Weekly Message #6-8

A beautiful day for a long walk in the Whistler sunshine

A beautiful day for a long walk in the Whistler sunshine

David and I enjoyed an amazing weekend at Whistler and just walked through the door about half an hour ago (7:30 p.m.)  The weather was amazing and the conference speaker was very engaging and had lots to offer in the way of advice for effectively using internet based resources in our work.  On Saturday, I attended a session on the creative use of space to support teacher collaboration and student learning.  It was also very interesting – presented by Doug Roch, a Vancouver vice principal.   Definitely time well spent.  I hope you all had a good weekend and learned lots on your Pro-D day.

Lots of meetings this week (see list below).  We look forward to our assembly on Friday when we will be throwing a few pies to celebrate our fundraising for the “Walkathon for Kids with Cancer”.  It will be fun to be together in our costumes.  Don’t forget the staff costume contest – you still have a few days to come up with something “brilliant”.

David and I will be celebrating our 20th anniversary in Maui the first week of November.  I have taken leave and will be gone this Friday afternoon and all of next week.  Karl will be in charge during my absence.  There will be no weekly message on Sunday, November 1st. (Don’t forget to turn your clocks back).  I have tried to include the key events for the next two weeks in this message.

EVENTS THIS WEEK (AND NEXT): 

  1. DEAR time for the whole school in classrooms on Monday afternoon – 1:00 – 1:30
  2. Grade 7 review re 2016 placements 11:00 on Tuesday.  I will put a schedule in your box on Monday.
  3. SBT with Kathy Grimm on Wednesday at 11:00.  I will put a schedule in your box on Monday.
  4. Patti at John Oliver for the Community Link meeting 8:30 – 10 on Thursday morning.
  5. Health & Safety meeting Friday at 8:15 in the staffroom
  6. Assembly on Friday at 11:00 led by Div. 1
  7. Strong Start is closed on Monday, Nov. 2nd
  8. Performance for K – 7 of Lapis on Friday, Nov. 6th in the afternoon at 1:30.

Have a great 2 weeks everyone!

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Weekly Message #6-7

apple swanHad a delicious dinner at our friends’ house on Saturday night – she is a newly retired teacher.  I guess she is finding out what it’s like to have time on your hands.  This picture is of the two “apple swans” that she carved as a decoration for the table!

Hopefully this week will seem a bit shorter as it ends with Pro-D on Friday.  Please remember that teachers must let Brenden know what they will be doing on Friday.  SSSAs and CUPE staff should sign up on the sheet in the office.

Goal Setting interviews will be on Tuesday and Wednesday this week.  We have early dismissal on Tuesday only.  Please provide the office with your schedule if you are doing interviews this week.

Our first PAC meeting of the year will be on Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m. in the library.  If you have a chance, please encourage parents who visit you on Tuesday to come to our meeting.  In addition, teachers and staff are always welcome to attend.

We will be having an extended School Based team with Deanne Yee on Wednesday morning.  A general agenda has been placed in affected teachers’ boxes.  Timing will be a challenge but our goal is to get Kindergarten and Grade 1’s done before recess.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Staff Committee meeting on Tuesday – agenda items to the clipboard in the staffroom by Monday at noon please.  Agendas to be distributed on Monday afternoon.
  2. Goal Setting Interviews – Tuesday (2-8) and Wednesday (3-6)
  3. PAC Meeting Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.
  4. Speech Language focused SBT on Wednesday morning.  Laura (Sup Aide) will be here to cover classroom teachers.  Resource teachers will need to cancel groups as we don’t have anyone else available that morning for coverage.
  5. Photo Day on Thursday – please consider having your photo taken – it’s free for staff and you don’t have to order if you don’t like it!
  6. PSA Day on Friday – Have fun and learn lots!

