School District No. 53 Okanagan Similkameen monthly board report

We have many exciting events happening in school district 53 in the next two months


We have many exciting events happening in our district in the next two months. Before I share these with you I would like to apologize to Zac Beaudoin (Osoyoos Secondary School) who I failed to mention in last month’s report. Zac also participated in the Skills Canada Contest in Kelowna last month and received a bronze medal in cabinetmaking. Congratulations Zac!

Ten of our students competed in the Skills Canada Provincial Event in Abbotsford this week; two gravity car teams; one from SOSS and one from SESS and Trent Phillips (SOSS) in mechanical drafting. We are eagerly awaiting the results.

This year has been a very successful year for our Career Prep programs. We have met all of our goals for the $20,000 ITA grant received, by registering 13 SSA students and holding the Yes2IT program for our grades 6 and 7 students.

On May 8 our Learning Forum will focus on “Inquiry Time”. The meeting will be at 7 p.m. in the Atrium at SOSS in Oliver. Bev Young (SD53 superintendent) will present on the vision for building a culture of inquiry in our district. Some of our teachers and administrators will also present examples of inquiry and on how they have, or might use the inquiry process in their schools. There will be time for questions and feedback from our partner groups. Please be sure to attend if you have any more questions or concerns. The board will debate the introduction of inquiry time at the regular board meeting, May 22. Please be assured that we will consider all feedback and concerns from all of our partner groups before making a decision.

On May 13 the district will host a facilitated stakeholder session from 5 to 8:30 p.m. at the Watermark Hotel in Osoyoos to shape an inclusive vision for the future of SD53. The intent of this session is to provide input and perspective of all district stakeholders – teaching and non-teaching personnel, students, community leaders and families, on our future. Each school and site in our district will be represented and we are hoping that through engaging conversations around learning and celebrating our past and current successes we will articulate our inspired and inclusive vision for the future that builds on our very best. I am urging all of our stakeholders to please get involved in their local school visioning sessions as this is crucial in building a vision for the future of our school district and our students. We are hoping that this process will create a sense of belonging for the school district and will remind us of the importance of working together as we work towards our vision. The outcome of the visioning exercise will also inform resource allocation, the budget process and the district’s achievement contract.

The district held a very successful pow wow at SESS on April 5 and 6. This was our sixth annual pow wow and approximately 800 of our students participated in the event on the Friday. I would like to thank Helen Gallagher and her Aboriginal education team for all of their hard work to make this event possible.

The district is very excited about the Neighbourhoods of Learning complex nearing completion. We are setting up meetings with some of our future tenants to prepare for the opening of this facility in September. It is wonderful to think that we will have a new SOSS and this wonderful facility in the fall.

At our regular board meeting held on April 17 district staff reported that for the 2013/2014 budget there will be a projected decrease in revenue of $331,000 due to a decrease in enrollment. The board passed the Annual Facility Grant funding bylaw for 2013/2014; AFG funding will remain the same as last year. This funding is for maintenance and repairs to schools. The board also passed the 2013/2014 Carbon Neutral Capital Program bylaw. We submitted three projects to the Ministry of Education’s capital program and only one was approved. We received funding for the replacement of hot water heaters at Okanagan Falls Elementary School. The board also approved policy F-14 Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity. We revised some of the wording after receiving input from our partner groups. Policy A-6, which deals with Board Committee Structure, is now on our website awaiting input from partner groups.

Should you have any questions, please contact: me at 250-498-1333.