Vanessa White

Michael BrighamMDI Champions


Vanessa White

School District 46
Sunshine Coast, BC

I have been Director of Instruction for Student Support Services for School District #46 (Sunshine Coast) for the past two years and prior to that was District Principal for Student Support. My role is to oversee all of the Special Education, Counselling and Therapy Services for the District, along with anything related to Student Safety and Social Emotional Learning. Administration of the MDI fell in my previous portfolio, but I felt it was such an important part of my work that I brought it over to my new job when I changed roles. I began 4 years ago by administering it personally to every Grade 4 and 7 class in our District, but last year started training our school counsellors to help with this task.

Champions supporting other Champions

How have you made use of MDI data?
I have found the MDI to be extremely helpful as a key data point when we have been deciding how to allocate resources (such as District counselling time and LIF funds). It has helped us determine where to put support and helped us to make decisions about increasing counselling time several years ago. We shifted our counselling model 4 years ago to a preventative, universal design of social emotional learning instruction for all students, rather than traditional counselling of 1:1 support for only intensive needs.
Who have you shared your reports with?
I share the data with our local Regional District to help them make decisions about after-school programming and recreational activities for students. In addition, I share the data with our local CYMHSU Collaborative Local Action Team, and it has driven many of our decisions at that table.
What's next for you?
Our local MDI data has left me a little puzzled this past year. I did a full analysis of several key questions about student belonging and key adults, and to be honest, was somewhat dismayed to see that, despite many efforts, we are not seeing a significant shift in our data. My goal is to get back into the classroom this Fall with the data to talk to students about their thoughts and to see if they have any input on why we seem to be stable and not improving. My hope in joining this network will be to share and receive ideas and new perspectives on how to get more out of the data.