It is hard to believe Winter Break is almost upon us. Friday, December 20, 2013 marks the first day of Winter Break and classes resume at all district schools on Monday, January 6, 2014.

Changes in the season and the start of a New Year bring on a time of reflection for many of us. As I look back to our recent educational journey, I am grateful that I live and work in a caring community where we embrace multiage learning opportunities and the concept of “Learning for All”. It is with great excitement that I look forward to planning for the future with our students, staff, parents, and community.

Our annual District Retreat has been scheduled for Friday, March 7, 2014. This year we have decided to try a different format for the event in order to allow for and to encourage the participation of many more individuals. Our 2014 Retreat will be held on a non-instructional Friday so all employees have the opportunity to take part if they choose to do so. Invitations to the Retreat will also be extended on behalf of the Board asking for student, parent and community representation. We will be focussing on Transforming Curriculum & Assessment at the Retreat…for a sneak preview of our “where to next conversation” check out:

On April 3 & 4, 2014, School District 64 will be hosting Regional Positive Support Training on Salt Spring Island. Additional information about this initiative will be circulated in January 2014. However, I thought many of you might want to mark your calendars now for this local opportunity. In addition, planning has commenced for our May 9, 2014 District Planning Day. The first draft of the plan for this school year is a focus on collaboration district-wide in the morning and on individual school plans in the afternoon.

I would like to thank you for the rich learning conversations we continue to have in School District 64 in your schools and at district meetings. The “Class, School & District Review Process” is now in year two and is continuing to evolve in support of all of our students and the transparent allocation of resources throughout district. The EdLINKS group, that includes Teacher Coordinators, is actively looking into an Inquiry-based process that will be open to all teachers in the district. The Task Force on Time & Learning continues to delve into the recommendations of the Research Study “To what degree does the organization of time (e.g. length of day, days in week, length of breaks) in School District No. 64 affect educational outcomes?” District Research

There is a lot going on in our schools and communities. I would like to personally thank you for all you do to support learning. I wish you a safe and relaxing Winter Break. I look forward to continuing to deepen our educational partnership in support of our students in 2014!

Sincere regards,
Lisa Halstead