Following are some of the items that were discussed at the final Board of Education Meeting for the 2019/2020 school year which was held via Zoom.
Whilst this new paradigm has taught us all new ways of collaboration and innovation we all hope that we will be able to return to in-person meetings come September. The Board wants to thank staff, students and parents for their patience and continued support for our students through this time.
Staff reported that the annual recognition ceremony for retiring staff was, understandably, pre-empted by the current protocols which we are operating under. There were 9 retirees this year and we have pivoted to a “virtual” ceremony which is accessible on the district website. The Board thanks staff for organizing this celebration. As well, this week our Grade 12’s all had a “hybrid” virtual form of grad and we thank parents and administrators of the high schools for organizing these.
Staff reported that career education students and courses were able to, for the most part, finish in a virtual fashion. The Gateway to Technology and Professional Cook 1 courses were the most successful in this virtual environment and we are working to offer the Gateway to Technology course again next year in partnership with Okanagan College.
Due to the unprecedented past few months with the suspension of in-class learning and moving now to stage 3 of the provincial restart plan, planning for the summer numeracy and reading programs was delayed. Fortunately, as a result of some extremely hard work from our schools and the summer school teachers, enough interest was created from students, and along with a willingness from parents to send their children during the summer, we will be offering summer programs in every school. This summer there is one additional program to all the programs that we ran last year, a primary numeracy class at Cawston Primary. Due to the positive gains that were experienced last year with student numeracy as a result of the pilot summer numeracy programs, and with sustained interest from students, we are running these programs for a second straight year. We are reducing the maximum number of students in the Read and Rec and Numeracy programs to 15 students, and the number of students in the Rhyme and Rec will remain at 10. This reduction is to help provide the safest environment possible for all students. We now have 15 programs running this summer based on student enrollment and need, with 5 of these being numeracy focused and 10 being reading focused.
The Board signed 3 transportation agreements with local Bands under the BCTEA Agreement
The Board thanks staff and the elected Band Councils for their diligent work in this area.
The Board passed all 3 readings of the 2020/2021 Annual Budget in this final meeting. While
the consultation process was somewhat different this year, the Board would like to thank
everyone who attended the meetings and contributed feedback.
Finally, I would like to thank trustees, staff and parents for their support of our students through this truly remarkable period in time. I would also like to wish everyone a safe summer and look forward to welcoming everyone back in September. In the words of the indomitable Dr. Henry, “Be kind, be calm, and be safe.”
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)