As we come to the end of June, we’d like to reflect back on a few of the things that happened over this school year. We have some incredible programs and initiatives in this district, all focused on engaging our students, staff and community in lifelong learning. We see more of our students out learning in the community and that is partly due to our Multi-Function Activity buses. Thanks to additional transportation funding from the province, we now are able to provide more support to schools for extended experiences.
Our board has long been an advocate for student voice at the local and provincial level. This spring, we had strong support from trustees around the province to lobby the provincial government to embed student voice in the School Act, as well increase support and develop resources for school boards wanting to bring authentic student voice to the board table either through student trustees or student advisory councils. Our district has had great success with our District Student Leadership Team in increasing student engagement and student voice, and this year’s student trustee Pearl Deasey has been a fantastic ambassador for our district.
We love to have parents engaged in their children’s schools. To affirm our commitment, we have solidified a DPAC (District Parents’ Advisory Council)/PAC (Parents’ Advisory Council) board policy to strengthen our commitment to supporting parents. We also have a Parent Engagement Committee comprised of parents and staff; their goal is to increase communication between homes and schools and help parents become more involved in their children’s education.
SD46 integrates Indigenous learning throughout the district with our Aboriginal Education team. We are incredibly privileged to be living and learning in the unceded territory of two First Nations communities – Skwxwú7mesh and shíshálh – and we’ve had some amazing experiences with our aboriginal partners in the past few months. The Chekwelhp origin story pole carved by Wes Nahanee (Chiaxsten) of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation was blessed and raised at Gibsons Elementary in April and more recently, the second welcome pole at Pender Harbour Elementary-Secondary was raised. Shíshálh master carver Arnold Jones (kwatamus) carved the pole at PHSS with students, staff and community members. These poles are incredible gifts to our school community and honour the traditions and future of this beautiful place in which we live.
We now have solar panels on two more of our schools, Davis Bay and Pender Harbour. Not only will these panels help keep electricity costs lower and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, staff and students have been using them to learn more about math and science by integrating their use into the classroom.
Congratulations to all of our graduates – thank you for calling us “home” and we wish you all the best for your next steps in your journeys. We wish all of our students, staff, families and community members a wonderful and safe summer. See you in September.