Andrea Sinclair, president of the BC Parent Advisory Councils. (Submitted)

LETTER: We need to thank those who work in public education

Andrea Sinclair is president of the BC Parent Advisory Councils

We are just a few weeks into 2020 but already halfway through our school year.

We are past the trepidation and excitement of school startup, yet it’s too soon to be thinking about year-end.

For me, it brings to mind the great many innovative initiatives and examples of student leadership that deserve more attention.

Big Lake Elementary in Williams Lake (SD27) is a Habitat Conservation Trust Foundation wild school. Outdoor education is an intricate part of the teaching. Staff and students get outside snowshoeing and write in nature journals. In winter, students learn how animals use the snow for protection from the elements.

In Cowichan Valley (SD79), students were asked to design their own physical space and direct the learning throughout the year. It’s part of their Challenged Based Classrooms program, which extends inquiry learning and grounds it in real-world problems.

At Canyon List Elementary in Creston (SD8), they host “Community Helpers at Breakfast,” where guests visit during the breakfast program time. Guests sit with students and have informal conversations about their role and how they help people.

In Mission (SD75), more than 120 students from 12 schools are determined to save the Halq’eméylem language from extinction. The language of the Sto:lo people has only one fluent speaker. K-12 students hold a contest challenging participants to tell stories using Halq’emeylem words and phrases.

Prince Rupert Middle School students (SD52) worked with the Northern Adapted Sports Association to promote the participation of people with disabilities in sports. Kids spent time using a wheelchair to learn more about adaptive sports.

These are just a few of the many wonderful initiatives occurring in public education across the province. I believe that we need to thank those who are doing exemplary work on a daily basis for the education and benefit of our children. We should be extremely proud and celebrate the innovation and opportunities for enhanced student success in public schools.

I want to thank each and every teacher, support staff member and administrator for their efforts. You are the reason why parents/guardians are so willing to support and get involved in school and district Parent Advisory Committees, which are a vital component of public education.

Thanks to these efforts, we know that we are graduating students who are showing success in their integrity, in their conduct, and in their academics. To all who teach or support our children, please know you are truly appreciated.

Andrea Sinclair is a mom of two high school children in Vancouver and is president of the BC Parent Advisory Councils

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