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Inclusive Learning Communities

Inclusive Learning Communities with person icon

We are developing district-wide understanding and capacity so that all our students are members of classrooms that are inclusive learning communities. We are becoming more able to grow the strengths and meet the needs of students in their classrooms with their peers. We will provide appropriate supports and interventions whether a student has a diagnosis connected to a special education category or not. We are creating learning environments that enable students to develop a sense of belonging and ensure they see themselves in the curriculum. We know the improvements we make for vulnerable students or students with different interests and talents will benefit all students. 

Some examples of the work of our plan are: 

  • Foster a growth mindset: all students can be successful
  • Learning Series: Inclusive Learning Communities Shelley Moore
  • Shift from pull-out to push-in supports so learning happens with peers in the context of classroom learning
  • Shift from pre-designed programs to universal design for effective instruction for all students.
  • Shift from finding the right place for students to creating classroom communities for all students
  • Updated policies and administrative procedures to ensure accountability and transparency
  • Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) school lead team and district SOGI plan
  • Implementation of Ease Everyday Anxiety Strategies for Educators (EASE) program K-12 for the benefit of staff and students

Community-wide protocols and partnerships for supporting students (Violence Threat Risk Assessment, Suicide Risk Assessment, Situation Table, Integrated Case Assessment Team, Suicide and Sudden Death Committee, and Communities That Care.)

Keep scrolling to see how our district is developing inclusive learning communities this year!

Creating Trauma-Informed Resilient Schools

Tatla Lake Elementary/Junior

Building resilient schools with trauma training is a critical initiative aimed at supporting Indigenous students and communities in addressing the implications of historical and intergenerational trauma.  I was grateful to have been invited to participate in this session with TNG alongside many indigenous elders and teachers from whom I also learned much.


Deafblindness simulation in Mile 108

Support Services and Mile 108

Have you ever wondered what it might be like to be Deafblind? The team at Mile 108 and our Teacher of Deaf and Hard of Hearing (TDHH) participated in a Deafblindness simulation hosted by the Provincial Outreach Program for Deaf and Hard of Hearing (POPDHH) on the April 26 professional day. It was a great reflection of the accessibility needs of our schools and how we as educators can seek out to support those with dual sensory losses such as Deafblindness. The goal is to empower the people providing the day-to-day support to fully understand the impact that deafblindness has on a student’s ability to learn and to provide them with the most effective techniques and strategies that grow with the changing needs of the student.


Children’s Low Vision Clinic in Vanderhoof

Support Services

The Children's Low Vision Clinic is a group of professionals who visit communities in BC to evaluate learners who have a visual impairment. Each learner is supported by a Teacher for the Visually Impaired (TVI). Cathy Tassie is the TVI for SD91 (Nechako Lakes) as well as the consulting TVI for SD27 (Cariboo-Chilcotin). The team visits School Districts throughout BC and came to Vanderhoof on Thursday April 18, 2024. This is the 3rd time the clinic has been hosted in Vanderhoof. This time, the clinic was held at the College of New Caledonia (CNC) campus in Vanderhoof. Recommendations from this clinic can be used when considering a SET-BC application for equipment for the learner. In the foreground, Kerry Barclay has laid out low-tech solutions, including monoculars and hand-held telescopes. The learners can also try out wrap-around sunglasses that help those who are very sensitive to sunlight. At the clinic, the learner and their parent(s) rotate through 6 different stations. Each station can last up to 30 minutes. At the end of the clinic, all the professionals gather with the family and give an overview of what their findings were. Each family will be receiving a detailed report in the next few weeks. At the end of the 2–3-hour appointment, everyone gathers with each family and discusses their findings. At this point, the low-tech equipment is gathered and given to each learner to take home with them. Parents are universal in their appreciation of the Low Vision Clinic. Many of the families find the ability to talk to so many experts in one place to be vastly superior from going to Vancouver for a 20-minute appointment with one specialist. In this photo, Adam Wilton is helping a learner from Williams Lake choose a magnifier that will help her with seeing print more clearly. Magnifiers, lamps, book stands, erasable pens and highlighters are some of the low-tech solutions that the learners can try. Cathy Tassie Teacher for the Visually Impaired SD91 Vision Consultant SD27.


Loose Parts

Support Services

Our Early Learning Co-Ordinator travelled to Tatla Lake and Anahim Lake this Spring to host a Loose Parts Workshop on connecting play to our every day learning. We had community members from the local nations join them for these evening. She will return to host again this May. 


Mindful Mondays

Nesika Elementary

Nesika is proud to be facilitating Mindful Mondays. Today during the “Mindful Monday” transition after lunch our classes learned about chair yoga! Learning about new strategies to self-regulate and enhance comprehensive health is part of our school plan for learner success.


