Category Archives: news

Supportive Families, Healthy Children

http://familyproject.sfsu.edu/files/FAP%20English%20Version%202%20FINAL.pdf

With media reports of suicide among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth becoming increasingly common, communities are grappling with the urgent need to identify interventions to prevent suicide and suicidal behavior among LGBT youth. However, until today, no “Best Practices” have been identified or designated to help reduce vulnerability and risk among LGBT children, youth or adults.

Although recent media attention has focused primarily on the impact of bullying on self-harm behavior. suicide is typically the result of many interacting factors including depression, substance use and despair, in addition to environmental stressors. These complex interactions underscore the need for comprehensive suicide prevention strategies and interventions to change the environment at the systems level. For LGBT youth, family systems are especially important.

For the past decade, the Family Acceptance Project (FAP) at SF State University, under the direction of Dr. Caitlin Ryan, has been studying the impact of family acceptance and rejection on suicide risk among LGBT youth. Published findings from these studies point to the critical role of families in both contributing to and protecting against suicidal behavior and risk among LGBT young people. FAP’s multi-disciplinary team has been developing resources, interventions and strategies to help diverse families reduce risk and to promote their LGBT children’s well-being.

The first of these resources – a multi-lingual, multi-cultural series of family education booklets – Supportive Families, Healthy Children: Helping Families Support their LGBT Children – have been designated as the first “Best Practice” resources for suicide prevention for LGBT youth and young adults by the national Best Practices Registry for Suicide Prevention.

Superintendent of Schools Brian Pepper is pleased to announce the following appointments, effective August 1, 2012:

Rob Larson – Principal, Pinewood Elementary
Deb Kaban – Principal, Van Bien Elementary
Lori Dennill – Principal, Blackburn Elementary and Giscome Elementary
Deanna Hood – Principal, Quinson Elementary

We wish all four of these administrators all the best in their new positions, and Dan Domes and Lynda Stoppler all the best in retirement.

Superintendent’s Speaking Notes – and answer to meeting question

District Parent Advisory Council – 2011.10.03
Superintendent’s Speaking Notes
World Teachers’ Day
– Since 1994 World Teachers’ Day is celebrated on October 5th. It is an opportunity for UNESCO and Education International to celebrate the profession and to promote international standards for the teaching profession. The theme for this year is: Teachers for gender equality.

– “Our greatest contribution is to be sure there is a teacher in every classroom who cares that every student, every day, learns and grows and feels like a real human being.”

Class Size Report
– School Act section 76.1 and 175 and Class Size Regulation
– To the Board of Education October 11, 2011 (October 15th)
– Requirement to inform DPAC and Trustees
Grades Max. Exceed Max? 11/12 Avg SD57
K 22 No 19.0 18.81
1-3 24 No 21.0 20.78
4-7 30 Teacher Consent 28.0 26.12
8-12 30 Teacher Consultation 30.0 24.67

– Superintendent must review class organization and determine classes are in compliance with the School Act and are appropriate for student learning.
– Thank you to School Administration and teaching staff
Strike or Job Action
– Phase 1 Strike Action continues
– Significant challenges for exempt staff (principals, vice principals, technical support staff, business managers, senior admin. and administrative staff) to complete regular/assigned work which means there is an impact (direct and indirect) on students.
– Information is available on the British Columbia Public School Employers’ Association website: http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca There are two locations of interest: “What’s New” (globe and arrow logo) and “Bargaining” (loud hailer logo)
New Principal and Vice Principal
– Nukko Lake principal – Tracy Baldridge
– Ron Brent vice-principal – Tanya Goodwin
– Thank you to retiring Nukko Lake principal – Bill MacIver
Learning
– Learning Team Grants allow our education staff to complete action research or inquiry on topics of learning significance for our students. The grants are supported by curriculum and instruction, technology, special education and aboriginal funds. Details of the grants, including research question or focus will be available on the district website later this week: www.sd57.bc.ca
– Engaging Learners (Superintendent’s blog) will feature a new edition this week entitled: What is 21st Century Learning? How can my voice be heard?


Question from DPAC meeting: What was the process used to distribute furniture and supplies in closed schools?

Answer: Process followed – in order
1. furniture and supplies moved on an as needed basis to the receiving school (school where students of the closed school will next attend)
2. purchasing staff conducted an inventory of remaining items
3. schools were invited to request needed items
4. remaining items became district surplus supply
5. district surplus supply utilized, when appropriate, instead of new purchase

Throne speech section on Education

From October 3, 2011’s speech from the throne on education:

In British Columbia, we are fortunate to have thousands of dedicated teachers in our elementary, middle and high schools. Day in and day out, they prepare our children for their future and, in turn, the future prosperity of our province.

Over the coming year, your government will act to improve the education system, provide supports to teachers and improve student safety in the classroom.

Students need skills that will allow them to adapt to a world that is changing more quickly than ever before. These skills can be taught by our teachers, but not using a 20th century curriculum with 20th century teaching methods.

Over the coming weeks, my government will introduce a series of important changes to improve the skills of our current teachers and ensure that future teachers are provided with the tools they need to produce first-class graduates.

Because teachers make the difference between good students and great students, our government will dedicate funding to address issues of class composition in British Columbia.

Today, school boards and parents are seeking additional flexibility and choice when it comes to educating our students to provide an education second to none. These changes will be bold and represent a significant improvement in how, when and where education takes place.

