As we enter another month of winter, this is a good time to be thinking about our health, well-being and the importance of self-care. We know that, like all of us, our students can focus better when they feel better. Our schools play an important role in health and mental health promotion and education, and fostering well-being and mental health is one of our priorities as a school board.
There is a lot of work taking place in our schools and board to create healthy schools and promote mental health and well-being, including:
- Providing training and resources for educators on strategies to support mentally healthy classrooms for all students, including holding a mental health conference.
- Hiring identity specific mental health workers and developing partnerships with community partners to serve the diverse needs of our students.
- Developing a Student Suicide Intervention Protocol to help keep students safe in the event of suicidal thoughts or actions.
- Educating students about the risks of substance use and misuse, including vaping and cannabis.
- Providing strategies and supports for students in preparing for exams and managing stress.
This commitment is also reflected in Board policy like the Healthy Schools and Workplaces policy and procedures. Setting policy, which governs the operation of the Board, is one of the roles of trustees, and we greatly value the input provided by students, staff members, family and community members. I encourage you to look at the policies under review and share your feedback.
We have a lot to look forward to in 2020. At the Board meeting in December, trustees unanimously approved the addition of new permanent Indigenous Trustee and Indigenous Student Trustee positions. We are committed to Indigenous Education in our Board and it is important that these voices are represented at the table. We hope to fill the positions as soon as possible and will share more information as it becomes available.
A message from the Chair of the Board of Trustees is also available on the Board website at www.yrdsb.ca.
Markham Ward 1/Vaughan Ward 5