Throughout the school year, SD47 works to ensure all schools are inclusive and safe.
Throughout the school year, SD47 works to promote an inclusive and safe learning environment for all students. Our Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity (SOGI) educational efforts ensure this includes students of all sexual orientations and gender identities.
What is SOGI?
SOGI is not a separate program or curriculum. SOGI stands for sexual orientation and gender identity and shows up within several curriculum areas such as Physical and Heath Education, Language Arts, and Social Studies. Teachers have been teaching about inclusion, diversity, and related topics for years.
BC Human Rights Code and the SOGI Educator Network
In 2016, the BC Human Rights Code was updated to include gender identity and gender expression. SD47 then updated our Code of Conduct to reflect the BC Human Rights Code. The Ministry of Education also recently implemented a redesigned curriculum which provides educators the opportunity to teach in a more inclusive and personalized way.
Along with every school district in British Columbia, SD47 is part of the sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI) Educator Network. This network provides resources to ensure that:
- all SD47 schools are inclusive and safe spaces;
- a student's gender does not limit their interests and opportunities;
- a student's sexual orientation and how they understand and express their gender are welcomed without discrimination.
SOGI is one of many topics about diversity discussed regularly in schools, such as when educators speak about race, ethnicity, religion, and ability. SOGI-inclusive education simply means speaking about SOGI in a way that ensures every student feels like they belong.
Three essentials for SOGI inclusive schools:
- Policies and procedures that explicitly reference SOGI have been proven to reduce discrimination, and improve mental health outcomes for all students.
- Inclusive learning environments—including SOGI-inclusive signage, word choices, and extra-curricular opportunities—create a positive and welcoming space for all students.
- Resources and lesson plans that teach diversity and respect and include examples of SOGI topics and 2SLGBTQ+ community members that reflect the SOGI diversity in students' lives and society.
With SOGI-related content, students have opportunities to address a range of BC Ministry curricular outcomes and core competencies related to Physical and Health Education and Social Awareness and Responsibility. These include strategies for responding to discrimination and bullying, as well as ways to develop and maintain healthy relationships. They can also help students understand cultural contexts, as well as how to resolve problems and value diversity. Essentially, SD47 is ensuring that the diversity that already exists within our school communities is reflected in classroom lessons.
This month and all year, we are working to help students build an understanding of the diverse society that we live in and to treat each other with dignity and respect, regardless of our differences.
SD47 Administrative Procedures - the primary written documents by which the Superintendent directs staff. These procedures are consistent with the Board Policies.
Resources for students and parents:
For more information re. SOGI, please contact Allison Burt at Allison.Burt@sd47.ca