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Sea to Sky students doing slightly better than provincial average: UBC ‘well-being’ survey

Seventy percent of students have medium to high ‘well being’

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Sea to Sky students from Grades 4 to 7 are, on average, doing better than students in B.C., when it comes to their well-being.

But a University of B.C. survey shows that there remain many children who are classified as having "low well-being."

"After school activities, we're doing great; adult relationships, we're doing well; peer relationships, also about the norm; and nutrition and sleep, we're doing OK-slightly better than the other districts," said Phillip Clarke, director of instruction for the Sea to Sky school District.

These were some of the findings of the Middle Years Development Instrument, a UBC survey that asked children questions on their physical health, connections to the school community and their social and emotional development.

Researchers created a well-being scale by asking students questions related to their optimism, self-esteem, happiness, absence of sadness and general health.

Students were then divided into categories labelled as "thriving," having "medium to high well-being," or having "low well-being."

Those with low well-being reported negative responses on at least one measure of well-being.

Thirty per cent of local Grade 4 students were classified as having low well-being, compared with the 33 per cent of children provincewide.

Twenty-two per cent were determined to have medium to high levels of well-being, while 25 per cent was the provincial average.

Fourty-eight per cent of local students reported they were thriving, which meant they gave positive responses on at least four out of five measures of well-being. The provincewide average for thriving students was 42 per cent.

For local Grade 7 students, 29 per cent were classified as having low well-being; 26 per cent medium to high well-being; and 45 per cent thriving.

The provincewide averages were 35 per cent, 27 per cent and 38 per cent, respectively.

In addition to the well-being index, there were many other questions asking students about their lives.

For Grade 4 students, some of these included how often students liked the way they looked (68 per cent of students said "always" or "often"); how they rated their body weight (72 per cent said "about the right weight"); whether there were two or more adults at school who thought they were important (76 per cent said yes); and whether they were bullied (four per cent said they were bullied physically many times a week.)

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