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Superintendent’s Report to the Board | June 2024

Circle of Care: Students

  • The District Student Leadership (DSLT) Student Spring Forum: Students from grades 6-12, representing every school in the district, gathered with teachers, principals, district staff, and trustees recently for a day of learning, discussion, and elevating student voices to shape the district’s future on topics relevant to the student experience. (1a)
  • On May 23, 2024, the Lions Club donated $4000 to bring Dolly Parton Imagination Library books to children on the Sunshine Coast. Thanks to generous donations like this, over 60,000 books have been sent to local children, fostering their language, literacy, and social-emotional development. (1b)
  • Coastal Voices Anthology: Marking its 14th year, the 2024 Coastal Voices Anthology presents a curated collection of works submitted by students ranging from kindergarten to Grade 12 across SD46. On June 13th, a reception is being held at the Festival Pavilion at the Rockwood Centre, where published students, accompanied by their parent/caregivers and distinguished guests, will gather to celebrate their accomplishments. This endeavor is made possible through the collaboration between the Sunshine Coast Festival of the Written Arts and SD46, fostering a valuable partnership. (1d)
  • Younger Minds “Minder” App Pilot Study: On Thursday, June 6th, representatives from the University of British Columbia visited Chatelech Secondary School to engage with students about the Minder Pilot App, a mental health and substance use intervention platform. The Younger Mind Pilot Study is part of a Health Canada funded project with aims to improve mental health and substance use services for secondary students in BC. Minder, initially developed for university students, has been adapted for secondary school-aged youth to offer a variety of personalized interventions. Students had the option to participate in this study to test the app’s usability and to provide crucial feedback for its adaptation. The Minder app offers educational content, recommended community resources, and the opportunity for students to interact with trained peer coaches. (1f)
  • Active Travel Campaign: The SD46 Go Active Travel Weeks campaign took place from May 27th to June 7th, encouraging students, families, and staff to choose active modes of transportation such as biking, walking, or rolling to and from school. Exciting prize raffles were held to incentivize participation. Building on the success of the previous years, SD46 partnered with ICBC for Road Safety Blitzes at many elementary schools. Best Routes to School Travel Maps are accessible online for all elementary schools, serving as a helpful navigation tool. Research in the field of health highlights the numerous benefits of Active Travel, including improved cardiovascular health and bone strength, reduced anxiety, enhanced alertness, the promotion of friendships and healthy independence, better academic performance, improved sleep patterns, and a positive impact on air quality and traffic reduction around schools. (1g)
  • We received a lovely letter of thanks from the Terry Fox Foundation to all the schools in the Sunshine Coast district for their incredible support during the 2023 Terry Fox School Run! Together, we raised a remarkable $8,266.85 for cancer research. A special mention to Halfmoon Bay Elementary for contributing an impressive $3,591.35! (1g)
  • District Elementary Track and Field: Recently, Elphinstone Secondary hosted the annual District Track and Field Day, where over 400 students from all SD46 elementary schools enthusiastically participated. The event was a thrilling display of competition, as students showcased their skills and determination. We would like to express our deepest appreciation to all the participants, coaches, staff, and volunteers who played a vital role in making this event possible. Their unwavering commitment and passion were instrumental in creating a day of tremendous success and memorable experiences for all involved. (1g)
  • Band Blast is a blast! On June 11th, all grade 7 band students converged in the Elphinstone Secondary Gymnasium to showcase their talents to their peers. It was a spectacular experience! (1k)

