REGINA – Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools and Central Urban Métis Federation Inc., in collaboration with Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan Urban Native Teacher Education Program and Gabriel Dumont Institute, have received the 2020 Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education for the submission of “Marrsî ôma kici kâmiyin – The St. Michael Métis School of Excellence”.
The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) co-ordinates the Premier’s Award each year. The award was presented on behalf of Premier Scott Moe during the SSBA’s virtual Annual General Assembly on Thursday.
“The Government of Saskatchewan is proud to recognize our province’s great leaders in education,” Minister of Education Dustin Duncan said on behalf of Premier Scott Moe. “This award is presented to the boards of education which exemplify education innovation and student achievement, and our boards have exceeded all expectations. Due to Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools’ ingenuity and collaborative work, they have earned this year’s distinction.”
In its application for the award, Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools said the Métis School of Excellence “represents the commitment of the Board to collaborate with Métis families and organizations to adapt the division to the needs and aspirations of the Métis community so that all students enjoy the richness of Métis history and culture, and so that Métis students achieve their full God-given potential.”
“The partnerships that make Métis programming at St. Michael Community School possible really breathe a vibrancy into the school,” said Diane Boyko, Board of Education Chair at Greater Saskatoon Catholic Schools. “The school has become a hub of activity, not only for learning, but for a wide variety of cultural and community activities. There’s a sense of excitement around things like learning Michif, fiddling and jigging, that has translated into interest and enthusiasm in other areas of learning. We really think this model of community education has been, and will continue to be successful for students, staff and families. When we’re able, we look forward to celebrating with our partners and the entire community in true Métis style.”
The $3,000 award has been sponsored by Xerox Canada since its development in 1999. The award recipient is recommended by a panel of education sector partners. Xerox is pleased to continue the long-standing partnership with the Saskatchewan School Boards Association through the sponsorship of the Premier’s Award for Innovation and Excellence in Education.
“In a year unlike any other, innovation has been at the forefront in all we do. For our part, we strive to support the many virtual students and educators across Canada through the introduction of new tools designed to help individuals and groups effectively share and communicate information. We look forward to learning more about the innovation worthy of this prestigious award,” said Karl Boissonneault, VP Xerox Channel Unit.
To view a video about the award recipients, please visit: https://youtu.be/UkkGYw3E-tU.
A Message from Saskatchewan’s Education Partners
Education sector organizations in Saskatchewan have joined together to ask all communities to do their part in following the recommended health measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19 and help keep our schools safe. We have heard the calls to action from health officials, medical experts and doctors – we all must do our part.
School divisions in Saskatchewan started the school year, and have continued, with an abundance of caution – for good reason. Teachers, support staff, boards and administration, bus drivers, custodial and facilities staff, along with the support of students and families, have been working tirelessly to follow the public health guidelines, including: creating cohorts, reducing transitions, limiting extra-curricular activities, increasing cleaning measures and hand washing, and wearing masks. We do all of this because our priority is to provide a safe learning environment.
With increasing rates of community spread and rising cases throughout the province, we do not want our schools to have to close again. We all need to do our part to ensure we have safe and healthy communities that support and wrap around the staff and students in our schools.
Together we can reduce the spread – let’s all do our part to keep Saskatchewan schools safe!
Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA President
Domenic Scuglia, LEADS President
Sherry Todosichuk, SASBO President
Education sector partners:
Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) https://saskschoolboards.ca/
League of Educational Administrators, Directors & Superintendents (LEADS) https://saskleads.ca/
Saskatchewan Association of School Business Officials (SASBO) https://sasbo.com/
REGINA – The Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA) congratulated the Saskatchewan Party and Premier Scott Moe on their re-election, welcomed Minister Dustin Duncan to the Education portfolio and thanked outgoing Minister of Education Gordon Wyant, following the recent provincial election and cabinet announcement.
“We thank Minister Wyant for his service in our sector,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA President. “We wish him all the best in his new role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General.”
Davidson also congratulated and welcomed incoming Minister Duncan.
“We look forward to working with Minister Duncan to advance the important efforts happening to support our province’s students,” said Davidson. “The SSBA and its member boards believe all students should have the resources they need to succeed and achieve, regardless of where they live in the province or their personal circumstances.”
The SSBA is continuing to call for Innovation, Inclusion and Investment in the education system. Davidson also highlighted the important work happening in the pandemic context through the sector’s Response Planning Team and encouraged support for this ongoing, collaborative work.
Davidson said he also looks forward to continuing to work with Premier Moe.
One important connection between the SSBA and the premier’s office is the annual Premier’s Board of Education Award for Innovation and Excellence. Since 1999, premiers of Saskatchewan have given their support for the award, which recognizes educational innovations and improvements focused on student achievement that have been advanced or directed by boards of education.
Premier Moe and Minister Duncan have been invited to meet with school board members during the SSBA’s upcoming virtual Annual General Meeting. Davidson said he hopes they will take the opportunity to engage and establish relationships.
REGINA – To raise awareness and engagement in local democracy, Local Government Week has again been officially proclaimed in the province of Saskatchewan, for the week of Nov. 9 to Nov. 15.
