Students at Arrow Heights Elementary take part in Orange Shirt Day last year. ~ Photo contributed

Revelstoke schools ready to embrace new year

School principals write about what’s new as students head back to the classroom on Sept. 5

It’s that time of year — back to school. The staff are getting the schools ready for the return of the students on Tuesday, Sept. 5. We asked the principals from School District 19 and Revelstoke’s French school to let us know what is new this year.

Welcome from the Chair

By Bill MacFarlane, Chair, Board of Education

The Board of Education is looking forward to the new school year, the challenges it will present, and the successes our students will experience.

We have a good deal to be proud of her. Our schools benefit from engaged parents, caring and professional staff, and students who are learning to be outstanding citizens.

We are anticipating a busy year in the district. The change in government will provide an opportunity for Boards of Education to renew relationships with the Ministry of Education and continue to advocate strongly for the funding and supports necessary to maintain high quality public education across the province.

Our public meetings are held in the school board office every three weeks at 5 p.m., starting Sept. 27. The public is welcome and encouraged to attend. The full schedule, and related information, is on our website at www.sd19.bc.ca.

On behalf of the board, Elmer Rorstad, Alan Chell, Amanda Richardson, Jeff Nicholson, and I would like to express appreciation to students, families, staff, and the community for working together to make our schools healthy places to live and learn.

Schools about connecting

Mike Hooker, superintendent

We’re excited! September is a great time of year in our schools. Reconnecting with old friends and meeting new ones — September provides a fresh start, new challenges, at the same time as building on past relationships and learnings.

At school, our staff are in a continuous cycle of inquiry. “What’s working? What’s not working? How can we do things differently? What should we do differently?” These are complex questions, but the path to answers starts with connecting with our students.

At home, inquiries sound like, “How can I make sure my child is Happy? Healthy? Learning?” These too are complex questions – but the path starts at connecting with school, with your children. From K–12, we know parent and family engagement improves student success. As you are planning your schedules for the year, keep the school calendar on your fridge, the website bookmarked, and follow the Twitter feeds so you can take advantage of opportunities to engage. Plan to attend a Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting, an assembly, and a special event. Commit to a weekly or bi-weekly drop-in to the school. It doesn’t have to be for any particular reason, and it will give you a window into what school looks like for your child.

Our staff are focused on providing engaging and healthy environments. Our goal to “Promote the health and well-being of all students” is the starting place to ensure Revelstoke youth are, “Happy, healthy and learning.”

Thank you in advance for connecting. We look forward to working with you and your children.

Arrow Heights gets a facelift

Rita Tedesco, principal

AHE is looking forward to a great school year. We had a wonderful facelift inside and out, and our building looks amazing, inviting, and bright.

Our staff has been working to prepare for our children as we welcome familiar and new faces. AHE continues to promote its CARES model (Cooperation, Achievement, Respect, Enthusiasm, and Safety). Our close-knit school community will contine to build on our learning of revised curriculum, continuing our emphasis on real-life, outdoor experiences that enhance our classroom learning.

Our parents enhance our school and we are well supported by our PAC.

Some changes we are looking forward to are student-led conferences, the use of portfolio assessment, and a greater emphasis on promoting self-assessment to encourage students to take greater ownership of their learning. AHE continues its tradition of making school a welcoming place where kids can pursue their passions and thrive in a setting that focuses on building relationships in learning.

Begbie View goes mobile

Art Tile Project at BVE

Todd Hicks, principal

BVE extends a warm welcome to all our students. Over the summer, we made a few changes to our learning spaces to further enhance student opportunities, and create more open and flexible learning environments.

We are expanding to 13 classes and had to go looking for a new classroom. This resulted in a decision to remove our desktop computers from the computer lab and transition to mobile laptop technology. It is our expectation the laptops will create even greater opportunities to incorporate technology into our 21st century learning in all settings.

With the desktops gone, the lab is transitioning to a grade one classroom. Our upstairs classrooms have had the interior walls that created the coat rooms removed to increase space and visibility. Coat racks were moved to the hallway. We look forward to working with students in our expanded space and helping us determine expectations to maintain a safe and orderly hallway.

Along with transitioning to mobile technology, we are pleased to receive a class-specific grant from SET-BC to further incorporate technology across the curriculum. The grade six class has the great opportunity to interact with new technology this year. Mrs. Haworth’s class will build up their STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) and coding skills through interactive technology using Makey Makey and laptops. The plan is to begin with exploring the science curriculum at the grade six level with the new tools. The ultimate goal is to encourage cross-curricular hands-on experiences and inquiry-based learning with the provided resources.

Our staff are excited to continue with inquiry-based learning focussing on ‘Big Ideas’ and ‘Core Competencies.’ We will continue to build students’ understanding and input into how and what they learn, as well as helping them understand their areas of improvement and growth.

