Support for School Success Partnership, reporting/communicating student learning, early Mandarin bilingual program

Highlights of the January 4 Education & Student Services Committee include:

Support for School Success
This partnership program operates at the Ray-Cam Co-operative Centre and supports a smooth transition to Kindergarten and improves access to healthcare.  Referred vulnerable students/families take part in assessment and reporting before they enter Kindergarten so supports can be in place when they start school in the fall.  Families are invited to sessions at Ray-Cam and the healthcare and education professionals co-ordinate their meetings at this one location.
In 2016 there were 37 referrals, most from the local daycare or preschool staff, and all the children had at least one follow up, for example dental, vision, speech language, public health nurse, speech language pathologist, or pediatrician. For the VSB 10 students were assigned MoE designations before the end of September funding deadline and all students will be monitored by their school based teams.
In 2017 another set of students will be referred, VCH and RICHER are considering expanding this model in our area and in 2016 the Provincial Office of the Early Years identified this program as a promising practice.
I’m very pleased to learn more about this partnership program that supports some of the VSB’s most vulnerable students entering Kindergarten in Tier 1 schools.


Reporting and Communicating Student Learning
The report details the Ministry requirements and the VSB’s preparations to implement new practices.  For most students parents will continue to have a minimum of five reports, three formal written reports and two informal, such as conferences, emails, or phone calls.  Some schools have already moved towards new practices and here parents must be consulted/informed of changes and the school must provide information from current report cards (letter grades, etc) if requested.
A steering committee and working groups will be set up to revise VSB policy and implement changes for K-9 students, changes for 10-12 students will follow, with implementation in the first term of the 2017/18 school year.


Early Mandarin Bilingual (EMB) Program Transition to Secondary
This Norquay Elementary program has 173 students in K-6 and the first students will move to secondary school in September 2018.  A survey of EMB families showed that continuing a Mandarin bilingual program is their most important factor in choosing a secondary school.  The VSB will need to decide on a suitable secondary school location, the secondary course content and the percentage of instruction in Mandarin.  An EMB secondary transition committee will be formed to look closely at these factors.


Stakeholders asked questions about the programs and the structure of the proposed committees.