SD62’s most vulnerable students could be getting overlooked

No funding for MyEducation BC software training or IEP data entry in the Sooke School District

Royal Bay secondary teacher Paul Waterlander is concerned that students with special learning needs may be falling through the cracks in the province’s new software system.

The old program that teachers and staff in the Sooke School District used to input and track a student’s individual education plan (IEP) is not compatible with the new MyEducation BC student information system. Waterlander said teachers are going without access to whether a student has special learning needs or requires extra assistance because all of that information has to be manually entered into the new system and that task has not been completed.

“It hurts our vulnerable students the most,” said Waterlander, who has been teaching for 26 years. “I don’t know what it is they need.”

Like many other teachers, he has to rely on students to speak up until that information is entered. But he warns many students won’t ask for that help; meanwhile, their parents or guardians believe students are getting help because it’s outlined in their IEP.

Graham Arts, SD62 district principal for information technology, said the district is responsible for funding that data entry, even though the new software system is provincially mandated. The student support services department will be working through the summer with the goal of having everything in place by the fall, he added.

“There are plans to make that happen,” Arts said. “We’re behind schedule on it and that’s simply because of the volume of work that needs to be done.”

In defence of the Ministry of Education, Arts noted that districts across the province track IEPs differently and it would not have been realistic to make all of those systems compatible with MyEducation BC.

But IEPs are not the only area the district didn’t receive funding to help with in the transition to the MyEducation BC system.

“There’s issues around how the government implemented this,” Waterlander said. “I’m not blaming the district. This is not a district issue.” He noted SD62 didn’t receive funding from the Ministry to train teachers on how to use the new software, which he said is quite challenging for many to use. “It’s not intuitive (and) it’s not user friendly,” he added.

Waterlander wants to see more done as teachers continue to struggle with the software more than a year later.

Arts confirmed the district did not receive Ministry funding for the training, but has on its own done a number of things to help teachers with the transition.

“We brought in a new position to act as our direct connection for teachers that need help,” he said. “I don’t think you can ever have too much training.”

See the first article in this two part series to find out why teachers continue to give MyEducation BC software a failing grade.

katie@goldstreamgazette.com

Just Posted

Intense winds could reach 70km in Greater Victoria

Environment Canada issued wind warning for Dec. 17

Police investigating ‘unprovoked attack’ at Uptown bus stop

Man was attacked while waiting at Douglas St bus stop Sunday night

Saanich police are seeking suspect in sexual assault report

Incident happened early Saturday morning near Rudd Park

Saanich to hear update on regional sewage treatment plant

Likely subjects of presentation include fate of trees along Grange Road, costs

Man dies after fall from Johnson Street Bridge

Man climbed railing of the Johnson Street Bridge, lost his balance and fell into the water below

CFIA announces recall of some types of cauliflower, lettuce due to E. coli fears

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency has announced a recall of certain types of cauliflower and lettuce due to possible E. coli contamination.

Top of mind: ‘Justice’ is Merriam-Webster’s word of the year

Merriam-Webster has chosen “justice” as its 2018 word of the year, driven by the churning news cycle and President Trump’s Twitter feed.

‘Spider-Verse’ swings to the top; ‘Mortal Engines’ tanks

“Spider-Verse” has been very well-received among critics, and audiences in exit surveys gave it a rare A+ CinemaScore.

Speaker at rally says Alberta oil ‘puts tofu on the table in Toronto!’

RCMP estimated more than 1,500 people attended the rally in Grande Prairie

White House closer to partial shutdown with wall demand

Without a resolution, parts of the federal government will shut down at midnight on Friday, Dec. 21

Struggling Vancouver Island family needs help after baby born two months premature

A GoFundMe page has been set up as a difficult pregnancy and a long stay in Victoria have left the family struggling to get by

Canucks score 3 power-play goals in 4-2 win over Oilers

Vancouver sniper Boeser has 6 goals in last 5 games

Microscopic parasite found in Prince Rupert water affecting thousands

More than 12,000 residents affected by the boil water advisory issued Dec. 14

Trudeau lashes out at Conservatives over migration “misinformation”

Warning against the “dangers of populism,” Trudeau says using immigration as a wedge political issue puts Canada’s future at risk.

Most Read