Highlights: Education Plan Committee – May 10, 2023
The Vancouver School Board held an Education Plan Committee meeting on the evening of Wednesday, May 10, 2023 at the Education Centre.
Staff first provided an update about the elementary music program review, which was initiated in April 2020 to address the need for a comprehensive music program in elementary schools. The report outlines a ten-year timeline, divided into three phases, with phase one (2021-2021) focused on establishing a mission and vision statement, phase two (2022-2026) implementing several recommendations and phase three (2026-2030) prioritizing objectives such as recruiting qualified music teachers and finding dedicated music rooms in schools. The report provided an update on the progress made thus far as the District begins the work of phase two. For more information, see item 3.1 (page 3) of the Education Committee agenda package.
The next presentation was about the new student reporting policy. In 2022, the Ministry of Education and Child Care published a new K-12 reporting policy framework, which expected all school districts to implement by the 2023-2024 school year. While VSB has been following many of the guidelines outlined in the framework for the last several years, the new policy will reinforce the District’s purpose of assessment. Some adjustments will be made based on the Ministry’s framework, more details can be found in item 3.2 (page 7) of the Education Committee agenda package.
The District’s Equity, Anti-racism and Non-Discrimination (EARND) team then provided an update about their work this year. Using a restorative and belonging lens, the EARND team supports all students and staff to resolve issues of racism and discrimination; and, by building staff capacity to infuse SOGI and anti-racism awareness and learning into daily work. To this end, the EARND team has been focusing their efforts in professional development for District resource teachers and district principals, student voice and engagement, as well as anti-racism and non-discrimination related working groups and committees. A detailed summary of the work accomplished can be found on item 3.3 (page 11) of the Education Committee agenda package.
Follow the EARND team’s presentation, the Indigenous Education department provided an overview of self-identified Indigenous learners wholistic development this school year. This included the emotional, physical, intellectual, and spiritual domains, in alignment with the Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement (AEEA) goals of belonging, mastery and culture and community. Currently there are 2240 self-identified Indigenous learners enrolled in the VSB. This year, educational highlights for the self-identified Indigenous learners include drum making, the legacy canoe project, gathering elders and the rise in graduation completion rates. For more details, see item 3.4 (page 15) of the Education Committee agenda package.
The final presentation of the night was about the new Indigenous graduation requirement, required by Ministry of Education and Child Care. Starting 2023/24 school year, all students working toward a B.C. Certificate of Graduation must successfully complete at least four credits in Indigenous-focused coursework. For VSB, support for the implementation of the Indigenous focused coursework has been focused on two areas this year: targeted professional learning opportunities and support with choosing and purchasing learning resources. The District is creating a schedule for a sustainable co-collaboration structure between classroom teachers and District staff that will bring together teachers who have been teaching Indigenous-focused courses for years, as well as teachers who will be teaching the courses for the first time. More information can be found on item 3.5 (page 19) of the Education Committee agenda package.
The next Education Plan Committee will be held on June 14, 2023, at 5:00pm.
Keep up to date with the District’s committee and Board meetings; see the calendar for meeting dates, agendas and livestream links. All recordings of meetings are housed on the District’s YouTube channel. Minutes from committee and Board meetings are also posted online.