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Livingstone staff shares knowledge with peers

Lyle Franz in a session about Lego robotics

Laurie Henthorne, Karen Atkins and Alicia Williamson in a session about tools for teacher assistants.

Livingstone Range School Division staff shared their knowledge last week with their peers from across the region.
Staff members made presentations on their areas of expertise during Livingstone Range Divisional Day at F.P. Walshe school.
The professional development workshop was set up with the theme, “Our Amazing Professional Knowledge.”
Superintendent Ellie Elliott told the close to 300 people gathered in the school gymnasium that collaboration is key when it comes to educating children.
“Getting together to share our knowledge is how we do things,” Elliott said. “It reflects on who we are as a division.”
Forty-two breakout sessions were held during the one-day professional development session.
The organizing committee of Judy Florence-Moser, Barb Bell, Malik Salman, Bev McNutt, Kathy Charchun, Toni Plourde, Cathy Gregory, Lorna Adrian and Kathy Olmstead drew on the expertise of staff members from across Livingstone Range.
“This day is a representation of you,” ATA local president Bart Heine said. “This is your day.”
The day opened with a traditional Blackfoot prayer and honour song by elder Pete Weasel Moccasin, who shared words of encouragement for teachers.
“Continue the work that is being done for the young people,” Weasel Moccasin said. “We always say they are the future.”
Livingstone Range School Board chairman Dick Peterson spoke of the activities in which trustees have been engaged.
Peterson listed the service agreement with the Blood Tribe and Piikani Nation, a joint conference with the Peigan Board of Education and Holy Spirit School Division and the ongoing working committee with the ATA.
Peterson also listed the arrival of funding and start of modernization at Willow Creek Composite, dealing with provincial budget cuts and Livingstone Range receiving the Alberta School Boards Association award for public engagement.
The board is celebrating the results of provincial Diploma Exams as well as Provincial Achievement Tests.
Finally, Peterson touched on the presentation by public education advocate Jamie Vollmer in Fort Macleod that has sparked what trustees call “the great conversation.”
“We started a process of community engagement — one of the board’s priorities,” Peterson said. “The process is exciting but it’s new ground for us.”
Peterson praised the staff for continuing the develop through participation in the divisional day.
“Each one of you has a role in the success of our students,” Peterson said.
Heine reflected on how nice it was to show up at F.P. Walshe school to see old friends.
“That’s one of the great things about this day,” Heine said. “It’s a day to reconnect.”
Staff members had a variety of topics from which to choose.
Jolene Becker from West Meadows elementary school in Claresholm did a presentation for Grade 6 Social Studies teachers on her local government town project.
Janet Elder, who teaches at Livingstone school and Crowsnest Consolidated, talked about using drumming circles in schools.
F.P. Walshe school principal Bill Forster gave a session on the LearnAlberta Web site.
Vivienne O’Neill from Granum school led a session on NIA fitness.
Margery Wiig, who teaches at Willow Creek Colony school, talked about culturally appropriate resources for use at Hutterite schools.
Karen Patton of Livingstone school led a session titled, “Fierce conversation through the arts.
There were also sessions on Lego Robotics, Smartboards, the Alberta Teacher Exchange Program, the new Grade 11 Math curriculum and a wealth of other topics.
“Learn, and have a good day,” Elliott encouraged the staff members.

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