CASS Online Learning 2023

Online learning opportunities will be coherent with members’ consistent request to learn from and with one another and provide:

  • a provincial opportunity to network and collaborate,
  • an opportunity to learn from and with colleagues, and
  • an opportunity to frame learning based on the SLQS and LQS competencies.

The program will reflect on current and emergent needs of system education leaders such as:

  • professional support, camaraderie, and networking;
  • well-being that can occur as a result of being part of a provincial group/network;
  • knowledge, skills, and attributes required at this time, and based on the SLQS/LQS; and
  • emergent and forward thinking.

Legal Issues and Reasonable Approaches in Dealing with Long-term Employee Absences

Tuesday, June 6, 2023
9:00 – 10:30 a.m.

Cost: $25.00

Session Description:
Appropriately and reasonably accommodating an employee experiencing complex medical issues takes time and is often challenging.  Does a school authority have a duty to accommodate an employee who wishes to return to work after a 5-year or more long-term disability?

There are times when an employer’s duty to accommodate to the point of undue hardship comes to an end where an employee’s medical evidence discloses no reasonable prospect of the employee returning to work in the foreseeable future. In this situation, the employment relationship could be considered as “frustrated” and therefore ended.

This online session will address:

  • the accommodation of complex accommodation cases and the law frustration;
  • what steps a school authority should take to understand whether an employee’s long-term absence constitutes a frustration of their employment contract;
  • the type of medical evidence that would be required as to a reasonable likelihood that an employee would not be able to return to work within a reasonable time;
  • the situation where a school authority prematurely says that an employee has frustrated their employment contract, terminates the employee and the employee says they were wrongfully dismissed.

This session is intended for superintendents, secretary treasurers, human resources personnel and system education leaders interested in this topic.

Presented By: 
Teresa Haykowsky
is a powerful and dedicated bilingual advocate for her clients. She provides practical advice and solid solutions based on her depth of knowledge in education law, labour and employment, constitutional, administrative, occupational health and safety, municipal, and privacy law.

Teresa has a strong commitment to exceptional service. She is dedicated to advising and representing public, separate, Francophone public, and Francophone separate school boards, charter schools and independent school authorities in the decisions they make to support education. In addition to her education law clients, Teresa assists municipalities, government, and the management-side of organizations from many different industry sectors.

Teresa provides legal advice and representation in the areas of day-to-day labour, employment and human resources matters, employment litigation, grievance arbitration hearings, collective bargaining, collective agreement interpretation, wrongful dismissals, draft of employment contracts and confidentiality agreements, workplace policies, including respectful workplace, OHS and general employment policies and practices. Teresa also works in all areas affecting school authorities in Alberta including corporate governance-related issues, governance training, school trustee codes of conduct, code of conduct trustee hearings, conflict of interest issues, school board hearings (teacher transfer, suspension and termination hearings, school closure hearings, student hearings) and internal investigations. Teresa also conducts workplace investigations in the areas of harassment, discrimination and allegations of inappropriate employee or student conduct.

Teresa has depth in the evolution and changes which have occurred in education law over the past twenty-five years. She is particularly well-versed in the School Act and the new Education Act. With her creativity and experience, she has the ability to look outside of purely theoretical or academic solutions.

Authentic and dedicated, Teresa’s reputation for reliable and smart advice is well-earned. Her clients have relied on her keen advocacy for decades. Teresa has a unique understanding of education (K-12) industry, as well as the law. She strives to understand what will work for each individual client and knows sometimes the law is only one part of what they’re looking for and other times it is the whole answer.

Success for First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Students

A Virtual Circle with Elders: Guide to Relationships and Learning with the Indigenous Peoples of Alberta

Wednesday, May 24, 2023
3:00 – 5:00 p.m.

Session Description:
“Reconciliation is about forging and maintaining respectful relationships. There are no shortcuts.” Justice Minister Murray Sinclair (Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada)

The Guide to Relationships and Learning with the Indigenous Peoples of Alberta is one of the most accessed resources on the CASS website, underscoring the great interest and need for learning as highlighted in the Optimum Learning for All Students Implementing Alberta’s 2018 Professional Practice Standards 2022-2023 Year 4 Survey Report.

