School Board discusses new trades programs, partnership with UBC

School Board discusses new trades programs, partnership with UBC

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Rob Zandee, chair of School District No. 53, has announced that he will be running for reelection. He is joined here by vice-chair Marieze Tarr (right) and Debbie Marten, the representative of the BC School Trustees' Association. (Photo by Lyonel Doherty)

The Board of Education of School District 53 met on January 24, 2018. Following is a brief synopsis of the items which were discussed.

In looking forward to the upcoming year, the district has shared information with schools to release to their respective parent communities regarding kindergarten registration for the fall of 2018. An advertisement will also be placed in the local publications for February 7th. Registration has been open in all schools as of Monday, January 22nd for parents to register children who will be five years old by December 31, 2018. These will be children born in 2013. Parents must bring their child’s birth certificate and medical card.

Two additional trades programs are set to run in the second semester in the district:

  • Culinary Program at SOSS – in partnership with Camosun College for 6 students (2-SESS, 2-OSS, 1- SOSS, 1-YouLearn). This program ran very successfully last year, and we are pleased to offer it again.
  • Gateway to Trades Program at OSS with 16 students.

There are new Career Education courses and curriculum being planned with all secondary schools, and in addition we are in conversation with Interior Health regarding offering a dual credit Health Care Assistant Program for the Spring of 2019.

School District 53 has recently partnered with the University of British Columbia to offer a community field experience in our district to a group of elementary and secondary teacher candidates who will be completing their schooling this spring. We will be hosting these student teachers in two groups for three weeks each. They will have already completed their practicums, and this is an opportunity for them to have a close look at a district, the programs and schools, as well as the innovative practices that are occurring. It also provides us with an opportunity to look at prospective hires of individuals who are familiar with our district and wish to reside here. We will be providing some in-service and assigning them to schools or multiple schools for their field experience.

Approximately 50 teachers, administrators and senior staff are attending a series of Leyton Schnellert Learning Series evening sessions in partnership with SD 67 (Okanagan-Skaha) entitled “Innovating and Inquiring Together”. We are there as school teams to further our inquiry work under the mentorship of Dr. Leyton Schneller from UBC Okanagan. The focus is on innovative practices that move schools forward. The sessions involve collaborative planning, reflection and sharing among schools and the two districts.

A field trip for OSS students was approved by the Superintendent as per Board Policy. On March 2, 2018, approximately 34 OSS Graduation Transition 12 and Leadership 12 students will travel to Langley and Vancouver. The students will travel in a charter bus and some activities include a visit to the Vancouver Aquarium, and taking in a Vancouver Canucks Game. The goals of the trip include bringing all Grade 12 students together as a way to build stronger relationships among the class as well as work towards building leadership skills and community connections through fundraising and community events. The lead educator is Scott Tremblay.

Finally, BCPSEA trustee reps from around the province met at their AGM and voted on the reinstatement of the board of directors for BCPSEA as well as changes to the bylaws and constitution of the organization. BCPSEA is the bargaining arm of all 60 school boards in the province and had been under the control of a public administrator for the last 4 years after the previous board was disbanded by the previous Liberal Government. Congratulations to Alan Chell who was named as the director for our region.

Respectfully submitted,

Rob Zandee, Chairperson

School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

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