It is with great pride that I write this message. It is not an exaggeration to say that SSDEC schools continue to thrive in an environment that is unpredictable and challenging. The pandemic brought out the best in our school communities. Despite a difficult time that stretched our resources, physical and mental health, and sense of community, our students continued to achieve well above expectations to the surprise of no one and to the delight of all.
In strife, there are opportunities. We are told to seek wisdom, not knowledge, as wisdom transcends time and place. We have grown wiser, more agile and resilient in the last 3 years. We no longer fear the unknown and have emerged stronger and more determined than ever to break through the barriers that have held us back.
Our school initiatives of indigenizing education, removing colonial assumptions from the past and living the calls to action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission have set us on a path of true empowerment for our students and communities. This shift to cultural awareness is a work in progress from the last 10 years, building on the accomplishments and shared wisdom of our Elders, the commitment from our educational leaders, the support from the community and the guidance from the District Education Authorities.
The Board’s commitment to the Leadership for Literacy initiative and numeracy programming, continue to help close the achievement gap and support ever increasing numbers of graduates each year. This statistic is a great source of pride for our schools and it’s one that will continue to improve.
In addition to supports for attendance initiatives, we have dedicated time and effort to genuinely engage students through relevant content, the nurturing of authentic relationships and long-term commitments to their learning. Creative and innovative pedagogic practices that focus on the whole individual has given students ownership of their education and put them in the driving seat on their path to adulthood.
We have not compromised our high standards continuing to choose to focus on the belief that every child can and will learn. Supports will be placed at every step of the way to help our students develop self-efficacy and confidence in their abilities as learners. This monumental task will not be possible without the continued support and collaboration with outside agencies, the community, and the biggest champions of our students, their families.
As we are about to begin a new school year, I want to renew our commitment to our school communities and thank you for your unwavering support of our teachers, student assistants, custodians, support staff and administrators. These very important jobs would not be possible without your solid support.
Dr. Souhail Soujah Superintendent