As indicated in the Guide, making connections and committing space and time for respectful and genuine relationships with Indigenous Elders, leaders, Knowledge Keepers, families, and communities is essential when working towards reconciliation.

In this online session, participants will have an opportunity to sit in a virtual circle with Elders. Elders will share knowledge and teachings about the importance of relationships and how respectful and reciprocal relationships are created and nurtured within school authorities/organizations. Participants will have an opportunity to ask questions and reflect on their journey in building and fostering relationships with First Nations, Métis and Inuit Peoples, so that the learning aspirations and potential of First Nations, Métis and Inuit students are realized. This will include considering how they are caring for and honouring the knowledge of Elders.

Participants will also have an opportunity to learn from Crystal Clark, one of the key developers of the Guide, as she reviews its purpose and intent.

Presented By:
Elders Doreen Bergum, Saakoko’to – Randy Bottle and Mary Cardinal-Collins and AngajukKâk, Leader, Jeannine Bell
Crystal Clark, Indigenous Education Consultant
Dr. Dianne Roulson, CASS Leadership Consultant 

Implementing a Continuum of Supports and Services to Ensure Optimum Learning for all Students:
Visionary Leadership in Action

Wednesday, May 17, 2023
9:00 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Session Description: 
Superintendents and system education leaders support and provide leadership for the school authority in creating an environment and vision for optimum learning for all students. This online session will provide an opportunity to learn and reflect on how the implementation of a continuum of supports and services for ALL students provides for a foundation to ensure that this can occur.

Presented By: 
Rhae-Ann Holoien, Superintendent, Buffalo Trail Public Schools
Hugh Lehr, Associate Superintendent Learning Services, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education
Monica Braat, Inclusive Learning Consultant, Medicine Hat Catholic Board of Education
Danica Martin, Assistant Superintendent of Inclusive Learning Services, Wolf Creek Public Schools

Facilitated By:
Rob McGarva
, Director of Student Services, Pembina Hills Public Schools

Excellence in System Leader Professional Practice

Alberta Education commissioned a 4-year longitudinal research study, designed to assess, deepen, and extend the implementation process for the Alberta’s three professional practice standards: The Teaching Quality Standard (TQS), the Leadership Quality Standard (LQS), and the Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS). The four-university research team has recently published its Year 4 Findings Report.

How might this report and the research inform the crucial role of system leaders in promoting and upholding the professional practice standards in Alberta?

If you attended the CASS Annual Learning pre-conference session, you got a glimpse into the exciting and groundbreaking results of the Alberta Post-Secondary collective research on the implementation of the professional practice standards, as well as what three school authorities are doing to support TQS and LQS professional learning.

A key finding shared by Principal Investigator Sharon Friesen from The University of Calgary is that a visible shift from awareness of standards-as-policy to standards-in-action occurred in more than half the school divisions where standards formed the framework for planning professional learning and professional growth for all teachers, leaders, and superintendents.

What school authority professional practice standards “strategic actions” are contributing to optimal learning for all students?

CASS is pleased to feature three school authorities who have been part of the 4-year research as case studies and have demonstrated evidence-based practices related to the three professional practice standards (SLQS, LQS, and TQS) known to improve student learning throughout the four years, even through the pandemic years.

Join us for three one-hour sessions from 9:00 to 10:00 a.m. on:

  • Tuesday, April 18, 2023 – Northland School Division
  • Tuesday, May 2, 2023- Rundle Academy
  • Tuesday, May 16, 2023- Grande Prairie Public School

As a result of participating in these online sessions, leaders will have the opportunity to:

  • develop an understanding of the research findings related to the implementation of the Alberta professional practice standards, and explore how these findings can inform their leadership practices.
  • use case studies of successful professional practice standards actions to inform and guide their own leadership practices.
  • network and explore the fusion of pedagogy and practices, through a research and Alberta practice lens to create growth priorities and improve the quality of education provided to students in their district.

