Check out our Aboriginal Job Board!
New round of consultations to implement recommended changes
Residents of Northland School Division should prepare themselves for another round of consultations regarding their children’s education.
“There’s a difference between gathering information and how you will implement it,” said NSD superintendent Donna Barrett.
Education minister David Hancock gave his nod for immediate action on one of 48 recommendations made by a three-member inquiry team he appointed early in 2010 when he dismissed NSD’s corporate board. At that time, Hancock also appointed Colin Kelly as official trustee.
Kelly will serve as co-chair of the multi-stakeholder implementation team.
The report outlined four dozen recommendations, but Barrett said NSD had already taken action on some of the points outlined.
A number of recommend-ations called for teachers to be more involved in their communities, ranging from hosting regular community supper gatherings to new teachers arriving in the community well prior to the start of the school year.
“Many of our teachers are (already) doing extracurricular activities. They are likely happening variably across the division. This is more emphasizing the importance of this to the extent of teachers building relationships with students and understanding and connecting to the communities,” said Barrett.
She noted that teachers already had responsibilities outside of instruction time and those involvements were by agreement.
“I won’t be mandating anything that’s outside of the contract,” said Barrett.
While Kelly will be working more extensively with the communities that comprise NSD, Barrett’s focus will fall on the administration and school staff.
“I’ll be meeting with school leaders and we’ll come to an understanding as to what does the report mean. We’ll look at what we’re already doing and do reflection on where we are with these recommendations, make sense of these on how we proceed at the school level and district level,” said Barrett.
No new dollars have been announced to go along with any of the recommendations. Barrett said she isn’t clear whether NSD’s budget will have to be re-allocated or if the government will supplement.
Some of the recommend-ations that could require new funding include the school division delivering Head Start programs where they aren’t already available in the community; offering more formal training for paraprofessionals; updating school libraries and facilities, as well as housing for teachers; and the creation of a cyber-high.
“As far as the instructional pieces are concerned, whether we get new money or not, we’re going to need to move forward on these things,” said Barrett, referring to the recommendation that NSD focus on English language and numeracy development.
The report does not recommend boundary changes, although it does suggest that Métis settlement schools be allowed to hold plebiscites to opt in or out of NSD control.
The inquiry team noted that “NSD has proven to be a rather change-resistant organization.”
Barrett is confident that the time is ripe for change.
“I want to see improvements. I think the community stakeholders and community members are very committed to wanting a positive outcome for students. The minister and department (of education) are committed to this as well,” she said.
- Community Access
- Contact Us
- Our History
- Archives Search
- In Depth
Share this with friends
- The #IdleNoMore Movement
- Relationship between Canada's Justice System and Aboriginal People
- 2013 Guide to Powwow Country Events Calendar
- Play Radio Bingo to win!
- CFWE-FM Alberta Radio Network
- Buffalo Spirit Foundation
- Western Association of Aboriginal Broadcasters (WAAB)
- July Windspeaker - June 24
- July Raven's Eye - June 24
- July Saskatchewan Sage - June 24
- July Alberta Sweetgrass - July 8
- Download 2013 AMMSA media kits for:
* Sage - Raven's Eye - Birchbark
- Online advertising on www.ammsa.com.
Subscribe & Donate
- Order a Windspeaker digital subscription
- Order a Windspeaker print subscription
- Support independent, Indigenous media in Canada by making a donation via paypal