Framework for Enhancing Student Learning (FESL)
The Framework for Enhancing Student Learning is made up of the following key components:
Nechako Lakes is situated on the traditional territories of fourteen First Nation communities encompassing the Dakelh, Nedut’en and Wet’suwet’en peoples. The school district encompasses five municipalities, the Districts of Fort St James and Vanderhoof and the Villages of Fraser Lake, Burns Lake and Granisle. Our region has been traditionally reliant on forestry, mining, agriculture and an emerging tourism sector. This large geographic region has a population of just under 40 000 people and in the 2020 – 21 school year we served 2900 students in our community schools, with just over 40% of them being Indigenous. Each of our communities has experienced declining enrolment for several years and we are now predicting stabilization and modest growth across the region. We operate a total of 18 schools in our communities, 9 elementary schools, including a dual track school in Vanderhoof, 3 elementary – secondary schools, 3 secondary schools and 3 alternate schools.
In addition to these 18 community schools, we also operate EBUS Academy, a non-standard, online learning school that enrols in excess of several thousand full and part time students. EBUS is one of the largest online schools in British Columbia serving families and students across the province.
Our annual operating budget for the 2020 -21 school year was just over $ 60 million.
We currently have 5 year Local Education Agreements with 8 of the 14 Indigenous communities we serve with our goal being to complete LEAs for all communities. Some of our smaller nations are being supported by other members of the SD 91 Aboriginal Education Council and First Nations Education Steering Committee (FNESC) in getting to a completed LEA which we hope will happen in the coming year. Our school district has been involved in the Ministry of Education's Equity Scan which has contributed significantly to our strategic goals and objectives, click HERE.
Our Early Development Index (EDI) trends over the last several years indicate that between 37 – 39% of our incoming kindergarten students are ‘vulnerable’ on one or more scales of the EDI. Complete EDI data for our district can be accessed HERE. Figure 1 shows the results of Nechako Lakes Wave 7 EDI data in comparison to the provincial context.
The graphic below provides a September 2020 student profile of the numbers of students served by our regular schools and EBUS. Throughout this document, data for children in care has been masked due to the small number of students in this cohort. Regardless, our data continues to indicate that performance and outcomes for these students are concerning and require our attention.
• Honour Diversity
• Engage our Workforce
• Create Student Success
• Enhance Connections
These goals are accompanied by a variety of objectives and activities that are guiding our work for the next several years. Monthly reporting to the Board is centred around these four strategic goals and these reports are widely shared with our stakeholders including municipalities, Indigenous communities, and parents.
Our current strategic plan is an evolution from our district’s first strategic plan that took us from 2018 to 2020. The evolution of our plan was done in conjunction with representatives from all of our stakeholders and was facilitated by Dr. Dustin Louie, both a graduate of our school district and a well-recognized Indigenous scholar teaching in the Werklund School of Education at the University of Calgary. Our trustees spent much of 2019-2020 presenting the plan to external groups and all of our employees and then used feedback from those presentations to edit the final copy of the plan.
The Strategic Plan has been broadly shared and collaborated on with our employees and partners, including the Aboriginal Education Council representing the Indigenous communities we serve.
The School District utilizes a variety of school, district and Ministry assessment information to inform our focus on continuous improvement annually. Schools are expected to utilize their student data to create annual school plans that align with the district’s strategic focus and these plans are published and communicated to our communities annually. We are committed to and improving our internal process to directly align our financial resources with our strategic goals.