Not sure if back in 1972 Alice Cooper had any idea that a song he penned would see annual popularity for decades, but School’s Out for the summer here in New Westminster. It’s been a huge year for the New Westminster School District and Board of Education. The obvious feather in their cap is the announcement that the provincial government has, at long last, allocated funding and approved a plan for a new high school to be built before 2019. Colour me impressed. I, along with many others, have been critical of the delays, and even started researching ways to homeschool my child before the announcement. I still remain a bit reserved and will “believe it when I see it”, but I feel good about it and am breathing a sigh of relief.
The recent byelection (which had abysmally low voter turnout at just over 4% of the voting populace – this is a whole post unto itself) saw Mary Lalji elected into the position by only 60 votes. If you look carefully at the polling station numbers, it was really decided at Ecolé Glenbrook Middle School.
Something I heard more than once was that people didn’t really understand what trustees did, and didn’t really think it mattered to them who was in charge if they didn’t have children in the system. I’ve written about it before on Tenth but the TL; DR version is that trustees set policy, approve budgets and act as overseers to the way the district runs, and, by extension, the way the schools fit into our community. Big picture: they help churn out great kids despite budget shortfalls, which improves our community’s feel and value.
To help dispel the myths and get a summary of how the 2015/2016 school year went on a board level, I reached out to Jonina Campbell, Chair of the New Westminster Board of Education. Many thanks to Jonina for her time in putting all of this information together for me.
Note: this post is enormous, as there is so much to report, so I’ve indexed it here if you want to jump around in the post.
- New High School
- Policy Notes
- Broadening and Modernizing
- Fiscal Management
- New Curriculum
- Supporting Vulnerable Students
- Keeping Kids Engaged Over the Summer