Students and Staff at Dorothy Lynas School “Fill the Skies with Music” on Music Monday
…courtesy of Craig Drew, Dorothy Lynas Music Teacher
On Monday May 6th, students and staff at Ecole Dorothy Lynas Elementary gathered together in the school gymnasium for the celebration of Music Monday, an annual event sponsored by The Coalition for Music Education. The celebration featured the premiere of this year’s official Music Monday song, “I.S.S. (Is Somebody Singing)”. The song was written by Canadian Space Agency Astronaut and musician Chris Hadfield and Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson and commissioned by the Coalition for Music Education and CBC Music in partnership with the Canadian Space Agency to celebrate music education in schools across Canada. Music Monday features a Canadian coast-to-coast-to-coast simultaneous concert celebrating the power of music and giving a national voice to young music makers. However, this year’s event transcended the earth’s atmosphere and literally took place in and out-of-this-world. The song premiered via a CBC Webcast with Chris Hadfield performing on the International Space Station and Ed Robertson and the Barenaked Ladies on Earth. Students at Dorothy Lynas School worked hard before the Webcast in preparation to sing along with Chris and Ed to fill the skies with music. The students staged a brilliant performance. Singing along with Chris Hadfield in the International Space Station made this years’ Music Monday most memorable. Students and staff at the school would like to thank District I.C.T. Services for their assistance in making the viewing of this historic webcast possible.
Videos of Commander Hadfield’s webcast may be viewed at the Music Monday website: http://www.musicmonday.ca/mm-videos/
Monday, May 6th I was pleased to attend the CNV Youth Awards Ceremony. Awards were given in six categories: Youth Recognition, Youth Community Enhancement, Outstanding Youth Teams, Random Act of Kindness, Outstanding Supporter of Youth, and Youth Centennial Scholarship. In the Outstanding Youth Team category, two Carson Graham teams (Africa Water Bank Ambassadors and Senior Improv Team) and two Sutherland teams (Cancer Awareness Club and Mosaic Multicultural Club) were recognized. Photos of this event have been posted at www.cnv.org. Congratulations to all the awards recipients and to all the nominees!
The District Student Leadership Council (DSLC) is a group of student representatives from all Secondary schools in the district that meets once each month to discuss relevant issues, ideas, possibilities and concerns regarding their education. Members of the DSLC also attend over 20 District Committees and Public Board meetings to represent the voice of students in the decision making process.
Student Leadership Students at the Education Services Centre
There was a buzz of positive energy at the Education Services Centre on Tuesday during Education Week. Over 100 Secondary students from across our school district participated in a student organized and facilitated conference called “Love is Louder,” to talk about the issue of bullying. This annual conference, under the leadership of President Gabriella Rivera, and Vice President Marc Caruth, is organized by the DSLC Executive and provides the opportunity for students to connect, collaborate on and discuss matters concerning their education with their peers.
The students were engaged in a fishbowl activity with Mr. Jeremy Church, Principal of Mountainside Secondary. Mr. Church presented thought provoking questions to the students who then responded in an interactive conversation with students moving in and out of the fishbowl.
During structured breakout sessions Gabriella presented students with three questions; What is bullying – How has it changed? What is the role of students, parents, teachers, administration, and society in bullying? What can we do to prevent and stop bullying? As students were talking in their table groups they were simultaneously tweeting out their responses @NVSDDSLC. The data collected throughout the conference will be collated and presented to our NVSD Executive Council, the Board of Trustees, and the Minister of Education.
We are very proud of our students and congratulate them on sharing their voice.
February 27, 2013
As a school district, we are pleased to acknowledge February 27th as Pink Shirt Day in British Columbia. Over the past five years, Anti-Bullying/Pink Shirt Day has raised awareness of the issue of bullying as a societal issue, and encouraged the sharing of ideas and solutions to address it.
As we all know, addressing the causes, behaviours and solutions to bullying is a complex issue. In a recent interview with the North Shore Outlook, Sutherland Secondary counsellor Dr. Vince White emphasizes the importance of creating schools as places of belonging–where all children feel safe and welcome at school. Eastview Elementary is one of our schools that has developed a “Do Good” all year long approach to building belonging. Please take a moment to learn more about their activities here.
By attending to the social and emotional learning needs of students, a foundation is in place to develop schools that we can appreciate as places of belonging. “We’re teaching students about how their behaviour affects the sense of belonging of others,” Dr. White told the Outlook. It’s the process of developing empathy and understanding for others that is essential in fostering healthy and positive relationships.
We describe the concept of social and emotional learning, and share several inspiring examples of it, in the School District’s upcoming Annual Community Report. Please watch for this insert in the March 14th edition of the North Shore Outlook. Additional copies will be available in schools after Spring Break.
