Board News: May 26, 2020

May 25, 2020

The Regular Meeting of the Langley Board of Education begins at 7:00 p.m. A link to the live-stream will be posted here in Board News.


Secretary-Treasurer’s Reports

2020-2021 Annual Budget Bylaw (First and Second Reading)

Brian Iseli, Secretary-Treasurer, presented the 2020-2021 Annual Budget to the Board.

He prefaced his presentation explaining how this is one of the toughest budgets the District is facing in years and is even more difficult with the impacts of COVID-19. He provided background information and explained how in past years the District has been operating with a budget deficit structure to draw down the accumulated surplus but has reached a point where the budget needs to be back in line. He informed the Board that the District had to reduce positions but has managed to avoid layoffs. The reduction in positions will occur due to attrition, retirements, staff leaving.

Iseli explained all of the annual revenue and expenses and major factors impacting the budget. He explained how enrolment has increased from 20,890 FTE to 21,169 FTE. However, the District’s International Student Program (ISP) enrolment has decreased from 990 FTE to 750 FTE due to COVID-19.  He says about 540 returning students have paid for next year and approximately 335 students have applied to attend. He admits the District anticipates some ISP student may not be able to come, but the exact number is not known at this point. The District’s budget bylaw is $261,626,067 for the 2020-2021 school year.

Iseli reviewed operating grants from the province and outlined the recent shift in the Ministry’s allocation of funds to districts. He told the Board funding announcements have impacted the District by approximately half a million dollars. He reviewed operating expenses including increases and decreases in staffing positions, increases and decreases in supplies. The District is at a deficit budget of $2.4 million, meaning the District will be using $2.4 million of the accumulated surplus to balance the 2020-2021 budget.

To close the presentation, Iseli announced the District is hosting a Virtual Budget Open House for the public. It is an opportunity for members of the community to have their questions answered and provide feedback to the District.

The Board recommended the following motions:

That the School District No. 35 (Langley) 2020/2021 Annual Budget Bylaw in the amount of $261,626,067 be given first reading.

That the School District No. 35 (Langley) 2020/2021 Annual Budget Bylaw in the amount of $261,626,067 be given second reading

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

Superintendent’s Report

COVID-19 Update – BC’s Restart Plan

Gord Stewart, Superintendent, provided an update on the District plan to return to in-school instruction. He opened his presentation outlining a timeline of events that have taken place over the last two months. He outlined the implementation of learning hubs, expansion of support for vulnerable students, and the continuation of remote learning.

He gave an overview of the partial return to in-school instruction plan. Stewart explained the five stages of the provinces restart plan, reason for the restart, and guiding principles guiding the District. He informed the Board K-5 students will be able to attend two days per week and Grades 6-12 will be able to attend one day per week. Out of 22,000 students in the District, approximately 30 percent of students indicated they will be attending in-school learning.

Barry Bunyan, Assistant Superintendent of Human Resources, provided an update on health and safety plans for the District in relation to the partial return to in-school instruction. He informed the Board of the health and safety documents that guide the District’s work including the District COVID-19 Safety Plan for Schools and the District COVID-19 Safety Plan for Schools. He said these documents are communicated to each site’s Joint Health and Safety Committee to ensure that all of these guidelines are in place prior to June 1st. The committee can make amendments specific to their site, it is approved, and then communicated to the school community prior to June 1st.

He reviewed key points including having day and evening custodians, cleaning procedures and the frequency of cleaning procedures, for touch surfaces, bathrooms, and reception areas.  Every school will be bio-misted once a week. Procedures have been developed for the use and cleaning of District busses. In closing, he mentioned the District has adequate cleaning supplies through to June and beyond. He also mentioned students and staff entering the building will go through health checks daily.

Woody Bradford and Mal Gill, Assistant Superintendents, provided an update on the continuity of learning plan for the District moving forward. Bradford gave an overview of a framework where students come in for two days per week at the elementary level. He explained the staggering of start and end times would be in place to ensure physical distancing guidelines are met. Mondays/Tuesdays and then Thursdays/Fridays for students in K-5 with students will be in multi-age groups. On Wednesdays, staff will continue to support essential service worker students and vulnerable students on site. All other students will continue with remote learning. He presented an example of school structures and schedules at the elementary level.

Thereafter, he presented an example of school structures and schedules at the middle school level. He noted staff at middle schools will try to have students be with at least one of their pod teachers. Tuesdays and Thursdays would be designated days for middle school students (one day per week).

Mal Gill, Assistant Superintendent presented the secondary model. He explained how the District wanted to ensure schools were accessible and flexible for students. He presented a model available to students: Monday-Tuesday and Thursday-Friday (one day per week). He says the model is broken down into five core models: Languages, Socials, Science, Math, English, support and electives as well. He explained students would rotate each of the six areas depending on the student’s needs. Details about scheduling and supplies to bring would be provided by the school. He presented an example of a schedule for secondary students as well.

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

Summer Session 2020

Ron Stare, District Principal for Summer Session, gave an overview of the program offerings for this year. He explained due to the impacts of COVID-19, program offerings have been scaled back and Summer Session won’t look like previous years. At the elementary level, primary literacy will be available by referral only and not open registration. English Literacy will be available for grade/level 1 – 3. It will be in-person from July 6-24. There will be five sites across the District in operation.

At the secondary level, a Blended Summer Learning program will be available for Grades 10-12 in a variety of full credit courses. Courses will be a blend of Moodle and Teams (platform) and in-person learning at RE Mountain Secondary School. Classes will run from July 2 to August 7. In-person support times will be voluntary and the program is designed for students to complete all online if needed. Registration is now open to Langley School District students. Registration to outside of district students will open June 8. He closed with two other programs available: Grade 9 remedial math by referral only and the Youth at Risk/Transitions Program.

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

New Business

There is no new business.

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