Superintendent’s Report to the Board – June 9, 2015

Superintendent’s Report to the Board – June 9, 2015

1.    Academic Programming

a.     Learning Together – The Sunshine Coast Golf & Country Club in Roberts Creek was the ideal venue to celebrate the conclusion of Learning Together. This three-year project enabled deep learning about teaching and learning, developed teacher leadership and showcased the professionalism of our staff. The culture of collaboration and mutual support is firmly established in School District No. 46.

b.     Technology Plan – The district is moving into Year 3 of the District Technology Plan.  Professional development, computer purchasing priorities and student engagement with technology are highlights of the plan.

c.      Spoken Word – The Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts and School District #46 have combined energies to produce the Spoken Word Festival. Professional spoken word artists partner with our students to develop talent and showcase their skills to a public audience.

d.     Tom Ristimaki, the district’s International Education Consultant, was in the district last week working with staff. With his guidance we are in the process of developing a series of ongoing activities for our International Education students to participate in next year. These activities will enhance the students' experience as well as assist in the growth and overall recruitment of students. Mr. Ristimaki also made a presentation to the board on issues in International Education and along with Assistant Superintendent, Greg Kitchen, provided an update on International Education in our district.

2.    Operational

a.     The District Student Leadership Team will meet for its last meeting with new members this week. All grade 11s will continue next year and a new group of current grade 10s is joining the team. The DSLT looks forward to recommending a new student trustee to the board following the September DSLT meeting.

b.      As a part of the provincial Erase Bullying initiative, ten staff recently completed level three of the provincial Violent Threat Risk Assessment training. Three staff will also be attending a Digital Data Collection training session. This workshop is a comprehensive pro-active training opportunity focusing on accessing relevant open-source data and publicly available information to protect our students. The Ministry of Education, with the assistance of the Provincial ERASE Student Advisory Committee, has recently published a Social Media Guidelines Resource. Maya Treuheit, past student trustee, was an active participant of this advisory committee.

c.      We warmly welcome Mark Sauer to the district and to the leadership team. Mark will be assigned to Chatelech Secondary School as Vice-Principal for the 2015–2016 school year. Further information regarding leadership assignments may be found on the district website.

d.    Gibsons Elementary School Grand Opening – May 19th at 1:00 p.m. A sea of party hats exemplified the opening of our newest school. Principal Deborah Luporini led a wonderful assembly with local dignitaries, the architects and builders, community members and district and school staff and, of course, three hundred students.

Strategic Plan Report: Aboriginal Education

Background:

The schools of Sunshine Coast are honoured to operate on the traditional territories of the shishalh and Squamish Nations. Out of respect and appreciation for the rich history and culture, and in partnership with local indigenous people, our district has established a comprehensive aboriginal education program for all of our students.

Discussion:

The board’s Strategic Plan prioritizes Aboriginal education as key to improving student achievement. Strategy 2, Relationship Building, includes, building relationships with the Sechelt and Squamish Nations, including cultural learning and exchange, and a signed Enhancement Agreement.

Some examples of District Aboriginal Education Department work to date include:

Nurturing the Learning Spirit

Aboriginal students join the aboriginal education team and their school principals to paddle canoes in the Sechelt Inlet. During the course of the voyage students discuss what it means to be an aboriginal student. Student comments include that they feel safe at school, that expressing culture can be challenging at school, that more cultural, experiential and outdoor learning opportunities and more opportunities to deal with academic and personal matters. Aboriginal students also value the support of aboriginal teachers in school and that they want to do well.

shashishalhem language

Students have the choice at Kinnikinnick and Chatelech schools to register in shashishalhem classes. Students learn their language often using TPR (Total Physical Response) strategies. Students are active participants in their learning of language. The district is pleased to partner with Capilano University to offer language classes for senior students with adult learners at Capilano’s Sechelt campus.

Aboriginal Advisory Circle

Regular meetings of the Aboriginal Advisory Circle ensure innovations and monitoring of aboriginal education programs are consistently reviewed. The June 8th meeting including discussions of Nurturing the Learning Spirit, a report about transition activities, a review of the accomplishments of the graduation class/upcoming ceremonies, a check in about the Enhancement Agreement progress, and a dialogue about changes anticipated in the school year ahead.

Next Steps: The Aboriginal Education Department looks forward to implementing the district’s strategic direction as indicated on the draft plan: Students will understand INDIGENOUS CULTURE in our community and

throughout the worldand Students will understand the DIVERSITY OF CULTURES through experience, instruction and language learning.

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