Friday, September 15, 2017

SD52 Board meeting hears of opening week notes, transportation plan

The first SD52 Board Meeting of the year provided trustees with a glimpse of the opening week numbers at local schools, as well as a number of other topics for review as they launched the first of their eleven scheduled Board meetings for 2017-18.

The update on the School opening found a lower enrolment than from September of a year ago, something that the Superintendent Ken Minette said was expected, though no numbers were released to this point for comparison.

However with the movement of students between schools and the enrolment of new students some classes have become very full in some locations, an issue that the School District is looking to address.

As a result of the application of the class size and composition language from the Supreme Court decision, the District has hired 14 new teachers, the Superintendent also noted that funding is subject to review by the Ministry of Education based on actual enrolment and staffing as of September 30th.

An overview of the introduction to the new curriculum was also provided, which is now in place for students in all Kindergarten to Grade 9 Classes. While students in Grades 10 to 12 will be trying out parts of the new draft of that curriculum this year.

In order to offer additional support for the implementation of that program, the Board of Education has agreed to increase the number of Department Heads at Charles Hays Secondary from 8 to 10 members.

Transportation Funding for the school year was also a topic for review on Tuesday, the District's Secretary-Treasurer Cam McIntyre noted that the funding for the 2016-17 school year was put to use as planned.

From the available funds $85,000 was distributed to the District of Port Edward to operate a yellow bus service for students from Port Edward and Metlakatla. An additional $15,000 was utilized to reduce the cost of a student bus pass in Prince Rupert from 40 dollars to 30 dollars, currently there are over 100 bus passes subsidized per month.

The remainder of the School District's transportation funds was put to use to support families in need of bus passes and for school field trips.

Mr. McIntyre noted for the Council that this school year, funding will continue to support the yellow bus service operated by the District of Port Edward, as well as to continue to provide for bus pass subsidies and assistance for families in need, as well as for field trips.

The Board also received a review of a Summer Read and Plan program that was held across the District over the summer months.

The School District also formally approved their Framework for Enhancing Student Learning, which was built on the input from a Thought exchange survey conducted in 2016, the document will soon be available for review on the SD52 website.

As they introduced the program,Board Chair Tina Last offered up her thanks to all who participated in that process.

“The Board is very pleased to approve the first Framework for Enhancing Student Learning for the district,”  ...“On behalf of the Board of Education I would like to publicly thank all of our staff, parents and students who contributed their time and ideas in the development of the Framework.”

The Board also moved forward with three policy initiatives and sent another three to partner groups for further feedback.

Approved from Tuesday's meeting were policies on Diversity and Inclusion, the Role of the Superintendent and a policy on delegation to the Superintendent policy.

Heading back for more feedback will be policy initiatives on Land and Improvement, Disposal of Surplus Assets and one on the District Parent Advisory Council

One final item of note from the Tuesday session was an update on the progress of work on the construction of sheltered bleachers at the Charles Hays Track, that project which is expected to be complete by next week was funded by donations from the last two grad parent committees.

The report from the Board does not indicate if the Board members discussed the current status of the School Board itself, as we noted earlier this week, the School District Board continues to hold its meetings down one member from their usual contingent of six trustees and a Board Chair.

There were no observations from Tuesday's session to offer up any background on how the Board plans to address that empty seat, or if they even have any plans to do so.

You can review the full report from the September 12th meeting here

For more background on education in the Northwest see our archive page here.

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