Henry G. Izatt Middle School Update

Henry G. Izatt Middle School continues focus on the school team’s four pillars of Humanity, Growth, Innovation and Sustainability. As the 2017-18 school year is underway, students, parents and staff are engaged in inquiry or passion projects in many areas.

HGI’s community garden (photo attached) has been an excellent addition to the school as a growing example of authentic learning and involvement. The harvest was a good one. Many of us learned about kohlrabi. One of the five pumpkins has been harvested and seeds removed and dried in preparation to be planted next year.

Our Student Action Voice Engagement (S.A.V.E.) group held a retreat at the Richardson Field Station on October 27, 2017. Following this workshop, the students chose involvement in community or global projects that are already underway or initiate new projects. The students will be applying the principles they gained through participation in WeDay. The school partnership with Riverwood Square continues with a number of activities underway encouraging the growing relationship between the students and the seniors. A focus on creativity and the arts will be visible this year. With partners from Riverwood and the school, a knitting project has begun.

Our Remembrance Service was held at the school on November 10. We are in the midst of Volleyball season with a few weekend tournaments on our calendar. Soon we will be beginning Basketball season. The grade 9 Community Leadership Students organized and facilitated a “Movie Night” on November 16 for the grade 5 and 6 students.

A number of our Grade 8 band students were selected to participate in the Divisional Honour Band with the performance on the evening of November 16. Our first school concert of this year will be our Concert Band and Choral Presentation on November 29 at 7:00 p.m. at the school. All community members are welcome to attend and we welcome Riverwood participants.  Our choral group will perform at Riverwood just before winter break on December 20.

HGI’s initiatives do extend to the community. We welcome interested participants to attend our special events, and also join us to be involved in the initiatives. More ideas and involvement means more learning. Right now, one of our teachers, Tracey Matthews is registered for a Bee Keeping course. We hope to have a bee hive installed on the roof of HGI by the spring of 2018. There are a number of considerations in this project and we are working carefully with an apiary and the Pembina Trails School Division to ensure all considerations are covered.

Our Interactive Start continues to be a dynamic part of everyday. This is a time where students choose an exercise, a physical activity/sport or a personal interest to explore without restriction of class or grade. The HGI team believes in empowering students to choose in what they will participate as this build responsibility and self-management as well as increasing motivation and positive self-concept. After expanding Interactive Start last year, a school survey showed a 16% increase in student interest and motivation.

Two years ago, we began to research Tiny Houses and their application. A large group of students have been studying sustainability living and furniture design that can be used for more than one purpose. We continue to see the importance of video capture and editing to assist students in tracking their learning and processing in the context of multi-modal literacy. These topics, and others, capture the interest of our students. A priority this year is to identify the learning outcomes achieved in these inquiry and passion projects, not only the outcomes covered in class with a more traditional delivery.

Stay tuned….after a successful Culturama two years ago, a committee of staff and students will be looking to hold an event this year at HGI celebrating our increasing and delightful diversity.

Our HGI Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is very supportive of school projects and the creating of a positive learning environment for our students. They have provided funds toward new Basketball Jerseys and picnic tables for our outside classroom. Students will be involved in the building of the tables to be placed on the outdoor classroom area.

Community members are invited to attend any of HGI’s special events and are invited to participate in any of the school initiatives alongside students and staff. Enjoy your move into the “winter time of the year”.


Cam Grier and Peggy Hobson