West Vancouver Schools Support Staff Appreciation Day

February 13, 2024 - 5 minutes read

On the announcements this morning, I shared the following with our students to recognize Support Staff Appreciation Day. If you would like to learn more about some of the people that make West Bay a great place to learn and work, read on.

Warm regards,

Scott Slater | February 13, 2024

Today in our School District we are recognizing support staff for their great efforts in making our schools great places to learn. So when we say “support staff,” who do we mean? Basically everyone other than teachers and administrators and we thought we’d highlight a few of them and how we can all show appreciation to them today, and every day.

This morning, our custodian arrived at Cypress Park at 5:30 AM to open up that school, and after doing so, arrived at West Bay shortly after 6 AM. He turns on all the lights, unlocks many of the doors, makes sure things are tidy, and on the tough days of which we have had a few this winter, he clears snow and salts our walkways.

At 6:30 AM, I typically get an email from our Administrative Assistant regarding staff absences. She arrives at West Bay at 7:30 AM. She doesn’t ease into her work. There’s always some problem to solve; someone to help; something to organize and if it’s a calm day in the office with not too many messages, injuries, phone calls, she may have some time during school hours to get to registering new students, communicating with families about the school, accounting, the list goes on…

Around 8 AM, our first of 8 Education Assistants arrive. They often help teachers get sorted for the day or with various clubs happening in the school. By 8:40 AM, half have arrived to help with the safe arrival of students, and then proceed at the bell to help students with reading, writing, math, and focusing on their learning. Our EAs become experts in supporting the many students they work with and while their work is incredibly rewarding, it can also be incredibly challenging, yet they come to work each day with a fresh start.

Our three Teacher Assistants arrive at various points in the morning, tasked with ensuring students have arrived safely, providing healthy snacks to primary students, organizing forms, and problem solving student behaviour at recess and lunch and providing a friendly face and kind word for students who need it.

At 2:30 PM, our afternoon/evening custodians arrive. They have the immense task of keeping over 35 000 square feet of West Bay clean – that doesn’t just mean tidy and clean, it means safe and sanitary. We have more than 30 sinks, more than 20 toilets and urinals, and over 450 people using the building daily. We also have dozens of hand-sanitizer bottles that need refilling, often! Our evening custodian finishes around 11 PM once the building is in great shape.

West Bay has a wonderful and dedicated staff, and this is part of what makes West Bay a great place for staff to come to work. While we enjoy working with each other, the reason we do what we do is that we want to support students. Students simply showing up brings us all joy, but on this day, and in the days to come, I encourage students to think about how they can help support staff…

Most importantly, you can say “thank you”. If you see our custodians, offer thanks for keeping the building safe and healthy; if someone helps you, look them in the eye and say thank you.

A few other things you can do:

  • Keep your classroom and the school grounds clean.
  • Be safe fair and kind and if a supervisor asks you to do something, accept their direction with respect.
  • Ask for help from our Education Assistants and thank them for helping you!