Director's Message

Welcome to another school year!

The 2018-2019 school year holds great promise for students, staff and school communities of the Renfrew County District School Board.

Director of Education Pino Buffone

But before I share highlights regarding the school year ahead,
I want to reflect on accomplishments of last school year. 

Last year the District implemented the first year of its renewed strategic plan. Key actions for each guiding principle that “brought the plan to life” include:

  • the evolution of the board and school improvement planning templates from paper-and-pencil documents to online versions that allow us to make ongoing, timely pedagogical documentation of Excellence in Teaching and Learning in our classrooms and schools;
  • the establishment of a ‘Lead with CARE – Creating a Responsive Environment’ approach to mental health and well-being with a tiered system of supports for students and staff in Safe, Caring, Inclusive and Respectful environments;
  • the creation of our own 'school design standard’ to guide new builds and major renovations of the future, with the dual goals of supporting effective pedagogical approaches while providing responsible stewardship with respect to resources and funding, as part of the Wise Use of Resources; and,
  • a Commitment to Measurement that ensures the District continues to monitor progress over time in both achievement and well-being.  

We also initiated a number of committees during the 2017-2018 school year that led to a series of recommendations for Board approval, including a preliminary five-year plan to expand French as a Second Language (FSL) programs for our students across the system. Further, we conducted a comprehensive District-wide employee engagement survey - Guarding Minds @ Work - to elicit feedback and perspectives from our staff regarding ways to improve their workplaces. The results of the survey will be operationalized this year and beyond as we honour our commitment to ensure our employees have every chance to be productive, healthy and happy. 

In terms of coming activities, this school year will be just as productive. We are looking forward to the implementation of actions for the second year of the renewed strategic plan, which will include:

  • the development and implementation of a system-wide ‘Framework for Learning’ (F4L) that supports the enhancement of global competencies (e.g., critical thinking and problem solving, creativity and innovation, collaboration, communication, character development and citizenship), as well as the research-based foundational skills established in literacy and numeracy;
  • the continuation of the tiered system of support for mental health and well-being which will incorporate key aspects of the ‘Pathways to Thrive’ strengths-based relationship approach for our system (hyperlink here); and,
  • the provision of a strategic communications plan that aligns activities, events, initiatives and partnerships within our school communities with the guiding principles of our strategic plan in order to generate greater awareness, appreciation and understanding of the District in the county.

In addition to these activities, we will elicit student voice through the Student Senate and parental perspectives through the Parent Involvement Committee in order to continuously refine our practices and processes as a learning organization.

I am confident that our collective work will continue to allow us to celebrate strengths and address areas for growth in an effective and efficient manner.

My office door is always open to hearing your ideas, suggestions and thoughts! Please don’t hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or concerns…or to simply say hello.

I wish you another productive and successful school year!   


Pino Buffone
Director of Education