Board of Education Report October 24, 2018

Following is a brief synopsis of items discussed at the recent School District 53 Board of Education meeting:

The District held a Post-Secondary Institution Day on September 25. We hosted 14 representatives from a variety of post-secondary institutions at both OSS and SOSS. Students from SESS joined the OSS group to listen to recruiters talk about their programs. Students provided very positive feedback on this experience.

Also, the District hosted an information night for the Health Care Assistant program that will be housed in SOSS/YouLearn. The information night was on October 16 in the SOSS Library. There are already 5 high school students enrolled in the program that will have a maximum capacity of 6 high school students and 6 adult students. There is an extremely high demand for employment in this field and we are very excited to be able to host this program in our district.

We will be taking all Grade 10 students in the district to the Education Career Fair on November 30 in Kelowna. Not only is this a great opportunity for students to obtain information from recruiters from various institutions but from employers in a variety of sectors.

All nine schools in our district are participating in a learning series which focusses on improving assessment practices to support student learning and the revised curriculum with Myron Dueck. Myron has a district position with SD 67 (Okanagan-Skaha). Thirty-eight educators from our district are going deeper with their learning around the best ways to assess students formatively to enhance learning.

In an effort to support and encourage coding/computational thinking in our district, five elementary schools with intermediate Grades 5 to 7, took part in a coding workshop on October 30th. Each of these five schools have been supplied with a set of programmable moving computers (Spheros). This workshop is designed to help build capacity in these schools to utilize the Spheros to promote coding and computational thinking with students.

SD #53 is extremely fortunate this year to have two schools chosen as participants in an exciting RECON project. RECON stands for Research and Education Collaboration Occultation Network. It is a network of communities across the United States who each have a telescope and video camera, and on predicted occultation events, look at objects in the Kuiper belt (where Pluto is). The RECON project has purchased a telescope, a video camera, and most of the necessary equipment for our schools to conduct their role in this project. Data from every occultation event will be written up into a scientific paper and every person (student, teacher, etc.) who takes part in the data collection, will get their name on the paper and thus become a published author in the scientific community!

Finally, we say farewell and thank you to two long-serving trustees who decided to not run in the recent trustee elections. Both Trustee Marieze Tarr and Sam Hancheroff served with distinction and a fierce voice for public education. While the board will miss their wisdom and insight, we welcome two new trustees: Janice Stevens who will represent the Okanagan Falls area and Brenda Dorosz who will join Casey Brouwer in representing Osoyoos and Area A.

Rob Zandee, Chairperson
School District No. 53 (Okanagan Similkameen)

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