Waterdown principal takes part in international exchange

News Dec 10, 2015 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

A Waterdown principal and her counterpart from Italy are taking part in an exchange designed to learn more about international education practices.

Allan A. Greenleaf Elementary School principal Susanna Costa-Popovich is currently hosting her Italian counterpart Rosalia Natalizi-Baldi, the principal of I.C. Villasanta school, until Dec. 12. Costa-Popovich will return to Italy over the March Break.

Costa-Popovich said she jumped at the opportunity to apply for the exchange, which is organized through the Ontario Principals Council, in September.

As her parents are Italian, she had visited Italy in the past, but always on vacation.

“To have an opportunity to go back to my country of origin, so to speak, to learn about educational practice, understand how they operate as a system and to connect with another colleague in order to continue with our best practices here, seemed really exciting for me,” she said.

“It was a real opportunity that doesn’t come up very often.”

She added it was also an opportunity to improve her Italian.

For her part, Natalizi-Baldi said she thinks its always important to take part in exchanges – regardless of location.

“Even if it happens between schools in Italy, between schools in Italy and France, and Italy and Canada,” she said. “It’s always an opportunity.”

She noted the exchange to Canada is exciting because her school offers six hours of English instruction per week, which is more than other schools in Italy.

“So it’s a good opportunity for me, and also for my students and my teachers.”

Natalizi-Baldi added she also hopes to learn more about teacher evaluation, as it is required for the first time this year in Italy.

As compared to the Ontario system, the Italian model will see the principal evaluate the teachers in their school.

Costa-Popovich – who was the lead principal on teacher performance appraisal for the board last year – noted they’ve already had some discussions on the topic.

She added as she’s hosting her Italian counterpart at her home, they’ve already had several good discussions about educational practice.

Natalizi-Baldi noted her school, located 20 kilometres northeast of Milan, has some differences from Greenleaf. Notably, the Villasanta school has 1,400 students aged 3 to 14, while Greenleaf features about 465.

In addition to being a professional learning opportunity, the exchange is also meant to be an opportunity to engage in various social and cultural events.

As such, Costa-Popovich has planned a full slate of events throughout the week – which was kick-started this past weekend with a visit to Niagara Falls.

Among other things, the pair will be doing yoga, seeing Kinky Boots in Toronto and visiting the Italian consulate and CN Tower.

As well, the Greenleaf principal noted the school day will include classroom visits, and a chance to sit in on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s principals meetings.

“(So she’ll) have an opportunity to see how the Hamilton board system works from a top-down position,” she said.

Costa-Popovich noted she hopes the exchange is the beginning of a continual partnership between the two schools.

“An international global exchange that doesn’t just involve the principals – it involves the two schools,” she said. “Because there’s so much learning that children can engage in around learning about other countries through this and making connections.

“It’s a global partnership that I hope continues for a long time.”

Waterdown principal takes part in international exchange

Allan A. Greenleaf's Susanna Costa-Popovich to travel to Italy in March

News Dec 10, 2015 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

A Waterdown principal and her counterpart from Italy are taking part in an exchange designed to learn more about international education practices.

Allan A. Greenleaf Elementary School principal Susanna Costa-Popovich is currently hosting her Italian counterpart Rosalia Natalizi-Baldi, the principal of I.C. Villasanta school, until Dec. 12. Costa-Popovich will return to Italy over the March Break.

Costa-Popovich said she jumped at the opportunity to apply for the exchange, which is organized through the Ontario Principals Council, in September.

As her parents are Italian, she had visited Italy in the past, but always on vacation.

“To have an opportunity to go back to my country of origin, so to speak, to learn about educational practice, understand how they operate as a system and to connect with another colleague in order to continue with our best practices here, seemed really exciting for me,” she said.

“It was a real opportunity that doesn’t come up very often.”

She added it was also an opportunity to improve her Italian.

For her part, Natalizi-Baldi said she thinks its always important to take part in exchanges – regardless of location.

“Even if it happens between schools in Italy, between schools in Italy and France, and Italy and Canada,” she said. “It’s always an opportunity.”

She noted the exchange to Canada is exciting because her school offers six hours of English instruction per week, which is more than other schools in Italy.

“So it’s a good opportunity for me, and also for my students and my teachers.”

Natalizi-Baldi added she also hopes to learn more about teacher evaluation, as it is required for the first time this year in Italy.

