Central Okanagan school district tries to suss out future homeless population - InfoNews

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Central Okanagan school district tries to suss out future homeless population

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June 04, 2019 - 5:00 PM

KELOWNA - Grade 8 students may be given a questionnaire about how they feel about their teachers, parents and themselves in order to determine if they are at risk of becoming homeless.

The Central Okanagan Board of Education will be asked at the June 5 meeting for permission for schools to administer the survey.

If approved, students at two schools will fill out the questionnaire asking them to rank their feelings on dozens of statements, including; “at times, I think I am no good at all” and “I would like to move out of (my) home soon.”

Many of the statements are of a more positive nature, such as; “in an emergency, I’m someone people generally rely on” and “I enjoy being at school.”

It also asks whether they feel happy or safe at home.

Called the Canadian Index for Adolescent Health Upstream Project Survey it is being done in conjunction with the Journey Home Society’s effort to reduce homelessness in the city.

The questionnaires will carry student numbers “that can be used to assist students who are determined vulnerable,” the staff report going to the board states.

Parents will have to give their permission for their children to take the test.

“By early identification of students at-risk of homelessness, supports can be put in place that will mitigate this trajectory for our vulnerable youth,” deputy superintendent Terry-Lee Beaudry, said in the report.

“Surveying Grade 8 students at two middle schools will provide an initial review of students’ vulnerability and will enable staff to begin developing a comprehensive early intervention program.”

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