Session Description:
Join Northland School Division’s Superintendent Dr. Nancy Spencer Poitras and Deputy Superintendent Dr. Tim Stensland, when they share how Northland is using the results and data from the four-year longitudinal research on Alberta’s professional practice standards to inform strategy, build leadership capacity, and significantly improve student achievement. This virtual session will explore the four focus areas that have driven the division’s success: excellence in leadership, relationships, learning, and financial practices. Learn how Northland has moved beyond collecting and using fidelity data to include the use of outcome data. Don’t miss this opportunity to gain insights and learn from this jurisdiction’s experiences.

Presented By:
Dr. Nancy Spencer Poitras officially became the Superintendent of Schools for Northland School Division on February 1, 2020. Spencer-Poitras has maintained an exceptional record of school and division leadership over an extensive career as an educator in Alberta. She has worked as a teacher, assistant principal, and principal with Edmonton Public Schools, as an Assistant Superintendent and Superintendent in Alberta, as well as working with both the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) and Alberta Education. Since September 2017, Dr. Spencer-Poitras has held the position of Assistant Superintendent with Northland. Throughout her career, she has worked fervently to improve educational opportunities for students and children. Nancy is committed to moving Northland forward, continuing with its best practices in education, and working collaboratively with students, staff, and parents to ensure the effectiveness and success of the Division.

Dr. Tim Stensland’s career in education has come full circle. He began his career at Kateri School (Trout Lake) 28 years ago. Before joining NSD as an Associate Superintendent on June 1, 2017, he served as a Senior Manager with Alberta Education. While working as a Senior Manager for Alberta Education, Tim supported NSD through many programs such as the First Nations, Métis, and Inuit Community Based Teacher Education Program, the Northland Teacher Induction Program, Supporting Beginning Teachers Program, and the Northern Student Teacher Bursary.

Session Description:
Join Rundle College Society’s Head of School Dr. Jason Rogers, when he shares how Rundle is using the results and data from the four-year longitudinal research on Alberta’s professional practice standards. This virtual session will allow participants to gain insights into the Rundle’s story of practice and its unique and distinct programs:

  • Rundle College which specializes in university preparatory programming,
  • Rundle Academy which serves students with learning disabilities, and
  • Rundle Studio which is a virtual program that also serves students with learning disabilities.

Dr. Rogers will share the ways in which the standards have been implemented, the capacity building put in place, the barriers they face, the supports they require, and the impacts on their practice. Participants will hear about the implementation drivers that led to successful implementation, including competency, organizational, and leadership drivers. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear about and discuss this Alberta research.

Presented By:
Dr. Jason Rogers is currently the Head of School of Rundle in Calgary, Alberta.  Rundle is a group of three K-12 coeducational day schools that have nearly 1200 students and over 200 faculty and staff.

Prior to taking on the headship at Rundle, Jason served as a classroom teacher in both private and public systems and has worked as an admissions coordinator, assistant principal and principal within Rundle.  Before moving to Calgary and joining Rundle, Jason taught at the Saskatoon Public School Division in a vibrant inner city school.

Jason has a Doctoral Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Calgary and has earned his diploma in Independent School Leadership from Canadian Accredited Independent Schools (CAIS).  Jason is a member of the CAIS Leadership Institute faculty as the instructor of the ‘Faculty Culture’ module.  Among his many interests, his passions in educational leadership are rooted in change management, school culture, innovation, design and excellence in educational pedagogy.

Outside of school, Jason has a love of family, travel, reading, music, and the outdoors.

Session Description:
Join us for an insightful online session on the organizational planning undertaken by Grande Prairie Public School Division to prepare for and implement the revised Teacher Quality Standard (TQS), the new Leadership Quality Standard (LQS), and Superintendent Leadership Quality Standard (SLQS).

Specific content will include:

  • The Division’s goals for prioritizing the implementation of the professional practice standards in their daily practice.
  • The connection that implementation of the practice standards has to the new provincial Assurance Framework for their school division.
  • Highlights of a few key changes they made to their division’s organizational structures and processes.
  • The current role of the TQS, LQS and SLQS in division planning and reporting.
  • What they have learned from their participation in the Optimum Learning for All Students research.

This session is designed for educators and educational leaders who want to learn more about implementing the professional practice standards in their practice.

