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Director's Message

Pino Buffone

 

Welcome to the 2017-2018 school year! 

As we begin the new school year, I would like to take this opportunity to wish you all a wonderful start, and, to share with you a reflection on my start as Director of Education in our district this past school year, as well as a few highlights regarding the upcoming school year.

This past winter and spring, I spent a great deal of time touring our district's operations. This included visiting each and every one of our schools and central sites, speaking with students and staff (both academic and non-academic). I was inspired by what I saw and heard first-hand as I visited classrooms and central departments... our senior staff, principals, vice-principals and managers demonstrating instructional leadership and operational management with competency and compassion; our staff working diligently to meet the needs of the students and school communities they serve so effectively and efficiently; our students engaged in authentic, meaningful tasks in their learning environments; and, our community partners - agencies, organizations, volunteers and other - contributing to the richness of the unique educational experiences in each of our schools. These visits truly were a pleasure and a privilege for me, as Director of Education, as they revealed the depth of character and the extent of the professionalism of all who serve the students, staff and school communities of our district.

During my first few months, we were also busy working on completing the RCDSB's Strategic Plan for 2017-2020. Building on the success and path set forth in our previous strategic plan, this renewed document seeks to carry forward the progress made in areas of creativity and imagination, achievement, digital literacy and well-being.

And while we had much to build upon, it was no easy task to identify how to grow this effort. Ensuring we continue to progress in the above areas will require new, innovative strategies that focus on enhancing global competencies - critical thinking and problem solving, creativity, collaboration, communication, character and citizenship - while maintaining the solid, research-based practices in both literacy and numeracy of the past decade. 

Yet, because of your willingness to contribute your ideas and offer constructive criticism, we are now ready to move forward...putting the feedback you shared with us into action.

And this begins with our vision...

We will be a community of learners where curiosity, creativity, imagination and innovation are celebrated and where students are engaged to explore and discover their own pathways to success.

It is a vision that is supported by our values of caring, respect, responsibility, honesty, initiative, optimism,courage and perseverance. These are the values that are woven throughout our collective work and ones which I saw through the course of my time visiting and touring our dynamic, engaging schools and central sites.

Beginning this fall, our senior staff will begin to lead initiatives that will continue to realize our three Guiding Principles:

  • Excellence in Teaching and Learning;
  • Safe, Caring, Inclusive and Respectful Environments; and,
  • Wise Use of Resources.

These three Guiding Principles and their corresponding Goal Statements provide us with a blueprint for how to achieve our vision for education in Renfrew County. In the next few weeks, we will be sharing details of our Strategic Plan 2017-2020 with you. I encourage you to read it carefully and to keep it by your desk, toolbox or in your car.

It is my sincerest hope that it will serve to guide your decision making, moving forward, in whatever roles and/or responsibilities you serve. You, more than anyone else, have the knowledge, skills and experiences to help move our system successfully into the future!

Of course, some actions will take more time than others in order to realize our goals. Undoubtedly, some actions will require courageous conversations to ensure they are implemented. But, with continuous, collective effort and commitment, I am confident they can be achieved. We can raise the bar and narrow the gap for all of our students.

As our mission states...

We work together to create a dynamic, inclusive and respectful learning environment that supports and encourages individual achievement and well-being and creates outstanding educational experiences for all our students.

I am humbled to work alongside such a dedicated, progressive and talented staff. I am moved by your passion for improving the lives of our students, staff and school communities - whether you are a student, custodian, ICT manager, teacher, office administrator, Early Childhood Educator, bus driver, Educational Assistant or other important contributor to our system.  

My office is always open and eager to listen to the valued perspectives of our stakeholders. Don't hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns...or even if you simply wish to say hello.

I look forward to working alongside each and every one of you to continue to make the Renfrew County District School Board a wonderful place to learn, work and grow.

Sincerely,

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Pino Buffone
Director of Education
RCDSB