Mothers and Sons

IMG_6629Tonight the school is buzzing. It is filled with mothers and their sons enjoying a wonderful evening together. There are fathers here too. Helping out and making sure all the mothers and sons are having fun with ping pong, water challenges, climbing wall, tug of war and bouncy castles.

Everyone is having a great time.

I was not here for the Father/Daughter Dance in early May, but I heard everyone had a fantastic time at that event.

Thanks PAC. You do an amazing job creating community events for this school. Keep up the good work.

Take care

Km Club

Today is the first day for Km Club at Cleveland this year. We hope to see all our students out for a morning walk or run. I will be joining them soon.

Thanks to all the volunteers for helping to make our Km Club happen.

Take care

Pizza Talk

Every once in a while, an issue arises  in school and you are caught a bit by surprise.

Some Background:  Yesterday was our first hot food day of the year. Parents ordered food online for their children, and the food was delivered by a group of enthusiastic parent volunteers. The first food on the first food day was pizza, a favourite food for many.

Some children loved the pizza. Others did not like it. The individual pizzas were what they ordered. No one who ordered cheese pizza got peperoni pizza by mistake. Some students reacted properly. It wasn’t what the thought it would be, but they ate it and got one with their lunch break. Some students reacted poorly. They threw out the pizza without even trying it, and then complained they were hungry. Some students then started a petition to get new pizza for next food day.

You may ask what was the cause for such concern among a few children. The crust was made from whole wheat flour. The pizza was healthy. Oh, the horror!

I find myself laughing at the situation. Imagine, asking an 11 year old to eat a healthy meal. How could we?

I am not trying to belittle the students who complained. If they really didn’t like it, then I feel bad that they do not like the pizza. What the students may not know is that we are obligated to follow a set of guidelines about what food can be sold to children in schools. These guidelines are not excessive or unreasonable. Schools should not be in the business of selling unhealthy food to children.

The Food Guidelines are available in English and French. Parents can review these with their children if they are not sure why the Cleveland PAC food program selected the pizza they did.

I thank the Cleveland PAC for working to ensure that all food sold through the school lunch program meets the guidelines fro healthy foods in schools.

For the students who started the petition, I would be happy to talk with you, however,  I don’t know who you are. I witnessed five grade 7 girls trying to secretly start a petition at 12:20 yesterday (I told them if you want it to be a secret, don’t start the petition in front of your principal). I have heard that some boys in grade 5 started this, or was it boys in grade 7? Who knows. It has been less than 24 hours, and already the story is taking on a life of its own.

I am uncertain who really is bothered by the new pizza. Many liked it. Our petitioners did not want to hear this.

I guess I really shouldn’t be surprised. When I was young (about 20), I remember complaining about the pizza in Vancouver. It wasn’t the same. In Dollard des Ormeaux (my home town), “all dressed” pizza had a very different meaning than “all dressed” out west. I was disappointed in the pizza options out here.

Children sometimes react poorly to change (you may have noticed). Adults too.

The key is that we can react calmly and help children see that they can react is a calm, polite manner when the change is not something they want.

Some times teaching children is messy work. Sometimes one just has to laugh at the mess.

Take care

Bike Week Is On

We have started Bike Week, and there are already many happy faces. Four classes started riding today. Helmets were worn, and bikes were in good shape.

Are you ready for summer bike riding?

Thanks to all the wonderful parent volunteers and staff members who have organized this event, and who are helping things run smoothly for everyone.

There were over 240 students who rode their bikes to school today. That is better that 50%. Wow!!!

Take care

Some New Trees

This week we celebrated Earth Week in a few different ways. Thank you to all the many volunteers who help make these events happen.

Blue and Green Day – On Earth Day, we were asked to wear blue or green to help celebrate the day.

Lights Out Lunch – Also on Earth Day, we had our first Lights Out Lunch (LOL). Lights Out Lunches will continue one day per week for the rest of the school year.

Counted Walk – We celebrated Earth Week with a counted walk before school on Wednesday. Cleveland Walks is one of our key messages this year, and we had a great turnout for the walk.

Lights Out Team – Our Lights Out Team continues to meet and remind us to turn out the lights when we leave our classrooms. We have also been reminded to use power bars with our electronic devices, and to turn the power bars off when not in use. We are asked to do our part to conserve energy.


“An understanding of the natural world and what’s in it is a source of not only a great curiosity but great fulfillment.” —David Attenborough


Free the Trees – Despite the torrential downpours, our dedicated volunteers (thanks Leah and Jessica) worked with classes to teach children about healthy forests, healthy environments, and how to pull invasive plant species that are choking our trees. We also had help from some of our grade 7 students. Some classes were not able to have their turn yesterday (due to weather). We will find time for them soon.

New Trees – a few years ago, we had some young maples and dogwood trees planted around the west playground. Unfortunately, some vandals struck and the trees were ripped out of the ground and thrown on the roof. Our volunteers planted some new trees this week. Let’s hope they are allowed to grow to full maturity.

Edible Garden – Our edible garden will soon be ready to go outside. The plants are thriving in our front hallway and will soon be moved into the courtyard garden.

Km Club – Our Km club started on Tuesday, and we have already “walked” to Revelstoke, B.C., along Highway #1. Well done. Walking to school is an excellent way to reduce greenhouse emissions and to get young brains energized for the day.

Food Waste – One of our classes is currently piloting a food waste removal project for the North Vancouver School Board. Schools will all soon be required to ensure that food waste is not directed to the landfills, and we are working towards less garbage.

Salmon Release – Division F09 will release about 200 chum salmon today in a local stream. Thanks to the efforts of a dedicated teacher and several grade 7 students, our two tanks stayed healthy and the fish are ready to be free. It looks like a great day for the release.

It is wonderful to see so many initiatives to support a healthy, greener school.

Take care