For the New Westminster School Board it is finally time to dream big again.

New Westminster School Board 2018-19 Annual Budget Priorities

An exciting night at the New Westminster School board last night (Tuesday, March 6). At the Boards prompting, and I had suggested that our new Senior Admin team should dream big at a Education Committee meeting at McBride in January, and dream big they did. If the Board approves it in the 2018 – 2019 School District Budget we are taking $1.2 million out of our accumulated surplus to put into a variety of classroom  enhancements and supports. This includes an additional $290,000 for K – 12 resources, that is in addition to the $300,000 that we just put in last month (for a total of $590,000 for additional K – 12 resources), and this is all in addition to the regular amounts for Supplies in the 2018 – 2019 budgets. 

I have attached the 9 priorities as outlined by Senior Admin.

2018-19 Annual Budget Priorities – March 6 Operations Committee Meeting

The public consultation process for input into budget priorities with our Partner Groups took place during February with all feedback being compiled and shared with the Board. As part of this consultation process, the Board has requested the Senior Management Team to identify and present budget recommendations. In doing so, the following recommendations are situated using our Teaching and Learning in Diverse Classrooms A District Blueprint for Learner Success (March 2017). Additionally, the recommendations take into account our Accountability Report on student achievement as presented at the January 9, 2018 Education Policy and Planning Committee meeting.

1. Engagement and Personalized Learning

a. Priority 1: Ongoing focus on supporting educators with implementing re-designed curriculum with a targeted goal on literacy and numeracy.

i. Resources for K-12

  • Levelled Literacy Resources
  • Numeracy Resources
  • Aboriginal Education Resources
  • Google Read & Write ($10,000)
  • Discovery Education ($ 100,000)

The recommended budget will include $400,000 to provide the opportunity to support the acquisition of the above resources for our schools.

b. Priority 2: Create opportunities for professional collaboration.

i. School Innovation Grants (in addition to the current $80,000)

ii. Dinner Series

  • Focused on Numeracy, Literacy, Mental Health and Zones of Regulation initiatives.

iii. EA District Training

iv. Curriculum Implementation (Sept 2018) and District Wide Professional Days (Feb 2019)

  • These two days for educators will include keynote speakers and workshop presenters.

The recommended budget will include $80,000 to continue to support our educators towards increasing student achievement through inquiry and project-based learning.

c. Priority 3: Build Capacity.

i. Teacher Coaches (30)

  • Direct support to teachers at the school level in developing the skills and strategies to differentiate instruction and personalize learning designed to support student understanding of core competencies (skills) over knowledge acquisition (facts).

The recommended budget will include $300,000 (3.0 teaching FTE) to increase targeted supports for our teachers as they continue to transition to concept-based curriculum and instruction.

d. Priority 4: Create a sustainable teacher mentorship program.

i. Support new teachers, in collaboration with the NWTU, as they enter our school district with a mentor/protégé system as part of a full day of orientation.

The recommended budget will include $50,000 to pilot a new teacher mentorship program.

e. Priority 5: Implementation of effective physical learning environments.

i. Ongoing improvements with our physical spaces to meet the divers sand flexible needs of our students. ($100,000)

ii. Exterior Emergency Containers for schools. ($100,000)

The recommended budget will include $200,000 to acquire new classroom furniture for our schools.

2. Social Emotional Well-Being and Healthy Lifestyles

a. Priority 1 & 2: Nurture caring, compassionate and positive relationships and promote social emotional learning.

i. Resources for K-12

  • SOGI 123 – District 0.2 FTE

The recommended budget will include $25,000 to implement a 0.2 District SOGI lead teacher and provide additional school resources.

b. Priority 3: Nurture positive classroom and school communities.

i. Continue to improve transition planning and academic success for Aboriginal students.

  • Expand current Graduation Coach to include an additional Transition teacher/coach at elementary and middle schools. (to make 3 transition coaches)

The recommended budget will include $100,000 to implement an additional Transition teacher/coach.

c. Priority 4: Encourage student empowerment and self-advocacy.

i. Staffing Support for Representative Student Advisory Group.

The recommended budget will include $20,000 to implement a non-enrolling block to support student voice from our secondary school and alternate programs.

d. Priority 6: Promote healthy lifestyles.

i. Implementation of District wide school nourishment program.

In addition to the Community LINK funding to support a district wide school nourishment program, the recommended budget will include $50,000 to support the start-up costs for the successful implementation of the program.

Author: Michael Ewen

Husband, Parent, Grandparent, Dog Owner, Public School Teacher, Public School Trustee

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