We were excited this September to welcome our largest school population in the school's history (160 students) including over 40 young adults in our new Maplewood Alternative High School programme (www.maplewoodhigh.ca) and we have a number of new tutors and teachers who have joined our staff as we continue to increase our capacity to meet the needs of your children.
Here are some other key facts to be aware of as we start the new year!
With the retirement of Rosita Tam last June, we have restructured our administrative supports in order to provide greater access for parents and staff. Most notable of these changes have been: the appointment of Marie Watler as Deputy Head of School. Marie will continue to fulfill her counselling role as well as oversee issues pertaining to Student Life. She will be the go-to person when I am out of the school; and, secondly, that Carleigh Kula has taken over from Rosita as Director of Learning Services. As many of you know, Carleigh came from a similar position in Ontario and spent the second half of last year working in partnership with Rosita in order to ensure a smooth transition coming into September. Other members of our leadership group remain the same as last year with Danielle Auger as Director of Curriculum; Neil Pinkerton as leader of the Math Resource Team; and, Lisa Kantas as our Literacy Team leader. Needless to say, Shellie, Carrie, Katherine and myself will still be hanging around as well!
Outdoor School - September 24-26
This year we have made a change to Outdoor school. There will not be an overnight component. There are two basic reasons for this.
To begin with, when we were originally planning our annual programme at North Van Outdoor School, it became clear that they couldn’t guarantee that the staff would be available come September due to the strike situation. As you may be aware, a key component of the NVDOS is the use of senior high school students as group leaders and cabin counsellors. Without school being in session, they and the teaching staff are not available. As a result, this option had to be taken off of the table for this year.
At the same time, over the past few years we have been getting to the point where around 20-25% of our students have been opting out of the experience due to either anxiety or health issues or, in some cases, a bit of boredom with having the same basic programme year after year. As Outdoor School is intended as a community building activity, it was beginning to defeat the purpose if we were getting declining participation.
Consequently we looked for other alternatives. What we are going to try this year is a local version of Outdoor School involving all of the elementary students. We are going to take three days (September 24-26) and have a series of outdoor ed and team building experiences by Division and section. Among some of the planned activities: we have set up a special programme with Maplewood Farm; have groups going to Lynn Valley Environmental Centre and Stanley Park; are arranging for Dragon Boating and hiking in Deep Cove; and doing an environmental cleanup at the Lynn Mouth and Seymour River valleys. We are currently exploring some cultural activities as well. We will use the same rotating group model and make it as inclusive as we can. No overnights, but definitely a different collective experience.
As in past years, the high school will be having a camping trip this month and our three senior elementary classes will be having a overnight camping experience in June.
Curriculum Night - September 16th - 7:00 to 8:30 pm
Curriculum Night will begin in the gym this year with a short presentation on our curriculum mapping initiative in order to bring you up to date on how we are ensuring that we are meeting the prescribed learning outcomes established by the BC Ministry of Education. Following the presentation parents will proceed to their child's home room for an outline of the year's programme.
Upcoming MPC Events
Back to School Barbeque Saturday September 13th 2 pm to 5 pm
Wine and Cheese Thursday September 25th 7 pm to 8:30 pm