Sharing Stories of their Fruitful Harvest was the theme of a conference held in Weyburn over the weekend.
The Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division hosted the other seven separate school divisions for the Saskatchewan Catholic School Boards Association annual conference.
“The whole theme was for the eight Catholic school divisions that exist in the province, to come and to be both story makers and storytellers,” said Gwen Keith, Director of Education for the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division.
Keith said the McKenna Auditorium was filled with a bountiful harvest theme.
“There was a lot of focus around the theme of story and getting to the granular level of what those stories are, and look like and felt like,” she explained.
She said they welcomed a former leader from Ottawa.
“It wasn’t just the 8 school divisions that were here, but also representation from other provinces,” said Keith. “Holy Family has a connection with Ottawa Catholic schools because we’re a deep learning school division.”
“It was really a pleasure to meet a retired director who had started the deep learning global competency piece in his school division, to be able to share with him where we are and to tell him that one of his schools was actually recognized with a global award in that area,” she said.
She said it was a good networking opportunity for everyone in attendance.
“By the time the weekend was finished on Sunday, there certainly was a good feeling with the school divisions around what it is that Catholic schools are about,” she said.
Keith said the differences offered by a Catholic education centre around relationships between educators and other educators, as well as between educators and the students and parents.
Holy Family's theme this year, she added, has been "A Community of Story: Putting Flesh on Our Faith". She said the living out of the faith is a big part of a Catholic education.
Catholic educators celebrate their differences in the liturgical aspects and the faith-based foundational elements, but consistency in relationships is of utmost importance.
“Relationships, obviously, are very important,” she said. “They have to be not just talked about, they actually have to be lived. During some of these challenging times, when the Catholic community might be questioned because of some of the historical issues of the past, you have to be even more vigilant to be able to deal with things like relationships in a very open and transparent and consistent way. You have to really walk this talk,” said Keith.
"Relationships matter with all of our structures in K to 12 education in the province, and we just have a preferred way of really working with those in a way that works for us," she added.
She said educators are only as represented as the last interface with the children or parents. Working through challenges as a unit is part of walking the Catholic talk.
More information on deep learning global competency can be found HERE.
Through sharing stories of the Bible or of the current educational challenges, the Holy Family Roman Catholic Separate School Division uses nature-based symbolism to express the complexities of faith-based education.