Assistant Superintendent | Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District
British Columbia Hub | CANADA
Shannon Derinzy is Assistant Superintendent for the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District in British Columbia, Canada. Her portfolio includes high schools, Social and Emotional Learning (SEL), Safe and Caring Schools and Aboriginal Education. She believes the work in the Compassionate Systems Master Practitioner Program intersects all of her portfolios.
High schools have traditionally been places that teach content. In our changing world it has become apparent that schools also need to teach care, empathy, and mental wellness. These are all things that can be explicitly taught in high schools. The redesigned B.C. curriculum embeds core competencies (creative and critical thinking, communication, personal awareness, and positive personal and cultural awareness) into curriculum thereby encouraging a change in practice.
For several years the district has been working on an SEL Framework with the guidance of Dr. Kimberley Schonert-Reichl and Dr. Molly Lawlor of the University of British Columbia. This initiative includes teachers, support staff and administrators. The goal is to ensure that SEL is embedded in all of the staff practices, both in their personal and professional lives. The Compassionate Systems Framework supports our district’s objective to move this work from individuals to a system-wide, foundational level.
Currently a primary initiative of the district has been to focus on mental wellness. The Maple Ridge School District is excited to have been selected by the province to pilot an integrated delivery model which includes a broad range of mental health services for students. This initiative is just getting underway but aligns completely with the work of the certification program.
Understanding people’s stories, being patient, and being respectful of identity are all part of what the district is trying to be attentive to in the daily work. Shannon looks forward to the expansion of all of these ideas with the inclusion of the Compassionate Systems Framework. Working with a team to support this work and examining what they are doing at a deep level is an exciting opportunity.