Photo of CMSD82 office on Kenney Street in Terrace taken last year. (Brittany Gervais photo)

School district briefs: Board writes letter to ministry on teacher retention

Key discussions from the Nov. 27 meeting

The Coast Mountains School District board met on Nov. 27 in Terrace. Below is a summary of the discussions:

Teacher retention

The Board of Education wrote a letter to Minister of Education Rob Fleming about their ongoing difficulties with recruitment and retention of certified teachers.

When class resumed in September, the school district “experienced extreme challenges filling teaching positions and replacement issues,” the letter reads. “A shortage of teachers continues to plague our school district and we are unsure how long the school district and staff can sustain this work with such significant shortages.”

Nineteen full-time teaching positions have been temporarily filled through 23 Letter of Permission applications with the BC Teacher Regulation Branch, of which two have been confirmed. These letters are used to hire someone uncertified when a certified teacher is not available.

Despite ongoing efforts to recruit teachers through a nation-wide campaign, the ability for the school district to attract certified teaching staff is limited, the letter reads, urging the province to take immediate action.

“A coordinated effort by the government implementing provincial incentives or strategies for attracting teachers to rural school districts would effectively reduce the shortage of teaching staff within rural school districts.”

READ MORE: Q&A: Janet Meyer, interim CMSD82 superintendent

Indigenous languages

The Board of Education heard from hired contractor Colleen Austin about her plans to revitalize Indigenous languages in the school district curriculum.

Austin was hired on Sept. 5 as the Language Revitalization Coordinator to provide services towards the preservation, promotion and revitalization of First Nations languages within the district.

Part of her work includes developing and implementing a five-year plan for language revitalization for Indigenous languages including Gitxsan, Haisla, Nisga’a, Tsimshian and Wet’suwet’en.

Austin also spoke about encouraging students to become language ambassadors who could represent and talk about the program to other potential learners.

This initiative will be conducted in consultation with a network team of Indigenous Languages Leaders representing the ten local Nations within the school district, the Kermode Friendship Society and the Northwest BC Metis Association as well as other stakeholder groups as necessary, according to the school district.

READ MORE: Skeena Métis Association encouraging Northwest B.C. Métis families to self-identify

Vaping

The Board of Education wrote a letter to Minister of Health Adrian Dix voicing their concerns around the “surging gaping rates among our students,” applauding the provincial government’s plan to enforce tighter restrictions around vaping products.

“However, the Board of Education is concerned that gaping products do not have the same licensing and regulatory requirements as that of tobacco,” writes Shar McCrory, board chair, in the letter.

The Board went on to urge the provincial government to take decisive action and endorse a private member’s bill in the legislature that would implement tighter controls around where vaping products are sold, and would ensure tougher penalties for offenders.

READ MORE: New vaping regulations on the way, B.C.’s health minister says

Free pads, tampons

The Board of Education introduced a new policy to make menstrual products free for students.

All schools in SD82 provide students of all gender identities and expressions with free menstrual products starting last September, keeping with provincial policy.

“Lack of access to menstrual products can negatively impact students’ school attendance and their social-emotional well-being,” the new policy reads. “Providing all students with convenient access to free menstrual products helps to support their full participation in school activities, reduces stigma and promotes gender equality.”

The policy will now go on for second and third reading before adoption.

READ MORE: B.C. schools must provide free tampons, pads to students by end of year

SOGI policy updated

The school district’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) policy was updated to reflect the correct definition for LGBTT2SQQ+. The non-exhaustive acronym includes references to lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two-spirited, queer, or those who are questioning their sexual orientation and gender identity.

The policy was originally adopted in December 2018.

READ MORE: Province to hire SOGI 123 expert to train teachers across B.C.


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Coast Mountains School District 82

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Terrace conservation officers relocate Spirit bear

Bear roamed Kitsumkalum Valley north of Terrace for many years

Seabridge Gold starts drilling along proposed tunnel route north of Stewart

Twin tunnels will connect the KSM mine to its mill and tailings site

Mother grizzly bear with two cubs spotted on Gruchy’s Beach trail near Terrace

Conservation officers also warning public to stay away from Grizzlies on lower Kitimat River

Village of Gingolx upgrading trails, studying campground improvements

Initiative is one of 39 trail and recreation projects to receive provincial funding

Terrace first responders honour late colleague with large procession

Dozens of emergency vehicles drove through Terrace July 7

Horgan says B.C. restart making gains as more people come out of their homes

B.C. announced the easing of more restrictions on businesses, recreation and travel last month

Conservatives say police should be called into investigate WE charity scandal

Trudeau is already under investigation by the ethics commissioner for potential conflict of interest

Amber Alert continues for missing Quebec girls, 6 and 11, and their father

Police issued the alert for Norah Carpentier, 11, and Romy Carpentier, 6, from Levis, Que.

Limit police access to lethal weapons in Indigenous communities: Justice Summit

Grassroots-organized National Indigenous Justice Summit was a free-to-attend two-day videoconference

Canadian policing organization calls for decriminalization of simple illicit drug possession

Canadian Association of Chiefs of Police want policing focus of opioid crisis to be replaced with a health one

Large rogue floating ‘island’ corralled by Lac la Hache residents

At least 60 feet wide, this large mass of plants is free-floating on the lake

Filing deadline in RCMP sexual-harassment class-action extended due to COVID-19

Plaintiffs now have until January 2021 to submit claims for up to $222,000

Jamie Bacon pleads guilty to charge in Surrey Six case

The plea brings an end to a complex legal case that has spanned more than a decade

Hefty undeclared driver charges piling up, ICBC warns customers

Average extra penalty $2,971 after an at-fault accident

Most Read