Category Archives: Uncategorized

No extension to 2014/15 school year

http://www.cbc.ca/news/b-c-teachers-strike-no-extension-to-school-year-to-make-up-for-lost-time-1.2771797

B.C. has no plans to extend the school year to make up for three weeks of class time lost during the teachers’ strike,  Education Minister Peter Fassbender has confirmed.

“We have clearly agreed that we will move forward with the existing calendar and the remaining hours to make up any learning shortfalls that might have been there.”

Monday first day of school

The school district waited until after 3:30pm on Friday to officially notify parents of when the first day of school is.

http://www.sd57.bc.ca/Pages/newsitem.aspx?ItemID=13

Superintendent’s Update: Friday, September 19, 2014 3:30 p.m.

With the ratification of the Memorandum of Agreement between BCPSEA and BCTF schools will open on Monday, September 22, 2014.
Monday, September 22, 2014

Schools will follow normal opening day routines with a shortened 90 minute day. Busses will run at the usual time in the morning. Bus students will be transported home following the morning session.

Beginning Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Schools will begin full day programming. Regular bus routes and schedules will be in effect.

Kindergarten Gradual Entry

School District 57 will continue with the gradual entry process for kindergarten students entering school this year. The gradual entry of phasing in with a small group and shortened attendance times allows children to feel comfortable as they adjust to their new environment, routines, teacher and peers. This gentle introduction to school helps build the foundation for a successful start to their school life.

On September 22, kindergarten students will attend for the first 45 minutes of the day. On this first day, schools will provide parents with a schedule outlining the gradual entry for their child.
      Gradual Entry Schedule Outline (Specific times will be provided by the school)
Week 1
Monday, Sept. 22 45 minute session
Tuesday, Sept. 23 1.5 hour session
Wednesday, Sept. 24 1.5 hour session
Thursday, Sept. 25 2 hour session
Friday, Sept. 25 3 hour session
Week 2
Monday, Sept. 29 4 hour session
Tuesday, Sept. 30 4.5 hour session
Wednesday, Oct. 1 First Full Day
      **Hixon, Giscome and McBride Centennial will have an alternate kindergarten schedule to accommodate rural bussing.

School Calendar, Secondary Semesters, Secondary School Provincial Exams

Due to the late start to the school year, it is likely the Ministry of Education will allow district staff to balance secondary semesters and schedule provincial exams at a later date. Senior staff are working with the Ministry of Education and the Prince George District Teachers Association today and we expect to announce a revised semester 1 end, Ministry of Education exam schedule and semester 2 start early next week. Secondary school principals will provide this information to you. It is likely that the January 23rd Non Instruction Day will be shifted to coincide with the adjustment in semesters. All remaining Non Instructional Days and scheduled school year holidays are confirmed as determined earlier this year by the Board of Education.

Focus on Learning

Our most important work remains student learning in a safe, caring and orderly environment. Our professional and support staff are united in this belief and we will continue to provide learning experiences that enrich the lives of each student.

First Day in Prince George School District?

As of 7:30am, the SD57 website did not have any details as to whether or not Monday would be the first day of school. We are expecting information to be released today, so do check the district website: www.sd57.bc.ca

There is at least one elementary school website that says school will be on Monday, September 22nd:

- All Kindergarten students will attend for 45 minutes:  8:40 – 9:25 (MAY VARY FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL)

- Grades 1 – 7 students will attend for 90 minutes:  8:40 – 10:10  (MAY VARY FROM SCHOOL TO SCHOOL)

KINDERGARTEN GRADUAL ENTRY SCHEDULE has been changed across School District 57. 

 

CBC Daybreak North had published a page showing various information posted by school district in this area: http://www.cbc.ca/daybreaknorth/2014/09/18/find-information-about-the-first-day-of-school-for-prince-george-the-peace-the-northwest-and-more/

 

Teacher Strike Ratified – 86% YES

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/b-c-teachers-strike-is-over-86-vote-yes-to-accept-deal-1.2771202

The prolonged B.C. teachers’ strike has ended, and the province’s public school students will be starting their new school year next week.

More than 31,000 B.C. teachers voted Thursday on the tentative agreement reached with the government earlier this week, with 86 per cent of them voting to accept the deal.

B.C. Teachers’ Federation president Jim Iker said it was a tough round of negotiations and a difficult time for those on strike, but the job action is now over.

“With the ratification of the new collective agreement, the strike and lockout are now over,” he said. “Teachers and students will be back in school on Monday.”

For some school districts — Vancouver, North Vancouver, Surrey, and Delta included — Monday will be a day of student orientation, and classes will start Tuesday. Parents are advised to check with their local school boards for details about the new school calendars.

Iker said the deal wasn’t perfect, but said it did provide gains for teachers, protects their charter rights and increases support for students.

“There will be more classroom and specialist teachers in schools to help our students. Our teachers teaching on call will get fair pay for a day’s work, and all our members will get a salary increase,” he said.

BC School Sports Update

For Immediate Release September 8, 2014
BC School Sports

Burnaby –The Board of Directors of BC School Sports (BCSS) recognizes and respects the position of teachers during the current labour dispute with government. BCSS views extra-curricular activities including coaching as voluntary and will respect the decisions that teacher coaches, volunteers, schools and school districts will make on their involvement with school sports.

We represent member schools and advocate for student-athletes and their participation. As long as there are schools and school districts with volunteers willing to support student-athletes and facilitate the leagues, zones and provincials, our athletic programs will continue.

