Seabird Island Band and Fraser Cascade School District (#78) signed a Local Education Agreement Friday, June 19, with a commitment to First Nations student achievement, strong literacy and numeracy, high graduation rates and a supportive educational environment which values Stó:lō language and culture.
This agreement builds on the success of the partnership between Seabird and SD78 that has seen a rise in graduation rates of 35 per cent a decade ago to 65 per cent today. The LEA governs the educational relationship between Seabird and SD78 for some 65 students that attend Kent Elementary School and Agassiz Elementary Secondary School.
The Local Education Agreement (LEA 2015) was built on a landmark agreement negotiated in 2013 which focused not only on district approaches, but also individual school approaches. It featured a detailed commitment to measurable results and promoted openness, communication and a partnership between Band, District, School and home. As part of the LEA, the Band, Schools and District meet quarterly to discuss results and collaborate to address issues that stand in the way of student success. This agreement places even more focus on measuring results, promoting strong attendance, and seeing strong collaboration between schools and First Nations parents.
Chief Clement Seymour and Seabird Island Band have long been passionate advocates of education that promotes strong collective relationships and high standards.
“This agreement builds on the success that we have seen over the last number of years raising literacy and numeracy, seeing many more graduates and ensuring that our children and their culture and language is valued in the public school system,” said Chief Seymour. “In light of the recent release of the Final Report of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (2015) and its accounting of the devastating effects of residential schools, this kind of relationship is a positive move forward and one which provides a positive future for our children.”
Ron Johnstone, Chair of the Fraser Cascade School District stated, “We are pleased to be able to continue the effective working relationship with Seabird Island Band. During every LEA discussion that has taken place there has been one common and important theme; we are all here to make a difference for the children. Both parties are committed to doing everything possible to ensure that Seabird students are provided excellent opportunities to succeed in our schools.”