive school through the lens of equity, anti-bias, and anti-racism. As we listen to our students, one thing that they keep telling us is that they value positive relationships with Yale staff. Our students want to belong to a school community where staff know their students, and where every person’s individuality is acknowledged and respected.

November 8, 2022

In Remembrance

Many of you will know that I am a student of the World Wars, and that over the years I have written about the profound respect I have for our veterans who have put their lives on the line for the cause of freedom. As a teacher I carefully curated stories for my students about pivotal battles and Canadian heroes who helped to pave the way for the freedoms we sometimes take for granted. It was always a treat to welcome veterans into my classroom, and students always came away with a greater appreciation for the courageous lives of our service men and women, as well as the horrors of war.

October 14, 2022

Bakerview Centre for Learning’s Lets’emo:t program

When asked to reflect on a classroom, most of us will envision rows of desks facing a blackboard where a teacher stands. For decades, this image represents the learning space for millions of students and yet excludes how we learn naturally and daily in non-school environments. True knowing and understanding mean being able to transfer knowledge from one setting to another.

October 14, 2022

Shadow a Student

As part of my personal inquiry into the student experience in our district, I have met with groups of students from each of our high schools over each of the last few years. Generally, I have asked our school leaders to ensure that the student group is diverse and represents a range in ages, gender, abilities, race and gender identities, etc. In a large high school, it is not difficult to get a diverse group, but I suspect it challenging to get a truly representative group of students who together can paint a fulsome picture of the student experience for me and the administration of their s