North Vancouver School District #44

Notes from the desk of John Lewis, Superintendent of Schools

North Vancouver School District #44

VCC Culinary Arts Program at Carson Graham Information Evening

Post provided by Monty Bell, Director of Instruction:

On Thursday, February 5th over 70 North Shore parents and students attended the VCC Culinary Arts Program information evening at Carson Graham Secondary. Hosted by the school principal, Karim Hachlaf, and presented by Red Seal chef Scarlet Gaffney the participants learned how this dual credit program opens the culinary world to high school students.

Once completed students earn 28 credits towards graduation and their Professional Chef Level 1 from Vancouver Community College. Students learn all the foundational skills including food preparation, food management and of course, how to create amazing sauces, baked goods and full course meals. The students also have the opportunity to work within a professional grade kitchen right in the heart of the school. Comments from participants included: “It has always been my dream to be a chef, now it can happen” (Handsworth student) and “I have worked in a kitchen for two years and I know this is what I want to do” (Seycove student). At the conclusion of the presentation, students and parents were taken on a tour of the kitchen and met this year’s VCC/North Shore High School student cohort group. The pictures below show the training chefs preparing some treats for the attendees. From pulled pork sliders to risotto crostini the aspiring chefs to be were able to see what is possible and taste what could be a very appetizing future.




Social Media Awareness

I would like to extend a sincere thanks to Constable Carlos Rockhill, the RCMP Youth Intervention Unit, and North Vancouver RCMP Superintendent Kennedy, for hosting the Social Media Awareness presentation: Parenting the Connected Kid – Going Beyond Safety on Wednesday, January 28th.

Centennial Theatre was fully booked for this event, which was open to students, parents, community members and educators. In addition to Jesse Miller as the keynote speaker, Angus Reid, guest speaker, and formerly with the BC Lions, spoke to the importance of open communication within the family and the need to build ‘team’ starting within our families.

Social Media

Many in the audience were familiar with keynote speaker, Jesse Miller, from previous presentations at many schools’ PAC events as well as presentations to students at school assemblies. Jesse’s message stressed the importance for parents to gain a deeper understanding of their child’s (and their own) participation and engagement in social media and to work towards a balance between the pervasive use of technology with the continued need for strong personal contact and interaction. Jesse’s message drew parallels to Angus Reid’s comments, reinforcing the importance of developing ongoing communications within our families and for positive social interactions with friends, peers, and colleagues.

We are most fortunate to benefit from Jesse’s knowledge, experience and generosity to work with our students, schools and community.  This was a very enjoyable and informative meeting for everyone in attendance!

Designs 2015

Feedback from the January 9th Curriculum Implementation Day has been very positive. North Vancouver School District educators appreciated the opportunity to learn about the proposed revisions to the provincial curriculum and assessment frameworks.

Building on the theme: Transforming the Curriculum, the District Coast Metro/Designs Team is presenting Re-Designs 2015, a 3-session series that explores BC’s Education Plan in more depth. With a focus on the new framework for BC’s transformed curriculum, including the three Core Competencies (Thinking, Communication, and Personal/Social Responsibility), K-12 teachers will come away with practical tools and strategies for implementing and assessing the core competencies in their classroom.

Re-Designs began January 27th.


Digital Media Academy Events

I am pleased to highlight two recent events sponsored by our Digital Media Academy (DMA). Post provided by DMA teachers Ryanne Bergler and Murray Bulger:

Information Night:

The Digital Media Academy Information Night was held at Argyle Secondary School on Thursday, January 29, 2015.  This was an evening for parents and students interested in finding out more details about the Digital Media Academy (DMA) and the DMA Lite course at Argyle. The Digital Media Academy is an Enhanced Program available to Grades 11 and 12 students in the North Vancouver School District and the DMA Lite course is available to students in Grades 9 and 10. Guests were able to hear first-hand from currently enrolled students about their experiences at the DMA as well as hear from the DMA teaching staff. Current DMA students working on various media projects were available to showcase their work. This evening provided parents & students the information they needed to make further decisions about these fantastic programs! More details about the Digital Media Academy and the DMA Lite course are available on the district website under Academies or on the Digital Media Academy website at


Youth Expo:

The 3rd annual Digital Media Youth Expo was held on January 31, 2015.  The DMA hosted this event and attendance far exceeded expectations with over 1000 students and their families attending! The EXPO was for anyone interested in learning more about digital media, photography, film, sound, animation and the many educational and employment opportunities in the digital media industry.  There were 8 post-secondary schools on hand to showcase opportunities as well as industry professionals with interactive booths and displays and demonstrations – there was even a 12 foot camera crane in the cafeteria that students were able to operate!  The booths at the Digital Media Youth Expo were where parents, students, and teachers were able to meet representatives from Lower Mainland post-secondary schools as well as local organizations involved with the DMA and industry. This was a free event and an exciting opportunity for those wanting to delve into the world of digital media and explore options for careers in this field.  Make sure to attend the Digital Media Youth Expo next year!

