School Opening Video 2019 – Calgary Board of Education

Well good morning. Welcome, good morning. Please be seated. Maybe you can tell me your names and the grade you are in. My name is Zane and I’m in Grade 4. Thank you Zane. My name is Riwa and I’m in Grade 5. Excellent and nice to meet you both. Well this is your
second week of school so are you excited? very good
well I hear you have some important questions for me yeah
what would you like to know how did you become the chief superintendent well
thank you I was I started off as a teacher and I taught for several years
and then I became I was a ap assistant principal and then principal of
a secondary school and then became superintendent for a small area in
Toronto before I moved to Calgary last December as the chief superintendent
what do you do as a chief superintendent well I do a lot of things I get to visit
schools I get to visit you know meets employees across this the organization
to to listen and learn about what’s what’s happening in schools what’s
happening around the district to make sure that students are that we’re
meeting the needs of students and that you are experiencing success not just
only you but students like yourself across the district but I also attend a
lot of meetings meet with folks not only within CBE but also our partners whether
there are community members or organizations outside CBE so it’s very
exciting work how do you pronounce your name and where does it come from? Well that’s a very interesting question my last name
is pronounced OO-SEE and the origin of that name is African I was born in
Nigeria West Africa so that’s the origin of the name. Is it busy running the CBE? Yes it’s very busy we
have over 240 schools the CBE and don’t only do we have people working
schools but we also have people work in offices outside schools in different
units transportation It hr all the different units within the organization
so it’s a very busy place how many schools have you been to and what
have you seen? well I’ve been to close to 40 schools since I’ve arrived here
and of course the highlight of my day is visiting schools and I’ve you know I see
wonderful learning happening in our classrooms just as I saw at your school
today and I see a lot of adults working you know diligently to make sure that
students are successful do you have to work every day yes every day and not
just only weekdays sometimes even weekends just to make sure that you know
everything is is going well and but it’s it’s very exciting work it doesn’t feel
like work actually because I enjoy I so enjoy what I do What does it feel like to run the CBE? well it’s quite a big responsibility but
I don’t do it alone I get to do it with a lot of people staff both in schools
and in central offices so there are a lot of people in the in the districts
14,000 employees so I will work that I get to work with every day to make sure
that students like yourselves are successful. Do you have a boss? Well yes you know we have a
board of trustees there are seven trustees will make up the board and I
report to the Board of Trustees but generally you know not only to the
trustees but to parents and families you know so everyone is my boss. Thank you for
coming to Cappy Smart School this morning. Thank you for answering all of our questions and thank
you for those excellent questions have an amazing school year so you’ve been with the Calgary Board of
Education for about eight months now I’m wondering if you could tell us a bit
about what you think our greatest strengths sir well first of all thank
you Erin for having me here at your school that cappy smart school nice to
be here I think our greatest strengths quite frankly the people I mean we have
just incredible employees in our in our organization and whether I’m visiting
schools or workplaces across the across our district just really impressed with
the dedication and commitment of our staff so one of the biggest changes
you’ve made so far is the new school support model what’s gonna change with
this model and how is that gonna translate to more support for schools
well Erin I’m really excited about the school support model because again the
focus for us is making sure that each and every student in our district is
successful or experience greater success so the school support model is about
making sure that we maximize our resources in ways that benefit students
moving those resources to places where as the greatest impact so the first
thing we’ve done that I’m really excited about is making that shift to where
we’ve truly the reorganization that we’ve undertaken having more directors
working closely with principals and school teams to ensure greater success
so we’re bringing those supports closer to schools and by bringing those
supports closer to schools will be more responsive throughout the work that is
happening in schools recognizing that they the unit of change is a classroom
and school so our goal is to ensure that those supports are in place for our
students to be successful and ultimately the school support model is about
raising the bar for every student and certainly identifying those gaps
students who are not doing well and what those challenges are so that we can we
can close those gaps so the new school support model has
changed many of the roles and responsibilities of a lot of our senior
leaders I’m wondering how we’re going to measure the success of those changes
what we’ve asked schools to do is identify three goals a literacy goal
another goal in a program of study could be science or math or CTS and last but
not least are certainly a well-being goal because we recognize the
significance of well being not only for students but also for for staff we have
strong indicators of success measures of success in our district but we also
recognize that there are gaps and those part you know so schools again knowing your
students or knowing the students at each school looking at the evidence and the
data at each school schools are able to really focus you know in terms of where
those strengths are and where the gaps are based on the evidence
so equity is an important focus for yourself and for the board and we’ve
seen some short-term support so far and I’m wondering if you could shed some
light on what the long-term plan is as well well indeed the the equity
conversation is about again making sure that to build on the success that we
have at CBE equity doesn’t mean every student or every school being treated
the same way but rather that students have the supports that they need and the
resources that they need to be successful so so the equity conversation
is one that really aligns nicely with our goal at a CBE and that is success
for your students every day no exceptions given the continual
changing political climates and the continued funding shortfalls how are we
going to continue making sure that we’re finding success for all communities well
that’s that’s a very good question we know that there will never be a time
where we have enough funding to do everything we want to do so it really
means that we have to prioritize our school support model allows us again to
be really intentional and the work of improving outcomes for for students so
our limited resources focused on our priorities will allow us to address to
address the needs of the students in our in our schools across the city
classrooms are getting bigger and more complex and we’re trying to do more with
less I’m wondering how we’re going to be able to support students and staff
through these changes well Erin I recognize the increasing complexities in
in our classes and I in my school visits you know I’ve heard from from principals
and ApS and staff in general around those those are complexities I really
believe that the school leadership and school teams are in best position to to
identify those complexities or those challenges and to work closely with
their education directors and others not just only school staff but central staff
as well in identifying where those that the
those those needs are so that we can be be more intentional in the way we address those needs well thanks Chris for coming to Cappy Smart School and for
taking the time to answer our questions on behalf of the Board of Trustees I
would like to welcome everyone to another exciting year of teaching and
learning we are so fortunate to have dedicated and passionate people like you
working with our students each and every day we have put together a short video
to celebrate the many staff and students who make us glorious there are times when you might feel
aimless I can’t see the places where you belong but you will find that there is a
purpose it’s been there within you Allah and when you’re near it you can almost
hear it’s like symphony just keep listening and pretty soon
you’ll start to figure out your part everyone plays a piece days in each one of us it’s close and you will know how to let it ring now
a suit who you others around start to week in their rights it’s so amazing it’s like a symphony
just keep listening on your start
to figure yes each one of you failed it’s like a self just gave us start
to figure out you please and each one of

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