Welcome Back (more information) Sept 6th


maplegrove colour2 MAPLE GROVE ELEMENTARY SCHOOL VSB_logo_large

Dear Families,
Wow!  It seems like just yesterday we were saying goodbye to students as they headed out the door for a long summer holiday.  And what a summer it was!  Lots of sun, sailing and family fun.  I hope all of you took time to rest, relax and recharge your batteries for what promises to be a busy and productive school year.  To share a little with you; I spent my summer in the San Juan Islands, sailing, and in the Rocky Mountains hiking, trekking and avoiding bears.  I’m thrilled to be the new Principal at Maple Grove and I’m looking forward to meeting, chatting and working with all of you!

If you’re wondering about my background, I can share with you the following:
I started teaching at Gladstone Secondary and switched to elementary.  I taught most elementary grade levels in one capacity or another.  I’ve worked at Bayview, Cunningham and Queen Victoria.  I worked at the district level as a consultant and area resource teacher in technology.  I have an administrator for the past 16 years and have worked at Van Horne, David Lloyd George, Queen Victoria, Laurier, Champlain Heights and Chief Maquinna.  I have an open door policy and welcome the opportunity to work collaboratively with parents, staff and students.
In an effort to provide you with school information in a timely manner, and to help you feel up-to-speed and engaged with your child’s learning, we will be continuing with our current school blog.   We may also use an email bulletin style (like this one) if we have information we want you to know about in email form rather than on a blog.  We will have hard copies available in the office for any families who do not have access to technology- but strongly encourage families to provide us with an email that is checked regularly.  We will only email you school-based information.  We will not share your email with third parties.
Look for exciting details regarding a September 16th Welcome Back BBQ sponsored by our hardworking PAC and information about our Friday AM coffee sessions (held in the library). Also, watch for a PAC blog starting up this year- this sounds very exciting and promises to be a wonderful source of information. The Maple Grove PAC is very active on your behalf and an excellent advocate for the voice of families in our school community.  We truly appreciate their continued and ongoing support.
There have been a number of changes to the school organization over the summer mainly regarding transferring students.  We have replaced some staff, reassigned others, and filled some vacancies.  It’s been a busy summer.  I want to acknowledge the work of all the staff for getting the building in tip-top shape and for prepping and getting ready for the year ahead.  I would like to publically thank the entire staff for their efforts.  I’ve heard many positive comments about how dedicated the staff are and how they are committed to engaging students with their learning.  This staff is a hardworking group who always put the learning needs of the children first.
I also want to acknowledge the work of our building engineers (Alfred, Ron and Domingo) as well as our admin team (Ms. Peters and Ms. Sleep). These individuals were in throughout the summer ensuring that we have a smooth start up.
There are many key educational initiatives that are taking place around the school and I will be speaking about those initiatives later in this newsletter.
For now, enjoy your weekend. We’ll see everyone back at school on Tuesday for an hour to check in.
Thank You,


In an effort to be helpful, we would like to share with you part of the process that teachers use when deciding class casting or placements of students. In May/ June, the teachers were very busy placing all the children into new classes for September. They spent an exorbitant amount of time, energy and effort making sure that each child in the school has the best teaching and learning environment to enable them to be successful.  Our overarching goals were to create teaching and learning environments where there is a positive environment and to ensure that each student has the best opportunity to be engaged with their teaching and learning environment. In addition, we like to ensure that each teacher has a manageable teaching assignment that conforms to the guidelines as outlined by the Ministry of Education and the teacher’s Collective Agreement.  Below I’ve included some of the things teachers take into consideration when they are involved in the class casting process. If you have any questions or concerns, I suggest speaking with last year’s teacher as a staring point. Often, that is a great place to start when querying why your child may be in a particular class. We hope this is helpful.

A. Instructional Criteria:
1.     Ranges in ability distribution and equitable class compositions
2.     Ranges in the work habits of students
3.     Considerations of teaching and learning styles of the students

B. Positive Social Grouping:
1.     Friendships
2.     Boy/ Girl ratios
3.     Positive leaders and leadership opportunities

C.  Individuality:
1.     Previous Experience: class assignment of teachers & students is considered.
2.     Teacher Recommendations
3.     Parental Input
4.     Resource Team Input
5.     Time Commitments: Classes should have a fairly equal representation of families who may require extra time and support.
6.     Each child’s academic needs
7.     Each child’s social emotional needs
8.     Class group dynamics
9.     Gender balance
10.   Equitable distribution of students


spiritlink_e_a000843495FIRST NATIONS GREETING

We wish to acknowledge that we are on the shared traditional territories of the Coast Salish peoples and acknowledge the Musqueam,  Squamish, Sto:lo, and Tsleil-Wauthuth Nations… and for this we are thankful.   We have all benefitted from the richness of their teachings.

