PORT HARDY—Kaleb Child appeared before the school board last week to present the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement Report.
“It’s been an exciting year and I think where Kaleb and district are taking aboriginal learners will serve us well,” SD85 Superintendent Scott Benwell said by way of introduction.
The report serves two purposes explained Child, “First to inform the ministry, and, perhaps more importantly, to inform the greater community.
“The vision of the First Nations has to tell our story, how we’ve come to be where we are,” Child continued.
The report provides a strategic plan to better serve and represent aboriginal learners, and Child said that in the future he would like to see aboriginal content across all classes in the district, representing the history, culture, honour and values of First Nations.
The board thanked Child for his presentation, with Benwell adding that “The report represents the work we are all going to hold ourselves to in the years ahead.”
Treasurer John Martin informed the board of a potential cost-saving software alternative for the district.
With the British Columbia Enterprise Student Information System to be discontinued, implementation of which was “problematic to say the least,” in Martin’s words, news that Saanich’s SD63 is developing an alternative was welcomed.
The SD63 alternative was rejected at the ministry’s RFT stage due to a lack of corporate connections.
The Saanich team continued to develop the openStudent product and the cost differences between the SD63 product and the commercial alternative are striking: $9.6m for openStudent versus $143.4m for the commercial product in an annual provincial cost breakdown.
The board were enthused by the prospect of a viable alternative, and were keen to see the product in action.
The board were in support of investigating the product further, with Chair Leightan Wishart adding that “I think that the province are missing the mark with the commercial product.”
Superintendent Benwell was “really excited” to announce the approval of the ‘Connections’ Workplace Experience Pilot Program.
He informed the board that a motion on the program had been approved by the Regional District of Mount Waddington.
“It’s a really positive and productive partnership that supports students,” said Benwell.
“I’m really excited for this partnership.”
In a release this week, the district announced new assignments of school principals and vice-principals for the coming school year.
Benwell described the moves as taking advantage of individual skillsets and placing administrators where they can be most effective.
Some notable changes include Jay Dixon taking the reins at NISS, Lauren Deadman taking over at PHSS, and Steven Gray taking principalship at Sunset while current PHSS vice-principal Malcolm Fleeton and Eagle View principal Frank MacLean will trade roles.
The administrative positions at AJ Elliott and Sea View Elementary will be confirmed later in the spring.
“The Board of Education congratulates our principals and vice-principals on their new assignments and looks forward to the positive learning environments that they will create,” said board chair Wishart.