September 30, 2013 - 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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  • On Sept 13, Cook Elementary students lined up outside their school to celebrate the grand opening of their new playground. Principal Dan Knibbs thanked the PAC for all their work raising money for the playground. Students also got a safety lesson on how to properly use some of the new equipment.
  • Hundreds of elementary students lined the banks of False Creek on Tuesday, September 17 to support Aboriginal canoe rowers who paddled the calm waters of the inlet as part of Reconciliation Canada’s All Nations Canoe Gathering. The canoes travelled up the inlet between the two schools and waved as the students cheered them on.
  • The school year started with a big transit and fitness adventure for 76 Grade 7 students at University Hill Elementary. Using transit, the entire class managed to navigate their way from UBC to the North shore’s Grouse Grind using bus, skytrain and sea bus. Once they reached the mountain, the students faced a tough hike up the mountain. While it was challenging for many, every student managed to successfully make it up the Grind. I hear that they might challenge the Board to join them next year!
  • For the first time in more than a century, students at Sir James Douglas Elementary began their school year in a new $15.4 M facility.
    On Monday, Sept 23, staff, students, members of the community and media, and representatives from the District, Board, and Ministry all joined in a celebration to open the new school. Musqueam representative Debra Sparrow welcomed staff and students to the traditional lands of the Musqueam people and two Musqueam members sang and danced to honour the day. Board Chairperson, Patti Bacchus welcomed the staff and students to their new school along with Principal Catherine Feniak and Ministers Fassbender and Anton.
  • On Friday, September 20, all the students at Emily Carr Elementary ran, jogged, and walked in honour of Terry Fox and cancer research. The students warmed up to the loud tunes of the classic Village People song 'YMCA'. Parents of all the students cheered on the young runners as they circled Douglas Park.
  • On Tuesday September 24, I provided a keynote presentation along with two colleagues to a full house at the UBC Faculty of Education for Faculty, pre-service teachers and grad students. My topic was on student engagement. My colleagues did exceptionally well as we received a standing ovation at the end!
  • Career Programs staff, Karen Larsen and Wendy Gilmour attended an event to celebrate First Nations Red Seal trades and apprenticeship designations
  • Last week, hundreds of students packed John Oliver Secondary for a “Literacy Pep Rally”. The event included reading workshops, a game show, drum line, rope tug o’war with the VPD and many other activities designed to bring literacy and reading to life. A big thank you to lead organizer, Vice Principal, Thomas Harpanuik and Principal Tim McGreer, along with all the other JO staff and students who made this incredible event possible.
  • On Thursday September 19th, over 5,000 students from across the province convened at the PNE for the day to bear witness and learn about Truth and Reconciliation. 
    The Fostering Reconciliation through Education event, coordinated by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) and the Education Day Advisory Committee, created an opportunity for students to learn about the history and long-term effects of the Residential School System in Canada. Students participated in conversations and healing workshops that focused on arts, music, story-telling, film, and dance.
    I had the privilege to meet Honourable Justice Murray Sinclair, Chair of the Truth & Reconciliation Commission of Canada at the TRC event at the PNE that was attended by thousands of VSB students
  • On Sunday, September 22, over 70 000 people braved the pouring rain in Vancouver to take part in the Walk for Truth and Reconciliation, which marked the sad history of residential schools in Canada.
    I was proud to walk with many of our staff members including Chair Patti Bacchus and our district principal for aboriginal education, Don Fiddler.
  • September 30, 2013 - Superintendent's update to the Board

    1. 1. Superintendent’s Update June 1, 2014
    2. 2. Cook Playground Celebration
    3. 3. Elsie Roy and False Creek students cheer for Truth and Reconciliation
    4. 4. U-Hill Elementary students conquer transit and the Grind
    5. 5. Douglas Elementary School Opening
    6. 6. Emily Carr - Terry Fox Run
    7. 7. UBC Inspiring Educator series
    8. 8. First Nations Red Seal trades
    9. 9. John Oliver - Wonder of Reading
    10. 10. Reconciliation through Education at the PNE
    11. 11. Walk for Truth and Reconciliation
    12. 12. Upcoming events • October 1 – TRB Commissioner visits schools • October 3 – Templeton Grade 8 Family Night • October 3 – Tupper - Journey into the Trades • October 4 – Board meets with local MLAs • October 7 – School Visits: Alternative Education Programs • October 9 – Gladstone Greenhouse - Grand Opening • October 9 – Inner City Re-visioning • Upcoming school visits: Byng, Kerrisdale and Kerrisdale Annex