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

Black History Month: Documentary sheds light on black pioneers’ role in Victoria

Secret Victoria: Rush to Freedom looks at how a mass migration shaped the capital

Camosun’s two volleyball teams bumped out of provincial championship title

Camosun Chargers lose gold medal match on Saturday, Feb. 22

VIDEO: Royals nab 4–3 win against Kelowna Rockets in shootout

Jerseys worn during match up for auction, proceeds towards BC Cancer Foundation

VicPD ask for public’s help to find high-risk missing 17-year-old girl

Ella Terrio-Johnston last seen in Chinatown on Feb. 21

Sidney plans to strengthen EV charging requirements

Proposed update expected for spring 2020

Governor general says multiple solutions needed for ‘complicated’ overdose issue

Julie Payette met at a fire hall with firefighters and police officers as well as politicians and health experts

Violent ends to past Indigenous protests haunt Trudeau government

Trudeau adopted a more assertive tone Friday, insisting the barricade must come down

VIDEO: Wounded Warrior Run leaves Port Hardy on eight-day trek down Vancouver island

The team’s fundraising goal this year is $250,000, which is double last year’s goal.

HIGHLIGHTS: Day one and two at the 2020 BC Winter Games

Athletes had sunny – but cold – weather to work with in Fort St. John

B.C. money laundering inquiry to begin amid hopes for answers, accountability

Eby argued that most B.C. residents already know the previous government, at best, turned a blind eye

Blockades remain in place as Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs returning to B.C.

Hereditary Chief Woos said they are ready to engage in nation-to-nation talks with the B.C.

Tyler Toffoli scores twice, Canucks crush Bruins 9-3

Stecher, Miller each add three points for Vancouver

Zamboni driver, 42, earns NHL win over Maple Leafs

Emergency goalie called into action for Carolina Hurricanes

Most Read