On April 25-28, close to 500 trustees, senior district staff, and others attended the 115th Annual General Meeting of the British Columbia School Trustees Association at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond, BC.
The Education Leader
The Education Leader exists to provide members, as well as the public, with education news and features that reflect the increased leadership role that boards of education play in public education. You will find the most recent editions below.
Please note that the Education Leader is on hiatus for the summer. The publication will resume at the start of the school year.
The governance structure of the BCSTA includes several standing committees established to consider the organization’s business in specific areas and to provide recommendations to the BCSTA Board of Directors.
A group of Indigenous students from Burnaby spent five days together to create and record an original song. In a project created by the Burnaby School District’s Indigenous Education Department, the students found their voice and shared a powerful experience.
Every child deserves the right to be able to read, yet many get left behind in spite of the hard work of their teachers. Research consistently demonstrates that when children fall behind in reading, they rarely catch up to their peers.
Gabrielle Scrimshaw is a Dene woman from Hatchet Lake, a small community in northern Saskatchewan. She grew up in a family with two sisters and her father, a single parent. She knows the challenges that Indigenous people face in Canada and said in her TEDx talk in Toronto, that by all statistics, she should not
In February of this year, the Office of the Commissioner of Official Languages released a study it had commissioned on supply and demand of French Second Language (FSL) teachers in Canada. The study was led by the Canadian Parents for French and conducted by researchers from across Canada, including Mimi Masson, Elizabeth Larson, Paule Desgroseilliers,
The governance structure of the BCSTA includes several standing committees established to consider the organization’s business in specific areas and to provide recommendations to the Board of Directors. The committees also provide members with opportunities to engage directly in BCSTA work and to provide perspectives from the membership.
Keneisha Charles is a grade 12 student from Rutland Secondary School in the Central Okanagan (SD 23). After learning about a battalion of black Canadian soldiers in the First World War, she decided to write a poem and essay about Pte. Aubrey Mitchell.
Following the BCSTA AGM in 2018, the Board of Directors approved a Strategic Plan, an element of which under the Advocacy goal is to: “Create specific working groups in support of achieving our advocacy goals and addressing the major identified themes (including consideration of involvement with partner groups and external organizations).”
If you ask one hundred people “what is the purpose of public schooling?” you will likely get a range of responses. But, if you boil all those responses down, you will arrive at something to do with intellectual development, social-emotional development, and career development, the stated goals of education in British Columbia.
Over the years 2013 to 2016, the Early Development Instrument (EDI) results in School District 84 (Vancouver Island West) showed that 53% of children in the community were vulnerable on one or more of the five scales (physical health and well-being, language and cognitive development, social competence, emotional maturity, and communication skills and general knowledge).
School District 69 was invited to participate in the Student Spaceflight Experiments Program — and students from Ballenas Secondary responded. In fact, their experiment was judged to be worthy of being sent into space this summer! Their project, called Investigating the Growth Patterns of Alfalfa (Medicago sativa) Sprouts in Microgravity: A Potential Nourishment for Future
In the book “Vanishing School Boards: Where School Boards Have Gone, Why We Need Them, and How We Can Bring Them Back” Patrick Rice asserts “school boards keep the public in public schools, have a positive effect on student achievement, function as trustees over district resources, and serve as advocates for public schools.” He backs
Although reported numbers vary somewhat, it is safe to say that one in seven young people in BC, or at least 84,000 school-aged students, experience one or more mental health disorders at some point in their young lives. And, of these, only approximately one third receive the treatment they need.
The governance structure of the BCSTA includes several standing committees established to consider the organization’s business in a specific area and provide recommendations to the Association’s Board of Directors. The committees also provide members with opportunities to engage directly in BCSTA work and to provide perspectives from the membership.
In this edition of BCSTA’s Education Leader we profile a pair of stories focused on students and technology in the classroom with a pair of intriguing stories from North Vancouver and North Okanagan-Shuswap.
Following the trusteee elections in October 2018, close to half of the trustees elected were new to the role. This presents both an opportunity and a challenge to the BC School Trustees Association.
A common refrain in discussions around board of education tables is “we must focus on students in our decision making” and “this is in the best interest of our students.”
Recreational cannabis is legal for adults 19 and over in British Columbia. Both federal and provincial legislation regulate the consumption and distribution.
The governance structure of the BC School Trustees Association includes several standing committees established to consider the organization’s business in a specific area.
During BCSTA’s Academy, which ran from November 29 through to December 1, the BC School Trustees Association (BCSTA) and the Ministry of Education (MoE) publicly signed an updated Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the Association and the Ministry.
New Westminster Schools is kicking off a nationally significant initiative in early 2019 with the launch of Phase One of a district-wide, universally accessible, cost-shared lunch program.
This summer a renewed BC Tripartite Education Agreement: Supporting First Nation Student Success (BCTEA) was signed between the Government of Canada, Government of British Columbia and First Nations Education Steering Committee.
As November drew to a close, the BC School Trustees Association held their annual Academy. This year’s Academy moved back to downtown Vancouver, taking place at the Hyatt Regency hotel in the heart of the city.
