Choo-Foo excited about draft education sector plan
The Chinook School Division’s Director of Education Liam Choo-Foo recently participated in a four-day strategic planning session for the education sector in the province.
The discussions, which took place from Oct. 7-10, involved the directors of all 28 school divisions in the province.
“From my perspective the event itself was historic in that it’s the first time that the Ministry of Education has ever sat down with all 28 school divisions to start to develop a plan for the sector that will have priorities and targets over the upcoming years,” Choo-Foo said.
He felt the provincial government’s Vision 2020 Saskatchewan Plan for Growth is a good starting point for the education sector.
Two key education goals in this plan is that the province will lead the country in Grade 12 graduation rates by 2020 and that the difference in graduation rates between aboriginal and non-aboriginal students in Saskatchewan will be reduced with 50 per cent by 2020.
“That’s always the challenge in education, that it’s such a broad portfolio,” he said. “We’ve tried over time to serve the needs of children in a variety of ways. I think by not necessarily having more of a narrow focus we haven’t been able to make some of the impacts we possibly could had we put our resources in more specific areas as a province.”
A draft education sector plans was developed during the planning session. Choo-Foo said the Vision 2020 targets will show up as key components of this plan.
Towards the end of the planning session, the draft plan was viewed by the Saskatchewan School Boards Association and board chairs.
“They looked at the framework and gave their input around it,” he said. “We will now be undertaking a process to take it out to various stakeholder groups to get feedback around that. That will then be incorporated into it and in February we will look at trying to get the plan finalized.”
A “Student First” approach is a key focus of the entire draft education sector plan, which is aimed at placing students at the centre of each priority.
“In terms of Chinook’s role in this, we’re fully engaged, we’re part of the process, and fortunately a lot of the initiatives that we’ve undertaken in Chinook are in a line with what makes up a big part of this plan,” Choo-Foo said.
He referred to the success Chinook has already achieved with its Balanced Literacy initiative since 2008 and the introduction of the Math Momentum initiative since 2011.
Both initiatives are key components in Chinook’s strategic plan for the period 2013 to 2017.
“It’s a great opportunity on a provincial scale to move everyone forward consistently and systematically,” he said about the draft education sector plan. “For too long we’ve not had clear leadership from our ministry around where we were going as a sector and as a result we became very fragmented across the province in how we deliver education. Now we have an opportunity to rectify that.”
via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post http://www.prairiepost.com/news/sw-sask/item/5061-choo-foo-excited-about-draft-education-sector-plan.html