Independents Working for You school trustee candidates Laura Dixon, Nick Kanakos and Joe Muego are committing to furthering support for at-risk and vulnerable students.
Kanakos, an incumbent trustee and former high school teacher at North Delta Secondary, said some students move through the school year with few bumps in the road, while others start out having to overcome challenges, vulnerabilities and risk factors, including ones that develop as they move through the grades.
“The concerns of a school trustee are as varied as the 16,000 school children we have enrolled in our district,” Kanakos said in a press release. “Students with special needs, students whose families struggle with poverty, LGBTQ+ students who need to feel safe and accepted, refugee families and students with mental health challenges are amongst a few of the vulnerabilities and risk factors that require our most careful consideration and support.”
Dixon, who is the current school board chair, said it’s “abundantly clear” that early intervention and prevention is always the right and most cost-effective way to support children, youth and families in Delta.
“We have responded as a school district by placing student connectedness at the top of our framework for enhancing student learning. The research is definitive that the protective factor of having several adults in the school who believe you will be a success can make all the difference; that’s what we mean by connectedness,” Dixon said in a press release. “Common sense tells us everyone works and learns in a better way when we can truly show that we care for one another.”
“We have worked with our staff and parents to ensure that we are focused on this goal, and they will be directly surveying each student on their perception of their own connectedness,” she continued. “Staff will then be taking the self-reporting data to respond right away with the appropriate strategy if we see a reason for concern. The goal is to ensure each and every student has their champions who see their potential and set them on track for a successful future.”
Muego, who currently chairs the district parent advisory council, said the number one thing parents are looking for from their child’s education isn’t top test scores, but for their kids to be cared for and know that their teachers and peers “see them as the unique individuals they are.”
“At DPAC, we encourage parents to have conversations with their child about who they feel most connected to and to work with their child’s school if they have any concerns as home and school connectedness is key to positive outcomes,” Muego said in a press release.
The civic election will take place on Oct. 20, with advance voting on Oct. 6, 10 and 11.