BOARD BITS

Reports from the Superintendent

Social Responsibility Report ?

Discipline ? The District is continuing to see a trend away from fighting in schools. While it is too early to tell, we are hoping that initiatives such as Challenge Days, Dare to Care, and Tin Box Productions have had an effect on student attitudes.

All reports to date are that Challenge Days are being received with very positive feedback from parents and students. Challenge Days will be showcased on ?Oprah? in the next few days, which will elevate the profile and demand for this excellent program.

Early in November, the Ministry of Education will be hosting regional forums to discuss the current Grade 12 Portfolio requirement. The Ministry backed away from making it a required course for graduation for the 06/07 school year, and is asking what may be done to maintain the outcomes of the course, while making it less arduous for students to do on their own time. District staff, along with representatives from all the District?s secondary schools will be attending.

District staff have been working with the RCMP to review our emergency communication and security plans to deal with people who may be entering school grounds with firearms.

The climbing wall at Gwillim Lake is completed and ready to use. Each student who plans to use the wall during a field trip will be required to bring a signed waiver to their school prior to leaving.

BCIT Dual Credit Programs ?

BCIT has given notice that they will no longer be able to continue their partnership with the School District effective February 2008. The Industry Training Authority has cut their training budget for trades programs by 25%, forcing cost-cutting measures. The School District has enjoyed a 13-year partnership with BCIT, and regrets losing their valuable assistance. There are

15 months before BCIT will depart, and this will permit the District to prepare to operate the dual credit programs with another post-secondary institution, or to operate the programs under a School District initiative.

Local Calendar ? The District has begun asking for input on the Local Calendar for the 2007/08 school year. We are hoping to have a new calendar adopted by March 7, 2007.

School Growth Plans & District Accountability Contract ? The Board approved the goals and objectives of the 2006/07 District Accountability Plan.

These goals remain the same as the previous year with slight changes to the objectives. The three goals are; o To improve literacy skills.

To improve numeracy skills.

Improve social responsibility skills for all students.

The full District Accountability Contract is posted on the School District?s website.

School Fees? The District discussed the impact of the recent B.C. Supreme Court decision on school fees. This decision upholds that school districts cannot charge fees for any course, including an elective, if that course provides credits leading to graduation. This includes fees for field trips that are considered mandatory or are required for successful completion of a course. Districts can continue to charge fees for the purchase of paper, writing tools, agendas, exercise books, computer diskettes and other school supplies and equipment for a student?s personal use. Some examples where this will impact our District:

o band programs (where students rent instruments), o ski trips (that are part of PE classes) o home economics classes (where kids supply some materials).

Smoking on School Property? The Province has just announced that smoking will be banned on all school properties by September 2007.

Reports From the Secretary-Treasurer

Five Year Capital Plan ? The Board approved an updated 5-year Capital Plan.

10-Year Projected Enrolment ? The Board reviewed projected enrolments for each school based on current trends. These trends show a decline of approximately 1,000 students over the next ten-year, although economic growth will impact these projections.

Staffing/Enrolment Presentation ? information on current staffing/enrolment ratios was presented. Over the past 6 years the student to educator ratio has improved from 17.3 to 16.6.

Reports from the Operations Manager

Transportation Department ? There have been a number of changes to our Transportation Department. We have increased our plans for in-house driver training. We also now have two Community Liaison positions to go to the schools to talk with the younger children about appropriate behaviour on buses.

Furthermore we have produced a brochure titled ?All About School Buses? that discusses bus safety, policies, etc. The District would also like to extend its thanks to Cariboo Road Service for the excellent response and service they have provided us.

Trustee Items

Trustee Stipend ? As part of the terms of office, Trustees receive an annual stipend. SD59 Trustees have only had one small increase since April 1994, and are currently well below the provincial average. Trustees voted to increase their annual stipend effective September 1, 2006 to the following:

Chair$15,500

Vice Chair$14,000

Trustees$12,500

Next Regular Meeting ?December 13, 2006 at 1:00pm in Dawson Creek