Early this December student from Tennyson arrived at the Education Centre lobby full of energy and excitement. They were here to decorate our tree and hang some special holiday artwork they had created. An unexpected highlight of the event was when Associate Superintendent Maureen Ciarniello started an impromptu sing along
Sometimes, getting the little ones out the door and off to school can be a challenge – even at the best of times. But for parents of students in Kindergarten, Grades 1 and 2 at David Lloyd George Elementary, this is not the case! Students are eager to get to school early. That is because last January, David Lloyd George Elementary began running a Breakfast Book Club and, less than a year later, Tuesday mornings now have the school library full of eager readers and parents.
This December, students in Divisions 4 and 5 at Trafalgar Elementary school hosted other classes and their parents at an Evening of Eminence, where the students shared with everyone everything they had learned about one famous Canadian. During the afternoon, each student presented the outcomes of their research to students in the gym, and in the evening, with their parents, they did the same and dressed the part, too. The students also presented a poster board with a biography of their individual, a timeline of their life, a newspaper article about him or her, personal opinions, photographs, and an art project.
On December 4, students from Grandview Elementary participated in the Inside Out identity and storytelling project where they pasted large photos on the walls of the school. The Inside Out project is designed to breakdown stereotypes and help students realize how much they share in common with one another.
On December 4, the Killarney Street Squad students headed downtown with 500 care packages to hand out to residents of the downtown eastside. The Killarney Student Street Squad is made up of about 80 students in Grades 8-12 who take on projects benefitting the community as well as the school. Every year, the Student Street Squad fundraises to put together care packages for residents of the Downtown Eastside. This year they were joined by SFU students who had graduated from Killarney and wanted to carry on the tradition.
On December 5, I was an invited guest at the ground breaking ceremony for a $50 M new Science and Technology building project – a place where many of our graduating students (including my own) attend.
On December 5, once again, I joined my daughter and many others, including students from Templeton, to serve a holiday dinner to more than 600 families at the annual Hastings Community Dinner. The opportunity to give back in some way and provide a wonderful feast for so many is one of the best experiences that anyone can enjoy. Many thanks to the Templeton Culinary Arts program who prepared the excellent meals. This year, I managed to not spill any food on myself as I served.
On Friday, December 6, VSB staff from across the school district convened at the VSB workshop where they dined on delicious burgers and bid on fantastic donated products and services. All of the proceeds of the event went to the United Way, which funds countless programs that supports kids throughout Vancouver. The theme for this year’s United Way campaign focussed on (1) child poverty (2) bullying prevention and (3)the isolation of seniors.
On December 6, I attended the BCSTA Trustees’ Academy to hear a session put on by our VDSC Student Council led by VDSC President Chansey Chiang, VSB Student trustee, Nick Milum and Sunshine Coast Student Trustee Maya Treuheit. This was their second presentation and judging from the audience response and feedback that I heard, this was one of the best sessions at the conference – and one that I think will help lead the way to more student trustees being elected in other school districts.
On Tuesday December 10, over a hundred brightly clad and intricately choreographed students took the stage to perform a dance version of the Nutcracker. The amazing performance was coordinated by dance teacher Cynthia Miller.
On Wednesday December 11, I visited Seymour Elementary school. After stopping in to say “Hello” to several classes, I spent some time in Ms. Lisa Joe’s class. The students read out poems that they had written and published in two books. The poems were creative and heart-warming – it was a distinct pleasure to talk with these young authors.
On December 11, I enjoyed a delicious meal with some exceptional students from Britannia Secondary. During the meal, which featured locally grown produce from the Van Tech Fresh Roots garden project, I talked with several Grade 12 students about their post-secondary plans and their experiences at Britannia. It was a great visit.
On Thursday December 12, I attended the Sarah McLachlan School of Music concert – this was a great opportunity to hear our students sing their own compositions and play a variety of instruments. This event is possible due to the contributions of Sarah McLachlan and other members of the community. Students who cannot afford the opportunity on their own are provided with instruments and lessons. About 100 parents also attended this intimate gathering. This was the 4th evening of concerts for the group.
December 16, 2013 - Superintendent's update to the Board
• December 17 – Strathcona Seismic Announcement
• December 17 – Canucks Family Education Centre
• December 18 – Downtown Eastside Ed Centre Holiday
• December 19 – Van Tech Students Serve Bus Drivers’
• December 19 – Magee Secondary Winter Music Concert