“The single most important action groups can take to consciously construct a better future is to persistently
uncover what gives life to its people and the organization when it is at its best, and to build on it. Nothing is more energizing or more powerful.” – Professor D. Cooperider, creator of the Appreciative Inquiry process
In January of 2012, our Superintendent of Schools, Mrs. Dianne Turner, spearheaded a visioning process for our school district to articulate our inspired and inclusive direction for our future growth. The intent of the exercise was to provide the input and perspective of all District stakeholders – teaching and nonteaching
personnel, students, and families – on the future of Delta schools. With two new superintendents, many new
faces in the Board office, in-coming new staff in teaching and non-teaching positions and with the operational decisions to be made in light of tight budgets and new Ministry initiatives, it was imperative for our District to clearly articulate its guiding principles and to use them as the filter for all decision-making, all strategic planning, and setting of priority initiatives.
These guiding principles will act as the compass for our District and provide the sense of identity that we all believe in and this process will allow everyone involved in the business of our District to understand the ‘why’ behind every decision to be made. The end product of this process is the statement of purpose for our work in the district illustrated by the graphic above.
To support the direction set by the completed process, our Board has endorsed the appointment of a special position in all of our schools: that of Coordinator of Inquiry. Teachers within Delta schools were given the opportunity to apply for this position and I am honoured to introduce SD’s chosen Coordinator of Inquiry, Ms. Julie Lymburner. She will be working in tandem with all our staff to generate an inquiry-based project with the objective of informing our teaching practice around improving student achievement. Ms. Lymburner will also be meeting monthly with Coordinators from our other secondary schools to share ideas and methodology around this school-based research. At SD, we have the additional benefit of our Collaboration Days which has allowed our teachers to regularly and thoughtfully work towards enhancing their pedagogy, incorporating new strategies with technology in the classroom, and reviewing their students’ results within their curricular departments.