Board to research music education program

  • Jul. 4, 2007 1:00 p.m.

School district administration will be researching possible ways to bring music education into islands classrooms, after being requested to do so by trustees at the June 26 school board meeting. Port trustee Lisa Gyorgy said she had heard from members of the public that they would like to see a district-wide music program. Secretary-treasurer Ken Campbell said he had heard the same thing from citizens, teachers and principals. “I think we need to look at a new and innovative way to deal with this,” he said. Superintendent Mike Woods said some programs have been delivered in the past with Gwaii Trust and Community Links funding, and these were possibilities. District staff have also been talking about having some sort of music festival next year, similar to the district art fair and science fair. “We are definitely interested,” Mr. Woods said. “Ken and I could go out and talk to everyone about the possibilities.” The discussions will start in the September. In other school district news: . Board chair Wayne Wilson said trustees had a brief visit with Education Minister Shirley Bond on June 13. Ms Bond visited G.M. Dawson, Tahayghen, Port and Sk’aadgaa Naay schools, and also attended part of a Haida Education Council meeting. “It was a really whirlwind jam-it-all-in meeting,” Mr. Wilson said, adding that he took the opportunity to thank Ms Bond for her attention to the new municipal/school building for Port Clements, and told her that he would like to one day see a university established on Haida Gwaii. . The board gave final reading to the budget for the 2007-2008 year, which hasn’t changed since it was presented to the public earlier this year. The $10.2-million budget is slightly higher than this year’s $9.7-million budget, even though the district is expecting 743 students to enroll in September, 11 less students than this year. . Mr. Wilson presented an award to Masset trustee Sharon Matthews on behalf of the BC School Trustees Association in recognition of her six years as a trustee. . Ms Gyorgy said she had received a letter from a Port Clements parent who would like to see first aid training offered in schools. The parent said that in her opinion, teaching children first aid skills is even more important than traditional subjects like math. In response, Ms Gyorgy had done some research and discovered a Red Cross program which could be offered to kindergarten through to grade 12 students. She said Port will try to deliver the program through its Parent Advisory Committee, and that she will give the board an update on how it goes. . Mr. Campbell reported that reducing the number of trustees to five from seven has not resulted in any financial savings. He looked into the issue after a member of the public asked a question about it two months ago, and told trustees that the district is now spending less on trustee honoraria but more on trustee travel. “The actuality is, there hasn’t been a savings in terms of money,” Mr. Campbell said. However, he added, the decision to change the number of trustees was not made to save money. It was made to ensure more equitable representation between the Haida and non-Haida population.