School District No. 46 (SD46) has released its 2013 to 2016 Achievement Contract, which focuses on improving student literacy, increasing opportunities for culturally based learning, ensuring welcoming and safe school environments and improving student graduation rates.
Trustees formally adopted the new achievement contract at their Oct. 8 school board meeting.
“We believe in ambitious targets and have set our sights high,” superintendent of schools Patrick Bocking wrote in his introduction to the contract. “These targets are determined based on the belief that all children can learn given the right supports while also taking into account our history, culture and capacity.”
In order to improve literacy levels of incoming kindergarteners, SD46 plans to provide more literacy materials and supports to families who attend early learning programs. The district will also promote involvement in the many early learning programs available in SD46 and increase their availability throughout the Coast.
To ensure every student reads at his or her grade level SD46 plans to support teachers more and encourage collaboration, actively solicit and engage parents and teachers as partners in education, establish formative reading assessments and target support for vulnerable readers.
In order to increase culturally based learning opportunities for Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal students, the achievement contract notes SD46 will encourage the use of culturally based resources and approaches, increase the presence of shíshálh cultural advisors and promote the infusion of language and culture in schools.
To help improve Aboriginal graduation rates SD46 will engage with students, parents, Aboriginal communities, schools and district staff and increase supports at the elementary and secondary level, the plan states.
To help improve the graduation rates of all students in SD46 the contract calls for utilizing technology and distributive learning programs as alternatives for students seeking graduation, providing more flexibility and choice for students, expanding work experience options and surveying students to understand the struggles that keep them from graduating.
In order to ensure all students feel safe and welcome at their individual schools SD46 will encourage Roots of Empathy programs, call for social responsibility goals from each school and engage parents in dialogue about safe schools through website communication, workshops and discussion at the District Parent Advisory Council.
SD46 also plans to have an Aboriginal counselor at the secondary level to work with Aboriginal youth and their families.
SD46 board chair Silas White said although achievement contracts “can sometimes just be a collection of information that a school district pulls together to fulfill provincial requirements,” this contract “is the genuine product of extensive dialogue in our district among educators and parents.”
“Our board wanted it to be a document that is real, understandable and important to people, which is the only way we can reach our goals to improve student achievement,” White said.
To view the entire three-year achievement contract visit www.sd46.bc.ca and click on the policies and procedures tab, then click achievement contract.