School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)
BOARD REPORT – Board of Education Report May 31, 21017
The Board of Education is pleased to announce that we have hired and placed the following people in the four vacant vice principal positions: Naryn Searcy as VP at SESS, Amanda Palmer as VP at Oliver Elementary, Stacey Smith as VP at SOSS and Brad Burns as VP at Osoyoos Elementary – welcome to the district leadership team!
We would also like to congratulate Siobhan Detkavich (SOSS) on earning the bronze medal at the Skills Canada Competition in Winnipeg in Culinary Arts – what an accomplishment! Students in the Professional Cook 1 Camosun College Course completed their mid-term practical exam; they were all successful and are now preparing for the final exam. This successful program will be offered again next year and we hope to keep Jenna Pillon, our chef lab instructor, as she has worked extremely hard to coordinate this program. Thanks Jenna for your contributions to the success of all of these students!
At the Regular Board Meeting in May the Board of Education passed the 2017/2018 Budget Bylaw. This is an important budget for SD53 as this is the first time in many years that the district will not be required to use the accumulated surplus to balance the budget and we will hopefully end the 2018 school year with a small surplus. Some highlights from the budget:
Ministry funded full time student enrolment (FTE) will be 2,416.25 for 2017/18 which is an increase of 24.25 FTE from the 2016/17 amended annual budget FTE of 2,392. This is mostly due to the education program at the Okanagan Correctional Centre.
Operating revenue is projected at $25.7 million and operating expense at $25.4. The remaining amounts will be transferred to the capital fund for capital asset purchases and for the technology equipment lease. We will see an increase ($383K) in funding from the Ministry in comparison to 2016/17. This is due to an increase in student FTE as well as a small per student amount increase compared to 2016/17.
We are still decreasing our operating expenses for 2017/18 by $56K.
We are also still reducing our services and supplies budget by $94K.
The Classroom Enhancement Fund of $2.55 million is recorded as a special purpose fund. $2.4 million is to be used for additional teachers and $137,000 for overhead costs such as sick time, classroom supplies and equipment. An additional 21 teachers are projected to be hired from this fund.
These savings, as well as the Rural Education Enhancement Funding that we receive for keeping OSS open results in a much rosier picture for SD 53 for the 2017/18 budget year.
The Board of Education has also committed to incorporate the recommendations contained in the Financial Governance and Accountability document (provided by the Financial Health Working Group) into the Board’s work plan for 2017/18. We are happy to report that our Board has already put many of the recommendations and policies in place.
At our May Education Committee meeting, Diane Haddow (vice-principal at Oliver Elementary School), provided information on the recent MDI results for grades 4 and 7 students in SD53. Some highlights
from the report indicated the need to continue to highlight the importance of enough sleep for both students and parents. The focus on socio-emotional well-being in our district is very appropriate as we are below the provincial average in students self-reporting thriving or feeling well most of the time. We will continue to focus on these areas as outlined in our district strategic plan.
One of the goals of the Career Education program in our district is to promote a variety of options for students as they consider potential careers. Even though we often focus on trades, we also expand beyond that area. We are currently trying to raise awareness in the technology sector. Students have attended the BC Tech Summit in Vancouver and two of our secondary schools have also participated in field trips to Kelowna to visit a few companies in the growing tech industry. The third secondary school will be participating in June. Accelerate Okanagan has been extremely helpful in providing exposure of tech companies and students visited Fresh Grade (tech company), Yeti Farm (animation studio) and Accelerate Okanagan.
With the Classroom Enhancement Fund, to address compliance with the Memorandum of Understanding signed off by provincial parties, our district has been busier than other years with posting and filling vacancies. We have posted 67 positions, twelve teachers have increased their FTE assignment, we have hired fourteen new teachers into positons and nine teachers are coming from other districts to our district. These figures will continue to change as we complete our staffing process.
The Board of Education will be hosting meetings in Osoyoos, Keremeos, and Oliver for parents, staff, and community members to hear an update on the district’s strategic plan for student learning as well as to hear from schools in the community as they share how their school learning plans have gone this year.
Monday, June 12 6:30 pm Osoyoos Secondary School library (OSS, OSES, YouLearn and student Support services will share their school learning plans)
Tuesday, June 13 6:30 pm Similkameen Elementary Secondary School library (SESS and CPS will share their learning plans)
Wednesday, June 14 6:30 pm at the School Board Office annex (SOSS, OES, TEN and OKF will share their learning plans)
Finally, we invite all of our community members to celebrate with us the graduation of our grade 12 students at the following times and places:
District Aboriginal graduation – Wednesday June 21st, 5:30 pm at Similkameen Elementary Secondary
Southern Okanagan Secondary – Wednesday June 28th at 7:00 pm
Similkameen Elementary Secondary – Thursday June 29th at 5:00 pm
Osoyoos Secondary – Thursday June 29th at 6:00 pm
YouLearn – Thursday June 15th at 5:30 pm
Congratulations to all of our students and all the best for the future!
Should you have any questions, please contact me at 250-498-1333.
Submitted by Marieze Tarr, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkame