SCHOOL BOARD RECONFIGERATION MEETING HELD

The Board of Education School District No. 59 (Peace River South) held the second reconfiguration meeting on the evening of March 2nd at the TRSS library. The attendance was small and consisted of mostly teacher/parents. Sherry Berringer, our school trustee, and principal Sandy Treit of Tumbler Ridge Secondary School were also in attendance. School Superintendent Kathy Sawchuk and assistant Superintendent Rob Dennis, gave a two-hour presentation of information gathered from the previous meeting. With the decline of school enrollment in B.C. there are many issues to review and address. This was an information and idea gathering process to help with the final decisions that will have to be made. The provincial government predicted a decline in enrollment, and according to Rob Dennis it was quite accurate. The yearly average B.C. decline in enrollment is 0.63 percent and for the SD59 it is 1.39 percent. In the last eight years there are more students leaving school than there is being enrolled and this is the national trend. This means there is a surplus of school properties and capacity of students is way down in some schools. Decisions will have to be made regarding the funding that keeps buildings maintained but does not have the amount of students to justify the cost. Obviously by closing some schools and selling off some of these properties will be in the best interest of the students and their education. Money spent on maintaining some of these schools will be able to go back into educational and special programs that will benefit all students. Keeping in mind that there has been no decisions made yet. These meetings are for community consultations to gather ideas and concerns and come up with options that are best for the students. The next meeting will be held May the 4th, and this meeting will most likely have options that School District 59 is looking at.

Board Meeting Highlights

for February 18, 2009 Dawson Creek

Reports from the Superintendent

? School District reconfigura- tion Meetings ? Parents, staff, students, other organizations and interested community members are invited to the second of three meetings in each community, to review the reconfiguration of schools. The meetings were held at 7:00 pm on the following dates and locations:

– March 2nd, Tumbler Ridge, in the library at TRSS; March 3rd, Chetwynd, in the gymnasium at Little Prairie Elementary; March 4th, Dawson Creek, in the gymnasium at O?Brien.

Based on the information the Board of Education has received from the public, students, staff, and other stakeholders, they presented their plans for reconfiguration. This second series of meetings laid out the plans, and the time lines, with the public having a final opportunity for input and feedback.

Some of the feedback received so far: Majority of responses supported moving out of O?Brien; Recommendation to move Resource Centre to Central; Provide time (1 year) to attempt to re-populate Moberly Lake Elementary School; Agreement to dispose of Grandview and Dokie properties; Majority of responses supported this plan to leave grade 7 students in their elementary school; Enter into further discussions to explore the design possibilities for the amalgamation of Central and SPSS; Continue to look at cost recovery/cost neutral proposals for expansion of community involvement (programs and services) at schools that continue to have excess space (i.e. early learning, access and equity to programs and services and community and corporate partnerships). Some new ideas that came forward:

Move Electric Ed.and French Immersion K to 12 from Frank Ross to O?Brien; Close Crescent Park and Parkhill and move them to Frank Ross where they would be included with the Frank Ross English track students; Close Canalta with students moving to Tremblay

? Graduation Rates ? The Superintendent presented data on the School Districtgraduation rates for 2007/08. These are improvements over previous years: First time Grade 12s .. All students 76% .. Aboriginals 65%; These numbers do not take into account the large number of students who did not graduate because they moved from the province.

? New Partnerships: New Program – School principals and district staff have been working with MCFD, SPCRS, RCMP, YO360, Nawican, the City, and our MLA, to develop a project to serve our drop-outs, street youth and at-risk youth. The purpose is to invite these youth to re-engage with their education, community, and their futures. Using a ?lifestyle coaching? model, the staff will assist youth to set goals and work with them to achieve success.

This is to be a 2 year project with SPCRS taking the lead in its development and

operation. It will be evaluated for success after that time and adjusted or dismantled

depending on demonstrated successes in assisting youth in achieving their

social/physical/educational goals. Some of the guiding principles for the program are.

? The workers in this program will develop individual plans for success with each

youth, and will act as a mentor/coach to help them achieve the desired outcomes.

?Whatever it takes, one youth at a time?.

? Workers will establish close partnerships with Youth Employment programs,

Nawican Friendship Centre, SD#59 programs, Northern Lights College, Probation

services, Youth Addictions and Mental Health and so on?

? Relationships with other agencies and services will be key to both assisting the

youth, as well as reducing barriers to the student?s achievement.

? This is not to become a ?storefront? operation or a drop-in-center. All activities

are to be active and intentional in moving the youth forward.

? Rekindle hope, enthusiasm and commitment to purpose in the youth.

SPCRS will be soon be looking to staff this program with the above objectives in mind

? Assessment for Learning – All School District #59 administrators and many of our

teachers have been participating in workshops using Assessment For Learning strategies.

When effectively used these strategies will transform a classroom from one where

students are ?being taught?, to a classroom where students are ?pursuing? their learning.

AFL is a style of working with students where the teacher focuses on having everyone in

the class know what the learning results will look like, learning how to ask themselves

where they are in getting to the goal, and what it will take to bring them to the next level.

The research shows that teachers who run AFL classrooms have greater professional

satisfaction. Students in AFL classrooms have greater engagement with, and enthusiasm

for learning. At the same time the rate of student learning doubles and struggling learners

show the greatest overall gains.

AFL is a different way of presenting learning, and crafting questions. Students know

from the outset what they are intended to learn, and what it will look like when they get

there. These strategies place students squarely into the center of their own learning, as

opposed to traditionally being the recipient of it.

Next Regular Meeting ? March 11, 2009 at 1:00pm Dawson Creek