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Powell River Board of Education chairperson outlines School District 47 activities

"In these times of personal and global uncertainty, it’s never been clearer that we must support each other and perform whatever work we do with a lens on equity." ~ Dale Lawson
NEW YEAR: School District 47 board of education chairperson Dale Lawson highlighted the first month of the return to schools in her remarks at the October school board meeting.

School District 47 (SD47) is now firmly settled back into the routines of a new school year, according to Powell River Board of Education chairperson Dale Lawson.

“As a community, we welcomed the colour orange on the last day of September when we collectively embraced the inaugural National Day for Truth and Reconciliation,” said Lawson in her remarks at the October 20 school board meeting. “The community ceremony was somber and the silence impactful. Scanning the mass of people, taking in all the faces I could, it was clear to me that our community and School District 47 is deeply committed to change and to moving forward together.

“Every school in our district also participated in activities to demonstrate our commitment to truth and reconciliation and the evidence was everywhere. From painted rock moccasins, orange shirts and pins, to information displays and assemblies, commitment to truth and reconciliation is embedded throughout School District 47.

Days of recognition

Lawson said October brings changing weather and the beginning of the rainy season. She said it is a reminder to give thanks and take time to appreciate all we are grateful for.

“This month, we celebrated World Teacher Day and expressed our appreciation to the dedicated teachers throughout our district,” said Lawson. “Each of you are integral to ensuring the success of our students. There are no words or gift baskets large enough to truly express how much you are appreciated. Thank you for all you do.”

Lawson said this October also marks the 31st year of foster family month, celebrating caregivers who have stepped up time and time again when they are needed most.

“It’s another reminder of the difference we can make when we demonstrate compassion and empathy for one another and choose to support our children, and provide love and care about their success,” said Lawson

Recently, the school district submitted its annual report to the ministry of education.

“The report outlines the progress we’ve made on our local strategic plan within the ministry’s framework for enhancing student learning,” said Lawson. “The inaugural year of the framework for this report demonstrates our commitment to both long- and short-term school district planning. The tools we use and data we collect help to paint a picture of where we are. Those details are crucial to our ability to meet the needs of our students.

“Shining a light on where we need to focus our resources is the only way to guide us along a path to success. In these times of personal and global uncertainty, it’s never been clearer that we must support each other and perform whatever work we do with a lens on equity. Each of us may need something different to be fulfilled, happy and truly successful.”

Ministry meeting

Lawson said for the first time since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, there was an opportunity last week to gather with board chairs, superintendents and secretary-treasurers from around the province.

The opportunity to meet with the ministry of education and engage in meaningful dialogue with colleagues about reconciliation, equity, anti-racism, and strategic plans was a welcome change to the Zoom meetings “we’ve become all too familiar with.”

“These experiences help to focus and guide our work of improving student outcomes in our community and across our province,” said Lawson.

In October, people are reminded to also take care of themselves, said Lawson.

“World Mental Health Day was October 10, and it’s a good place to start conversations about mental health and build mental health literacy into our daily interactions,” said Lawson. “Every student in our district was provided with a bookmark to raise awareness regarding mental health issues and to provide resources and tools that can help start that conversation. It’s important to keep this in mind as we move into the rainy months, which are difficult for some. Take time every day to demonstrate kindness for yourself and for others.”

Lawson concluded by suggesting people visit the school district’s website at to look at the annual report.