The ongoing Sharing Circles and Curriculum Sessions have been well attended and are going well, reported Superintendent of Schools/CEO Peter Jory at the Board of Education meeting on Tuesday. The sessions have taken place at Len Wood Middle, A.L. Fortune, Shuswap Middle and Carlin Elementary School. There is one more to go at Eagle River on April 25. Several trustees mentioned they had attended the sessions and felt they went well and stimulated good discussion. Assistant Superintendent Carl Cooper, along with the District Curriculum Team, have put the sessions together with help from the schools in each of the areas. “It’s quite invigorating to get out there, work with students, meet with parents and talk about this important work. The questions have been different at every session and that’s hitting the mark for us, as we wanted to design the sessions so parents can get the information they wanted,” said Cooper. Jory thanked all those who have worked so hard to put the sessions together and to the parents who have attended!
Education Committee Terms of Reference
The Education Directions Committee is a standing committee established by the Board. At Tuesday’s Board meeting the Terms of Reference for this educational committee were approved. Read the complete Terms of Reference here.
Annual water tests
Secretary-treasurer Alanna Cameron explained to trustees that school districts must test for lead content in drinking water in school facilities that had plumbing systems installed prior to January 1, 1990 to ensure water quality meets established guidelines under applicable provincial and federal legislation. This report must be submitted to the Ministry of Education each year. Water fountains and sinks were all tested. Director of Operations Trevor Bettcher noted that if any test results were higher than acceptable standards, steps were taken to correct the issue (replacing the faucet or installing a filter). The water was then re-tested to ensure it was within acceptable standards. The complete report is available here.
After lowering the expense costs trustees are eligible for, the Board gave first reading to a policy updating trustee remuneration. Instead of giving the policy on the Roles and Responsibilities of the Vice-Chairperson first reading, the Board decided to send it back to the policy committee for some wordsmithing so it is more similar to the description of the policy describing the work of the Board Chairperson and to bring it back at a later date.
Roles and Responsibilities of Vice-Chairperson
An update to three of the “risks” identified in the SD83 Risk Management Report conducted by KPMG Enterprise Risk Management (ERM) was provided at the Board meeting.
Secretary-Treasurer Alanna Cameron reported mitigation has been done in the areas of strategic direction, governance and collaborative decision making in the Risk Report (which included risk ranking, potential risk drivers and a summary of current mitigation/compensating controls) and going forward District staff will delegate each of the 24 identified risks to the appropriate department to discuss the action plan for each risk. Departments will then develop and commit to ongoing monitoring and review processes in order to ensure that the identified risks are controlled and/or mitigated.
Vice-chairperson Quentin Bruns reported the district will be bargaining with both CUPE and NOSTA this year. The local committee has met five times with NOSTA and he felt good progress was made. “A number of meetings are scheduled for the end of April and May. Provincial negotiations are also continuing.”
He added the district has submitted its plan for negotiations with CUPE and are waiting for CUPE to initiate negotiations.
Trustee Amanda Krebs questioned whether the district does exit interviews for staff who leave. “If someone is leaving it’s good to have an exit interview and hear firsthand why that person is leaving so if there is an issue we can catch it right away.” Other trustees agreed and staff will put together some information on how to do this in an efficient, cost effective manner.
Jory also offered congratulations to SAS Grade 11 student Elijah Lazar who won his weight class in the juvenile Greco-Roman division at the national wrestling championships in Fredericton from April 5-7. Elijah now has the opportunity to represent Canada in international events. He also congratulated the team of five Grade 8 math students and teacher sponsor Martine Dollack, who represented Shuswap Middle School in the Math Challengers Provincial Finals on Saturday, April 6 at the University of British Columbia. Shuswap Middle School’s team was one of only two public schools represented at the 34 team competition. Although the team didn’t make the top 10 they scored well overall and met other students with an interest in math. The students were also able to listen to a presentation from a CSI forensic investigator who uses math to solve cases.
Jory also reported to trustees that a team of students from SD83 is off to the provincial Skills Canada finals on Wednesday at the Tradex in Abbotsford. The SD83 team is part of the more than 600 competitors who will compete in 58 competition areas in fields as diverse as aerospace, automotive, 3D animation, baking, welding, robotics, and much more! Jory wished good luck to the SD83 students.
Jory also let trustees know about health fairs held in three of our elementary schools. Healthy Schools Coordinator Laura Paiement, along with several public health nurses and a dental hygienist, recently held fairs at Sorrento, South Broadview and Ranchero elementary schools, where the focus was on learning how to be healthy through eight experiential learning stations, including one popular and visually effective station ran by public health nurse Maryanne Domarchuk, called Making Poo. Other stations included brain injury prevention, dental health, tobacco/vaping reduction, heart health, sip smart, germs and hand washing, 5-2-1-0 (youth nutrition and fitness) and Don’t Walk in Hall (movement based strategies to regulate).