Friday, October 13, 2017

Slight decline in SD52 enrolment noted at October Board meeting

SD52 officials tackled a number of
items on their Agenda for the
Board meeting of October 10th
Board members with School District 52 covered a range of topics during the course of their monthly meeting held October 10th at the School District office in Prince Rupert.

A trio of items related to  the start of the school year made for a portion of the night's agenda including a review of the District's Implementation Day of September 22nd, where all education staff spent a half day in workshop with Monique Gray Smith, an international speaker, consultant and award winning author who discussed themes on healing and resilience.

The remainder of the Implementation Day work took place in the individual schools where staff focused on the new curriculum among other areas of review.

The New Employee Orientation Day took place on October 5th with invitations sent to 41 new employees in the School District. This years orientation day marked the first time that the scope of the sessions expanded, taking in new support staff and exempt staff in the district.

The day featured a welcome from Senior staff, some background information of the district services that are available and provided for an opportunity for the newest of SD52 members to get to know each other.

The District also announced this week how they will utilize funds that had been approved by the District Board in the 2017-18 Budget, as they work to implement a teacher mentoring program this year.

As part of that initiative, eight new teachers and eight mentoring teachers held their first meeting on Monday, October 2nd, to review and clarify how the mentoring model and process will work.

The School District also provided for the preliminary enrolment numbers for the 2017-18 School year, with 1,991 students currently listed as enrolled across the District.

That number is down from this time last year when the School District hosted 1,999 students.

However, SD52 officials noted that the number so far is slightly ahead of their own forecast prior to the start of the school year when they had anticipated 1,981 students.

As part of the enrolment review, SD52 noted that there are currently 146 students taking part in Kindergarten classes District wide as of September 30th.

The School Board also heard a report on the efforts of the Gay Straight Alliance at Charles Hays Secondary School and Pacific Coast School.

Teacher Christine Danroth outlined the recent developments from the two clubs at the local schools, noting that there is a plan to change their name to GLOW, which will represent Gay, Lesbian or Whatever. The initiative offers a safe place for students with a variety of gender expressions and identities and the other students who support them.

Among some of the recent efforts towards inclusion was the designation of gender-neutral washrooms at all district facilities which have helped in making the students feel welcome in their schools.

Students are currently working towards the development of "Safe Place" stickers for local businesses to display as a way of support in the community.

Board Chair Tina Last made note of the efforts from District staff to help move the programs forward.

“The Board was very appreciative of the work of the staff who support the Gay Straight Alliance clubs” ... “We look forward to their ongoing efforts to ensure that all students can attend school free from any form of discrimination.”

The School District also discussed a request from Northwest Community College to provide a letter of support for NWCC's proposed name change initiative.

That proved to be a topic which generated a fair bit of discussion and brought attention to a number of lingering issues between the college and SD52.

Among the themes for discussion for SD52 was a  review of some of the challenges that the School District has had with NWCC and concern as to what appears to be ongoing consolidation of service out of the Terrace campus.

Following their discussion the School District Board members voted not to support the name change and instructed the Chair to write a letter in opposition to the proposed name change, observing that it does not adequately represent the Northwest Region.

More notes related to the background for the proposed name change and the School District's thoughts related to it can be found here.

To conclude the October 10th session, the School District Board approved one policy, the Audit Services Policy to be sent to partner groups for further feedback

The Board also approved three items for their policy book, with SD52 moving forward on the Disposal of Land and Improvements Policy, Disposal of Surplus Assets Policy and District Parent Advisory Council Policy.

You can review the full information package related to the October 10th meeting here.

For more items related to Education in the Northwest see our archive page here.

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