My apologies for the breakdown of my piece of the blog last week. I was very disappointed after posting-> leaving the blog program-> and then signing back in to check on the post-> only to see that none of the work I’d done had made it through to the post. Lesson learned… that’s the last time I work live on a blog… they’re so clunky and unreliable. Anyway (thanks Ellen D)….
I’m going to try to recount what I’d written… There has been a lot going on at Maple Grove all year. Many of these initiatives we advertise and mention in the blog… others we don’t (for a variety of reasons). Today, I wanted to share with you some of the courageous and bold steps some staff are taking, and I wanted to acknowledge the Maple Grove team for their dedication, conscientiousness, and willingness to go the extra mile for students. All of the staff do this on a consistent basis, and I’m only mentioning some of the initiatives here. So, my apologies up front, to the staff, I’ll try to mention more over time. Here are a few examples of major initiatives that have been taking place at the school.
Appreciative Inquiry: There are several appreciative inquiry projects that have been running all year. These are projects that involve staff reflecting on their practice, what’s working at the school, and how to improve results and programs for students- often our most vulnerable students. Specifically, we have three inquiry projects taking place. An Early Intervention project, an Early Literacy project, and a technology project. The early intervention and early literacy projects are designed around solid reading research and how to engage young readers with their reading practice. It’s the notion of teaching reading, not just assigning reading. There’s a big difference. We’re looking for ways to engage reluctant readers with high interest- low vocabulary books so that they want to read the books, experience success reading, and grow their interest and appreciation in reading. We’re working on fluency, comprehension, expression and aptitude. Children learn to read, when they’re experiencing success. That means, they’re reading material at, or below, their ability level. We have some struggling readers at Maple Grove and the staff have identified this as an area of concentration and interest.
Our Early Intervention project is designed around reaching struggling readers. We’re looking for protocols to assess, diagnose and teach vulnerable readers so that the gap between their reading proficiency and that of their peers doesn’t widen too much. There are expensive reading series that are designed specifically for these struggling vulnerable learners and we’re very interested to capture these students at a young age, and provide the literacy materials and teaching and learning strategies they need so that they can be successful readers quickly. The alternative is problematic. What we don’t want are struggling, reluctant students who are 3-4 grades levels behind their peers in grade 5 or 6. The sooner we can identify and work with our vulnerable students- the better!
We have also been reflecting on how we do business, provide service and deliver instructional support to at risk students. We are looking into changing our resource model so that it has a greater degree of flexibility and specifically targets vulnerable students in the areas of language and literacy.
The third project is a Technology Group that has been working with iPads and various software. All in an effort to work within the mandate of the Ministry of Education and the new curriculum that’s coming for September. Some of our staff will have students presenting at the digital fair on Wednesday at Science World.
Still another project is our district pilot project on reporting software (FreshGrade). Did you know that Maple Grove is the only school in Vancouver that is an authorized pilot site? Four of our staff have been diligently working through the ins and outs of new reporting software and how to share student progress with parents in a communicative and engaging manner. FreshGrade looks similar to a FaceBook timeline and allows students, parents and teachers to communicate with one another through a secure server. It gets rid of the old adage, “What did you learn at school today dear?”. “Nothing”, replies the child. FreshGrade allows students to post their progress throughout the year in any subject(s) or projects. It allows for an easy online accounting and record that teachers, students and parents can refer to. Presently we have four teachers working on the project. Next year we’ll have 9 teachers in the pilot!!
There are, of course, numerous other initiatives taking place at Maple Grove. Expect to hear more about those shortly.
This week, I had the pleasure of checking in on some of our Maple Grove students who were presenting at the District Technology Fair at Science World. It was wonderful to see all the amazing tech projects from students throughout the school district. Project ranged from K to 7. Frankly, I was amazed with how digitally proficient students are. I strongly encourage parents to visit this event next year!
Please be reminded that per the April 1 and April 24 blogs, if you are thinking of submitting a letter requesting a specific placement for your child, read those posts. They contain guidelines and criteria that are required for request. They also provide valuable suggestions.
We have completed our Ready Set Learn (RSL) events, our Choice Program information sessions, our Welcome To Kindergarten (WTK) and our New Student Welcome (NSW) sessions. Each of these orientation session were well attended. It illustrates to us that there is a thirst for knowledge and information regarding school operations and orientation here at Maple Grove. It’s good to see that our school community is interested in the school and how things are shaping up for next year.
Thank you to our PAC for hosting a digital literacy evening two weeks ago. It was very informative and well attended by parents who are interested in the challenges faced by students as they navigate an ageless, locationless, faceless, sexless online environment that demands a degree of awareness from all users of the internet. Also, thanks to our PAC for providing our grades 6 and 7 students with class presentations on digital literacy last week and this week. These are expensive workshops taught by experts and they are very beneficial to any student who spends time online doing work, research or browsing. Thank you!!
Leaving before term ends on June 29th?
Reports cards can be mailed to you if you provide the office with a self-addressed, stamped envelope. You may also have someone else pick up the report card for you, with your permission in writing.
Returning Late from Summer Holidays?
Important to know: If a student is not back at school by September 7th and we have not been informed of their late return, the student will be withdrawn and a waitlisted student will take their place. Places will not be held for students who plan to return after September 30th.
Here is a link to the letter you must complete to inform the school if you will be late retuning to school next year, you may also email this information to firstname.lastname@example.org. Notice of Late Return Form
Bike to School/Work Week
What a great week we had! Thanks to Cathie Cleveland for making the lovely poster and to the Global Citizenship Club members who helped with the signing in. Just think how much cleaner and fresher the air was last week due to all the cycling. Keep it up, everyone!
These students represented Maple Grove at the Digital Fair on June 1st at Science World. They presented iMovie, book trailers, book creator, Fresh Grade and robotics.
Lip Sync Battle
Last Friday at lunch we had our first round of Maple Grove’s Lip Sync Battle. We were treated to performances to songs including “I’m a Gummy Bear”, “Fight Song”, “Five Nights at Freddy’s” and “Better When I’m Dancing”. The competition will continue for the next three Friday’s beginning at 12:20 in the gym. We have performances ranging from Kindergarten to Grade 7. Thank-you to Kevin from Division 1 for suggesting this great idea during one of our Student Council Meetings.
RBC Run for the kids
Total Raised by Maple Grove Families/supporters as of today: $4816.00
Our Initial Team Fundraising Goal: $2,000.00
There are 100 members of the Maple Grove Community participating in the run on Sunday June 5.
See you there!!
All information can be found at the link below.
Curriculum Changes – Letter from the Ministry
Maple Grove Ultimate Match on May 30th
May 31 – Track and Field
June 6- Pro D day (no school for students)
June 8-10- Grade 6 Camp
June 14- Kilometre Club Celebration
June 16-17- Talent Show (Ms Hales is organizing)
June 24- Sports Day and year end BBQ(???)
June 27- Grad
June 28 – Primary Picnic
June 29- Last day of school
September 6 – First day back for students after summer holidays