The Board of Education held a very successful workshop on February 14 where we discussed governance, transparency and communication. We set ourselves goals in these areas and will be revisiting these goals in the fall. We have agreed to look at different governance models so that we will be bringing more of the issues directly to regular board meetings. We hope to have this model in place by the fall.
At our management meeting Terry Collis our Special Education Principal gave a very informative talk on the funding of special needs students in our district. We asked him to help us understand this better as many trustees are very concerned about the needs of these students. We feel strongly about meeting the needs of all students in our district.
Our policy committee is currently hard at work revising all of our policies and we are also in the process of writing a policy around policy making. We would like to include more stakeholders in our policy process. Please look at our website to see the policy changes that we are currently working on and give us your input.
One of our trustee’s Trustee Rob Zandee (Oliver) attended a Technology Conference held at Simon Fraser University. He came back with many ideas and we will be looking at how we can incorporate some of these ideas with our technology plan. If you are interested in learning more about this please look at this link: http://cultureofyes.ca/
The board approved a field trip for grade 11 and 12 geography students (Osoyoos Secondary School) to Glacier National Park. This trip will take place May 9-12, 2012 and the students will be visiting Lussier Hot Springs, Radium Hot Springs, Revelstoke and of course Glacier National Park. What a wonderful opportunity for these students.
R’Native Voice (a locally developed course) was brought forward to the board of education for approval. The board is very proud of this course developed by SESS principal Marcus Toneatto. The program will be taught in partnership between the Okanagan Nation Alliance and the school district. R’Voice is a grade 11 course and is a holistic approach to teaching aboriginal youth about their culture and history and to assist them to develop self-empowerment and make choices that will support them in making decisions that will lead to a more sustainable future. This course will be taught outside the timetable but students will earn credits towards graduation. We hope to expand this course to the other high schools in our district.
This semester, six of our students are doing their Level 1 Welding Certificate through a partnership of Okanagan College and SD53. These students are attending this course in Oliver and some of our trustees were lucky enough to see these students at work first hand. This is an example of how students can graduate with a Dogwood as well as some experience and credits towards a trade.
Did you remember to wear pink on February 29? This was anti-bullying or Pink Shirt Day. This day brings attention to the need to stop bullying.
By Marieze Tarr, Board of Education Chair
School Board Column