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2020 Leading for Learning Program for Experienced School Leaders

General Information

The 14th Annual Leading for Learning course for Alberta school administrators, sponsored by the College of Alberta School Superintendents (CASS), will be offered at Olds College beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Monday, July 6, 2020 and ending at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, July 8, 2020. The registration fee is $925.00 (includes GST) or $625.00 (includes GST) if accommodation is not required . Registration is limited to 30 participants. Over the past thirteen years approximately 400 experienced school administrators have participated in the Leading for Learning course.

The course is designed to bring participants together as a leadership learning community with a focus on providing opportunities for:

  • Gaining new ideas and resources through engaging presentations and interactive learning sessions facilitated by educational leaders with a wealth of school and school system experience;
  • Reflecting, sharing ideas, and building on school leadership experiences and best practices;
  • Meaningfully addressing issues, and challenges encountered by school leaders and developing practical strategies for action;
  • Networking with colleagues from other school jurisdictions;
  • Establishing through group activities a forum for building relationships, learning with and from each other, and an opportunity to offer assistance as an extension of the course learning experience;
  • Extending the learning experience through university graduate coursework if desired;
  • Further developing a personal understanding, and vision for successful school leadership, and
  • Providing further support by regular email and articles throughout the 2020-2021 school year.

Leading for Learning targets four groups:

  • Administrators who took Start Right previously and want to take the next learning leadership step.
  • New administrative teams – building relationships around educational leadership!
  • Administrators who need support with instructional leadership and leading learning.
  • Experienced administrators who are learners.

Some of the same presenters will be coming (e.g. Kurt Sacher, Konsctancija A deGoei, (Konni), and Scott Morrison) but ALL the 2020 Leading for Learning sessions are significantly different than previous Start Right sessions that participants may have attended.

Leading for Learning 2020 will be co-coordinated by CASS Directors of Leadership Learning —Colleen Symyrozum-Watt and Elizabeth Gouthro.

Participants will be accommodated in private rooms at Centennial Village, meals will be provided through campus food services, and all sessions will be held on the beautiful Olds College campus. 

The feedback from the Leading for Learning participants has been very positive each year.  In fact, in each of the thirteen years Leading for Learning has been offered, a significant majority (in most years 100%) of participants rated the learning experience as very good or excellent, and indicated they would recommend the program to their colleagues in school administration.  Participants have expressed appreciation regarding the emphasis on facilitating group discussions and sharing best practices. They have welcomed the opportunity to network with fellow administrators from school jurisdictions across Alberta and elsewhere. (Out-of-province participants are most welcome!) Many of the previous Leading for Learning participants commented on the value of having school leadership teams attend the course.

Leading for Learning representative comments from the evaluation forms over the years include the following:

  • This was an outstanding PD opportunity! Best I’ve had—EVER!
  • Sessions offered information on a variety of areas with regard to administration. Never felt like the sessions were repetitive. Such an amazing opportunity and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to any of my colleagues.
  • Very organized and seemingly effortless—but I know it is a tremendous amount of work.
  • Super organized; professional but with an excellent balance of “serious” and “fun”. Great hosts—knowledgeable and approachable..
  • Actually should be mandatory for Principals and Vice-Principals.
  • Compiled amazing speakers. So grateful to have the opportunity to learn from all of them.
  • Truly one of the best conferences I’ve attended. No improvements are necessary. Keep up the fantastic work that you do!

Arrangements can be made through Alberta universities to extend the Leading for Learning 2020 experience for graduate level course credit.  Participants will be required to pay a tuition fee to the university and to meet additional course requirements. Information regarding university credit is available at the University Graduate Coursework tab. Individuals who are interested in receiving more information regarding university course credit may also contact Colleen Symyrozum-Watt at 587 879 70267 (symwatt.colleen@gmail.com).

Note: If you require more information or have any questions, please contact: Colleen Symyrozum-Watt at 587 879 70267 (symwatt.colleen@gmail.com).

Program Information

Coming soon…

Olds College Information

PDF  Campus Map

Participants will stay in the residences at Centennial Village! Each private room is furnished with a double bed, desk plus chair, closet with shelving, a night stand, and private bath. All units are non-smoking. Free parking is available. For more information, go to http://oldscollege.ca/student-life/student-housing/centennial-village/index.

Participants will be provided with a cafeteria meal ticket that covers meals on Wednesday and Thursday morning, and Wednesday and Thursday lunch. A traditional first nations feast will be provided Tuesday evening with appetizers served following the sessions. There will also be a banquet on Wednesday evening at 6:30 p.m. This will be a joint function with the Start Right participants.  Breakfast will be served from 7:00 a.m. to 8:15 a.m., lunch from 11:45 noon to 1:00 p.m. Refreshments will be available during session breaks.

Location of Sessions
All sessions will be held on the beautiful Olds College Campus.  Smoking is not permitted inside the Centre or any other building on campus.

University Graduate Coursework

Registration Procedures: Leading for Learning 2019

University Credit: Arrangements have been made with Alberta universities to offer graduate coursework for participants who are interested in extending the Leading for Learning 2019 short course learning experience. If you are interested in pursuing this option, you will be required to register with the university and to pay a tuition fee. If you plan to register, please contact the university at your earliest convenience in order to ensure that enrollment requirements are met. The contact information is as follows:

University of Alberta
Please e-mail Dr. José da Costa, Ed.D., Professor of Educational Administration and Leadership, Department of Educational Policy Studies, Faculty of Education at jdacosta@ualberta.ca. Dr. da Costa will provide information about both the registration procedures and the additional reading and assignment required.

University of Lethbridge
In-program University of Lethbridge M.Ed. students and current M.Ed. applicants should contact Kevin Matis at matis@uleth.ca with regard to registration with a copy to Dr. Mombourquette at carmen.mombourquette@uleth.ca who will provide information about Independent Study and Open Studies Registration processes. (i.e. deadlines and additional expectations for academic work.)

Please note: The University of Lethbridge will only take applications from U of L current and former students.

Conference Reading and Resource Materials

April 27, 2020

Your health and safety are of paramount importance to us. To comply with Alberta Health’s efforts to keep the COVID-19 outbreak under control, this event has been cancelled.

We apologize for the inconvenience.



Establish a sense of efficacy and confidence in newly appointed school leaders by providing practical, grounded advice.

CASS Professional Learning Goal 2019-20

Deepening the understanding and applying the learning to support implementation of professional practice.


July 6-8, 2020


Olds College
Olds, Alberta

Accommodations: Participants will stay in the new residences at Centennial Village! Each room is furnished with a double bed, desk plus chair, closet with shelving, a night stand, and private bath. All units are non-smoking. Free parking is available. For more information, go to http://choc.ca/campus-housing/centennial-village#amenities

Meals are provided as part of the registration package.

Location of Sessions: All sessions will be held on the beautiful Olds College campus. Senior CASS members (participant supervisors) are welcome to drop-in!