Heavy duty presentation
Scott Stewart, principal of Grand Forks Secondary School (GFSS), gave a presentation to the SD51 board at the board meeting on Dec. 10 regarding the recent Project Heavy Duty.
The project featured five GFSS students and six from Boundary Central Secondary School (BCSS) students. The 11 spent one day of training and two days of onsite construction or forestry.
Stewart said the feedback received from students was very positive.
Student Travis Van Camp was on hand and stated that he enjoyed the experience and would like to make a career of it.
“The board, for a long time, has supported stuff at both of our high schools in trying to get different types of trades opportunity in the schools for the students,” said Teresa Rezansoff, board chair for SD61.
At the board meeting for SD51 on Dec. 10, the board held their annual election.
Teresa Rezansoff was unanimously re-elected board chair and Cathy Riddle was re-elected vice-chair.
For Rezansoff, a Grand Forks’ resident, it’s her tenth year as board chair and sixth consecutive. She is pleased to return and she says there are many things the board still wants to accomplish.
“We’re two thirds of our way through our term,” said Rezansoff. “I think we’ve got some great things in place. We have a new senior administration team. The majority of our principles are in new schools. There’s lot of new energy that’s been generated by people taking on new challenges and looking for different opportunities. What were really hoping to do with the board in this last year to really reach out and connect even further and deeper than we do.”
She said the school district is already becoming known throughout the province for their many collaborations and partnerships with different education partners and community organizations.
“But we’re looking to strengthen that even more and pull in more partners,” said Rezansoff. “That’s something I’m interested in doing for sure and the board is very interested in that.”
Rezansoff said the partnerships are really beneficial for the students.
“All of our communities are small and we’re so much more powerful when we work together,” she said.
Cindy Strukoff was elected BCSTA provincial councilor and BCPSEA representative/BCSTA bargaining council representative.
Ken Harshenin was named as the trustee representative to the Okanagan Labour Relations Council.
Phoenix Foundation Vital Signs
School District #51 trustees voted to give $1,000 to the Phoenix Foundation for the upcoming Vital Signs project.
Vital Signs is a project that surveys several different areas of the community such as leadership, environment, food security, gap between rich and poor, and getting around.
The last Vital Signs survey took place in 2009.
“We’ve used the data and the information received by Vital Signs before,” said Rezansoff. “It helps us to determine needs and requirements for students. It goes back to making sure we are doing the best for our students. We’re all putting in a little bit, no one organization would be able to do it on their own. Everybody benefits from the information.”
Rezansoff said the school district uses the information to look for vulnerabilities, students’ issues, as well as areas of strength.
“We’re using it to ensure we’re meeting our students’ needs,” she added.
Board approves motions
The board of trustees approved and adopted policy No. 1320 which regards fundraising.
“Your policy manual in some ways is very much a living document,” said Rezansoff. “You’re always looking at to ensure that the way the policy is worded, it is still relevant and still meets your needs.”
Rezansoff said the board generally rotates through the policies every few years.
“Fundraising is one that came up because it was its time,” she said. “It had been probably been ten years. We were paying attention to it because the mandated eating policies (have changed). There’s a whole healthy eating guide. We were examining our policy in relation to the guide.”
The wording on policy was changed from “must” to “should” to reflect a softer stance, said Rezansoff.
The board also approved and adopted Policy No. 2065 which is in regards to the use of facilities and equipment by staff.
“That was a newer policy,” said Rezansoff. “Last spring we had made a motion of exception to allow staff to use the gyms at the two high schools. So then we just redid the policy anyways to ensure (it was what we wanted).”
The only trustee to vote against the policies was Dave Reid.
Reid suggested that teachers should be supporting local businesses instead of using school equipment.