I just wanted to provide you with another update as we head into the beginning of a new week.  The team has been actively working this weekend on plans to support our staff, students and communities.  These are incredibly difficult times; the lasting and damaging impact of residential schools still continues today.  This is a time to support each other, particularly those most impacted.  We are incredibly mindful of the Indigenous Education Department, students, families and the community at large. 

Some of the actions we have been working on include:

  • The lowering of flags to half mast  https://www.canada.ca/en/canadian-heritage/services/half-masting-notices.html
  • To acknowledge the 215 lives lost, District staff will wear orange
  • Support for the Indigenous education team (letter of support and check ins) Chas and David have been working on specific supports for our Indigenous staff and students and targeted resources. 
  • Additional supports in schools for Indigenous youth (CIRT)
  • Letters of condolences and support to our local nations
  • We will have an admin meeting tomorrow morning at 8:15 am and will provide them with a PP they can use with staff (I will send it to you once finalized tomorrow morning)
  • Our comms team will put information out through the multiple channels
  • Lorelei and our Wellness team will be updating our Wellness Hub.  
  • We have worked with our service provider and will have extra crisis/trauma counsellors for VSB staff through our Employee and Family Assistance Program – 1-844-880-9137 
  • If there are employees who have been impacted and would like to request a Critical Incident Debrief through EFAP (different than a District CIRT team response) for a site, they need to contact Employee Wellness at wellness@vsb.bc.ca or 604 713 5927 (we will let our admin know and can work with them)
  • Here to Help line 310-6789 (no area code) for any staff who are not on benefits; available 24/7 

Just wanted to keep you all looped in as we work together for our staff and students through this tragedy.

Will provide another update tomorrow.

Have a good evening.

Carmen Batista

Associate Superintendent – Employee Services
Vancouver School Board