Here we go!
As much as we enjoy summer, there’s a definite change in the air when September arrives, schools reopen, and classes resume. It’s a special time of year, and we thank you for your patience over the next few weeks of settling in to routines and readiness for continued learning.
New developments in education
In collaboration with our teachers and partner groups, the educational system of British Columbia continues to evolve to help ensure that our students are well prepared for their futures. As you may be aware, the Ministry of Education recently announced the introduction of BC’s new curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 9 students with an emphasis on the core competencies of collaboration, critical thinking and communications. The new curriculum connects the teaching of core subjects, including reading, writing, and mathematics, with flexibility, hands-on, and personalized learning skills.
This school year marks the beginning of a three-year transition to the new curriculum, which will also include the inclusion of Aboriginal perspectives, renewed emphasis on environmental sciences, the history and legacy of residential schools, and broader attention to the immigrant experience of East and South Asian immigrants. The change process that has been underway for the past few years builds upon the tremendous strengths of a world-class educational system established and supported by outstanding instructional leaders and educators. The entire K-12 curriculum will be phased in by the end of the 2017/18 school year.
We have a strong foundation for supporting the new curriculum across our School District. It features many similarities to the International Baccalaureate programme, and its emphasis on integrated life skills will not be unfamiliar to the current practice of many of our teachers. More information about the BC Education Plan is available at https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2015EDUC0055-001390 and through this message from the Minister of Education http://www.sd44.ca/District/CurriculumResources/Documents/MinistryCurriculumLetterToParents20150828.pdf.
Our leadership to integrate Aboriginal Education into the curriculum has been recognized both provincially and nationally. We continue to break ground in this area and the expertise of our Aboriginal Education team has been called upon to develop this important aspect of the curriculum for present and future students. We will continue to communicate on this important development in education, as we teach to improve historical perspectives, respect, and positive relations with all of Canada’s indigenous people.
Supporting student success
The new curriculum presents new opportunities to support diverse learning styles and success for all students. It represents a bridge to relevancy for every student that engages their interests, recognizes their ability levels, and supports them in their accomplishments. Our efforts to create welcoming, inclusive learning environments for all students are strengthened through this approach that helps to encourage a higher capacity for learning in every student.
The myriad of ways parents help to support children from Kindergarten through Grade 12 is fundamental to their success in school. Whether you have questions about changes to the curriculum, how to help with homework, or what you might do to help strengthen your school and community, we encourage you to reach out to the teachers and administrators who will be working directly with your child/children this year.
We hope you are looking forward to the year ahead as much as we are,
Board of Education
Superintendent of Schools
P.S. Students who walk or bike to and from school, even part of the way, benefit from regular exercise and begin each day more alert and ready to learn. Please help us to reduce traffic around schools by leaving the car at home. If that’s not possible, parking within walking distance helps to reduce school zone traffic congestion, safety risks, and environmental pollution while promoting a healthy, active start to the day.