Although it hasn’t been an entirely normal year, Acting District 57 Superintendent Cindy Heitman said there is a lot to be proud of in 2021.
She stated that resilience by both students and staff has been exceptional as the pandemic continues.
The return of the classroom system has also been a blessing.
“Not having learning groups really relieved some of the pressure we used to see in our schools having to keep kids apart. We don’t have those learning groups, which allows us to schedule differently.”
Heitman believes students are miles ahead in terms of what they can do, compared to the beginning of the calendar year.
Our students have had to adapt to many changes. We had education groups, we had mask mandates, we didn’t have sports teams across schools and the world was really, really paused for our kids.”
“District 57 School is a unique place. The thing I like about this district is the commitment to this district, families and communities. It is a wonderful place to be and although there were some challenges for us, I have to say it was a successful year.”
Hetman also said MyPGNow.com The teachers have done an amazing job of calling up patients when they are not feeling well.
“It’s causing a challenge and some difficulties within the school, however, our HR department is actively recruiting and hiring in order to mitigate that and we’ve seen some loosening in terms of replacing our teachers.”
Simply put, 2021 is seen as the year of reconnection as the number of students enrolled in this academic year (2021-2022) rises.
“It has been an interesting journey for us but I think we have been really proud of it. We have also seen the presentation of our new strategic plan and the four actions taken by the Board of Education, which are really focused on transforming student experiences in our schools,” added Hetmann.
Everyone was pleased that the return of athletics was welcome.
“This year has seen many of our teams relocate to soccer, soccer, volleyball and cross-country running, and one of the highlights for us was the Duchess Park Big Boys volleyball team winning the district title.”
Additionally, with childhood vaccines now distributed throughout the county, there is strong hope that, even with the most transmissible Omicron variant, notifications of exposure will decrease at SD 57.
“We were expecting a normal start-up and the variables have made that a challenge for us. We have had to make adjustments again to our plans, but we continue to follow the advice of the Regional Health Office and the Department of Education, but I would expect to see exposure notifications drop once these students are vaccinated,” Hetman said. .
SD 57 has seen its fair share of turmoil over the course of 2021, due in large part to the resignations of trustees Trent Derek and Schweruze Valimhamed in September.
The decision to resign from Derek and Walmahamed came just over a month after the Education Department urged the Prince George School Board to act on the special advisors’ report, outlining concerns in the school district, including Aboriginal students’ educational outcomes, relationships with First Nations communities and the allocation of resources. and strategic planning.
“The report is the truth and we should always remember the truth of what happened in Indigenous Canada in our community and in our schools. The recommendations are a tool for us to continue this work for truth and reconciliation. I look forward to enhancing our knowledge and understanding of Canada’s true history,” Hetman added.
As a result, a by-election was called for January 15 with one place each in PG and Mackenzie.
Audrey McKinnon, Shannon Freeman, Milton Mahoney, Brian Trotter, and Andrew Burton all work locally.
Heitman sees that the level of concern for the place of the guardian shows the desire of the people to reach the door of education.
“I am really happy to see so many people interested in wanting to be part of our organization. To me, this is a signal that people want to be part of our system.”