Board News: Tuesday, December 8, 2015
December 9, 2015
Presentation: James Kennedy Elementary Christmas Carols
The choir from James Kennedy Elementary provided some Christmas cheer to kick off the final public meeting of the Board of Education for 2015. Many parents crowded into the Boardroom with trustees and District staff to enjoy the carolling and Christmas spirit of the youngsters. Enjoy a short clip below.
Brookswood Secondary Musical Production “Urinetown”
Brookswood Secondary has thrilled audiences many times over the years with their musical productions and Urinetown: The Musical promises to be another smash. Directed by BSS Drama teacher Gord Hamilton, recent recipient of the Drama Teacher of the Year Award, the show is a satirical musical that parodies and references many other musical productions while providing audiences with lots of laughs. Urinetown: The Musical runs February 10-13 and February 17-20 in the Brookswood Secondary Theatre (www.brookswoodsecondary.com).
Superintendent’s Achievement Report: Literacy
District primary reading results show a decline in students leaving Grade 3 reading at grade-level which is cause for concern. Trustee Alison McVeigh noted that though ‘good news’ stories are preferable it is important to now about the things we need to work on also. A number of District initiatives were outlined in Superintendent Hoffman’s report including the implementation of Reading Recovery programs in every school and the implementation of a new Kindergarten Screening Protocol designed to identify vulnerable students. The Kindergarten Protocol is being rolled out in January 2016.
Superintendent’s Report: K-9 Curriculum Implementation & 2015-2016 Calendar Amendment
The Board of Education passed a motion to amend the District Calendar 2015-2016 to designate Friday, January 15, 2016 and Monday, April 18, 2016 as non-instructional days as part of the Ministry of Education and BCTF’s collaborative plan for curriculum change.
Assistant Superintendent Gord Stewart presented an update on the K-9 Curriculum Implementation plan and the local roll out. Changes to the District calendar were needed in order to implement the curriculum support plan announced by the Ministry of Education September 28, 2015. The minimum hours of instruction in the 2015-2016 school year has been reduced by two days (10 hours) to support teachers in implementation of the redesigned curriculum. Visit this section of the District website for more information on BC’s Curriculum Redesign.
Superintendent’s Information Report: Mental Health Update
In September of 2015, the Board of Education requested a report on the mental health initiatives provided in the District. Assistant Superintendent Claire Guy and District Principal of Student Support Services Renge Bailie outlined many of the programs offered in the District to support students in the area of mental wellness.
Superintendent’s Information Report: Transition Update-Simons Elementary/Simonds U-Connect
Assistant Superintendent Claire Guy provided an update on the U-Connect program move that resulted in Simonds Elementary becoming the new home of the former Lochiel U-Connect program. Ms. Guy said there were 140 Simonds students and 186 U-Connect students that are now building a new school community and that things are going well. There have been combined events such as the Terry Fox Run that have helped build community and the school community is looking forward to similar events in the future. Ms. Guy also commended the maintenance department for their work – there were lots of things to move, minor renovations to complete and painting to be done, etc. The timeline from June 2015 to be ready for September 2015 was tight but the site was ready and the results have been positive.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Budget Process and Timeline
The Board of Education passed a motion to approve the District budget process and timeline for the 2016-2017 Preliminary Operating Budget. Secretary Treasurer David Green presented a timeline for the budget process which is usually brought before the Board at their Finance and Facilities Committee meeting prior to becoming a Regular Meeting item but, by bringing the proposal forward now, more time will be available to implement preliminary budget information. With the increased time available more engagement in the budget process will be possible as well as more in-depth analysis of matters that may impact the budget.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Policy No. 5084
Policy 5084 – Application to Enter Alternate Programs has been renamed “Policy 5084 – Admission to Choice Programs” and the Board passed a motion to accept the revisions to the policy brought forth in the spring and approved by the Policy Committee in June 2015. More information on the revised Policy 5084 may be found here. Revisions to the policy were needed for a number of reasons including updating the old policy from 2001 and making admissions to choice programs more equitable to District families.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Administrative Procedure No. 7002
Administrative Procedure No. 7002 – Admission of International Students has been reinstated as a Board Policy. Policy 7002 was moved to ‘Administrative Procedures’ in 2011 but with the increases of International Students in recent years, District staff thought it worthwhile to re-establish a policy for admission of international students which would clearly differentiate between those students who have to pay tuition versus those that do not as defined by Policy No. 7009 – Entry to an Educational Program.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Capital Project Bylaw No. 126942 and No. 127003
The Board passed Capital Project Bylaw No. 126942 in the amount of $149,500 to fund lighting efficiency improvements at Langley Fine Arts School. The project updates interior and exterior lighting at the school increasing the energy efficiency of the site and improving the lighting system to support the health of students and staff. Capital Project Bylaw No. 127003 in the amount of $126,350 was also approved to facilitate the upgrade of other lighting systems at various schools around the District.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report: Final Enrolment
With respect to Ministry funded students, the District is up 110 students from 2014. Increases of 324 school-aged children and 42 adult students is offset by a decline in graduated adult students of 256. The increase of 324 students illustrates a demographic shift over the last few years in the District as more families with elementary-aged children move to the area while there are fewer secondary students. Kindergarten enrolment has remained fairly constant in recent years but there continues to be growth among students entering the system at primary and intermediate levels. Secretary Treasurer David Green commented that this likely represented families that move to the area to take advantage of affordable housing in comparison to other Metro areas. The decline in graduated adult students is as a result of the change in funding for adult students implemented by the Ministry of Education which limited funding for adults to include only Foundation Literacy Courses.