Media Releases

Relationships Matter!

Enhancing Safe and Caring Schools in Chinook’s Edge


Safe and Caring Working Group

Media Releases: 

Chinook's Edge welcomes educational expert on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity - November 18, 2015

Relationships Matter in our Safe and Caring Schools - March 31, 2015

Celebrating Relationships in Chinook's Edge - March 30, 2015

Enhancing safe and caring schools in Chinook’s Edge - April 29, 2014

A division-wide working group has launched a series of initiatives to address the priorities identified by students, parents and school staff.
The group is comprised of school administrators, family school wellness staff, teachers and central office staff.



Everyone Matters in Chinook's Edge!

A Message from Colleen Butler, Board Chair:
We are keen to continue the conversation that has begun with various groups in our school division. Providing this type of committee structure has given all of our employee groups and students in our schools a voice directly to the Board and to the Central Office Leadership Team. This has allowed us to focus on ideas, challenges and conversations from across our large division. The Matters Committees initiative has created increased collaboration at every level in Chinook’s Edge, as we gather input on a variety of matters that affect our schools. We look forward to continuing to hear a cross-section of ideas and perceptions from our ‘Matters Committees’, as we work together to support our Mission and move towards our Vision in Chinook’s Edge.

Board Chair Colleen Butler greets members of the Teachers Matter Committee


Matters Committees – An Overview

When the Chinook’s Edge Board of Education hired a new Superintendent in 2010, they sought an innovator who would build a sense of engagement at all levels across our complex organization and set a solid path towards the Board’s vision for learning. This resulted in the launch of a series of ‘Matters Committees’ designed to give a strong voice to key stakeholders in Chinook’s Edge, to empower individuals and to forge relationships in order to elevate the quality of learning for every student in the division. Everyone Matters in Chinook’s Edge!


Teachers Matter

This committee set the stage for all the Committees to follow, when it launched in September 2011. Established to support the division-wide focus on creating the highest quality learning environment possible, Teachers Matter is comprised of approximately 50 opinion leaders from schools across the division, each tasked with a liaison role between the committee and their school. They listen for trends and patterns among their colleagues, the ideas from division office and the plans from the Board, and share that information broadly. The result? A highly-charged approach to collaboration and relationship-building which has invigorated the entire school division to dig deeper to support the Mission and reach the Vision set by the Board. Teachers Matter meets four days each year.



Support Staff Matter

It takes a village to raise a quality learning environment, and a key group of people who set the building blocks for strong school communities are the Chinook’s Edge Support Staff. Following on the successful approach of Teachers Matter, this Committee engages Educational Assistants, Administrative Assistants, Library Technicians, and Family Wellness Workers in the important work of sharing ideas, building stronger connections throughout the division and strengthening the various roles so that individuals contribute as confident and valuable professional members of the Chinook’s Edge team. Support Staff Matter meet a minimum of three times each year.



Students Matter

Chinook’s Edge is the division where students come first! Every effort, including the work of all Matters Committees, supports our mission to engage every student in meaningful learning by challenging, encouraging and believing in them. These Chinook’s Edge VIPs form Students Matter. Nearly 40 students in Grades 7-12 from schools across the division were invited to participate, based primarily on their comments on a Students Matter Survey to which 1400 students responded in Fall 2012. Students Matter meets to continue the conversation begun through the survey, to discuss and document their experiences at school, to share their ideas for making the learning environment in Chinook’s Edge the best possible, and to provide opportunity for students to bring their priorities – and those of their peers – directly to the Superintendent and Board of Education. Students Matter connects three times per year, both in person and through technology.



Parents Matter

Chinook’s Edge has always valued our relationships with parents and have worked to honour the priorities of our parents and community neighbours as they have come forward. In winter 2014, Chinook’s Edge Trustees worked to create a ‘report card’ on their progress by asking parents and the community at large to participate in a survey to increase this collaboration further and to begin gathering data on the priorities and areas for growth that parents identify. Parents Matter is now recognized as a formal Committee of the Board, and this important group comes together for three meetings each year.




  • Validating individuals through the Chinook’s Edge Matters Committees has validated people throughout the division and has inspired a renewed commitment to our core purpose – and to one another
  • There is a full roster of participants on every committee, with people waiting in the wings to take up the torch at the annual rotation
  • Constant references to the Committees initiative are made during the course of regular Chinook’s Edge business. The Committees are firmly embedded in Chinook’s Edge culture.
  • The Board of Education was invited to present on the initiative, particularly Teachers Matter, at the NSBA Conference in San Diego in April 2013. Over 1,000 delegates from both Canada and the United States took part in the prestigious event.
  • A Chinook’s Edge  Teachers Matter video was chosen for a national Canadian Association of Communicators in Education Bravo Award.
  • The warm and respectful culture that Teachers Matter has nurtured is sited by the local ATA Negotiations Committee as a key reason for the swift settlement of the teachers’ contract in Chinook’s Edge.