The Central Okanagan School Board may be ushering in a wave of change over the coming years however the make-up of the board when it comes to trustee jobs will remain the same.
Trustee Moyra Baxter was elected as the school board chair for the fourth year in a row while trustees will stick with the same positions on the school board’s main committees of finance and legal (Lee Mossman), education and student services (Lee-Ann Tiede), human resources (Deb Butler) and planning and facilities (Julia Fraser).
Butler was also elected vice-chair.
The election of board chair and committees took place this week at the regular meeting of the Central Okanagan School Board and as the board gets set to welcome a new superintendent on Jan. 1 and usher in a new curriculum for B.C schools over the next three years.
“With a new superintendent (Kevin Kaardal) coming in, it helps to have a bit of continuity at the committee and chairperson positions,” said Baxter, who also served for six years as board chair from 2002 to ’08. “One of the main things we will be dealing with in the coming years is the re-design of the curriculum. It’s a different way of delivering (education) with teachers working collaboratively and trying to meet the needs of each child.”
Baxter has been on the school board for the past 19 years and has seen a lot of changes. With resources constantly dwindling despite the local school district being one of the only growing districts in the province, it’s a constant struggle to balance the books as well as govern the entire district.
And there are more changes on the horizon. School planning councils have been phased out in a decision that came from the provincial government earlier this year. The planning councils were the direct link between parents and schools but now that will be handed back over to parent advisory councils.
“School planning councils were removed form the school act in July,” sad Baxter. “We have to make sure parents are still involved and have a voice in coming together with schools and working collaboratively with teachers and administration.”
Other issues that are coming down the road for the school board are the changing of the catchment areas in Lake Country, a divisive issue that appears to be on the way to being solved. The district’s planning and facilities committee will meet Jan. 6 to hear the options before a final decision could be made at the first school board meeting of the new year Jan. 13.
Another ongoing issue the school board will continue to deal with is changes coming in the French Immersion program. Currently KLO is the only middle school for French Immersion and is over-capacity. The French Immersion program is expected to be over-hauled over the next two years with September of 2017 targeted for a new way of delivering the program.
In the meantime the district is still trying to decide how to deal with the over-crowding issues at KLO.
“We’re considering all options for that program at this time,” said Baxter.