Superintendent’s Report to the Board – October 11, 2016

Superintendent’s Report to the Board – October 11, 2016

1.    Students

a.     Terry Fox Runs.The vast majority of district students participated in Terry Fox Run activities this past September. These events support physical wellness as well as the determination of spirit that comes from the example set by Terry Fox.

b.    Playground.Students are enjoying beautiful playground equipment at Gibsons Elementary. The grand opening is on October 27th at 2:15.

c.     Careers.Cheryl Wilson is the new District Career Coordinator. She is visiting all schools to meet students and staff to make connections around Work Experience and Secondary Apprenticeships opportunities with local employers.

2.    Staff

a.      Mental Health and supporting parents. There will be a mental health panel evening for parents at Chatelech Secondary School Theatre Oct. 19th from 6-8pm. Many thanks to DPAC for supporting this activity.

b.     Data Collection.Big thanks to Student Support Teachers and school and district principals, for all their hard work on 1701 data collection. Accurate data collection ensures that we receive appropriate funding to support our students.

c.     Gender Identity. Counsellors and Community Services participated in a Vancouver Coastal Health Transgender Health touchback workshop to review plans for the upcoming year.

d.    Professional staff.Staff will be learning with fellow educators at the “Reimagining Public Education Discourse in BC” series of workshops over the next two years.

3.    Community

a.     International Students.Elphinstone Secondary staff, Gibsons Elementary staff and coast families welcomed a visiting group from the Korean International School of Japan.

b.     Community Schools.Community Schools are moving forward with supporting vulnerable students in many ways including literacy and academic support, nutrition and social growth activities in partnership with our schools.

 

Parents are the ultimate role models for children. Every word, movement and action has an effect. No other person or outside force has a greater influence on a child than the parent. Bob Keeshan

Strategic Plan Report:

Our staff will interact with our students’ parents positively and with full information freely shared using efficient and responsive strategies.

Background:

The parents of our students are our greatest support in meeting the goals of our district. Through them our students have more opportunities to be physically active, to read and enjoy learning more, to participate in extracurricular activities, to be socially involved outside of school and to deeply value their education. The key to this relationship is having an excellent two- and three-way (including the student is critical) communication structure with them.

Discussion:

The Ministry of Education’s Reporting Order supports districts to maintain the tried and true reporting strategy including three (two in secondary) report cards per year (semester). Also required are two informal contacts with parents from teachers. In addition, the new reporting order permits an alternative form of communication, which is ongoing between teacher, parents, and the student. Five of our schools participate in an Innovation Grant project, sponsored by the Ministry of Education, to delve more deeply into the possibilities of online portfolios (SD46 is using FreshGrade) to enhance communication with parents. A summative report at the end of the year is also a requirement. (View Parent Letter)

In addition to this innovative approach, staff continue to interact regularly with parents through email, Facebook, website, phone calls and in-person visits.

Parent Advisory Councils meet monthly, usually, to review issues that are of importance to parents at each school, to discuss the school growth plan and to plan events. The District Parent Advisory Council meets monthly as well to share ideas amongst PACs and to ensure good communication between parents, the Board and senior administration. DPAC has supported parent education events including, “What’s Up with our Kids’ Mental Health?” on October 19th at 6 p.m. in the Chatelech theatre. (View Poster)

The Parent Engagement Committee has developed a bi-monthly Parent Newsletter to share current district information with parents. (View Newsletter)

Next Steps:

The Parent Engagement Committee is committed to reviewing the data from its recently completed survey of parents to consider how to best address the opportunities for engaging parents more deeply in the education of their children.

 

Let your walks now be a little more adventurous. - Henry David Thoreau

Strategic Plan Report

Students will experience, respect and enhance the natural world by actively participating in sustainable practices and outdoor education.

 

Background:

Environmental education can result in longer attention spans, more creativity, higher levels of self-confidence, greater academic success, improvements in cognitive development, self-discipline, imaginative and creative expression, language skills and social interactions. Here on the remarkably beautiful Sunshine Coast our students experience the wonders of nature as a normal part of their learning.

 

Discussion:

Some key environmental education initiatives include:

·      Our schools are supporting learning spaces and gardening through Strategic Plan-based mini grants, PAC funds or their own budgets. Composters, pails and shovels and irrigation supports are being purchased, as well as sheltering structures for protection from the rain and sun.

·      A district-wide permission form for walking field trips enables our teachers to easily take advantage of learning opportunities near their schools without cumbersome forms.

·      The NEST program at Davis Bay Elementary now has three primary divisions and one intermediate division. The school is working closely with the community to envision the future of the school campus to meet the needs of students as well as the Davis Bay community.

 

Next Steps:

While we are very proud of our progress to date, we continue to deepen opportunities for students. To that end we are planning the following:

·      Reviewing school-by-school the current status for environmental education.

·      Sharing in the EduCoaster and in social media the exciting initiatives that are taking place.

·      Developing materials and supports for “Garbology” in all interested schools.

·      Ensuring that our regulations support experiential learning.

·      Teachers will have the opportunity to learn from experts about being outside with their students: how to plan, ensure safety and learning.

·      Create an Atlas of Learning for the Sunshine Coast, an online resource for teachers to access the bountiful opportunities for exploring the outdoors.

·      Ensure we are working in partnership with our facilities department in our commitment to sustainable living, learning and working.

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