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SD8 Takes Next Step Toward Anti-racism Policy

- Partners and public invited to complete online survey

School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) invites students, parents, staff and the wider community to share their voices in an online survey. The survey is part of a comprehensive public engagement process initiated by the Board of Education to inform a new policy to address racism.

The online public survey is accessible through the district website and open until the end of February 2022. Take the survey. The Board of Education’s Anti-racism Advisory Council will collate the survey results and collaborate towards a new policy to submit to the Board of Education in April 2022.

“Our district is dedicated to building awareness and changing attitudes about racism, both in the classroom and the workplace. What we learn from our educational partners will result in a policy to support the Board’s commitment to diversity, equity and reconciliation,” said Board Chair Lenora Trenaman.

The Board of Education is committed to creating meaningful and inclusive engagement opportunities and hopes to hear directly from students, parents, staff and the community with regards to the development of the SD8 Anti-racism policy.

“Staff and student participation over the last year and going forward will inform the work of the Advisory Council’s anti-racism action plan and policy to ensure that all of our schools are safe and welcoming places where diversity is celebrated,” said Superintendent Trish Smillie. “I am thankful to our staff and students for their commitment to making SD8 a supportive and equitable environment for learning and working.”

In February 2021, SD8 launched an anti-racism website as an online resource for both educators and parents to help provide practical guidance for students and staff around issues of race. In December 2021, the district hosted workshop for SD8 BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and People of Colour) students to help develop activities, insights, and recommendations . The outcome was the Students Tending the Fire toolbox for use in schools, intended to help educate, inform and personalize the topic of anti-racism for all SD8 learning communities.

“Students are leading the way in our anti-racism work with their wisdom, resilience and truth-telling through the Tending the Fire process. We will continue to keep them at the centre of the circle while we invite all students and others across the school district to complete our survey,” said Gail Higginbottom, District Principal Aboriginal Education and a member of the SD8 Anti-racism Advisory Council.

The SD8 Anti-racism Advisory Council has begun a series of meetings to guide the formal process of creating an anti-racism policy. Updates and further background information are available on our public engagement page.

For more information:

Trish Smillie, Superintendent of Schools/Chief Executive Officer

About the Board of Education of School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake):

The Board of Education of School District No. 8 provides educational services to numerous diverse communities in the East & West Kootenays, including Crawford Bay, Creston, Kaslo, Meadow Creek, Nelson, Salmo, Slocan, South Slocan, Winlaw, Wynndel and Yahk. Its dedicated team focuses on providing the best possible educational opportunities for over 5,400 students and their families. Its mission is to focus on excellence for all learners in a nurturing environment.