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International Women's Day recognized by School District 47 chair

Dale Lawson highlights 'embrace equity' theme at Powell River Board of Education meeting
MEANINGFUL CONVERSATIONS: Powell River Board of Education chairperson Dale Lawson used her monthly remarks to highlight International Women’s Day, and the need to embrace equity, to change systemic and structural barriers that get in the way of people’s ability to thrive.

School District 47 chairperson Dale Lawson marked her monthly remarks at the Powell River Board of Education meeting on March 8 by highlighting International Women’s Day, also March 8.

Lawson said the campaign theme for 2023 is embrace equity.

“Equity is something we talk about often in the education sector; we understand that equal opportunities aren’t enough, and that each person needs something different to reach an equal outcome,” said Lawson. “The goal for the 2023 International Women’s Day campaign is to start a worldwide conversation about equity. We’re being asked to acknowledge that all people don’t begin life in the same place, and that circumstances can make it more difficult for people to achieve the same goals.

“Inequity affects many people, but most commonly, historically, it has marginalized communities such as women, people of colour, disabled people, Indigenous people, the economically disadvantaged, and those from the LGBTQ+ community. The goal of equity is to change systemic and structural barriers that get in the way of people's ability to thrive.”

Lawson said that on International Women’s Day, people should consider starting a meaningful conversation to help others understand the difference between equality and equity.

“Together, we can help forge an equitable world and create positive change for everyone,” said Lawson.

She said School District 47’s professional development team recently welcomed all staff to their expanding minds conference held at Brooks Secondary School. This district-wide professional development event was an informative day featuring an exciting round of Ignite Talks, and a variety workshops, she added.

“Throughout the day, our very talented staff and students engaged session attendees in workshops on topics such as: games for equity and engagement; assessment design in mathematics; strategies to engage and motivate students in online learning environments; utilizing emotional intelligence to recognize, understand, label and regulate emotions; and restorative justice in school,” said Lawson. “We were treated to a delicious Greek feast lunch, prepared by the Brooks culinary arts program. The day was a fantastic display of the variety of incredible talent we are so fortunate to enjoy in School District 47.”

Lawson said learning isn’t just for students and staff. She said the school trustees association has been diligently providing many learning opportunities to help prepare trustees for the work ahead. She said that on the afternoon of the board meeting, trustees embarked on their first strategic planning journey together as a new board.

“Our thoughtfully selected facilitator will help us get started on the first phase of our planning process,” said Lawson. “It’s an exciting time for all of us to think about what’s possible.We look forward to engaging with all stakeholders to help inform planning and to share goals to support student success.”

Lawson said throughout the school district, students and staff are looking forward to the arrival of spring break.

“I hope you enjoy the longer days, the re-emergence of colour, and a bit of extra time with your family and friends,” she added.