The Programs of Choice Review

In September of 2022, District staff and the Board of Education started to discuss the need to embark on a review of some of our District’s Programs of Choice opportunities: French Immersion (early, late and secondary immersion), Montessori and the Home Learners Program.

The educational review of the programs will allow us to gain insight into the strengths, gaps and future opportunities, as we look to best serve the current and future needs of this growing and evolving community. The review process will be focused on improving practice, guided by research, informed by stakeholder engagement and aligned with our District’s strategic plan.

 

November 2024 update:

The final Programs of Choice Review report is now available for download.

 

What the review will cover

Our community is growing and changing. We need to ensure that the offerings we’re providing this community are keeping up with the needs we all have.

We’re going to be looking for examples of what’s working well. We want to identify and address where there are challenges and obstacles being faced. And we’re looking for places where there’s opportunity for improvement.

This project will be lead by a working group of district leadership, educational experts, and an outside consultant who will provide the review direction, help evaluate data and will be tasked with providing the final recommendations at the end of the review.

In order to assess the Programs of Choice, we’ll be looking at a few areas of focus:

  • Alignment with BC curriculum
  • Alignment with district values and the overall Strategic Plan
  • Evaluating how well Programs of Choice are meeting student’s interests and needs
  • Assessment of current and future needs related to facilities utilization, geographic equity, staffing resources, training, etc.
  • An analysis of the district’s ability to support the diverse students’ needs and interests through existing and possible new programs
  • An overview of the various Programs of Choice offered in neighbouring school districts, as well as the various districts’ application processes for these programs.

The data we’ll be gathering will be both quantitative (as we review student outcomes, as one example), and qualitative in nature (engaging communities in surveys, focus groups and more).

 

The timeline

The Programs of Choice Review will be conducted from the Fall through Spring of the 2022-23 school year.

It’s important to note: given the below timelines, regardless of the results, there would be no significant changes made for the upcoming 2023-24 school year. Any possible recommendations that may be considered would likely for the 2024-25 school year or later. 

Here is the timeline we’re currently working to achieve:

  • November: Finalize timeline, scope, consultation plan.
  • November/December:
    • Project development (hire consultant, survey writing, preparations for engagement opportunities)
  • January:
    • School visits and admin meetings
    • Stakeholder group meetings
  • ܲ:
    • Data collection (enrollment trends, HR for recruitment and retention stats, student-based data, attrition rates, waitlists)
    • Interviews with staff from various departments and sites
    • Research on offerings and comparable processes in neighbouring districts
    • Meeting participation and process outlines (Education Committee on Feb. 7th, DPAC meeting on Feb. 16th)
  • March:
    • Continued stakeholder interviews
    • Targeted group and public surveys: targeted surveys will be sent to specific groups (e.g. staff who work with Programs of Choice, parents of children in Montessori, etc), the wider community survey will be sent to all families and available on the district site from March 1st to March 19th
  • April and May:
    • Survey data analysis
    • Targeted focus groups
  • June:
    • Report to Education Committee of the Board on work to date (June 6)
    • Final interviews or information gathering, as required
  • July and August:
    • Report writing
  • September/October:
    • Draft review, presentations and submission of final report