SD 73 trustees, teachers not aligned on report-card debate

District has to follow the legal requirements to issue report cards three times in a school year

By Dale Bass

Kamloops This Week

The Kamloops-Thompson school board won’t be joining district teachers in asking for some changes to report cards being produced and sent home.

In a letter to trustees, supt. Karl deBruijn said the district has to follow the legal requirements to issue report cards three times in a school year.

The request came from the Kamloops-Thompson Teachers’ Association two weeks ago when its president, David Komljenovic, gave a presentation on the problems teachers are having with a new reporting system brought in by the provincial government.

The government bought a software program from Fujitsu, a Japanese company that works in the information and communication-technology sectors. Fujitsu had been hosting the previous BCeSIS system through a contract with the province’s Ministry of Education but, in 2011, the ministry announced it would be discontinuing that software program.

Then-minister George Abbott said the system was good, but noted the technology was outdated.

Komljenovic said the 75 per cent of teachers surveyed have concerns about the new My Education B.C. program, calling it difficult to use, cumbersome, slow and time-consuming.

They also believe they need more training, Komljenovic told trustees, as almost 80 per cent of teachers trained to give instruction on the program said they are not confident they have had enough training.

DeBruijn appended a memo from assistant supt. John Churchley that noted there had been challenges with the new program. Churchley said training has been increased and schools can ask for more time for lead teachers to provide training during the school day. Training also continues at the Henry Grube Education Centre on a drop-in basis.

Example report cards have been produced for kindergarten, primary and intermediate grades and are available online to help guide teachers in preparing their own class reports.

The deadline has also been pushed back for report cards. They are normally distributed at the end of November, but teachers have until the Christmas break to complete them.

The letter was on the agenda for Monday’s trustees meeting.

• Trustees will also receive a letter from deBruijn on changes to the school calendar.

The minimum number of instructional hours has been reduced by 10 for this school year and by five for the two following school years.

The changes are meant to give teachers more time to take part in discussions and activities related to the new curriculum being rolled out.

After consulting with the KTTA, Friday, Jan. 22 and Monday, April 4, have been designated non-instructional professional-development days.

 

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