6199 Cypress Street
Vancouver, B.C.   V6M 3S3
Telephone:  604-713-5356  
Fax:  604-713-5358
website/ blog: https://maplegroveschool.net/



Maple Grove fosters excellence, life-long learning, innovation and a positive sense of well-being in a community based on mutual respect.  Maple Grove deeply cares, share generously and helps willingly.

Fall marks the beginning of the cold and flu season and we would like to remind our families that hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs! Take a few moments to review these simple steps with your family:
1.       wet hands and apply plain soap
2.       rub your hands together for 20 seconds
3.       rinse your hands for 10 seconds
4.       dry your hands with the disposable towel or hand dryer.

Please do not send your child to school if they are unwell.  Inevitably, the challenges of a school day make it difficult for them to focus and complete the day.  As well, there are sometimes children who are also ill, and their illness may compromise or complicate your child’s recovery- thus prolonging your child’s illness.

Please call the school in the AM to report a student absence.  We have a safe arrival line set up at: 604-713-5792


As the weather changes, and days become darker, please remember the importance of pedestrian safety.  Please review with your child good “Road Sense”.   Maple Grove uses student patrollers to help ensure student safety around the school- but we need your help in driving in a safe and controlled manner.  Please follow the directions from our safety patrollers.  Thank you in advance.
1. Don’t stop in coned-off areas.
2. Don’t double park on the street
3. Don’t park on the wrong side of the street pointing in the wrong direction
4. Don’t use the staff parking lot as a drop-off point.

The Vancouver Police Department gave all Vancouver schools the following tips to share with parent in an effort to share these tips with your children:
1. Make eye contact with approaching cyclists and/or drivers.
2. Use crosswalks and cross at the corner.
3. Obey all traffic signals.
4. Wear reflective clothing when walking on dark days and nights

8:55                        Welcome Bell
9:00                        Classes Begin
10:35 – 10:55        Recess
10:55 – 12:10         Classes
12:10 – 12:57         Lunch
12:57 – 3:00          Classes
3:00                        Dismissal


Maple Grove Elementary School Calendar 2015 – 2016


Number of Days in Session 187
Number of Days of Instruction 180
Hours of Instruction in a School year 879
Number of Days of Non-Instruction 6 Non Instructional Days; 1 Administrative Day (June 30)
Important Dates
School Opening Day Tuesday, September 8, 2015
Thanksgiving Day Monday, October 12, 2015
Remembrance Day Holiday Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Last Day of Instruction Before Winter Vacation Friday, December 18, 2015
Winter Vacation Period Monday, December 21, 2015 – Friday, January 1, 2016
School Re-opens after Winter Vacation Monday, January 4, 2016
Family Day Monday, February 8, 2016
Last Day of Instruction Before Spring Vacation Friday, March 11, 2016
Spring Vacation Period Monday, March 14 – Friday, March 25, 2016
School Re-opens after Spring Vacation Tuesday, March 29, 2016
Good Friday Friday, March 25, 2016
Easter Monday Monday, March 28, 2016
Day not in session Friday, May 20, 2016
Victoria Day Monday, May 23, 2016
Last Full Day of Pupil Attendance Wednesday, June 29, 2016
Administrative/School Closing Day Thursday, June 30, 2016
Non Instructional Days (school not in session) Professional Development Focus
Friday, October 2, 2015 School Goals: Critical Thinking, Aboriginal Education
Friday, October 23, 2015 PSA – Provincial Specialist Association. Self-directed
Friday, November 27, 2015 Montessori.  Aboriginal/Oral Language
Tuesday, February 9, 2016 District ProD – Literacy
Monday, April 18, 2016 School Planning Day am   Self Directed pm
Monday, June 6, 2016 School Planning Day am   Self Directed pm
Goal Setting Conference Dates:
Wednesday, Sept 30;   2:00 pm dismissal Goal setting conferences
Thursday, October 1;    2:00 pm dismissal Goal setting conferences
Wednesday March 9;    2:00 pm dismissal Student led conferences
Thursday, March 10;     2:00 pm dismissal Student led conferences
Please be reminded to check our school website/ blog: https://maplegroveschool.net/   as it contains all the relevant information and detail you require.TUESDAY     DAY 1
1. ** NEW Kindergarten students are on a gradual entry schedule and therefore none of the following information applies to them.

2. Last years students go to last years class.   A teacher will be there to greet the students. It may be a different teacher from last year given the turnover in staffing. There is signage posted in the North and south stairwells explaining this process in detail. There is also signage on a rolling board at the front of the school.   In addition, there is signage outside the main office explaining this process.

3. School is ONLY in session for 1 hour on Tuesday.   Students will be dismissed at 10.   Between 9-10, we encourage parents to come to our library were Ms. Tornroos and our amazing PAC Exec are hosting coffee for parents while they wait for their children. Teachers will be with students, taking attendance, and checking registers so that we have an accurate accounting of families planning to attend Maple Grove.

