Optimism high within Vernon School District
In a year filled with increasing enrolment and innovative programs, Kelly Smith said the Vernon School District has much to celebrate.
“There was great sharing of strategies and teaching ideas that will support our learners,” said Smith, school board chairperson. “I’m proud of the collaboration between teachers and administration to provide in-service and professional development opportunities on effective implementation of the new kindergarten to Grade 9 curriculum.”
Smith said teachers are finding ways to implement the core curricular competencies and the core competencies of communication, creative and critical thinking and personal and social responsibility into their daily work.
“We are continually working with the staff and parents to understand the new curriculum and the new reporting guidelines that are being developed at the Ministry of Education.”
She said other innovative programs for the district include the continued development of engaging programs that support district learners, such as MobileMaker Space, Freshgrade reporting, Vernon Community School and new sports academies.
“As well, we are working with Okanagan Indian Band elders Eric Mitchell and Chris Marchand on understanding the history, culture and traditions of theOkanagan People,” said Smith. “And we are happy to host the Google Apps for Education Summit last fall to learn how technology can provide enhanced learning for students.”
Using available resources to provide the best possible education for each student has been one of the biggest challenges facing the district, but Smith is optimistic about the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on class size and composition.
“I’m excited about the possibility of increased staffing to support our learners from the current discussions with the BCTF and the ministry.”
Smith is also looking forward to sharing the district’s Vision 2022 Strategic Plan with the community. The five-year strategic plan sets out a clear vision for the education system, and will identify actions needed to turn the vision into reality. Vision 2022 runs in four phases between August 2016 to February 2017.The goal is to engage a broad range of stakeholders including parents, teachers, students, school district staff, aboriginal communities and community organizations.
Smith said that kind of community involvement is exactly what trustees look forward to as the 2016/17 school year continues.
“A board is responsible for the improvement of student achievement in the school district, and in School District 22, trustees are able to fulfill their responsibilities because of the supportive community, dedicated staff and parents who believe that public education and the success of every student are important factors in the development of a strong society.
“Trustees welcome continued community involvement in 2017.”