Kevin Bird is looking forward to helping improve student learning in his new role as assistant superintendent of schools.
He brings many years of experience to the Fraser-Cascade school district position, having worked in both metro and small rural communities as a classroom teacher, vice-principal, and principal.
“The size of the community and the size of the district is very similar to the one I worked in up north and I really found that to be a good fit,” said Bird, who started his career in New Westminster and spent the last 10 years working in the Smithers area. “I prefer the communities similar to the ones we have here. The students that come through here form our community and we can have a major impact.”
Aside from exploring the variety of recreational activities available in the region, Bird is looking forward to the professional mentorship opportunities.
“Perhaps this is unknown but the superintendent here has a really good reputation in the province,” he added. “So to work with someone with that type of reputation is quite a gift.”
Student learning has been a career focus for Bird, who has served as a consultant to the Ministry of Education and co-authored ANIE (Assessment of Numeracy in Education) with a colleague in Chilliwack. The Fraser-Cascade school district was one of the first to adopt his book.
“It’s a foundational lesson approach to teaching math in a way that connects everything you do in math to real life as opposed to being sort of an abstract concept,” said Bird. “Part of the model that we worked on for the book was based upon some brain research that points to the connecting of skills between numeracy and literacy and other things as well. As an offshoot to using this kind of approach, you do see gains in literacy.”
Bird said the district is currently working on connecting students in smaller schools, especially at the elementary level, by using technology to bridge the gap, not just in content delivery but in relationship building. For example, he points out that students in Boston Bar would be able to develop friendships with students in Agassiz and spend time electronically writing to each other and communicating via video as well as taking field trips.