Social/Emotional Wellbeing Sessions
Empowering High School Student Leaders for the Year Ahead
Many of our "tried and true" community building activities have now been shelved due to Covid-19 restrictions. In spite of this, our student leaders for the 2020-2021 school year are ready to step forward in faith to serve. We owe it to our students to see this an opportunity to think outside the box and to help them design new and creative ways to build thriving and vibrant Christian school communities. Specifically, how can we provide student leaders with clear structures (designated times, locations, resources, digital platforms, etc.) so that they can plan, advertise and schedule both virtual and face-toface events that support emotional, physical, spiritual and creative well-being in our student population? How can we provide student leaders springboard ideas that spark their creativity and possibilities? And lastly, how can we provide student leaders support and clear boundaries to ensure the entire community’s wellbeing?
Presented by: Marjorie Sutherland, Vice Principal at Woodland Christian High School in Breslau, ON
Audience: Grade 9-12 educators
For Leaders: Keeping Your Whole Community Connected at Home and School
What essential components of your communication plan will cause parents to be your school’s best promoters? Staying connected and communicating well to staff, students, and parents is vitally important, in this time of uncertainty more than ever. In this session, you’ll hear two of your fellow school leaders describe essential communication components that not only engage their school communities but also lead to parents sharing their love for their schools with others. This session will also give you the opportunity to collaborate in small groups on your own communication plans for the fall.
Presented by: George Petrusma, Principal at John Knox Christian School in Oakville, ON, and Ray Verburg, Principal at Community Christian School in Drayton, ON
Audience: All school leaders
Creating Connection through Student Voice (in class or online!)
Regardless of whether learning takes place in a physical classroom or online, connection is critical. Connection allows us to understand - and respond to - the needs of our students. We will investigate the importance of connection, and examine restorative tools including circles and protocols that support a strong classroom culture. Ultimately, we seek to give our students a voice such that they take ownership of their learning and their classroom community.
Presented by: Owen Webb, Dean of Students at Hamilton District Christian High in Ancaster, ON
Audience: Grade 6-12 educators
Building Community When We’re Not All in the Room
A major focus of every new school year is establishing a positive classroom culture. Doing so this fall may be especially challenging, as your students may not be together in person all at the same time. Join us for this session to explore how to use Responsive Classroom practices (such as morning meetings and advisory meetings) to build classroom community in a hybrid or online model.
Presented by: Allison Hendriks, Grade 7 & 8 teacher at Halton Hills Christian School in Georgetown, ON
Audience: Grade 5-8 educators
Encouraging Mental Health in our Return to School (elementary focus)
While the return to school will be not only welcome but exciting for many students, others will be feeling anxious or frightened. This session will provide tips and strategies for educators as they help students navigate the complicated emotions of this transition.
Presented by: Marge Kloet, Child and Youth Care Worker, Tricia Schinkel, School Counsellor at Calvin Christian School, and Sara Pot, Communities of Belonging Liaison, Edvance
Audience: JK-8 educators
For Leaders: Sustaining and Strengthening Your Staff Culture
Curt Thompson urged us to tap into God’s unfailing love for us as the wellspring of our own health and courage during uncertain times. But how can we do that professionally as leaders of our staff? This session will explore concrete structures and protocols that leaders can use to ensure their staff members feel known, loved, and supported.
Presented by: Marianne Vangoor, Leader in Residence at Edvance
Audience: All school leaders
Welcoming our Primary Students Back to School with Social/Emotional Care
A major focus of every new school year for primary students is not only establishing a positive classroom culture but also introducing important routines and expectations. Doing so this fall may be especially challenging, given that students have been out of schools since March. How can we prioritize social/emotional care this September as we also introduce new protocols for safety and hygiene? Responsive Classroom practices can help us keep our sense of joy in spite of added complexity!
Presented by: Amanda Breimer, Grade 3 teacher, and Josalyn Hagen, JK teacher, both at Calvin Christian School in Hamilton, ON
Audience: JK-5 educators
Encouraging Mental Health in our Return to High School
We have known that student mental health is both a growing concern and priority for high schools. In this session, we’ll discuss how staff and student leadership structures can create a culture of care and mental health awareness for students who are learning at school or at home.
Presented by: Kayla Coombs, Counsellor, Student Services at King’s Christian Collegiate in Oakville, ON
Audience: Grade 9-12 educators
We Are All Educational Wayfinders Now
How do we navigate a path when the way is unclear? We are all educational wayfinders now. In this session, we will discuss how to navigate the intersection between (1) what matters most (your fiercest loves/deepest cares/primal commitments), (2) the big picture learning outcomes you will be pursuing for your students during the tough year ahead, and (3) the perennial challenge of prioritizing each day's urgencies.
Presented by: Gideon Strauss, Academic Dean at the Institute for Christian Studies