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Director's Message - May 31, 2019
The last few months leading up to the end of the school year are arguably one of the busiest times in public education.  At the secondary level, students are preparing for exams and selecting course options for next year, with some of them busily planning for exciting new beginnings beyond graduation.  Our elementary schools are also bustling as students start to think about their own transitions that await them in September.

I would like to take a moment to recognize the tremendous amount of both year-end and back-to-school planning that is already underway, to support the students and families of Bluewater District School Board.  From the coordination of field trips and coaching at out-of-district competitions, to planning all kinds of school based initiatives, the list is endless.  The resiliency and willingness to go above and beyond the call of duty that are so often demonstrated by our staff never cease to amaze.  For that reason, it is essential for all staff members to take special care tending to a thoughtful balance between workload responsibilities and personal well-being.  

Balance and resilience are especially important in our current climate of uncertainty, where a number of changes affecting public education are being proposed at the provincial level.  Please rest assured that our trustees and senior leadership team are with you every step of the way in supporting the work you do as we assess the details and implications for our board.  We are committed to proactively working in consultation with the Ministry of Education and other partners in seeking solutions that ensure sustainable and vibrant program opportunities in our rural schools.  

Despite the challenges that lie ahead, I am confident that we will persevere and emerge from a position of renewed strength as we have done so many times before.  To quote our recent wellness guest speaker, Dr. Robyne Hanley-Dafoe, “I (we) can do hard things.”  If you have not had a chance to attend one of Dr. Hanley-Dafoe’s staff presentations on “Resiliency and Workplace Wellness”, I strongly encourage you to view our recording by clicking on the video link when time permits.  While anyone would stand to benefit from her inspiring and powerful message, those working within education are a perfect captive audience for the themes that are shared.                  

At our final Regular Meeting of the Board for 2018 – 2019 on Tuesday, June 18, I hope you will join us or view our live webcast as we once again present our Awards of Excellence.  This annual program gives us a chance to honour some of the many outstanding volunteers who generously contribute to our school communities.  This time of year is also bitter sweet as we get set to recognize and bid farewell to our retiring employees for their years of dedicated service and excellence within our system.   

Whether you are a student, employee, parent/guardian, trustee, partner, volunteer, or other stakeholder of Bluewater, I thank you for all that you do to enrich local public education.  I also wish you every success, along with plenty of resilience, during the final flurry of the busy school year!     

Alana Murray
Director of Education

Follow me on Twitter:  @BWDSBDirector

Image of Director of Education Alana Murray