Students at the graduation ceremony of the RCMP Youth Academy at Camp Stillwood in Chilliwack
Over the course of eight days at the end of March, eight of our Secondary students took part in a “mini-depot” training process that simulates the six-month training program offered to new RCMP recruits.
The students, all of whom have an interest in law enforcement careers, participate in afternoon and night-time crime scenarios. Classroom work includes learning about the broader responsibilities of the RCMP in the legal and criminal justice system, and its role in peacekeeping.
With 50 students from five school districts coming together to work and learn, teamwork is a constant value in this life-changing program. This connection with the RCMP Youth Academy is facilitated by our Work Experience Program which introduces students to a wide range of career pathways and opportunities.
“The RCMP Youth Academy was a very challenging and educational experience,” says Stephen, a student at Seycove Secondary. “When we first arrived I don’t think anyone knew what to expect. The first couple of days were very grueling but once we got into the rhythm of things we bonded as a group and truly embraced this awesome experience. I strongly recommend that future candidates follow up on the application for this academy as it’s a very fun and rewarding experience. If you are thinking about a career in policing do not miss out on this opportunity to get a taste of what the RCMP is all about.”
Students visiting the Dominican Republic collect garbage for resale with Haitian workers
I recently had the privilege of reviewing a selection of photographs documenting the Spring Break working holiday taken by a delegation of Carson Graham students and their chaperones to the Dominican Republic. While they were there, the students built a house and an extension to a medical clinic. Each student also worked a half-day in the local garbage dump, collecting recyclable plastic to sell to a Chinese company that will process it into fuel. A typical “shift” in the garbage dump might earn a Haitian about $2 (U.S.) a day. It is the only work in this area for Haitian refugees since the local sugar plantation closed in the 1990s.
This photograph stood out for me, as a dramatic illustration of the service these students performed during their Spring Break. According to Rob Olson, Carson Graham’s Global Initiatives and Leadership Teacher, there’s even more going on in this picture than first meets the eye. One student described the experience afterwards as everything she learned in her IB Geography class come to life. Students were able to use their French skills to communicate with the Haitian workers, who speak mainly Creole. Wearing sturdy footwear, thick protective gloves, long sleeves and pants (despite the intense heat), the students worked alongside local children (one as young as seven) to fill their bags. One man told them that picking garbage in the Dominican Republic was better than living in a country with no work at all. A 17-year-old youth said that he had started working in the dump when he was seven, and had never been to school.
Now back home in North Vancouver, the students have pledged to continue to fundraise for the community, and try to find ways for these children to attend school and break the cycle of poverty that has marked their young lives.
A full house of parents and students greeted local technology and new media expert Steve Dotto when he took to the stage at Centennial Theatre on March 13. As part of our Education Week in North Vancouver, Dotto offered a candid presentation on why parents should engage in social media, what students need to prepare for in the new world of e-commerce, and how to talk to children about online safety (without getting tuned out). Recognized for his ability to demystify a variety of media and help everyone “join the conversation”, Dotto’s humour and thought-provoking insights were resoundly applauded by the end of the evening.
We thank the North Vancouver Parent Advisory Council for their co-sponsorship and support of this event.
Sutherland Secondary School has a rich history of music and cultural exchanges with bands from Japan. This tradition continues with Sutherland hosting the Soshin Girls Wind Orchestra during the spring break. On behalf of Michelle Workman and the organizing committee, I am pleased to extend to you and your family an invitation to attend this FREE concert at Centennial Theatre at 2 pm on Sunday, March 24. You will most certainly enjoy the performance!
The Board of Education has now completed its final review of the proposals for the Keith Lynn facility and site and has identified North Shore Studios Ltd. as the lead proponent for the redevelopment of the Keith Lynn site. The Board will now engage in discussions with North Shore Studios Ltd. (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bosa Development Corporation) to develop the terms and conditions of an agreement for the consideration of the Board of Education.
The Board of Education also expresses its sincere appreciation to the Transformation Education Society and the Gulf Islands School District for their interest in the potential re-use of the Keith Lynn site to support the continued operation of the Windsor House Program in North Vancouver. The Board will consult with the Gulf Islands School District to facilitate a short-term extension to their current lease at the Lucas Centre.
As the proposal of the North Shore Studios Ltd. involves the redevelopment of the Keith Lynn site, a public information meeting will be arranged for neighbouring residents. Community input and consultation will also occur through the established Municipal process in the coming months.
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.