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):

http://digitalmediayouthexpo.ca

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!

Sincerely,

NORTH VANCOUVER
BOARD OF EDUCATION

Christie Sacré
Chair

NORTH VANCOUVER
SCHOOL DISTRICT

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.

BBaker

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

Artists

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

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

On behalf of the Board of Education and the entire North Vancouver School District , we pass along our best wishes to you and your family during the festive season.  We are fortunate to live in a wonderful part of this world and have much for which we may be thankful.  We hope that our students, staff, parents, and families will get some time to relax with family and friends over this holiday season.  See you in 2016!

xmas2015image

 

PJs with a purpose

Congratulations to our Human Resources (HR) Department for raising $450 in support of Team Finn by hosting PJs with a Purpose at the Education Services Centre on December 9, 2015.

PJs with a purposeStaff were encouraged to visit HR to enjoy some delicious treats, show off their PJs, and make a donation to help BC kids with cancer.

In the past three years, PJs with a Purpose has raised over $20,000 with over 35 schools and preschools participating throughout the Lower Mainland.

Thank you to everyone who participated in the PJs for a Purpose fundraiser.

Honourable Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould

I was deeply honoured and privileged to accompany Brad Baker, District Principal, to a Blessing Ceremony and Feast on the Squamish Nation’s traditional territories at the Chief Joe Mathias Centre this past weekend. Sponsored by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada, the Ceremony provided a traditional blessing of the Honourable Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.   Minister Wilson-Raybould was acknowledged as the ‘highest-ranking’ elected Indigenous woman in Canada.

Brad
Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, flanked by Brad Baker and John Lewis

Words of sincere appreciation and support were shared with Minister Wilson-Raybould by witnesses and speakers from First Nations Chiefs, Councils, National and Provincial bodies and by local communities. A richness of culture was experienced throughout the ceremony with a diversity of song, dance, storytelling and gift-giving, along with the mid-day feast! CeremonyTogether, the assembly expressed their sincere appreciation of the Minister’s work to date and the support that will be provided to her by the community to address the many challenges to be faced in the future.

Reconciliation, as the Commission declares, “is about establishing and maintaining a mutually respectful relationship between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples in this country…. Reconciliation must inspire Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples to transform Canadian society so that our children and grandchildren can live together in dignity, peace, and prosperity on these lands we now share.”

 

North Vancouver – the Home of Champions!

Each season of Secondary School Athletic competition witnesses the active participation of boys and girls from our schools in a wide variety of sports.  The opportunities provided to our students would not be possible without the dedication and support of staff and volunteer coaches.  We are most appreciative of the dedicated coaches who work with our students during each season.

Carson AA Champions
Quarterback Tyler Nylander scored seven rushing touchdowns as the Carson Graham Eagles beat the Abbotsford Panthers 53-34 in the Subway AA football provincial championship game Saturday at BC Place. photos by Cindy Goodman, North Shore News December 7, 2015

We are extremely proud of the accomplishments of our students.  In addition to outstanding levels of participation and sportsmanship, our teams achieve a high level of excellence through competitive play, achieving championship standing at various levels, including Provincial Champions – Carson Graham Sr. Boys AA Football, Handsworth AAAA Sr. Girls Volleyball, and Windsor Jr. Boys AA Football.

North Shore Champions:  Carson Graham (Bantam Boys Rugby,  Jr Girls Volleyball); Handsworth (Sr Girls “AAA” Field Hockey,  Juvenile Girls Volleyball, Sr Girls Premier Volleyball; Seycove (Cross Country “AA” Overall); Sutherland (Sr Boys Soccer); Windsor (Sr Girls Div.1 Volleyball)

Vancouver and District Champions (for teams in grades 8-10 playing against the top teams from Richmond and Burnaby-New Westminster): Carson Graham (Bantam Boys Rugby, Jr Girls Volleyball); Handsworth (Juvenile Girls Volleyball)

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 4.42.42 PMTeams finishing in the top 5 at the Provincial Championships: Argyle; (Sr Boys “AAA” Soccer: 2nd, Sr Girls “AAA” Field Hockey: 3rd); Carson Graham; (Sr Boys “AA” Football: 1st); Handsworth (Sr Girls “AAAA” Volleyball: 1st, Sr Girls “AAA” Field Hockey: 2nd); Seycove (Sr Girls “AA” Field Hockey: 4th); Windsor (Jr Boys “AA” Football: 1st  Jr Boys Cross Country: 5th

Thanks to Athletic Coordinator Gerry Karvelis for contributing to this post and for his continued contribution to the success of our Secondary Schools Atheltics program!

Notes from the desk of John Lewis, Superintendent of Schools

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