Students get another voice

Christine Wood/Staff Writer / Staff writer
March 29, 2014 01:00 AM

School District No. 46 (SD46) trustees will soon meet with select high school students and the newly formed District student leadership team to hear what issues are important to youth.

"They're a fantastic group. They really have intelligent, important questions to talk about," said superintendent of schools Patrick Bocking during his report to the school board on March 11. "Their reflections are very important to us to get an image of what it is to be a student in our district: What are the big issues? What electives can they take? What electives do they want to take? What have they heard of in other districts? All of that is a really important part of what they want to talk to you about so that's going to be an important event and I'm excited about that."

The meeting between trustees and students will take place on April 30.

Student trustee

Student trustee Maya Treuheit was not in attendance at the March 11 board meeting. Bocking gave an update on her behalf.

"Our student trustee met with the Minister [of Education] last week," Bocking said. "She brought forward the list of issues that the students in our district brought forward to the district student leadership team members and discussed at our DSLT, and Maya has taken those and brought them forward."

Bocking said Maya and Minister Peter Fassbender "had a good dialogue."

Calendar changes

Trustees moved to seek more input from the community before potentially changing the school calendar to include things like a two-week spring break during the 2015/16 school year.

"I want to clarify that this would be consultation for the school year after next school year because we've already done some consultation for this school year and didn't get a lot of input from small concerned school community groups," said trustee Silas White. "We definitely heard from teachers who are strongly and publicly in favour of a longer spring break, but we need to provide sufficient time to hear from everyone, especially families, about the impact of this."

In addition to the spring break discussion, trustees want to garner feedback on other calendar considerations such as changing the length of the school day.

Elder presentation

Shíshálh elder Barb Higgins (xwu'p'a'lich) appeared as a delegate and asked trustees for prayers and "anything else you feel moved by the Creator to do," in support of a multi-First Nations gathering she is planning for Sechelt.

The gathering will be hosted by the environmental advocacy group Higgins leads, dubbed Mother Earth's Warriors of the Heart.

"My followers and I are planning an elders gathering to host all 203 Indian Bands that are in British Columbia. We are inviting them to come to Sechelt where we will talk together and possibly learn about some of the long forgotten myths and tales that will give us some indication of what our next move is to be," Higgins said.

School board chair Betty Baxter thanked Higgins for her presentation, noting "my hands go up to you in gratitude for coming to share with us."

"Thank you for bringing your information to us tonight. We will get back to you if we have any questions through Aboriginal principal Kerry Mahlman," Baxter said.

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