Board News: Tuesday, June 20, 2017

June 22, 2017

Presentation: Spindle Whorl Unveiling/Recognition of National Aboriginal Day

Members of the Kwantlen First Nation, including Hereditary Chief Marilyn Gabriel, attended the School Board Meeting on the eve of National Aboriginal Day to address the Board and to unveil the Spindle Whorl carving that will travel to various locations around the district as a learning tool and symbol of Aboriginal education. The presentation began with Michael Kelly Gabriel addressing those present with words and song. Cheryl Gabriel than shared more information on the spindle whorl design and symbolism before introducing the artists that created the work, Drew and Phyllis Atkins. The Atkins are a couple and, early on in her artistic pursuits, Phyllis took much of her inspiration drawing the carved work of Drew. Now Drew has had the opportunity to carve a work that Phyllis provided the artwork for – the spindle whorl design graces the cover of the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement signed by local First Nations, the School District and the Province.

Presentation: Cross District Student Leadership Forum

The Cross District Leadership Forum has been a four-year exercise for students from Langley and 5 other Fraser Valley districts that have met yearly since the 2013-2014 school year. The students began by defining the key aspects of education that they deemed educational priorities and directions for education in the future. The “3P’s” were defined as “Passion, Purpose and Personalization” and each “P” was covered in depth in the ensuing years. The data collected from the students has been gathered and collated into 3 reports: Passion, Purpose & Personalization. The ‘big 6’ main themes that emerged were the need for supports & resources, mentorship opportunities, the importance of taking risks in education, flexibility in learning particularly in the Middle School years, positive mental health supports and an opportunity for students to have a voice. Recently a small group of Langley Leadership 35 students were invited to present their thoughts and recommendations to the Minister of Education Mr. Mike Bernier and about 250 other adults at the Ministry of Education offices in Victoria. The presentations were very enthusiastically received.

Superintendent’s Reports

Framework for Enhanced Student Learning

Acting Superintendent Gord Stewart provided the Board a report on student learning in Langley and how they relate to four quadrants on the District’s vision diagram:

  • Learners are Knowledgeable, Skilled and Innovative.
  • Our Schools Foster an Inclusive and Accepting Culture.
  • Learning Takes Place Through Flexible and Connected Environments.
  • Relevant, Meaningful Choices for Students Ignite a Lifelong Passion for Learning.

The report highlighted examples of initiatives in Social Emotional Learning, Literacy, Mentorship and Aboriginal Education Enhancement by way of a year-end review. Explore the interactive Framework for Enhanced Learning online here.

Re-Designed Curriculum Implementation – Physical and Health Education

District Teacher Gail Markin of the Instructional Services Department presented an update on the re-designed Physical and Health Education (PHE) curriculum as it fits in with the BC Curriculum. Ms. Markin provided clarification around the new curriculum and what the similarities and differences are between this curriculum and the previous Health and Career Curriculum. The presentation focused on:

  • A holistic understanding of health that includes physical, mental and social domains.
  • Clarification of which parts of the curriculum are new and which remain the same.
  • A short explanation of the sexual health component of the PHE.
  • Why the holistic understanding of health is important: health and safety; illness prevention; success and happiness over the life span.
  • Professional development support for teachers to deliver PHE curriculum.

District Literacy Plan: 2016/2017 Review

District teacher Lynie Tener and Literacy Outreach Coordinator Kailey Erickson provided the Board an update on Community Literacy initiatives, including those within the District, that have occurred over the past year. The Langley Literacy Network consists of representatives from numerous community stakeholders and supports access to literacy supports and opportunities in Langley.

Learning Improvement Fund Update

The Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) is a Ministry of Education funded initiative under the Provincial Collective Agreement. There are teacher and support staff components that each have specific parameters on how the LIF shall be distributed. For 2016-2017 the fund was divided to 80% for a teacher Education Fund with the remaining 20% set for support staff. In 2016-2017 Langley received $2,726,335 for the teacher component and $681,584 for the support staff component. The distribution of funds was carried out in cooperation with the Langley Teachers’ Association and CUPE 1260.

Secretary Treasurer’s Reports

Annual Budget Bylaw 2017/2018 (Third Reading)

The Board of Education is obligated to pass a balanced budget before June 30th each year and the Board has passed this motion on approval of the third reading, Tuesday, June 20, 2017. The Annual Budget for 2017/2018 contains a new Special Purpose Fund called the Classroom Enhancement Fund which was established by the Provincial Government in response to the Memorandum of Agreement reached between the Government and the BCTF after the Supreme Court ruled in favour of the BCTF in November of 2016 to restore the provincial collective agreement language that was removed in 2001.

Five Year Capital Plan 2017/2018

The Five-Year Capital Plan includes instructions from July 2016 that have been revised for April 2017. Capital Plans are submitted to the Ministry of Education to inform the selection of capital projects for the following fiscal year. Capital programs include: seismic mitigation, school expansions, school replacements, building envelope improvements, school enhancements, bus replacements and carbon neutral programs.