SD91 develops course to explore student identity and diversity

School District 91 has developed a course for grade 8 students that explores student identity in an effort to ensure each student begins their high school journey in an inclusive environment “that honours and recognizes who they are as individuals.

In a Sept 14 news release by Mike Skinner, Assistant Superintendent of SD91, officials said the school district participated in the Ministry of Education’s ‘Equity in Action Project’ over two years.

This project by the Ministry helps guide school districts in addressing systemic barriers impacting Indigenous student achievement.

Over 2018-2019 and 2019-2020 school years, SD91 included focus groups, individual interviews, and staff, parent and student surveys to create a list of recommendations for the school district in the areas of — Culture and Language; Connectedness and Relationships; Communication.

A key recommendation was the development of the Honouring Diversity course for grade 8 students, stated the news release.

Beginning this year, every Nechako Lakes grade 8 student will be taking part in the diversity course taught by high school teachers.

The release stated that the curricular basis for this program comes from the Ministry of Education’s Personal and Social Core Competency Curriculum.

The course as defined by the Ministry explores,”the set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society. Personal and social competency encompasses what students need to thrive as individuals, to understand and care about themselves and others, and to find and achieve their purposes in the world.”

“We are confident that this course will be foundational in ensuring that each of our grade 8 students begin their high school journey grounded in an environment of safety, awareness and inclusion,” officials said.