Study finds many Grade 4 students thriving in Mission

But 35 per cent of students are in need of more support.

A survey of Grade 4 students in Mission suggested that 43 per cent of them are thriving.

“These would be kids who are adequately supported in school in community and family,” explained Katy Brookes a Mission counselor.

Brookes, along with Laura Wilson, early childhood development  committee co-ordinator and Kirsten Hargreaves, manager of social development for the district, presented the findings of the Middle Development Instrument survey to council on Monday.

The survey, which took place last year, is done through UBC’s Human Early Learning Partnership and is performed in different communities each year.

Eighty-seven per cent (343 students) of Mission Grade 4 students completed the survey last year

Along with the 43 per cent who were found to be thriving, 22 per cent were in the medium category, meaning they are “doing OK but could be doing better” and 35 per cent are in the low category and need more support.

This is the first time Mission has participated in the study and Brookes pointed out that unlike other surveys, the students filled it out themselves, allowing organizers to have the child’s perspective rather than the parents.

Key results included:

88 per cent said their adult relationships were good, meaning they have people in their life who care about them, love them and they can go to if they have problem;

89 per cent said they have good peer relationships;

85 per cent reported they have good after school activities.

All of these results are either equal to, or slightly higher than, other participating communities.

However, only 65 per cent of students said they had good nutrition and sleep, which is below average.

The presenters said economics plays a huge part of the nutrition issue adding Mission has a “high percentage of families that are living with food insecurity.”

The need at  breakfast programs in elementary schools is going up each year, rather than down, they said.

As for sleep issues, parents working multiple jobs and a lack of set bedtimes could contribute to the lower numbers.