Outstanding School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) Board of Education Accomplishments of 2020
Creating a five-year strategic plan in the midst of a global pandemic is challenging at best but the entire Board of Education was united in their desire to move forward and create Directions 2025. Unwavering focus and dedication to setting goals and objectives for the district was paramount, even in a time of crisis. Through an extensive consultation with Board employees, stakeholders and the community, the Board developed its strategic vision to prepare students for success in the 21st century. The strong foundation and successes of Directions 2020 provided the backdrop for this refresh.
It was imperative that the 2020-2021 Budget was prepared by the Finance Department and passed by the Board of Education within the normal time frame, and despite the ongoing pandemic, in order to maintain financial stability for the district. Financial pressures surfaced as costs of PPE and facility modifications, procurement and supply chain logistics and staffing challenges converged suddenly and rapidly. SD43 began the 2020-2021 school year on a stable fiscal footing and, through careful guidance and decision-making from district leadership, that position has been maintained. Health and Safety measures were facilitated and supported financially and staffing levels were maintained.
SD43 Education Foundation
The establishment of the SD43 Education Foundation has further secured the school district's financial situation. The SD43 Education Foundation was created to advance the educational initiatives of the Board of Education by providing grants and support to students through the Board of Education. These grants will provide funding support for extra-curricular activities, programs, projects and scholarships that will directly benefit the students of SD43.
Capital Projects and Investments
Capital investment and capital projects have continued and have remained on pace, out of necessity to move forward as a district in the serving of student needs. Minnekhada Middle school has opened, additions are underway or complete at Dr. Charles Best Secondary, Panorama Heights Elementary and Westwood Elementary while a seismic replacement is on track for Irvine Elementary. Construction of the new Sheffield Elementary in the Burke Mountain neighbourhood has proceeded at a brisk pace while advocacy for a new middle and secondary school in the region continues. The Education Learning Centre broke ground and is well underway.
It is impossible to review 2020 without explicitly referring to the COVID-19 global pandemic and its influence on all aspects of our lives. Strong teamwork is required to effectively guide an organization through a crisis response. The Board of Education committed to meet weekly to provide support to district staff in maneuvering the demands of the pandemic response. Seventy-six meetings of the Board we held in 2020, including public and in camera meetings, in-service and committee meetings. The importance of the ability of the Board to be able to meet and make governance decisions quickly and decisively has had a tremendous impact on the success of actions taken to meet students' needs during the pandemic. Providing families with food security, pivoting to remote learning, and the implementation of health and safety protocols to allow students to return to in-class instruction is only a small sampling of decisions and considerations the Board has had to undertake in a timely fashion to ensure the health and safety of all students in our care.
The pandemic accelerated the use of technology as a tool to deliver educational learning to our students. The Board's foresight and vision in its ongoing support of technology funding and classroom utilization; including the making available of computers, iPads, as well as other e-learning resources, for students who could not otherwise participate, positioned the School District to accelerate educational program delivery. This seamless and timely transition helped to maintain and sustain educational learning.
As uncertainty defined 2020, School District No. 43 (Coquitlam) has been able to pivot, adapt, and thrive despite the challenges of a global pandemic. Coming from a position of strength, built upon years of solid leadership, has allowed the district to accomplish goals set out pre-pandemic and to rise to the challenges brought on by the COVID-19 health crisis.
2020 01 19 Board Accomplishments.pdf