‘Baby’ chicks at Cove Cliff

The Grade 2 classrooms at Cove Cliff were peeping with excitement after two ‘baby’ chicks hatched early in February.

Students have been actively researching chickens, exploring the life cycle, and learning about what animals need in order to survive. This teacher-led initiative was a first for Cove Cliff, according to Principal Brenda Bell. With the generous support of the Cove Cliff PAC, the eggs and incubators were a popular attraction in the school, and provided a unique hands-on learning opportunity. Students used their keen observation skills and were eager to record the physical changes, and measure the height and weight of the chicks each day.




National Flag of Canada Day

Screen Shot 2016-02-15 at 8.24.58 AM“The flag is the symbol of the nation’s unity, for it, beyond any doubt, represents all the citizens of Canada without distinction of race, language, belief or opinion,” declared the Speaker of the Senate at the Inauguration of the new flag in 1965.

On February 15, 1965 our national flag was raised for the first time on Parliament Hill. Canada was just two years away from centennial celebrations when the maple leaf flag was made official by Royal Proclamation. In 1996, February 15 was declared National Flag of Canada Day and has been observed every year since.

For more information: http://canada.pch.gc.ca/eng/1449158599459



Open letter to the Community

I would like to bring your attention to an open letter addressed to the North Vancouver Community, which was published (page 2) in the North Shore News on Wednesday, February 10, 2016.

The letter, authored by the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations and the North Vancouver School District, formally acknowledges our commitment to advance the recommendations of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report. Calls to Action specific to education were outlined in the TRC summary report released in 2015 and we confirm we are ready to answer those calls.

Our Aboriginal Education Team led by District Principal Brad Baker has made great progress bringing Aboriginal worldviews to our classrooms – our students and staff have benefited from their leadership and expertise.





Westview’s Random Acts of Kindness Project

Throughout the year, the students and staff of Westview Elementary School have been exploring kindness. The goal was to make kindness more visible and important within the school, and the project has already been a huge success!

To begin, students worked hard to fill up each other’s ‘buckets’ in the classroom: helping in the classroom without being asked, helping a friend when they were upset, playing with a friend who was lonely, using kind words, or showing appreciation for others.

Students and staff also wanted to show their appreciation to the many people who come to work within the school. Since they are valuable members of the Westview Community and enrich their school environment, the Speech and Language Pathologist, School Counsellor, School Psychologist, Teacher Leader, Family of Schools leader, and Aboriginal Success Teacher each received thank you notes from the school. The students also flooded the office with sticky notes of gratitude.

This project has been so successful in teaching the students about kindness within the school walls, staff are confident that they are ready to take this initiative to the streets. The challenge has been set for each student in the school to complete five random acts of kindness within their local community. Once each act is complete they will be leaving their Random Acts of Kindness ‘calling card.’ The Westview students and staff are excited to share a smile and lend a helping hand.

What is “Bucket filling”? click here to read more about Carol McCloud’s Book: Have you Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids

Photos provided by Amanda Dorst:





Digital Media Youth Expo – February 13, 2016

I am pleased to provide a bit of background to the upcoming Digital Media Youth Expo happening at Argyle Secondary School on February 13, 2016.

The Digital Media Youth Expo is a place where students, parents, families, teachers and the community can meet with representatives from many Lower Mainland Post-Secondary Schools as well as local & global organizations & institutions and studios involved in digital media.

The Digital Media Youth Expo is always a tremendous success and this will be its fourth, and largest, to date. The event is hosted by the North Vancouver School District Digital Media Academy (DMA) students and staff, and will be of interest to any student who is interested in pursuing a career in this wide-ranging field.

For more info, please check out the website (which is maintained by our own DMA students):


Screen Shot 2016-01-08 at 4.50.55 PMPoster designed by DMA students Danielle Adams and Kyja Leslie

National Sweater Day – February 4, 2016

North Vancouver School District will be participating in National Sweater Day 2016. Our campaign: Better in a Sweater encourages schools to sign up to have their temperature lowered to 18 degrees for the day and students and staff get to show off their favourite sweater, hoodie, or fleece. Last year, 12 schools joined staff at the Education Services Centre in this energy conservation awareness initiative.

Big Mastiff Dog is Lying in Warm Sweater
Big Mastiff Dog is Lying in Warm Sweater

National Sweater Day is an initiative of World Wildlife Fund Canada. The NVSD gratefully acknowledges the support of BC Hydro and the Workplace Conservation Awareness program for their continued support.

Tragedy in La Loche, Saskatchewan

As you are most likely aware, the community of La Loche, Saskatchewan experienced a serious act of violence in a school setting that has rocked the community and our entire nation. As we reflect on Friday’s events, our hearts go out to the family and friends of the victims and injured.

We are deeply saddened by the tragic event that took place on Friday. Violent events like this remind us of the importance of our collective efforts to keep students and staff safe. Through the Ministry’s ERASE strategy, and in particular our Violence Threat Risk Assessment (VTRA) training, we have been working to equip district and school personnel with the skills and protocols to identify threat making and worrisome behaviours, in order to help prevent school violence.

We also work closely with our community partners, especially with the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) and their School Action for Emergencies Plan (SAFE) to ensure we are prepared and understand how best to respond to any type of emergency.   Drills and practices are part of our training process. We have a district-wide lockdown day scheduled on Thursday, February 25 and a mock incident drill on Tuesday, March 8.

