Aspen, Lent, Social Work Week and more

Last Friday I had the pleasure of joining Chair Jevnikar and a board team to L’Arche’s Annual Dinner. Guest speaker for the evening was Beth Porter author of the book “Accidental Friends. Stories from My Life in Community”. Beth has been a member of the L’Arche Daybreak Community in Richmond Hill for four decades. Through her book she wanted others to have a sense of life together – those with and without intellectual disabilities – to discover the gift of community and belonging. She left us with three questions upon which to reflect as we look back on any experience and share our stories:
  • What insights did the experience/story reveal?
  • What did the experience/story tell of the transformative power of God’s grace?
  • What are the fruits/gifts of the experience/story?
Last Monday at our Board Meeting Superintendent Fernandes shared with the Trustees our transition along with many other Boards in the Province to a new Student Information System – ASPEN. The move to ASPEN will provide us the ability to align our Board’s vision and strategic goals specifically as we work towards:
  • enhancing the end user’s experience e.g., supporting ease of data entry
  • supporting our board’s transition to online electronic processes e.g. online registration
  • supporting our teachers with an assessment and analytical tool to manage student attendance, grading and student performance
  • providing resources for parental collaboration and communication e.g. parent/student portal
  • enhancing workflow and supporting extensive integration using a single platform
Superintendent Ana Paula Fernandes serving as Project Lead and Sandra Abell as Project Manager are working closely with a central Implementation team along with Stakeholder Advisory Committee to manage the implementation of ASPEN and support a culture of continuous improvement. In the weeks and months ahead you will be hearing more. Stay tuned!
As we move into this first full week of Lent, we also commit ourselves to undertaking a process of personal ‘continuous improvement’.
“Lent is a call to renew a commitment grown dull, perhaps, by a life more marked by routine than by reflection.” Sr. Joan Chittister
March 2 to 8 is Social Work Week! We recognize our Social Workers for the valuable contributions they make in supporting students, families, administrators and school staff each and every day. We appreciate their compassionate understanding, clinical knowledge and skills that make a positive difference in all our schools. Take a moment to thank your school social worker this week!