Coding curriculum, bus driver shortage, and transportation funding

Highlights from the recent school board meeting for SD 10.

Starting in 2018, all students from Grade 6-9 in School District 10 will be required to take 15 hours of training in computer coding.

The district has received grant funding to help get teachers ready for this new coding curriculum

Ric Bardati, president of the Arrow Lakes Teachers’ Association, and superintendant Terry Taylor have met to discuss how best to provide this support and learning.

Coding instruction is already taking place in a number of elementary schools in the district through learning about robotics using Arduino kits, school involvement with the Growing Learning Opportunities With Science (GLOWS) program and the Robo-Games, and also a new SET-BC Coding initiative in Grade 4 at Nakusp Elementary.

 

Casual Bus Driver Shortage

Despite hiring three new drivers over the past month, the district is struggling to fill bus shifts for field trips because of a lack of drivers.

Two of the new drivers have been unavailable for extended periods of time and the third has since resigned.

Professional drivers with Class 1 certification are being sought.

In the interim, Art Olson, manager of transportation and operations, and Michelle Grenier, executive assistant, are trying to creatively fill the many fall field trip requests.

 

Transportation Funding

The school board has recently recieved Ministry of Education funding to support student transportation.

Three initiatives will be supported by this funding: transportation assistance for kindergarten children attending part days as they transition to kindergarten, district van use for curricular and extra-curricular field studies, and enhancement of curricular field studies trips.

Some examples of recent curricular field studies trips include the Nakusp Secondary School Environmental Studies trips to Cody Caves for geology and Nakusp Hot Springs for water studies; the Burton Academy Outdoor Education and Entrepreneurship students Ground Search and Rescue helicopter training and overnight camping Swift Water Rescue training; all Lucerne Secondary students rock climbing field studies at Skaha Bluffs near Penticton integrating mathematics, physics and Aboriginal learning; Nakusp Elementary School classes camping at Burton School as they study ethnobotany; Edgewood intermediate students studying forestry and silviculture in Arrow Park as they learn alongside NACFOR foresters; and Arrow Lakes direct learning students learning team-building skills and physics as they rock-climbed at Slocan Bluffs.