SD51 tracks social and emotional development with Middle Years Development Instrument

SD51 has been tracking social and emotional development of Grade 4 students.

Maxine Ruzicka

The school district has been tracking the social and emotional development of Grade 4 students as well as physical health and well-being, connectedness to adults and peers, school experiences and use of after-school time.

The Middle Years Development Instrument (MDI) is a self-report questionnaire developed by the University of British Columbia’s Human Early Learning Partnership and School District 51 (SD51) has used the instrument to survey the five areas of development that are strongly linked to well-being, health and academic achievement.

“This is one of the very few authentic ways of getting the voice of students on what they feel are conditions or aspects of their life,” said Maxine Ruzicka, SD51 director of instruction.

The board of directors agreed to continue the study for an additional two years at the school board meeting on May 14, with costs the district $7,000 to participate.

The questionnaire is optional and for those children and families that wish to participate, it is completed during school hours; last year 88 per cent of the students participated.

“The results this year in the Boundary as a whole are somewhat improved, which speaks to the fact that different cohorts of kids have different make-ups,” said Ruzicka. “That is a really exciting thing for the district and our community partners (Boundary Integrated Services Team and Boundary Family and Individual Services Society) to look at as we go forward.”

The survey, which is analyzed and comprised into five key points of data, gives the district and its community partners a chance to address certain issues.

“It allows us to see where we need to put a little more emphasis in some of our services in terms of either education for kids or support for some kids or some strategies that we need to change,” said Michael Strukoff, superintendent of schools.

Ruzicka said one example of a new initiative is a voice-mentoring program; another is putting the Roots of Empathy program in all Kindergarten classes.

“We have done things like ensure that all of our (Kindergarten and elementary school) teachers are trained to do the friends program, which is an anxiety reduction, depression prevention program,” said the director of instruction.

Early Learning states: “The MDI gives children a voice, an opportunity to communicate to adults in schools and communities about what their experiences are inside and outside of school.”

Getting first-hand feedback from the Grade 4 students points to behavioural traits that are influenced by student’s home life.

“Why are we having kids not doing well (in school) and we are finding out that a lot of them are not getting adequate sleep. So that is maybe an education piece that we would start with kids and parents,” said Strukoff.

The school district agreed to look at implementing an MDI for Grade 7 students for 2014/2015.

Just Posted

Man who pledged to give B.C. hockey team millions charged with fraud

Mike Gould has since repaid $8,000 he allegedly owed Cranbrook restaurant, owner says

Columbia River Treaty to be renegotiated in early 2018

News came in a Tweet from the U.S. Department of State

Site C dam goes ahead, cost estimate now up to $10.7 billion

Premier John Horgan says Christy Clark left him no other choice

Castlegar Rebels take flight in win over Grand Forks

Team speed was too much for the visiting Grand Forks Border Bruins to handle.

Property crime on the rise in Grand Forks: RCMP

Grand Forks RCMP sat down with the Gazette to talk property crime and community solutions.

Me Too At Work: Sexual assault and harassment in the B.C. workplace

Introducing an in-depth look at who is affected and what can be done

Proposed snowmobiles along Sicamous roads concern RCMP

RCMP, ICBC and province not yet on-board with proposed off-road bylaw in the B.C. Interior

‘Assemble your own meal’ kits grow into $120M industry in Canada

Kits offer a middle ground between eating out and grocery shopping

Millennials closing in as B.C.’s biggest wine drinkers

Generation X leads the way in current consumption of B.C. wine, as more wine drinkers are enjoying local varietals

Canadians lag behind Americans in giving to charity

Only one-in-five Canadians donated to charities in 2017

B.C. children adoption rates lagging, despite increased funding: watchdog

More than 1,000 children children are still waiting to be adopted, new report shows

FortisBC to lower natural gas rates in 2018

Rate changes to impact the Lower Mainland, Kootenays, Interior and Vancouver Island

Four-month-old baby girl critically injured in Toronto

Baby, a man and a woman in serious condition

Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

What were Canadians were curious about: Google searches suggest 2017 a tough year

Most Read