Wednesday, June 21, 2017

SD52 Board receives reports on Capital planning, School plans and Vancouver field trip

The final School District meeting of the current school year took place on June 13th with the SD52 Board receiving a range of reports on planning for the 2017-18 school year and beyond.

The evening review began with report by way of Skype from Hartley Bay, where Hartley Bay School principal Cam Hill, teacher Jackie Wong and students of Ms. Wong's class recounted their recent journey to West Vancouver, part of shared project between the North Coast community and students and teachers in West Vancouver.

During the course of the program, students from each community travelled to and from each community to learn about their culture, art and schooling, with one highlight of the project a visit to Kiel, which is Hartley Bay's Seaweed Camp, where harvesting takes place.

One element of the program was the completion of an art presentation which highlighted the collaborative nature of the project, those works of art are now available for viewing at Prince Rupert's Museum of Northern BC. And exhibit which Board Chair Tina Last was quite excited to share thoughts on for the board.

“The Board was so excited to speak with the students of Hartley Bay and learn about this project,” ... “The display at the Museum of Northern BC is a first-class exhibit that everyone should go and see.”

SD52 also acknowledged the financial contributions of the West Vancouver Community Foundation, the West Vancouver Artists Foundation and the Government of Canada, which provided funding through a Canada 150 project grant, all of which made the project possible.

The Board then moved on to other items from the Agenda, including a reminder that Camp Jupiter will operate once again this summer, and that Summer Read and Play is returning to the district after having been dormant after a number of years.  Schools will be in contact with families that are eligible to participate in these summer programs.  The summer programming that will allow the projects to operate this year is being provided to the District through funding by Pacific Northwest LNG.

Capital Planning made for a good portion of the June 13th Board meeting.

With the School District Board outlining their key projects for the 2018-19 Capital Plan.

While noting that the replacement of Prince Rupert Middle School remains the highest priority for the district's plans, there were a number of other projects outlined at the meeting.

Among them are:

Seismic project for Prince Rupert Middle School

Replacement projects for Conrad Street Elementary School and the District Support Services Building

School Enhancement projects for the following facilities:

CHSS Learning Commons, Booth Fire Suppression system, Booth Dust Collection system, Booth Roofing project

The School District also made note of two carbon neutral capital program projects, one for Pineridge Elementary and boiler replacement for Lax Kxeen Elementary School.

On the topic of becoming carbon neutral, the SD52 also received the 2016 Carbon Neutral Action Report, which is now available on the District website.  It outlines that the amount of carbon offsets purchased continued its downward trend last year. The District is continuing to look for projects which will improve the efficiency of heating systems in schools.

The Draft School plans from area schools was also presented to the Board of Education, the summaries of those individual school plans will soon be made available on the SD52 website.

The Board heard some background on privacy concerns related to some unusual activity that had been noted on one of the District's computer servers. It was noted that steps had been taken to restore the server and that the District's firewall had been upgraded.  The Secretary-Treasurer advised the Board that as the server contained personal information, letters would be sent to everyone whose information was stored on the server.

The Prince Rupert District Teachers Union expressed its concerns related to recent budget decisions and the assessment of students.

The issues of concern raised by PRDTA President Raegan Sawka included areas related to the staffing levels of secondary counsellors, science lab aide positions, department head positions, library assistants and kindergarten workers and the need for consultation on new positions such as a behavioural interventionist.

The PRDTA's second are of note included concerns related to the wait lists in place for access to level C psycho-educational assessments in SD52. In a letter to SD officials, Ms. Sawka outlined some of the history of the the past assessment process and the urgency which the teacher's have put on seeking for funding and recruitment in that field.

You can review the content of both letters from the Agenda Package for the June 13th meeting, the two letters can be found on pages 8 through 12

In their report from the June 13th session, the School District noted that Superintendent Sandra Jones had responded to those concerns at the meeting, while Board Chair Tina Last, will be writing to the union to thank them for their letters of concern and to advise that the Superintendent will be following up with them on the issues.

The Board also reviewed some policy work approving three policies, and sending two others to partner groups for further feedback.

The full report from the Board meeting can be reviewed here.

With the gavel sounding on the final meeting prior to the summer, it should be noted that the SD52 Board went through another full year of deliberations without having filled an open seat on the District Council.

That has been a situation that has been in place since Judy Carlick-Pearson resigned from her position in November of 2015. Since that time, the Board has provided for little information for the public as to whether they have plan to fill the vacancy, or just wait the cycle out until the next municipal elections in November of 2018.

More notes related to items of interest from SD52 can be found on our archive page.

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