SD 51 adopts achievement contract

Briefs from the School District 51 meeting held on Jan. 13.

School District 51

The board of education for School District 51 (Boundary) adopted the District Achievement Contract for 2014/15 at their regular board meeting held at Boundary Learning Centre in Midway on Tuesday, Jan. 13..

The report was presented to the board by Superintendent Kevin Argue. It provides a snapshot of data that can help identify trends over a number of years and then sets targets for the future.

The report identifies both what is improving, as well as challenging areas. Each category lists the data used to show supporting evidence for the conclusions drawn in the report.

Argue said the work helps to ensure the district is “working toward adults with positive, productive, steady lives.”

During discussion of the low survey satisfaction numbers found in the report, Director of Instruction Doug Lacey said, “I think this is one reason the government wants to get going on Transformation of Education. What are we doing for student engagement, motivation and all of that type of thing?”

Argue added that the Transformation of Education agenda is driven by the skills students have today. “Our kids’ skills and how they have changed so much. How they are learning, what they are learning—what they have access to. Some of the things that they are being asked in the classroom don’t connect with things that they see in their day-to-day world. It is hard to keep up with that little device in their hand. That is not an easy task, but it is the path that we are hopefully going to go down.”

The Superintendent’s Achievement Contract for 2014-2015 identifies four goals:

1. To embed the inquiry process into teaching and learning throughout School District 51.

2. To improve student achievement in reading.

3. To increase students’ access and use of technology to deepen learning and authentically communicate their knowledge.

4. To improve the positive, social emotional connectedness of our students to their school experience through school initiatives supported by our Health Promoting Schools coordinator.

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Prior to the meeting, the trustees and administration got an update from teachers Jennifer MacDonald and Jennifer Eaton on a province-wide ministry initiative called Changing Results for Young Readers (CR4YR). The pair are part of a larger team working with elementary teachers to increase reading skills of new readers.

Teachers representing districts from across the province will meet in Richmond this week for an Early Reading Advocates Networking Session, which will provide opportunities to network and get feedback from other working on the program in their own school districts.

The board was told that CR4YR involves a lot of communication among teachers about what works for both the individual student and the whole classroom.

Confidential working documents are kept to help measure the effectiveness of the work. Discussions among teachers focus on what fosters reading success in the early years.

At this time the program is an initiative aimed at teachers alone, though the comment was made that it would be beneficial to share this work with educational assistants (EA)–either through Pro-D or inclusion in the CR4YR programming.

“A common language makes it easier for the kids,” said on EA who was attending the meeting.

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Also discussed were field trips for June 15-18 for the GFSS band to Banff/Calgary and Perley Grade 7 students to Vancouver and Victoria were discussed.

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The next board of education meeting will be on Tuesday, Feb. 10 at 6 p.m. at the School Board Office in Grand Forks.