Dale Bass – Kamloops This Week
Financial literacy and critical thinking and problem-solving are the top themes to emerge from School District 73’s engagement with its employees and the public to develop a new strategic plan.
Life and interpersonal skills came next, with character development landing in fifth place.
Among comments on financial literacy were the need for middle school-aged students to learn about financial planning, budgeting, credit and taxes.
“Teach real life math,” one respondent said. “All students need to know about wages, taxes, income tax, buying a car or house, consequences of debt, credit cards. It shouldn’t only be the students in trades classes that learn this important information.”
Real-life situations were also reflected in comments on critical thinking and problem solving.
“Teach students to solve problems, not just regurgitate facts,” one respondent said.
Another added: “Many youth I encounter have minimal skills in solving simple problems. They expect someone to just give them the answer. This also impacts working as a team or in collaboration with others. “
The strategic plan includes questions to be addressed in the future, ranging from overcrowding and class size to rural schools and maintaining district equity in educational options.
The report about the plan was presented to teachers and noted feedback that calls for more physical activity, longer lunch and recess periods, retention of the two-week spring break, improving parent-teacher communication and adding more field trips and experiential learning.
Feedback was received from 3,132 people, the majority (3,030) being parents or guardians. Seventy-four staff members, 17 community members and three students took part. Eight participants were categorized as other.