At-risk children, youth refocused at school board level

SD20 and community agencies look to identify the most prevalent needs of vulnerable children and youth.

The most vulnerable population of children and youth are again the centre of discussion at a board level since the school district has reinstated its at-risk committee.

School District 20 partners with community agencies and district staff to identify the most prevalent needs and addresses these through the allocation of CommunityLINKS funding.

The membership of the Children and Youth At-Risk Committee was downsized at the school board’s last regular meeting, where there was some back on forth on who should be involved in such sensitive, important discussion.

“There were probably 25 or 30 people who were invited to those meetings (before) and after awhile not everybody was making it, so the thought was let’s scale down and invite people as we need them,” explained Darrel Ganzert, board chair.

Bill Ford, SD20’s assistant superintendent, reported that a new smaller group is back at the table holding focused meetings.

“In its previous format, the meetings were not very effective, there were lots of people in the room and as result of that ineffectiveness the committee folded and didn’t actually meet for a couple years,” he explained. “We’ve reconvened a committee with a smaller group that’s quite focused on its mandate.”

The new group includes two trustees, two district staff and two members of the Kootenay Columbia Principal/Vice Principal Association.

Trustee Mickey Kinakin proposed two representatives from the Kootenay Columbia Teachers Union, CUPE and DPAC (District Parent Advisory Council) be added but his request wasn’t supported by the majority.

“We’re always looking for people to engage with the school district, we can’t have it both ways,” he added.