Learning Portfolio

A Collection of resources to assist in the role of Principal

Module A - Setting Directions

OCTOBER 3rd, 2015


Flying V and Chain metaphor (See slides in google drive)

OLF - Key to everything that we do (see placemat)

Building Relationships

Some things to think about when working with staff, students, parents and the community...

- We may not agree, but we can discuss everything;

- Introduce yourself to staff personally. Go see everyone, first say in;

- Have an assembly first day in and discuss expectations and values;

- Have a parent handbook and communicate the wish to have them as active participants; and

- Communicate with parent council and have them involved in extra-curricular activities.

Thelma suggested having staff make a promise to themselves (well-being, assessment, practice...)

Presentation from Dr. Denise Belchetz

"Change is a process, not an event"

*Resource - Achieveing Excellence, 2004.


What am I most excited about?

I am looking forward to working with other aspiring leaders and learning from all of the different backgrounds. I am also looking forward to learning more about becoming a more effective instructional leader. If the speakers lined up for the course are all like Dr. Belchetz, this will be quite interesting. Her take on many things are in line with my way of thinking so I am glad to see someone at the Ministry thinking the same way.

What am I most nervous about...

I am very nervous about the amount of information that will be provided. There is so much to learn and to know. I feel that I am fortunate that I am already in the role as I may be able to relate some things to my current day-to-day work. The amount of information will be very overwhelming.

OCTOBER 4th, 2015

Thelma discussed how she wrote to all of her staff over the summer to discuss her learning and experiences and to discuss start-up.


- google Karen Map, Joyce Epstein and Lorraine Munro;

- National School Reform Factory - www.nsrfharmony.org

- Hour of Code (suggest this to Melissa, Michele, Diane & Shannon)

- Give feedback when individuals violate norms;

- Evidence is key; and

- Growth mindset


Presentation by Irene Fu on Twitter opened my eyes to things that occur in a larger board. This presentation was very interesting and clearly outlined how people can get themselves in to hot water with social media, but we also say the benefits of social media and how we can promote our schools through social media. As a smaller, catholic school, we are in direct competition with the public board, and I think that social media could assist in helping us promote our schools and be more competitive.

SIP - see google drive

John Hattie video - see google drive


Have you gained some knowledge, skills, attitudes, strategies, or perhaps burning questions to support your leadership journey?

I am currently in the role of Acting Principal. I am the only Administrator in the building. The last two days have me overwhelmed and I realize I have only been in the role for 1 month, I worry that I am not fulfilling the duties that I need to be. The placemats provided are great resources. I have so many questions, that I do not even know where to start, but I do hope that the rest of the course will help ease these concerns and will assist me as I learn on the job. The presentations by the guest speakers were incredible.


OCTOBER 17th, 2015

Guest Speaker - Anna Maria Nielsen, OCT

Few notes taken...Anna Maria's presentation offered a vast array of information. The borrowing library at OCT is one thing that I was not aware of. There are so many aspects to the OCT. We pay them - call if we need assistance or have questions. The blue pages are just one part of the OCT. The legislation really outlines the information

ARTICLE DISCUSSION - When Leadership Spells danger


Reflect on the adaptive challenges we discussed today, what personal leadership resources will you use and what skills/attitudes/behaviours do you need to develop further to navigate the ‘dangerous’ /
challenging times

To navigate challenging times, I definitely need to ensure that I utilize the human resources available to me (Tricia, Daphne, Karen, Principal's group, and new PQP friends). These people are great resources and can provide insight or can be used to bounce ideas off in order to avoid catastrophic situations. I need to develop the skills and/or knowledge to know that I can take time and do not have to have all of the answers right away. Take the time to think before acting or speaking. Furthermore, there are several resources out there and there is no need to reinvent the wheel.

OCTOBER 18th, 2015

Ted Libera - Safe & Caring Schools

- Duty to Report - TDSB PR 560;

- Ed Act - 300 - 316; and

- Always discuss with SO.


What is one new thing you’ve observed differently in your current role as a result of taking this course?

I entered into this role in September. I thought I understood what I was getting myself into. The scope of the role is much larger than I ever imagined. I recall when I first accepted the position, my Principal congratulated me and she said, "I'm going to give you three pieces of advice: Don't forget to drink, don't forget to eat, and don't forget to go to the bathroom". I giggled with her, but now, I certainly understand how serious she actually was. Taking this course confirms what she was saying. Although the job is very busy, the impact that we can have is huge and so far, I would not change my decision for anything.


