As students savour their final days of the summer, the Lloydminster Public School Division (LPSD) rang the bell on a new school year for staff on Wednesday morning.
“Today’s an exciting day for LPSD. It’s our first official day back,” said LPSD director of education Todd Robinson at a ceremony at the Vic Juba Community Theatre.
“Today’s the day where we all gather together and celebrate a little bit about what happened last year and set the stage for what’s coming in the coming year.”
For 2015-16, Robinson says the LPSD has laid out three priorities on which it will focus, beginning with a fairly old theme.
“One is around continuing to work on the sector plan that the province has put in, which really focuses on literacy at the early grades and graduation rates,” he said.
Last year, the LPSD graduated high school students ahead of the 80 per cent provincial standard, and with the addition of literacy coaches, facilitated a strong improvement in literacy rates among students in primary grades.
The second priority concentrates on student wellness, both from a physical and mental wellbeing perspective, says Robinson.
“We have Dr. (Michael) Ungar with us this morning, who’s a world renowned expert in the area of resilience that’s going to speak to our staff.”
Ungar, a professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, will speak at an event hosted by the LPSD Thursday at 7 p.m. at the Vic Juba Community Theatre.
“The other piece that we’re working on is our communications,” Robinson continued.
“It’s one of those areas where you can never be good enough, and so enhancing communications for both our internal folks and our partners in our community.”
Elsewhere of note, the LPSD welcomed around 13 new staff members to the division, many of whom Robinson says have worked with the board in the past on temporary contracts. Robinson also noted that part of Wednesday’s event was helping those fresh faces feel part of the LPSD family.
“At the end of the day we’re all one team, we’re all working towards the same end, which is student success and personal excellence,” he said.
Over the course of the next year, Robinson says he expects capital projects, including a field house being built at Lloydminster Comprehensive High School for activities like football and track and field, to be put in motion.
He anticipates other projects being announced in the future once budgets and administrative procedures are completed.