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8 things to know for back-to-school in SD43

Meetings, traffic, curriculum changes among the issues coming up
Back to School
School is back in session Tuesday, Sept. 4.

School resumes Tuesday, Sept. 4, here are eight things you need to know to get through the first week.

The numbers

1. The first week of school will be busy as classes and teachers are finalized depending on enrolment. Here’s how the district sums up the numbers for staff and students.

• Teachers: 2,710, including teachers on call

• Support workers: 1,465, including permanent and casual employees

• Administrators and exempt management: 197

* 31,000 students

2. Traffic enforcement

Coquitlam RCMP and Port Moody Police will be monitoring traffic in school zones. Stay safe and alert for children in crosswalks. If you get caught speeding in a school speed zone, the fine can range from $196 for up to 20 km/h over the 30 km/h speed limit to $483 for 60 km/h over the speed limit.

3. Professional development day

The first professional development day for teachers will be Friday, Sept. 21, when teachers are learning new things and students are typically not in class.

4. Board of education meeting

The first board of education meeting for School District 43 is Tuesday, Sept. 18 at 7 p.m., at the board of education office, 550 Poirier St., Coquitlam.

5. District Parent Advisory Council orientation

The District Parent Advisory Council will host a PAC 102 orientation for parents new to these organizations. It will take place Wednesday, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m., Visit for more information.

6. Digital portfolio

More parents will be seeing their child’s school work on a digital portfolio called FreshGrade this year. But the program purchased with a $45,000 annual licence fee won’t be replacing report cards, says Stephen Whiffin, SD43's director of instruction.

As many as 12,000 Tri-Cities elementary and middle school students are using FreshGrade portfolios that show what they are doing in class with photos, notes and videos uploaded by their teacher.

Parents can log on to see their child’s work, notes from the teacher and information on classroom activities but their experience could vary depending on the teacher and how they use the program. Find out more from your teacher.

7. Curriculum changes

 If you have a child entering Grade 10, you may notice that their curriculum has been redesigned. As well, some Grade 11 and 12 classes are trying out the province’s new curriculum this year as part of an ongoing change that started with the earlier grades.

According to SD43, changes won’t affect student admission to post-secondary schools.

“What’s new about the curriculum is that it is redesigned to be more learner-focused and flexible, with a focus on core competencies, big ideas and learning standards, with Indigenous culture and perspectives integrated into it,” said SD43 spokesperson Peter Chevrier in an email.

This year, the Grade 11/12 redesigned curriculum is optional, and the district is waiting for the official graduation program to be published, with full implementation for the senior grades set for next year.

But the B.C. Graduation Program Summary of Changes, available online, notes that a number of things will be staying the same: reading, writing and math are still emphasized, and letter grades and percentages will be recorded on transcripts.

As well, the the new curriculum courses are not designed to stream students into easy or difficult pathways. All courses will allow for different teaching methods depending on the students and all students will be able to access any course.

8. Trustee elections

This year trustee elections will be held for posts on the School District 43 board of education. Some candidates have already announced for the Oct. 20 civic election.  Tuesday, Sept. 4 is the first official day for nominations, and nominations close on Sept. 14. For more information visit