On March 13 at 6:30 p.m. the Board of Education held a discussion forum for parents and staff on a proposed Team Inquiry Model for next year. The meeting was attended by a number of administrators, teachers and parents.
The purpose of the meeting was to provide information about the purpose of inquiry time and to gather input on how the early dismissal of students on one day a month would impact parents. We received valuable input from parents with regard to their feelings around inquiry time and releasing students. The board is still gathering input from parents and staff on this topic and if you have any questions as to the purpose, or if you need more information, please contact your local school administrator, trustee, or one of our senior staff members.
We will be debating the topic at our regular board meeting on April 17, so be sure to make your voice heard before this date. All of our contact information is on the school district website.
We are very proud of our students who received medals at the Skills Canada Regional Competition held in Kelowna on March 8. Trent Philipps won gold in Mechanical Drafting and will be moving onto Provincials. Dustin Lesmeister won silver in Cabinetry and Nick Hoy won silver in the welding competition. Chance Wabnegger placed second in Carpentry – he was the youngest competitor (grade 10) and he is planning to win next year!
Four of our SOSS grade eight students will be representing us at the Gravity Car Competition Provincials in Vancouver. Thank you to Travis Hoffman for taking Tony Abellan, Anthony Campen, Dilman Sidhu and Will Kane to the competition in Kelowna and good luck with your gravity cars in the Provincials in Vancouver!
Our Aboriginal Education Advisory Council met on Tuesday, February 19 in Hedley at the Upper Similkameen Indian Band office. The meeting was attended by 24 people representing parents, students, band representatives and school district personnel. The main focus of the meeting was to review progress with the enhancement agreement goals and to provide input into the annual report. The annual Aboriginal Report is available on our website. Our sixth annual district pow wow will be held on April 5 and 6 at the Similkameen Elementary Secondary School. The grand entry and traditional feast is at 6 p.m. on the Friday night. On Saturday the festivities start with breakfast at 9 a.m. Please contact the school for more information.
The District/Authority Award Scholarships regard graduating students for excellence in their chosen non-academic field(s). Students who demonstrate superior achievement in any of the areas of Fine Arts, Applied Skills, Physical Activity, Second Languages, Community Service and Technical and Trades Training are eligible to apply for these scholarships. For 2012-2013, 23 scholarships were awarded to students from SD53. This is an increase of 10 scholarships from the previous year!
Board approval was given to Mr. Dan Fuller who will be taking a group of 40 grades 10-12 students to Victoria on a field trip to participate in the Earthwalk and other environmental studies on April 18-21. This will be a wonderful opportunity for these students.
The Ministry of Education audit team is scheduled to visit our district again from April 15-19 to conduct an audit of the district’s Distributed Learning and Continuing Education programs. The purpose of the audit is to provide assurance to the Ministry of Education and the Board of Education that ministry directives and policies are being followed.
The board also adopted Procedural Bylaw No. 21 at the regular board meeting held on March 13.
The bylaw deals with the procedures regarding the conduct of meetings of the Board of Education as required by the School Act. This bylaw was updated. The board approved the 2013/2014 school calendar that outlines the minutes in school and days in session as required by the ministry. The board also received the Aboriginal Education Annual Report 2011/2012.
Superintendent Young also outlined the district visioning process that will be taking place in April and May. In April every school in the district will be participating in a visioning session for their school. We are hoping to involve parents, students and all staff in this process followed by a district visioning large stakeholder session on May 13 from 5 – 8.30 p.m. at the Watermark Hotel in Osoyoos.
Please be sure to find out from your school when your school’s session will take place and be sure to get involved and mark the May 13 session on your calendar.
Have a wonderful and safe spring break.
Should you have any questions, please contact me (Marieze Tarr) at 250-498-1333.