Math, literacy central for northern B.C. school district

As schools ready to open, it needs to be back to the basics for Coast Mountains School District

With school starting up in the next few weeks, dozens of teachers are preparing for something of a fresh start with their students.

And while teachers continue adapting the new curriculum, the key will be placing math and literacy at the front and centre of school focus.

Statistics for how well students have been doing in reading, writing and mathematics in the north have been pretty bleak in the Coast Mountains School District.

In tests called Foundation Skills Assessments (FSAs), the most recent data from two years ago shows that in reading, 23 per cent of Grade 4 students were not meeting expectations, and 39 per cent of Grade 7 students were not meeting expectations in this district.

Writing abilities were about the same, and math was worse, with 32 per cent not meeting expectations in Grade 4 and a shameful 56 per cent not meeting expectations in Grade 7.

Now schools need some credit, because those numbers have been improving over the last five years, but to have close to a quarter of the students not learning what they need is unacceptable.

Of course, there are dozens of factors at play in student learning including home life and ultimately students themselves.

And engaging students is the central focus of the new B.C. curriculum, still being integrated into schools, which is certainly a need in this day and age.

But let’s hope schools don’t overemphasize engaging students in a way that negates the need for students to put in hard work.

One of the best motivators for students is simply catching a glimpse of the great rewards of reading, and the benefits of being able to quickly compute math in our heads.

Reading opens up a world of knowledge, and being able to quickly calculate math helps in stores, cooking with recipes, or building something.

Those benefits can give a real motivation to engage students in their school work.

Teachers deserve a lot of respect, and encouragement as they seek to equip our future generations. It’s no small task.

Just Posted

Salmon, oolichan given new life in Terrace art exhibit

Local artist pays homage to fish using old Japanese fish printing technique

Grim situation in coming year for northwest, B.C. fisheries

Annual post-season review in Prince Rupert informs DFO on how to manage 2019 fishing season

Sports Briefs

Your top athletes and teams

VIDEO: Dog behaviourist holds classes to raise funds for NARA

Holidays are a busy time for rescue agencies

Salmon, oolichan given new life in Terrace art exhibit

Local artist pays homage to fish using old Japanese fish printing technique

France shooting: 2 dead, several wounded in Strasbourg

A world-famous Christmas market was put on lock down on Tuesday

Canadian warship witnesses possible violations of North Korea sanctions

Crew members on HMCS Calgary took photos and collected other information

Christine Sinclair named Canadian Women’s player of the year again

This is the 14th time Sinclair has been named player of the year

B.C. man wants trapping laws changed after dog killed

Louis Seguin’s 10-month-old Australian shepherd died in a body-gripping trap last month

Nearly 8,000 homeless in B.C., first province-wide count reveals

Twenty-four seperate counts in B.C. cities found there are thousands of homeless in all corners of province

UPDATE: B.C. judge grants $10M bail for Huawei executive wanted by U.S.

Meng Wanzhou was detained at the request of the U.S. during a layover at the Vancouver airport

Oogie Boogie, Sandy Claws and coffin sleigh part of B.C. couple’s holiday display

Chilliwack couple decorates their house for the holidays using Nightmare Before Christmas theme

First Nation sues Alberta, says oilsands project threatens sacred site

Prosper Petroleum’s $440-million, 10,000-barrel-a-day plans have been vigorously opposed by Fort McKay

Most Read