Looking to the future, I have a clear vision for SD61. If I am elected for a second term, I will work tirelessly to achieve my vision of:
- Student-Centered Governance – Students are at the heart of all my decision-making. I will advocate to include students and families in decision-making processes, and ensure that community engagement is consistent and meaningful. I will continue to be open, accessible, and accountable.
- Inclusion – All of our schools are places where students experience meaningful inclusion, and where teachers, specialists and support staff have the resources they need to ensure each student can learn and succeed in the most enabling environment. I will continue to advocate for our most vulnerable students, and ask the tough questions about our progress towards creating truly inclusive schools. I will look to students, families and teachers to inform me of our progress towards our goal of inclusive schools.
- Equity – There is equity across our District and within our schools. Resource allocations are always made with equity in mind. I developed SD61’s new Equity policy which includes a system for annually identifying equity-seeking schools. I need a second term to ensure that these policies and systems are implemented in ways that eliminates the phenomena of “have not” schools.
- Reconciliation – We work in partnership with Esquimalt and Songhees Nations to build on the strengths of our First Nations students and improve their academic success. Reconciliation will guide my approach to all aspects of the Board’s work. As we move forward with an ambitious new vision for Craigflower and Shoreline schools, we have the opportunity to work collaboratively with Esquimalt and Songhees Nations to ensure we create schools that reflect the needs and desires of the communities they serve.
- Expansion of Childcare – We increase child care availability at our schools. Innovate new approaches to the delivery of childcare and early learning. As a consultant, I led the stakeholder engagement for the first phase of the BC Childcare Sector Labour Market Partnership Project, so I am keenly aware that addressing the childcare crisis requires addressing the labour shortage in this field. I believe the school district can deploy it’s own CUPE staff to before and after school care in order to add childcare spaces. Currently, SD61 is the largest provider of childcare spaces in the region, and with a supportive Board we could increase that by 50%.
- Healthy Relationships – I will initiate a District-wide strategy in support of healthy relationships and the prevention of sexualized violence. I have advocated at the provincial level for the inclusion of consent within the k-12 curriculum, and I look forward to working with teachers, staff, students, parents, and community organizations to identify, support, and promote leading practice in SD61 and beyond. I will work with stakeholders to develop and implement policy and regulations that ensure consistent response to incidents of sexualized violence and harassment. I believe the success of the Gender Identity and Gender Expression Policy was a direct reflection of its impetus as a student initiative, and the way in which all stakeholders were involved in the policy development from the ground floor on up. I plan to repeat this success by centering student voices, relying on the teachers and community organizations who are already doing the work to lead the process.
- New Schools – Growing enrolment and the court-mandated return of class size and composition language has created incredible space pressures in our schools. I will advocate for the opening of a new elementary school by the 2020-2021 school year. Reaching this goal will require the careful – but expedited – completion of the school boundary review in consultation with our school communities. I will work hard to make sure we stay on track and that we don’t allow the proliferation of portables to become an acceptable solution.
- School District Lands Leveraged for Community Benefit – District green spaces and urban forests are protected and maintained. I will support District partnerships with municipalities, First Nations and community organizations that add housing supply in ways that support healthy communities.
My vision for SD61 is rooted in the work I have already accomplished at the Board table and in our communities. Please check out my Record to better understand the work I have been doing.