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.
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.
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.
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.
All students in Grades 6-12 are being invited to take part in an optional survey to ensure a more safe, respectful, and equitable school-learning experience for all students.
“Your voice is important,” says District Principal Anne Tenning as she encourages all students to take part. She adds that much thought went into the survey and the district is hoping for a high participation rate from students as the information will be used to help set district goals, student improvement plans, and in-service, particularly for the Ministry’s Indigenous Education day. The survey was developed by the SD83 Equity Committee, which includes representatives from the local Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE), North Okanagan Shuswap Teachers’ Association (NOSTA), SD83 Principals and Vice-Principals (PVP) and SD83’s senior leadership team (SLT).
All participant identities will be kept anonymous.
The survey will take about 10 to 20 minutes, depending on answers to a few of the open ended questions. Students are also invited to enter a separate contest at the end of the survey and have a chance to win some great prizes, including seven Samsung Galaxy Tablets. This survey closes on May 28, 2021 and the prize draw will take place on May 31, 2021.
Tenning explains the district received a small grant from the Ministry, and chose to use the funds for prizes for the students.