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Public engagement opens, building for SD8 strategic plan renewal

Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
By Timothy Schafer Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
February 8th, 2023

The school district will be going live and online and engaging the community this Monday in order to develop and renew its strategic plan.

School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) is preparing to renew its strategic plan — a road map to ensure all partners in K-12 education work together — with a slate of community engagement sessions, including an in-person gathering in L.V. Rogers Secondary gymnasium on Monday night (4-6 p.m.).

There will also be a public webinar broadcast on the same night — open to anyone — from 7-8 p.m., with Kaslo-ians scheduled to gather in J.V. Humphries Secondary library (9-11 a.m.) on Monday, Feb. 13 as well.

People can become involved by sharing ideas in the Ideas section of the SD8 website, vote for ideas, or complete the Survey, noted a press release from the school district on Wednesday.

“The plan will set the mission, vision and priorities for 2024 through 2029,” it read.

In all, there are six sessions planned for public engagement, with the webinar and the online survey added in.

“In each phase of the engagement, SD8 will keep partners informed, listen to and acknowledge concerns and aspirations, and provide feedback on how partner input influenced the strategic plan,” the release iterated.

“Our engagement process reflects SD8’s mandate for public education as outlined in the statement of Education Policy Order(External link), the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning Policy(External link), and the Declaration of the Rights of Indigenous Peoples Act.(External link).”

According to the statement of Education Policy Order, “The purpose of the British Columbia school system is to enable learners to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills, and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy society and a prosperous and sustainable economy.”

Citizen development

All school districts must assist in the development of citizens who are:

• thoughtful, able to learn and to think critically, and who can communicate information from a broad knowledge base;

• creative, flexible, self-motivated and who have a positive self-image;

• capable of making independent decisions;

• skilled and who can contribute to society generally, including the world of work;

• productive, who gain satisfaction through achievement and who strive for physical well-being;

• cooperative, principled and respectful of others regardless of differences; and

• aware of the rights and prepared to exercise the responsibilities of an individual within the family, the community, Canada, and the world.

The prime goal of public education is intellectual development: to develop the ability of students to analyze critically, reason and think independently, and acquire basic learning skills and bodies of knowledge; to develop in students a lifelong appreciation of learning, a curiosity about the world around them and a capacity for creative thought and expression.

Source: Education Policy Order

Be engaged

Community engagement sessions are also planned for in-person in:

• Salmo, Salmo Secondary library, Feb. 15, 4-6 p.m.;

• Slocan Valley, Mount Sentinel Secondary library, Feb. 15, 9-11 a.m.;

• Creston, Adam Robertson Elementary library, Feb. 16, 1:30-3:30 p.m.; and

• Crawford Bay, Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary library, 9:30-11:30 a.m.

SD8 demographic

SD8 meets the learning needs of about 4,700 students within 23 schools.

The district serves an area of 55,000 square kilometres which includes the two main population centres of Nelson and Creston, and the surrounding rural areas. SD8 employs approximately 900 staff.

SD8’s student enrolment is expected to decline significantly over the next decade.

Public comment

Some of the public comments published on the school district’s website:

• “Ask the children how they would like to spend their time. It is about them after all.” — Ro

• “Less management and more staff in schools. We need more people supporting students on a day-to-day basis.” — Cindy

• “Stick to the basics.” — Farrah

• “Lengthen four-day on three-day off schedule to allow adequate time for self-care and family while reducing operational needs.” — Mindful Matters

• “Increase classroom and school staff and resources while reducing district bureaucracy.” — Lynne

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