November 7th, 2015

One key thing that I have learned through this course that relates to Developing the Organization is that I do not need to be the leader for everything. I need to utilize the staff and their skill set. They can lead things that they are more knowledgeable about and comfortable doing (eg. Tracy with anything relating to resource).

Presentation from Shari Schwartz-Maltz on Media Relations


Policy / Practices / Research→ Impact?

School Councils

Media Relations


Although I understand the intent of the role of school council, it doesn't work everywhere. I currently have a group of parents who are involved with school council, and we meet monthly for more of a social outing. They do not want to lead anything, and simply want me to tell them what it is that is happening in the school, and whether or not there is anything that they can assist with from an extra-curricular perspective. The legislation is clear as to what the intent is and the role of a School Council, but I'm not convinced that it always works.

Shari's presentation was entertaining for me, because our media relations may consist of the radio station calling to ask what we are doing for education week. Again, the differences in experiences that I will have compared to some of my colleagues at larger boards are quite significant. Listening to these presentations are still very useful. You never know if I will end up in another board. There is always a great underlying message. You are never alone and should always call your SO.

NOVEMBER 8th, 2015

OSR - See pink handout with regards to OSR guidelines.

EQAO Presentation - Lorraine Giroux

The scoring is very surprising. I need to inform teachers to keep things simple and have students focus on questions. The level 4 answers are not complicated, they simply answer the question.


What evidence do you have at this point that demonstrates your contribution to developing your school or school board? What is your largest fear/worry regarding being able to develop a school and it's stakeholder groups as a VP? How will you address your need?

I have been able to develop my school by building positive relationships with staff and families. The evidence that I have is the feedback that I have received from staff and parents in the community. I have also seen an increase in enrollment of 5% since September through transfers from the public board. The biggest concern that I have is developing the catholic component of our school and working with the church. That is likely the part that I am lacking in the most. I have been going to church every week and my children have become involved as alter servers. I am learning more each week, but still have some work to do.


NOVEMBER 21st, 2015


- Parent reaching out grant;

- Is it Respectful/Responsible/Reasonable?;

- Idea for Melissa's class - Certificates - you got caught doing something great;

- learnteachlead.ca - math videos


There are so many great ideas of things to do. I think that it would be beneficial for the Ministry to hire a person to create a dropbox and have it categorized for all provincial educators to share ideas, quality activities and anything else that would be useful. I think that often we are trying to recreate the wheel when we could be sharing ideas with others and borrowing from others as well. I think that we have created a culture where we do not like to share because we have a fear of being judged. We discussed at the last meeting of our Principal's group of sharing resources amongst ourselves. I am not sure why that hasn't happened until now.

NOVEMBER 22nd, 2015


At the Regional SIM meeting in Sudbury, Mary Jean Gallagher discussed Emma's school. Her presentation shows the impact that we can make on students and really how much power that we have as leaders. Setting an example and making everyone feel like they are contributing is a key to success.

*Resource - Creating cultures of thinking.

www.wordpress.com - Student voice and building community.


-Supports contract implementation;

- Discipline;

- Medical accommodations;

- Grievances; and

- Arbitration.


What do you do now to sustain high expectations for
learning outcomes and promote learning/improved student

As a vice-principal what attitudes and skills will you utilize
to help lead a school to:

- hold & sustain high expectations for learning outcomes for all

- monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of instruction

- Promote a positive, equitable learning environment/climate for all

Currently, I have been holding teachers accountable. I ask them for the data. They must keep running records, and they must provide them to me when asked. I discuss data at every staff meeting. I ask them if we do not have the data, how can we close the gap in achievement. Staff are on board. They like to see the data, and they like to see the running record and seeing how the students are improving. Our Special Assignment Teacher has also been very much involved in this process. I am also very much involved in the classrooms. The teachers and I are working collaboratively to focus on assessment and not just evaluations. Providing effective feedback for reading responses has been a goal of ours and we are all working together to do that. I think that once we have effectively mastered reading responses we will continue to work on something else. It is very difficult to get everyone on board, and there is one teacher who is making things difficult, but I am not letting her knock the wind out of my sails because we are on the right track to achieving great success.