Board News: Tuesday September 24, 2019
September 24, 2019
The Regular Meeting of the Langley Board of Education is streamed live beginning at 7:00pm. A link to the video is posted here in Board News.
School Opening 2019-2020
Superintendent Gord Stewart gave an overview on the opening of the school year which included some of the challenges and the opportunities. He explained the District has 350 more students enrolled this school year and mentioned staff are busy working on how to manage the growth. There has been an increase in staff and the District is continuing to hire more teachers. He outlined concerns from parents around student placements, transportation, road and sidewalk infrastructure, and bussing. He talked about the large number of courtesy riders (1200 riders that don’t qualify for bussing) and advised it is an issue for the Board to address. He suggested the District continue to make improvements in communicating transportation information to families. It was also a very busy summer for facilities staff with the opening of new schools and the moving of portables. The District’s Critical Incident Team was also very busy in summer and continued with great work as the school year got underway.
Update from RE Mountain Secondary School and Peter Ewart Middle School
RE Mountain Secondary School principal Magdy Ghobrial gave an overview on the opening of the new school. He explained how the learning spaces offer new learning opportunities for students. The spaces enable students to focus on collaboration and self-directed learning. Other highlights of the new school include flexible furniture, vertical and visible learning tools like white boards, and new technology.
Peter Ewart Middle School principal Kevan Reeve gave an overview of the opening of the new school. Staff had to move 13 classrooms from Yorkson Creek to Peter Ewart. He acknowledged and thanked maintenance staff for all of their hard work in helping with the transition. With the opening of the new school, there are issues with bussing and traffic which staff are continuing to work with community partners on addressing. As part of the transition, some of the spaces had to be converted to ensure all the students are in the school. Similar to RE Mountain, the school has been reconfigured to include a lot of collaborative workspaces for students. With all the new changes, he added the people and relationships are what make the school.
The Board approves the Superintendent’s Report as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.
Secretary Treasurer’s Report
Enrollment Report Update
Secretary Treasurer Brian Iseli gave a report on preliminary enrollment numbers for 2019-2020. He outlined the student headcount and its comparison to projections. In some areas there was an increase and in others a decrease. The District is up 148 students from projections. There is an increase in elementary students and a few secondary schools. RE Mountain, Langley Secondary and Aldergrove are seeing some growth. We are seeing a decline in Walnut Grove region schools and also DW Poppy Secondary. The Board approved the report as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.
Audited Financial Statements 2018/2019
Secretary-Treasurer Brian Iseli gave an overview of the financial statements that were recently audited. He listed financial results for 2018/2019. He displayed the various funds for the District including the operating fund and the special purpose funds. He noted the District’s revenue is $255 million with the operating fund at $203 million.
The Board approved the 2018/2019 Audited Financial Statements and requested staff to submit them to the Ministry of Education. The Board also approved the Financial Statement Discussion and Analysis (FSD&A) as presented. The video above will begin on this agenda item.
Global Climate Strike Board Motion
Trustee Marnie Wilson raised a motion to support students wanting to participate in Global Climate Strikes taking place this week. The Board motion is as follows:
“That the Langley School Board continue to support student’s involvement in climate education and activities, including the Sept 27th Climate Strike.
That the Langley School District will excuse the absence of any student wishing to participate in the Climate Strike with permission from their parent or guardian as per usual school procedures, and not penalize any student who chooses to miss classes on September 27th in order to participate in lawful Climate Strike Activities.”
Trustees discussed the motion. Some trustees suggested the climate strikes fit into the curriculum and are a way to engage our youth. Other trustees believed it would open the door to missing school for other events. Superintendent Gord Stewart outlined the District’s statement sent out to school communities earlier in the day which are in line with the language of the Board’s motion. Trustees voted in favour of the motion. The video above will begin on this agenda item.