South Okanagan  

Learning forum held in Osoyoos

Around 60 people attended a learning forum held at Osoyoos Elementary School, Wednesday night.

"I am happy to report that quite a few parents came out and that the plan was met with great excitement by parents, teachers, administrators and staff," said Marieze Tarr, chair of the  board for School District 53.

Rod Allen, Superintendent of Learning, Ministry of Education, in Victoria was the guest speaker. 

He outlined why a new BC Education Plan is needed. 

"In an everchanging world where new jobs are created daily and technology has changed the way we communicate and connect with each other, we cannot continue to have the same system," he said. 

The new plan is based on one principle which is that every learner will realize their full potential and will contribute to the well being of the province. 

It will be more flexible, dynamic and adaptable to better prepare students for the world they live in today. It was developed by teachers, administrators, ministry staff and will be a lot more flexible in how students learn.

Students will play a larger role in their education and the plan will focus on student-centered learning.

"It is my hope that students will go to their teachers in the beginning of the school year and will tell their teachers how they learn best and that we will be able to meet their learning needs in the classroom" he said.. 

Teachers will work collaboratively with students and there will be an increase in the use of technology as a tool for students. 

"I would like to reitterate that we will continue to focus and stay solid on the basics: Reading, Writing and Numeracy as we all believe that these are the pillars of every successful student," he said.

Another focus of the BC Education Plan is teaching students critical thinking and to work collaboratively with other students.

The curricullum will be more flexible and broad, based on learning outcomes rather on very prescriptive content.

Teachers from Osoyoos Secondary presented on how they are integrating the plan into their teaching. 

Mr. Bax (senior science teacher, OSS) explained how Physics 11 students will be building a solar shower in the classroom and that this will make the course far more interesting as they can actually see how physics is applied. 

The shower is being built with a lot of community support and with a grant secured by OSS PAC.  Mr. Schulting  talked about assessment for learning which is used to ensure the success of all learners even learners who take longer to grasp difficult concepts in the classroom.

Mr Rowland and Mr Miller from Osoyoos Elementary gave presentations on the 21st century learning in their classrooms (grade 5 and 6/7). 

"All in all it was a very interesting evening which highlighted many of the great learning opportunities that students in our district have.  We are priveledged to have so many passionate teachers and administrators who go above and beyond for our students in our district," said Tarr.

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