Welcome to 2014! We hope your holiday offered a balance of rest, recreation and social time with friends and family, and that you’re looking forward to what the New Year has in store.
Today marks a new chapter in the history of Queen Mary Elementary. Teaching and learning has now begun in the newly rebuilt, restored and seismically upgraded Queen Mary School. Staff and students have now returned to Queen Mary from their temporary location at Cloverley and we are delighted to have them begin the New Year in a new school.
The process of pursuing high priority rebuilding projects for Argyle and Handsworth Secondary will continue this spring. Over the coming months, the Board will lead efforts to encourage community awareness and input regarding the Cloverley and Lucas Centre sites and their potential repurposing to support the ongoing revitalization of facilities in our school district. Regular updates on our surplus properties will continue to be provided through our website under Land, Learning & Livability.
We continue to make strong progress in relation to our 3-Year Operating Plan 2011-2014.
The Operating Plan provides strategies for achieving specific objectives that are identified within the 2011-2021 Strategic Plan’s Goals. Together, the Operating Plan and Strategic Plan serve as reference points for the future direction of the North Vancouver School District.
We look forward to sharing highlights of our progress and accomplishments with you in March, when we publish our annual Community Report.
We wish everyone the greatest of success in 2014!
Franci Stratton John Lewis
Chair, Board of Education Superintendent of Schools
If the challenge was to see how many non-perishable food items they could collect for the Greater Vancouver Food Bank, Argyle music students can rest now that they have collected, boxed, and neatly stacked over 54 boxes of food in the music room. Thanks to the big efforts of the students and their community, those in need will benefit during this particularly challenging time of year.
Thanks to Argyle band teacher Chad Smith for sharing the great news!
This is the time of year when staff and students in schools around the District make time in their busy day to organize various donation drives to help those in need. We are very proud of these efforts and know it is making a real difference in the lives of others. One such fundraiser that Blueridge Elementary School embarked on this year is called Books for Me, a charity based in Vancouver. Books for Me collects gently used children’s books for deserving children in the Lower Mainland. Children and their families visit the Books for Me “store” and get to select one book to take home for free. Blueridge collected over 20 boxes of books and staff at the Education Services Centre (ESC) collected almost 70 books to add to the collection.
Artists for Kids held a successful toy drive for the Christmas Bureau and collected new toys for North Shore families in need. Many schools are collecting non-perishable food items for the Harvest Project and the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. Lastly, funds were raised at the ESC for the Canadian Red Cross to assist those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines.
In the spirit of giving, whatever you have been able to give will be greatly appreciated by those who will receive.
One of the six high-level goals of the Board of Education’s Strategic Plan is to strengthen and expand reciprocal community relations. Working together for the benefit of our students and community is one of our key objectives.
I recently received a letter from Vancouver Coastal Health related to the recent opening of Mountainside Secondary that illustrates our combined commitment to support our students within our community in partnership with community agencies. Our vision to provide ‘wraparound’ services within Mountainside facility is being achieved.
On behalf of the Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, we wish to express our sincere appreciation and thank you to the North Vancouver School District for providing the clinic space at Mountainside Secondary for youth health.
The planning was a joint effort of many individuals. Space planning was coordinated between Mark Jefferson and our VCH public health nurse Linda Buchanan. The wrap around services spear headed by Jeremy Church in collaboration with Lisa Hogan, our public health nurse for the school, is exemplary. Lisa feels the atmosphere makes the students feel valued, worthy and increases their feeling of well being. The overall space strengthens the opportunity to provide care and services in a collaborative, multidisciplinary and multiagency manner.
Through the Lions Gate Hospital Foundation we received a generous contribution from a donor to furnish the clinic rooms. Representatives from the Foundation will be present for the opening on November 15.
We look forward to our ongoing partnership with the North Vancouver School District to enhance the experience of the students in this setting. It is an optimal environment for promoting their post secondary successes and healthy lifestyle choices.
Laurie Leith, Operations Director and Donna Halloran, Manager – Public Health and Prevention
The recent news that electricity rates will go up in British Columbia by 15.6 per cent over the next two years, and 28 per cent by 2019 has dominated local news over the last few days.
Just as B.C. residents are bracing for these increases, so too are schools. In the North Vancouver School District, we currently spend over $900,000 annually on electricity. The two-year increase is projected to add approximately $140,000 to our electricity costs—roughly the equivalent of one full-time teaching position and one full-time support staff position.
Knowing the pending impacts of these rate hikes makes our commitment to sustainable energy use and reducing our energy costs a continued high priority. We are currently working towards an 18% reduction in electrical energy use by 2015. Given this week’s headlines, it’s plain to see that our cost avoidance efforts are going to be a vital strategy to offset rate increases.
How successful we will be depends not only on technical changes and upgrades, but also on developing new behaviours and habits.
Students, teachers and support staff can have a significant impact on how much energy we use in our schools and buildings. Energy saving actions can be as simple as turning off the lights in classrooms at lunchtime, unplugging electronic classroom devices when they’re not in use, shutting down computers, pulling down blinds and closing doors at the end of the day.
The benefits go far beyond saving energy and money, they also reduce the impact that our operations have on our environment. Whether it’s a WWF National Sweater Day Challenge, a “turn out the lights” campaign, or dining-in-the-dark lunch hours… I encourage you to support the energy conservation initiatives of our students and staff.
It all adds up.
Handsworth Secondary students and staff have come together to help those in need. What started out as a great idea in the Learning Center has now developed into a school-wide donation drive to collect coats and other necessities for the less fortunate. Students from Social Studies, Choices, Art, Foods, and English have all pitched in to raise awareness in the school. Teacher Laura Terness reports that donations are pouring in because everyone is on board with this social emotional learning project. They can always use more donations.
For more information on the Coats and Care Pack for the Homeless, please visit the Handsworth website: http://www.sd44.ca/school/handsworth/Pages/default.aspx