During my visit to the District Reception and Placement Centre last week, I enjoyed a tour of the facility that moved to Moberly a couple of years ago. It was clear from my conversations with the staff and volunteers that they are doing a great job in supporting newcomers to Canada. In the photo above you will see on the right, District Principal William Wong, and Jerry Wu who work with our multicultural and settlement workers in schools. They are accompanied by two wonderful volunteers who are giving up their mornings every week to help orient newcomers as they arrive at the DRPC.
During a recent visit to Laurier Annex, a class of Grade 1 students prepared lunch for us all. The students chopped up fresh vegetables and created some mini-lasagnas using cupcake pans and wonton pasta. Meanwhile another group of students learned about vegetables with flashcards. While another group worked on a giant jigsaw puzzle that arranged the food groups. It was a great culinary experience for everyone.
During my school visit to Sexsmith Elementary last week, I had a great tour of the school led by Principal Jacquie Hall. It was wonderful to visit the school’s Kindergarten classrooms and witness the school’s buddy literacy mentorship program where the young students read their stories.
A group of John Oliver Secondary alumni, spearheaded by local business owners Barj and Rita Dhahan, has established the Wonder of Reading Legacy Fund to support the school’s reading programs and raise funds targeted at student literacy. The alumni joined John Oliver Principal Tim McGeer and his staff to celebrate the donation campaign last Monday.
On January 13, Vancouver School Board staff welcomed a delegation of primary and secondary school principals from Shenzhen Futian District in China. Vancouver was the third stop of their school district visits across Canada. District Principal of International Education, Dave Derpak arranged for the visitors to meet with all of the Vancouver secondary school principals.
Last week, I joined UBC Dean of Education, Blye Frank, Musqueam leader Wade Grant, Superintendent of Aboriginal Achievement DeDe DeRose, Dr. Avis Glaze, VSB educator Steve Mulligan, and others for a meeting of the UBC Faculty of Education External Advisory Committee. We discussed potential K-12/post secondary projects – particularly in the metro Vancouver area, leadership initiatives, and the new building plans for the Faculty of Education.
On January 15, Bruce elementary students filled one of the school’s classroom for their chance to pick out a new book. The excitement was palpable as students sorted through the hundreds of new books available. The free book giveaway was organized by Books for Me, a non-profit Vancouver-based charity formed with the purpose to get books into the hands of elementary aged students who might not otherwise have a chance to have their own books.
Last Friday, Henderson Annex surprised Supervision Aide Rita Manfredi, who was retiring after working at the school for 23 years. Students and staff enjoyed cake, shared stories, sang a special song and thanked Rita for her decades of service. The Vancouver School Board also extends great appreciation to Rita for her many years of caring service for kids.
January 27, 2014 - Superintendent's update to the Board
• January 30 – John Oliver Human Library
• January 30 – Rotary Club iPad Cart Donation Ceremony
• January 31 – VEPAA Coaches’ Recognition Event
• January 31 – Windermere WE Day
• February 4 – Lunar New Year Lunch at Prince of Wales
• February 7 – Templeton Lunar New Year Event
Recent and Upcoming school visits:
• Bayview Elementary • Secord Elementary
• Kitsilano Secondary • Van Tech Secondary
• Gordon Elementary • Queen Victoria Annex