We look forward to continuing our ongoing work with students and parents fostering our positive school culture and forming a safe, connected, and supportive school community where learning is valued and learners are motivated, engaged and encouraged.

At BVE, we value “Working together… Being our best.”

Columbia Park encourages creativity

CPE Legacy Tree Plantin

Andy Pfeiffer, principal

Welcome back for another year of school at CPE. Every year the staff, parents, and students do their best to build on the successes of previous years and work to introduce new, innovative ways to make school engaging, challenging, and fun. This year will be no different.

Last year, our Parent Advisory Group raised thousands of dollars for CPE kids and programs and, along with community partnerships, were able to initiate a school breakfast program two days a week. The plan is to continue our breakfast club and try to expand it even more. Monthly free hot-lunch days are another awesome highlight that is supported, organized, and funded 100 per cent by our hard-working and super-helpful parent group.

Much of our students’ work last year was augmented through fine arts and technology – two strengths of our school. The Salmon Connection project, our school-wide art show, and music concerts helped highlight the hard work and talent of our students.

Likewise, many STEM projects had our students building, discovering, and creating all sorts things from toboggans to remote controlled robots. Exploration Fridays will continue this year. Every Friday afternoon, students from grades 5–7 are placed in multi-aged groups where they ‘explore’ innovative fine arts and STEM projects.

The school goal will continue to focus on the social emotional well-being of our students. Continuing to build on our strong foundation of caring, we know the relationships we cultivate at school have a direct influence on our school climate and, more specifically, individual student well-being and academic self-concept. Last year, we introduced the concept of growth mindset with students in order to develop student resiliency and self-concept. This theme of “embracing the struggle” of learning will again be a focus.

CPE looks forward to continuing our strong working relationship with our community stakeholders to help develop our youth to become a rich part of the fabric of our community.

Ecole des Glaciers to graduate first students

DSC_0275

Hugo Desnoyers, principal

École des Glaciers is proud to be starting its sixth year representing Revelstoke’s Francophone community. With more than 60 students, 12 staff, and many motivated volunteers and parents, our future in the community is bright and inspiring.

This year we are excited to have our first grade seven graduates, a new extracurricular program, an addition to our space at AHE, a new teacher for our intermediate learners, and a language assistant.

With plans to increase our cultural role in the community with our winter carnival and a film festival, we are always looking forward to new adventures. Collaboration, innovation, and engagement with our students are at the heart of a vibrant education at École des Glaciers.

Contact me at hugo_desnoyers@csf.bc.ca for any registration questions.

RSS focuses on school culture

RSS

Greg Kenyon, Principal

RSS is excited (as always) to begin the school year. We have some staff changes and are very excited for the new ones joining us.

This year will see a focus on review and renewal of our school culture. In our school, RSS stands for “Respect, Safety and Success.” The entire school community – students, parents, and staff – will be engaged in a renewal of this credo in order to work together on the strong school culture that exists. Our teachers have already begun to identify areas of strength and improvement in our school culture.

We will continue to implement the curricular changes at the grade 8/9 level and look ahead to the proposed graduation plan curriculum scheduled for 2018-19. We are happy we can continue to support a wide range of fine arts, practical arts, physical education, and academic courses that provided our students a well-rounded education. Our staff work hard to offer and support interesting and exciting courses that speak to the passions of our students.

We invite and encourage parents to attend PAC meetings. The discussion is around improving the school, giving feedback on school initiatives, and helping fund projects through the use of the gaming funds grant. There is no fundraising!

Building relationships at RSS is the key to our school culture, and will be the bedrock of our renewal efforts. Strong, positive school culture leads to the attainment of our primary school goal of student well-being, and we look forward to working with everyone to reach that goal.

Exciting year in Aboriginal education

Ariel McDowell, Aboriginal education principal

Way’ (Hello) everyone! That chill in the air reminds us it’s time to come back to school. We have an exciting year of learning lined up in aboriginal education, from drumming to outdoor learning to all kinds of new stories to share.

Lisa Moore, Jessica Stewardson, Lissa Cancilla-Sykes and myself are looking forward to learning with all students and staff – both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal. About 13 per cent of students in Revelstoke identify as having some Aboriginal ancestry. Goal one of Aboriginal education is to make sure these students are successful in our school system. As we know, school has not always been a positive place for Aboriginal people, and we want that to change.

Goal two is to make sure rich, vibrant and varied Aboriginal teachings are a part of every students’ and every staff members’ school experience, particularly teachings of this local area. Students’ families, including extended family and community elders and knowledge keepers, are a key part of keeping Aboriginal education relevant, so please introduce yourself to us.

Our very first district-wide event this year will be Orange Shirt Day, held on Sept. 29. It is a day to recognize the impact of the Indian Residential school system and to commit to an education system that celebrates instead of denigrates diversity. If you or your child would like to purchase an orange shirt, the Aboriginal Friendship Society of Revelstoke and School District 19 have them available.

Limlimpt (thank you), and we look forward to another great year.

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