Board Meeting Synopsis

Board Meeting Synopsis

District Calendar 2021-22: The Board of Education approved the district calendar for the upcoming school year. Jory told the Board that he has received just under 200 comments in the survey about the draft district calendar. Most comments were positive or accepting (i..e. looks fine). He added that, generally, there were fewer comments about the length of the school year or the number of in-service days as people realize that the district has control over the placement of some of the days, but not the number (which is provincially negotiated).
SEE CALENDAR HERE

Purchase Portables: The Board gave approval for the immediate purchase of two portables for use in SD83. As he mentioned at the February meeting, Jory explained that SD83 is in a state of enrolment flux, and will need to be ready for a number of possibilities once the pandemic subsides. He also noted that other districts are in similar situations and the portable market may be competitive, so he suggested it would be prudent to make a decision well before the end of the school year to get in the queue. He noted portable costs depend on several factors, but the installed price generally ranges between $200,000 to $250,000 each. Jory noted Jackson is already pressed for space, so will receive one portable and the other one will be deployed where it is most needed.

Enhancing Student Learning: Jory walked trustees through SD83’s Framework for Enhancing Student Learning website, which includes SD83’s latest data on graduation rates, FSA, numeracy and literacy assessment, and core competencies. School districts were given some flexibility on how to provide these accountability reports and Jory said he felt a web page was the best as it can be updated as soon as new data is available and is easily accessible.As he went through the data on the website, which is showing an upward trend, he noted that four years ago the results were going in the other direction. “I stood in front of the Official Trustee at the time and said we need to get going in the other direction.”He outlined to trustees a series of strategies school and district staff have put in place over the past four years to support and improve student success. He said expectations were set, and understanding improved, on how to support grads.Tracking systems were also put into place to ensure students are supported to “meaningful” graduation, which is to say students are supported in achieving success in their academics, so when they leave the school system they are ready for whatever comes next, explained Jory.He said the next step for the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning website will be to add transition rates, data from safe and welcome schools, and to provide more breakouts of the data (for example for students with diverse learning needs). He added that the district, led by Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff and a team of district principals, is doing some extra work to create a framework of outcomes from the district’s strategic plan and this information will be used to drive education practices and budgets.
Framework for Enhancing Student Learning

Next steps on Long Range Facilities Plan: After a presentation by Jory, the Board decided to have a Committee of the Whole meeting to discuss next steps for the SD83 Long Range Facilities Plan, particularly for Salmon Arm and area schools. Jory explained that although configuration changes for the 2021-22 school year have been deferred for now due to the impacts of COVID-19, clarity regarding the reconfiguration will help to advise budget, operational, and human resources planning for the coming school year.
Summary of LRFP work
Long Range Facilities Plan

Shuswap Youth Launch: Shuswap Youth Launch Committee Chairperson Mikayla Wilkinson joined virtually with Superintendent Peter Jory in a report on the recently-held inspiration and empowerment conference for local youth, organized by local youth.Mikayla, a Grade 10 student at Jackson, and fellow youth committee members originally had planned for the conference to take place last spring at the Salmar Classic Theatre. Due to the pandemic, they went back to the drawing board and came up with a virtual conference. The silver lining was that they were able to spread their message to over 850 people rather than the original audience of 260. Mikayla explained to trustees that the committee members had been to We Day conferences and wanted to help other local youth have that that same experience at a local conference. She said each of their presenters were “super” and their messages resonated with local youth. She added that the committee wanted the sessions to be interactive so they used Instagram and Zoom Chat to improve the experience for both presenters and participants. She added it was an amazing learning experience for their whole team and seeing it successfully come together was awesome. To host the conference the local Youth Launch committee received a $15,000 grant from RBC and the Community Foundations of Canada. The school district acted as the committee’s charitable organization and assisted with receiving and dispersing the grant funds. The local committee has now been asked to apply for the $100,000 grant, which is available for the coming year. In order to pave the way for the district to again act as the committee’s charitable organization, the Board passed a motion to authorize School District No. 83 (North Okanagan-Shuswap) to receive the grant funding of up to $100,000 from RBC in-trust and to act as the qualified donee for carrying the funds. The Shuswap Youth Launch Committee hopes to hear by mid-March whether their application is successful or not.

Superintendent’s Announcements : In his announcements, Jory congratulated A.L. Fortune student Cordell Anker, who entered the Canadian Drumline Association’s Annual Solos competition. There are several categories for this competition and this year it was an open invite to all Canadian students to compete virtually. Cordell entered the ‘Tenor Drums’ category and won first place.Also, congratulations went to Larissa Friesen’s class at Salmon Arm West who were chosen as one of the winners of the Kindest Class in Canada! This contest, which was held through the Depths of Comfort website, tracked acts and notes of kindness between students.Depth of Comfort is a platform used by Salmon Arm West to help support students’ social and emotional learning.Jory also noted that Pink Shirt Day was on Feb. 24th. This year’s theme was “Lift each other up” and there were many activities supporting this around the district. There were kindness challenges, an art show promoting inclusiveness, diversity and kindness, “no name calling” week, a traditional drumming performance, and a candygram fundraiser for charity – just to name a few.Jory noted there was an incident last Friday where Len Wood Middle School had to briefly go into a lockdown. No students were at risk, but the RCMP were called. Due to privacy, details cannot be shared. However, he said that the lockdown was handled very well by administration, with staff and students responding quickly and calmly. He also thanked the Armstrong RCMP detachment for its quick and professional actions. 

