This Saturday we elect our two Lower Similkameen District #53 School Board members.
There are momentous challenges in the B.C. public school system. We need to kept informed of the effects at the local level through our local school trustees.
Right now the teachers, through their B.C. Teachers’ Federation, and our schools, through their single provincewide B.C. Public School Employers Association, are struggling to get an agreement about how education will be provided in our province.
Both the teachers and the their employer are constrained at every turn by the ‘power of the purse’ and current legislation from the provincial government in Victoria.
Here are the chores that our two Lower Similkameen school trustees routinely attend to: leading the district achievement planning process; leading the district literacy planning process; living up to the terms of the Aboriginal Enhancement Agreement; setting the capital plan and operating budget; participating in regular monthly or bi-monthly board meetings; participating in standing committee meetings; participating in ad hoc committee meetings; participating in community-based meetings; engaging in board self-review; hearing parent and student appeals; engaging in senior manager and principal selections; attending school and district events; attending ceremonial events; and participating in B.C. School Trustees Association events.
There is one more chore that has to be at least as important as any of these others.
Whomever we elect on Nov. 19, it is important that they attend to the vital function of keeping parents and ratepayers informed of goings on within the district.
The school trustee’s role in keeping all of us informed through regular public meetings, newspaper pieces and public circulars will be vital to the continuing high quality of education afforded to all age groups in our community.