As an entity of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, the Board must provide a three-year strategic plan to the Minister of Education which sets the goals of the organization. You can read that plan here.
The creation of this three-year plan, the first for the Board, was an engaging and important process that allowed the Board of Trustees to set goals and to engage with school communities. But, what does this plan mean for students, educators, administrators, school communities, moms and dads and grandparents? Keep reading below for a plain-language summary of what is in the plan. We do also encourage you to read the plan and get the full scope; after all, you helped us develop it.
Our strategic plan includes information about who we are and how we operate. There are details about how our student population breaks down by region, as well as how our more than 8,000 employees are working hard for us each day.
The plan talks about the Board's Values, Vision and Mission. Essentially, the Board and its employees are made up of people just like you. They are parents/guardians, aunts and uncles, grandparents and friends who want our students to achieve academically, within inclusive and supportive environments. We all expect and want each and every one of our province's children to reach his or her potential in order to live a productive, happy and healthy life.
Lofty plans. The real question is: How do we get there?
Here is what the plan says: (Click on titles below to see details)
A Kindergarten to Grade 6 literacy plan is being developed and we will support schools in their efforts to enhance literacy. As part of this plan, the Board will set standards we want our students to achieve, provide new resources for primary and elementary grades, help our teachers work together to share ideas and success stories and provide access to technology for our students and educators. We will review school-based supports, after school tutoring and options of distance learning.
We will identify the core mathematic concepts which cause our students the most difficulty and provide supports for our teachers to help them address those challenges. We will develop online resources for junior high and high school students and support innovative ideas such as Flip Classrooms in high school math. Read more on the concept of flip classrooms here.
As part of the process to help us get there, the strategic plan outlines objectives and indicators (essentially a plan and proof of our work) that we must complete - it is our accountability to you. While have until 2017 to meet our goal of enhancing support for student success in literacy and numeracy, we have outlined the things we plan to accomplish in the current year. We have made commitments for the 2014-15 school year that begin our process of improving literacy and numeracy and start us on the road to achieving our overall goal by 2017. Again, you can read the full details in the strategic plan.
SAFE & CARING SCHOOLS
The Board will continue to build on positive mental health initiatives currently happening in our schools and explore additional ways to support those activities. We will also continue to ensure social justice plays a major role within our schools. For example, we believe that every student should benefit from, and have access to, the same core programs and resources. We also encourage healthy living through our Healthy Students-Healthy Schools priorities as after all, healthy bodies, minds and actions ensure student and school success.
By the end of the 2014-2015 school year, we expect to: provide resources to support digital citizenship and online safety education; expand school-wide PBS and bullying intervention; provide professional development to staff; review how best to approach mental health concerns and promote positive mental health with students; and, review our school buildings - the places where our students learn each and every day.
To help us get there, we will obtain and use software which allows us to plan for the future of our school systems, student transportation and our infrastructure. We must ensure that technology improves our day-to-day operations, along with enhancing the access parents/guardians have to information about their children. Our policies, IT infrastructure, facilities and our interaction with our school communities must grow.
In 2014-2015, we have committed to expanding our electronic student information system (PowerSchool), with our ultimate goal to have it in all schools by June 2017. We are buying and implementing new software which will allow us to better plan for student transportation and school population needs. We will also improve our technology so that we can better manage our human resource needs, such as recruiting and hiring. We want to improve our communication to our school communities and ensure that when our new policies are in place they are accessible to everyone.