P.L.A.Y Challenge

Play Shuswap is again hosting a fun event on BC Family Day weekend. SD83 Healthy Schools Coordinator and president of Play Shuswap, Laura Paiement, said last year the Family Day Play Challenge was such a success we decided to make it an annual event.

Join PLAY Shuswap and Salmon Arm Recreation, Enderby Recreation and Sicamous Recreation for a Family Day Weekend PLAY Challenge! Go to PLAY Shuswap on Facebook and submit a photo taken during Feb 18th-21st 2022 showing your household being active outdoors. See attached poster for fun ways to move outside with your family. There are great prizes to be won!

Thank you to the Province of B.C. for supporting this and other Family Day event.

Online registration for Kindergarten

Want to register your child for Kindergarten but want to do it online? Starting Tuesday, Oct. 19th you can!

Beginning Tuesday, October 19 an online registration option will be available for parents registering their child for Kindergarten in September 2022.

In-person registration for Kindergarten opened last week. This includes registration for the two district programs, French Immersion (housed at Bastion Elementary) and Outdoor Learning (housed at South Canoe School). The ability to register online has now been added!

Parents wishing to access this online tool should call their catchment area school, which will give you a link and information about registering. This will include a phone number for a Help Desk in case you run into any difficulties.

Not sure which catchment area you are in? Click here

New to SD83 and looking for more information? Click here

SD83 plans on expanding this online service to include all grades in January 2022.

Ministry seeks feedback on draft reporting policy

The Ministry of Education is seeking feedback from parents/guardians on its draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy.

Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff comments SD83 is pleased to share the draft K-12 Reporting Policy, recently released by the Ministry of Education. “This follows four years of work across the province, where schools have worked to align teaching and assessment practices with our renewed curriculum.”

“The SD83 Parent Guide to Communicating Student Learning will help you understand the rationale behind some of the changes, and to clarify what information will be shared during each reporting period.”

Please read through both the Parent Guide and the Draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy, then share your feedback with the Ministry by November 5, 2021.

The SD83 Parent Guide to Communicating Student Learning

Draft K-12 Student Reporting Policy

Background Rationale

Read more from the Ministry here: https://engage.gov.bc.ca/govtogetherbc/consultation/studentreporting/

Go directly to providing feedback by clicking here: https://feedback.engage.gov.bc.ca/944758

FSA provides information

Director of Instruction Carol-Ann Leidloff clarifies to parents why SD83 supports use of FSA

From October 4 to November 12, 2021, our students in grade 4 and grade 7 will be participating in the Foundation Skills Assessment Test, also known as the “FSA”. This is a provincially mandated standardized test that uses broad metrics to determine whether students are meeting curricular expectations at grade level in literacy and numeracy.

Though it is a standardized test and subject to the same limitations as other standardized tests, we believe it provides important information on individual student learning. We use the FSA assessment results in conjunction with other forms of district and classroom assessments to provide a comprehensive picture as to how each student is doing, and to provide important feedback to school and district staff in regard to instruction. School District No. 83 has often used information from the FSA and Ministry Graduation Assessments in budget conversations to allocate additional staffing for the purpose of better supporting teachers with their instructional practice in our classrooms. 

The FSA assesses student learning up to and including the previous year’s grade.  Placing the assessment in early October allows our teachers to use each student’s results to inform their instruction over the balance of the school year and make sure student learning needs are being met. 

The time spent on the FSA testing cycle amounts to approximately six hours in grade four, and another six hours in grade seven, not including practice (with the secondary assessments adding just another six hours in total). This amounts to just over one-half of one per cent of their instructional time for that school year, with the two test cycles taking up just a tenth of a per cent of instructional time from kindergarten through grade twelve. We think that these assessments provide a tremendous amount of information given the time spent, and that it is an incredibly efficient way to collect that information. In fact, the need for this insight may be even greater, given the interruptions to learning that we have recently experienced. 

We do agree with the B.C. Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) perspective that the results have been misused by the Fraser Institute, and that it is both wrong and misleading to rank schools in this way. We do, however, believe the test is worthwhile is spite of this, and we would be in favour of using it even if it were not mandatory in our province’s schools. It should be noted that this light assessment regimen is a completely different experience than what student endure in some U.S. jurisdictions, who may issue general skill or even more curriculum-specific tests monthly instead of just a few times from Kindergarten through Grade Twelve as we do in British Columbia. 

If you remain unconvinced of the FSA’s importance and wish your grade four or grade seven student to be exempt from this month’s testing process, please ask your school principal for an FSA testing schedule, then keep your child at home during the testing times. While we are not permitted to excuse a student from the FSA because of a parent request, parents always have the right to keep their child at home, and this right will be respected during FSA testing, in the same way it would be in other circumstances. As a courtesy in this regard, please note that I have asked the principals not to have students make up the tests at a later time if they were kept at home by parents for the purpose of test exemption. Students participating in an online program may make arrangements to join an assessment session at their neighbourhood school in a separate setting, or at an alternate site.