Following are some of the items that were discussed at the first Board of Education meeting for the 2020/2021 school year on September 30.
The Board would like to acknowledge the tremendous amount of work that staff, principals and vice-principals, teachers and support staff did to ensure a safe and positive start to this new school year.
We are well into the 90 percent return rates for students in class and still have a number of
“transition” students whom we understand are planning to return to in-class learning. We are holding for them and looking forward to their return.
In order to make the return to in-class learning as safe as possible, following are items that were purchased in addition to what was in place when we returned in June:
• 40 additional hand sanitizer stations.
• Additional plexiglass barriers, face shields and other PPE.
• Almost 5000 disposable masks and 6000 reusable masks for staff and students.
• Electrostatic sprayers and foggers for each school.
• More than $18,000 of additional cleaning supplies including sanitizing wipes for every classroom.
• Additional laptops for students who need them to support remote learning, short-term illness or self-isolation, or students who have received medical notes for protective isolation.
District staff informed the Board that all schools are looking for ways to resume breakfast and lunch programs in a safe way.
It was announced during the summer, School District No. 53 is one of three new districts to be
awarded an Integrated Child and Youth Team. We are very proud to have been chosen as one of
three school districts in the province to join the first two identified last year.
District staff met with from Ministry of Education, Ministry of Mental Health and Ministry of Children and Development as a first step in the shift in service delivery for children, youth and families in the Okanagan Similkameen for mental health and substance abuse services. Service delivery will move to more collaborative, wrap-around model by using multidisciplinary teams, inclusive of the school . Ongoing funds will be available to employ a counsellor exclusive to the team as well as a case and a youth substance worker.
The Board was informed that the District has received $203,601 in funding from the Ministry of
Education. These funds are to be utilized by the District for increase in custodial staffing or addition of, the purchase of reusable masks, cleaning supplies and cleaning frequency, improved hand hygiene and computers and assistive technology to support remote learning. We will be reporting at a future time as to how the federal dollars that were received will be allocated.
The Board would like to thank all of our learning partners for their patience and understanding as we work through these unique and unusual times.
Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53