Circle of Care: Staff

  • Celebrating Retirees: A special event was organized at the Blue Ocean Golf Course to pay tribute to retirees, acknowledging their dedication and commemorating their valuable contributions. We extend our heartfelt wishes to all the retirees of this year, hoping for their well-being and joy throughout their retirement. We express gratitude for their dedicated service and the impact they have made. (2a)
  • May Professional Development Day: The following is a highlight of the wonderful work being done in our schools to deepen collective efficacy and paddle together: (2b)
    • Langdale Elementary Visioning for Nature-Based Learning: Developed Guiding Principles and Practices of Nature-Based Learning and a year-long, multidisciplinary unit on Salmon.
    • Davis Bay Elementary Restorative Questions: Staff learned about using Restorative Questions as a school-wide approach.
    • Gibsons Elementary: Twenty-four staff attended Resiliency through Literacy Training at the University of Washington.
  • VTRA (Violent Threat Risk Assessment) Training: In early May, 25 dedicated professionals, including Principals, Counsellors, and Community Agency representatives, came together for an interactive two-day Level 1 VTRA (Violence Threat Risk Assessment) training. Facilitated by certified trainers and valued SD46 staff members Maggie Scott, Carolyn Spence, and Erin McClean, participants learned to identify at risk and threat behaviours and to follow a plan for intervention and restorative approaches. The training was centered on enhancing awareness and understanding, unifying the group through shared vocabulary and collective objectives, and preparing them to act decisively and compassionately when facing challenges. We are fortunate to have highly trained facilitators in our district. (2b)
  • Pride Month: June is Pride Month, and Sunshine Coast Schools are actively showing their support and celebration of the 2SLGBTQ+ community. By proudly raising the pride flags at their sites, schools and district departments send a powerful message of acceptance and create safe spaces for all staff, students, and families. Embracing diversity and inclusion is a core belief, and the district is committed to fostering an environment where everyone feels seen, respected, and valued. (2c)
  • 2024 BC CAISE Spring Conference: The 2024 BC CAISE Spring Conference was attended by 15 representatives from SD46 and featured speakers such as Jennifer Katz, who emphasized the importance of Universal Design for Learning (UDL) and inclusive education. Jennifer, author of “Ensouling our Schools” provided key takeaways from her keynote including the statement “Inclusion is not an Option”. The Honourable Rachna Singh, Minister of Education and Childcare, and her team provided updates on various initiatives, such as the expansion of the Provincial Outreach Team Pilot and the forthcoming revisions to the Special Education Manual. Indigenous Education was also highlighted at the conference, with guest speaker Brad Baker, Associate Superintendent for Indigenous Education with the Ministry of Education and Child Care, discussing the importance of moving forward with courage and promoting Indigenous values and awareness. The conference concluded with an Anti-Racism Discussion and Youth Panel on the second day. (2c)
  • Trustee School Tours: The Board of Education had the opportunity to visit the last of the school sites on their four-day tour schedule this Spring. During these visits, the Board members witnessed firsthand the exceptional qualities that make each school community unique. They celebrated the diverse strengths and achievements of the schools, gaining a deeper understanding of the remarkable efforts put forth by students, staff, and the entire school community. These annual trustee school visits provide a valuable platform for recognition, appreciation, and further support of the outstanding work happening within SD46 schools and departments. (2d)
  • Thank You Volunteers and Coaches! In the SD46 learning community, the invaluable support of volunteers and coaches is recognized and celebrated. We extend our heartfelt gratitude to these dedicated individuals who selflessly contribute their time and energy. Their unwavering commitment has made a significant impact on our schools and students. Throughout the month of June, schools have been acknowledging and honoring these exceptional volunteers and coaches, expressing deep appreciation for their ongoing efforts. Their generosity and dedication are truly cherished, and we are grateful for the lasting positive influence they have on our learning community. (2e)
  • The ‘Teaching Climate with Hope’ inquiry project funded by the BCTF, SCTA and SD46 focuses on fostering a hopeful and proactive approach to climate education. Through collaboration, five teachers have developed and implemented engaging, hands-on strategies to teach climate change, aiming to inspire students to take meaningful action. Teachers Peter Metcalfe, Kari Teichrob, Simon Hocking, Dave Teichrob, and Kassandra Parker shared their experience and findings recently at Shirley Macey Park in an intimate and inspiring staff gathering, emphasizing the importance of community and teacher collaboration in advancing climate education. (2e)
  • DPAC and Sunshine Coast Schools’ parents and caregivers gathered for a working session on ‘how to start the school year in a good way’ through a Compassionate Systems Leadership lens with facilitator Caroline Picard. It was a lovely night of connection and growth. (2e)

Circle of Care: Community

  • Thank You Scholarships and Bursary Donors! We are thrilled to announce that this year, a remarkable 145 scholarships and bursaries are being awarded to the graduating class of 2024, amounting to an incredible total of approximately $400,000 in financial support. Donor support has made a profound impact on students’ lives, empowering them to pursue their dreams. With their help, students can embark on their next chapter with increased confidence and determination. (3c)
  • Indigenous History month: June is National Indigenous History Month in Canada, an opportunity to deepen our learning about First Nations, Inuit, and Métis history, worldviews, and ways of knowing. This month we celebrate and honour the stories and achievements of Indigenous Peoples who have lived on this land since time immemorial. During this month, we continue our journey of discovery and understanding. We acknowledge the profound impact of colonization and the ongoing struggles faced by Indigenous Peoples. We recognize the need to confront the injustices and work towards Truth and Reconciliation. (3c)
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