Board Meeting Highlights

Highlights for April 16, 2012
School District 59 (Peace River South)

Dawson Creek

2012/13 Budget Recommendations – The Board approved recommendations to the budget for the 2012/13 school year. Of significance, is a shift of funding to building capacity within schools and classrooms. Central to this initiative is the achievement of each student with a focus on continuous improvement. One means of achieving this is by building capacity within schools and classrooms. The research in the area of early learning is growing at a rapid rate. We need to provide support to help teachers stay current with new developments and implement research-based approaches in their classrooms. The District intends to focus on early learning in the areas of self-management, literacy and numeracy.

Additional supports will be put in place to support literacy throughout the district to implement a district-wide standard of practice. The district will continue to support and encourage 21st century learning practices. Time will also be provided for collaboration to occur.

Administration Announcement – The Board announced that Diana Lindstrom will be the Vice Principal for Dawson Creek Secondary School (DCSS) effective August 1, 2012.

Students Leading The Way to a Greener Planet – Congratulations to McLeod Elementary School and Pouce Coupe Elementary School for winning the energy prize of $1000 in the BC Green Games! The two schools entered the provincial competition, by entering into a competition with each other. The challenge between the schools was to see who could reduce their school’s consumption of electrical energy by the greatest amount.

After five weeks of intense effort by everyone, the two schools showed amazing savings. They reduced the power consumption of their school’s lights and plug-ins by 30%. That reduction in power represents savings of $150/month.

The efforts of everyone involved in these schools was not just focused on the competition, it was also focused on the benefits to the environment. These students will bring new practices for energy conservation into their homes and lives, knowing why it is important to do their part for a greener future.

Using APPS in the Classroom – The use of technology in classrooms is essential to our students being current in a changing world. The main challenge to the teacher is to ensure that the technology is being used for the purpose it was intended, and that appropriate information is being exchanged at all times.

Increasingly, software manufacturers are making applications (APPS) available for the public. Students can access these apps from their smart phone, ipad, or computer. This means that a student could be working on assignments from anywhere, at any time. Often the apps are at no cost, and can assist students in developing projects, communicating with each other in blogs or online, demonstrating their learning, and conducting research.

Under the Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, schools are required to ask for the parent’s permission if they plan to release information on a child in order to “sign them up” for an app. Typically that would mean providing the student’s name, their student number and the school they are attending.

A full disclosure to parents of the purpose of the app in the classroom, including the manner in which it will be monitored and applied, is essential.
Parents can expect to receive invitations from teachers and principals to talk about apps in the classrooms, and will also begin receiving requests for consents for their signature.

Focus on the Superintendent of Schools – The Superintendent of Schools also carries the title of Chief Executive Officer for the School District. The Superintendent is the primary educational leader, and the only direct employee of the Board. The primary duty of the Superintendent is to work with the Board to establish educational priorities, and to lead the organization by putting them into operation.

All other employees of the district are responsible to the Superintendent. With 650 +/- employees at any given time, it requires a team of supporting administrators to assist with the many facets of operations. Senior administrative staff who work with the superintendent consists of one Secretary Treasurer, one Assistant Superintendent, two Directors of Instruction and one District Principal.

A Dual Credit Thank You – The District has learned that Jeff Lekstrom, Dean of Trades and Apprenticeship for Northern Lights College, has accepted a new and exciting position, and will be moving on. Jeff has been an instrumental leader and partner in bringing forward the wide array of dual credit options that are available to SD#59 students, and learners throughout the north. Jeff’s work with the three school districts served by NLC, provided thousands of young dual credit students a jump-start on their careers. His efforts have been greatly appreciated. The district extends our very best wishes to him in his new endeavour.

Policy Committee

The Board approved the following policy/regulation:

#4340: Child Protection Policy

Important Dates

May 16 Regular meeting of the Board (Tumbler Ridge)
May 18 Non-instructional day
May 21 Victoria Day

Next Regular Meeting – May 16, 2012 at 1:00pm Tumbler Ridge

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Board Meeting Highlights

Reports from the Superintendent · Social Responsibility Report ?

Portfolio Program ? The Ministry of Education announced that it will be moving to a more flexible, simplified graduation requirement. The Graduation Portfolio will no longer be the mandatory delivery method for schools to use in meeting the required standards. Instead, the Ministry is working to reduce the number of assignments, while strengthening three of the existing standards. The standards are:

80 hours of physical activity beyond grade 10 Phys Ed;

30 hours of work experience or volunteer activity;

the development of a graduation transition plan that will describe the next step in the student lives, beyond graduation.

How these standards are met is to be determined by the school boards. Assessment and criteria guidelines are currently being developed by the Ministry and will be made available shortly.

Food Safety in Schools ? The Ministry of Health has developed general guidelines for accepting food that was produced at a private home, into a public facility. These guidelines will have some impact on schools, where parents routinely provide food for activity days, and special occasions. The District will be developing guidelines incorporating these standards.

Appreciation Dinner ? The District will be hosting an appreciation evening for employers and sponsors of our students. It is intended to demonstrate our thanks to them, while promoting the success of students that they have worked with. The student/recipients of the Duke Energy dual-credit bursaries will be recognized on that night as well.

BCIT Graduation ? Six recent graduates of SD#59 have finished the BCIT 2nd year Auto Service Technology program (level 3), and were recognized in a graduation ceremony this month. They have completed their theoretical components and have only to backfill the hours of work in the trade to receive their Red Seal certification. All of the students are working in the industry.

Challenge Days Student Leadership Summit ? The three area high schools are planning a ?Leadership Summit? in early fall 2007, to bring all the student leaders involved in Challenge Days to Gwillim Lake for a team-building retreat. The students? trainer for Challenge Days will be invited to facilitate the days, and renew the ?be the change? spirit. The plan is to develop the Leadership Summit as an annual occurrence in the school year.

Dual Credit Update ? Community concern remains high over the withdrawal of BCIT from the Heavy Duty and Auto Service programs, scheduled to occur in February 2008. District staff continue to meet with Northern Lights College to review options. A report will be presented to the School district trustees at the February board meeting.

Graduation Rates ?provincial six-year graduation rates. For SD#59, 71% graduated (79% non-aboriginal & 49% aboriginal). The provincial rate for 2005/06 was 79%.

Class Size Report ? Information was presented on class sizes and composition in the district based on the September 30, 2006 enrolment.

Early Development Indicators (EDI) ? Further information was presented on the Early Childhood Mapping Project. This is a project that mapped kindergarten children in communities across BC for the following: physical health and well-being, social competence, emotional maturity, language and cognitive development, communication skills and general knowledge.

This measure of children?s readiness for school is important because it can predict their performance later in life. It also shows the importance of the entire community in children?s development.

Secretary-Treasurer · 2006/07 Amended Budget ? The Board approved an Amended Operating Budget of $43,487,627 for the 2006/07 fiscal year. Reports From the Operations Manager Rotary Auction ? The District has agreed to allow the Rotary Club to use space in the Board Offices for their annual Rotary Auction. · Pacific STARSkate Provincial Championship ? The Board agreed to lend two school buses to the Mile Zero Figure Skating Club for their hosting of the 2007 Pacific STARSkate Provincial Championship. The buses will be used to transport athletes to their

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