The kindergarten boom
Superintendent of schools Bev Young reported that 163 kindergarten students have registered in the district.
The numbers are: 41 at Osoyoos Elementary School, 36 at Oliver Elementary, 35 at Tuc-el-Nuit Elementary, 27 at Okanagan Falls, and 24 at Cawston Primary.
Osoyoos child care considered
The board is considering the potential for toddler care, daycare and after-school care to be provided in Osoyoos Elementary School.
On May 28 a community forum was held in the school library.
The issue will be brought forward for further discussion at the June 12 Finance and Facilities Committee meeting.
April enrolment report
Student enrolment is 2,359, which is an overall decrease of 2.8 full-time equivalent students (from September of 2012).
Elementary schools have decreased by seven students, while secondary student enrolment decreased by 68.8.
YouLearn has increased by 59 full-time equivalent students since September of 2012.
Reclaimed water reviewed
The Town of Osoyoos is requesting to use reclaimed water on Osoyoos Secondary School fields.
The district has asked the Town to obtain a letter from Interior Health confirming there are no health challenges for students using the fields.
The issue will be brought back to the Finance and Facilities Committee for more discussion.
Field trips approved
The board approved a field trip for Osoyoos Secondary School graduates to visit Silverwood Amusement Park in Idaho on June 8-9.
Fifty-one students and six chaperons plan to attend at a cost of $6,480. The class has raised approximately $8,500 towards the trip.
Osoyoos Secondary is holding its graduation ceremonies on Saturday, June 8 from 11 am to 1 pm in the school gym.
The graduating class from Southern Okanagan Secondary School (SOSS) is also going to Silverwood on June 27-28. A total of 90 students will attend with eight chaperones. Total cost is $12,000, but the class has raised a whopping $20,000 for the trip.
Graduation ceremonies are being held Thursday, June 27 from 7-9 pm in the Oliver arena.
Senior boys go to Gonzaga
The board approved a request by the SOSS senior boys basketball team to visit Gonzaga University in Spokane, WA from June 25-28.
The boys are going there to attend a basketball camp, where they will receive instruction by Gonzaga coaching staff.
Basketball coach Maurizio Basso said it will be a great learning experience for him and the players.
The total cost of the trip is $5,000.
Daycare needed badly in Keremeos
Trustee Debbie Marten told the board that daycare and after-school care are urgently needed in Keremeos.
“We need it really bad there,” she said, noting that parents have to take their kids to Penticton for such services.
Assistant superintendent of schools Jim Insley said the board isn’t forgetting Keremeos and is working towards that goal.
Alternate schools approved
The board approved the opening of alternate education schools in the district’s three secondary schools.
Starting in September, Osoyoos, Oliver and Keremeos high schools will host alternate schools for vulnerable and at-risk students who have difficulty in the traditional school system.
Alternate education programs serve youth who may live in poverty or on the street, and those who are involved in drugs or alcohol.
Superintendent of schools Bev Young said alternate programs already exist in the district’s secondary schools. But the board’s resolution simply designates these programs as “separate” schools, where the district can be more flexible with student programming and still be funded per student.
Young said students, parents and teachers will see no changes to the program.
Board has a ‘vision’
School District 53 has embarked on a “visioning” process to establish goals, themes and core values.
Approximately 85 people attended a recent meeting in Osoyoos to discuss where they’d like the district to be in five years.
Superintendent of schools Bev Young said the mission is to provide all learners with relevant learning experiences in a safe, caring environment that promotes personal excellence. She pointed out the core values include community, respect, integrity, curiosity and excellence (where everyone leaves a legacy).