Highlights from the February 1 Committee I meeting:
“Why does the VSB need a Strategic Plan?” – to define priorities, assist decision making, to communicate with stakeholders, and to have a framework to support student achievement and well being. Ten communication actions are underway and an action plan for the first year was presented. A yearly update will be given at the June Committee I meeting and committee reports can address specific issues.
Stakeholders commented that they are very pleased to see the action plan to have focus and accountability. They also commented that advocacy is in the strategic plan – the Official Trustee envisions advocating for goals identified in the strategic plan that cannot be achieved, for example because of lack of funding. She will be writing to the Minister about the funding for adult education academic courses citing examples of graduated adult students who cannot access specific courses they need to get into post-secondary programs.
There was also a question about the seismic status of Macdonald Elementary – this is being looked at with the parents/school staff/ principal in the context of Ministry funding for a new school and/or another building – with the need to keep the integrity and excitement that’s currently at the school.
Strategic Plan: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/vsb2021
The VSB is submitting its three year enrolment estimate to the Ministry this month. For the past 5 years the estimates were within 0.3% of the actual enrolment for the next year. K-12 enrolment is based on estimates from Baragar Systems while supplemental (IEP, ELL, Aboriginal, Summer Learning, Distributed Learning and Adult Education) enrolment is estimated by the VSB. Funding impacts will be considered separately.
For the 2017/18 school year enrolment is estimated to drop by 227 K-12 students, with an increase of 52 elementary students but a decrease of 385 secondary students. The number of Kindergarten students entering the VSB is several hundred lower than the number of graduating Grade 12s – this has been the case for many years and will continue next year, after which the decrease is expected to be smaller for several years.
There was discussion about special needs designations – last year’s audit ensures accurate numbers of current designations, there could be changes to designations, and the Ministry could be looking to review the whole designation system.
The discussion also considered the Supreme Court ruling – there is no news yet about September’s implementation but the VSB is communicating with the Ministry about the need to know as soon as possible as secondary students are choosing courses and placements are underway for both elementary and secondary district choice programs.
For full agenda and minutes (when posted) see: http://www.vsb.bc.ca/board-committees