Comox Valley will provide input into provincial graduation requirements

Comox Valley representatives will have a say in what provincial graduation requirements should look like in the future.

School District 71 superintendent Sherry Elwood told the Board of Education this week about an opportunity for the district to send 10 representatives to Campbell River to take part in the Northern Vancouver Island Regional Forum on graduation requirements.

This "will be a series of conversations that occur right across the province with a broad spectrum of folks — parents, students, community members, educators, business owners, community service providers," said Elwood.

According to the BC Education Plan website, six regional reports will come out of these forums across the province.

Elwood noted other areas, like Port Hardy and Powell River, will be at the North Island forum.

Five questions will be asked at the forums:

• What do you think are the core or essential things all students should know, understand and be able to do by the time they leave secondary school?

• Beyond the core, how could pathways for choice or exploration be provided?

• Research is underway with a focus on the following five cross-curricular competencies:

- Communication

- Critical thinking

- Creative thinking and innovation

- Personal responsibility and well-being

- Social responsibility

• How do you think students could demonstrate competencies?

• How could student learning be communicated to:

- Students

- Parents/guardians

- Post-secondary institutions/employers

• How would you design an awards program to recognize student success in a personalized learning environment?

According to the BC Education Plan website, information gathered at the forums will be boiled down and made into recommendations which will be submitted to the Ministry of Education in January. A draft report of the proposed new graduation requirements is expected by spring.

Elwood believes the ideas presented at the forums will be taken seriously.

"I expect that unlike some other occasions where one goes to these kind of big public forums and you don't know whether or not your feedback will be heard, or you see the report afterwards and you wonder whether that was already written when you gave your feedback," said Elwood. "My experience so far in these has been that there's change underway from every discussion that occurs so if people give their feedback they'll see it reflected in the changes that are coming."

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