Superintendent’s Report to the Board – February 8, 2017

1.     Students

a.     Kindergarten Registration Week takes place from February 20th to February 24th. During this week, district elementary schools place a particular focus on welcoming our newest students and their parents. Our radio ad this month is a “must listen” as our current kindergarten students welcome their new friends to school.

b.     The ACE-IT Culinary Arts students completed their course and enjoyed a warm celebration at Elphinstone Secondary. Congratulations to the students and to the staff: Teacher Cathy Gordon and Chef Barry Barone.

2.     Staff

a.     The SCTA Professional Development Committee has prepared an excellent day of professional learning beginning with a breakfast at Chatelech Secondary. All staff and trustees are welcome.

b.     An SD46 team participates in the Public Discourse in Education Symposia. The second symposium takes place on Saturday, February 18th.

c.      The Innovative Schools team has provided a second opportunity for all teachers to learn more about FreshGrade and uncovering the best way to engage parents in their children’s education.

d.     District staff and the Sunshine Coast Teachers’ Association have collaboratively determined how to best support student learning using the Ministry of Education funds provided in January following the Supreme Court of Canada’s decision in favour of the BCTF.

e.     The district has received many applicants for the district’s leadership pool. Shortlisting and moving through the hiring process will continue over the next few weeks.

f.      District and school leaders and community partners will participate in a training session in February for emergency preparedness.

3.     Community

a.     Preparation is underway for an online district report on student achievement.

b.     Our local municipal libraries are continuing to work with district staff and classroom teachers to enhance student understanding of the public library through tours and accessing library cards. Elphinstone Secondary students will work with their teacher librarian and municipal librarians to learn more about online database researching.

c.      The Connecting Women Advisory group will be reviewing a workshop on Gender Equity, which will then be brought to the businesses and organizations on the Sunshine Coast.

 

“To truly motivate others:

1)    discover what their motives, desires & drivers are

2)    genuinely connect with and support them from the heart.”

― Rasheed Ogunlaru

Strategic Plan Report

2a) Our staff will be fully supported for the work that we ask of them and that they ask of themselves through research-based professional development.

Background:

In order for our staff to function at their best they need to have the skills to achieve their professional goals. As learners, staff are constantly assessing our needs and ensuring we have the knowledge and skills to do our work. As professionals in all of our capacities, we believe it is important to find joy in our professional development as we expand our capabilities and have deep pride in the work that we do.

Discussion:

To perform at the highest level, staff pursue a wide range of professional development opportunities. The Sunshine Coast Teachers’ Association provides a wide variety of opportunities for its members utilizing the contractual funds available for this purpose. The professional development chair works with the professional development committee to allocate those funds to individuals, school professional development committees, and local specialist associations. For many years, the district and the union have collaboratively supported mentorship for our teaching staff. CUPE 801 uses funds that they receive to allocate to their membership based on the needs of those members requested by them.

District directed professional development covers an extensive range. For some examples, the CARE reading project is a combination of workshops and collaborative discussions meant to go very deep into the knowledge of reading instruction. The mathematics committee is developing a program of support for teachers based on teacher survey results. The Environmental Education Committee is developing workshops to empower teachers to explore well beyond the classroom walls. The Elementary Sports Committee is developing training for teachers who support the physical health needs of our students through team and individual sports.

Just as it is for our students, our staff are individuals with a wide range of talents, experience, and knowledge and, therefore, have unique professional development needs. By working together in a spirit of joyful learning, the district is absolutely determined to meet the needs of all our students.

Next Steps:

·      Continual assessment of professional development activities through evaluation summaries.

·      Committee work to determine focus areas in Strategic Plan goals and Curricular Changes.

·      Reaching out beyond our district to learn of best practice in professional development.

 

It is not unusual for African children to stay for long periods with their grandparents or aunts or uncles. Even the wider community gets involved such as neighbors and friends. This communal responsibility in raising children is also seen in the Sukuma (Tanzania) proverb "One knee does not bring up a child" and in the Swahili (East and Central Africa) proverb "One hand does not nurse a child."Rev. Joseph G. Healey

Strategic Plan Report

3b) Our district will pursue opportunities that enhance collaboration with associations, organizations, businesses and community resource people.

3d) Our district will support enhanced visioning and cohesive planning with local governments.

Background:

 In order to meet the needs of students, the board and staff work with local governments and other groups to consider future possibilities and partnerships. Overlaps in service and resources can be reduced and a spirit of cooperation and belonging for all can be created.

Discussion:

Board and District Staff are:

·      Working with the District of Sechelt for improved access to Kinnikinnick from the West Sechelt area,

·      Actively engaging in Intergovernmental Meetings

·      Supporting Mental Health for Youth with Vancouver Coastal Health,

·      Developing a forward thinking strategy for sharing facilities with the SCRD,

·      Meeting the literacy needs of students through planning with local public libraries,

·      Maintaining connections with the SCRD Chair and Vice-Chair on a quarterly schedule,

·      Connecting regularly with our Community Schools,

·      Empowering young women through active involvement in the Connecting Women Advisory Committee.

·      Inviting local politicians to take part in school tours, and

·      Welcoming feedback and participation from local officials for the Trustee Electoral Area Variance and Long Range Facilities Plan.

Next Steps:

·      By attending events, participating in community committees, and being attentive to changing realities throughout the Sunshine Coast, the board and district staff are excited to respond to circumstances that will influence our ability to support students, their families, and this community well into the future.

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