Message from Myles (COSL chair) – May 2019

COSL Chairperson – May Message

A lot has happened around the COSL table since my last message.
Our new Leadership Team members were elected in early April. Congratulation to Sheri Haney (Turtle Mountain) and Chris Hicks (Borderland) for being elected to three-year terms.
The end of April saw a team of ten head to the Yukon for CAP 2019 to promote CAP 2020 being held in Winnipeg. To promote CAP 2020, the team handed out Manitoba swag bags to delegates. In addition to the bags, a Manitoba Social was held at the Whitehorse Legion and was attended by nearly 130 delegates. The theme of the Conference was Northern Lights: Illuminating our Experiences with numerous sessions dealing with the many land-based and indigenous initiatives being carried out in the Yukon. Participants attending the Pre-Conference spent at day in Carcross at the Tagish First Nation; getting a chance to visit their state-of-the-art Learning and Cultural Centre as well as a tour of the local school. May 10 and 11 saw roughly 50 delegates at our 19th Annual AGM. Friday evening was spent listening to Neil Dempsey, retired teacher and now University Professor discussing how to help students (and the public) move away from a narrow view of mathematics as a set of computational tasks and instead see the beauty and joy in the inter-connected web of ideas that is mathematics. On Saturday, the COSL Constitution and By-laws were discussed in preparation of presentation to Provincial Executive for approval (they were approved on May 22). At lunch we recognized, Julie Van from Grant Park High School, this year’s recipient of the CAP Student Leadership award. After lunch, time was spent discussing the issues facing school leaders today in light of the Provincial Education Review being conducted. Next week I will post the results of those discussions.
May 23rd to 25th, Governance Mandate Chair, Chad Cobbe, and myself represented COSL as observers at the 100th sitting of Provincial Council of The Manitoba Teachers’ Association. Not only was the 100th Council historic for it being the 100th, it was historic for COSL as a resolution brought forth by the Seven Oaks Teachers’ Association seeking COSL gain Delegate status as opposed to Observer status was passed. Here are my words of thanks I read out to the Assembly, “ I would like to take a moment to address the Assembly on behalf of the over 1000 School Leaders in Manitoba, for granting School Leaders a voice at Provincial Council. Having a strong unified relationship and voice between teachers and school leaders is especially important in these uncertain times. Teachers and School Leaders are best positioned to provide for their students when working together. Together we are stronger.” Going forward, school leaders in Manitoba will have a voice around the table. A big thank-you to MTS VP and COSL liaison James Bedford for all of his hard work in helping COSL gain a direct say around the table. Later Saturday morning, I joined approximately 400 Manitoba educators march from City Hall to Memorial Park along with other Unions to honour those who participated in the 1919 General Strike, standing up for workers’ rights 100 years ago. At the Provincial Council, James Bedford was elected President and Nathan Martindale was elected Vice President. I would like to acknowledge James for all his guidance around our table as MTS liaison for the past 4 years. I look forward to working with Nathan as he replaces James as our MTS liaison.
June is a busy month for all of you. June in the COSL office takes on a different level of busy, as we gear up to finalize plans our 2019 Fall Conference being held once again at Tec Voc on October 25. And 2020 CAP Conference, May 5-8, 2020. Mark the dates on your calendar for CAP 2020, Clear Vision for School Leadership—Inspire and Transform Vision into Action. And the last project I would like to talk about is the on-going 100 in 100 School Tour. To date, the tour has taken VP Bedford and myself to 117 schools in 22 School Divisions. Over 6800 kms have been covered while we have been on tour seeing first hand the great work being done by school leaders and teachers in their schools. The uptake has been tremendous and the support form our fellow COSL and MTS members outstanding. Plans are to continue the 100 in 100 tour until the end of the year to see if we can get to at least to one school in every division in Manitoba. Once completed, a presentation of the tour will be put together. If you are looking for some PD at the beginning of July, look no further than McMaster House for the COSL Summer Institute. COSL members have again volunteered their time to acts as leader leaders for the participants. Go to the COSL website for more information. This is all for now. All the best as your years end up: graduations, end of year farewells, timetabling and staffing. Stay strong , summer is just around the corner. Respectfully, COSL Chairperson

Myles Blahut
COSL Chairperson

Rob Fisher

COSL leadership team member. Principal, R.D. Parker Collegiate, Thompson, Mb -- Webmaster - send suggestions for this website's development to ATT'N: Rob Fisher email: