The Canadian School Boards Association, representing 450 School Boards across Canada, held their annual conference last week in St. Johns, Newfoundland. Trustees from each province met to discuss a variety of topics including school board legal issues, trends in school board elections, and what skills students of the 21st century posses? Attendees listened to lectures, key note speeches, and actively participated in workshops.The front page of the local Newfoundland paper, the Telegram, reported on the contraversial and lively discussion during the town hall meeting with moderator Doug Letto from CBC. Panelists included: Patricia Hearn-Industry Canada, Glen Blackwood-Marine Institute, Early Ludlow-Newfoundland Power and Cyril Organ-College of the North Atlantic. The panelists responded to questions concerning the safety of the oil industry in the Atlantic Maritime provinces in reaction to the Gulf Oil spill, concern about Generation X and Y knowledge of computer skills and changing the outlook of the hiring process and how that affects the older generation. Some attendees were vocal in their concerns that children were losing trade knowledge and heading towards careers with computer skills.
Attendees were offered the opportunity during the conference to take tours of the island. Many attendees took the Birds, Bergs and Whales boat tour and some unfortunately ended up being the receivers of the birds…well, you can guess what fell on their heads! Whales were also sited including Humpbacks, Minke and Orcas. Others choose to go to the Lighthouse Picnic at the Colony of Avalon or the Taste of Newfoundland tours.
Signal Hill, which is located just a few miles from the conference, is the site of the first transatlantic wireless transmission. What a terrific location to hike! The hill has steep and winding walkways through overlooking the Ocean and the harbour. Cape Spear is the northeastern most point in North America and also offers a picturesque view of the city of St. Johns.
What a busy and successful conference. The upcoming school year is filled with innovative and exciting changes.