Spring has come to Lillooet and a school Trustee’s thoughts turn to renovations and provincial legislation.
In March, School District #74 put out a Request for Bids for approximately $2 million worth of renovations to Lillooet Secondary School. While $2 million doesn’t go very far these days, it is good to see LSS will receive some needed improvements, and a small face-lift. The front entrance will be redesigned to make it more inviting. As well, while the building is not that old, the electrical infrastructure badly needs replacing to bring it up to current standards. Also, there will be some grounds work to include water capture and drainage at the south west corner of the playfield. And finally, the parking lot will be redesigned to better facilitate buses picking up/dropping off students, and some additional parking spaces will be added. The deadline for submission of bids was this week, and work is expected to be finished before the start of school in September, 2012.
In March, the District of Lillooet Council invited the school board to discuss how we can better work together to serve the community. We discussed the fact that the economies throughout the entire school district are struggling, and the results of a poor economy are affecting families and children, and making it difficult for many children to experience success in school.
We discussed how we can support the work of the numerous people delivering early childhood development programs in Lillooet and area. In order to support early childhood development, we need to support parents to support their children. This week I learned the Strong Start program in Lillooet has doubled the number of children enrolled in its weekly activities. I want to congratulate the local staff, Chritine Blakey and also congratulate the moms and dads who are bringing their children to Strong Start. It’s an investment in your children that will pay off for the rest of their lives. As we continue to meet with the local ECD staff we will hear how we can support them in their roles and I will report more in future months. In the meantime, if you have an idea, please contact me at 256-3287.
And finally, also in March the Minister of Education, George Abbott, brought in his new Improvement to Education Act as a way of confronting the teachers’ strike. Like most legislation that seeks to change how things are done, there are winners and losers. But whether you agree with the new legislation, or not, the fact is this government has passed it and it could change how education is delivered in BC.
For example, while the “maximum” class size limits will stay the same, class size is now recognized as a workload issue for teachers. Teachers can be assigned more students above the designated maximums (i.e. more work) and will be paid extra for this. This could allow more control in the District and the school for principals and teachers to determine the makeup of classes. Time will tell how it really works on the ground and whether it is good for the kids.
So, again, thank you to BRLN for supporting the space for this report. I look forward to hearing from you.