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Director’s Message – March 9, 2018
Time flies when you are learning!  It is almost inconceivable to think that winter is nearing what appears to be a quiet exit, and that the school year will soon be winding down.  As always, there is a lot happening as we move past the mid-year mark in Bluewater District School Board.   

As we undertake our annual budget planning process, we are inviting students, parents/guardians, staff, and other stakeholders to participate in a brief online survey that will help our Board of Trustees to identify priorities for 2018 – 2019. The survey will remain open until Wednesday, April 4 at 4:00 p.m., and can be accessed on our board website or at www.surveymonkey.com/r/BWDSBsurvey.  Members of the public are also invited to present their ideas relating to the budget at our Business Committee of the Whole Board meeting on Tuesday, May 1.  View our media release for more details.

Until Thursday, March 29, there is also an opportunity to provide feedback on the Ministry of Education's 'Discussion Paper on a New Vision for Student Transportation in Ontario'.  Help to inform discussions at the provincial level that will impact our rural school communities by visiting www.ontario.ca/page/consultation-new-vision-student-transportation.

Pink was the colour of fashion in many of our schools on Wednesday, February 28 as schools once again participated in Pink Shirt Day to show solidarity in fostering safe and accepting school environments, and standing up to all forms of bullying.    

In addition to the many initiatives that are focused on student well-being, we have been actively promoting the importance of staff wellness.  During February, 29 teams across Bluewater worked to build and strengthen relationships and camaraderie amongst staff by competing in the Workplace Wellness Challenge.  I would like to thank our Bluewater Organizational Health and Wellness Committee for organizing such a fun, engaging, and healthy initiative to help support staff wellness.

We also continue to celebrate some of our many examples of staff excellence with our Alumni Profile feature.  I encourage you to monitor our board website and/or our Facebook and Twitter accounts for regular postings that spotlight graduates whose career pathways have led them back to Bluewater to serve another generation of local students and families.  Stay tuned for additional opportunities that will allow us to highlight other staff and graduates under different criteria.   

I would like to wish the very best of luck to all of our secondary students participating in the Regional Technological Skills Challenge in Owen Sound on Friday, March 23.  Top scoring students will advance to compete at the regional, provincial, and in some cases, the national levels!  Bluewater students have a history of performing exceptionally well in skilled trades challenges.  In 2017, students who advanced to the provincial challenge garnered one gold and one bronze medal.  One of those students also represented Ontario at the national event where they secured gold.  Bluewater results from the regional event will be posted on our board website and social media accounts.

Lastly, I extend my best wishes to all of our students, staff and families for a fantastic, and hopefully, restful March Break! Please allow yourself to enjoy some well-deserved time with those who are closest to you.  In saying this, I recognize that there are a number of Bluewater staff in a variety of roles who will be working during this period.  My deepest thanks goes out to each and every one of you for your efforts in ensuring that our organization continues to run effectively and smoothly over the next week.  No matter what position you hold, I truly appreciate the vital role you play in making Bluewater excellent, and hope that you are also able to find some valuable time to recharge and reconnect with family and friends.  



Alana Murray
Director of Education

Follow me on Twitter:  @BWDSBDirector

Image of Director of Education Alana Murray