Dear Students, Staff, and Parents/Guardians,
The Langley School District’s mission is to “inspire all learners to reach their full potential and create a positive legacy for the future”. We collectively, as representatives of all District staff, are taking this opportunity to highlight celebrations in the month of June as they help in continuing our work in ensuring that every child/staff matters and feels like they belong. In our District, our staff are exceptional in their respective roles, whether it be in the classroom or beyond; what we value most is compassion and care for our students and each other.
The month of June is a time of acknowledgment and celebration of diversity, equity, and inclusion in our community. Every June, the District celebrates Pride Month and National Indigenous History Month. Although we highlight these opportunities in June, we recognize and support this work in our schools throughout the year.
Pride Month is a way to acknowledge and celebrate our students, staff, and community members who identify as 2SLGBTQ+. In 2016, the BC Human Rights Code was amended to ensure that gender identity and expression are protected. We are committed to upholding human rights, supporting our students and staff, and providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming environment for all. We continue to work together to ensure that no one feels excluded or bullied because of their sexual orientation, gender identity or expression.
Throughout the year, teachers deliver SOGl-inclusive lessons in alignment with the BC curriculum. SOGl-inclusive education (SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity) helps students understand and respect differences, and creates schools that are free from discrimination, bullying, harassment, intimidation, and violence. We support our staff in helping embrace diversity and promote understanding.
National Indigenous History Month is a time to recognize the rich history, heritage, resilience and diversity of First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Peoples. It is an opportunity to honour their stories and celebrate achievements. During this month and especially on June 21st, which is National Indigenous Peoples Day, teachers and staff will be providing students with learning opportunities to gain a deeper understanding of First Nations, Inuit and Metis experiences, traditions, and cultures in alignment with BC curriculum. This is one of the many ways we are moving forward in our journey of Reconciliation and helping amplify the voices of Indigenous members of our community.
Throughout the month, staff and students will be engaging in a wide variety of learning opportunities that focus on people, the land and environment, sports, culture, and language. These opportunities are intended to be celebratory in nature. Some examples of the learning opportunities are:
- Presentations from the Aboriginal Program Cultural Presenters;
- Honouring Indigenous culture through the sharing of teachings, stories, foods, and activities;
- Discovering the importance of sport in local Indigenous communities and participating in traditional First Nations, Inuit, and Metis games;
- Researching famous Indigenous People;
- Supporting the revitalization of Indigenous languages through opportunities to learn both local land-based languages as well as those from other areas;
- Engaging in activities on the land and water that provide a greater understanding of this area.
These learning opportunities are designed to develop a deeper understanding of First Nations, Inuit and Metis Peoples and celebrate the richness of culture and knowledge. We encourage families to take part in the learning where and when they can.
Diversity and respect are valued in all our schools. We appreciate the support from everyone in the community for doing their part in helping students and staff feel like they belong.
Candy Ashdown, Chair of the Langley Board of Education
Mal Gill, Superintendent of Schools
Kim Anderson, President of the Langley Principals’ and Vice-Principals’ Association
Tanya Kerr, President of the Langley Teachers’ Association
Taylor Holoboff, President of CUPE 1260
Carey Schafer, President of CUPE 1851
Tristan Schaufler, Exempt Staff