The Minister of Education paid a brief visit to the district on Monday, June 24th where he took in the Celebration of Learning event at Osoyoos Elementary and also facilitated the grand opening of the new accessible playground which was funded in great part by the Ministry of Education.
The end of school year usually comes with some district staff announcing their retirement. This year the Board paid tribute to 12 retirees at an event held in Osoyoos. This included 9 support staff and 3 teachers. The Board also recognized long service employees who have been with us for 10, 15, 20, 25, 30 and 35 years.
District staff informed the Board that the students in the Health Care Assistant program offered by Okanagan College in Oliver are in their clinical rotation placed at either McKinney Place in Oliver or Mariposa Gardens in Osoyoos and they are doing extremely well. They complete the program at the end of July and will enter the workforce immediately thereafter as there is a huge demand for Care Aides in our region. The Board is proud to offer this educational opportunity for students while also serving community needs.
School District No. 53 is excited to announce that we will have a new program in our district partnered with Okanagan College. We will be offering a “Gateway to Technology” program in February 2020. This program will allow students to improve their skills related to technology and coding and will help them explore career opportunities in the field. This program will be offered two days per week from 5:00 – 8:30 pm.
This year four schools in School District No. 53 are piloting a “Summer Numeracy Program” for students in Grades 4 through 7. This program is designed for students who could utilize extra support in math, gain confidence with their numeracy skills and discover that working with numbers can be fun. The Numeracy program will run in lieu of the Read and Tech program at four schools. All the elementary administrators and summer program teachers have received the materials and information for their programs. Schools have communicated with families and have submitted class lists to the district. We once again have fourteen programs running this summer based on student enrollment and need, with four of them being numeracy focused and ten being reading focused.
The Board passed its 2019/2020 budget and budget bylaw in accordance with the School Act. While we are anticipating slightly fewer students next year, this will be offset by slightly higher per student funding.
Finally, on behalf of the Board of Education of School District No. 53, I would like to wish
everyone a safe and enjoyable summer and look forward to seeing all students in September!
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)