Some brief items from the October 16th SD83 Board of Education Meeting
As of September 30th, the date that school districts officially report to the Ministry of Education, the school district had a total of 6,367 full time equivalency (FTE) students. This is up 36 FTE from projections this Spring and 200 above final numbers in June 2018.
Education of Indigenous Students Policy
Official Trustee Mike McKay gave final approval to an update to the policy on the Education of Indigenous Students (Policy 8060).
In this policy, The Board of Education acknowledges that it is situated on the traditional territory of the Secwepemc people. It recognizes its responsibility in ensuring the inclusion and equity of Indigenous voices in all aspects of the education system such as language, culture, and our shared history. This policy reflects the belief that education is a lifelong learning process that encompasses Indigenous students, parents/guardians and the community.
It also states The Board of Education endeavours to work with its partners in the educational process to ensure that a high quality education is provided, leading to academic achievement, strong cultural identity, social leadership, environmental stewardship, secured career pathways, and full participation as local and global citizens.
The updated policy will soon be on the district’s website at SD83 Board of Education Policy Binder
Procedural Bylaw Changes
Official Trustee Mike McKay also gave three readings and approval to some minor procedural bylaw amendments of the Board of Education.
This included changing the date of the inaugural meeting from December to November, as elections have moved to October.
In order to recognize past practice it was added to procedural bylaws that the Oaths sworn by trustees when they take office may be administered by a local Provincial Court Judge.
The procedural bylaw was also amended to state that board meetings are to conclude after three (3) hours. This was amended to provide flexibility around start time.
Another change made was to update the standing committees to include the new audit committee, which is a Ministry requirement. The other new standing committees will be Education Directions, Finance and Facilities, and Partner Group Liaison.
There were also changes made to be consistent with new policies and the School Act. There is now a requirement for committees to take attendance, for the bylaw process to be consistent with the School Act, and updates to the Code of Conduct for Trustees to be consistent with new policy.
Superintendent Peter Jory announced at the meeting that on October 26 the school district is hosting a Knowledge Keeper’s Tea. “We value the input and wisdom of local Indigenous Knowledge Keepers and Elders and will use this tea as a chance to update our Knowledge Keepers contact list. The Knowledge Keeper contact list is important in supporting our Knowledge Keepers and staff with the work they do to enhance student learning through the infusion of Indigenous culture and language into the curriculum.”
Fire Prevention Week
He also noted that last week was Fire Prevention Week and many students had the opportunity to do activities and learn fire safety from local firefighters. “Thanks to our local firefighters for sharing this with our students.”
He reported that drumline workshops are taking place in several of our middle and high schools this week and that the first one held at PVSS was very well received.
He added A.L. Fortune’s Drumline gave a surprise and much appreciated performance at a recent football game in Salmon Arm. “Thanks to music co-ordinator Michelle Reed for organizing these events.”
Jory also mentioned the September professional development day and the Oct. 5 professional development days, saying how much it is appreciated that the district was able to “front load” the days early in the school year, which allows teachers more time to use with their students.
He also commented that over 300 teachers, including colleagues from Revelstoke school district, took part in a very powerful assessment session on supporting student learning, led by Sandra Herbst. She actually received a standing ovation at the end of the day, he reported.
School Funding Report
McKay received the surplus/deficit report at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday, which is an update from any school which (as of June 30th) has greater than 10 per cent of their yearly budget allocation unspent or schools that are in deficit.
In the 2017-18 budget year there were 10 schools with greater than 10 per cent of their yearly budget unspent (ranging from 12 per cent to 29 per cent) and four schools with a deficit (ranging from -1 per cent to -15 per cent).
By and large the schools with unspent funds were waiting on supplies/equipment/resources that were not delivered by June 30th. The deficits were costs coming in higher than expected, or unanticipated, and will all be addressed this school year.
The complete report can be found here: 2017-18 School Surplus-Deficit Report