School Collaboration

Big Lake Elementary

Primary students at Big Lake Elementary and a class at Marie Sharpe had the opportunity to participate in two joint field trips this winter. For one - we visited the Williams Lake Community Forest. This led to inclusive opportunities for students to meet, learn and play with children they wouldn’t normally meet. Students worked together to build on and explore the land in the community forest. They were able to build new friendships and learn skills from each other. This activity showcased student’s individual talents and knowledge in the outdoors and gave them opportunities to be leaders and teach others.



Value Diversity

Chilcotin Road Elementary

For Black History Month Mrs. Hutchinson thought it would be a great idea to look at the concept of diversity through the book, More than Peach.  This student produced bulletin board is proof that everyone is valued here.


Kiwanis Park Communication Board

Support Services

150 Mile Elementary Ashely Merth, our amazing SLP, Charlotte Lundeen, our Early Years Coordinator Beulah Smith and a big group of community partners, have been working together to create a communication board to support all learners on playgrounds in the Williams Lake Community. The  board for Kiwanis park in Williams Lake, that has been a joint effort with WLFN, the City of Williams Lake, Cariboo Chilcotin Partners for Literacy, Early Learning SD#27 and our School District. This board supports communication in both English and Secwepemctsin. The attached picture is just a draft of what will be up at Kiwanis park soon!! We also have a communication board spearheaded by Kari Johnson at Nesika school. Well done everyone and thanks for helping our community to be an inclusive space. 

Kiwanis Park Communication Board

Pink Shirt Day

Tatla Lake Elementary/Junior

On Pink Shirt Day children in Kindergarten to Grade 7 participated in a virtual author visit with Monique Gray Smith. She read her books You Hold Me Up and When We are Kind, and lead us in a brief child-friendly discussion on the message of Pink Shirt Day.  We were reminded that there is room for everyone in our circle!



Friendship Soup

Nesika Elementary

On Pink Shirt Day at Nesika, students in every classroom collaborated by contributing an ingredient to their class' "Friendship Soup". All students were invited to try their soup and many students tried an ingredient or recipe they hadn't tried before! Food education is part of comprehensive school health and nutrition is an important part of our school food program. One class' soup wasn't ready on time and another class was able to share their soup with them instead. It was a completely heartwarming (and belly-warming!) experience for all of us! Sharing food is a way to demonstrate care.

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Kindness Heals

Skyline Alternate

Fostering a growth mindset by developing Valentine's Day kindness bag to hand to strangers in the community.   The students took some of the ideas from their Ease Training and decided to spread the kindness, by a smile, a quick chat and a bag of sweets.   The response the students received was amazing and so rewarding for them.  



Year of the Dragon

Marie Sharpe Elementary

We are so fortunate to have a diverse student population.  With students joining us from all over the province, country and the world, we try to learn about and celebrate the various cultures that are part of our community.  Recently, ELL teacher Mrs. Vanderlaan led us on a learning journey about The Chinese New Year.  Did you know that we are in the Year of the Dragon?  The Chinese Horoscope for 2024 foretells a year of prosperity for the Dragon, symbolizing authority, abundance, and good fortune.


Heart Day

Naghtaneqed Elem/Junior Secondary

Creating a creative, inclusive environment will not only help students with learning differences – it will also support students by making them more aware, tolerant and understanding of each other. Using various materials, all students creating "Valentine's" cards for loved ones and for each other secretly, was an environment that students happily designed images and messages together in harmony.


Cataline Builds Attendance By Building Community

Cataline Elementary

Principal Dwayne Benvin and Vice-Principal Tess Riley shared with the Board Education Committee how their school is seeing significantly improved attendance as a result of the efforts of their staff team. Strategies and structures include wrapping around families, helping with the logistics of getting students to school, frequent positive communication, nutrition programs, and more. The School Based Team (SBT) plays an important role. Cataline students are encouraged, supported, and celebrated as Attendance HEROs (Here at school, Everyday, Ready to learn, On-time). 



Sign Language

150 Mile Elementary

At 150 Mile Elementary, Mrs. Fofonoff's Kindergarten class learned American Sign Language as part of a song presented to the school. This learning opportunity was designed to include a student in the class who uses sign language while also teaching the students ways to communicate with their classmates.


Spirit Days

Alexis Creek Elem/Jr/Secondary 

We are beginning the new year with bringing in "Spirit Days". On first special day was held on January 23rd, 2024. It was "Stuffy Day". Students brought their favourite stuffed toy to school. The K to 5 class had an imaginary tea party with their stuffies. 


Expanding Food Program

Tatla Elementary/Junior

With the support of our School District and Feeding Futures funding, Tatla Lake Elementary & Jr. Secondary School is taking a crucial step toward ensuring that students receive daily nourishing meals daily to support their well-being and readiness to learn.  Our newly expanded meal program includes daily breakfast and lunch.