“School boards are locally elected to bring community voice to publicly funded education,” said SSBA President Dr. Shawn Davidson. “Local Government Week helps to highlight the importance of grassroots-level decision-making. The work of local governments affects the lives of Saskatchewan residents every day. Locally elected governments represent the voices of the people they serve and provide connections and accountability to their communities.”
This year, Saskatchewan’s municipal and school board elections take place on the first day of Local Government Week – Monday, Nov. 9. Residents throughout the province are encouraged to participate by voting.
Local Government Week is a partnership between the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, Métis Nation – Saskatchewan, Municipalities of Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Association of Rural Municipalities and the Saskatchewan School Boards Association.
As part of Local Government Week, the partners are offering a free virtual session for residents interested in learning more about local governments in Saskatchewan. On Thursday, Nov. 12 at 6:30 p.m., the public is invited to join elected representatives for an open forum webinar where they can ask questions. Those interested can learn more and register online at tinyurl.com/sklocalgovernment.
This is the third year that Local Government Week has been proclaimed. The call to recognize the week with a provincial proclamation emerged through discussions between the partner organizations as an excellent opportunity to recognize and raise awareness about systems of local governance.
Saskatchewan’s provincial election is on Oct. 26. The Saskatchewan School Boards Association represents all 27 school boards in the province. With this open letter, we are sharing our priorities for the future of education and seeking the views of those who are running for office.
First, in these exceptional times, we want to emphasize that health, safety and wellbeing are absolute priorities for boards during the pandemic and going forward. We also know that education is the best long-term investment we can make for our province and our economy.
School boards are locally elected to bring forth the local voices of their communities. Our role is to consider all the factors needed for a properly resourced classroom. Looking ahead, we have identified three priority areas for education: Innovation, Inclusion and Investment.
Innovation is about navigating technology and using new practices. We need to make sure our curriculum and resources are based on the best ideas available and centered on our students.
Inclusion is about people and relationships. We need our schools to be welcoming and engaging. We need to keep committing to reconciliation. We need to support local decision-making.
Investment is about resources and working together. We need sufficient and stable funding. We need a team effort to set education property tax rates and to provide supports to our students.
We encourage you to ask candidates what their priorities are for education. What does innovation look like to them? What does inclusive education mean to them? And what investment do they think is required to ensure success for all students? Do they support strengthening partnerships and respecting the role of locally elected school boards?
We also invite you to share the priorities you have for education.
Dr. Shawn Davidson
REGINA – Joining with communities across the country, schools throughout the province will again be officially recognizing “Orange Shirt Day” on Wednesday, Sept. 30, as requested annually by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
“The SSBA, on behalf of our 27 member boards of education, are encouraging school communities, and all residents of the province, to participate in Orange Shirt Day by wearing orange and taking the time to reflect on residential schools this Wednesday,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, SSBA president.
“This special day that we recognize each year represents an opportunity for each one of us to think about residential schools, expand our understanding of this history and commit to growing together through education toward reconciliation,” Davidson added.
Orange Shirt Day is part of a larger movement in the country to provide opportunity to unite in a spirit of reconciliation and hope for future generations. The movement is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration event held in B.C. in 2013, emerging out of the account of a young girl having her new orange shirt taken away on her first day of school.
The day was first proclaimed in Saskatchewan in 2016, in response to a resolution passed by the province’s trustees at the SSBA Spring General Assembly. The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims the day each year at the SSBA’s request.
“Orange Shirt Day is an important opportunity to learn more about the history of the residential school experience and its impacts,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “Participating in Orange Shirt Day provides a chance to bring schools and communities together on a shared path toward reconciliation.”
REGINA – As students begin returning to school, Tuesday, Sept. 8 has been officially proclaimed “Provincial Students’ Day” in Saskatchewan, as requested annually by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association (SSBA).
“We know pandemic-related safety is top-of-mind in our communities as school resumes this fall under unprecedented circumstances,” said Dr. Shawn Davidson, president of the SSBA.
“We also know that school zones might look different this year, with, in some communities, families being encouraged to transport their children and the possibility of staggered drop-off times. With those factors in mind, we think it’s important as-ever to issue a reminder about school-zone safety. We are encouraging all Saskatchewan communities to pay close attention as our roads, walkways and school zones get busier with returning students and staff,” Davidson continued.
Provincial Students’ Day was first proclaimed in 2010, in response to a resolution passed by the province’s trustees at the SSBA 2009 Annual General Meeting. It is usually proclaimed on the first Tuesday of September. This year, it was moved to coincide with the change in school-year start.
The day has always been focused on helping ensure safety is the primary consideration for students, families and communities, and especially for motorists who will be driving in and around school zones. The Government of Saskatchewan proclaims the day each year at the SSBA’s request, with the intent of reinforcing the message of care and concern for students going to and from school.
“The safety of our students and school staff continues to be paramount during these challenging times, both in the classroom and as our students come to and from school,” Deputy Premier and Education Minister Gordon Wyant said. “School zones will have increased activity so we ask all drivers to remain cautious.”