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SAEE National Conference: Sharing Our Success Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements Valerie Adrian, Chair Board of Education SD 74, Gold Trail, BC
1999 Memorandum of Understanding We the undersigned, acknowledge that Aboriginal learners are not experiencing school success in British Columbia. We state our intention to work together within the mandates of our respective organizations to improve school success for Aboriginal learners in British Columbia.
The Undersigned • Chiefs Action Committee • Ministry of Education • Indian & Northern Affairs • BC School Trustees Association • BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association • First Nations Schools Association • BC College of Teachers • BC Teachers Federation
A Guide For Success • Aboriginal Education stakeholders and Ministry of Education staff (2002/2003). • Created - Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreements: A Guide For Success. • 37 of 60 School Boards now have an EA. • See: www. bced. gov. bc. ca/abed/agreements.
Enhancement Agreement • Working agreement and collaborative partnership between school district, all local Aboriginal communities, and Ministry of Education. • Designed to enhance the educational achievement of Aboriginal students. • Highlight the importance of academic performance and stress integral nature of Aboriginal traditional culture and languages.
EAs Require • Strong programs on the culture of local Aboriginal peoples; • Continuously improved quality of education achieved by all Aboriginal students; • Strong cooperative and collaborative relationships between Aboriginal communities and Boards; • Greater autonomy for Aboriginal communities and Boards to find solutions that work for Aboriginal students, schools and communities; and • High level of respect and trust.
EA Elements (1 of 3) 1. Aboriginal communities must be represented by a unified body whose authority to speak for Aboriginal communities is accepted by Aboriginal communities. 2. Shared decision making by Aboriginal communities and the Board must be an established practice. 3. Both Aboriginal communities and the Board must support participation in the EA. 4. Joint consultation and collaboration between Aboriginal communities and the Board to enable vision and goal setting in all areas of education for all Aboriginal learners.
EA Elements (2 of 3) 5. Aboriginal communities and Board track key performance indicators at the student level. 6. Aboriginal communities and Board commit to regular reporting of results (evaluation and reporting process on outcomes of EAs). 7. Aboriginal Education program includes focus on continuous improvement in academic performance of all Aboriginal students.
EA Elements (3 of 3) 8. Meet the cultural needs of Aboriginal students in all aspects of learning (resources, strategies and assessment). 9. Focus on increasing knowledge of, and respect for, Aboriginal culture, language and history, enabling a greater understanding for everyone about Aboriginal people.
SD 73 (Kamloops/Thompson) • One of the first to sign an Aboriginal Education Achievement Agreement (2000/2001). • Started building relationship with Kamloops area First Nations five years prior. • Celebrated the relationship and the signing of their second 5 year EA in 2005. • See 10 th Annual Report: www. sd 73. bc. ca.
What Matters Most (Process) • Starting in 1999 with no EAs, now almost 2/3 of BC Boards have EAs. • Takes time to build trust, relationships and networks (100+ year history). • Once foundation is in place… Local Example: Gold Trail Teacher’s Association and Canadian Union of Public Employees were willing to sign the EA as well!
What Matters Most (Student Success) • Aboriginal Education Enhancement Agreement Facilitator… We are fortunate to have hired into this position a local Ktunaxa Band member, Joe Pierre, who has come back to our district with his family after being away at university and perusing other career paths. He has also recently been elected to the local band council and his mother is the chief of the band. He has been instrumental for our district in making the link between the local First Nations communities and our schools. He travels the district as requested by the Aboriginal Education Support Workers in each school, supporting curriculum, teaching about our Ktunaxa culture, (he is an official story teller) and most importantly serving as an incredible role model for our students and all staff. I believe that his position is unique in the province. Brenda Maudie, District Principal, Special Education and Aboriginal Education, Board 05 (Southeast Kootenay)
Student Success Cont’d • Aboriginal Curriculum Integration Project (SD 79 initiative, plus grant to SD 05) • Geometry of Ktunxa fish trap math lessons for Grades 79 (Pi and Pythagorean Theorem) • See: www. sd 79. bc. ca/programs/abed/ACIP.
Student Success SD 74 (Gold Trail) • Nations: St’at’imc, Secwepemc and Nlha 7 kapmx • 19 Bands as well as Metis and Off-Reserve Aboriginal students • See: www. sd 74. bc. ca/pdf • ab_ed_agreement. pdf • Enhancement%20 Agreement. pdf
SD 74 (Gold Trail) (1 of 4) • A Trades & Transition program (Welding, Painting, Carpentry (framing), Culinary Arts, Cosmetology, Information Technology, Business Administration, Drywall & Building Maintenance) (PPT). • Advancement Via Individual Determination (AVID). • First Nations Book Bin Project (collecting and providing books that have First Nations Content).
SD 74 (Gold Trail) (2 of 4) • Continued support of the three languages and cultures in our District (St’at’imc, Nlha 7 kapmc and Secwepemc) by working with our schools and First Nations Education Council to provide programs that are culturally relevant (Language Teacher, Aboriginal Support Workers). • Any school with Aboriginal students will have at least one Aboriginal parent on their School Planning Council. • The EA will be reviewed and utilized in developing, School Growth Plans, Community Literacy Plans and Achievement Contracts.
SD 74 (Gold Trail) (3 of 4) • The First Nations and our Off-Reserve partner have provided after school tutoring and/or homework clubs. • Donations have been made by corporations for laptops and used computers in some of our communities. • Parent Advisory Council Meetings are held in communities, not just the school. • Communities have hosted dinners for the school staff.
SD 74 (Gold Trail) (4 of 4) • Teachers, Counsellors, senior staff from our high schools make themselves available to meet in communities: One community has invited the Education Counsellor, Aboriginal Student Support Worker, Principal and Vice. Principal into the community to ensure the students in grade 10 -12 and their parents understand what is needed to graduate for post-secondary and whether or not the student will be graduating with a Dogwood Certificate or a Leaving Certificate.
Support • In BC, the Enhancement Agreements are supported through targeted dollars ($1014 per student). • In some cases, such as SD 74, the goals are also supported with ‘regular’ funding as well. E. g. , none of the targeted dollars are used for the Trades programs, and if we have enough students enrolled in a language program, it would be treated like any other language program with an Integrated Resource Package. • As well, our First Nations have also utilized their dollars for tutoring, homework clubs, dinners, buying new computers specifically for students, etc.
Support Cont’d • For SD 74, what matters most is that our district is working as a team • We wouldn’t have achieved any success if we had started our programs without the cooperation of the whole district including: GTTA, GTAA, CUPE, Senior staff, Trustees, FN Communities and Off-Reserve partner groups. Thank You.