The Saanich School District resides on the traditional territory of the W̱SÁNEĆ people encompassing the four local communities: BO,ḰE,ĆEN (Pauquachin), W̱JOȽEȽP (Tsartlip), W̱,SIKEM (Tseycum), and S,ȾAUTW̱ (Tsawout). We would like to acknowledge and thank the W̱SÁNEĆ people for sharing their territory. HÍSW̱ḴE
The Saanich School District is committed to providing an education for W̱SÁNEĆ and other Indigenous students in ways that enable them to retain their identity and pride in their heritage and, at the same time, gain respect for the diverse cultures presented in schools today. We recognize SENĆOŦEN as the principal First Nations language of the Saanich territory and continue to support programs and curricula that build deeper understandings of the W̱SÁNEĆ culture, values, and history.
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Since 1999 Saanich School District has offered a SENĆOŦEN language program at Bayside Middle School. Please see the link below for more information.
Starting in the 2019/20 school year SENĆOŦEN language learning is being offered to all kindergarten students in Saanich. One of our SENĆOŦEN language teachers travels to each kindergarten class multiple times throughout the year sharing stories, songs, and language learning opportunities. This initiative is the result of the Strengthening Early Years to Kindergarten (SEY2K) initiative that has provided us with the unique opportunity for every kindergarten to start their K-12 journey learning the local Indigenous language and culture.
English Language Support
English Language Support (ELS) is an oral language program specifically designed for Indigenous students where emphasis is placed on speaking and listening. ELS is available for students that self identify as Indigenous and meet the ELS assessment criteria for service. ELS has a 5 year maximum for service as per Ministry of Education guidelines.
Indigenous Education Gazette
The Indigenous Education Program circulates a bi-annual gazette highlighting student and school successes, events and news. The gazette features student work, photos from school events and graduates. The gazette is published electronically in January and June each year.
School District No. 63 (Saanich) provides services to students of W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit ancestry (or heritage) to enhance their school experience. The following schools have a school-based Indigenous Education Department with support staff: Brentwood Elementary School, ḰELSET Elementary School, Bayside Middle School, North Saanich Middle School, Claremont Secondary, Parkland Secondary School, Stelly's Secondary School, and Individual Learning Centre — Saanichton. The following schools have a District Itinerant that provided Indigenous Education support: Cordova Bay Elementary, Deep Cove Elementary, Keating Elementary, Lochside Elementary, Prospect Lake Elementary, Sidney Elementary, and Royal Oak Middle School.
Education Enhancement Agreement
About the Education Enhancement Agreement
The Education Enhancement Agreement between the W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities in the Saanich School District and the Saanich School Board is designed to enhance the learning opportunities and successes for all Indigenous learners. This Agreement operates within the notion of respecting the rights of Indigenous learners to ensure that they receive a quality education in the public school system and a meaningful graduation that leads to future options with increased opportunities.
The intent of this Agreement is to first and foremost increase Indigenous student success while ensuring that a collaborative partnership between the Saanich School District and W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit communities supports shared decision making and specific goal setting to meet the educational needs of all Indigenous learners. All Saanich School District employees, W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit peoples, students, families, and caregivers take responsibility for the achievement of all Indigenous learners.
Additionally, this Agreement was developed to:
- Honour and support the history, culture, values, and language of the W̱SÁNEĆ people upon whose traditional territory Saanich School District operates; and to honour all other Indigenous peoples.
- To foster mutual respect, trust, and cooperation amongst all students attending Saanich schools.
- To achieve a sense of belonging and positive outcomes for all W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.
- To continuously improve achievement for W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.
The Education Enhancement Agreement in alignment with the District Achievement Contract sets the context for:
- Ensuring academic and social success for W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in Saanich.
- Addressing racism as it affects W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students in the public education system.
- Enhancing the learning environment so that all Indigenous students feel safe and respected and have a positive sense of place.
- Providing a framework and structure for respectful dialogue and decision-making regarding the education of Indigenous students.
- Orienting Saanich schools to strategies, structures and curriculum that support successful outcomes for Indigenous learners.
- Supporting flexibility and choice in determining how Indigenous students can best achieve educational success.
The W̱SÁNEĆ people have articulated the values of caring, sharing, trust, honesty and respect. The Saanich School District has articulated the values of compassion, fairness, honesty, respect, and responsibility. We all work together to provide students of Indigenous heritage with experiences that reflect their traditional values. We all share the responsibility of providing a quality education for W̱SÁNEĆ, other First Nations, Métis, and Inuit students.
Education Enhancement Agreement and Goals
The Education Enhancement Agreements and our annual reports are attached below.