Putting Students First
Public Schools are one of the most important pillars of our community. Our School District should be a reflection of the change we want to see, and our Board of Trustees a reflection of who they represent. Schools play a pivotal role in the development of our young students, and instill the sense of community they will carry with them for the rest of their lives. As School Trustee I will put students first in all decisions.
Supporting our 2SLGBTQIA+
As a member of the 2SLGBTQIA+ community who grew up in SD61, and as someone who spent years volunteering for organizations supporting 2SLGBTQIA+ students and youth, I know the firsthand the challenges faced by my community in SD61. As School Trustee I will work to expand on SOGI 123 and ensure all students receive sex education relevant to their sexual orientation and gender identity. 2SLGBTQIA+ students are disproportionately more likely to experience mental health challenges, often as a result of the stigma still associated with being out. I will takes steps to ensure our district proactively supports mental health initiatives, especially for our 2SLGBTQIA+ and racialized students.
Student Enrichment Programming
Student enrichment programs form the foundation of each school's community. If we are going to put students first as a District, it is crucial that we find more ways to enhance student enrichment programming through Music, Arts, Culture and Sports. These activities enhance the student experience and help bring a sense of community to our schools and neighbourhoods. While the School District does not always have control over its funding, it is critical that we keep these programs at top of mind when making budget decisions.
Despite being home to two First Nations, our District has a massive difference in learning the outcomes between Indigenous and non-Indigenous students. In 2019-2020, Indigenous students were three times more likely to not graduate than non Indigenous students (51% vs 17%). In 2019 while the province started closing the 6 year graduation gap for Indigenous students, our district lagged 18% behind the provincial average. As a School District, we must repair our relationship with the First Nations, commit to Reconciliation with concrete action not just pretty words, and finally close the gap between our Indigenous and non-Indigenous students.
Fulfilling our duty to Students with Disabilities
Our students living with disabilities have a right to live, learn and play in our schools. Through practices like early releases and lack of Education Assistants to support our students with disabilities, we are not fulfilling our duty to ensure their success in school, and putting unfair pressure on parents. As your School Board Trustee I will fulfil our District's duty to help our students living with disabilities participate fully in our educational communities.
Building a Better Community
Schools are more than just buildings where students go to learn.They are community hubs for our families and neighbourhoods. As a District, we need to celebrate the role of schools in our community. SD61 is the largest landowner in the CRD, and we are uniquely positioned to enhance our communities with local projects like community gardens, outdoor learning commons and green-spaces.