At the Tuesday, March 7, 2023 Open Board Meeting, the Board of Education unanimously passed the Identity, Belonging and Connection Policy. The Board has now enshrined in policy its commitment to all students, staff, families, and guests, especially those currently and historically marginalized, that they will make concrete steps to ensure they feel safe, included, welcomed, accepted, and experience a sense of belonging.
The Identity, Belonging, and Connection Policy was co-developed by a working group that was the result of the Board’s Ad-Hoc Anti-Racism Committee. Members of this working group consisted of Indigenous Leadership students, union leadership, the District Sul’hween (Elder), District Indigenous Education Staff, and a local community. The working group contained members who self-identified as Indigenous, and People of Colour, and those that did not. The working group was co-facilitated by the District Superintendent and Director of Communications.
“The Board was unanimous in its support for this policy and in our gratitude for the working group that came together to see its construction. Having steadfast commitments in our policy sets the course for our district, and proudly proclaims our commitment to our school community that everyone belongs,” said Cathy Schmidt, Chair of the Board of Education for the Cowichan Valley School District.
This policy will now be the guide for staff as a new Administrative Procedure (AP) is created to compliment this work. The AP will set out district actions and accountabilities to make this foundational policy a reality.
Find Policy 25 – Identity, Belonging, and Connection Policy here