School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
A brief summary of items discussed
Board of Education Report April 26, 2017
The Board of Education would like to congratulate Marcus Toneatto on his appointment as Director of Inquiry and Student Learning. Congratulations are also in order for Jason McAllister (principal, Oliver Elementary School), Tracy Harrington (principal, South Okanagan Secondary School), Karen Sinclair (principal, Okanagan Falls Elementary) and Scott Tremblay (principal, Osoyoos Secondary). We wish you success in your new appointments. We would also like to acknowledge Mike Safek’s many years of service to the district. Mike, thank you for always keeping students foremost in all of your decisions; you will be sadly missed and we wish you a happy and healthy retirement.
At our last Education Committee meeting, Osoyoos Secondary students, staff and administrators presented highlights, information, challenges and next steps regarding the new flexible timetable. We would like to thank staff and administrators for all their hard work and innovation in implementing the new timetable in order to provide students with more opportunities. Osoyoos Secondary School will host a provincial meeting on Monday May 1st for schools with alternative timetables and it was good to see all the interest from other schools in the work that is being done at Osoyoos Secondary.
On March 3, School District No. 53 sent 58 students to participate in the Skills Canada Competition at Okanagan College in Kelowna. For a small district, we did remarkably well bringing home 15 medals! The gold medal and silver medal winners represented the Okanagan region at the provincial competition at TradeX in Abbotsford on April 5. Once again, SD 53 did very well. T
The medal count from the provincial competition is as follows:
Gold – Culinary Arts – Siobhan Detkavich (SOSS)
Bronze – Gravity Cars – Sher Sidhu, Nobal Bhathal and Tyson Douangpanya (SESS)
Bronze – Electronics – Flor Rivas Guevara (OSS)
Siobhan Detkavich from SOSS will represent SD53, the Okanagan Valley and British Columbia at the Skills Canada National Competition in Winnipeg May 31 to June 3, 2017. Congratulations Siobhan and best of luck!
We urge all families who have kindergarten age children and who have not registered their child to do so as soon as possible. The following are our kindergarten registrations to date. In some cases, these numbers are significantly lower than what was projected.
Cawston Primary School – 23
OK Falls Elementary School – 8
Oliver Elementary School – 31
Osoyoos Elementary School – 32
Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary School – 28
District enrolment is 2,388.42 FTE. Compared to September 30, 2016, elementary enrolment increased by 18 FTE, secondary enrolment decreased by 32.41 FTE and YouLearn increased by 86.325 FTE, for an overall increase of 71.92 FTE. This is of course good news for our district as this means more funding for our schools.
In the fall of 2016, the Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Skills Training, in liaison with the Industry Training Authority (ITA), developed a Youth Trade Capital Equipment Program (YTCEP) to enable schools to purchase trades training equipment to support the delivery of one of the ITA’s Youth Trades Program. Districts were invited to apply for funding to purchase additional new equipment, replacement of obsolete existing equipment or repair of existing equipment. Purchases could include tools, heavy machinery, trades or ventilation equipment. School District No. 53 submitted an application to YTCEP for funding and was recently advised a grant of $172,443 will be received as follows:
By March 31, 2017 – $124,629
By March 31, 2018 – $25,935
By March 31, 2019 – $21,879
District staff will work together with Tech Ed teachers and administrators to determine school priorities for the grant. The district is required to report annually on the purchases made, purchases intended, and on the increased participation and outcomes of the youth trades program.
We also received confirmation from the Ministry of Education of the approval of projects from the 2017/18 Five Year Capital Plan submission. The confirmed projects totaling $1.2 million are a sprinkler system upgrade at SESS and change room and washroom upgrade at OSS.
An application for a Health Promoting School Coordinator grant for the 2017-2018 school year will be submitted to Interior Health as well as three additional grant requests. These include having a healthy food program provided within Okanagan Falls Elementary and Osoyoos Elementary, having grade 6 and 7 students of Oliver Elementary and Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary participate in a Healthy Food-Healthy Minds program in collaboration with a Home Economics class at Southern Okanagan Secondary, and creating a South Okanagan/Similkameen community collaboration for substance use awareness. We will provide more information if we are successful in these grant applications.
We would like to thank all of our Knowledge Keepers, Aboriginal support workers, teachers and administrators for their hard work to ensure the huge success of our district Pow Wow which was hosted by SOSS. We are proud of the work being done to embed Aboriginal culture in our schools and curriculum. Our Aboriginal graduation ceremony will be held at SESS on June 21st and on August 29th, in collaboration with the LSIB, we will have a cultural sensitivity training day. More information on this important day will follow.
Trustees attended the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) Annual General Meeting in Richmond from April 19th-23rd. We participated in many workshops on topics such as good governance, financial governance and accountability, Board performance reviews, mental well being by developing the whole child, and addiction and alternative drug policies to name a few. Saturday was spent on advocacy issues. Some of the motions which will be brought forward to the Ministry of Education for resolution are: increased funding from the government for student mental health; increased targeted funding for vulnerable students, through the Community Links grant; a motion to urge the government to include the topic of consent in the sexual education (grade 10 curriculum) and also a motion for the Ministry of Education to establish a working committee which will include BCSTA, BCASBO (school business officials association) BCSSA (superintendents’ association) to develop a new funding formula that will accurately reflect the funding needs of all districts.
The district received its estimated Operating Grant for 2017/18. There is a per student basic allocation increase of $83 and overall a small funding increase. The learning forum on May 10th, which will be held at the School Board Office at 7pm, will focus entirely on the budget and we will share our projections and ask for input from the public on the budget. If you are interested in the 2017/18 School District No. 53 budget and would like to provide feedback, please be sure to attend. We welcome all parents, staff and community members to attend.
Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.
Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)