Tentative Deal

September 16, 2014 | Principal Thoughts  |  Leave a Comment

I was pleased this morning to wake to the news that a tentative deal has been reached. Teachers and CUPE staff members seem more upbeat after a lengthy time on the picket line.

At this time, we do not know details. We will need to continue to be patient as we wait for more information, for the agreement to be ratified, and then wait instructions on how our year will begin.

Our classes are ready for teachers and students. Desks are set up, and chairs are organized. The photocopier is working and there is plenty of paper on hand. We will be ready for the first day.

We will take time to organize our classes, as we have had a number of changes in student enrollment over the summer. First day plans are being developed. Please check your email and monitor our school web site.

For Cleveland parents, school supply lists are on-line.

See you soon.

Take care

Take care

I am a fan of Twitter. It continues to be a great source for news, articles on schools, football updates and the occasional silly tidbit.

Today I will share a few links I found through Twitter that I think parents and educators should read.

via @ASCD – Empowerment and Accountability

via @tinybuddha – Managing Anxiety

via @Ms_Revolution – 25 Ways To Ask Your Kids “So, How Was School Today…”

via @NYMag – Read Billy Crystal’s Touching Tribute to His Friend Robin Williams

via @Longreads – Ursula K. Le Guin, The Art of Fiction No. 221

via @nytimes – Comic Books Even Teachers Can Love

via @rmbryne – Historical Maps from the New York Public Library

 That’s all for today.

Take care

Positive Thoughts

August 29, 2014 | Principal Thoughts  |  1 Comment

As we find ourselves getting ready for another school year, many of us are spending a lot of our energies on thinking about the strike. Will there be school on Tuesday? How long will the strike last? Why can’t they just get it together and get it done?

Some our thoughts allow some challenging emotions to arise within us; anger, sadness, frustration, helplessness, etc. I am choosing to have more positive thoughts. The strike will be over, and we will once again hear the joyful noises of children in the classrooms, in the hallway, in the boys’ washroom (especially the primary one), and on the playground. We will once again see creative and interesting learning experiences offered by teachers. Parents will once again be making school lunches, being mindful of course to food allergy issues – see the Health Information page on our web site.

Today I will spend time reflecting on some work that the North Vancouver School District has been focused on for a number of years. Through a very collaborative process, NVSD has crafted a mission statement and laid out a set of values that drive how we will conduct ourselves as we do one of the most important jobs on the planet – teaching children.


North Vancouver School District Vision Statement

We provide world-class instruction and a rich diversity of engaging programs to inspire success for every student and bring communities together to learn, share and grow.


North Vancouver Values

Achieving progress by working together…

Shared values set the tone for how we relate to one another in pursuing common goals. Our values guide us in working collaboratively to realize our Vision.

Trust – We act with integrity. We are open and honest in our communication with one another.

Responsibility – We are accountable for our actions. We support positive change, continuous improvement and the pursuit of excellence.

Respect – We relate to each other with care and appreciation. We honour diversity and recognize the exceptional in everyone.

Collaboration – We develop relationships and affiliations to achieve shared goals and consider each other in our decisions and actions.


This strike will pass. Something will happen that will allow us to get back into schools and see teaching and learning continue. We just don’t know when it will be over, or how it will be settled.

When we do some back, we (the Cleveland Elementary staff and community) will work to bring to life the mission statement of the school district.

I trust that our teachers and support staff care deeply about how the students are doing and work hard to help ensure each child achieves success. We share a collective responsibility to improve our practice and to respect the needs of our learners and community. I am looking forward to the year working with the wonderful Cleveland Elementary staff, students and parents.

When the strike is over, we will be ready to meet and greet the students, get them organized into classes for the year, and begin again the process of teaching and learning. Students will be going into new learning groups (classes), and will be re-connecting with friends and making new friends.

School will once again be warmed by the presence of students, teachers and other staff.

Think Positive

Be Patient

Don’t Panic

Take Care



New iPads

August 28, 2014 | Technology & Learning  |  Leave a Comment

During the last school year, the Cleveland Parent Advisory Council (CPAC) funded the purchase of some new technology. Thanks CPAC.

I have spent some time lately “playing” with one of the new iPads, and I like it. I have used a variety of apps this week, including Evernote, Calendar, Pocket, Twitter, iBook, Quickoffice, Dropbox, Instagram, Metro news, and Sudoku, to name a few (I think I am getting good at Sudoku now). I’m not sure how all these will be used by students, but I’m enjoying my time with the device. I may explore iMovie and photos this week, and I am also interested in looking more at Hyperlapse.

iPads in the classroom have certainly been a topic of discussion over the last few years. We will be starting off with one iPad per classroom, and I encourage teachers to find creative ways to make use of these devices to support teaching, learning and creativity.

Some of the articles I have read about iPads include:

The Teacher’s Guide to the One iPad Classroom

The iPad as a Tool for Creation To Strengthen Learning

Why Some Schools Are Selling All Their iPads

When we get back to school, teachers will make use of a variety of tools, including iPads, to help children engage in learning. I look forward to the classroom visits and seeing students learning, sharing and growing during the 2014/2015 school year.

I also look forward to having a bunch of grade 6 and 7 students around so that I can ask them how to make better use of this iPad for teaching, creating and learning. I sure they will teach me a lot.

Take care

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