District staff reported to the Board that 43 high school students represented School District No. 53 at the Skills Canada and Technology Competition. Of note, there were four students who earned Gold and are invited to compete in the Provincial Skills Canada Competition at the Tradex in Abbotsford on April 15, 2019.
The students who captured Gold are Maddy Bayliss and Kulshan Aujla from OSS in Gravity Cars and Sam Anderson from SOSS in Auto Service Tech and Jordan Bayda in Photography. The Board congratulates all students who medaled as well as those who attended. The Board would also like to thank the teachers who helped prepare our students for the competition. Well done all!
On February 25 the Board signed its first LEA (Local Education Agreement) with the Upper Similkameen Indian Band. An LEA is an agreement between a First Nation and a provincial school board. It outlines the terms for the purchase of educational services by the First Nation for status Indigenous students ordinarily resident on-reserve but attending schools off-reserve. The LEA also serves as a key mechanism to influence how school districts provide education services for First Nation students. We are also in the process of reviewing and updating our LEA with the Osoyoos Indian Band (OIB). We are proud to have an agreement with all bands.
School District No. 53 is pleased to have received a grant from the Ministry of Education in the amount of $35,000 to support mental health and well-being promotion in our district. The intention of the funding is for promotion and prevention including system leadership and school capacity building. Initiatives we plan to include in our grant submission that address early action include Social and Emotional Learning, Trauma Informed School District Response training, Creating Communities of Wellness and a Trauma Informed School and Community Learning session on April 30.
The Board spent considerable discussion in crafting its response to the Ministry regarding feedback on the independent panel’s recommendations for the Funding Review Model. The work on updating the funding model is continuing throughout the province with smaller working groups through the spring and summer.
Finally, the Ministry has approved capital funding to the district in the amount of $910,760 for the 2019/2020 school year. The funding will be utilized for roof upgrades at various schools and purchase of two buses to replace aging buses in the yellow fleet.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen