Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

UPDate February 2017

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Pink Shirt Day

In a world where we can be anything, be KIND. We all have the capacity to be kind and compassionate, and our slogan acts as a friendly reminder that no matter what our differences, being nice is always a choice worth making.

SD 61 Pink Shirt Day School Posters

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Social Emotional Learning Creates a Welcoming and Caring Climate for Students

Molly is an eighth-grader. Six months after her school intentionally embedded social and emotional learning into the school day she says, "I can already tell I'm caring more about what I do in life." SEL is making a difference in how Molly approaches her life and how she interacts with her teachers, friends, and classmates. "I try to help my friends realize they have people in the real world who care about them. Sometimes you just need someone to help you focus, to realize what's important, and to smile."

Museums, Math and Social Emotional Learning?

Museums are safe and informal learning platforms, uniquely equipped to raise awareness about people, places, and subjects of study outside of our normal experience. When we think about lessons in joy and empathy, math class might not immediately spring to mind. But perhaps it should.

Second Step –Skills for Social and Academic Success

Second Step lessons have helped educators instill social-emotional skills in their students K-8 for over 20 years. The lessons are supported by music and videos, take-home activities, and developmentally appropriate stories that students can relate to. Free Second Step webinars are available in February and March. Experts will show you how the Second Step Suite can help you create a safe and supportive school community with social-emotional skills, bullying prevention, and child protection.

Here to Help -Mental Health and Substance Use Information you can Trust

Here to Help is a website of the BC Partners for Mental Health and Addictions which are a group of seven leading provincial mental health and addictions non-profit agencies. They work together to help people prevent and manage mental health and substance use problems and live a healthier life.


iMinds supports educators to implement conversations on substance use in schools. Research reminds us that facts, stats and fear-focused approaches to drug education are rarely effective when it comes to helping young people navigate a world where substance use is common practice. What offers more promise is an educational approach with the use of inquiry across subject areas. Click here to read more.

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Stigma-Free Zone

The Stigma-Free Zone movement is a new and exciting initiative that is dedicated to the awareness of the stigmas that exist in society. Stigma-Free Zone programs support and educate individuals, especially youth, to manage their personal mental wellness and develop an understanding of the challenges that numerous people face. They also offer Mental Health Peer Support Groups in Victoria.

We Matter Campaign

We Matter is a national multi-media campaign designed to gather positive messages from people across the country, to offer support for Indigenous youth going through a hard time. The website has powerful videos offering messages of hope to Indigenous youth and a place for youth to upload their own video.There is also a Get Help resource section for youth in crisis.

Trans Lifeline 1-877-330-6366

Trans Lifeline is a non-profit dedicated to the wellbeing of transgender people. The hotline is staffed by transgender people for transgender people. Volunteers are ready to respond to whatever support needs members of our community might have.

Out in Schools

Out in schools brings fresh and relevant films into classrooms to facilitate dialogue about the reality of LGBT youth experience. Youth learn the impacts of homophobia, transphobia and other forms of discrimination. They walk out of a presentation with a fresh perspective and commitment to step up to stop bullying.
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New Action Schools! BC Workshops

The updated workshops reflect changes to BC's education system, integrate comprehensive school health, First Nation's Principles of Learning and mental well-being. The goal of the Action Schools! BC program is to support students learning to be healthy. Visit the Action Schools! BC website to schedule the new workshops.

Canada Games Activity Challenge

Celebrate Canada's 150th birthday and build daily activity habits for Canadian kids! Join thousands of elementary schools across Canada for the Canada Games Activity Challenge.

Stop Marketing Junk Food to Kids

Our children and youth are bombarded with marketing messages for unhealthy food and beverages. The Heart and Stroke Foundation’s 2017 Report on the Health of Canadians examines how industry markets unhealthy food and beverages directly to our children and youth, and how this affects their preferences and choices, their family relationships and their health.

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Ten Tips for Successful Outdoor Learning

Children spending more time in front of a screen than they are outside. What are the impacts of this indoor lifestyle on our children’s physical and mental wellbeing? And most crucially, how can we reconnect our children with the natural world The research is clear – students learn better when learning takes place outside. Read more…

Connecting Kids To Nature Through Play

The objective of EarthPLAY is to put self-directed outdoor play back into the lives of children as a natural part of their day-to-day lives. EarthPLAY addresses play provision in schools, childcare centres, parks, streets and other community green spaces, highlighting the importance of freely chosen outdoor play as a vital determinant of health and social wellbeing.

Join the Butterflyway Project!

The David Suzuki Foundation is recruiting people to join The Butterflyway Project and they are starting in Victoria! Keen volunteers will be trained as local Butterflyway Rangers to help create patches of butterfly- and bee-friendly habitat throughout their neighbourhoods. Victoria Ranger training takes place March 4 and 5, 2017 at Goward House in Cadboro Bay. Apply by February 17.

Go With The Flow: Teaching and Taking Action for a Healthier Watershed

Go With the Flow resource for K-12 Teachers explores how the planning, design, land use and stewardship of school grounds impact the flow and quality of water through our local watersheds. It is available in French and English.

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For more grant opportunities visit the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools website

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Adolescent Sexual Behaviour in a Digital World-Parent Workshop

Wednesday, Feb. 22nd, 7-9pm

SJ Willis Educational Centre

In today’s age of internet chat rooms, online forums and social networking sites, people are able to interact online more easily than ever before. These circumstances provide an ideal environment for predators to communicate with and victimize vulnerable children and youth.

Children of the Street Society of Vancouver have been delivering workshops that empower students with knowledge on the issue of sexual exploitation and tools for healthy, safe relationships for the past 18 years. However they thought it would be great if the adults dealing with children on a daily basis could experience the workshops as well. The highly skilled and personable workshop facilitators have a unique ability to address challenging content while maintaining a fun workshop environment!

Register here

Mental Health Extravaganza

Thursday, March 9th, 6-8pm

3031 Quadra Street

Victoria, BC

Child and Youth Mental Health and Quadra School are pleased to present an evening of information by experts and parents on children's mental health.

Topics include: depression, anxiety, attention deficit, and conduct. Experts will present on each topic for 10-15 minutes, followed by a 5 minute follow-up by parents who have children living these experiences. Many community organizations will be present to share their role in the community during an open table sharing time.

You can register at the link below.

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Balancing Our Minds Youth Summit

Thursday, May 4th, 9:30am-2:15pm

Bear Mountain Arena

Balancing our Minds Youth Summit is a youth-led event focused on youth mental wellness for students grade 9-12. The event is being organized by SD 61, 62, 63, 64 and Island Health.

Event Goals:

  • Increase knowledge about mental health and substance use
  • Build awareness of available mental health tools, resources and services
  • Decrease stigma towards individuals experiencing mental health challenges
  • Generate ideas about how to promote mental wellness in schools and communities

Administrators and Counsellors will be sent event registration when available.

Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

This Update is intended for information purposes. Inclusion in the Update does not necessarily imply endorsement or recommendation by the District or the Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools Program. It is the readers’ responsibility to determine the suitability of the resource for their specific purposes.

Marnice Jones

Greater Victoria School District

Coordinator Healthy, Safe and Caring Schools

Learning Support