Well the first week is done! We made it! It was a busy week at Maple Grove, but we were very pleased to be able to get all the students into their new classes on the second day of school. We don’t like to waste time, and while we recognize that there are still some students arriving back from holidays and new students to the school, we like to get down to business quickly at Maple Grove and don’t see the point of holding children in last year’s class for too long. Thank you to the office staff (Ms. Peter’s in particular) for all of her exemplary work over the past month to ensure we have a smooth start-up. Also, if you see any of our building engineers around, please make sure you thank them for doing such an amazing job getting our building super clean!!
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, over the course of the first term, 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- To be implemented this year.
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. It became clear last year that the school can not afford to provide technology in the hands of all students… even though our PAC has provided many iPads, with the growing demand for online learning and information, we are moving towards allowing students to bring their on idevice to Maple Grove. There will be more to come on this topic.
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. We have grown from 4 to 10 classes. And we are currently awaiting word on a district appreciative inquiry grant to research online reporting and devices.
4. 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 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. We are looking forward to an amazing year. Please refer to this blog as this is our primary means to share information with you.
Yours in schooling,
Student Information Packages
We are busily running off VERY IMPORTANT parent information packages that contain important forms that you need to complete and return to the school. Watch for them to be coming home in your child’s backpack.
Hot Lunch Annual Payment Option
If you would like to pay for the whole year in advance. Hot lunch will be $876.15 per child. This covers 177 days @ $4.95. Please check the Hot Lunch Page on this blog for monthly updates on the advance payment option. Please note that September’s hot lunch payment is due on September 13th. We will be issuing trays to those students who have sent in their order envelopes on September 14th. You can pay in installments. Please note that no refunds will be available at any time.
School Supply Fees
The Vancouver School Board offers the service to parents to purchase basic school supplies in bulk at wholesale prices and to pass the cost-savings on to families. The School Supply fee for 2016-2017 is $25 per student. There is no family rate. This fee covers the cost of basic school supplies used for student’s personal use such as paper, writing tools, rulers, scissors, glue sticks, erasers, paint sets and exercise books. Supplies are provided for the full year except where excessive loss and replacement becomes unreasonable. The advantages for families of the board providing student supplies are: (1) convenience (2) cost savings and (3) standardization of supplies used in the classroom.
Some educators may ask children to try and purchase specific materials or utensils that would assist the child in the completion of their work in an anticipated manner. This is common practice and hopefully not construed as being onerous on the family.
As a reminder, the Vancouver School Board will not deny a child access to the school supplies required for his or her educational program because of financial hardship. Parents or guardians who would like to request to postpone payment of the supplies fee or require the supplies fee to be waived for the current school year, should contact me directly at the school or in writing
Parent Advisory Committee (PAC)
Membership in the Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is open to all parents/ guardians of Maple Grove students. The committee is comprised of parent volunteers and the school administrators. They meet monthly to discuss school related issues. Each year a parent is chosen to be the Chairperson of this committee. This year we have two amazing Co-Chairs. Galen Hutchenson and Karrie Bogart. Please refer to the PAC TAB on the Banner of our website. Some activities of the PAC include responding to different needs of the school and to discuss topics/engage speakers concerning educational interests, fundraising and school events. It also is a venue for parents to meet each other. This past week we had our first PAC meeting of the year. Over 65 parents came out to the event. It was wonderful to see so many parents interested in what’s happening at Maple Grove. Let’s hope that enthusiasm continues throughout the year. Galen gave an inspiring presentation on the chronic under-funding of public education and how parents can get involved in parent advocacy for public education. As Professor Dumbledore said to Harry Potter, “These are dark times Harry, and soon people will be asked to choose between what’s right and what’s easy!”
School Office Hours
Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 3:30 PM
When the fire bell rings, all activity stops. Students line up and follow their teacher outside to the pre-determined meeting area in the northeast corner of the field. The teacher will ensure all students are safe. If it is not safe to return to the school, your child must stay with the teachers in the meeting area. Your school will contact you or your emergency contact.
DROP, COVER & HOLD. Your child will learn how to drop to their knees with their back to the window, seek cover under a desk or table, hold onto the furniture and stay there until the shaking stops. When the shaking stops, staff and students will slowly count to 60, then leave the building. (Students will practice leaving by different doors.)
Your child will go to the northeast corner of the field. Attendance will be taken. A check will be made for injuries. NO students will be allowed into the school. Students must obey teachers, firefighters, or police. Your child must not leave unless the teacher in charge gives permission. You may pick up your child at the school field. If your child is not picked up personnel will take your child to a safe place.
With the loss of all music programs in Vancouver due to the district budget cuts, Maple Grove parents have been investigating ways to continue to offer band for our students at the school. We have found a music specialist who is NOT connected to part of the school board and therefore as the autonomy to work as a regular community rental group as a program offered to our students. Please see the following information. More details coming:
Wednesday, Sept 14th – Welcome back social BBQ (PAC) and Meet the teachers
Thursday, Sept 22nd – 9am – in the Library – PAC sponsored 1st English Practice Tea
Sept 19th to 22nd -Book Fair
Sept 30 – Professional Development Day – No School for Students