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Message from the Chair – April 2015

Wonderful things happened in School District 46 this past month.  At our board meeting we heard about the incredible partnership that resulted in a Health and Wellness Conference on March 31st for all grade 8 and 9 students at Elphinstone Secondary. Local counsellors and teachers, SCRD recreation staff, presenters from Coastal Health, community schools and private service providers all contributed to a wonderful conference day for students. Topics ranged from stress reduction to hygiene, technology to yoga, sexual health and body image. Kudos to Vice-Principal Kate Kerr and her many colleagues who made it happen.

Also on the conference front, over 200 people attended the Heart of the Matter conference and Chatelech Secondary School was buzzing with rich discussion and fabulous keynotes on April 9th and 10th.  Our district was proud to partner with Sunshine Coast community schools and ACEbc in hosting attendees from all across the province to focus on social emotional learning.

We concluded the consultation for our 2015-2019 strategic plan with a Student Forum on April 14th at the Sechelt Learning Centre.  Thirty secondary students from all four secondary schools spent great quality time with trustees and administrative staff to talk about the key questions in education on the Sunshine Coast. What an experience to hear students articulate their passion, vision and clearly articulated ideas! Click here to view photos.

On a not so happy note, at our April Board meeting, the trustees reviewed Bill 11, the legislation introduced by the Minister of Education in late March.  A summary of the Bill, that amends the School Act, the Teachers Act and the Independent School Act was provided by the legal counsel at BCSTA. Although there are some housekeeping details that make a great deal of sense, it is clear that this proposed legislation dramatically expands the power of the Minister regarding decisions made by local Boards of Education.  Our Board will be submitting a motion to the BCSTA to ask all boards in the province to lobby to remove these changes and we will send the Minister a letter outlining our concerns with the loss of local autonomy for educational decisions.

Please refer to the materials from the April 14 Board meeting for a summary of Bill 11 and BCSTA motions and check our website regularly for updates as we move forward on these issues.

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