By Cam Fortems, Kamloops This Week
The superintendent of the Kamloops-Thompson school district is recommending changes to the only online course required of every student for graduation.
Terry Sullivan said following Monday’s (July 7) school board meeting that Planning 10 requires an overhaul, noting distance learning is one of the few areas in the district’s achievement report where it is not meeting its own goals.
“We’ve given that [report] to the board,” Sullivan said of potential changes to the course, adding the teachers’ union has not seen it due to the strike.
The report is not yet public because it involves potential changes to staffing.
Completion rate of Planning 10 is 98 per cent, but Sullivan said the curriculum requires an overhaul and students need more support in school.
“Planning 10 needs to have more involvement in schools . . . There needs to be staff in schools to support [students].”
Sullivan predicts eventually as much of 50 per cent of secondary school courses will be completed online.
A final meeting
Monday evening marked the final school board meeting for Sullivan, who is retiring amid his fifth labour dispute in 15 years.
He told school district trustees that even if a settlement is achieved in the next few days — an unlikely scenario because the B.C. Teachers’ Federation and province are widely acknowledged to be miles apart on working and student learning conditions — the district will be behind in September because planning was not done in the last six weeks of the year.
Sullivan said he believes a change in the relationship must come from the BCTF because teacher unions in other provinces have surpassed working conditions in B.C. without the embattled labour conflicts.
He noted that poor relationship doesn’t exist with other unions in B.C. and has continued through Social Credit, NDP and Liberal governments.
“There needs to be a change and the teachers’ federation needs to be part of that,” he said.
Sullivan began his education career as a teacher 40 years ago and has a number of family members who continue in the profession, including one of his daughters.
His last day is July 31.
Sullivan, who has a granddaughter in Kamloops who will enter school in a few years, intends to retire in the city.