What is SPSC?

The Saskatchewan Principals' Short Course (SPSC) is sponsored by Saskatchewan Ministry of Education; the Saskatchewan School Boards Association; the Saskatchewan Teachers' Federation; Saskatchewan School-Based Leaders; and the League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents.

The SPSC is open to teachers, teacher leaders, current or prospective Saskatchewan principals and vice-principals, others holding administrative responsibilities in schools (department heads, coordinators), and anyone else interested in developing their skills in instructional leadership. The sponsors of the Course are appreciative of the fact that many school boards in the Province nominate and financially assist at least one participant each year. However, because the Course is of interest to many Saskatchewan educators, individuals who wish to pay their own registration are invited to register, as well.

The SPSC will be held at the Travelodge Hotel (the Course Registrar will make your reservations), 106 Circle Drive West, Saskatoon.

Graduate students in the departments of Educational Administration and Curriculum Studies at the University of Saskatchewan are advised that, given the prior approval of their advisor, this seminar may be included as part of their Master's or PhD program of study.


SPSC Program Director

Dr Michelle Prytula
Dean, College of Education

SPSC Associate Director

Spencer Knowles
Graduate Student, Educational Administration

SPSC 2017 Facilitators

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SPSC Program

Program Objectives

The major goal of the Short Course is to provide an intensive opportunity for participants from provincial and First Nations schools to deepen their knowledge of theory, practice, and reflection, contributing to their skills as teachers and school leaders.  The activities of the Course will enable participants to:

  1. Examine the role of the principal through the lens of instructional leadership;
  2. Extend knowledge regarding the practices of establishing a vision, influencing school culture, and stimulating the learning environment, while at the same time managing, modeling, and monitoring activities within the school;
  3. Learn about new developments and initiatives in education;
  4. Share experiences, insights and concerns with other practitioners; and,
  5. Develop a support network of diverse peers across the entire province.

Short Course Design

The format for the Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course is shaped by the Instructional, Distributed, Ethical, and Transformational Leadership frameworks.  Session leaders and presenters represent views and perspectives from Indigenous and non-Indigenous worldviews.  As such, this course builds understanding of the role of the principal, as well as issues and challenges for provincial and First Nations leadership. 

The course is designed course so that participants will be able to frame their learning within the three successful components of school leadership: Establishing a Vision and Culture Conducive to Learning; Stimulating the Learning Environment; and Managing, Modeling, and Monitoring.

Within the theme of Establishing a Vision and Culture Conducive to Learning, we have planned larger plenary sessions so that participants can come to understand the necessary roles of a shared vision and a culture of learning in their professional communities.

Within the theme of Enhancing the Learning Environment, we have planned smaller sessions which will enable participants to focus on topics of special interest to their schools.  These sessions will make up a significant component of the conference in that each will generate discussion within the broader context of school leadership.  This session format consists of multiple small group presentations, with audience sizes of 15-25 participants in the hope that participants engage in meaningful, related discussion.

Within the theme of Managing, Modeling, and Monitoring, we have placed sessions (large sessions again), which are designed to help participants understand the management role inherent in school leadership.

Throughout the week, participants will frequently meet as a ‘small group’, where they will have the opportunity to engage in Professional Reflection and Deeper Inquiry, where they will discuss what they have learned, ask questions of group members and leaders, and share experiences, thoughts, and concerns in dialogue with one another.

In addition, common breakfasts, breaks and lunches are scheduled throughout the course, with the second day culminating with a social hour and the exciting ‘Minute to Win It’ where participants collaborate in fun and games and even win prizes for their groups!

While the week’s activities include a number of topics of special interest to beginning vice-principals and principals, many of the issues will be relevant to those in other leadership positions, including teacher leaders.

Sessions span the learning necessary for leadership, teaching, and learning across all treaties, enabling participants to not only add to their developing philosophy and repertoire of leadership strategies, but to also understand what others are facing as well.

Some of the topics for the week include (but are not limited to):
Instructional Leadership in Today’s Context Teachers and Social Media
Finance and Accountability in Education Education Governance in First Nations Communities
Teaching and Leadership for Second Language Learners Land-Based Education
The Teaching Principal In Rural Saskatchewan The Michif Language and Nation
Change Leadership versus Change Management School Culture and the Role of Principals
Makerspace Technology in the Classroom Indigenous Student Engagement
Legal Issues in Schools Culturally Responsive School Leadership
Initial Lessons in Cree Language Perspectives from the School Board Chair
Mental Health Issues in Schools Acquiring Resources for French Schools and Programs
Community Development Duty to Accommodate
Métis Program Development in Schools Culturally Responsive School Leadership
Leadership for Rural Education Professional Relationships and the Role of the Principal
Saskatchewan and First Nation School Funding Negligence and the Law
Facilitating Indigenous Student Engagement as a non-Indigenous Leader Developments from the SPTRB
The Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSB)  

2017 Keynote and Session Resources Provided

Past Participant Comments

The following comments were selected as representative of participant response to a request as part of SPSC 2016 Evaluation to provide a closing Additional Comment about the program:

  • High quality presenters and pertinent information presented by each session.
  • Keynote speakers all brought different perspectives of leadership and how leaders impact and influence student and staff learning and development. Guest speakers that continue to share their own personal experiences.
  • Creating a breakout schedule which includes a variety of sessions that range from leadership, FNIM content, and management. This allows for people to focus on the needs of their schools
  • Small group sessions were a wonderful piece to allow us to talk, support, and learn from others. Networking piece here.
  • Small group sessions were very practical, engaging, informative, and comfortable.
  • The social evening: a good way to “really” get to know fellow administrators.
  • Very well planned conference, the organization of the days was very much appreciated to keep the flow morning.
  • Well organized, very approachable friendly organizers who demonstrated their love of leading and learning.
  • What an incredible week: overwhelming, fulfilling professionally, intellectually stretched but in a good way.
  • I really enjoyed this course. I learned so much that I will be able to apply my first year as a principal. All of the sessions have given me so much to think about. I need time to process all of this valuable information and set some goals for my leadership vision.
  • Had a great time, learned lots and had fun.
  • Fantastic PD event, all principals should come back repeatedly.
  • I had a great week. An extremely valuable conference for aspiring, new, or experienced school administrators.
  • Loved the enthusiasm by all organizers and presenters…example of great leaders everywhere.
  • The best PD I have ever been to.
  • It was a fantastic experience. This was my first attending but it will not be my last.
  • It was a very worthwhile experience- I wish I had done it sooner. I am excited to use the knowledge that I gained this fall in my school and become a much stronger leader.

Advisory Committee

2017 Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course Advisory Committee
Ms Geraldine Knudsen Saskatchewan School Boards Association
Ms Carol Sarich Saskatchewan School-Based Leaders
Mr Kevin Kleisinger Saskatchewan Ministry of Education
Ms Laurel Irving-Piot Saskatchewan Teachers’ Federation
Ms Gwen Keith League of Educational Administrators, Directors and Superintendents
Dr David Burgess Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Ms Patricia Prowse Associate Director, Saskatchewan Educational Leadership Unit
Dr Michelle Prytula Director, Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course
Mr Spencer Knowles Grad Student, Associate Director, Saskatchewan Principals’ Short Course
Mr Chris Scribe First Nations Representative
Dr Paul Newton Head, Department of Educational Administration



Registration deadline is June 26, 2017

(As late appointments of Administrators are inevitable, we will accept late registrations.)

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