Following is a brief synopsis of items discussed at the January 27, 2021 Board of Education meeting.
Staff further reported on the 2019/20 Aboriginal How Are We Doing report (HAWD) that was recently released. We continue to see encouraging results as our Indigenous students are performing significantly above the provincial average compared to other Indigenous students on Grade 4 and 5 Foundation Skills Assessments. Furthermore, in 2018/19 we experienced an improvement of nearly 9% for Indigenous 6-year school completion, jumping to 65% completion from 57% the previous year. These results continued to improve in 2019/20 as we had a 69% completion rate. This is a new 5-year high in our District’s Indigenous student graduation rate. We will continue the hard work and strategic focus in our schools to improve success for Indigenous learners and narrowing the
achievement gap each year.
Career programs within the District continue to thrive as we continue to address scheduling changes to programs that were cancelled or postponed due to COVID-19. Post-secondary training partners and providers are operating under extremely different protocols than the public-school system, and we are finding full classes with wait lists developing quickly due to smaller class size limits.
The Board would like to thank once again all of our local employer partners who have had students in the first semester Work Experience placements. We are extremely grateful with the level of support offered by these employers who are allowing students to gain valuable work experience even in these COVID times. Students and employers are following COVID protocols and are staying safe while on the jobsite.
Once again our Professional Cook program will be running in the District beginning February 1, in partnership with Camosun College. We have a full class comprised of students from all secondary schools in the District.
The District is going to be offering a Women in Trades bootcamp in February at SOSS. This program will be targeting girls in grade 10 who would be interested in attending a hands-on, 2-day experiential program where they will be exposed to a variety of trades. Organizers are working on offering projects in carpentry, metalwork, plumbing, electrical, and automotive. One of the main goals of the program will be to allow the students to experience a variety of trades that may pique their interest into further education in the trades. The bootcamp is scheduled for initial dates of February 25 and 26 at SOSS, with further dates at OSS and SESS to be determined.
Finally, kindergarten registration is now open in all schools for parents to register children who will be 5 years old by December 31, 2021. These will be children born in 2016. Parents must bring their child’s birth certificate and medical card. It is advisable to contact the school to see if forms can be sent in advance due to COVID protocols.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)