April 3rd, 2018
Dear Parents and Guardians:
Now that we are into the home stretch of the school year, we wanted to reach out to families in the Vancouver School District to provide an update on some of the events, opportunities and activities that trustees, and district staff have been involved in.
The Board of Trustees, supported by staff, continues to align their work with the VSB’s Strategic Plan 2021, with the vision to ‘inspire student success by providing an innovative, caring and responsive learning environment’. For those of you wanting to look more closely at the Plan, and to see the five guiding principles and four goal areas, it can be found by clicking on or visiting this link: https://www.vsb.bc.ca/vsb2021.
Collaboration, our first guiding principle, has led trustees and district staff to work on creating, maintaining and valuing strong relationships and ensuring there is transparent and open communication. One example is our dinner meeting with representatives from the VSB stakeholder groups (students, parents, union representatives, administrators, teachers and support staff) that enabled trustees and senior staff to hear both what is working well in our district and where improvements can be made.
We continue to value the voice of our VSB students. Whether it is celebrating successes, hearing about our students’ passionate endeavors, visiting their performances, games and fairs, or listening to them talk about what matters most; we feel we have a great deal to appreciate and celebrate!
As much as we have been listening to those within our district, we have also actively engaged with external partners. We have been working closely with the City of Vancouver, have met with our local MLAs and engaged with the Minister of Education, Rob Fleming. Trustees and staff have also taken the time to recognize and value many of individuals, groups and organizations in our community that provide additional support to our students. We would like to take this opportunity to thank our community members as together we will make positive differences in the lives of the students we serve.
In working with our VSB stakeholders we understand the frustration of students, parents and employees brought about by the difficulty in recruiting sufficient teachers, teachers on call and support staff. We continue to work collaboratively with our employee groups to resolve this situation and are currently examining the recently released Minister's Task Force Report on the Immediate Recruitment and Retention Challenges and the Federal Budget support for the Action Plan for Official Languages, with a targeted component to address the critical shortage for French teachers across Canada.
We hope you had a wonderful spring break and wish all of students the very best for the remainder of the year.
Janet Fraser Suzanne Hoffman Board Chairperson Superintendent of Schools School District #39 (Vancouver) School District #39 (Vancouver)