Services for our Comox District Teachers   

LIVING WITH BALANCE GROUP PROGRAM - Next session April 27th & 28th in Comox Valley 
Free workshop for teachers to focus on developing tools/skills to improve vitality & resiliency.

Link:  Description of holistic approach to wellness pdf   
Link: Next upcoming free session in Comox Valley or in BC under BCTF Upcoming Events  (right side)  
Link:  Registration Link        Contact Nelda Adamus Rehabilitation Consultant (250)218-9852


The following is an informal synopsis of the joint venture between SD71 and the CDTA of peer support work in Comox Valley Schools.

Description:   A Peer Support Consultant meets with the requesting teacher. The consultant may:

  • Gather requested materials
  • Help with planning design
  • Model teach and/or side by side teach
  • Take the teacher client to view other teachers in action
  • Review management or assessment issues
  • Help the teacher practice the cycle of teaching
  • Focus on what the teacher identifies is important

Consultants typically observe and report on lessons to the teacher. As teacher members of the BCTF, consultants follow the teachers’ code of ethics, are not evaluative and are involved with and receive ongoing training. Peer consultants support teachers K-12, in Alternative Education, itinerant roles and specialist subjects.  Because this is a non-evaluative model, the Peer Support Consultant does not give judgemental feedback to anyone including District Staff or the union local staff. The Peer Support Co-ordinator and designated members of the steering committee will match consultants with clients and communicate with consultants regularly about the learning focus for the individual. At no time does the consultant or co-ordinator make evaluative statements or discuss the support being provided with any other teacher or administrator, apart from the co-ordinator and designated members of the steering committee. Confidentiality is a priority.

The co-ordinator and members of the steering committee will plan and provide training for the consultants, funded by the CDTA. The District pays for release time and TOC costs associated with the consultants’ work with clients.

Teacher Clients

All clients are self-referred. This can come through requests made to the co-ordinator directly, or any member of the steering committee. Administrators and Staff Representatives are encouraged to remind teachers that this service is available but the onus is on the teacher to initiate contact. Administrators or Staff Representatives do not refer. Once the client contacts the Co-ordinator, contact with the teacher is made as soon as possible. Teacher clients are all ages and at various stages in their career.

Teacher clients may self refer for many reasons:

  • teacher may be overwhelmed with a difficult student or classroom composition
  • teacher is facing a significantly different curriculum or grade
  • teacher is returning from a leave of absence
  • teacher would benefit from curricular support
  • teacher would benefit from utilizing different strategies and needs help with strategy development
  • teacher is experiencing significant personal challenges that are impacting their practice

 Goals for Peer Consultants

  1. to work with the teacher in an in-depth manner
  2. to maintain strong connections with the district support systems and promote them as resources for the clients
  3. to provide informal support before a crisis occurs
  4. to build trusting relationships
  5. to communicate with teacher client clearly and on a timely basis
  6. to share field notes with the teacher client
  7. to self reflect and self assess on their role and encourage clients to engage in this process.
  8. to continue to develop a resources library for consultants and clients
  9. to build knowledge of the program throughout the district

When the need arises, there will be advertising for new consultants. Training will be provided twice yearly, in addition to regular check-ins with the co-ordinator. Applications are reviewed by the steering committee and consultants are selected based on the needs of the program.  January 9, 2019


 The CDTA and the BCTF have an excellent program called the Health & Wellness Program.
This program is designed to help people remain at their current FTE or to help people increase their FTE by working on their wellness plan. Once on the program you get access one on one access to a wellness consultant that will work with you in any area that you need help with in your life.  It is always useful to be referred to the plan right away if you are struggling at all (physical, mental, emotional, social, spiritual).

This program is available to all teachers who currently have a contract (continuing or temporary). You do not have to be on a medical leave to access this program. This program can be used to help you maintain balance in your life. You can also get ergonomic assessments at any time if you are feeling any physical pain at work. Your employer has an obligation to accommodate you if you are in pain, but you need to go through the process to get assessed by an ergonomic specialist.

Please know that SD71 fully supports this program and the district actively refers teachers to the CDTA who they think would benefit from the program. No matter what stage you are at in your teaching career, you may need some help. This program can meet everyone’s needs. 

 If you think that you could benefit from this program you can self-refer yourself on the BCTF website
at the following link:  
Health & Wellness Referral Program Form 


 This is a part of your benefits and it is a program that you can call 24/7 for help on many, many issues.
The number is 1-800-663-1142. Here is a link to the brochure: 
EFAP overview  


Some teachers won’t use sick days because they are afraid of running out of them. Please know 

that you pay into a sick leave insurance plan called the salary indemnity plan (SIP). In a nutshell, this plan pays for an additional 120 sick days for you in the event that you have run out of sick days and you have an illness or an injury. The amount you get per day is actually about 55% of your regular pay, but it is tax free so your take home pay is about 70-75% of what you normally get. 

This may be the best program that the BCTF has for teachers, and many teachers know nothing about it!  You will still have an income if you need to be off sick when you are out of sick days with the district.  Every teacher on contract can access this benefit.

There is an application process, so any teacher that is getting low on sick days should be applying before they run out of sick days. The Health & Wellness plan consultant is well versed in this program and can help teachers know when it is the right time to access this program. For a SIP package please contact the CDTA office (250)338-1461 ext 3. 

You can also call the BCTF directly and ask that they send you a package.  The number for the BCTF is 1-800-663-9163 – ask for the income security department and tell them that you are requesting an SIP package.  There is a form that you need to fill out as well as a form that your doctor will need to fill out.  It takes 2-3 weeks to process your application at the BCTF.

These 120 days are considered the short term SIP program.  If you require assistance past this, we also have a long term salary indemnity plan, but the rules for eligibility change for that plan.  Please contact the CDTA office for assistance and advice if you find yourself in this position.


To reduce your assignment for medical reasons, first you need to go to your doctor and explain what symptoms you may be experiencing. You then need to have a conversation with your doctor about how to work on alleviating those symptoms. In essence, you need to work with your doctor to create a wellness plan. Quite often, a part of that plan is to reduce your teaching assignment or to take a full medical leave for a set period of time. Your doctor will need to complete some SD71 paperwork in order for that to happen. You should take the paperwork with you to the first appointment.

If your doctor is unsure about your return to work date they should write the word “unknown.” This means that your medical leave will continue for the rest of the current school year unless your doctor clears you to return earlier.

Here is the link to the form for a full medical leave of more than 20 working days: FULL MEDICAL FORM SD71

Here is the link to the form for a partial medical leave: PARTIAL MEDICAL LEAVE FORM SD71

(this is called having the ability to work with limitations – the limitation can be the amount of time you can work in a day or the number of days you can work in a week)

 When you are ready to return to work full time you will need your doctor to clear you to return to work using the form at this link: RETURN TO WORK MEDICAL FORM SD71 

Please be aware that as per district policy, you need to give 10 working days’ notice in order to return to work or to increase your assignment once your medical leave starts. The 10  working days (not calendar days) begins when you hand the form in to HR. 

If you are on a partial medical leave and you and your doctor decide that you need to make changes to your work schedule for medical reasons then you need to have the “ability to work with limitations” form completed again with the updated information. 

Please note that some doctors charge fees for completing forms. These fees are the responsibility of the teacher to pay.