Board Bits

Board Meeting Highlights for March 7, 2007 Dawson Creek

Reports from the Superintendent

Proposed Calendar for 2007/08 ? The local calendar for the 2007/08 school year was approved (see attached).

Terry Fox Run Results ? This year School District #59 had 13 schools participate in the Terry Fox Run. A total of 3,626 students participated, raising a total of $15, 531. Rolla Elementary School with a population of 40 students, raised $1,827. This represents an average of $48.68 per student participant. This contribution from the Rolla community reflects a high degree of social responsibility on the part of the parents, students and staff.

New Board Authorized Courses ? The Board is being asked to approve a few new courses in April. One of the courses will be a Board Authority Authorized Course in Leadership 12. This is a good news development that tells us our secondary schools are cultivating their school leaders. Increasingly we are seeing students emerge who are keen to step up to leadership roles when they are challenged.

Teachers Lead the Way on Curriculum Implementation ? A new K-7 Health and Career Education curriculum has been released. Sue Schnyder, Chris Aylward, and Leslie Apps have taken a lead role in bringing it forward for teachers to become familiar with it. Teachers who are champions for Social Responsibility in schools have been invited to join them for a strategy and information session.

Meeting With SD#60 – School District #59 hosted the trustees and senior staff of School District #60 (North Peace) for a dinner and discussion, following the March 7, Board Meeting. The purpose was to build relationships and to share the initiatives that are working for each District. The strengthening of relationships is foundational to developing partnerships to improve student achievement. This may be particularly relevant into the future, as we work to sustain programs with declining enrol.

Students Are Cooking – Four dual credit students from South Peace Secondary School are joining 56 other culinary arts students in Whitehorse, to prepare 6000 meals per day for the athletes at the Canada Winter Games. This will be an excellent opportunity for the students. If they can find time between meal preparations, they will have the same privileges to use facilities and attend events that are given to the athletes

·Flu Trends ? If School?s attendance drops below 90% due to reported illness, it is reported to the District Office and to Public Health. A number of our middle sized and large schools have dropped below 90% attendance throughout February, leading to monitoring of events. The first action is to enquire about the nature of the symptoms to assess if it is a common flu, or a number of different flu strains at work. Public Health then makes the decision about whether it is important to identify the flu strains, by swabbing sick students. Should we reach a circumstance where a school is showing a significant spread of flu, we would receive direction from the Chief Medical Officer on implementing disease control protocols. Public Health, together with our Teachers reiterate to the students regularly that washing their hands is the best way to prevent the spread of flu.

·Early Learning Grant ? SD#59 will be receiving a grant for the enhancement of early learning, The prescribed uses for this grant are for programs that:

?are designed for children who have not yet entered Kindergarten and/or their parents or caregivers;

?support children?s school readiness; and

?address early learning in one of the domains of child development: cognitive, language, social/emotional, or physical and preferably more than one.

·Strong Start Centre(s) ? SD#59 has been approved for a grant for Strong Start Centre(s). At this time, we do not yet know the total amount of the grant or whether it is one or two centres. These centres take advantage of underutilized space in existing schools to improve kindergarten readiness. They will offer free drop-in programs for pre-school children and their parents or caregivers.

·Words on Wheels (WOW) Bus – There is a plan afoot to get a ?Words on Wheels? (WOW) Bus up and running in the District. The plan includes taking a decommissioned bus and revamping it for a new purpose: to make early contact with families in their own neighbourhoods. This bus can visit different neighbourhoods in the region several times per month. The bus will deliver a Mother Goose Preschool program; a book and toy lending library; parent resources, coffee, juice and snacks. This is one method of breaking down some of the educational and relational barriers identified by the rural task force. We hoping to find partnerships with other community groups, and will also be looking for donations and volunteers.

Reports From the Secretary-Treasurer

·2007/08 Budget ? The District has begun work on a preliminary budget for next year. The Board approved changes to Greater Needs Funding and Action Initiative Grants to schools. The plan is to have a preliminary budget approved at the May Board meeting.

Reports From the Operations Manager

·Pouce Coupe School Replacement ? A feasibility plan for the replacement of the Pouce Coupe School has now been completed and forwarded to the Ministry of Education for approval. The total cost is estimated at $3,810,000 and includes a community hall and library for which the Village of Pouce Coupe is contributing $1,365,000.