Presented By:
Alexander (Sandy) McDonald is in his eighth year as Superintendent of Schools for the Grande Prairie Public School Division.  In addition to the work in his division, Sandy has previously served on the Zone 1 executive and served two terms as Zone 1 Director on the CASS Board.  Sandy’s personal growth interests for the last several years have been exploring the research on effective school divisions, the use of generative dialogue and collaborative inquiry to drive continuous individual and system improvement, and supporting the effective governance of the Board to align governance and operations to help every student succeed.

Success for Students through Skilled Trades, Apprenticeships, and Vocational Education

Three-Part Online Learning Series: Explore, Engage, Experience: Finding a Future in Trades and Technologies

TAVE (Trades and Vocational Education) is a committee established by the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS) made up of 25 representatives from school authorities, post-secondary institutions, skilled trades partner organizations, and employers. Our committee has come together to identify how we can collectively inspire Alberta’s youth to pursue skilled trades and technologies as a viable career pathway.

What is happening?

In 2022, CASS developed the Alberta School Authority Skilled Trades and Technologies Survey and 47 school authorities responded providing valuable information, opportunities, and inspiration.

Read the full report “Explore, Engage, Experience: Finding a Future in Trades and Technologies – CASS Trades, Apprenticeships, and Vocational Education Survey Results June 2022.”

In 2023, TAVE members are collectively building an online professional learning series featuring Alberta trades and technologies stories of practice that are building students’ knowledge and experience in skilled trades and technologies.

These online professional learning session will feature Alberta’s stories of practice which are enabling K-12 students to:

  • Explore the scope, the demand, and the value of skilled trades and technologies.
  • Engage in academic studies and skills training through inclusive, authentic, hands-on learning opportunities.
  • Experience diverse work-integrated learning opportunities with employers and partners.

Each 2-hour session (9:00 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.) will showcase four stories of practice from school authorities, post-secondary institutions, skilled trades partner organizations, and employers.

As a result of participating in these online sessions, you will have the opportunity to:

  • learn about the TAVE Strategic Framework and the vision for collective impact,
  • listen to Alberta’s stories of trades and technologies practices and explore how your district might replicate, adapt, or partner,
  • share ideas and strategies with other system leaders and TAVE members, and
  • network to explore the possibilities for supporting students with the skills and knowledge they need to succeed in today’s rapidly changing world.

For more information about the individual sessions and to register for each, please expand each section below. 

Cost: No charge
REGISTER FOR EXPLORE - February 28, 2023

Parkland School Division is Building Futures
Students with a broader set of experiences and skills are able to show greater resilience and greater interest in trying new things. Exposing our students to those broader experiences within their daily education has become a priority for PSD. Mark and Travis will highlight some of the successful programs we are offering our grades 7-12 students, with a particular emphasis on the Building Futures program – a partnership with a local builder that allows our students to work and learn on-site alongside tradespeople, and participate directly in the building of a home for a family to live in.

Presented By:
Mark Francis,
Deputy Superintendent
Travis McNaughton, Principal, Connections for Learning

Skills Canada Alberta Try-A-Trade®
Skills Canada Alberta is a leader in the development of innovative, hands-on learning experiences for youth in Alberta. Join us to learn more about how our Try-A-Trade® program has been igniting sparks and providing students the tools to help guide them through their future career exploration in trades and technologies.

Presented by:
Alycia Pawluk
, Manager of Programming & Education

Prairie Rose Public Schools Are Forging Futures
Prairie Rose Public Schools has prioritized igniting minds, kindling hearts and forging futures to continue the tradition of academic excellence, recognize our rural roots and provide future prospects. Through an initiative, we call Prairie Possibilities schools and the communities they serve design contextualized learning environments that resonate. As a result, the division has 18 projects that connect the Alberta curriculum with business, non-profit organizations, and post-secondary institutions.

