Principals from Henderson and James Thomson Elementary schools and Brooks Secondary School provided midyear updates to Powell River Board of Education at its February 12 meeting.
Jasmin Marshman discussed Henderson’s successes in increasing connectedness within the school and community, including students’ visits to seniors in the area to play games and sing together, as well as the school coming together to count donations for the Everyone Deserves A Smile campaign.
Lisa Gunn reported on the challenges faced at James Thomson to provide adequate programming space for 290 students in a school designed for 230. She also discussed some of the successes and challenges around the French immersion program at the school.
Bill Rounis updated the board on the steps taking place at Brooks to increase graduation rates and assist students transitioning into the school. He also commended his staff on their increased collaboration this year and ongoing efforts to include all staff in the discussions.
All three principals reported improvements in literacy and numeracy rates among their students since the last report, thanks to intervention teams that help students struggling in those areas.
District student council
District principal of learning and innovation Kristen Brach reported to the board on the inaugural meeting of the district student council, which took place February 12 and was facilitated by Brach and Brooks vice-principal Jennifer Kennedy.
The district student council is made up of five students from Brooks and two students between grades five and seven from each of the district’s elementary schools, including one student from Texada Elementary School. The inaugural meeting included introductory, team building and leadership activities.
“The students are very excited,” said Brach. “We plan to meet once a month until the end of the school year.”
Long-term goals of the district student council are to provide a voice for students into education issues, to increase leadership skills among students of all ages, and open paths of communication between students at all schools.
Student conduct policy updated
The board passed amendments to Policy 10 Student Conduct that clarified and added vocabulary around sexual violence, harassment, and gender identity and expression.
The board also reviewed draft amendments to Administrative Procedures 520 Safe Schools and 540 Harassment/Bullying, as well as new Administrative Procedure 380 Sexual Orientation/Gender Identity (SOGI). Proposed changes to the existing administrative procedures include definitions of different types of violence and clarification of types of assault.
The new administrative procedure provides a framework for schools to support students in SOGI matters.
“Rather than creating a new policy around sexual violence, sexual orientation and gender identity, it made more sense to work within our administrative procedures,” said Allison Burt, district coordinator of curriculum, assessment, and reporting. “These procedures will support the amendments to Policy 10 that were passed today.”
The three administrative procedures will now be sent to stakeholders for feedback before final versions are presented to the board at a subsequent meeting.