Chinook School Division had its monthly meeting, with two key highlights which made the meeting important.  

An annual report was presented and interpreted by Courtney Lawrance, Chinook’s new superintendent of learning. Lawrance only began working with Chinook in August but has worked as a superintendent for over 20 years.  

​  Courtney Lawrance. (Photo by Alex Kozroski)  ​Courtney Lawrance. (Photo by Alex Kozroski)

Her presentation spoke to the lasting effects on learning that the COVID-19 pandemic perpetuated.  

“Research into the impact of the pandemic has started, so it'll be able to give us some of the answers I'm hoping for relatively quickly,” stated Lawrance. “We really look at it as before and after because it was such a fundamental change in the way that we live our modern lives. If you would have asked any of us if we predicted that we would have had school closures, we would have moved to online learning, none of us would have foreseen that.” 

The statistics exposed a noticeable drop in literacy, which was correlated to the amount of time the students spent out of school. This was nationwide, and possibly worldwide. On a smaller scale, however, the Chinook School Division is doing better than the provincial average in most categories of all grades.  

“We have very strong achievement in terms of our early years; for reading significantly above the province, at least 5% and often quite a bit higher than that. Our FNMI (First Nations Metis Inuit) achievement is typically significantly higher than the province grade, so this is a bit of an anomaly this year. What I would say is overall our reading data is very strong and what we know is if you have a strong foundation in the primary grades, it translates to stronger achievement all the way up to high school.” 

Lawrance stated that beyond the anomalous year for FNMI students, this division is doing better in everything beyond one math course, for which they are behind by only 0.9 per cent. 

In response to Canada's Online News Act and Meta (Facebook and Instagram) removing access to local news from their platforms, Swift Current Online encourages you to get your news directly from your trusted source by bookmarking this page and downloading the Swift Current Online app.