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School District 53 Board of Education Report October 19, 2016

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School District 53 Board of Education Report October 19, 2016

A brief summary of items discussed at Trustees’ Regular Meetings

Our Board is very pleased with our enrolment numbers which were made official as of September 30th, 2016. Enrolment at our elementary schools have increased by 79 students, with the most significant increases at Oliver Elementary, Tuc-el-Nuit and Osoyoos Elementary. Our secondary schools have decreased overall by 17 students but there was an increase of 13 students at Southern Okanagan Secondary School. YouLearn also showed an increase of 30 students overall from September 2015. This is very good news for our budget as we are funded per student, which means that we are out of funding protection (a grant from the Ministry of Education for school districts with declining enrolment) for the 2016/2017 school year. This is great news for any school district as it means we are more “self - sufficient” and receive additional funds for increased enrolment. This increase in student numbers along with the Rural Education Enhancement Funding (that we are receiving from the government for keeping Osoyoos Secondary School open) that has offset other expenses, means that we are for the first time in many years not in a structural deficit position. We are projecting a surplus of $400,000 by the end of June 2017 if everything goes according to plan and budget and we have no unforeseen expenses.

On October 5th School District No. 53, in partnership with the Osoyoos Indian Band, the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, the Upper Similkameen Indian Band and the Ministry of Education signed its third Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement. The Agreement recognizes and honors our shared responsibilities for the success of all Aboriginal students in School District No. 53. Further, it signifies our collective intent to work together in a relationship of mutual respect and strength of purpose that will result in positive outcomes for all Aboriginal learners in our district. In order to make this commitment and our goals visible, each band office, school and district office is receiving a hide illustrating the goals objectives and partners. It was a great social event with good food.

School teams presented their plans for the 2016-17 school year and beyond to address student achievement and success. All schools are using an inquiry framework to guide their work. Schools described what was going on with their learners to determine priorities to address. A common theme for focus among schools was improving academic achievement through Social and Emotional Learning (school connectedness, sense of belonging, self- regulation) and engaging students through instructional strategies. It was very evident in the presentations that school learning plans are aligned with, and supported by, inquiry time, the district vision and professional growth plans. This kind of alignment  brings coherence and meaning to school and district improvement efforts. We would like to thank administrators and their teams for their hard work in putting this event together.

Plans are underway for offering our first Culinary Arts program in conjunction with Camosun College. Students will register for the technical training part of the program using an “on-line” approach offered through Camosun College. Students will attend one lab per week for the second semester. This lab will  be located at the SOSS foods room, and will occur on Tuesdays starting in February. A local chef in the area will provide the instruction for the lab portion of the program. We are very excited to be able to offer this program to students in our district who may choose to complete this program locally instead of re-locating to Kelowna.

The Board approved Policy D-7 Whistle Blower as well as the revised Policy D-3 Workplace Violence Prevention Program. Trustees also listened to a recommendation from the policy committee to revise Policy F-4 Field Trip so that the superintendent can approve B.C. field trips up to five days with a report to the Board. The policy will now be revised to reflect this change. The policy committee also recommended that Policy D-8 Safe, Caring and Orderly Schools be given notice of motion and the Board of Education reviewed the draft policy. This policy was developed in response to the new provincial guidelines from the Ministry of Education on the Maintenance of Order (Section 177 of the School Act). This policy gives administrators the authority to direct persons off school property in order to prevent disruption of schools and school function. Policy A-6, which deals with the Board of Education’s committee structure, was also amended at the Policy Committee meeting to reflect the Finance and Facilities Committee as the Board’s Audit Committee and to change the Policy Committee to a Committee of the Whole. At the regular board meeting Policy A-6 was given notice of motion as well as Policy A-7 Roles and Responsibilities of the Board of Education. All the policies that were given notice of motion will be posted on our website for feedback from our communities and education partners.

Please visit our school district website to review the policies.

Trustees also reviewed a draft letter that was written on behalf of the Board by the Chair to the Minister of Education to thank him for the new funding dollars and to advocate for consistent, stable and predictable long-term funding. The Board also shared with the Minister its concern that although a compensation increase for Principals and Vice Principals was approved, it was not funded by the Ministry as other employee group increases are.

click here to read letter
Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.
Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson  School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

Event date: 
Wednesday, 19 October, 2016
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