Guest Enable Students To Develop A Sense Of Belonging 

Dog Creek Elem/Jr Secondary

We have weekly visits from outside agencies to offer counselling, to diversify interests in health, and foster a growth mindset. 



Columneetza Cares Assembly

Columneetza Jr. Secondary

Columneetza Cares is an initiative driven by Mr. Sheppard's Leadership classes this year to help others in need.  As a whole school community, we brought in over 400 toys ($7000 worth) for the Toy Drive and brought in over 1700 items in winter wear ($4000 worth) that were donated back to the community!  To celebrate, we held a Columneetza Cares assembly the week before Winter Break and the top 4 classes to donate the most toys for the Toy Drive got to compete in a series of "Minute to Win Its,” which determined the classes who delivered the toys to students at both Cataline and Nesika elementary schools.   The staff also put on a hilarious skit with The Grinch, Jimmy Falcon and Santa that had a caring theme and aligned with the recent Toy Drive.  We ended the assembly with an interactive audience question and answer period about how to promote kindness in and around our school and community.     

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Mountview Learns about Inclusion

Mountview Elementary

Mountview was fortunate to have a visit from Michael Bortolotto, who is a very talented public speaker about the topics of anti-bullying and inclusion. Michael shared his story about growing up with Cerebral Palsy and having to deal with bullies and being singled out because he was different. We heard about how to work hard to overcome obstacles and make a positive difference in the world despite obstacles in our path. A powerful afternoon for Mountview's learners. 


Supporting Safety in our Schools

SD27 Student Support Services

At Student Support Services we will offer Non-Crisis Intervention training throughout out the year. Our Inclusive Education Co-Ordinator Erin Pedersen has been guiding participants through the program to expand their knowledge in tough situations at our schools and in the workplace. The objective of the training is to provide our staff with tools that can help them manage those who may be potentially violent either verbally or physically. In the course staff discuss well-tested techniques that may help them to become more confident, calm, consistent and successful when interacting with potentially violent individuals. A non-violent response can de-escalate a situation that could become dangerous for the individual or the person responding and trying to find a peaceful outcome.



ASL in Schools

SD27 Student Support Services

Jana Prokes our Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing brought together a group of staff that are working together to learn basic sign vocabulary that can improve teacher-student communication! The group had so much fun laughing and learning they are hoping to make it a regular occurrence!

Nesika Playground Communication Boards

Nesika Elementary

A dream project realized! We just installed two Playground Communication Boards. They are custom: conceptualized by our Speech and Language Pathologist Charlotte Lundeen and vetted by our Learning Support Teacher Kari Johnson and Principal Holly Zurak. The way these signs will open up play for ALL kiddos… major!!
Thank you Schickworks, Mr. Brown and SD27 grounds crew for getting it complete!


Learning Support Teacher Monthly Meetings and Supports

SD27 Student Support Services

The LST monthly meeting is a great chance to get together across the district to brainstorm and work together to support our students in their inclusive classrooms. This past year they have implemented a new School Based Team process that has streamlined services to ensure that students are getting the support the need. Our LST team in the TEAMS program keeps resources at our fingertips so that we are all on the same page. 

Recognizing student achievement with Circle of Courage lens

Lake City Secondary

Our Student of the Week program celebrates student achievement in area of mastery, generosity, independence or belonging. Each teacher has a week in the year to choose their student. 


Focusing on "IEPeas"

Nesika Elementary

We spent the November staff meeting exploring a single topic: IEPeas. Thank you to educational consultant Dr. Shelley Moore who worked with us through the spring, and for all the support and tools to lead our staff through this activity. We are "growing together" to remove barriers for our students and increase access for all learners. Thank you to our learning support teacher Kari Johnson and intermediate teacher Lacey Nasuszny for your leadership and class sharing that has gone into our school’s inclusion planning!

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Connection, Understanding, and Belonging

100 Mile Elementary

On November 14th, our grade 6/7 classes enjoyed a field trip to Williams Lake. Their first stop was the Museum at the Discovery Centre. Students listened to Mr. Christopher, describe the Indigenous displays around a nearly 800-year-old Cedar tree! Their next stop was TRU. They were honoured to eat their lunch in the Gathering Place, which was opened for them by Geraldine Bob, Coordinator of Indigenous Support Services at TRU. They were also honoured to listen to Dave Archie, who drummed and sang them the Chief song. After lunch was a very powerful viewing of the Witness Blanket, currently on display at TRU. Students thoughtfully marvelled at the work of artist Carey Newman's tribute to the children who were forced into the residential school system in Canada.

At 100 Mile Elementary, we are creating learning environments and relationships that enable students to develop a sense of belonging and ensure they see themselves in the curriculum.


