Thursday, December 27, 2007

Susan Semonick On Schools - Dec 11, 2007 Board Of Education Report

I was unable to actually attend the Board of Education meeting of December 11, 2007. What I gather from information I received is that it was business as usual. There were about 30 in attendance, excluding people who were there for the music presentation.
The LSS bands performed and their music director spoke about the Jazz band program at the school, which is quite unique by what was said.

The SummerLAND (Summer Literacy and Numeracy Days) program was reported on. SummerLAND is the new name for Rec N’ Reading, Numbers Til’ Noon, and Rhyme Time programs that are offered during the summer at local schools to assist primary and intermediate students who would benefit from extra support in these areas. There was an article in the Langley Advance about it on July 27 entitled “Struggling Students Get Boost in Math.” The cost for this program is approximately $6,000.00 per school. The fees are varied at each school depending upon local sponsorship and this issue is being looked to better ensure equity across the district.

Secondary Literacy
There are now Literacy Facilitators in each of the secondary schools who work with school staff to improve literacy skills in all curricular areas. This new initiative provides support to teachers in teaching literacy skills, not only English, Social Studies, Humanities classes, but also in a variety of classes.

Superintendent Beaumont provided an update on two areas of the Strategic Plan, Early Learning and Drug and Alcohol Education.

Early Learning (Pre-K) is now a part of each school district’s responsibility and the goal is to support and enhance services in the community. There is an Early Learning Steering Committee with representatives from many community organizations serving young families. There are several programs already in place to support parents in developing foundational skills.

Strong Start is funded by the Ministry of Education and is a parent participation program available at Nicomekl and Parkside. The Ministry plans to expand this program.

Ready, Set, Learn is a school readiness program for 3 – 4 yr olds available at all Langley elementary schools. The budget was $82,500

Daycares - There are now 22 Langley elementary schools with day cares and preschool programs offered in them. The district is currently trying to align all the contracts to be similar.

Mother Goose program for children up to 6 yrs. old is available at 4 schools and engages them in songs, rhymes, and stories.

A pamphlet for new mothers outlining the various programs available at local schools for early learners will be included in every Public Health Newborn Kit.

Not sure how much all of this costs but I’m sure it will be shown at the in the proposed budget documents. For Further information go to:

A newly implemented Day Treatment Program is one of the initiatives the district has taken in its three-tiered approach to Drug and Alcohol Education. The district focus is on education and prevention, intervention, and treatment, Ms. Beaumont said.
Project Resiliency is a curriculum implemented in grade 7 and provides 8 to 10 hours of drug-awareness and resistance education.
Project Resiliency Day Program is an intervention program for students who are referred to the 3-day intensive program. It is considered an alternative to suspension and students are automatically referred if they break school rules regarding drugs and alcohol.
D.E.W.Y. – Day, Evening, Weekend Youth program is an intensive 10-12 week program for youth with substance abuse problems. They had 3 modules last year and have one this year with the introduction of the PR day program. They may add another module if needed.

They are looking for public input to name the Anderson site, which currently houses the PASS (Pathfinder Alternative Secondary School) program. I have heard that they have already named the site but are going through the motions of renaming the school to better relate to the location and purpose of the school. I wonder if they will give the community an opportunity of renaming the two new fundamental schools. I also wonder when the Otter Elementary site will be renamed to better describe the APEX program there. According to the Naming of Schools policy #4004, they would also fall within this policy. They all come under the same reason they are using to rename the Anderson site. Does it surprise me they only do one at a time instead of looking at the whole picture? I will leave that to you the public to answer.

Ministry is still working the numbers and the district is still revising and providing additional information to them. It looks like the 1.6 million estimated deficit might go down to 1.3 million. We will find out in January.

The district signed an agreement with TWU to work together in teacher education utilizing RC Garnett Demonstration School and the opportunities it is able to provide for student teachers going through practicums.

Question Period:

The question of their raises was brought up the board was unaware of how much they were getting.

Respectfully submitted

Susan Semonick

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