Message from the Chair – April 2016

Each year representatives from SD46 attend the Annual General Meeting of the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) to debate priorities and plan how we will advocate for public education in British Columbia.  At the AGM on April 14th-16th in Vancouver, the late motion on funding submitted by SD46 (discussed at the public meeting of April 12th) was passed by a large majority of assembled trustees.  This motion called on Ministry of Education to fund all salary and contract increases as well as additional costs, such as the Next Generation Network, in this and upcoming budget years.  Our trustee, Christine Younghusband was re-elected to serve on the Board of Directors of BCSTA again for the coming year.

In our public meeting this month and again at the AGM with our provincial colleagues, we had a thorough discussion of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that outlines how BCSTA and the Ministry of Education will work together.  Our board has submitted several suggestions for improving the MOU to strengthen the voice of local trustees and increase communication with the Ministry.

A highlight this month was the student forum on April 12th at the Sechelt Learning Centre.  Students representing each grade from each of our four secondary schools sat down with principals, senior staff and trustees to discuss priority student needs for the coming year.  Technology, spring break, learning spaces and mental health were highlighted in our discussions.  The students were vocal and engaged. Adults present did their best to question, listen and record. This is a wonderful opportunity for leaders in our district to ensure the student voices are included in our decision-making.  Super thanks to the District Student Leadership Team and Diane Wagner of the Board office for organizing!!

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