Project Salmon Feast

Dog Creek Elementary

Our students had a hands-on learning opportunity to do the group project of preparing a salmon feast. Students were able to showcase their strengths in different roles such as: deboning, seasoning, cutting, and taste testing. As the group progressed students were able to express their need for support in different tasks.  Everyone took the time to support one another until the meal was cooked and the clean-up was complete. After the students feasted, they gave a verbal assessment of how their hard work paid off. 



New Staff Welcome Events

District-wide Event

We ensure our new staff feel welcomed and connected by hosting welcome events.  All staff, regardless of position, are invited to meet other staff who are new to the district to make connections and form friendships. Members of our district team are also in attendance to provide a face to the resources, answer questions, and provide support.  

Thriving in your community is equally as important to thriving in your career! We want our newest Cariboo-Chilcotin School District colleagues to love where they live, love what they do, and feel supported in their careers. 


Inclusive Learning Environments

Skyline Alternate School

The students of Skyline put their differences aside and worked alongside one another in a peer-to-peer setting to create these amazing blankets. Working in a collaborative peer environment allowed students the space to reflect on their emotions - regulating their actions and reactions. They also learned from one another as they chose their own measuring tools, set goals, and monitored their progress. They know that learning involves patience, time, and perseverance in difficult situations, such as broken needles, mistaken stitches, and misalignment.


Check Mate

Skyline Alternate School

Rather than deliver a pre-designed program to develop our students’ problem-solving skills, we offer a universal design through gameplay. The option to choose a game themselves provides students with an opportunity to recognize and accommodate their own needs as well as those of their peers. 

In this case, two of our students chose a game of chess and contemplated their next move while demonstrating persistence and a positive disposition. They applied their conceptual understanding of mathematical ideas through play, story, and inquiry. It was a great match!


Trustees Learn About Accessible BC Act

Board of Education

Cariboo-Chilcotin School District Trustees met with colleagues in the Northern Interior Branch of the BCSTA to learn about the Accessible BC Act and what the requirements are for school districts to improve our environments, services, and opportunities in meaningful ways. The session was facilitated by Cathy van der Mark and had trustees actively engaged with the definitions, understandings, and considerations of the work. 


SOGI 2023 Summit

District Event

Cariboo-Chilcotin School District was well represented at the 2023 SOGI Summit. We learned with others from across BC about creating safe and caring school environments for all students, staff, and families. We explored how to respond to non-inclusive messaging and mis-information with good, accurate information and unwavering commitment to inclusivity. 



Teachers Helping Teachers

Tatla Lake Elementary

Through collaboration, Helping Teachers build teacher capacity by supporting technology use in the classroom, by providing side-by-side support, and by engaging in conversations around lesson design and assessment. We are grateful for the support of Allison Bos in Tatla Lake School as we endeavour to improve outcomes for all students by fostering inclusive learning environments.


Students learning Lahal

Lake City Secondary

Lake City Secondary students learn to play Lahal during their lunch beak!


Inclusive Playground Communication

150 Mile Elementary

This is a project that spanned a couple of years with generous funding from the 150 Mile PAC. We have installed 2 playground communication boards at the school. These boards will help our non-verbal students communicate with their peers about what activities they want to do and where they would like to play. 


Outdoor Benches 

Cataline Elementary 

With the help from the Cataline PAC, parent volunteers, and RONA Building Supplies, grade 5/6 students in Mrs. McKinnon's class had the opportunity to put their carpentry skills to the test, building portable benches for the outdoor learning structure. Supported by a $2000 supply donation from RONA, the students were able to use the school's tools to construct benches from prefabricated pieces of wood, while following a prebuilt example. The students had a wonderful afternoon hammering nails and tightening screws, all while wearing their gifted RONA hats.     


Terry Fox Run 2023

Lac La Hache Elementary

Lac La Hache students proudly participated in the 2023 Terry Fox run joining the thousands of people across the world working to raise money for cancer research. The students learned about Terry Fox's mission and supported each other during this non-competitive charity run.


Getting to Know Each Other with Outdoor "Art Scavenger Hunt" 

Alexis Creek

September 7th was a warm, sunny day with clear skies. A perfect day for our students to work together and get to know one another better. Kindergarten to grade 10 students participated in an Art Scavenger Hunt. Students analyzed the playground areas for shapes and textures. Older students helped younger students find and record their answers. Thank you to Diana Kershaw for planning and organizing this wonderful event.

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Welcome to Our School 

100 Mile Elementary

The entryway to our school was transformed by the stunning artwork created by Spirit Carver Dean. Dean Gilpin has visited our school several times over the last couple of years inspiring us with his talent and seamlessly making strong connections with our students. We reached out to Dean to see if he could help us with making our entry more inviting and calming for everyone. Penny Reid is the visionary behind this project; she sketched her ideas out and Dean worked his magic. This strong collaboration has made a powerful impact in our school community and has changed how we feel when we enter our building. Forever grateful. 


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