Board News: Tuesday, December 16, 2014
December 17, 2014
The REMSS Chamber Choir regaled Trustees with a selection of Christmas Carols at the start of the first regular meeting of this board. The choir shared two carols and filled the room with sound and provided a beautiful holiday treat for all those in attendance.
The Board was also entertained by the BSS Musical Theatre Group as they prepare to open in February with their production of ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’. Space was tight for the many performers as they sang and danced but they displayed great energy and the show is sure to be a hit!
REMSS International Baccalaureate Program
REMSS Principal Magdy Ghobrial and teachers Sarah Bauder and Cora Pickering introduced four IB students to the Board. Each student shared how one of the four core values of the school district, integrity, courage, excellence and community, is an integral part of the IB Program.
Integrity: Sumara spoke of the diverse student population at REMSS yet the culture there is very accepting and students learn a lot about understanding other perspectives, even if it goes against one’s personal beliefs.
Excellence: Sonny shared how IB students are encouraged to think their own way, not just memorize facts. Sonny described the process as moving from ‘passive reception’ to ‘active learning’.
Courage: Katherine related stories of courage to the Board. Simply joining the IB program takes courage as the program is intense and requires a high level of dedication. She also went on to say how IB students are encouraged to step outside of their comfort zone and take risks in their learning and eperiences.
Community: Allie spoke of community, not just at REMSS but outside of the school walls as well. IB students are required to perform 150 ‘CAS’ (community, activitiy, service) hours and students often enter into their CAS experience ‘because they have to’ and end up loving it.
Superintendent’s Report on Achievement
Every December the Superintendent’s Report on Achievement is presented to the Board for a January submission to the Ministry of Education. The purpose of the document is to provide transparency and accountability to the public as well as to inform future planning regarding improving student achievement. Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman covered the following topics in her report: The Grad Exit Survey, Improvement Opportunities, Areas Addressed from 2013-2014, Completion Rates, Literacy, Numeracy, Aboriginal Learners.
Naming of Apex Secondary/James Anderson Learning Centre
As part of the Apex Secondary/James Anderson Learning Centre amalgamation, it was presented that a new name would be chosen for the site sometime after the start of the 2014-2015 school year. Principal Patrick Thomas has been working to help create a common student culture at the school and is guiding the students through a visioning process similar to that which the District undertook last spring. So far the process has united staff and students and they are now in a place where a decision can be made on a new name. The student leadership group is steering the naming process and hopes to provide District Leadership and the Board of Education some possibilities by mid-January.
Long Term Facilities Plan Update Report
Superintendent Suzanne Hoffman provided the Board an update on the community consultation process for the Long Term Facilities Plan. At the end of the presentation the Board was asked for feedback and further direction for staff. The Board has asked staff to explore some of the new options raised in the course of the public consultation and provide recommendations on those options. For more information on the Long Term Facilities Plan, click here.
Notice of Motion for Potential Closure of Langley Secondary School
A Notice of Motion to consider the potential closure of Langley Secondary School (LSS) has been served by the Board of Education in order to initiate the closure consultation process as outlined in Board Policy No. 5029. The potential closure of Langley Secondary School is included in a number of possible scenarios currently being discussed in the District’s consultation process around developing a Business Case for the Ministry of Education related to the Langley Secondary and RE Mountain communities facility needs. With this notice, the Board will begin a specific public consultation process related to LSS so that should a recommendation arise in which closure of the school becomes part of the implementation of the Long Term Facilities plan, the District will have followed the procedures in its Policy. The notice of motion does not mean the school will be closed, merely that the possible closure will be considered at a future open Regular Meeting of the Board of Education. For more information on the Long Term Facilities Plan, click here.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Capital Project No. 126812
The Board of Education passed a motion to move forward with the procurement of two new school buses in accordance with the Ministry of Education’s 2014/2015 Approved Bus Projects allocation process. The maximum expenditure is $232,944 for the 68-77 passenger buses.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Final Enrolment
With respect to Ministry funded students, we are up 72 students from 2013 – with an increase of 81 school-aged students being offset by a decline in adult students of 9. The increase in regular school-aged students reflects the demographic shift that has taken place over the past several years with fewer secondary students and more elementary-aged students, particularly those students entering the system at the kindergarten level. In addition there has been significant growth in the District’s primary-aged and intermediate-aged students, which likely represents migration of families to the District to take advantage of affordable housing. District staff believes the increase in headcount numbers from 2013 would have been higher as a number of students left the District in September to attend private schools.