Weekly Message #6-6

Garden display at the "Prickly Pear" in Steveston

Garden display at the “Prickly Pear” in Steveston

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!  My Dad treated us to a beautiful buffet dinner at the golf club – what a treat – delicious food and no mess to clean up.  I was especially happy to have my older son, Chris, join us.  I hope that you had a chance to relax and reflect on the many positive things in our lives including the opportunity to work together!

Congratulations to Paula on the successful Walkathon on Friday!  We are grateful to Shannon for her high energy warm up and to all the students and their families who have donated so far.  We will continue to collect money until at least Oct. 19th and then will celebrate our success at an upcoming assembly.

I will be meeting with Kathy Grimm on Tuesday morning to review our Psych Ed Mums 2015assessment waitlist.   There were so many needy students discussed at our class review.  It is important to remember that “testing” is not alway the answer.  Unfortunately, the standardized tests used by our School Psychologist (Kathy) and our Speech Language Pathologist (Deanne) are not intended for students with very limited English or for children under the age of nine.  Therefore, when we are looking for interventions for students in K – 2, we need to focus on school level modifications or in extreme cases, pediatric assessments.  Also, it is important to note that a diagnosis of “attention deficit” must be done by the family doctor and does not provide any additional support for the child at school.  A diagnosis of “autism” requires an interdisciplinary assessment through an outside agency and can result in additional support.   Having said that, I think it is fair to say that medical practitioners are reluctant to label students at an early age.  We will have a school based team focused on SLP referrals on Wed. Oct 21st.  I will schedule a Psych Ed focused SBT as soon as possible.

We look forward to the student vote this Friday with thanks to Harjinder for organizing the involvement of 200 students in this year’s campaign.  This is such an excellent opportunity for our students to understand the electoral process.  As we look ahead to next week, I hope that all of you will organize your day on Monday to include a trip to the polling station.  VOTE and exercise your right to choose.

The PSA day is fast approaching (Oct. 23rd) .  Please remember that you can spend up to $150 on a workshop or professional materials.  You still need to fill out the paperwork to be paid but you can assume it will be approved.  If you are interested in a workshop that costs more that $150, please make sure to get your paperwork in to Brenden asap so that the committee can consider your application.

Thanks to the Social Committee for organizing the Staff Halloween Costume contest.  It will be a fun day and we hope to see as many staff as possible involved in this school spirit event!  You are all challenged to come up with a creative costume!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Patti & Karl at the area meeting on Wednesday morning.  Paul is in charge.

Have a great four day week everyone!

Weekly Message #6-5

images-2A glorious weekend – hope you all had the time to enjoy some sunshine.

Thank you for the time you have taken to prepare for and participate in “Class Review”.  We have two more classes to do on Wednesday (Rasiuk, Landry) and then we will be done.  There are no minutes provided for Class Review – instead we use the information provided as a scaffold for planning School Based Team and emergency interventions.  My notes from our meetings are stored in the School Based Team binder for this year if you need to review them.  I found myself feeling anxious and concerned after a full day of discussing the classroom loads that each of you have this year.  Is it possible that the job just keeps getting harder every year?  the students more challenging?  the workload more impossible?  As a School Based Team, we will do our best to support you and hope that things will be running more smoothly as time progresses and students begin to understand your expectations as you learn more about them and their learning needs.

Please take the time to encourage students to bring in money for the Walkathon for Kids with Cancer.  This is a very important cause to support and an opportunity for students to think of others.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Federal Candidates here on Tuesday morning to present to selected classes.  Thanks Harjinder for organizing this.
  2. Supervision Aide meeting at 11:00 on Tuesday morning.
  3. Staff Committee on Tuesday at lunch.  Please post agenda items on the clipboard in the staffroom by noon on Monday so that agendas can be distributed by 3 on Monday,
  4. Patti will be meeting with a representative from the Langara Nursing program on Friday morning to discuss classroom presentations.
  5. Walkathon for Kids with Cancer at 2:00 on Friday afternoon.  Meet in the gym.  You will be called down.

Have a great week everyone!