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

Rugby Canada helps recovery efforts in Japan after typhoon cancels final match

Canadian players wanted to “give back in whatever small way they could”

Victoria feels the pinch at the pump as gas prices jump 18 cents

Gas up to 157.9 cents per litre at some stations

‘Panda’ Goodlife runner searches for his head

Facebook post for help leads to ‘unconfirmed panda head sightings’

Former child care worker charged with Saanich sexual assault pleads guilty

Jesse Doig arrested in May, remaining in custody since

For Central Saanich couple, fight against MS is a matter of family

Altenkirks sell greeting cards and wooden bowls to raise money for MS Society

WATCH: Greater Victoria’s top stories of the day

A round-up of the day’s top stories

Potent power play paces Canucks to 5-1 win over Detroit

Miller nets a pair as Vancouver wins third straight

UPDATE: British couple vacationing in Vancouver detained in U.S. after crossing border

CBP claims individuals were denied travel authorization, crossing was deliberate

After losing two baby boys, B.C. parents hope to cut through the taboo of infant death

Oct. 15 is Pregnancy and Infant Loss Awareness Day in B.C.

Cheating husband sues mistress for gifted ring after wife learns about affair

The husband gave his mistress $1,000 to buy herself a ring in December 2017

POLL: Do you think the day of the federal election should be a statutory holiday?

Increasing voter turnout has long been a goal of officials across the… Continue reading

B.C. massage therapist reprimanded, fined for exposing patients’ breasts

Registered massage therapist admits professional misconduct

B.C. boosts legal aid funding in new payment contract

‘Duty counsel’ service restored in some communities, David Eby says

VIDEO: Bear spies on cyclists riding by on Campbell River street

Riders seem unaware the bruin is mere feet away on the side of the road

Most Read