School district 79 superintendent Robyn Grey, district student advisory committee member Eilís Young, and board chair Candace Spilsbury were all on hand Wednesday morning to announce the SD79 2020-2024 strategic plan. (Sarah Simpson/Citizen)

Beyond Education: Cowichan Valley School District focuses on future with new strategic plan

The Cowichan Valley School District unveiled its 2020-2024 strategic plan Wednesday morning, a plan aimed to see well-informed, collaborative, creative critical-thinking and compassionate students into the future.

“It’s a very exciting time for us,” SD79 board chair Candace Spilsbury said. “This took a long time, for the board, particularly for our senior staff, to be working through a process that has gotten us this document which we call our vision is Beyond Education.”

Spilsbury explained that it’s a departure from the more conventional approaches of the past but that’s quite simply because it’s all about the future.

“If you think about education we think about the traditional school and all our memories around only that school and the traditional kinds of reading, writing, and arithmetic that we always thought was school and what was needed as total education but ‘Beyond Education’ is really what it’s all about. It’s about the future and that’s the piece that we tried to capture,” Spilsbury said.

The plan was a collaborative effort bringing together stakeholders from all corners and disciplines. Members of the community, students, staff, and parents at each SD79 school were also asked to be involved in the development of the plan.

What’s different, is quite often that feedback is overlooked or even ignored. Not this time.

SEE RELATED: Cowichan School District’s ‘Hello Dolly’ offers space for cultural questions

“Sometimes you go out to a community and you consult but you don’t change anything,” Spilsbury noted. “In this document we changed. We have been very conscious of identifying the students, the student voice and expressing it in a way that hopefully people will understand and it’s expressed that the students will be creating their future, they’ll be creating their world.”

Admittedly, she said in the past teachers liked to think they knew what students needed. That’s not true anymore.

“Our society is changing so quickly that it’s a whole different skill-set and knowledge base that they need and also they need the chance to tell us where they want to go and what their future looks like.”

RELATED STORY: Cowichan school board’s Spilsbury voted in as chair again

School District 79 superintendent Robyn Grey said the district heard the community values equity, relationships, the environment, harmony and inclusiveness and that the way to honour those values is through, broadly, learning: ensuring a voice and choice for all learners; Indigenous ways of knowing: embracing Indigenous perspectives and knowledge as part of our history; a culture of care: recognizing the importance of relationships; and a future-focused system: creating a nimble and dynamic environment that embraces change and fosters innovation.

“We know that the skills that our kids need related to their future are something that maybe is different than it was maybe 10, 20 maybe 30 years ago,” Grey said.

Notably, despite all four walls in the SD79 conference room being covered with primary sources from the months and months of research and consultation, there’s not one statistic in the 2020-2024 strategic plan.

“You’re not going to see numbers and percentages on how kids are doing but rather you’re going to see our values, what we believe in, what we’re going to be focusing on,” Grey said. “Now the hard work would really begin and we as the operations team will have to put our eyes on it and now we actually put the strategies and the tactics and the timelines and we have to resource it in order to now meet the goals that are our priorities in the next four years.”



sarah.simpson@cowichanvalleycitizen.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Schools

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

‘Marvelous Wonderettes’ sets high bar for Chemainus Theatre season

The script is perfect for Chemainus’s small stage

Thieves steal 6-foot gas pump from Duncan yard

Theft took place overnight on Feb. 6 or into the early morning hours of Feb. 7.

Cowichan school briefs: Koala fundraiser, gravity cars, trades grants, and academic award

There’s been a lot of activity within the Cowichan Valley School District schools

Cowichan Typhoons top Fernandes tourney

Cowichan’s own Typhoons finished atop the standings at the annual Malcolm Fernandes… Continue reading

New Cairnsmore roundabout to be constructed this year

Roundabout will be the City of Duncan’s first

Pipeline dispute: Tories put no-confidence motion on House of Commons agenda

Conservatives say they have no confidence in the Trudeau government to end the rail blockades

Original Victoria Clipper vessel sails one last time

Vessel sold to buyers in Gabon, Central Africa

B.C.’s soda drink tax will help kids lose weight, improve health, says doctor

Dr. Tom Warshawski says studies show sugary drinks contribute to obesity

A&W employees in Ladysmith get all-inclusive vacation for 10 years of service

Kelly Frenchy, Katherine Aleck, and Muriel Jack are headed on all-expenses-paid vacations

B.C. mom’s complaint about ‘R word’ in children’s ministry email sparks review

In 2020, the ‘R’ word shouldn’t be used, Sue Robins says

Two new hybrid BC Ferries ships christened with new names in Victoria ceremony

Island Aurora and Island Discovery will service Gulf Island and North Island routes

B.C., federal ministers plead for meeting Wet’suwet’en dissidents

Scott Fraser, Carolyn Bennett says they can be in Smithers Thursday

Province shows no interest in proposed highway between Alberta and B.C.

Province says it will instead focus on expanding the Kicking Horse Canyon to four lanes

Victoria police ask victims of human trafficking to come forward after Saskatchewan arrests

Four people from Vancouver Island were arrested in Saskatchewan on Jan. 28

Most Read