The Sooke School District has created a new lead principal for comprehensive school health and social and emotional learning position. (CollegeDegrees360/Flickr)

Sooke school district creates new comprehensive school health position

Ruchi McArthur will develop framework to improve wellness of students

Increases in anxiety and mental health concerns as well as statistics around the physical health of students have prompted the Sooke School District to create a new comprehensive school health position.

The title for the new position, which will start with the 2019/20 school year, is lead principal for comprehensive school health and social and emotional learning.

Dave Strange, associate superintendent, told Black Press Media the role will be filled by Saseenos Elementary principal Ruchi McArthur, who has seconded from her principal position for at least one year.

READ MORE: West Shore teen who died of suspected fentanyl overdose remembered as ‘kind’, ‘bubbly’

Strange said the creation of the position was driven in part by political will as well as the reality that mental and physical health are prerequisites for learning and academics.

“There’s certainly a drive from the Ministry of Education and Ministry of Health, as we see within our population, both students and teachers, increases in anxiety, increases in mental health concerns, certainly the statistics around the physical health of our society when we talk about inactivity, obesity, general health concerns like that,” Strange said.

“I think we’re really looking at that and saying that is a core responsibility of ours and we’ve been doing a good job, but we want to build on that.”

READ MORE: SD62 board passes $143M budget, lone opposition concerned over library funding cuts

He said McArthur’s primary goal will be to develop a comprehensive, three-year Healthy Schools, Healthy People framework to establish “clear, measureable goals and objectives to improve wellness of students, staff and by extension, families.”

She will evaluate existing comprehensive school health practices and update them as required. For example, she will explore opportunities for collaboration between the district and the approximately 30 partners who sit at their Healthy Schools, Healthy People community table.

“Now that we have these really strong, established relationships, let’s start leveraging that,” Strange said of the table, which has grown over the past couple of years to include partners such as Island Health, Child and Teen Mental Health, and the Ministry of Children and Family Development.

“We really are the venue that houses these kids for a significant amount of time each day, each year, for 13 years of their lives.”

McArthur may also undertake other short-term interventions. Strange said interventions could include areas of nutrition, mental well-being, sexual orientation and gender identity, and substance use.


@SookeNews

karissa.gall@blackpress.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

RCMP to stop providing security for Prince Harry and Meghan

Public safety minister says RCMP has been helping UK police intermittently since November

Saanich Subway restaurant robbed at knifepoint

Police ask witnesses to come forward

Westshore Wolves nip Peninsula Panther to tie playoff series

The Cats resume VIJHL playoffs against the Wolves Friday in North Saanich

First arrests made at BC Legislature after demonstrators spray chalk on property

Legislature security arrested two people, allegedly for mischief

Improvements to Reay Creek Dam could end up raising Sidney’s costs

Sidney and Ottawa are still discussing ways to coordinate remediation

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers wanted list for the week of Feb. 25

Greater Victoria Crime Stoppers is seeking the public’s help in locating the… Continue reading

What’s happening: Coronavirus forges on, as world hunts solutions

Japan closes all elementary, middle and high schools until spring holidays in late March

RCMP, hereditary chiefs reach deal to end police patrols of Wet’suwet’en lands

Withdrawal opens door for talks today between hereditary chiefs, province and federal gov

Should you shave your beard to stop COVID-19? The U.S. CDC has a guide

Facial hair could be a big no-no if COVID-19 reaches pandemic status

Canada’s 13th coronavirus case confirmed as husband of 12th patient

More than 81,000 cases of COVID-19 have occurred since the virus emerged in China

Shuswap boy wins hockey stick from NHL hero with rock, paper, scissors

Chase’s Payton Koch’s exchange with Minnesota Wild’s Kevin Fiala caught on camera

Surrey will replace its RCMP force with municipal police, province confirms

City of Surrey has been authorized to set up its own city police force

Most Read