Henry G. Izatt Middle School news

“In a rapidly changing world, we are a community of learners dedicated to nurturing growth and development through diverse and sustainable opportunities.”

Our 4 Pillars of Strategic Focus (HGIs):

Humanity

We promote belonging, community, global citizenship and a healthy learning environment; the groundwork for personal growth and development.

Growth

We seek new experiences as means to cultivate curiosity and realize the true potential for learning.

Innovation

We take the risks and disruptive leaps necessary to align new and relevant goals for learning with our rapidly changing world.

Sustainability

We intentionally infuse sustainability initiatives to connect environmental stewardship, social action, and community partnerships to improve the way that we live.

Henry G. Izatt is a busy place full of learning opportunities and many involved participants. Please check our website for continued updates on the many events: https://www.pembinatrails.ca/schools/henrygizatt/Pages/default.aspx
Community members have a standing invitation to become involved or volunteer in activities. Please inform us of your interest by calling the school office at 204-489-1239.

For this news article, we are sharing an overview of one or two school projects currently happening this year that fall under each of our four pillars.
Our partnership with Riverwood Square has been a delightful part of our programs for the past five years. Currently, a team of grade 9 students is spending time at Riverwood a few times a month facilitating an iPad Workshop with interested seniors. Managing email, photographs, saving documents and storing files are all topics of interest to the seniors. Both the students and seniors are enjoying this collaboration.

As our student athletes prepare for the spring special Olympic Basketball and Bocce events, coaching teams are developed at HGI. The coaching team (attend coaching practice sessions, carrying special equipment, cheering) surrounds the athlete and provides assistance and peer support. When our special athletes travel to the sporting events, they are accompanied by their coaching team. For ten athletes, fifty students attend the event. This promotes community, increased understanding and develops rich relationships amongst peers. In addition to HGI’s clothing drive for Siloam Mission, these two projects represent the Humanity pillar.

Our Growth pillar is well represented by numerous activities and teams at the school. Of course the academic program is about academic growth. We have a professional team both for literacy and numeracy. Public speaking is an important skill. Grade 5’s start with TUSC (The Unique Speaking Club) and work up to a possible place on the debate team in grade 9. HGI is represented at the Provincial level with a number of teachers forming a cohort to be leaders in the implementation of the English Language Arts curriculum. They take the lead in professional development. The HGI numeracy team has also provided teacher sessions to learn about authentic math tasks. The use of vertical white boards have facilitated student engagement in “real life” problem solving. From basketball to the band and choral concerts to inquiry projects, grade level outcomes are taught and come to life for our students. There are vibrant academic and social development opportunities embedded every day at HGI.

Looking ahead to skills which benefit our students in their future employment, entrepreneurial and innovation skills profiles published by the Conference Board of Canada are distributed in the school. The Innovation pillar is an important foundation at HGI motivating the team to keep programs current or with future considerations. There have been many innovative initiatives embedded at the school and each year we look at additions. Our daily interactive start is one example. Students and staff choose what they would like to engage in during the first period. Physical activity makes a large percentage of what people pick. Increasingly students also spend time in areas they have a passion – writing a song; coding a scoreboard; learning a skill; 3D printing; researching an inquiry project to respond to an essential question. There is an increasing understanding that students are learning all the time, not only in classes where the teacher directs the tasks. We are becoming skilled at identifying outcomes a student is able to demonstrate understanding even though they have achieved that understanding during a choice time and not in a direct learning class.

The Sustainability pillar is also an important part of our school as our students become increasingly aware of global issues as developing global citizens. We were excited about our Bee Project last year and hope to have two more beehives installed on our school roof again this summer. The honey produced sold out. We even rendered bee’s wax to create the sustainable food wraps (wax and material) in our Foods and Nutrition program. The Bee Project team produced a number of very informative videos showing the bee hives and the honey production steps. Important learning was the foundation of this project.

Our HGI Garden has been established. Each year, there are perennials, vegetables and flowers planted. Students and community members care for the gardens. This initiative is very appreciated by the community.

This information provides an overview of how the HGI team embeds the school strategic plan (pillars) and how these areas provide a foundation for forward thinking programming. Please let us know if you have an area you would like to participate.

Sincerely,
Cam Grier
Peggy Hobson
HGI Admin

Communications Director and website admin for Whyte Ridge CC in Winnipeg, Manitoba