UPDATED: SD51 looking to re-design school district, updating school roofs

There could be one less elementary school in the area as School District 51 is proposing to re-design the school district.

Boundary Central Secondary School teacher

Boundary Central Secondary School teacher

Editor’s note: Information about a functional course at BCSS added.

District Design 2013

A district re-design was discussed at the last School District 51 (SD51) board meeting, here are some other news items.

Functional course at BCSS

BCSS was awarded a one-time grant to engage special education students in an innovative and interactive class.

Led by Dr. Linda Dolezsar, a teacher at BCSS, the class looks at blended learning which involves face-to-face instruction, online learning, guided stimulations and community experiences.

“These are students who are severely disabled so during my classes I was teaching functional curriculum on daily living skills along with independence in the community,” said Dolezsar.

Dolezsar pointed out that the class engages the students and teaches them about social skills.

One of the community stores was McMynn’s where students learned about expiration dates and checking the different products.

At Parkview Manor, the students learned about food serving etiquette, coffee making and how to use the elevators.

“The expectation is to sustain it, which we can easily do but it was just a matter of getting it going,” Dolezsar said. “The curriculum is so well developed now that we can just keep adding to it. I already have a whole bunch of people in mind to extend the partnerships out too.”

Trustee Cathy Riddle noted, “It’s exciting to see because we always say ‘no child left behind.’ Basically all the skills we take for granted are being offered to them.”

Dolezsar will be attending a Rural Teachers symposium at the University of British Columbia on May 5 to present her findings.

Updates to roofs

School trustees have passed a Capital Project Bylaw to proceed with plans to update school roofs and HVAC (heating ventilation and air conditioning) within schools.

“We need to pass a bylaw where 70 per cent of it is for capital and 30 per cent is for operating,” explained Jeanette Hanlon, secretary-treasurer at SD51. “Last year was the first year where we had to pass a bylaw because it was capital expenditures, which is $397,374. Most of the capitol expenditures will be spent on roofing (and HVAC control upgrades).”

Superintendent of Schools Michael Strukoff added, “They’re never done all at once, because some schools are added on so there are different sections that are different ages, which is why it appears in pieces.”

Hanlon pointed out that even though capital could be used elsewhere, most of it will go to roofing.

“We are able to spend money on other projects, but our plans have always been that we want to take care of our roofs so that we don’t have problems in the rest of the building,” she said.

The roofs will be updated at Hutton Elementary, Grand Forks Secondary School and Boundary Central Secondary School (BCSS) and will occur during the summer.

New school bus

SD51 passed a motion at the last school board meeting on April 10 to spend capital on the purchase of a new school bus for the next school year.

The bus will be a Bluebird bus and will use capitol monies of $127,370.60.

“We usually have a few spares and sell the older buses when we get a new one,” stated Hanlon.

There are 11 buses running throughout the school district, with four standby buses, two in the east and two in the west.

Facebook now public

SD51’s Facebook page is up and running for parents and students to “like.”

By liking the Facebook page, the school board will be able to provide quick updates to parents and inform parents on what events are occurring at their child’s school.

To “like” SD51’s Facebook page, visit Facebook.com/sd51boundary.

The next school board meeting is on May 8 at 6 p.m. at the SD51 school board office.