At this point we are going to proceed with the planned fall zone and championships schedule for the students, coaches and volunteers involved in Football, Volleyball, Boys Soccer, Field Hockey, Aquatics and Cross Country. BCSS will continue to monitor this situation and consult with the sports commissions and school districts as we move forward.

As the BC public schools remain in a strike position it is mandatory that all teams have permission from their school and school district to participate in competition. Also please ensure that all participation of school teams follow district policy. All BCSS rules and regulations still apply including the need for school teams to only compete against approved school teams.

BCSS is a voluntary non-profit society and charity with a membership of 425 schools and has served the athletes
and volunteer coaches in our province for over 44 years. BCSS’ mission is to provide governance for interschool competition, encourage student participation in extra-curricular athletics and assist schools in the development and delivery of those programs. BCSS is independent from government and BC School Boards. The BCSS Board of Directors relies upon the dedication, commitment and efforts of over 20,000 volunteers to run inter-school athletic programs for the 19 sport commissions that conclude with the 162 zone playoffs and 53 provincial championships.

For more information contact:
Christine Bradstock
Executive Director
604-477-1487

Deb Whitten
President
250 475 4155

Victoria Confederation of PACs developing pilot project

Exploratory discussions have begun with the Ministry of Education to examine the proposal in more  detail and to develop terms of reference for a possible pilot project.
“It is time to look at resourcing classrooms in a way that builds on the strengths and addresses the challenges of each and every student”, said Bird.

Media Release re Talks Begin on Classroom Resources Fund 09Sep14

Cybertip.ca Parent Alert involving sextortion

Parent Alert: September 7, 2014

In the past few weeks, Cybertip.ca has seen a rise in reports from youth involving sextortion. These cases have involved  offenders (posing as teenagers) secretly recording teenagers exposing themselves online and then threatening to share the sexual content if they don’t pay money (often hundreds of dollars) to the individual.

In response to this emerging issue of concern, the Canadian Centre for Child Protection has issued a Cybertip.ca Alert for parents as well as a tip sheet on how parents can talk to youth about online extortion:

Alert: https://protectchildren.ca/app/en/media_release_201409_sextortionists_teens

Tip Sheet for Parents: https://protectchildren.ca/pdfs/C3P_SafetySheet_OnlineExtortion_en.pdf

 

Updates from SD57

The school district website has an announcement:

Due to the current strike, schools in School District No. 57 will remain closed for the period September 8 – 12, 2014.

Parents wishing to register their children for school are asked to contact the neighbourhood or choice school via telephone.

All curricular and extra-curricular activities normally associated with schools in School District No. 57 have ceased during the strike.

We will continue to update the District and School websites as new information becomes available regarding the strike.

Parent Support Program information can be found at: www.bcparentinfo.ca

Additional strike information can be found at: www.bcpsea.bc.ca and www.bctf.ca

We should also note that the school district website has been upgraded, and looks much, much better than it ever did before. Congratulations to the district!

Article on “no homework” movement

http://news.nationalpost.com/2014/09/05/no-more-homework-growing-movement-especially-early-on-to-ban-after-school-assignments/

“…He may be the only teacher in his high school who has nixed take-home work completely, but Mr. Martin is part of a growing cohort of parents, educators and even administrators who are “anti-homework” — viewing it as a stress-inducing, mostly useless practice that saps students’ desire to learn rather than nurture it. It’s a movement that has risen alongside the return of free play, the concern about raising innovative young people primed for the knowledge economy and families’ increasingly busy lives packed with extra-curricular activities. This week, Collège de Saint-Ambroise in Saguenay, Que., launched a year-long pilot project banning homework for students in Grades 1-6. Like in Mr. Martin’s class, the way students spend time time at school will be restructured to make sure children do not fall behind, school board spokesperson Marie-Ève Desrosiers told The Canadian Press.

The news reinvigorated a debate about the value of homework — a conversation that has bubbled up and receded over the past five to seven years, gaining converts along the way. Even still, the issue remains divisive, with some parents campaigning hard for a homework-free experience that would give them their life back — and others worried about their children falling behind or failing to learn the discipline and time management required in high school and beyond. As one Collège de Saint-Ambroise parent said, “I’ll see how the year goes, but I’m very afraid. Homework is a way for us parents to evaluate whether things are going well, and to guide us in helping and supporting them.”

The research is also split or viewed with skepticism, muddying the waters for parents and educators.

“If you look at all of the different types of homework of all students, it has a moderate effect. It’s not big, but you can say ‘This does enhance student achievement,’” said Robert Marzano, CEO of Marzano Research Laboratory in Boulder, Co., which does research and development for K-12 education. “Do you actually have to have homework? No. You could have a system that didn’t have any homework and it could still be a good system. I can’t recommend getting rid of it, though, except at the primary level. But make sure you use it purposefully.”

A 2009 systematic review by the Canadian Council on Learning found that homework is linked to higher student achievement — but only if it is “judiciously assigned” and engaging to the student. ”

“Parents were confused — where was the homework that made clear what the students were learning in class? Some parents even asked that their children be enrolled in a class led by a more traditional teacher who assigned homework.

“As parents we still expect our kids’ school experience to look like ours and I’m not sure it should. That’s part of it,” she said. “Parents go ‘Why don’t you have homework?’ and it does put a bigger onus on the teacher to communicate it.’

The whole point of nixing homework, she said, was to create a more equitable learning experience — and you would see the difference in submitted homework, some with “parents’ fingerprints all over them,” as Jessica Lahey at The New York Times‘s Parent-Teacher Conference blog puts it, and some in which it was clear there was no help at all.”