The next few weeks will be a critical period for schools, including North Vancouver. Drawing upon materials provided through the Safe Schools Division of the Ministry of Education, we will be providing guidance to our school district employees to support our students, staff and community during this time.

We appreciate your support and understanding as we continue our work to help ensure safe schools throughout the School District.

Windsor’s Future Entrepreneurs

Windsor’s Future Entrepreneurs left by limousine before sun up to travel to downtown Vancouver to compete in the 3rd Annual Junior Achievement Innovation Jam.

Windsor Jr Achievers 

Having already in already won the school competition to represent Windsor at this event, Marko Nisic, James Kay, Taryn O’Keeffe, Matt Brown, Stefan Biro, and Christian Dominguez are confident in their ability to compete downtown. Their sponsor teacher, Mancy So, also has high expectations for the group after coaching teams to the finals for the last two years.

The JABC Innovation Jam brings together 120 high school students from across BC to participate in a one-day business challenge. These bright JA students will be challenged and inspired to develop a business enterprise that would solve a real-world social problem. As a team-based event, students practice the collaboration, communication and presentation skills so valued by employers in the workplace.

Students will first participate in a workshop and receive coaching from entrepreneurs from the local business community. They will then pitch their business ideas to a panel of judges, and the finalists will be revealed at the end of the day.

Best of luck to these future entrepreneurs!


New Year’s greetings from the Chair and the Superintendent

Welcome to 2016!  We are always excited by the positive developments that are taking place within the School District and are pleased to share some of these with you in this New Year’s message.

Our vast array of program opportunities for students will be featured at our Grade 7/8 Transition and Enhanced Programs Information Evening at Sutherland Secondary on Thursday, January 14.  This is a great event for parents and students to become familiar with the variety of enriching programs available to our students.

Enhancing student learning is being facilitated and supported by a new approach to school planning which will involve a meaningful process of engagement and consultation.  Our February 2nd Standing Committee Meeting at the Education Services Centre on Lonsdale will feature a Forum on this topic and we invite parents and community members to attend.

We are continuing to focus on Social Emotional Learning and positive mental health within our schools and community.  Work is continuing with our Inclusive Education initiatives as well with the development of resources and training sessions for our staff.

The introduction and implementation of the new Curriculum for Kindergarten through Grade 9 will be the focus of in-service and professional development for our teachers and teacher leaders during the spring.  Tremendous progress has already been achieved in relation to assessment, evaluation and reporting to parents.  These changes will bring positive opportunities for our students.

Once again this year, we will be celebrating Education Month throughout the month of March.  We will feature our visual artists and band and strings programs.  In addition, we will be pleased to host a number of special events for our community partners and volunteers, as well as a special acknowledgement of our employees with twenty-five years of service.

In April, we will host a Standing Committee Meeting dedicated to Learning in Nature and Sustainability.  We have commenced a process to develop a strategic plan related to environmental initiatives, energy management, garden projects, and learning in nature.  In addition to our continued development of the Cheakamus Centre and Outdoor School, we look to strengthen our support at the school and classroom levels.

We look forward to strengthening our working relationships with both the Squamish and Tsleil-Waututh Nations in advancing the recommendation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report and will be engaging in discussions to extend this work into our School District and community.

The Board of Education has achieved significant improvements in our facilities in recent years and expects continued progress throughout 2016.  We will be working closely with our respective municipalities to engage in discussions related to joint planning initiatives and future opportunities related to our five-year capital plan.

Our continuing work to improve the safety and the quality of the working and learning conditions for our students and staff will focus on the completion of our aggressive seismic upgrade program.  We are hopeful that the Ministry will soon announce an agreement to enable us to proceed with a full replacement project at Argyle Secondary School, and anticipate that we will bring forward the Handsworth Secondary School project in the near future.  In the meantime, a limited seismic upgrade project is making good progress at Windsor Secondary School.  We are pleased with the great progress we have achieved in addressing the seismic upgrades needed for the safety of our students and are appreciative of the support provided by the Ministry of Education.

We look forward to a successful and productive 2016!



Christie Sacré


John Lewis
Superintendent of Schools



Eastview Students and Staff Show their Appreciation

District Principal Brad Baker arrived at his office on Wednesday, prior to the winter break, to find it decorated with 150 beautiful totem crafts created by Eastview students.


These works of art were displayed in all corners of Brad’s office, and in the middle was a beautiful card signed by Eastview students. The students and staff wanted to thank Brad for his support with the Eastview Welcoming Pole initiative.

art for brad

Principal Rob Smyth says the staff thought it would be cool to ‘litter’ his office to say thanks. His support to us was relentless for a year! We learned so much from him…and always with the child at the center!”

Each student in the school received a bookmark to commemorate the Eastview Welcome Pole Blessing which took place on September 18th.  All new students to the school will receive one as a gift to welcome them to the Eastview community.

Eastview Pole


Ses Siyam (Ray Natroaro) and Haat With Wayaanus (Josh Watts)

“This belongs to Eastview now. It is your responsibility to take care of it. The man watches the doors and windows of the school, for everyone who comes and goes, so that no one here comes to any harm.”

– Ketximtn (Alroy Baker)

Thank you to Squamish Nation and to Tsnomot (Brad Baker) for their guidance. Thank you to the School Community and to our Eastview Students for their work and help in bringing the Squamish Welcome Figure to life.

Huy Chexw a

Notes from the desk of John Lewis, Superintendent of Schools

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