Talk Redesign Videos

Talk Redesign, a professional learning event held in Red Deer AB in May 2015 focused on the topics of student engagement and redesigning high school. Each video message is approximately 5-10 minutes in length, and is accompanied by the discussion guide provided. This collection of inspiring messages shared by educators, students and community members  throughout Alberta can be used to provoke conversation and support professional learning within the school community.

Discussion Guide

Igniting Passion and Unlocking Potential

Cole Webber – Student, Grade 10, Lindsay Thurber High School – Red Deer Public Schools

What should the purpose of education be? In his talk, Cole will walk you through this simple question, and reveal how it is impacted by converging trends, like the growing power of the individual, and the increasing ability of our technology.

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Relationships – The Foundation of Education

Ed Polhill – Principal, George McDougall High School – Rocky View Schools

Relationships are the foundation of everything we do in education. Ed will focus on how he has come to this conclusion in both his personal and professional life and why he believes that relationships are critical to engagement, connectedness and, ultimately, learning.

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Transform: Growing Teacher Leaders in High School Redesign

Vince Bustamante – Teacher, Louis St. Laurent – Edm. Catholic Schools and Rhonda Nixon – Manager, Transform

In this talk, Rhonda will introduce Transform, Edmonton Catholic Schools’ professional learning framework that enables teachers to take on leadership by doing presentations and coaching on student-centred instruction focused on the principles of High School Redesign. Vince will share his experiences growing his own and others’ leadership in High School Redesign at his school and beyond.

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Turn it Inside Out, Redesign Planning

Mark McCrudden – Principal, St. Peter the Apostle Catholic High School – Evergreen Catholic Schools

When developing a model for High School Redesign, it is essential the principles selected as the foundation of the plan are chosen for the specific needs and culture of your school. So what if those very principles are turned inside out and become the foundation of the planning process? In his talk, Mark will take the foundational principles and apply them to staff processes.

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Assessing Our Reassessment

Dave Martin – Teacher, Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School – Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

Why do we talk about differentiated instruction and personalizing learning, but still focus on common assessment? Dave will talk about his process of successfully removing grades from his high school classes and transforming his assessments from “Generating Data” to “Creating Conversations” moving towards an intrinsically motivated classroom. If students are taught differently, and ultimately learn differently, shouldn’t we assess them as individuals.

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I Wish I was Back in High School

Colleen Munro – Chair, Rocky View Schools Board of Trustees – Rocky View Schools

In this talk, Colleen will bring her perspective as a community member, longtime resident and Rocky View alumna to the process of High School Redesign at Cochrane High and speak to the why of Cochrane High School’s successful change, its “Student-Centric” team.

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Taking Your Classroom Global

Terry Godwalt – Teacher, Queen Elizabeth High School and Founder/Executive Director of The Centre for Global Education (CGE) – Edmonton Public Schools

Gone are the days when teachers were restricted to textbooks, videos and the internet. Through the use of modern conference technology, blended with social media tools, every teacher can connect every class in the world and the world to their classroom. From Child Soldiers in Sierra Leone to the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, Terry’s talk will explore how teachers can go beyond learning about and start learning alongside.

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Who are We Leaving Behind?

Piet Langstraat – Superintendent – Red Deer Public Schools

In his talk, Piet will focus on the idea of engagement and personalization in education, using stories to drive home his belief. How can we create a system that is personalized for all students?

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Connecting the Dots

Heather Rootsaert – Teacher and Department Head, Mother Margaret Mary Catholic High School – Edm. Catholic Schools

What would schools look like or feel like without student engagement and a sense of community? Heather will explore how students, staff, parents and community members need to feel valued and a part of their school if we expect all these stakeholders to give back and be involved. How do we ensure this is part of the high school experience available to all of our students?

