2014 Conference

Workshop Descriptions

Gordon Neufeld

1.  Helping Children Flourish

We all want our children and students to thrive - to become all they were meant to be. But how is this to be accomplished?  What conditions are required for optimal functioning?  What experiences are essential to the unfolding of human potential?  Dr. Neufeld will put the pieces together to reveal rather surprising answers to this quintessential question of human development.  A consciousness of the irreducible needs of children is a much needed antidote to a society that has become outcome driven and a culture that has lost its intuitive wisdom.  

Alvin Law

2.  There’s No Such Word As Can’t: How to Successfully Overcome Anything!

This title is a perfect example as it is the expression Alvin’s parents used in his childhood to encourage a belief system; one that is timeless.  You will hear about the extraordinary journey that was and is Alvin’s life; the impossible challenges and the incredible successes.

Learn about Alvin’s Laws of Life.  There are the five elements he believes provided his roadmap to a successful life and can be used by anyone to find theirs. They are; Attitude, Learning, Value Your Life & Spirit, Imagination, and Never Give Up.


3.  Fireside Chat with Alvin Law

This workshop will provide an opportunity for informal dialogue and storytelling.  We will explore some of the concepts and strategies presented by Alvin and chat about how to inspire our students and school communities with his perspectives.

Darren Laur


4.  Internet and Social Media Safety / Ethics and Digital Citizenship

This is a two-session workshop. Select (a) and (b) when you register if you wish to attend the full workshop.

Safety is on the minds of parents and teachers in our rapidly expanding digital world.  Darren will discuss numerous issues related to safety on the internet including:  what are our kids doing on-line; parental risk management; cell phone/ smart phone and web cam safety; the good and bad of social networks such as "Facebook", "Twitter", "Tumblr", "Instagram", "Snapchat", "Vine" and Ask.fm"; things you can do immediately to protect your child's digital dossier and online branding; the predator's "grooming" process and the "lures" they use in chat rooms and social networks; and the four step process to internet safety.

The on-line world presents a whole new set of ethical concerns for our society.  This workshop will explore a number of these issues such as:  on-line ethics; on-line media literacy and critical thinking; how technology use has changed teen socializing, dating, schoolwork and sleep; internet filtering, the pros and cons; why future employers, colleges and universities are checking your child's digital dossier; and the benefits of community based Restorative Justice programs when it comes to effectively dealing with "some" forms of cyber bullying and sexting.

John Fawcett et al

5.  Our Culture Will Shape Our Future

You will hear from members of SD61’s Culture & Community Committee about their work to date to develop a set of guiding principles that reflect the values and beliefs of their district.  We will discuss how these principles were developed and how they might be used to improve our school communities.  We will also brainstorm together on ways to initiate and support positive cultural change in our school communities. 

Jody Waldie et al

7.  Self-Regulation and Cultural Change

In order for educators to best support student social and academic achievement, a true understanding of how students respond to daily stressors affecting their ability to participate in classroom activities is necessary.  Based on the five-domain model, as described by Dr. Stuart Shanker, we will outline how parents, staff and students themselves can support the development of self-regulation strategies in response to daily stressors that our children face.  We will provide an overview of Greater Victoria School District’s involvement with the Canadian Self-Regulation Initiative, information on self-regulation and the five-domains as well as examples of how self-regulation strategies are being used in our classrooms and in the alternative education setting.

Rod Allen

8.  21st Century Learning: Implications for Assessment and Reporting

21st Century Learning concepts will result in an increased emphasis on competencies such as collaboration; creativity; social responsibility; healthy living; global and cultural understanding; communication; innovation; critical thinking and problem solving.  How will these competencies be assessed?  How will progress be reported to students and parent?  Will evidence-based reporting change our current use of letter grades?  Rod Allen, Superintendent of Learning, will discuss these and other questions through presentation and dialogue with attendees.

Mark Albany

9.  Moving Schools Away from Institutional Discrimination

This workshop will probe how institutionalized ideas result in systemic discrimination against certain groups of students.  We will look at the history of schools and their original purpose.  We will examine how these original purposes are still reflected in the structures and practices that persist in schools today.  Through thoughtful interactive discussion we will consider what changes we would like to make and how we can implement them.

Larry Espe

10.  “Trades, Transitions and Transformation”

For too many people, the idea of trades or skills education is considered second rate. This needs to change. In his presentation, Larry will suggest that hands-on learning is real learning and should be incorporated into more inter-disciplinary projects. He will question current structures that all too often act as barriers to possibilities and creativity for both students and teachers.

Heidi James

11.  Connected Learning through Technology

Using iPads and the Discovery Education Techbook website, students will demonstrate collaborative skills in investigating and sharing information. Students will use guiding inquiry questions and a variety of resource options and co-curate information using AppleTV and collaborative online documents. AppleTV will allow the students to share their new knowledge in real time, and the collaborative document will continue to be co-constructed as the inquiry unit progresses.  This session will demonstrate one way that the iPads can be used in a collaborative fashion in a grade six classroom. There will be a brief introduction, followed by an opportunity to watch a small group of students engage in a portion of the lesson concluding with a debriefing and question and answer period. 

Sherri Mohoruk and Theresa Campbell

12.  Preventing Bullying Through Education and Cultural Change

Theresa Campbell, President, Safer Schools Together and lead trainer for the provincial ERASE (Expect Respect And A Safe Education ) Strategy and Sherri Mohoruk, Superintendent, Safe Schools, Ministry of Education are pleased to provide parents with an overview of the ERASE (Expect Respect and a Safe Education) strategy. The session will focus on concrete suggestions on what we can do to prevent bullying and ensure a safe school culture. 

Heather Coey et al

13.  School / Community Gardens

A number of schools in the Greater Victoria and Sooke districts have built gardens, harvested their produce for school lunch programs and enhanced curriculum with related learning opportunities for students.  Our panel will include presentations from Reynold Secondary School, Colquitz Middle School and Shoreline Middle School.