Reggio-Inspired Summer Institute

The Joy of Learning at the Junior School

St. Michaels University School Junior School is a dynamic community of learners who create a culture of excellence, think critically and creatively, and are nurtured through supportive relationships, leading children to reach their full potential. Our teaching practice is inspired by the Reggio Emilia approach and project and inquiry-based learning.

Our Reggio-inspired approach leads us on a journey of reflective practice, finding ways to make children’s learning visible, balancing curriculum expectations with emergent interests and projects, and engaging children in their natural role as researchers.

We are pleased to host inspiring experts who bring years of both research and practice to support the work we do every day as educators. Join us to explore and learn how to meaningfully invite children into innovative experiences while deepening solid foundations in learning.

Students practice inquiry-based learning at the SMUS Junior School

Reggio-Inspired Summer Institute


The Opal School: “Developing Story Workshop”
Thursday, August 22, 2019. 9:00 am – 3:00 pm.

Young children arrive at school full of stories. They have a right to encounter learning conditions that welcome them as authors and meaning makers.

Story Workshop is a structure that relies on play and the arts to support literacy development for children aged 3-8. It is built around four pillars: Sharing stories, ample use of the arts, a focus on meaning making, and time to play.

In this workshop, Susan Harris MacKay and Kerry Salazar will share how this structure evolved from a foundation in Writer’s Workshop and a catalytic question – "what is the relationship between literacy and the arts?" – to become an approach used daily in schools around the world. They’ll guide you to imagine how you might bring the components of Story Workshop – preparation, provocation, invitation and negotiation, story creation, and story congress – into your unique setting.

Opal School is a small school in Portland, Oregon, pursuing a big mission of strengthening education through provoking fresh ideas concerning environments where curiosity, creativity, and the wonder of learning thrive.

Susan Harris MacKay is Pedagogical Director of Portland Children's Museum and Opal School, where Kerry Salazar is a teacher-researcher. For the last fifteen years, Susan and Kerry have been central forces in imagining, developing, researching, and describing Story Workshop. Learn more about Opal School, Story Workshop, and Susan and Kerry at

Reggio-Inspired Mathematics: “Interdisciplinary Investigations that Connect to Community, Place and Culture”
Friday, August 23, 2019. 9:00 am – 12:00 pm.

Our morning together will examine the principles and practices of a Reggio-inspired approach to the teaching and learning of mathematics. Stories from classrooms will share provocations and projects that both illuminate and uncover mathematics through inquiry, investigation and play. We will work with planning frameworks to consider openings for mathematics embedded in interdisciplinary, inquiry-based studies.

Janice Novakowski has been a teacher in the Richmond School District for almost thirty years and is currently in the role of district teacher consultant, supporting the professional learning of K-12 teachers in the areas of mathematics, numeracy, curriculum, pedagogy and assessment. She has taught in preschool, Kindergarten and primary classrooms and has been a learning resource teacher and teacher-librarian. Janice has also taught and supported teacher candidates at UBC and her graduate studies at UBC examined mathematical problem solving, problem posing practices and inquiry dispositions of primary students.

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Registration Information

Dates: August 22-23, 2019
Location: SMUS Junior School, 820 Victoria Ave, Victoria, BC
Cost: Early bird rate until June 28: $275. Regular Rate: $350

The cost includes one full and one half day of professional development sessions, Thursday lunch, refreshments and materials for both days.

Register Online


Cancellations made by June 28, 2019 will receive a refund of 50% of the workshop fees. Requests for cancellations must be made on or before June 28, in writing, to [email protected]. We regret that there is no refund for cancellations made after June 28. To ensure the success of this program we require sufficient enrollment. If minimum enrollment is not reached by June 29, it will be cancelled, and you will be notified immediately. A full refund will be issued.


Our accommodation partner for the Reggio-Inspired Summer Institute is the Oak Bay Beach Hotel. They are pleased to offer a limited number of discounted rooms for attendees of the St. Michaels University School Reggio-Inspired Summer Institute for the dates of August 19-25, 2019. Please use the conference code SMUS when booking. See the flyer or visit


For further information about the Summer Institute, please contact Margaret Lincoln at [email protected]