For more information on the DMA and DMA Lite course as well as the events within the Digital Media Academy, please visit the DMA website at

Kid Oculus Close 


Changing Results for Young Readers

The first two Family of Schools teams are about to complete this year’s inservice: Changing Results for Young Readers. Over four morning sessions, primary teachers, learning assistance teachers, teacher librarians, literacy support staff, and administrators are enhancing their understanding of effective literacy instruction with the focus on improving reading results for struggling K-3 readers.

Feedback from participants has been very positive and I’d like to thank Joanne Robertson, Learning Services and the CR4YR Team for making these sessions possible.  For more information about this inservice, please visit:

Changing Results

Ilona Wardas (Blueridge teacher) presents CR4YR strategies to her colleagues


Family Literacy Week

I was delighted to be invited as a guest reader by Teacher-Librarian Ieke Giese of Upper Lynn on January 27th as part of Family Literacy Week.  Three Primary classes were able to join together in the library as part of the kick-off to this special week.


Every year I look forward to the opportunity to read to students. This year’s reading selections were How to Teach a Slug to Read, by Susan Pearson and The Snatchabook, by Helen Docherty and Thomas Docherty.  Both of these selections were fun to read to the children. Both stories highlighted the importance of learning to read and to share the joy of reading with others.  My girls are quite grown up now, so I don’t get the chance to read children’s literature as much as I did in the past!




The Family Literacy Week initiative highlights the importance of reading and literacy skill development. North Vancouver School District educators are currently taking part in Changing Results for Young Readers (CR4YR), a provincial initiative to encourage reading amongst primary aged students. I will be posting an update soon on our CR4YR inservice sessions.

International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme Info Night

On Tuesday, January 27th parents and guardians and grade 10 students attended the second of two International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme (DP) information sessions. This was another opportunity to learn about IB education and the process for applying to this programme, offered at Carson Graham Secondary School.

The International Baccalaureate Diploma Programme is one of the North Vancouver School District enhanced program options and is accepting applications from all grade 10 students who are interested.

Students considering the IB Diploma Programme have a unique opportunity to spend a day at Carson Graham, participating in the DP classrooms and experiencing a day in the life as an IBO learner. To register for “DP for a Day” please visit:


Late French Immersion Program Information Meeting – Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Post provided by Joanne Robertson, Director of Instruction, Learning Services

It was standing room only at the Late French Immersion (LFI) Program Information meeting on January 21st. Over 160 parents and Grade 5 students attended the information session, which was designed and facilitated by Late French Immersion teachers Susan Owens and Laura Hall (École Boundary Elementary), Nelly Callow and Francis Baldonado (École Braemar Elementary), and a panel of enthusiastic Grade 6 and 7 Late French Immersion students.  The presentation included an overview of the Late French Immersion program provided by Susan Owens and District French Immersion Facilitator Stéphanie Weller, a welcome from Canadian Parents for French Representative Serge Daoust, and information about the registration process from District Administrator Greg Milner.

The Late French Immersion program is an enhanced program offered by the North Vancouver School District to Grade 6 students who wish to develop functional bilingualism. Late French Immersion students, who join their Early Immersion peers in Grade 8 for the secondary French Immersion program, develop strong communications skills in both French and English.

Late FI Info

Windsor Students Compete at Junior Business Competition

These Windsor Dukes are off to the 2nd annual business competition Junior Achievement BC Innovation Jam at the Coast Coal Harbour Hotel. We wish Chris, Yenah, Erik, Josh, Anton and Taylor the best of luck.



The Windsor team will join other students from across BC to learn about developing and pitching a new business idea. Guest business experts will work with these young entrepreneurs who will be presenting their ideas in front of a panel of judges.

7/8 Transitions and Enhanced Programming Night – January 15, 2015

Our annual 7/8 Transitions and Enhanced Programming Night was held at Sutherland Secondary School on Thursday, January 15, 2015 and was attended by over 1,000 students and parents interested in learning more about transitioning to secondary school and the enhanced programs offered in North Vancouver School District. The evening began with information about registration, course selection, and the Grade 8 experience. Students and parents learned about the supports available to them during the 7/8 transition and what to expect at secondary school.

Participants moved through the various info booths and heard first-hand from staff and fellow students about our sports and arts academies as well as our academic programs. This was a great opportunity for our enhanced programs to be showcased and I’d like to thank all of our organizers for making the evening another success.

This event is part of the Towards the Future for Schools Board Standing Committee Meetings and is always well received. To learn more about the North Vancouver School District Enhanced Programs and Programs of Choice, please visit: