Superintendent Keven Elder talks to PQB business community about school system

‘I want to thank you for what you do for kids in our community’

The business community of Parksville Qualicum Beach gathered on Feb. 13 to hear from Keven Elder, superintendent of schools for School District 69 (Qualicum), about education in the district.

Elder started off by thanking the audience for their efforts in the community, and by emphasizing that all have a role in supporting the youth.

“I want to thank you for what you do for kids in our community,” he said. “It will help for people in the community to know what’s going on in the school district.”

Elder detailed the approach the district takes to education, as well as an overview on the overall transformation of the kindergarden to Grade 12 in recent years.

READ MORE: SD69 superintendent believes ranking list ‘does more harm than good’

“I think I went to school when I had to reproduce things,” he said, while showing charts explaining the difference between reproduced learning and individualized learning.

Points included “self-learning with appropriate guidance and facilitation” rather than “absorbing knowledge from teachers.”

Elder also pointed out a statistic from the area — that the district has the second-fastest graduation rate in British Columbia. However, he said the data on the district is misleading, since it counts international students who come to the area for time abroad, rather than to graduate. The number for the district shows a 76 per cent rate of graduation.

“We’re working with the ministry of education to ensure that they don’t count as potential graduates, since they were never here to graduate, and that pushes our number down,” he said.

Elder also responded to a member of the audience about encouraging trades in schools and said that the district approaches post-secondary options in a different way. Rather than viewing trades as an option instead of university or college, they’re all weighed as equally valid options.

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