As compared to the Ontario system, the Italian model will see the principal evaluate the teachers in their school.

Costa-Popovich – who was the lead principal on teacher performance appraisal for the board last year – noted they’ve already had some discussions on the topic.

She added as she’s hosting her Italian counterpart at her home, they’ve already had several good discussions about educational practice.

Natalizi-Baldi noted her school, located 20 kilometres northeast of Milan, has some differences from Greenleaf. Notably, the Villasanta school has 1,400 students aged 3 to 14, while Greenleaf features about 465.

In addition to being a professional learning opportunity, the exchange is also meant to be an opportunity to engage in various social and cultural events.

As such, Costa-Popovich has planned a full slate of events throughout the week – which was kick-started this past weekend with a visit to Niagara Falls.

Among other things, the pair will be doing yoga, seeing Kinky Boots in Toronto and visiting the Italian consulate and CN Tower.

As well, the Greenleaf principal noted the school day will include classroom visits, and a chance to sit in on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s principals meetings.

“(So she’ll) have an opportunity to see how the Hamilton board system works from a top-down position,” she said.

Costa-Popovich noted she hopes the exchange is the beginning of a continual partnership between the two schools.

“An international global exchange that doesn’t just involve the principals – it involves the two schools,” she said. “Because there’s so much learning that children can engage in around learning about other countries through this and making connections.

“It’s a global partnership that I hope continues for a long time.”

Waterdown principal takes part in international exchange

Allan A. Greenleaf's Susanna Costa-Popovich to travel to Italy in March

News Dec 10, 2015 by Mac Christie Flamborough Review

A Waterdown principal and her counterpart from Italy are taking part in an exchange designed to learn more about international education practices.

Allan A. Greenleaf Elementary School principal Susanna Costa-Popovich is currently hosting her Italian counterpart Rosalia Natalizi-Baldi, the principal of I.C. Villasanta school, until Dec. 12. Costa-Popovich will return to Italy over the March Break.

Costa-Popovich said she jumped at the opportunity to apply for the exchange, which is organized through the Ontario Principals Council, in September.

As her parents are Italian, she had visited Italy in the past, but always on vacation.

“To have an opportunity to go back to my country of origin, so to speak, to learn about educational practice, understand how they operate as a system and to connect with another colleague in order to continue with our best practices here, seemed really exciting for me,” she said.

“It was a real opportunity that doesn’t come up very often.”

She added it was also an opportunity to improve her Italian.

For her part, Natalizi-Baldi said she thinks its always important to take part in exchanges – regardless of location.

“Even if it happens between schools in Italy, between schools in Italy and France, and Italy and Canada,” she said. “It’s always an opportunity.”

She noted the exchange to Canada is exciting because her school offers six hours of English instruction per week, which is more than other schools in Italy.

“So it’s a good opportunity for me, and also for my students and my teachers.”

Natalizi-Baldi added she also hopes to learn more about teacher evaluation, as it is required for the first time this year in Italy.

As compared to the Ontario system, the Italian model will see the principal evaluate the teachers in their school.

Costa-Popovich – who was the lead principal on teacher performance appraisal for the board last year – noted they’ve already had some discussions on the topic.

She added as she’s hosting her Italian counterpart at her home, they’ve already had several good discussions about educational practice.

Natalizi-Baldi noted her school, located 20 kilometres northeast of Milan, has some differences from Greenleaf. Notably, the Villasanta school has 1,400 students aged 3 to 14, while Greenleaf features about 465.

In addition to being a professional learning opportunity, the exchange is also meant to be an opportunity to engage in various social and cultural events.

As such, Costa-Popovich has planned a full slate of events throughout the week – which was kick-started this past weekend with a visit to Niagara Falls.

Among other things, the pair will be doing yoga, seeing Kinky Boots in Toronto and visiting the Italian consulate and CN Tower.

As well, the Greenleaf principal noted the school day will include classroom visits, and a chance to sit in on the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board’s principals meetings.

“(So she’ll) have an opportunity to see how the Hamilton board system works from a top-down position,” she said.

Costa-Popovich noted she hopes the exchange is the beginning of a continual partnership between the two schools.

“An international global exchange that doesn’t just involve the principals – it involves the two schools,” she said. “Because there’s so much learning that children can engage in around learning about other countries through this and making connections.

“It’s a global partnership that I hope continues for a long time.”