Superintendents report for April 2011

2011.04.04 (must have been an email problem, as notes were only received after 11pm)

SUPERINTENDENT’S SPEAKING NOTES
District Parent Advisory Council Meeting
1.    Student Transfer Process:  parents should expect to receive information related to transfer requests made earlier on our district online transfer program in the next several days.  Please contact the school next week if you have not been contacted about your transfer request.

2.    School Organization: Principals are currently preparing staffing and supplies organization/budget for the 2011-2012 school year.  Parent Advisory Council presidents may wish to contact principals for a status report at an upcoming PAC meeting.

3.    International Education: International education contributes an estimated $1.8 billion to the economy of British Columbia. This makes International Education the 5th largest industry in B.C. Of this total, approximately $24 million is generated directly in Northern BC, creating 250 jobs for the region. This is a significant and growing industry which is critical to the growth and future
Prosperity of all of British Columbia and which has the potential to address some of the short? and long?term demographic challenges faced by the regions in BC. The presence of colleges, universities, and school districts with large international student populations create great opportunities for northern communities.

School District #57 is expecting approximately 42 fee paying International students in September of 2011.

4.    Bargaining 2011: Several union partners are now in the early stages of collective agreement bargaining with the employer.  Some bargaining is done at the local level but the majority of bargaining involves the British Columbia Public Sector Employers Association, who represents British Columbia Boards of Education in this complex process.

5.    Provincial Examinations: In order to graduate, secondary school students must complete specified courses in Grades 10, 11 and 12, and write at least the following five provincial exams:
•    Language Arts 10
•    Science 10
•    Mathematics 10 (Essentials, Applications or Principles)
•    Social Studies (Social Studies 11, Civics 11 or First Nations 12)
•    Language Arts 12 (English 12 or Communications 12)
Other provincial exams are optional.

For more information regarding provincial exams, please access this website:  http://www.bced.gov.bc.ca/exams/

6.    Reminder – Schedule of Fees and Deposits 2010-2011 *Sent to parents in September 2010 re Valedictory Ceremonies:  Most schools with grade 12 students offer a valedictory ceremony near year’s end. The participation in such ceremonies is optional. Students who wish to participate will be expected
to pay the shared cost of such a ceremony.

Parents of students in grade 12 should be checking with son’s/daughter’s school counselor prior to the end of April to ensure their child is eligible to participate in the school’s valedictory ceremony!

7.    Policy 1240 Provision of Volunteer Services: Volunteers make valued and appreciated contributions to enhancing student success, the enjoyment of school and enriching school climate. This policy sets out the manner and conditions in which volunteers may become involved in school life.

The period between April and June usually offers many opportunities for parents to be involved in school sponsored activities – please review this policy as a criminal record check is a critical component of the volunteer process!

8.    Communities That Care (CTC) founder/developer/researcher, Dr Richard Catalano visited Prince George last week to work with the CTC Board.  Approximately 100 parents and interested community members attended Dr. Catalano’s public presentation.

CTC is a long-term, evidence-based approach to crime prevention that targets six adolescent behavior problems: criminal involvement, violence, substance misuse, school failure, teen pregnancy and anxiety and depression.  This youth-focused strategy to enhance public safety is an integral part of the City of Prince George’s Integrated Community Sustainability Plan.

Approximately 3000 students in our school district completed a survey and identified a number of positive things:
a.    High levels of family attachment
b.    A larger than average percentage of youth report believing in the concept of right and wrong.
c.    Many youth report having opportunities and rewards for positive involvement within the community and family, and especially within schools.  Dr. Catalano indicated that kids like school and schools are Prince George’s strongest asset in this process.  A huge THANK YOU to our staff and educational partners!!!!!