February 11, 2014 - Superintendent's update to the Board


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Superintendent's Update to the Board on activities happening in the Vancouver School District.

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  • Lord Byng Secondary has been very busy at the start of this new year. About 364 elementary students visited the school last week to audition for 90 spots in the Byng Arts program, a popular mini-school that supports students who wish to focus their energy and passion on performing arts, fine arts and music.
  • On Monday, January 27, I visited Laura Secord Elementary school and watched the students prepare some tasty fruit salad as part of ProjectCHEF. Principal Richard Zerbe as he regularly does, added a little comedy to the day by pretending to be the master on tv’s Iron Chef. He introduced an unknown ingredient, in this case Dragon Fruit. Barb Finlay, Project Chef’s award winning facilitator proceeded to tell students all about the fruit and how to serve this hard skinned treat. Later I had the pleasure of visiting with the staff during their nutrition break where we talked about everything from our experiences as beginning teachers to the quality of the muffins at the tables. It was a really enjoyable and informative school visit.
  • On January 30, 2014, a collection of human “books,” all of whom pack impressive resumes in the math and science fields, met with almost 200 Grade 9 students at John Oliver Secondary School to talk about their passions, education and life’s work. Some notable presenters included scientists from TRIUMF (Tri-University Meson Factory) at UBC, Genome BC’s chief science officer and a geophysicist.
  • Grade 12 students Alison Ross, Mike Yasutake and Erin Broatch wanted to do something nice for their Kits friends so this season, the WE Club members started a compliment campaign. A visit to Kits will show halls decked with hundreds of little red compliments.
  • On Monday January 27, I visited Van Tech Secondary where I dined on some terrific Italian gnocchi, crisp salad and a wonderful trio of desserts. During lunch, I chatted with a number of student leaders, staff members and other school leaders about the students’ current activities and future pathways.
  • Lunar New Year was celebrated at Prince of Wales on Tuesday, February 4 with some incredible food prepared by the school’s PAC and great rock tunes composed by Prince of Wales Secondary students. The event included a range of traditional and contemporary displays by PW students including Jangochun (traditional Korean dance), Taekwondo, Minyo (traditional Korean singing), K-Pop Dance and Chinese and Korean music bands.
  • On Thursday, February 30, Minister of Education, Peter Fassbender joined Board Chairperson Patti Bacchus as Rotary Club officials presented a cheque for $18,000 donated to Templeton and Britannia Families of Schools to support their work with technology. We want extend our gratitude to the Rotary Club for their generous support of our schools.
  • Pink Shirt Day went off with great cheers from the crowd during a Vancouver Giants game at Rogers Arena yesterday.  Over 2,800 students all dressed in pink danced in unison to the song "Shooting Star" by Owl City. The event was organized by many people, but particular recognition needs to go to Mette Hamaguchi, the Principal of Nelson Elementary.
  • On Monday, February 13 I had a great tour of Bayview elementary school. I stopped in at the giant reading tree in the library. I was informed about a fish tank set up as part of a Salmonid enhancement program, and I dropped by VSB Anti-Racism Coordinator Angela Brown’s classroom where Ms. Brown was taking children through an activity that helped them identify and break down stereotypes. A fun day was had by all!
  • Templeton Secondary held its very first Lunar New Year celebration last Friday. The ceremony featured performances from students as well as local community groups. Students were fed dumplings and noodles by the ever supportive school cafeteria.
  • Once a month, students from the Eastside Eats, Britannia Secondary’s newest club, head down to their school kitchen early in the morning to whip up cookie dough and prepare sandwiches before travelling to the Downtown Eastside and delivering the food to some of Vancouver’s most needy residents. The Eat’s work helping some of Vancouver’s most marginalized people is greatly appreciated by the staff and shelter’s clients at the “Living Room”
  • February 11, 2014 - Superintendent's update to the Board

    1. 1. Superintendent’s Update June 1, 2014
    2. 2. Byng Arts Auditions
    3. 3. Visit to Laura Secord Elementary
    4. 4. JO Math and Science Human Books
    5. 5. Kindness Decks the Halls of Kits
    6. 6. Visit to Van Tech Secondary
    7. 7. Prince of Wales Lunar New Year
    8. 8. Rotary Announcement at Templeton
    9. 9. Visit to Bayview Elementary School
    10. 10. Lunar New Year at Templeton Secondary
    11. 11. Britannia Students Help the DTES
    12. 12. Upcoming events • February 12 – Kitsilano Fine and Performing Arts Night • February 13 – Van Horne Science Fair • February 13 – Grandview Elementary INSIDE OUT Day of Action on Commercial Drive • February 18 – Van Tech Poetry and Voice Competition Upcoming school visits: • University Hill Elementary • Queen Elizabeth Annex • University Hill Secondary