International Student Program: District Principal Rob MacAulay provided an update to the Board on SD83’s International Student Program. The fledgling program was hard hit by the pandemic. However, MacAulay said steps forward were made, including some work on agency agreements.He said this was very important groundwork as the agencies are the “boots on the ground” in the countries, and the district needs to build trusting relationships to ensure the district is in a place to receive students that are looking for the type of education and activities SD83 has to offer.He noted SD83 started out with three international students and no agency agreements. It now has two agency agreements in two countries and eight students. Next year, he is expecting seven or more agency agreements in six or more countries, with at least 15 students. His goals are to:

  • Increase student numbers to take advantage of space in schools.​
  • Increase agencies and countries, but continue to focus on populations that are likely to enjoy what we have to offer.​
  • Expand the program into our other high schools and communities.​
  • Design a way for us to celebrate the cultures of the students that are visiting us in our communities.

Bleacher purchases: The Board gave approval for the purchase of two sets of bleachers, one for Pleasant Valley Secondary School ($85,000) and one for Salmon Arm Secondary Sullivan ($50,000). Secretary-Treasurer Alanna Cameron explained to the Board that the existing bleachers have reached end of life and now need to be replaced. In a presentation to the Board, Travis Elwood, SD83’s Director of Operations, added that the bleachers need to be replaced to mitigate the safety risk and create a positive environment for staff and students. The new bleachers at PVSS will replace the current ones, which are over 40 years old, and will be tied into a planned upgrade to PVSS’ gym. This includes a full gym floor replacement and a plan to “rebrand” and change the school’s historic school team names (from the Saints and the Sinners) to something new. The school is just finishing the consultation process and will finalize the selection by the end of March. At Sullivan the bleachers were purchased second hand when the school was built in 1997 and are now extremely difficult to pull off the wall and get misaligned, which poses a safety risk. The money to pay for the new bleachers will be from Local Capital Reserve Funds.
SEE SLIDESHOW HERE

Number of Trustees: After considerable discussion, the Board decided to wait to hold consultation on whether SD83 should be served by five or seven trustees. The discussion arose after the CEO of the B.C. School Trustees’ Association (BCSTA) informed Board Chair Amanda Krebs that when the five trustee board was recommended for SD83, it was suggested an evaluation should be done to determine if this was the appropriate number. Several trustees felt it would be good to consult with the public now, while others wanted to wait. The majority of the trustees indicated they wanted to wait.

Transportation Committee: Trustee Quentin Bruns reported that the inaugural meeting of the District’s new Transportation Committee on March 1. “We had a very full agenda. We reviewed terms of reference, looked at policies and regulations, and spent a fair bit of time considering changing the hardware and software which is being used. We discussed possible changes to field trip rates, addressed some parent concerns around bus-related issues and looked at some possible route changes.”

BCSTA Update: Trustee Marty Gibbons reported on the recent provincial council meeting.It was noted all of the motions under discussion were passed. An update was also provided on mask use.

BOARD CHAIR: Krebs reported on a recent update provided to all Board Chairs by the BC School Trustees’ Association Chair Stephanie Higginson on Tuesday. Items under discussion included COVID and that there was hope moving towards the new school year that cohorts would not be necessary, however some layers of protection will have to remain in place. Also, she noted the BCSTA AGM is in April and there are many motions to consider, so the virtual meeting may be extended to two days.

Thompson-Okanagan Branch Committee UPDATE: Several trustees reported on the recent Branch meeting. VanBuskirk noted it was an interesting meeting. She said she shared an extensive report about SD83’s Indigenous Education program with the other districts in the Branch, which was well received. She thanked District Principal of Indigenous Education Anne Tenning for all of the information for the report. She said a second highlight was key note speaker Kim Barthell, who discussed trauma sensitive education, leadership and resiliency.

FNEC UPDATE: Trustee VanBuskirk reported the First Nations’ Education Council met on February 17. She noted Superintendent Jory gave a COVID update and grad data update. Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff reported on the new report card structure for SD83 kindergarten to grade 8 students. She noted in the council heard that there were 75 Indigenous students enrolled in the online Education Outreach Program (EOP) in October and this number is now down to 45, with the rest moving back to in-person learning at a school. There were also community updates from each of the Bands. The next meeting is April 21.

ANNOUNCEMENTS & REPORTS:

Trustee Bruns added his congratulations to Cordell Anker for not only for his award but also for the skills Cordell demonstrated. He also mentioned that it was great to see all the good coverage that Eagle River Secondary received for its cell phone detox and he is hoping other schools will give it a try.
Trustee VanBuskirk said with spring break on the horizon she would like to express her appreciation to all SD83 staff. “There has been vigilance, there has been perseverance, and a lot of hard work. Rest well over the break.”
Board Chair Krebs wrapped up the meeting wishing everyone a great Spring Break.

A RECORDING OF THIS MEETING IS AVAILABLE ON THE DISTRICT WEBSITE BY CLICKING ON THIS LINK. Please scroll down to Meeting Recordings.