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School Superintendents Support Increased Sense of Student Belonging

Today, the Manitoba Association of School Superintendents (MASS) released a guide that aims to support students' sense of belonging in schools, titled, “A Guide for Student Belonging in Public Schools in Manitoba." It is expected to fill a need seen across the province.

“MASS created this guide to support dialogue on belonging as it relates to shared values and practices, so children truly feel they belong in their school,” says Christian Michalik, MASS co-president. “We hope this guide offers a helpful framework for developing an ethic of care and hospitality when nurturing belonging for students, families, and staff,” he says, noting that at the heart of Canadian democracy is every child’s right to quality, publicly funded education. 

“Those who govern, lead, and work in public schools have paramount legal obligations to ensure a safe, caring school environment for all children and youth."

The guide was written by Dr. Melanie Janzen with input and guidance from MASS members Tammy Mitchell (an RETSD assistant superintendent), Celia Caetano-Gomes, and MASS executive director, Barb Isaak. The publication defines belonging in the context of public schools and democratic values. It offers a summary of international, national, and provincial perspectives and also provides a set of questions to guide reflections and conversations on belonging

The guide can be found on the MASS website: A Guide for Student Belonging in Public Schools in Manitoba

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