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Blog: Tuesday, September 3rd, 2019

Welcome Back Students & Staff!

By Dr. Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools

When people approach me in July or August and reference the “time off” we get in the summer, I always take a moment to explain that school districts are open year-round. Many educators and departments never really take a break! The first and most obvious sign is Summer School, which extends the school year by another month for students and staff. But another part that most people don’t think about is the incredible amount of work that goes on to clean, repair and prepare our schools for students in September.

Think about it for a minute…summer is the best time for our staff to give our schools a thorough cleaning. It is the best time to replace boilers, resurface the gym floor, clean the HVAC systems, paint the hallways, and repair the roofs. Our Facilities Department completes several projects that cannot be done when students are in the classrooms and walking the halls. With fewer computers accessing networks, it is the best time for IT upgrades to ensure that when student devices bombard the systems during the first week, they will hold up. The summer is also when our Finance Department goes through our annual audit. They have to reconcile thousands of school and department accounts, finalize the budget from the previous year, and have it validated by auditors. Those who work in the district would also know that our HR Department is busy hiring and placing teachers for the coming year. The fact is that while things slow down in the district in the summer, it never really stops. It is a significant opportunity to finish off the previous year, reflect on what went well, and develop plans to make the next year better.

This year promises to be another exciting one. I know that many are curious about the negotiations between the government and the BCTF. But, things like our new Graduation Program, the provincial funding model review, truth and reconciliation, student mental health, childcare and early learning are also important for this province and our school district. One exciting event taking place this September is that we are hosting the Canadian Student Leadership Conference here in Abbotsford in three short weeks. Some of these things might be framed as challenges. However, we must maintain a positive attitude that those involved will place the interests of our students at the forefront of their thoughts and planning.

It is my hope that as a result of our work over the summer that each child, family and staff members will have their best year ever in #AbbySchools. Welcome back!

By Dr. Kevin Godden
Dr. Kevin Godden
Dr. Kevin Godden

By Dr. Kevin Godden, Superintendent of Schools

Kevin has been the Superintendent of Schools for the Abbotsford School District since July 2011, overseeing some 19,000 students and 2,500 employees. Kevin is committed to student success in all forms and envisions a school district that can nimbly respond to the ever changing needs and interests of its students.