Board trustees renew their strategic plan goals for the Chinook School Division

Written by Matthew Liebenberg

Board trustees renew their strategic plan goals for the Chinook School Division Education SouthWest Saskatchewan  Chinook School Division

A school division strategic plan for 2016-17 that will give direction to planning for the new school year was approved by Chinook School Division board members at a regular board meeting, March 14.

“I think any good strategic plan doesn’t take a 90-degree turn midstream, but the board did renew for the next two years what the strategic plan will be,” Director of Education Liam Choo-Foo said afterwards. “It has a couple of tweaks from the previous, but a lot of familiarity.”
The 2016-17 strategic plan places a focus on three key areas: The implementation of Saskatchewan Reads to achieve improvements within Balanced Literacy by June 2017, the implementation of high-impact writing instructional strategies by June 2018, and researching and implementing strategies and structures to engage the 21st century learner by June 2018.
“When you look at it probably the most significant tweak is to start to engage the 21st century learner,” he said. “So, we’re going to do some background work as to what some of the most successful practices have been, especially around engaging high school students.”
He noted there has been a strong focus on younger learners in the Chinook School Division.
“We really invested heavily in the elementary end so that those students got off on the right foot and the idea being they’d have a successful career,” he said. “Now we think it’s time to start look at our high schools.”
Part of that focus on high schools will be to look at ways to use technology as a means to improve the learning experience for students.
“Now with all of these technologies and all the independence that kids come with to the school, how can we take advantage of that,” he said. “How can we maximize their already high level of use of technology in a way that facilitates their learning?”
Choo-Foo referred to an example of this changed classroom approach, called a flipped classroom, with the teacher spending time to answer questions from homework.
“So the time with the teacher is actually homework time,” he said. “The learning of the concept is being done by the students. It’s being posted on a forum or a protected site and the students go to that on their own time and go through the course at their own speed and then the slotted class time is when they come in for help. We’re not talking about doing that in all of our classrooms everywhere all the time, but there are kids that maybe we can meet their individual needs a little bit better than what we are. So that’s what we’re going to look at.”
The Chinook School Division’s strategic plan is aligned with the provincial education sector plan. The long-term outcomes for the school division’s strategic plan are:
• That 90 per cent of students will meet or exceed Chinook expectations in reading, writing and math by June 2020.
• That 100 per cent of school community councils will be actively engaged and aligned with the Education Sector Strategic Plan (ESSP) by 2017.
• The Chinook School Division’s graduation rate will be 90 per cent by 2020.
• That 90 per cent of Chinook students exiting kindergarten by 2020 will score within the  appropriate range in the cognitive, language and communication domains as measured by the Early Years Evaluation (EYE).
• The board will implement strategies by June 2017 to ensure efficiency of budget, compliance to policy and legislation, and alignment to the ESSP.

via SW Sask News – Prairie Post – Prairie Post

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