They are necessary, now more than ever.

The government is also committed to safer schools and will ensure that those very few individuals who abuse their positions of trust are removed and not permitted to return.

And important anti-bullying policies in our schools will be expanded to include a comprehensive training regime, on-line reporting tools and advanced threat assessment tools and protocols.

Message from District Math Resource Teacher

If you are interested in finding out more about the mathematics being taught in school, and how you can help your child succeed in math, you are invited to attend an informative evening session with Canadian author, educator and international education speaker Dr. Marian Small. Hosted by UNBC in conjunction with School District 57, Tuesday Oct.18th from 7-8 pm in the Canfor Theater at UNBC.

Recess update

According to the BC Public School Employers Association:

Each school district (SD) has a few options for how they can coordinate recess and outside supervision before and after school. These options include cancelling recess, restricting access to certain areas of playgrounds, or staggering recess times. Each SD will consider which option, or combination of options, will allow them to provide the most coverage with the staff available.

During the teacher strike, supervision will be provided by exempt staff (principals, vice-principals) and other SD employees who are not members of the teachers’ union.

Apparently, from what has been said, what will happen in the Prince George school district is that teachers will assist with supervision once all exempt staff (principals, vice principals, and school board office employees) are busy supervising students. School board employees will be traveling to schools in the area twice a day, before and after school to supervise, but adding in recess as well was more difficult to schedule. Many schools in the area already use CUPE members to supervise at lunch, so that would not be affected.

Additionally, the original announcement called for school to start 7 minutes later and end 8 minutes earlier. This may be changed to 10 minutes and 5 minutes, to make it easier to calculate.

No recess for students?

According to school district sources, there will be no recess for students during the job action.

Morning recess breaks will be cancelled for the length of Essential Services job action.  This is being done in recognition of the challenges for exempt staff to supervise this additional period of time.  For elementary schools, the typical 15 minutes of recess time will be removed from the minutes of instruction by having seven minutes taken from the beginning of the day and eight minutes taken from the end of the school day.

However, bus schedules appear to be continuing as previously planned.

First day of school changed

The school district has just announced on their website that the first day of school has been moved a day earlier than previously announced.

Back to School – Date Changed to September 6, 2011

Due to the uncertainty of pending job action by the Prince George Teachers’ Association, the non-instructional day scheduled for Tuesday, September 6 is being postponed to a later date in the school year.

The first day of school for students will be September 6, 2011.  This day will be a shortened day (90 minutes).  Dismissal times will vary from school to school. School buses will return students home shortly after dismissal.   Wednesday, September 7, 2011 is a regular school day for all students.  Gradual kindergarten entry schedules and bussing schedules will continue, as planned.

Please check the School District website for the most current information,www.sd57.bc.ca

PDF notice from school district

Information on teacher job action plan at start of school year

More information is coming out about what MAY be happening in schools at the start of school – this will only be confirmed later on.

 

The job-action plan was approved by the B.C. Labour Relations Board last month after teachers agreed to work with principals as usual during the first few days of school to prepare classes. The plan includes 30 activities that teachers are expected to eschew including the following, which could affect students: “Participate in any school photo organization; collect money from students or participate in fundraising; supervise detentions before, during or after instructional time; participate in the preparation or the organization of assemblies outside of instructional time or during instructional time unless coverage is provided; administer or supervise FSA (Foundation Skills Assessment tests in Grades 4 and 7) or any district or ministry test.”

Hansman said teachers will take attendance, but a dispute over how that information will be communicated to the school office has been referred to the labour relations board for a decision. Note: the B.C. Labour Relations Board ruled recently  that attendance must continue as usual.

No picketing is expected at schools, and any escalation of job action would have to be approved by teachers in a provincewide vote. Negotiations, cancelled for the summer, are set to resume Aug. 23. The two sides have made scant progress since talks began in March and are far apart on several issues, notably pay and benefits.

Read more: http://www.vancouversun.com/business/action+means+report+cards+this+fall/5210482/story.html#ixzz1UqS1yw4y

The job action is directed at administration, but it will touch others with the union’s decision to not issue report cards, hold meet-the-teacher nights, supervise detentions, collect money from students for any purpose, help organize school photos or administer standardized tests. There is a possibility some teachers will withdraw from extracurricular activities, although the union is not giving direction one way or the other on that.

“If teachers choose to continue with their after-school band program or their knitting club or sports activities because that creates a positive relationship between them and their students, great. If they don’t want to, that’s their choice,” BCTF vice-president Glen Hansman said in an interview.

http://communities.canada.com/vancouversun/blogs/reportcard/archive/2011/08/12/conflict-101-fall-studies-in-b-c-public-schools.aspx

From “State 1 Job Action”, from 2001:

http://bctf.ca/publications/BargainingBulletin.aspx?id=1914

Prince George Citizen article on school trustees

At least three sitting school board trustees will be running for reelection this fall.

Trish Bella, Valentine Crawford and Rhonda White all confirmed Thursday they’ll be seeking a second term when local elections are held in November.

School board chair Lyn Hall and trustee Sharel Warrington could not be reached for comment Thursday. Lois Boone said earlier this year she would step down in November. Roxanne Ricard also won’t be running.

— Nielsen, Citizen staff

http://www.princegeorgecitizen.com/article/20110812/PRINCEGEORGE0101/308129999/-1/princegeorge0101/frustrated-ricard-stepping-down-from-school-board