Letter: Working to ensure all students thrive

October is National Principals’ Month

October is National Principals’ Month and the BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association (BCPVPA) is proud to represent our outstanding public school leaders.

In August, a BBC News story wrote about how Canada has become an ‘education superpower’ and noted that if Canadian provinces were graded as separate countries, “three of them, Alberta, British Columbia and Quebec, would be in the top five places for science in the world, alongside Singapore and Japan and above the likes of Finland and Hong Kong.” This achievement is a great credit to Canada’s public education system, which, at the school level, is led by principals and vice-principals.

As President of the BCPVPA, one of my roles is to visit schools in districts across B.C. I can attest to the fact that principals and vice-principals embrace the ideal that the fundamental purpose of their work is to ensure that all students thrive. Among their significant responsibilities is a mandate to create the conditions for student success. In addition to responsibility for the operations of their buildings — often pivotal community resources — principals and vice-principals take pride in ensuring that their schools are safe and caring places. They are teachers, role models, and lead learners for all programs. They develop shared visions, set direction, and are instructional leaders, well-versed in all aspects of the curriculum. Research has shown, and I know from experience, that their leadership is inextricably connected to positive student performance and school culture.

This fall, B.C.’s principals and vice-principals are implementing the province’s new curriculum and assessment practices. In addition, they have the added responsibility to ensure that the expectations of last spring’s Supreme Court Case ruling, which has brought thousands of new teachers into the system, are met as effectively as possible. With an unprecedented number of new teachers in the system, principals and vice-principals are spending significantly more time mentoring their newest teachers to ensure a successful start to their careers and a stable and nurturing learning environment for your children.

Principals and vice-principals make the most of the resources available. They enhance the work of our talented teachers and unreservedly support students, their families, and staff members. Their positive influences extend beyond the walls of their school as they serve and lead the communities in which they work.

I encourage parents and community partners to take a moment this month to celebrate the role of the principal and vice-principal. Together we can ensure that all students succeed.

Kevin Reimer

President, BCPVPA

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