As we approach the end of the school year, Mr. Sousa and I want to congratulate the students and staff of St. John on an amazing year of learning. We would also like to thank our parent community and the greater TCDSB community for their tremendous support throughout the year. St. John is positioned to continue experiencing tremendous learning gains for years to come.
As a learning community, we working hard to ignite our students' passion for learning. This year we crafted a mission statement that firmly establishes this passion as core belief for our learning community. The mission of St. John C.S is "To empower life-long learning and a faith-inspired global outlook." In order to put this mission into practice, we have embarked on a three part strategic plan build around:
INQUIRY: A philosophy of learning built around student engagement and involvement. The goal is to develop a desire to learn in an active manner rather than having our students be passive receivers of content. Some examples of this in practice this school year include: the Collaborative Inquiry project run through the TCDSB School Effectiveness Lead, Ms. Lima's Snail inquiry, Ms. Lima and Ms. Valentini's year long participation in collaborative inquiry, the Grade 8 Food Symposium, Mrs. Christie's Mystery Skype sessions, Ms. Carroll's investigations into bringing a Reggio Model of early learning to JK for September 2013 and the growing number of primary teachers involved in our inquiry school visits. We have also brought Destination Imagination to St. John this year with great success thanks to Ms. Mitchell and her Grade 7 team. We can look forward to piloting the classroom edition of Destination Imagination next year as well. This philosophy of inquiry has powerful learning implications for all grades, JK - Grade 12.
SELF-REGULATION: We cannot ask our students to be life-long, caring and collaborative learners without developing the requisite self-regulation skills. We want our students to be able to manage their learning and direct their energies in a positive manner both in and out of the classroom. St. John has been selected to be a pilot school for the TCDSB Developmental Assets program. This program will help develop the leadership skills of each and every one of our students. We will be receiving leadership support from student leaders from local TCDSB secondary schools. This is an extremely exciting and potentially powerful program for our students. The Camp Muskoka trip is also a key piece in establishing self-regulation skills and community from the outset of the school year.
DIGITAL ACCESS: Students need access to content and the ability to make connections if we are to fully implement our 21st Century Learning plans. Thanks to our partnership with CSAC, we are now able to provide unparalleled digital access for our students. This year our school purchased a laptop computer for every classroom, 12 iPad minis (with 10 more to come in September), 3 new LCD projectors, 3 Apple TV's (with 3 more to come in September), 10 netbook computers, a complete overhaul of the computer lab and 10 Google Nexus Tablets. None of these tools have sat and gathered dust. They are in use daily and our teachers are finding new and creative ways to put them to work.
In September we will continue to partner with TCDSB resource personnel keep our Inquiry and Self-Regulation programs moving forward.
Thanks so much for your partnership and support throughout the year. Student success and safety are at heart of each and every decision made at St. John. God Bless and have a wonderful summer!