Following is a brief report of items discussed at the May 23, 2018 Board of Education meeting.
District staff reported that on May 15/16, 2018, approximately 20 Grade 10/11 students travelled to Vancouver to attend the BC Youth Technology Summit with lead teacher Rod Kitt. From all reports, there was a lot exposure to even more opportunities and paths in the tech sector for these students which is very exciting for their future endeavours.
September 7, 2018 will be an additional non-instructional day to support the implementation of the new curriculum. The Ministry of Education, through legislative changes, set the additional non-instructional hours to support educators implementing the new curriculum.
In a cooperative effort with SD 53, South Okanagan Teachers Union, and the South Okanagan Principals Association contributing funds to bring in George Couros to work with us for the day. Couros is a leading educator in innovative teaching, learning and leadership. He has done extensive work and speaking on the topic of innovative student learning and engagement. Mr. Courus will set the stage in a morning keynote address around changes occurring in education and in today’s classssroom and why they are important for today’s learners and tomorrow’s educated citizens.
Trustees, parents and community members are invited to join the keynote portion of the day from 8:30-10:00 am in the Frank Venables Theatre.
Moving forward with the new curriculum, there are a few areas of focus. As schools prepare to transition from Planning 10 and Grad Trans 12 to the new Career Grad Program, the district is taking steps to support our schools and teachers with this redesign. We have met with teams from other districts to collaborate on what opportunities may be possible in our context with these courses.
A second area where we must support our schools and teachers due to some major changes is with the revision of the English curriculum from Grades 10-12. The three secondary schools have plans in place on how they will be offering choice within the English classes for next year.
The required numeracy assessment that is now part of the new graduation program was offered at SOSS and OSS in January of this year as these schools chose to pilot the first writing. All our secondary schools, including YouLearn, will now be offering this exam to Grade 11 students in June. Starting next year, students in Grades 10- 12 will have the opportunity to write this exam up to three times, so they may improve their score.
The first year of being a SOGI district has been a successful one. Though there is still much work to do, the first-year goals of increasing inclusivity and safety for all students by becoming more openly accepting of students with gender identity and sexual orientations that might be non-traditional have been met. Schools have embraced the need to create a culture of inclusivity and tolerance that is safe for all students. We appreciate the support across our district from trustees, parents, staff and students.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)