Erin Perkins
By Erin Perkins
January 16th, 2012

Final exams will go ahead as planned in School District 51, despite job action.   Grade 8 to 11 Boundary students will be completing their semester exams — both provinicial and course exams — between Thursday, Jan. 19 and Wednesday, Jan. 25.   While administrators, who are excluded from the job action, will be supervising the examination day, teachers will continue to be involved in the marking process.   The teachers will continue to collect marks and record progress but will not be posting the marks as part of the job action, said education board chair Teresa Rezansoff.   “Parents can contact their child’s teacher if they want to know how their child is doing,” she said.   The Foundation Skills Assessment (FSA) — an exam given to Grade 4 and Grade 7 students across the province used to guage student success, bridge gaps and the Fraser Institute uses the same information to rate schools — is also set to be given out this month. Teachers will continue to administer this exam and the results will be marked locally, said Rezansoff.   Along with some business, the School District 51 Board of Education, meeting for the first time in the new year on Tuesday, Jan. 10 at the Boundary Learning Centre in Midway, were also entertained by a presentation from Boundary Central Secondary School Spirit Club students.   School District to join chamber   The SD 51 education board voted to apply for a membership to the Boundary Regional Chamber of Commerce to enhance their own online presence.   The former School District 12 (Grand Forks) was a member of the Grand Forks Chamber of Commerce before the amalgamtion in 1996.   Board chair Teresa Rezansoff said the chamber has done a great job branding and marketing themselves and feels the membership would only strengthen the district’s ties to the community.   “It will heighten our own (online) presence,” said Rezansoff, adding the chamber would be a good place to have a link to the district’s website.   The annual membership costs $50. Rezansoff and the board feel the chamber’s mission — ” To build a strong business network that promotes Boundary Country, encourages business and community development, and enriches our vibrant, healthy region in a sustainable way” — fits well with their own missions to create a vibrant and healthy school district.    Budget consultation may be online this year   School District 51 is looking into using social media to get input on how to allocate the nearly $16 million it spends annually to educate 1,400 students across the Boundary region.   For the past three years SD51 has sent out a letter asking for budget input and posted on the district website www.sd51.bc.ca (LINK) to staff, parent advisory councils (PAC), student leadership, prinicipals and unions.   The letters have not been very effective, said Jeanette Hanlon, district secretary treasurer.   So the board is looking into having an online survey instead.   “We’re looking at social media and how to consult using social media,” said Hanlon.   Some of the questions posed in past year’s questionnaires include areas the stakeholders are happy with, which services and programs they want to have continued and which are deemed unnecessary.   The budget process starts now with the final part of the process ending in March.    Exploring cooking   The school district is exploring a culinary partnership with Selkirk College, Grand Forks Secondary School and Community Futures for September 2012.   They’d like to hold cooking classes in the first semester of the new school year for highschool students. 

SD 51 would also like to work with Selkirk College to offer adult education courses in the West Boundary. 

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