Welcome to the 2016-2017 school year! I sincerely hope you all had a relaxing summer break.

When I started my blog a few years ago I had intentions to be regularly updating it. However, the reality is that the busy day-to-day life of a principal prevented this from happening. When I logged in this morning I thought of just starting fresh from the beginning and deleting the old posts. However, it is better to leave them there as a reminder that I need to update my blog  regularly. Please stop and check that I’m doing what I said I would this year!

Here we are and the 2016-2017 school year is about to begin. It is the beginning of another fresh school year full of promise, opportunities, and future memories.  I hope that your previous memories have been positive and that you are looking forward to making new ones. To all parents and students if there is anything I can do to assist you during your time at Peacock Collegiate do not hesitate to contact me directly. My phone number is 306-693-4626 and my email is swanson.dustin@prairiesouth.ca.

For this year starting blog I want to focus on the importance of regular school attendance and of getting involved in school extracurricular activities. Research and experience make it clear that both are critical to success in high school.

There is a well known phrase in the education world known as “Attendance Matters”. It means that each and every school day is an important one and that we want students here each and every day. We know that students will get ill or have appointments or incidents which do affect their ability to attend every single day. However, as a general expectation we think that 95%+ attendance is a reasonable goal for all students. Of greater concern sometimes are the absences that can be avoided by some planning and fortitude. We believe that teachers are the simply the best at helping our students to learn and are available to help student catch up when absent. However, the discussion, presentations, activities, and overall learning that happens in a classroom with peers can’t be replicated through a homework sheet. I’m asking that should parents have a choice of keeping your child at school as opposed to pulling them out of class that you opt to keep them at school. Simply put, attendance matters.

We have a very hard working staff and community volunteer base that volunteer thousands of hours so that students can have extracurricular activities. I’m a firm believer that some of the most important life lessons happen in the gym, on a stage, or the sports field and strongly encourage all students to get involved. We have a wide variety of sports, fine arts, and clubs available to students. During the first week of school there are sign-up sheets in the main office so we hope to see everyone down to sign up for at least one activity this year. For students who are returning don’t forget that you are never too old to try something new! The Wayne Gretzky quote on my office wall is there as a reminder for us all that “you miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”.  Make sure that 2016-2017 is the year you take a shot.

Thanks for reading my blog and I look forward to working with you all over the year ahead.

Sincerely,
Dustin Swanson