The start of another school year has come and gone here in SD46. As we approach the holiday season, we are reminded of all of the great work done by our staff, students, and community to make the past three months as successful as they have been. We are proud of our vision – we are a community engaged in lifelong learning and educational excellence.
This excellence begins with the work of our executive staff. We were honoured to welcome our new Superintendent, Kate Kerr. Kate has been working wonderfully through her new role with Director of Instruction (Human Resources, Secondary Programs and International Education) Paul Bishop and Director of Instruction (Inclusive Education) Christa Rive – also new to her role. Together, these three have championed our district alongside other executive staff, district principals, principals, and vice principals to ensure all of our staff were prepared and ready to bring our students back into a safe and inclusive learning environment for the 2021/22 school year.
Our district was able to secure $129,932.00 from the Mental Health in Schools grant to support mental health and well-being in the district. These funds will be used towards trauma informed practice, mental health literacy, and social emotional learning. To help prepare our staff for the start of the year, principals and administrative assistants participated in an inspiring presentation with Monique Gray-Smith. Our staff wellness initiative (SCTA, CUPE and management teams) is moving through their second year acknowledging three parts to the wellness process: self, staff, and systems care. Our staff have the opportunity to form site-based wellness committees to support wellness at their individual sites.
We are also VERY excited to speak about Truth and Reconciliation within our district. All students, staff, and trustees took time during the last week of September to learn and reflect. Trustees added Reconciliation as a standing item on the agenda of our Education Committee and look forward to hearing and discussing it regularly on a monthly basis. Our district has been working with Kevin Lamoureux and Ensouling our Schools, recognizing and knowing that each of us is coming with different lived experiences, knowledge, and understanding – as well as different responsibilities. SD46 is also in our 2nd year of a 3-year Equity scan, and currently stakeholder groups are giving feedback on 11 inquiry questions. (FYI- check out this link to a free, online UBC anti-racism course shared from District Principal Kerry Mahlman at DPAC in October 2021.
This fall we had our trustee elections but started out the year by welcoming our new student trustee, Matthew Douglas. Matthew is the 9th student trustee in our districts history and is a member of the District Student Leadership Team. He is in Grade 12 at Chatelech Secondary. We also are happy to have our Chair Amanda Amaral, Vice Chair Maria Hampvent, BCPSEA representative Pammila Ruth and myself, Tonya Ste. Marie as BCSTA representative, continue on for a second year in our roles. We look forward to continuing to support you as a district!
In our South Coast Branch, we are also lucky to have Trustee Stacia Leech as our branch president, Chair Amaral as our secretary and Trustee Pammila Ruth as the Professional Learning Committee representative. It’s pretty awesome that out of four roles to fill in the South Coast Branch (Sunshine Coast, Powell River and Sea to Sky districts) – our board represents three of these positions. I am over the moon excited to say that I am also sitting on the BCSTA Climate Change Working Group – representing our district as one of seven trustees across the province to combat climate change. Our district is a leader in climate change initiatives and we are proud to say that we have saved $2.2 million dollars over ten years in energy savings and are the leaders in solar energy province wide.
We look forward to continuing on our important work this year for staff and students, working with our stakeholders and community and implementing our newly written policies – Anti-Poverty, Anti-Racism and Art in Schools. We will continue to strive for excellence in all we do and work towards our mission – to support and inspire each student to experience joy and fulfillment in realizing their potential as a knowledgeable, confident and contributing citizen in the global community.
?imash ?imash (welcome) to another incredible year in School District 46!!
Submitted by Tonya Ste. Marie, Trustee