Saanich school district plans for more strikes, adopts LGBT policy

Volunteers plan to run extra curricular sports activities next year in SD63

Schools across the Saanich school district will co-ordinate extracurricular sports programs, organized and supervised by volunteers in September.

“We want to ensure that depending on job action, which really no one can foresee, that we have established a minimum level of opportunity [for students],” said Keven Elder, superintendent of schools.

Strike action has affected most of the school year and a three-day strike saw classrooms closed in March.

During the June 20 meeting, the board also passed a new policy concerning sexual orientation and gender identity.

Elder said policy 6150 was adopted to help the school district formalize processes in all schools regarding sexuality.

“What we’re doing is trying to reach the understanding [in our schools] that all states of being are normal,” said Elder. “We’re hearing from students that they are concerned about society’s view that being anything but heterosexual was abnormal. We need to change that and promote what it means to be in a society where everyone is accepted for who they are.”

The meeting also addressed improvements to the Saanichton Individual Learning Centre. The board approved $35,000 for the project planning phase. Elder estimates the end cost of the project to be about $500,000.

“We’re convinced this is the right location for the centre,” said Elder, referring to the building that used to house Saanichton elementary school. “Now we want to make the improvements to it so that it reflects the centre rather than an elementary school.”