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Announcements highlight Powell River Board of Education meeting

Chairperson Dale Lawson addresses November 17 School District 47 meeting
OUTLINES ACTIVITIES: School District 47 board of education chairperson Dale Lawson announced new initiatives regarding child care, mental health, learning supports and resources.

For some, November is a time when friends, families and communities come together to celebrate the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance, according to School District 47 chairperson Dale Lawson.

In her address at the Powell River Board of Education meeting on November 17, Lawson said for some, it’s a time to rest following their hard work of the harvest season, or to begin planning and preparation for upcoming festivities.

“For all of us, it’s a time to remember, to be thoughtful and reflect on how we honour the people who have served and continue to serve Canada during times of war, conflict and peace,” said Lawson.

“In July of 1921, the Great War Veterans’ Association adopted the poppy as the official flower of remembrance. The poppy remains a significant symbol of Remembrance Day, recognizing the time the First World War armistice came into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This year we celebrated the 100th year of wearing a poppy as our visual pledge to never forget those who sacrificed and continue to sacrifice for our freedom.”

Lawson said there’s never a better time than now to acknowledge and draw upon the courage of others while facing the challenges of today and into the future.

“All our schools participated in Remembrance Day assemblies, many students throughout the district came together to showcase their talents, creativity and musical stylings as part of the 2021 Remembrance Day ceremonies,” said Lawson. “Visit our website to enjoy their contributions.”

Lawson said senior school district staff have been working alongside a policy specialist to provide expertise and guidance in the school district’s commitment to overhauling its policies and administrative procedures.

“As a team, we recently spent a day-long session together, working through the many details of the fifth iteration of our policy documents,” said Lawson. “Although still in progress, the workshop was a productive leap forward in our work. Separate, but related to board policy, we met in a closed meeting this month and have directed staff to engage our local health authority to provide the information and expertise we need to effectively contemplate a position on vaccination policy.”

Child care struggles

Lawson said the school district is aware that many in the community struggle to meet before and after school child care needs.

“We’re happy to report that we are approaching the home stretch of planning and working through the licensing process to pilot a new option for our students and their families,” said Lawson. “We are on track to offer this much-needed service in neighbourhood schools on January 3. Principals will be sending out registration information starting December 1.” 

Lawson said earlier this week, there was a reminder of how impactful extreme weather can be for the normally temperate and relatively low-risk region.

“Our thoughts turn now to our families, friends, neighbours and colleagues who must carry a new, unimaginable layer of burden,” said Lawson. “We must continue to demonstrate patience and kindness for ourselves and toward others as we navigate the pressures of yet another unprecedented experience.”

Lawson said in October, school communities were asked to identify ways in which their unique needs could be supported with funding directed to mental health, learning supports and resources. She said staff members have risen to the challenge once again.

“School District 47 is committed to implementing a variety of strategies to address gaps, challenges and inequities facing students and their families throughout our district,” said Lawson. “We will continue to work together and support each other so we can positively affect outcomes for our students and for our community.”