The Board of Education added and deleted some options from its draft Long Range Facilities Plan, re-opened playgrounds, had an update on school re-start plans, learned about Trauma Informed Schools and looked at the draft strategic maintenance plan during its virtual meeting on Tuesday.
COVID-19 Update: Superintendent Peter Jory reported a lot of great work has gone on in the SD83 during this time. He said staff are rising to the challenges of dealing with evolving issues and technical problems, and he thinks the entire system has grown in our technology capacity. He added Hub schools, where the children of essential workers are being cared for, are up and running with well established safety standards. “WorkSafe was impressed with what we’ve done and said we set a gold standard.”Jory commented staff have worked out reporting and assessment and high schools are well on their way to organizing some type of innovative and enjoyable graduation ceremonies.The District is now focussing on the “system re-start” conversation and preparing for more face to face learning in June. Jory added the different parts of the government have spent a lot of time “getting on the same page” and following the advice of the Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry. B.C. has been very successful in flattening the curve as everyone has stayed home, practiced safety habits and protocols and made sacrifices.”What people did, how respectful and committed to physical distancing everyone has been is impressive. I’m incredibly proud to be part of this community.”Jory mentioned there is currently only one case of COVID in an Interior Health hospital. “All this work has set the table for us to get back into the building, and get back into schools in a safe and thoughtful way.”Jory said the first step has been taken with a survey going out to parents on Tuesday afternoon to indicate whether they are planning on sending their children back to school. The District had already received 600 responses by 5 p.m. with more than half of the parents indicating they would be interested in sending their children back to class.Planning is being done to determine what type of model will be used (ie two days a week for one group and two days a week for another and one day for checking in with students doing learning from home) and to try to customize plans by school and by class.Jory stressed that this is voluntary and parents should not feel pressured one way or another as people have to weigh their individual situation and comfort level.
Long Range Facilities Plan: Earlier in May the Board held a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss the SD83 draft Long Range Facilities Plan. Out of these discussions came several recommendations, which were passed by the Board at its meeting on Tuesday. This included adding Option B-4 (K-4, 5-7 and 8-12) in the Armstrong Zone into the Long Range Facilities Plan Draft and deleting options B-1, B-2, and B-3. The Board also passed the recommendation that the Enderby Zone remain at status quo, while numbers allow. A third recommendation which was passed was that the Board add Option E-5 (change Salmon Arm Urban schools to K5, one middle 6-8, two 9-12 secondaries) into the Long Range Facilities Plan Draft.At the meeting on Tuesday, the Board also decided to delete two options from the Salmon Arm Urban area. These were E-1 (status quo) and E-2 (K-6 and three grade 7-12 schools). View Draft Plan
Playgrounds opening: As part of the provincial re-opening plan and in conjunction with surrounding local governments, the Board passed a motion to re-open school district playgrounds effective Wednesday, May 20th.
Trauma Informed Schools: SD83 Trauma Consultant Jonaire Bowyer-Smyth reported to the Board that one out of four children are exposed to a traumatic event that impacts learning and behaviour. She presented information on how trauma can be measured and students can be helped. SEE POWER POINT HERE
Policy revised: The Board gave first reading to Policy 121 – Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. This policy was originally approved in May 2019. Revisions were made by the Policy Committee so that it now includes the sentence which states: “school staff will ensure student safety by maintaining confidentiality and will provide support as directed by the student.”Also, the Board gave second and final reading to Policy 180 – Trustee Professional Learning, which outlines that the Board believes that its responsibilities require that trustees remain informed and continually develop their skills. Trustees are expected to participate in conferences, conventions, workshops and seminars related to effective trusteeship, leadership, education and learning. View Policy 121 & Policy 180
Trip Cancelled: The Board rescinded approval for a Salmon Arm Secondary (Sullivan and Jackson) trip to Ireland, Scotland, and England in July 2020 due to the unacceptable level of risk of harm to students.
Capital Plan bylaw: The Board gave final reading and adopted the 2020-21 Capital Plan Bylaw. This funding is from the Ministry for capital projects. The District received funds to do another phase of the upgrade of the mechanical and HVAC systems at Eagle River Secondary ($1.4 m) and purchase three 76 passenger school buses ($141,483 each).
Trustee Announcements: On behalf of the entire Board, Trustee Quentin Bruns congratulated two SD83 graduating students, who were recently notified they had won national awards.Hannah Hinz of A.L. Fortune was awarded a 2020 NUFSICISUM Youth Leadership Award by the Coalition for Music Education in Canada. This is one of only six awarded across Canada! This award recognizes outstanding youth leaders from across the country who are committed to making a positive impact on their schools and communities through music.Also, congratulations to Aidan Eglin of Pleasant Valley Secondary who was recently notified that he is the recipient a Schulich Leader Award to the University of British Columbia. This scholarship, valued at $80,000 is awarded to deserving students enrolling in a science, technology, engineering or mathematics (STEM) program.
Trustee Marianne VanBuskirk reported on several interesting meetings she “virtually” attended including a school improvement planning session with staff and parents at Hillcrest, the Ed Directions Committee which featured interesting presentations on Trauma Informed Schools and Speech Language programs, and two working budget committee meetings. Vice Chairperson Tennile Lachmuth thanked the SD83 communities for supporting schools in finding new ways to celebrate graduations this year. She mentioned she would be giving a grad speech virtually, which would be recorded and then shared at grad at the Starlight Drive In Theatre in Enderby.
Draft Strategic Maintenance Plan: Director of Operations Trevor Bettcher reported to trustees about the steps under way in the development of a five year strategic maintenance plan. He noted the the District’s current priorities for maintenance are:Projects to maintain or improve the quality of the learning environment for students and staff. This is mainly HVAC and lighting upgrades to keep the temperature, air circulation and lighting suitable in classrooms.Projects to ensure a healthy and safe school environment, such as fire alarm panel replacement.Projects to protect the long-term reliability of the facility, such as roofing and flooring.This draft plan is very extensive and will include a 10-year-mechanical plan, a 10-year roofing plan, a five-year lead mitigation plan, and a preventative maintenance plan will be developed/updated in support of the District’s Strategic Maintenance Plan. A final draft of this plan will be submitted to the Board at its June 2020 meeting. READ MORE HERE
Annual Facility Grant: Secretary-Treasurer Alanna Cameron outlined the District’s plan to spend its annual facility grant of $1.65m. She explained this grant is intended for annual facility projects required to maintain assets through their anticipated economic life, such as roofing replacements. EXPENDITURE PLAN
Operating Fund Update: Cameron updated the Board on the District’s quarterly financials (ending March 31, 2020), noting the District had higher than anticipated costs for snow removal, heating costs, residual costs associated with the insurance claims due to water damage, and implementing the MyEd student data management software. She noted the District also received less than anticipated from the Ministry for the teacher settlement retro pay, so taking everything into consideration she is cautiously estimating SD83 will finish the year with a small surplus, somewhere around $400,000.
Administrative Calendar: The Board adopted an administrative calendar listing all the Board of Education meetings and committee meetings for the upcoming school year. It was noted that this would help with planning, particularly for people considering being part of a Board committee so they would know the time commitment and when they would need to be available. All Regular Board Meetings will continue to be held on the third Tuesday of each month, with the only exception being March when it will be moved to the second Tuesday due to Spring Break. READ MORE HERE