Superintendent's Message - Celebrating Pink Shirt Day 2016 and Safe and Caring Learning Environments

Superintendent's Message - Celebrating Pink Shirt Day 2016 and Safe and Caring Learning Environments

At Peace River School Division (PRSD) we pride ourselves in our ability to create and foster safe and caring learning environments. There are many people who play a role in this process and I would like to take this opportunity to celebrate their efforts and thank all the students, staff, parents, local partners, and community members who contribute to creating a culture of kindness and respect in our schools.

As Pink Shirt Day approaches on February 24, 2016 we reflect on the role that these consistent efforts to promote healthy and positive relationships and prevent bullying have in our schools and our lives.

A History of Pink Shirt Day:
The movement began in 2007 when Travis Price, a Grade 12 student in Nova Scotia, and his friends observed a younger male student being bullied for wearing a pink shirt. To show their support and take a stand against the bullies Travis and his friends all wore pink shirts to school the next day.

The spirit of their gesture resonated, and then began to spread. Now thousands of Canadians participate every year by wearing a pink shirt as a statement that they too, take a stand against bullying of any kind.

Accountability Pillar Results:
We are very pleased to share that PRSD received the classification of ‘Excellent’ in the Safe and Caring Schools category with improvement levels rated as ‘Very High’ on the 2015 Alberta Education Accountability Pillar Report. Our score of 89.5% is above provincial average in this category. This score is based on feedback from students, staff, and parents through the annual Alberta Education Survey.

This score is encouraging as we continue striving to provide on-going programs, initiatives, and presentations that are focused on building and nurturing positive relationships and personal well-being. Examples of some of these programs include the work of our school based Youth Education Support Workers, Success Coaches, student leadership groups, mentorship programs and the many exciting events that will be coming up as part of our division-wide Pink Shirt Day events – A listing of which will be released shortly.

Providing safe and caring learning environments for students is very important to us. We understand that in order for students to learn, flourish and reach their full potential, they need to feel safe, happy and cared for in a positive learning environment.

Thank you so much for your involvement and support and we invite you to join us on February 24 for Pink Shirt Day 2016 when PRSD students and staff will wear pink and stand united to support healthy relationships, wellness, and diversity.

Paul Bennett
Superintendent of Schools
Peace River School Division No. 10