Algoma District School Board Leaders Engage in Summer Learning
Mental and physical well-being and developing a healthy, positive school climate were the topics of a two-day summer learning session for ADSB elementary and secondary principals, vice principals, senior administration and managers.
On day one, Ted Temertzoglou, a certified personal trainer, published author and the Ontario Board representative for Physical and Health Education (PHE) Canada spoke about the importance of quality, daily health and physical education programs in schools across the country. Ted’s day with ADSB administrators focused on physical literacy fundamentals – reminding educators of the important role they play as promoters of health and well-being. In his presentation, Ted posed a difficult question: How do we increase student engagement and learning in Health and Physical Education (HPE) during a time when we are seeing an epidemic of inactivity and increased health concerns in children and youth worldwide?
ADSB participants were led through activity-based sessions (pictures above) utilizing Ted’s functional fitness charts. These resources, along with other practical teaching strategies, were shared by Ted to be taken back to ADSB schools for use by all students, JK to Grade 12. The intent is to have students focus on movement of any kind and for educators to make assessments in Health and Physical Education (HPE) more meaningful for students so that, in turn, they experience a level of success in HPE.
Dr. Anthony Muhammad was the keynote speaker on day two and he presented an engaging keynote address titled The Will to Lead: Creating Healthy School Culture.
Dr. Muhammad (pictured at left) is a sought after educational consultant and is recognized as one of the field’s experts in the areas of school culture and organizational climate. He served as a middle school teacher, vice principal and principal in some of the toughest districts of Detroit. His books include “Transforming School Culture: How to Overcome Staff Division” and “The Will to Lead, the Skill to Teach: Transforming Schools at Every Level”.
Dr. Muhammad led ADSB administrators through a day of honest self-reflection presented with humour and sincerity. He challenged those in the room to think about whether the changes, policies, programs, and/or school improvement plans they implement in their schools are done “with” students or “to” students. He reminded administrators about the importance of clear and explicit communication, especially in today’s climate of accountability. This includes coming to understand who the students in the building are and developing a mission that would ask “On what are we collectively committed to focus in order to enhance students' lives?”
Dr. Muhammad worked with the group to establish the difference between a healthy school culture (with high expectations) and a toxic one, and how to work with all stakeholders and personalities to attain a healthy, positive school climate. Dr. Muhammad reminded attendees that strong leaders are problem-solvers, and that, in their roles, they have the opportunity to positively impact change and culture while closing the achievement gap.
Participants at the session agreed that this was a good way to gear up for the start of a new academic school year.