Welcome back everyone. I hope your summer break has been an opportunity to recharge and find some quiet relaxing moments in your life as we head into an exciting new school year.
I would like to welcome our new Grade 8 students and their parents to Handsworth Secondary, as we prepare for the 2016-2017 school year.
There have been a number of staff changes over the summer. Ms. Sandra Congdon, Mr. Glenn MacKenzie and Mrs. Nancy Nelson have retired. I want to wish them well as they take the next step in their lives and thank them for the many years of teaching they have given to the community of North Vancouver and the many students they have worked with over their careers. Ms. Meghan Burns, Mrs. Marianne Macario, Ms. Monir Hosseini Khayat and Mr. Mike Schafer have accepted positions at other schools within the North Vancouver School District. We thank them for their work and dedication to students at Handsworth and wish them well as they continue their careers in North Vancouver. We welcome back Mrs. Stephanie Maxwell (Staite), Mrs. Shannon Paruk (Smart) and Ms. Mitra Chandler; all returning from maternity leave. Ms. Tara Abernethy will also be returning after a half year away in France. We would also like to welcome Ms. Shannon Bennett and Ms. Nicole Donald to our Special Education department.
The theme we will be working with at Handsworth this year is "Deeper Student Engagement." Last year we focused on "Understanding How the World and the Workplace has Changed" and as a staff explored the "Design Thinking" process and the importance of teachers as designers.
We will continue this work this year as we continue to evolve our education practice based on good research and needing to meet student's needs to prepare them for their future in a rapidly changing world.
We have four Wednesday Staff Development mornings this year. The schedule and dates of the Staff Development days are found in our calendar and on our website. The school calendar will continue with a two week Spring Break.
Student enrollment at Handsworth will again be approximately 1,500 students. Overall student enrollment is climbing in North Vancouver after many years of declining enrollment, and coupled with prudent fiscal management by our School Board, this means North Vancouver School District and Handsworth are in a financially secure position as we face the new school year.
Our excellent custodial staff has completed the summer cleaning of classrooms and hallways throughout the building. Handsworth looks fantastic and we are ready for the new school year.
A reminder to all parents and students that photo day is the first day of school on Tuesday September 6, 2016. Please see the schedule for opening day on our website and also in the attached information. It is expected that all students are presentable for school photos and, as it is a legal document, we ask that there be no costumes.
I am proud and honoured to be the Principal of Handsworth and I look forward to working with all of you this coming year. Enjoy the remaining days of your summer.
Dr. David Overgaard
Handsworth Secondary School