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Superintendent Kevin Gietz has served as Superintendent of Palliser Regional Schools since 2007. For more on him and his approach to education, click here.
His messages are published monthly throughout the school year.
Mr. Gietz invites you to contact him with questions or comments and he thanks you for taking the time to learn more about Palliser Regional Schools.
Palliser Regional Schools Updates
Posted on September 8th, 2015
Welcome back to a new school year!
This year Palliser Regional Schools is committed to continuing our literacy journey, as reflected in our continued theme “Leadership in Literacy.”
How we support students to achieve literacy and the critical thinking skills they need is a complex recipe, and each of us — students, parents, teachers, support staff — can contribute key ingredients to the mix. Identifying those key factors of success was the focus of two important conversations in our division over the past few years. The first was “A Community Conversation,” held in May 2012, when students, parents, staff and others gathered for Palliser’s first division-wide stakeholder meeting. The follow-up, “A Community Conversation 2015,” was held in May.
Over the course a very short and productive afternoon, we talked in small table groups, sharing experiences and ideas from our own schools and communities. We had students at almost every table sharing their insights. We had representation from every corner of our large and unique division.
As a starting point we reviewed the factors of success identified by participants in the 2012 session. None of those factors, participants told us, were any less vital in 2015. One glaring omission was identified — leadership. One suggestion was that all the factors of success are so interconnected and interdependent that they should be displayed as a web, rather than a list. (You can download the final report at http://www.pallisersd.ab.ca/download/34404.)
Interestingly, Palliser already has such a web. We call it our Effectiveness Model. Through concentric circles, we reflect expectations for students, teachers, principals and myself, as Superintendent. The outer ring is the Board of Trustees and their role in establishing vision, policies and a culture of accountability.
The document is rich with information, drawing from Board policy, the ministerial order on student learning, teaching quality standards and decades of Effective Schools research. While not every employee group is represented by name, every person in Palliser should see their role reflected in the circles, as either directly supportive of the teacher and/or principal or part of the organizational leadership that keeps our school system functioning in support of our students.
Parents should also be reassured at the significance of community relationships and partnerships between home, school and community at all levels that is critical to student success.
Working together this year, we will support every student to the highest level of success possible. There’s room for everyone in Palliser. Find yourself on our Effectiveness Model (http://www.pallisersd.ab.ca/download/17560) and let’s provide that supportive web for all of our students.
Kevin Gietz, Superintendent
Palliser Regional Schools