Presented By:
Reagan Weeks – Prairie Rose Public Schools Superintendent
Darren MacMillan – Prairie Rose Public Schools Coordinator of Programs and Instruction
Lindsey O’Connell – Graduate from the South Alberta Flight Academy

Power Engineering: Perspectives and Possibilities
For the past ten years, High Prairie School Division has provided secondary students with the opportunity to explore a career as a 4th Class Power Engineer through their dual credit program. Delivered in partnership with Northern Lakes College, the program prepares high school students to write the Alberta Boiler Safety Association (ABSA) Power Engineer’s Certification examination. Join Monica Edwards, Career Coach Lead for the High Prairie School Division as she discusses the progression of this program over the past decade, and the opportunities that it has provided to students.

Presented By: Monica Edwards

Cost: No charge

Livingstone Ski Academy
The Livingstone Ski Academy (LSA) provides an alternative educational experience that balances student academic needs with true experiential alpine activities.

LSA is a year-round program that offers students additional learning opportunities in outdoor pursuits, environmental education, tourism, CTS, and other options available at Livingstone School. Our LSA students have the opportunity to explore various areas of the ski industry, take leadership roles and utilize CTS courses, certifications, and dual credits.

Presented By: Scott Bailey and LSA Pathways Students

Grande Prairie and District Catholic Schools – Welding Pathways at JP2
As a passionate educator and advocate of skilled trades, Jacques is pioneering a 1st Period Welding program with high school students delivered within the school. Jacques has formed partnerships with our local post-secondary institution, Northwestern Polytech (NWP). Students will be positioned to take their 1st Period AIT exams at the end of the semester and will have opportunities to collaborate and learn alongside 1st and 2nd period welding students at NWP. Jacques is also experimenting with unique ways to share his vast knowledge of industry and continuously looks for unique ways to expose students to the skilled trades.

Presented By:
Jacques LeCerf – B.Ed.,
Welding RSE
Roger Lauck,
Director of Teaching and Learning

East Central Alberta Catholic’s Mobile CTS-CTF Trailer Implementation Story
A presentation on the celebrations and challenges of implementing a mobile CTS-CTF trailer to address facility and local contextual program challenges in small rural communities.

Presented By:
Glenn Nowosad,
Tara McMillan, Principal

Cost: No charge

Achieving Student Career Readiness through Planned Career Pathway Experiences and Powerful Partnerships
Chinook’s Edge School and Wolf Creek School Divisions will share how Central Alberta school authorities, Olds College/Red Deer Polytechnic and CAREERS have collaborated these past 10+ years to develop a collegiate model that leads to highly successful career transitioning for students following high school completion. Details will be shared about past/current programs, the processes in place to achieve success and the impact on students’ career readiness. Through a well structured model, career awareness and readiness experiences are used to move students through a career pathway learning journey that uses single day experiences, dual credit courses/certificates, work integrated learning, and staff coaching and advising in a multi-year approach that produces a seamless transition to student career choices.

Presented by: Jackie Taylor & Kylie Kissel

Creating A Regionalized Collaborative Pathway Model that Creates Opportunities for All Students
The Southern Alberta Pathways Partnership includes 6 school divisions from Lethbridge and surrounding area, Lethbridge College, Career Transitions and Local Business and Industry partners.  Together, we have created a career pathways model that leads students through a series of exploratory and dual credit courses that allow them to explore potential careers, engage them in learning at the college level and experience hands-on learning.   Our industry partners have come on board to support students with resources and potential work placements upon completion.  The Pathways Partnership is a wonderful example of area partners working together to provide career pathways that benefit students from a large geographic area and covers both rural and urban school divisions.  Our Introduction to the Trades and Agriculture Pathways will be featured in the webinar.

Presented by:
Jason Kupery
– Director of Learning, Palliser School Division
Joelle Reynolds – Associate Dean, Youth Initiatives, Lethbridge College

Soaring to New Heights with Aviation

This session will highlight how students can take their learning to new heights within the world of Aviation. Whether it be that a student is interested in being a pilot or being instrumental in the mechanical instrumentation of a plane, learn how partnerships can enrich student learning to support dual credit opportunities. Choice in Education gives students the opportunity for exploration and pursuit of skilled trades and technologies as a career pathway.

Cheryl Shinkaruk – Edmonton Catholic Schools – Manager: Programs & Projects