School District 47 chairperson Aaron Reid outlined several themes in her remarks to the Powell River Board of Education on October 14.
Reid said coming out of Thanksgiving holiday weekend, she wanted to note that despite currently living through a pandemic, there is much reason to be thankful.
“We are very thankful for our administrators, teachers and support staff who have worked hard through their own fears and anxiety to get in-class instruction and distributed learning programming up and running again,” said Reid. “We all know how important this is to our students and to our community.”
Reid said the school district recently participated in Orange Shirt Day, which reflects a global conversation on all aspects of residential schools. She said in School District 47, they are very thankful for the quick action and leadership shown recently by Tla’amin Nation when a recent outbreak of COVID-19 occurred.
“The protocols, sacrifices and support structures put in place helped to protect everyone within our whole geographical area,” said Reid. “While I was heartbroken to see racism rear its ugly head during this time of crisis, I was then uplifted that people quickly spoke up against racist comments and behaviours and the majority of our community responded with caring, compassion and kindness. We wish all of those who have been inflicted with the virus a quick and full recovery.”
Reid said that moving into cold and flu season, it’s timely to remind students, parents, staff and the community of the importance of following the pandemic safety protocols.
“Please continue with daily self-assessments, handwashing, physical distancing and the wearing of masks when distance cannot be kept,” said Reid. “Most importantly, stay home when you are sick. Testing is available to those who are experiencing symptoms. We need to do our part to keep each other safe so that our schools can remain open for our children and our community.”
Reid said she wanted to mention that October 10 was World Mental Health Day. She said that according to the World Health Organization, one in four people worldwide will be affected by mental or neurological disorders at some point in their lives.
“If you are struggling, please reach out for help,” said Reid. “There is a website at mindhealthbc.ca with resources, as well as a link to a crisis chat line.”