Welcome to 2016! We are always excited by the positive developments that are taking place within the School District and are pleased to share some of these with you in this New Year’s message.
Our vast array of program opportunities for students will be featured at our Grade 7/8 Transition and Enhanced Programs Information Evening at Sutherland Secondary on Thursday, January 14. This is a great event for parents and students to become familiar with the variety of enriching programs available to our students.
Enhancing student learning is being facilitated and supported by a new approach to school planning which will involve a meaningful process of engagement and consultation. Our February 2nd Standing Committee Meeting at the Education Services Centre on Lonsdale will feature a Forum on this topic and we invite parents and community members to attend.
We are continuing to focus on Social Emotional Learning and positive mental health within our schools and community. Work is continuing with our Inclusive Education initiatives as well with the development of resources and training sessions for our staff.
The introduction and implementation of the new Curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 9 will be the focus of in-service and professional development for our teachers and teacher leaders during the spring. Tremendous progress has already been achieved in relation to assessment, evaluation and reporting to parents. These changes will bring positive opportunities for our students.
Once again this year, we will be celebrating Education Month throughout the month of March. We will feature our visual artists and band and strings programs. In addition, we will be pleased to host a number of special events for our community partners and volunteers, as well as a special acknowledgement of our employees with twenty-five years of service.
In April, we will host a Standing Committee Meeting dedicated to Learning in Nature and Sustainability. We have commenced a process to develop a strategic plan related to environmental initiatives, energy management, garden projects, and learning in nature. In addition to our continued development of the Cheakamus Centre and Outdoor School, we look to strengthen our support at the school and classroom levels.
We look forward to strengthening our working relationships with both the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in advancing the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and will be engaging in discussions to extend this work into our School District and community.
The Board of Education has achieved significant improvements in our facilities in recent years and expects continued progress throughout 2016. We will be working closely with our respective municipalities to engage in discussions related to joint planning initiatives and future opportunities related to our five-year capital plan.
Our continuing work to improve the safety and the quality of the working and learning conditions for our students and staff will focus on the completion of our aggressive seismic upgrade program. We are hopeful that the Ministry will soon announce an agreement to enable us to proceed with a full replacement project at Argyle Secondary School, and anticipate that we will bring forward the Handsworth Secondary School project in the near future. In the meantime, a limited seismic upgrade project is making good progress at Windsor Secondary School. We are pleased with the great progress we have achieved in addressing the seismic upgrades needed for the safety of our students and are appreciative of the support provided by the Ministry of Education.
We look forward to a successful and productive 2016!
BOARD OF EDUCATION
Superintendent of Schools