Superintendent's Report to the Board – January 11, 2017

Superintendent's Report to the Board – January 11, 2017

1.     Students

a.     The Foundation Skills Assessment will be written by all of our Grade four and seven students between January 9th and February 17th. The assessment takes a total of about four hours spread over this time. There will be a new format for the FSA beginning next year.

b.     The Aboriginal Education Advisory Circle will include a student voice in the near future. This active circle reviews all matters related to the education of our Aboriginal Students on a near monthly basis.

c.      The Ministry of Education recently extended the implementation period of the revised 10–12 curriculum by one year. The draft 10–12 curriculum will be available for trial through the 2017–18 school year, with the official version available July 2018.

2.     Staff

a.     Teaching staff participated in a day of collaborative professional development on January 3rd in order to deepen their understanding of the curriculum. Teachers mostly worked in school sites to focus on planning, assessment, reporting, and conceptual understanding of Core Competencies.

b.     All Codes of Conduct at all district schools have been updated to include a statement regarding the rights of our students to enjoy their education and for our staff to enjoy their work free from discrimination.

c.      Colette O’Reilly from the Vancouver School District will work with school and district leadership to establish a cohesive Emergency Preparedness Planning Program.

d.     The District Manager of Facilities is working with the Environmental Education Committee to find the synergies possible for our students to both learn in energy efficient buildings as well as learn more about energy efficiency.

3.     Community

a.     VCH

b.     Ten principals came to ESS from Guandong on January 9th to tour the school in order to see first hand the education that is offered on the Sunshine Coast. 

c.      The District is currently redesigning the international education website and promotional materials with a view to being more accessible to international student agents.



Strategic Plan Report: Early Learning
1.    Goal: Early Learning
Our students will enter kindergarten well prepared and with engaged, well-informed parents invited to partner with their children’s teachers through a comprehensive early learning program.
If kids come to us from strong, healthy, functioning families it makes our job easier. If they do not come from strong, healthy, functioning families it makes our job more important.  - Barbara Coloroso

Background:  

What happens in the early years is critical because just like language, many of these predispositions are time limited. Brain development doesn’t occur at a constant rate— there are prime times for acquiring different kinds of skills and knowledge and specific times when the brain is pruning out unused connections. Enriched environments and appropriate stimulation help ensure that a window of opportunity for developing a specific capacity will be optimized. The absence of appropriate stimulation within certain time frames may lead to the skill or ability being ‘pruned out’ from lack of use.

Discussion:

The district has a well-established series of programs that support children from birth through to the end of kindergarten including:
o    SPARK! (Supporting Parents on the Road to Kindergarten).
o    Imagination Library
o    StrongStart Centres
o    StrongStart Outreach (‘WonderWheels’)
o    Ready, Set, Learn
o    KinderSPARK!
o    Screening of our newest students in September
o    Early Development Instrument (EDI) is completed by all Kindergarten teachers every year.
o    PALS (Parents as Literacy Supporters)
o    SPARK! 10.

Recent and Next steps include:
o    Imagination Library books have been provided to the food bank to ensure all families have access to reading materials;
o    The Rotary Club has renewed their commitment to the Imagination Library program;
o    “Pop-up” StrongStart centres are taking place in various locations on the Sunshine Coast;  
o    A pilot immigrant PALS program is underway, with training provided through the literacy council and collaboration with Welcoming Communities, to assist families that are new to Canada;
o    Dawson Creek school district has adopted a model similar to the district’s SPARK!10;
o    Parenting strategy courses being offered through the Early Years Council and Success by Six have proven to be very popular.
o    A supplement to SPARK! 10, perhaps at the grade 9 level, is being developed.

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