At the public Board of Education meeting on Tuesday night (Sept. 13-for those of you who missed it) Pender Harbour Secondary principal Mark Heidebrecht gave the Board and audience a brief but informative overview on the use of technology by educators on the Sunshine Coast. Continue reading
Tag Archives: sunshine coast
Or at least breaking the Top 5. Continue reading
The MoE has sparked some outrage with a document that seems to propose allowing children to choose to learn a second language other than French in BC public education, but is this really a big deal?
First of all, if our current practice of requiring children to take French classes is kid-focused-that is, truly in the best interest of kids–then I’m all for it. One hundred and ten percent. But, if the practice is more rooted in tradition, and not necessarily for the benefit of children, then it’s worth a look. Continue reading
Here is an interesting article on allowing students the opportunity to provide meaningful feedback on the public education system:
The author, Valerie Threlfall, asks, “Why aren’t we asking students themselves how to make our schools work better? What about the experts or “consumers” on the other side of the textbook? Is it ridiculous to think that student feedback could actually play a significant role in shaping education reform?”
Our Superintendent and Sunshine Coast Board of Education have come up with innovative ways to get feedback from students, and many districts have different approaches to engaging students, but gathering (and, more importantly, using) feedback from students is definitely not standard practise in public education.
The author’s organization, Youth Truth “gathers student perceptions across five major themes, including:
- Relationships with teachers: whether students feel that they are personally and academically supported by their teachers.
- School cultures and attitudes: the degree to which students experience a fair and respectful culture.
- Future goals and aspirations: students’ goals and the activities they engage in to support these goals.
- Life outside of high school: how barriers outside of school impact students’ school work and future plans.
- Rigor of classes and instruction: the degree to which students feel challenged to work hard, think critically and believe their teachers understand the subjects they are teaching.”
Do you think student feedback should be utilized in making public education decisions?
It’s a concept that’s been bandied about for years, probably since farmers ceased needing their kids home to help out with harvesting season: Year Round Schooling.
I see it’s in the news again, with the Metro Vancouver and Fraser Valley branches set to meet to discuss the pros and cons of a “balanced” school year. Many districts have tried year round schooling in some form or another. Some gave up on it and some are still doing it.
The main argument for it is that taking extended breaks from school is not good for the retention of learning, which seems like a valid point. Some claim there are cost savings with a balanced school year model, but that’s not that clear to me. Maybe there are savings to be had, I haven’t looked hard at that aspect of the concept.
So, educationally it could be a beneficial model–if done right–but what impact would this have on families? I assume it would actually work better for many working parents–most aren’t able to take summers (or even Christmas) off to look after their kids–but the school calendar is deeply ingrained in our society in many ways.
I’d be willing to look at a balanced school year for the Sunshine Coast if it was developed as a superior educational model for kids, but I’d like to know what other parents think about it.
So, let me know…
I haven’t spoken to Mags on this yet, but CKNW is reporting that Education Minister MacDiarmid has stated that there will be options for parents who feel that their children are not ready for a full day of school.
“Margaret MacDiarmid says when it comes to full day kindergarten there will be a lot of flexibility especially for parents who think a nine to three day is too long for their child.”
I don’t know how that would work, but the article states that “principals, teachers and parents will have the ability to make adjustments on students’ schedules.”
How are parents on the Sunshine Coast feeling about all day K, now that it’s starting up?
That’s right, time for another wild ride on the exciting and bumpy tour that is a Board of Education public meeting. 7pm School Board office.
If you haven’t been you should go! Almost everyone goes! Well, maybe not everyone, but there have been some new faces showing up, which is great.
Notable on the agenda:
“That the Board renew our support for our smallest schools and encourage
growth through a redistribution of district programs and funding.”
This Board has recognized the value of our neighbourhood schools in providing
exceptional educational experiences, yet we continue to concentrate district
programs and support in our larger schools.
Here is an example of some of the programs recently offered in the lower
Sunshine Coast schools:
District Supported Programs
Gibsons Elementary: Langdale Elementary:
Strong Start drop in centre
KinderSpark kindergarten readiness
Ready, Set, Learn
After school care program
How exciting is that? It’s my attempt to refocus the direction we are going in as a district. We’ll see how it goes.