For the last few months the art and woodwork classes have been creating an art installation to engage the school community in the celebration of Magee’s 100th anniversary. Students and staff were eager to create an exhibit that would be participatory, collaborative, accessible, visually dramatic and at the same time affordable. The final pieces of the Passageways Project were completed last week, just in time for this Saturday’s Magee Centennial celebration.
Sandra Bruneau who is also Executive Director of the Association of BC Deans of Education presented a cheque for $2,000 on behalf of the Reconciliation Committee at West Point Grey United Church. The funds are provided in support of the Aboriginal Education Program. This donation derives from the generous bequest of Dr. Margaret Brown, longtime member of West Point Grey United Church, who died in 2010. Dr. Brown was renowned for her work with young children, her instruction in UBC’s Native Indian Teacher Education Program, and her professional commitments in both Education and church-related activities which focussed on improving the educational opportunities of early Aboriginal learners. This is an annual bequest to be used to supply the basic needs of elementary age Aboriginal students in the Vancouver public school system, necessities such as food, shoes, and clothing.
Hastings Elementary has formed one of the first Gay Straight Alliance Clubs ever in an elementary school. A few weeks ago the school kicked off their club with an inaugural fundraising event – a colourful bake sale for Jer’s Vision at Hasting’s festival. Jeremy Dias and a 6 member board formed Jer’s Vision in 2005, following Dias’ legal case against his school board - youth from Jer&apos;s Vision were inspired by David Shepherd and Travis Price from Nova Scotia who stood up against homophobia to start the International Day of Pink.
On Tuesday, May 13, the new Education Consul for the People’s Republic of China, Consul Yu visited the VSB along with Consul Du. Both consuls were met and hosted by Assistant Superintendent of Schools, Scott Robinson, Manager of International Education, Barb Onstad, District Principal in International Education, Dave Derpak and me. We exchanged great ideas about collaborative and reciprocal opportunities between Canada and China.
On Thursday, May 8, Eric Hamber Fashion Department kicked off CODE2014. It was the school’s 23rd annual fashion show and provided an opportunity for students to showcase all the best aspects of Hamber Fashion. Hundreds of pieces were on stage, from the iconic canvas ‘Hamber Duffle’ and ‘Hamber Garment’ bags, to stylish renditions of the lovely Mason Dior skirt. A strong technical focus included upcycling of street banners and rainwear in keeping with the show’s sustainability focus
For over 15 years Darryl Koe, a Grade 1/2 teacher at Tillicum Annex, has been organizing the school’s daylong Sports Day. Darryl is quick to acknowledge his colleagues who pitch in to support him. But the day, which has changed little in the last 20 years, is clearly his passion project. Last Friday, families, students, teachers, and staff all participated in the day’s activities with events like “Island Hopping” and “Fill the Bucket” causing near riotous cheers from the crowd gathered at our small neighbourhood friendly eastside school.
This Thursday, May 15 dozens of Aboriginal learners came together at the Aboriginal Friendship Centre gym to honour Grade 7 Aboriginal learners who are moving forward on their educational pathways to high school. VSB Aboriginal Education District Principal Don Fiddler awarded each student a special aboriginal medal and parents and students were entertained with speeches and dancing. I was fortunate to attend the event with Associate Superintendent Maureen Carniello and Trustee Ken Denike.
Last week, I was proud to join Chairperson Patti Bacchus, Manager of Social Responsibility & Diversity, Lisa Pedrini, VSB Anti-homophobia & Diversity Mentor - Stephanie Lofquist, and Associate Superintendents Scott Robinson and Maureen Ciarniello at the annual International Anti-Homophobia Day breakfast (that started at 7 am). It was an early start, but a great reason to get up early and support.
Last week I enjoyed an evening of signing, dance and celebration at the annual Templeton Aboriginal Family Night. As well as the amazing and inspirational drumming and dancing, the event included Steven Point awards to recognize Aboriginal students who have shown great success this year. This was the first year that the event was combined with Windermere students – and next year, I understand that it will expand to include elementary students.
Waverley Elementary students got a big surprise from the Charros Foundation. The school received $60,000 from the Foundation to help build their playground at a special assembly last Friday. This happened just before their sports day It was a great way to jump start a fun and active day.
Kerrisdale Elementary’s gym was decked out last week with dozens of artistic projects produced by the school’s Kindergarten students. Displays included owl masks, colourful First Nations art and dream-catchers, and water colour paintings.
Last week, a VSB team including our Board Chairperson Patti Bacchus, DPAC Chairperson, Monica Moberg, Student trustee and trustee leaders Nick Milum and Sally Lin, Principal Aaron Davies, Vice Principal Robin Kirk, District Principal Gino Bondi and I attended a Canadian Education Association (CEA) conference held at the LongHouse at UBC. The event was one of several held across Canada to look at the current change agenda happening in education in all provinces. Participants also included the Deans of Education from UBC and SFU as well as many other students, parents, trustees and school/district staff. These photos show the results of some of the discussions.
May 20, 2014 - Superintendent's update to the Board