Issue # 21
With the election behind us, it is now time to shift focus back toward the work we have been elected to do. Your board of directors returns in full, and we look forward to continuing our work as your advocates and representatives to government, our partner organizations and the public while providing you with the
The Office of the Parliamentary Budget Officer (PBO) recently released their Fiscal Sustainability Report for 2018 at the end of September. This report outlines the PBO’s current “assessment of the sustainability of government finances over the long term for the federal government, subnational governments and public pension plans.”
The 2017-2018 school year has seen learning communities engage in SOGI-inclusive education like never before. In just its second year, the BC SOGI Educator Network now consists of 54 out of 60 school districts and continues to grow. While many educators have been engaged in SOGI work for years, the Network has centralized resources, fostered
English public education has a long and storied history in Quebec. Today the system has roughly 100,000 students in schools located throughout the province. We strongly believe that quality English public education essential to our future, and that maintaining control and management of that education by means of elected school boards is vital to the
A few years ago, a British Columbia Ombudsperson’s report expressed concerns about a somewhat common practice of municipal councils and boards.
Earlier this year, former British Columbia ombudsperson Howard Kushner was appointed as the new commissioner for teacher regulation. Howard Kushner’s bio, available on bcteacherregulation.ca, provides us with the following regarding his background and qualifications:
Staff at the BC School Trustees Association have been keeping busy with only 62 days to go before the upcoming BCSTA Academy, taking place November 29 – December 1, 2018 at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Vancouver. Taking place in the final week of November, both newly elected and seasoned trustees will find plenty of topics
As a way to increase the profile of school trustees as the election approaches, BCSTA launched the #ProudToBeASchoolTrustee social media campaign at our 2018 AGM. Members have been encouraged to share messages on social media about why they are #ProudToBeASchoolTrustee, including why they decided to run as a trustee, the work they are most proud to be involved in
As the general election looms, and we collectively approach the three week marker, boards, trustees and the public have much to consider. SOGI 1 2 3, a learning resource created by ARC Foundation in collaboration with the Ministry of Education and educators, and developed with the goal of supporting all students regardless of their sexual orientation
As elected officials, school trustees serve a unique role within a school district. They are chosen by their community to provide governance and oversight of the local school district.
This year marked the 11th Annual Harmony Day in Central Okanagan Public Schools. Around the district, events took place on February 21 to celebrate the opportunity to recognize and encourage respect for all the members of the community.
“Statistically we know there are LGBTQ2S students in every school, but the degree to which these students are visible is dependent on the level of safety and inclusiveness fostered within the building. When students aren’t free to be themselves, their learning is deeply impacted.”
Our new website has been streamlined to better match the services offered on the BCSTA HUB, and some existing platforms, such as DocuShare, have been retired. The focus of BCSTA.org is now on the public.
We hope you enjoyed and found this year’s Academy useful to your important work as a trustee. Trustee Academy 2017 was planned to inspire delegates as they assemble under the theme of “Education Evolution: Student-Centred Governance.” The goal of this year’s academy was to highlight the important role students play in the governance of our
Thank you to everyone who participated and made our 2017 Trustee Academy such a success.
Attendees at this year’s Trustee Academy were provided an overview of BCSTA’s great new learning resource for boards, individual trustees, senior district staff and partners – The Learning Guide. This very extensive on-line learning resource covers a myriad of topics that are of interest and/or applicability to trustees, boards and senior staff in their roles governing, leading
BCSTA’s new members-only area of our website, the BCSTA HUB, is now open for business. The HUB will provide a number of new features and services aimed at providing improved services and communications for all members. Included within the HUB will be: The BCSTA Events Calendar Member notifications and information updates Discussion Groups (i.e. Listservs)
Trustee Academy 2017 is just around the corner, featuring a variety of concurrent session that are set to inspire trustees as they assemble under the theme of “Education Evolution: Student-Centred Governance” this November. The goal of this year’s academy is to highlight the important role students play in the governance of our public education system.
In the spring of 2016, I had the privilege of hearing Mr. Tom Child recount the story of a Kwakiutl elder, Ms. Sara Sampare, who described her experience during the Great Depression of the 1930s. She had spoken of how during this time of national hardship, when everyone across North America was always hungry, the
On September 18, 2015, the culture of the Squamish People came to life at Eastview Elementary School in North Vancouver. Our year long journey of awareness and understanding of Aboriginal ways was witnessed and celebrated through a presentation ceremony of our Welcome Figure. Over the year, every Eastview student contributed to the pole under the
[Vancouver, B.C, – September 22, 2017] – The British Columbia School Trustees Association (BCSTA) would like to express its full support for boards of education, the Ministry of Education and the Provincial Government in their work towards fostering safer and more inclusive communities for all British Columbians, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. In
Surrey Schools has designed a creative, innovative and interactive online tool called Our Data Story as part of the Our Learning Story webpage established to share facts and stories with parents and the public about student success in the district. “Over the past few years, the district has been supporting teachers to explore the use of digital portfolios as
Gordon Swan will never forget the pressures of being an novice trustee in the newly merged Nicola-Similkameen School District. With hard decisions to be made around school closures, Swan and his fellow board members were forced to learn quickly about their new roles and responsibilities in the face of passionate opinions from parents. “Having a
BCSTA’s Winter Trustee Academy is set to inspire trustees as they assemble under the theme of “Education Evolution: Student-Centred Governance” this November. This year’s winter academy will serve to highlight the important role students play in the governance of our public education system along with the value their unique perspective brings to decision-making. The keynote