Administrative office for Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)

Standing up for unionized Central Okanagan School District staff

CUPE president takes exception to negative comment

An absence of board of education response at its May 11 meeting to a negative comment about unionized Central Okanagan School District staff fell under criticism at the May 25 board of education meeting.

David Tether, president of the CUPE local, said both he and Susan Bauhart, president of the Central Okanagan Teachers Association, were bothered by the lack of response to the comment made by an individual during a public question period segment of the May 11 meeting.

“We both heard it and were surprised there was no response,” Tether said at the May 25 board meeting.

Moyra Baxter, Central Okanagan Board of Education chair, said she was not aware of the comment Tether was referring to, which was that unions protect bad workers.

“If I would have heard that comment I certainly would have responded. I think you know that,” Baxter said to Tether.

Trustee Norah Bowman said she felt the negative unionized worker views were directed at her for speaking up for unionized workers, but she did not hear that specific remark either.

READ MORE: School board claps back at West Kelowna councillor’s comments

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School trustees heard a presentation from teaching staff at Springvalley Elementary about how numeracy class tasks opened new ways of collaboration and to try and not be afraid to fail at new learning concepts with their students.

The central question posed by the school’s collaborative learning services team was: How might we help meet the needs of the whole learner in our numeracy classrooms?

The whole learner concepts embraced social, emotional, and community-focused and instilled a sense of belonging by working through rich numeracy tasks based on core and curricular competencies.

Under the guidance and support of Jordan Kleckner, acting director of instruction – learning and innovation, the staff involved in the board presentation included instructional leadership team member Kristi Langlois, social-emotional learning teacher Jordyn Stolar and teacher Alex Kay.

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The Central Okanagan Board of Education has declared the week of May 29 through June 4 as National Accessibility Week in local public schools. The theme for this year is ” Inclusive from the start.”

June was also declared as Pride Month, celebrated every June in tribute to those involved in the Stonewall Riots that occurred in New York City on June 28, 1969.

The Stonewall Riots have become a watershed event in history credited for transforming the gay liberation movement and the 20th Century fight for LGBTQS2+ rights in the United States.

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Trustees approved a recommendation for Community/LINK (Learning Includes Nutrition and Knowledge) allocations for the 2022-23 school year of $1,258,789.

About $800,000 of the funding will go to the school meals program, the remainder to maintain the support of the Young Parent Program at Ecole Kelowna Secondary and school-based mental health clinicians in elementary schools by redistributing funding from child and youth mental health to ARC programs to support middle school students to better focus on proactive prevention and education.

READ MORE: Kelowna residents may be voting in new ridings next provincial election

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