Board News: December 14, 2021

December 13, 2021


Superintendent’s Report

Superintendent Gord Stewart started the presentation by sharing some examples of Christmas cheer from across the District. He shared some photos of holiday activities and charitable initiatives happening in schools. He also shared a video of an excerpt of the Langley Fine Arts Jazz Choir and the traditional pancake breakfast at Shortreed Community Elementary. He transitioned into talking about recent events in our regional community and province including flooding and other weather impacts. He then provided the Board with an update on COVID-19 and mentioned that further information is expected to be shared with the community before the break. He commented on the K-12 mask mandate, the K-5 vaccine availability, school notifications over the winter break which will continue, and international travel restrictions information. He says the number of COVID-19 notifications has been trending downward in December.

Stewart shared a story about a bug in a wind shield story which was a lesson about focusing on the positive and not being distracted by the negative in life. It was a meaningful story and reflection as outgoing superintendent.

The Board approves the report as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.

District’s Transitions Goal (FESL)

Deputy Superintendent Mal Gill started his presentation with the goal: “Students will complete secondary school with dignity, purpose, and a plan for the future (with a focus on improving results for Aboriginal Students, Students with Diverse Needs, and Children in Care.” He stated the target from six years ago was a completion rate of 93% which has been achieved by the District. Gill thanked leadership and all staff for their work in helping the District reach their goal. He shared completion rate data in graphic and table forms with the Board. He commented on how the District still has more work to do to make improvements in closing gaps between all students and Non-Indigenous students, Diverse Abilities students, and Children in Care. He explained the importance of intersectionality in helping students and promote completion rates moving forward.

Assistant Superintendent Woody Bradford talked about the documents guiding the District to achieve success which include the Strategic Plan and the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement. He gave an overview of the SD 35 Continuous Improvement Plan. To help the Board understand the success of transitions, two secondary principals shared an example of a story from their school.

Langley Secondary principal Marcello Moino shared the work his staff and students engaged in to recreate connection between the secondary school and the family of schools. He described the field experiences involving LSS students and Douglas Park students which have been very successful.

Simonds U-Connect principal Paul Trattle shared the story of one student who struggled but thrived at U-Connect. He read an excerpt from the student’s valedictorian speech which touched on how his success was in part due to the flexible, learning environment, and unique opportunities at U-Connect.

Assistant Superintendent Woody Bradford summarized the presentation with inspiring quotes about leadership. He closed the presentation with acknowledgment of Superintendent Gord Stewart’s leadership as he embarks on his retirement in the new year.

The Board approves the report as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.

Secretary-Treasurer Reports

Budget Process and Timelines 2021-2022

Secretary-Treasurer Brian Iseli provided an overview on the budget process and timeline. He outlined key periods in finance from now until June. Some highlights include the beginning of the preliminary budget in January and a first-ever Public Budget Survey expected to be conducted in February/March.

The Board approves the report as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.

Policy Committee

Notice of Motion Returns – Policy 5 and Policy 6 (Role of the chair and the role of the vice-chair)

Recommendation: That the Board of Education approves Policy 5: Role of the Chair, as presented.  Recommendation: That the Board of Education approves Policy 6: Role of the Vice-Chair, as presented.

Policy 17 – Accumulated Operating Surplus

Recommendation: That the Board of Education serves Notice of Motion to the District’s education community and its education partner groups that it intends to adopt the revisions to Policy No. 17: Accumulated Operating Surplus at the January 25, 2022 Regular Board Meeting.

The Board approved all of the above motions. The video above will begin on this agenda item.

Trustee Comments

Question Period