Three program reviews

The Indigenous Education Program, Music Program and Inclusive Support Program will be audited this year to ensure the programs are “hitting the mark” and meeting the needs of students.

“It is a tool that school districts uses to consider work that we are doing and gives us some guidance on possible next steps,” commented Superintendent of Schools/CEO Peter Jory to the Board at its meeting on Tuesday at A.L. Fortune. He noted all programs need to be reviewed on a regular basis and for some programs it made sense to start now.

With a new Principal of Indigenous Education it was a good time to review the program. He noted a consultant came in to the district and a series of conversations and interviews with stakeholders were held. “We are now in the process of collating all the data and will present the findings back to the board.

Also being reviewed is the district music program, which will follow a similar format with surveys, consultations and interviews of stakeholders, and is being conducted by a retired superintendent of schools and former music teacher, Sandy Jones. “This program has not been reviewed for more than 20 years so it is time. Hopefully this report too, will soon be presented to the board.”

The third review which will be conducted this year will be one on the Inclusive Support Program, which is essentially in its third year. “The review won’t be quite as fulsome as the first two, but it is a good time to check in and ensure it is doing what it should be.” He noted the review will probably be done internally and will be completed by the end of the school year.

Trustees, who will soon be having an education session to learn about the student support systems in place in the district, had questions about the ISP, behaviour supports and a lack of certified education assistants.

District Principal Inclusive Education Carol-Anne Leidloff explained the district has six schools with Inclusive Support Programs (ISP), located at two middle schools and four elementary schools. “These programs have been developed to help our most challenged behaviour students get the appropriate support to learn the skills they need to get back into the regular classroom,” she added. For those schools without an ISP, there are other behaviour supports in place.

She noted the review, which she is in the process of designing, will help make some determinations on whether the program is doing what it should be and help make some determinations about whether the program should scale it up or changed.

Asked about the lack of CEAs and students being asked to stay home, Jory noted that this has happened on the rare occasion but, at worst, should only be a temporary situation. Leidloff answered that although there are a few jobs that need to be posted several times, on the whole, the district is in a good position. She added the relationship with Okanagan College helps as soon as the class graduates they fill the posts. “The calibre of CEAs being graduated is very high.”

She noted that there are a handful of students with special needs that have a reduced day but that has to do with the child’s ability to handle a full day of school.

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