August 28, 2014
While uncertainty around the start date of the school year is ongoing, I have an important safety advisory for parents of students preparing to enter their senior year in our schools.
The Labour Day weekend has typically been a time when some youth, particularly those in their “grad year” participate in unauthorized/illegal social gatherings. These have been disruptive to neighborhoods and harmful to the young people involved. Youth vandalism and other risk-taking behaviours are some of the challenges our neighborhoods may be faced with at this time of year.
Underage drinking is of particular concern as alcohol is a drug that can negatively impact thoughts, moods and judgments. With young people in particular, it can create a sense of immunity or invincibility that is the prelude to a host of risk-taking behaviours.
These types of social activities are not sanctioned by schools and we want to support law enforcement in their work to keep our communities safe. With this in mind, we are joining the RCMP, local fire departments, the District of North Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver in sending this advisory.
The RCMP has expressed a zero tolerance and straight enforcement of all laws and regulations pertaining to social gatherings over the Labour Day weekend. Penalties for youth who violate laws will include, but not necessarily be limited to, being directly ticketed with fines of $115.00 or more.
In closing, thank you for your attention to this important safety message, I hope it helps facilitate family conversations about youth social responsibility and safe celebrations.
I would like to thank Brad Baker for coordinating the Indspire Youth Career Conference Soaring on May 13th. Twenty-eight students plus staff from Argyle, Sutherland, Carson Graham, and Eslha7an secondary schools attended and were excellent representatives of the North Vancouver School District. Students showed great leadership during the workshops and participated with enthusiasm in the Q&A sessions. During the career fair, students had the opportunity to explore post-secondary and career options. We are fortunate for the dedication of Brad and the Aboriginal Education team who encourage students to set high goals for themselves and seek out opportunities for personal growth.
North Vancouver School District Parent Advisory Council in partnership with Vancouver Coastal Health hosted the annual Foods that Fit workshop at the Education Services Centre on May 7th. The workshop was open to lunch coordinators and parents from schools on the North Shore. Over 80 guests came to sample foods from 16 different vendors. After the food sampling, Helen Yeung (VCH), facilitated the workshop on food programs in schools and the new Provincial Guidelines for Food and Beverage Sales in BC Schools. Speakers from Vancouver Coastal Health, HealthlinkBC, Edible Garden Project, and North Shore Recycling gave presentations on topics such as incorporating healthy produce into school food programs and recycling and reducing waste in school lunches. With the organics ban in waste facilities coming to Metro Vancouver in 2015, communications will be sent out on how we will be making changes to waste disposal in our school district. More to come!
We are pleased to support Vancouver Coastal Health in promoting health and wellness in our schools, and thank Helen Yeung, Community Dietitian (VCH) for her guidance and expertise.
Public Health Dietitians Margaret Broughton, Charlene Wood, and Helen Yeung
NVPAC Executive Members: Karen Nordquist, Jane Lagden Holborne, and Debra Dennehy
I wish to thank Margaret Inglis, Bruce Sled, and Yolande Martinello for organizing this year’s Primary Days of Music (May 5 – 9). This NVSD-wide event featured 70 performances by K – 3 students playing musical instruments, singing and dancing. Over 2300 students from 17 different elementary schools performed throughout the week for each other. Many of their teachers are involved with rehearsals, collecting field trip forms, and organizing the logistics that go into making this annual event such a success every year. This enriching experience is always a crowd-pleaser and we thank all involved for their support.