June 27, 2019 Message to Members
As Principals and Vice-Principals around the province say goodbye to their students and staff members for the Summer, this is our final opportunity as an Association to wish you well as you wrap up your school year and look ahead to Fall.
This school year has presented some interesting challenges for school leaders across the province, and that theme is very likely to continue in the Fall. While we remain hopeful that the BCTF and government will reach a negotiated settlement over the Summer, it is quite likely that the bargaining will continue through the Fall. The BCPVPA will issue reports to our members if we are made aware of any significant bargaining updates through the Summer.
For that reason and many others, we encourage all of our members to take the time that you need this Summer to rest, recover and reenergize both physically and mentally. The challenges faced by school leaders are many, varied and on the rise. Dr. Philip Riley of the Australian University is the leading authority on school leader wellbeing: his 2017 report indicates that Principals and Vice-Principals are suffering from burnout (1.6 times the population); stress (1.7 times); sleeping troubles (2.2 times); depressive symptoms (1.3 times); somatic stress symptoms (1.3 times); and cognitive stress symptoms (1.6 times). Reports such as this have added to the Association’s ongoing concern about the wellbeing of Principals and Vice-Principals in BC.
In the Fall, we will continue the conversation with our members about how the BCPVPA can proactively support the wellbeing of all of our members. In advance of that dialogue, I am pleased to let you know that our Early Intervention Program provided by humanworks will be expanding from our 22 pilot school districts to all 60 school districts in the province, and beginning in September, all BCPVPA members will be able to access the supports and services of humanworks.
As this school year comes to a close and you continue preparing for the Fall, I want to thank of all of our members for everything you do to ensure positive learning conditions for students and maintain the high standard of public education in this province. Have a happy and healthy holiday when it finally arrives: you deserve it!