Weekly Message #3-21

Unknown-2I hope you all had a wonderful, restful weekend as we cruise in to the last week of January.  We all eagerly anticipate Groundhog Day next weekend in the hopes that the winter will soon be behind us.

I will be attending the UBC Partners in Education reception after school on Wednesday where they will present their new model for teacher education.  I’ll make sure to take notes so I can share with you what we can expect in the future.

Thank you to all of the teachers who are immersed in the FSA process.  Although there are limitations to the usefulness of the data collected, we can include these results in our overall understanding of our students’ progress and skill development.  Thanks in advance to our Grade 7 teachers who will also be administering the MDI (Middle Years Development Instrument) in mid February.


1.     Henry and Jen will be attending the ERASE workshop all day Friday.  This is a board initiative to work with students to prevent bullying.

The ERASE Initiative is being led by Theresa Campbell, of Safe Schools Together and Kevin Cameron, Canadian Centre for Threat Assessment and Trauma Response. Premier Christy Clark announced the strategy in June 2012; it includes 10 key points….

  1.  A five-year,multi-level training program for educators and community partners to help them! proactively identify and address threats.
  2.  An anonymous online reporting tool for students – administered by EduData
  3. Dedicated Safe School Coordinators in every school district.
  4. Stronger codes of conduct for schools
  5. Provincial guidelines for threat assessments.
  6. New online resources for parents – see www.erasebullying.ca
  7. Formal protocols to guide and coordinate the work of school and community partners.
  8. A provincial advisory committee.
  9. Focusing one of the existing six provincial teacher professional development days on anti-bullying and safe schools professional development
  10. Anti-bullying and threat assessment training for pre-service teachers.

2.     Patti will be at the VSB from 9:30 on Friday morning for the rest of the day.  Paul will be in charge.


Weekly Message #3-20

Unknown-1I spent the day on Friday at an excellent workshop called, “Mean Girls”.  The presenter outlined the roles that girls typically play with each other in social situations and made recommendations on how to work with young women to make better choices.  Of particular interest was the information shared on the role the internet has played in complicating and broadening the effect of negative behaviour.  At Tuesday’s assembly, students from Div. 3 will share a strategy for students to use when making choices about what to say to each other.  I have written a short explanation of it on our website in my principal’s blog.  Feel free to have a look or you can wait until Tuesday when the kids explain it.  It is simple and may help some of our students make better choices.

I will be meeting with our “Moberly Clothing” rep this week to look at offering Moberly logo items again this year.  Some items will be the same but we will likely add some sweat pants.

Our congratulations to Phil and Claire on the birth of their new son!


  1. Pro- D day on Monday.  Thanks to Jen, Brenden and Robin for helping to lead sessions for staff.  It should be a great day.
  2. Finance Ctte meeting at lunch on Tuesday in Patti’s office.
  3. Student Assembly led by Div. 3 at 1:00 on Tuesday afternoon.
  4. Patti will be at the VSB all day Wednesday
  5. Eleanor Cramb here on Thursday to discuss placements for Grade 7 students
  6. Ball Hockey game between VPD and Grade 6/7 students on Thursday at lunch
  7. Hot Chocolate Day on Friday – sponsored by Student Council.  Students will have an opportunity to pre-order hot chocolate and/or a small package of oatmeal chocolate cookies.


Weekly Message #3-19

UnknownBrrr…. I love the break in the rain and we just got back from a long walk with the dogs down to Steveston.  But boy is it cold!  We saw a robin sitting in the tree on the way there – I guess he’s confused because Spring is still a long way off.  We all survived the first week and it will be Spring Break before we know it!

Henry and I will both be out of the building a lot this week – hopefully it will be a quiet one.

We look forward to a great Pro-D day next Monday.  Any teachers who have other pro-d plans should let Brenden know.  SSSAs should inform Patti of their plans for the day.


  1. Henry will be away at VP orientation on Monday morning. (sub provided)
  2. PAC meeting on Tuesday from 9:00 – 10:00 in the library
  3. Patti will be at the School Board for the rest of Tuesday.
  4. Patti & Henry will be at the area meeting on Wednesday morning and Henry will have another orientation meeting in the afternoon. Paul will be in charge.
  5. JO Articulation breakfast at 7:30 on Thursday morning.  All grade 7 resource and classroom teachers are on the list to attend along with Patti & Henry.
  6. DT staff will be here to talk with Grade 7’s going to DT on Thursday afternoon at 1:00.
  7. Patti will be at a workshop all day Friday.

Weekly Message #3-18

Happy-New-Years-Eve-animatedHappy New Year everyone!  I hope you all had time to rest, relax and recharge over the holiday break as we head into an exciting new year.

It seems like this middle school term is “all about the work”.  Everyone knows their students, their needs and you’ve had a chance to be thoughtful in planning to challenge all of your students to learn, learn learn!    Through our school planning process, we have committed to an ongoing focus on oral language development – in particular consciously planning for the development of more specific, rich vocabulary use.  This is a significant and valid need for our students.  In addition, when I look at the way we have focused our programs and our professional learning this year, we have branched out in several ways.  Through the introduction of MindUp, many of you are learning to control the classroom learning environment in new ways which support brain development and more focused learning for students.  Recent training in Jump Math has teachers excited about the possibilities which exist for accelerated growth in students’ math learning.  In particular, the connection between this program and our Smart Boards has great potential.  We are looking at Reading as a fundamental key to student success.  At the primary level, we have committed staffing and training to the expansion of early literacy initiatives.  At the intermediate level, we hope to introduce the corrective reading program through homogeneous reading groups in the near future.  Plans for our Sensory Room are well underway and we should have that space running smoothly soon.

WOW! I’ll stop there – it sounds exhausting but also so exciting.  What a pleasure it is to work with such a professional and committed group of staff members.

We will start the new year with a new office team.  Henry and I will be working hard to make the transition as easy as possible. We are pleased to welcome Karen Scott back as extra clerical for the first week and then Carmelina will join us until the posting is filled.  Welcome also to Dean who will take Paul H’s place in the grade 5/6 until June.  Two new SSSA’s will be joining us as well.  Thanks in advance for your patience as we make every effort to provide you all with the support you need to work effectively with our students.

Please note that the collaboration schedule is set to start on Tuesday this week.  We will put a reminder in the bulletin for the first while until we get into the groove.


  1. Supervision Aide meeting on Monday
  2. Staff committee meeting on Thursday – agenda items to Paul by 3:00 on Tuesday, please.