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

The Giving Tree

August 27, 2014 | Uncategorized  |  1 Comment

Elementary Schools often work hard to find ways to recognize students who are doing an good or excellent job of demonstrating positive behaviours at schools. We encourage staff to catch children doing something kind or respectful. It is part of a way to encourage positive behaviours by making sure students know that we see them doing well.

Cleveland staff created a “Giving Tree” concept a few years ago.We have done a whole school tree – it was painted in the front hallway from 2011 – 2013. In the summer of 2013, we renovated the front hallway, and we lost our tree.

Thanks to the Grade 7 Class of 2014, we now have a new tree for the 2014/2015 school year. The concepts is simple – catch children doing positive things, and give them a coloured leaf to add to the tree. Over course of the year, we hope to see the tree filled with foliage and the names of children who were caught.

The new tree is located in the front hallway, across from the entrance to the inner courtyard. I will try to add pictures to this blog throughout the year of the tree as leaves are given.

“When you learn, teach. When you get, give.” ~ Maya Angelou

 

The above quote will be a part of our “Giving Tree” and will remind us that all of us in school can find something to give to one another. Each child has a role to play in helping to make Cleveland Elementary an amazing place to go to school, as do all the adults who are connected to the school.

I will be challenging myself to make a greater effort to give out the “Giving Tree” leaves to students in all grades. Wouldn’t it be fantastic to see the tree filled with at least one leaf per child? That’s what want.

I will be needing the help of our grade 7 students when school begins, as we need to cut out more leaves and have them ready for staff to give them out. Maybe our Playground Pals (senior students who help on the playground) should also be giving out leaves. If you are a grade 7 student who reads your principal’s blog, see me when school starts. I need your help.

Take care

This morning I spent time outside with our incoming Kindergarten students.This was the third play date, and the children looked like they were having fun.

The play dates are one of the many wonderful ways our parents work together to build our Cleveland community. Thanks to Mel and other the kindergarten parents, students have a chance to come in to school knowing a few more of their classmates.

I received a link to a very good video that new families might like to view. It is from AnxietyBC and the UBC Anxiety Projects Lab. The video, Easy Separation, is worth sharing. The AnxietyBC web site is worth a visit too.

We look forward to seeing students and their families next week. In the event the strike continues, we will wait patiently for the first day, whenever it may be.

Take care

IMG_9972This week I am back in the office, working with Jill and Cecile (our office staff), Julius (our custodian) and Leslie (our Vice Principal), to get ready for the start of the school year.

There is a new floor in the lower hallway, the courtyard garden continues to grow, the grass is cut and the school is clean. Thanks to all the staff over the summer for helping get our school ready for everyone.

We don’t know what will happen next week. We are working with the assumption (hope) that a settlement is reached this weekend in the current labour strife in British Columbia. We would love to hear the joyful noises that come when students enter the building on the first day of a new school year.

For our Cleveland parents, we will be sending home information to families (via email) outlining our start up procedures for September 2nd. If the strike continues, we will send out updated information on how we will be starting our school year.

Please visit the North Vancouver School District web site for any updates related to the ongoing labour dispute.

Take care

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