The North Vancouver Teachers’ Association coordinated the district-wide Professional Development Conference on Friday, February 8th. Craig Kielburger, founder of Free the Children and Me to We provided an inspirational keynote message to staff, highlighting the important and influential role that teachers and staff play in the future direction of students’ lives. Taking the time to listen, encourage and demonstrate genuine interest in students – at any time during the day, during ‘teachable moments’, is a lesson for each of us to take to heart and share with our students, our colleagues and our parents.
Special thanks go to Heather Abramyk for her leadership as the Professional Development Chair of the NVTA, the Professional Development Conference Committee for their work in organizing the day, the many workshop facilitators and the staff and administration of Carson Graham for hosting another district-wide event within the new school.
Students, staff, parents and community members thoroughly enjoyed the Conference!
Our School District was extremely well-represented at the recent Partnerships for Personalization Conference held November 15 and 16 in Vancouver Convention Centre. Building on the theme of Partnership our district team was comprised of teachers, parents, Principals, Vice Principals, District leaders, and school trustees.
Keynote addresses by Ben Levin, Daniel Wilson, Andreas Schlelcher, and David Hargreaves were stimulating and thought-provoking. A recurring theme through these presentations was the need to maintain a central focus on teaching and staff development to achieve high levels of learning for our students. Developing professionalism does not occur in isolation, but is best supported in a collaborative environment where colleagues have opportunities to work together to facilitate continuous improvement.
In addition to the excellent keynote presentations, there were a variety of break-out sessions that examined the various approaches being used to increase personalization within schools and classrooms. After engaging in a number of these sessions, reflecting on our own progress towards increased personalization, and having an opportunity to share perspectives with our colleagues, our North Vancouver team members consistently commented on the tremendous strengths evident within our school district. We have an excellent foundation on which we can continue to build together for the benefit of our students!
Remembrance Day Assemblies were held across the entire school district on Friday, November 9, 2012. I was honoured to attend the ceremony at Seycove Secondary School. With the theme of the impact of war on children, the student-led assembly reached out and connected with the Seycove students and invited guests. Music, songs, readings, and visual presentations all provided a powerful context for the minute of silence and Remembrance.
At each of our schools, the tribute to those who have served and sacrificed so much for our collective benefit is thoughtful, compassionate, and touching. On behalf of the Board of Education and Executive Committee I would like to express our sincere appreciation for the contribution of our employees and our students in recognizing the significance of this occasion.
Our inaugural Energy Champions
November 8, 2012
On Wednesday, November 7th, we took another step forward towards our sustainability goals for the School District when educators from 10 of our schools participated in the kick-off meeting for BC Hydro’s Workplace Conservation Awareness (WCA) program. Representing Brooksbank, Carisbrooke, Carson Graham, Cleveland, the Community Learning Program, Lynn Valley, Ridgeway, Seymour Heights Sherwood Park and Upper Lynn, this new team of Energy Champions will lead their staff teams in simple, fun and rewarding plans of action to address one behavior change amongst staff this year: turning off lights when they’re not needed.
This simple change like this can make a big difference in reducing our energy costs over time. Lighting accounts for 40% of our energy use in our schools, so turning off lights when they aren’t needed, and not turning them on at all when natural light is adequate, can generate significant savings and help redirect more of our resources to supporting students.
The WCA is more than a staff-awareness program–its primary purpose is to focus on changing a behavior for the better. To be successful we need everyone to participate. If you’re a staff member at a pilot school, please support your school’s Energy Champion by becoming involved. If everyone does a little, we can achieve a lot this year.
Now that our Energy Champs have put their heads together they’ll take their creative ideas back to their colleagues to create a plan and get going at each of their schools. We will continue to share results from our pilot schools and will apply what is learned to expanding the WCA program to other schools in 2013. If your school would like to be involved from the ground up, there’s still space for a few more participants this year. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Hereditary Chief Gibby Jacob at the official opening of Carson Graham Secondary
Among the honoured guests at the official opening of the new Carson Graham Secondary was my friend, and Carson alumni, Chief Gibby Jacob, Hereditary Chief of the Squamish Nation. As a strong advocate for education, Chief Jacob’s message to the Carson students in attendance stressed that getting an education “is the only thing you can do for yourself, that others cannot do for you.”
As a School District, we are proud of our ties to the Squamish Nation and grateful for the wisdom and insight their people provide in addressing the educational needs of First Nations youth. It was an honour to have Chief Jacob attend the opening of the new Carson Graham, and we hope we will see more of him at future events.