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The Importance of Collaboration, Voice and Data when Successfully Implementing Initiatives

Anne Kromm – Assistant Principal, Cochrane High School – Rocky View Schools

In her talk, Anne will explore the uniqueness of school culture and therefore, the importance of successful collaboration within the school and the community. By involving stakeholders in the decision making process, they will be more actively engaged and committed to the process of Moving Forward with High School Redesign.

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Student and Staff Empowerment: As the means change, so do the ends

Trevor Mitchell – Principal, St. Francis of Assisi Catholic Academy – Living Waters Catholic Schools

In his talk, Trevor will speak about the importance of empowering staff to seek solutions to take their school where it needs to go to fulfill its vision and the mandate of Inspiring Education. He will share the story of how his school has used the idea of curriculum to bring focus to their mission of having all students succeed. He will relate how High School Redesign is about changing thinking and involves deep conversations and goes well beyond changes to timetables or the creation of Flex blocks.

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Teacher vs. Teaching

Joe Thibeau – Teacher and Student Service Coordinator, Wm. E. Hay Composite High School – Clearview School Division

Through personal experience, Joe will examine the link between the professional practice of “teaching” and the personal nature of “teacher” with a special focus on the importance and power of developing strong relationships.

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Lead and Others Will Follow

Maria Zuluaga – Student, Grade 12, Ecole Secondaire Notre Dame High School – Red Deer Catholic Regional Schools

Where are our future leaders? In high school of course! Maria will share her high school leadership experiences and identify some of the ways she and her peers were empowered to get involved, lead and develop their leadership abilities.

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Thriving, Rigor, Coveralls and Steel Toed Boots

Gerry Fijal – Director in Learning Innovation – Calgary Board of Education

In his talk, Gerry will discuss the nature and purpose of High School Redesign by reflecting on the question: are we having the right conversations? Gerry will use examples to provoke conversation about what we currently mean by “success” in school.

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Motivated for Growth

Tyler Capton – Teacher and Instructional Design Team Member, Gateway Christian School – Red Deer Public Schools

Tyler will use his talk to share specific ways in which his school culture has been prepared and motivated for growth. He will be sharing stories of approaching and implementing change through a growth mindset and distributed leadership. Gateway Christian School planted seeds and now they are beginning to see the fruits of their labour, as they continue to cultivate the conditions for growth.

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The Moon, The Stars, The Comets and High School Design

Christine Meaden – Principal, Robert Thirsk High School – Calgary Board of Education

While the prelude to Robert Thirsk High School is not unique, it does highlight the importance of collaboration as we influence, together, the evolution of our high schools. Christine’s talk will describe the journey of a new school through High School ‘Design’ as they explore the possibilities.

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The Role of the District in Supporting Schools

Lissa Steele – Associate Superintendent of Learning Services – Chinook’s Edge School Division

Researchers who have examined the role of the district in instructional improvement have identified themes or principles associated with district policies, programs and practices that contribute to district success. In her talk, Lissa will describe the critical work, processes and structures established by the superintendency team in Chinook’s Edge School Division in supporting schools toward creating quality learning environments in their High School Redesign efforts.

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Moving Forward with Change

Susie Sirman – Teacher and Learning Coach, Archbishop O’Leary High School – Edmonton Catholic Schools

During her talk, Susie will tell the story of her high school’s efforts to effect lasting and meaningful change using a fresh new metaphor “how a neuron fires in the brain”. You will hear about their misfires, their recovery, and their attempts to move forward (and learn a little biology along the way).

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Flexibility – A State of Mind

Tom Christensen – Principal, Olds High School – Chinook’s Edge School Division

Tom’s talk will focus on how flexibility and High School Redesign is much more about the changes that occur in the staff and students mind and approach to teaching and learning than in any timetable change that might be implemented.

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What Students Need

Tiffany Tse and Lisa Martell, Students, Hunting Hills High School – Red Deer Public Schools

In their talk, Tiffany and Lisa will explain how they have thrived in the current system, but highlight the fact that they may be the exception. They will provide suggestions for how education can change to meet the needs of all students.

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