Students have a tremendous experience at Canadian student leadership gathering
Yale students recounted their experience at the recent Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Halifax, for the Board. Approximately 1,000 student leaders from across the country attended the conference where they heard some stirring keynote speakers, performed community service, participated in leadership activities, and toured some historic Nova Scotia locations. The Abbotsford reps were able to connect with students from across the country and acknowledged they came away with a greater appreciation of Canada’s diversity, which they are sharing with other students at Yale as well as a renewed passion for leadership. Students were accompanied by teachers Doug Primrose and Soraya Rajabally. Yale will be hosting the BC version of the Student Leadership Conference, Oct.22-24, with Leadership students being key leaders and hosts.
District Early Learning initiatives continue to produce results
The mandate of the district’s Early Learning Department is to support and improve the health, social, emotional, and educational outcomes for early learners aged 0 to 8 (birth to grade 3) by:
- increasing the access to high quality early literacy programs especially for young children vulnerable for school failure, and
- supporting and enhancing quality pre-school early learning programs.
District Principal for Early Learning Cindy Romanowski reported on activities and some data from recent years. Over the past year, elementary school administrators, district helping teachers and primary classroom teachers, utilizing research, best practice and their own experiences, developed a Pillars of Reading and Instructional Strategies Framework, now being instituted around the district. Other highlights noted: increasing adoption and enthusiasm for StrongStart—with a 300% increase in attendance since 2008, to over 1,200 last year. The district has 13 StrongStarts, including two funded by the Board. Also: Ready Set Learn sessions in all elementary schools; self-regulation training for parents; the new Early Years Centre with ‘one-stop shopping’ for supporting families, and Nature K pilots launched at two schools.
Ms. Romanowski noted challenges for the district include that 35% of children coming into kindergarten are assessed with a vulnerability (as measured by the Early Development Instrument, or ‘EDI’), which places Abbotsford about mid-point in a comparison chart of EDI measurements of all districts in BC.
Learning Improvement Fund spending plan
The province’s Learning Improvement Fund (LIF) allocation province-wide this year is $100 million; for Abbotsford School District the allocation is about $3.4 million. Superintendent Kevin Godden reported to the Board that LIF teacher staffing was allocated based on school-level consultations between principals and teachers, taking school vulnerability into consideration. With the agreement of the Abbotsford District Teachers Association, LIF staffing for 2015/16 has been allocated with the majority of staffing coming in the form of Learning Support Services (LSS) and English Language Learning (ELL) teachers as follows:
- Elementary: 16.25 FTE positions
- Middle: 7.0 FTE
- Secondary: 3.5 FTE
- District: 3.5 FTE
Remaining support staff funding will be based on consultation documents from each of our schools, and will be finalized in coming weeks.
September enrolment counts show increase
The preliminary enrolments for this school year look positive, with an estimated increase of just over 350 students from a year ago. Secretary-Treasurer Ray Velestuk expressed cautious optimism about the numbers but will be more certain when numbers are confirmed in a few weeks. Staff noted surrounding districts are also reporting increases. No firm reasons could be pinpointed for the increases at this time.
Next regular public meetings of the Board of Education:
- November 3, 7 pm
- November 24, 7 pm
- December 8, 6:30 pm for election of Chair and Vice Chair; 7 pm for regular meeting.
All meetings held at the Board Offices, 2790 Tims street, unless otherwise noted.
Abbotsford Board of Education
- Cindy Schafer, Chair
- Shirley Wilson, Vice Chair
- Phillip Anderson, Trustee
- Freddy Latham, Trustee
- Rhonda Pauls, Trustee
- Stan Petersen, Trustee
- Preet Rai, Trustee
Trustee contacts (messages): 604.859.4891, ext. 1241 // Emails: email@example.com
Connect: Web: www.sd34.bc.ca