A Brand New Year!

Welcome back everyone!  We are delighted to have many new students join us at VCE this year.  We have 35 Kindies and 15 students from other schools!  As well, we welcome Mr. Hackett as our Collaborative Support Teacher and Mrs Turner and Mr. Johnson as our Custodians.

The staff has been working hard to get ready for the new school year.  We spent two days in late August engaged in professional development examining our School Culture and Project Based Learning.  The first week of school, the intermediate and the primary groups have been working on team building and leadership skills.  We were fortunate to welcome back Michael Bortolotto and Mr. Rick Price, our School Board Chair to facilitate this process

This year, we are continuing to work on the school’s mission:  Respect, Reponsibility, Caring and Learning.  As well, we are continuing to focus on the three school goals: Collaboration, Kindness, Self-regulation.  We are excited to participate in Project Based Learning school-wide.  For more information on Project Based Learning, please go to  http://bie.org/  In addition, to be involved in on-going improvement to our practice, the staff is continuing with participating Instructional Learning Rounds. For more information, please refer to http://www.ascd.org/publications/educational-leadership/feb11/vol68/num05/Making-the-Most-of-Instructional-Rounds.aspx.  We are continuing with promoting Kindess. Kindness in key to having an inclusive, compassionate and respectful learning environment.  Finally, we are immersed in Self-regulation strategies with the Zones of Regulation, MindUp and the use of the Circle. Self-regulation is key to students being ready to learn.

We are continuing to implement the SD 48 District Strategic Plan  http://sd48seatosky.org/strategic-plan/  The Competencies of the Goals are to: Learn, Create and Innovate, Think Critically, Contribute and Collaborate.  The Pathways to achieving our Goals are through the Strategies using improved practices in:  Assessment, Collaboration, Engagement, Play and Exploration, Purpose and Authenticity, Technology.

As you are aware, we are implementing the new curriculum from Ministry of Education.  If you would like to take a look at the new curriculum, please go to https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/.   As you will find, the Core Competencies of the new curriculum look very similar to the Competencies for our District Strategic Plan.

As part of the VCE technology plan, we are adding twenty iPADs to our existing inventory of a dozen iPADs and two COWs (Computers on Wheels).  Using technology to help students learn is a priority at VCE.

The Library continues to be transformed.  We would like to make the library to be more student-friendly and technology-incorporated space.  Similarly, the Maker Space is going through renovations as we prepare for this year.  We hope that it will be a collaborative learning space for students to explore, learn and build.

Thanks to the PAC, the Living Classroom and the school garden are well established.  The Living Classroom is a great resource to teach the children about nature, sustainability and stewardship.  We also had a wonderful harvest with our class garden.

The survey for the extra-curricular music program has gone out.  Please give us feedback on what you would like to see at VCE.   Melissa Braun from the Squamish Academy of Music will be the instructor again.

The after school program mentored by the high school students was a huge success for the past two years. We hope to continue providing sports and arts & crafts after school Wed and Thurs from 3:30 to 4:30. We are in the process of recruiting student mentors from HSS and DRS.

We are happy to report that VCE and HSSS raised $ 2500 toward Kenya Tuition Fund last year.  The money will go toward funding secondary school students in Nanyuki, Kenya.  Ol Pejeta Conservancy is collaborating with the community leaders to distribute the funds to the most needy students.  As well, the $350 raised at the winter concert was donated to the SAM Project in Zambia for the goat project.  We are grateful for the generosity of the VCE family for supporting our global initiatives.  You are making a huge difference in the lives of others half way around the world.

In making global connections, we hope to continue to Skype with students from Kenya.  Last year, we had a chance to exchange ideas on topics such as: endangered species, school systems and girls education.  The students found that they had some differences but had much more in common.  When I was working in East Africa this summer, I had a chance to meet with the Skype group.  They were very interested in continuing our partnership this year.

Looking ahead, we welcome the parents of the Kindergarten students for the Kindy Tea on Mon, Sept 12th at 9 am in the library.  It is a chance for the parents to connect with each other.  We thank the PAC for hosting this event.

On Sept 16th, VCE will be participating in the Terry Fox Run.  You are welcome to join us from 2 pm.  There will be a short assembly then the run.  We are asking each student to donate a dollar toward cancer research.

Finally, we are happy to host the welcome BBQ again.  On Wed, Sept 21st, the students will be dismissed at 2 pm.  The teachers will be available to meet you between 5 – 5:30 pm.  This is not a formal parent/teacher interview.  Then, the students, staff and parents will be able to mingle and enjoy dinner together between 5:30 – 7 pm.  The school will provide the BBQ and we are asking the families to bring appetizers, salads and desserts to share.

Thank you for your continued support.  We look forward working with you this year.  We hope that your children find VCE a safe, happy and fun place for learning.

Ms. Ji Ai Cho, Principal


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