4. There is limited supervision available at 10, please pick up your child promptly. Staff will enjoy a quick recess break and then be involved in staff, planning and team meetings all day.

1.     Students go to the same class they were in on Tuesday. This even applies to students who may be transferring out of a program into another program (e.g., Montessori to Traditional, or vice versa). Teachers will send Wednesday attendance to the office where we will look at out school organization one more time. If our numbers have materialized, we will move into new 2015-2016 classes either before or after recess. We will post NEW class lists AFTER students move into their new classes.
2.     Parents coming to pick up their children before 300 are welcome to check the class lists. We will only keep the lists up for a day. Please be reminded that school is in session from 9-3 on Wednesday. Also be reminded that students will need to come to school with a recess snack and a homemade lunch for the first week. We anticipate our Hot Lunch program to start next week.

Students go directly to their new classes for the remainder of the school year. NB: Under the School Act, the school board may change a school organization up until September 30th in an effort to comply with ministerial guidelines. We endeavor to make sure that schools are not put in this position, but it does occur from time to time.

This year we have planned an exciting beginning to the school year.
As you already know, teachers at Maple Grove frequently take their students out of the classroom and into the city and outdoors on field trips. As a staff we are committed to enhancing our student’s educational experience through experiential learning. We value and are committed to outdoor education. We believe that contact with the natural world is essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. We also believe that each generation must connect deeply with nature in order to care about our planet.

This year we plan to build upon traditions that connect our students to one another and to nature by planning an Outdoor Day. On September 22 every Maple Grove student will be outside. We have planned activities by grade groups, rather than classes, so that children in both the Traditional and Montessori stream could connect with each other. We have planned the event in early September to build community within the school and to set the tone for the year. We are excited to begin the school year in this way. Below is a table of planned events for each grade.   Permission forms and more information will be coming soon as September 22nd is fast approaching.

Here is an outline of what each grade level will be participating in.

Grade 7 Sea to Sky Outdoor School, Gibsons
Grade 6 Takaya Tours, Deep Cove
Grade 5 UBC Ropes Course
Grade 4 Cheakamus Centre, Brackendale
Grade 3 Mt. Seymour Outdoor School
Grade 2 Southlands Heritage Farm, Vancouver
Grade 1 Richmond Nature Park & Terra Nova Park
Kindergarten Soaring Eagles Nature School, UBC


Please know that the Maple Grove PAC has started a blogging site. The address is:

Please also be advised that PAC meetings start at 7:00 pm.   Meeting dates are:
Sept 23- Wednesday
October 21- Wednesday
November 18- Wednesday
December 16- Wednesday
January 20- Wednesday
February 17- Wednesday
March 30- Wednesday
April 20- Wednesday
May 18- Wednesday
June- TBA

Please also be advised that we are thrilled that our PAC is hosting a BBQ on September 16th. This event is slated to start at 3:15pm. More details to come soon.

Maple Grove is a busy school. There’s no doubt about it! There are many initiatives, projects, programs and directions happening throughout the year. The staff and I will be discussing these, starting September 8th, and will likely have ongoing dialogue and collaboration on the programs as the year progresses. Here is a small sample of what’s on our plates at the moment:

1.     New BC Education Curriculum- Optional this year, it comes into effect next Sept.

2.     Technology direction setting- Aligning our technology to enable us to meet the rigors and demands of the new BC Education Curriculum as well as provide readily accessible and usable information and technology to engage all our students with their teaching and learning. Maple Grove has a legacy as being an excellent school- we want to keep current and at the forefront of education.

3.     Fresh Grade- A number of our teachers are piloting a new method of evaluation and student portfolio creating- while simultaneously maintaining a regular VSB report. This is a very exciting pilot- and we’re already planning to meet with other districts in the lower mainland to collaborate with them.

4.     Outdoor education/ Outdoor Day- The staff are committed to enhancing our student’s educational experience through experiential learning. We value outdoor education. We believe that contact with the natural world is essential for a child’s healthy physical and emotional development. We also believe that each generation must connect deeply with nature in order to care about our planet. We have planned activities by grade groups, rather than classes, so that children in both the Traditional and Montessori stream can connect with each other.

5.     Seismic Upgrading- Presently our school is on a list, like many Vancouver schools, to be studied for the possibility of some sort of seismic upgrade. This is an ongoing process that hasn’t yet reached a consultation stage.   Presently, engineers are examining different aspects of the site and building. They have not yet made findings or determinations to present to the Ministry of Education. I will be attending meetings this fall- in fact I’ve already attended one- where we will find out what type of upgrading is needed, and which upgrade the Ministry of Education will fund. Expect to hear more information on this initiative over the course of the school year.

So, fasten your seatbelts everyone and let’s look forward to an amazing, productive and safe school year.
Yours in Schooling,
The Maple Grove Team



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