Welcome back to our returning Black Gold families and staff! To our new staff and students – we are thrilled that you have joined the Black Gold Regional Division family!
Year-round, Black Gold strives to deliver welcoming, caring, respectful, safe and healthy learning and working environments and we hope you are at home in our Division. We have approximately 645 passionate teachers and 525 extremely qualified support staff that endeavor to provide a quality education to our 11,500 Black Gold students and ensure each student has the best ability to have success in school and prepare for the future.
As the proverb says “it takes a village to raise a child” and I truly admire the work our team does in order to educate our students. As we head into a new school year, we will continue to work as a unified team to deliver quality educational programming that is built on what is most important – numeracy and literacy fundamentals. Our core values of student-focused learning; relationships; supportive environment; passion; and managing resources responsibility will also help to guide our staff and students with their accomplishments.
At Black Gold, we know that students’ emotional, social, intellectual and physical well being can directly relate to their success at school. I am happy to announce that we will be able to continue our focus on encouraging lifestyles that support healthy attitudes towards active living, healthy eating, emotional well-being and positive social environments, thanks to being granted $30,000 from the Alberta Healthy School Community Wellness Fund (an initiative funded by Alberta Health and administered by the University of Alberta).
I strongly encourage you as parents and guardians to partner with us in these types of healthy initiatives to help enhance your child’s education and be good role models in your child’s development. As the we head into the new school year, it is important to make sure your children are getting enough sleep throughout the year (new recommendations state that school-aged children sleep 8-13 hours per night, depending on age). Without a good nights sleep, children are less able to deal with stress, plus they may have problems with behaviour, alertness, or irritability. Please also help them to eat well, drink water and exercise. All of these items can have a significant impact on your child’s success in school and we want the best for all of our students.
For the Division, programming and wellness alone cannot be our only priority. We have recently become the seventh largest public school division in Alberta and have a enrolment population that continues to grow. In order to ensure safe and welcoming environments for our staff and students, construction and modernization must be a major Division priority.
I’m happy to announce that, even with weather and construction delays, there has been substantial development on all of the current construction projects over the summer break. Soon, 13 modulars will be installed creating additional space for learning at: East Elementary School; École Beau Meadow School; Robina Baker Elementary School; and West Haven Public School. Phase 1 of École J.E. Lapointe School’s major modernization and addition has begun and École Champs Vallée School, our latest new school build, continues to advance as the roof has been recently completed and windows are being installed. We will continue to work at an aggressive rate on these projects and, before you know it, students at all of these schools will be enjoying their new spaces as much as the students are at our newly completed West Haven Public School and Calmar Secondary School.
We have a lot of work ahead of this year, but I want to thank every member of the Black Gold community for continuing to make Black Gold one of the best divisions in Alberta to work and learn.
With such a great team and eager students, I know the 2017/18 school year will be filled with noteworthy achievements. I am excited to see what we will accomplish together this year!