After what was a turbulent year in Revelstoke schools, with changing restrictions and adjusted schedules caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, students and teachers look forward to an exciting new school year.
At a school board meeting on Sept. 14, the board for School District 19 (SD19), along with newly appointed Superintendent Roberta Kubik, presented the District Plan for Student Success for the upcoming year. The document sets out goals they hope to accomplish in 2022/23 to help guide them towards creating a prosperous atmosphere for their students, and gives a look into the well-being of students from the previous year.
Members of the school board visited each school on the first day of classes (Sept. 6) and said that there was a lot of energy and smiles from students, families and staff. Vice chair Alan Chell noted that there is a real sense of excitement in classrooms heading into this new school year.
Compared to other school districts in B.C., Revelstoke students have reported low levels of vulnerability and high levels of connectedness and belonging.
SD19 has used the Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) to gauge the overall health and well-being of students for the last dozen years. The MDI is a self-report questionnaire that asks children in Grades 5 and 8 about their thoughts, feelings, and experiences in school and in the community.
A high percentage of students reported having good relationships with adults (84–87 per cent), after-school activities (81–87 per cent), and positive peer relationships (76–77 per cent). Students reported relatively low rates in one category, with only 52 per cent of Grade 8’s feeling like they had adequate nutrition and sleep, although this number is still about the provincial average of 49 per cent.
Students reported relatively high levels of connectedness and belonging on the Provincial Student Learning Survey, although the numbers have dropped in each category when compared to previous years. 58 per cent of students felt a sense of belonging in school, down from 69 per cent the previous year, and 72 per cent felt that adults care, down from 82 per cent the previous year. According to SD19, the pandemic and associated restrictions on normal school life have impacted student experiences.
SD19 continues to have high graduation rates which sit above the provincial average. 100 per cent of Grade 8’s reported that they plan on graduating from high school in the MDI, and 89 per cent said they plan on graduating from a post-secondary institution.
Revelstoke schools also aim to to work closely with Indigenous Support Workers to educate students on Aboriginal Ways of Knowing and Being and the First Peoples Principals of Learning. Students are given opportunities to learn about culture, heritage, and local First Nation languages and celebrations.