North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
Nov 13
School Visits: A Time for Observation, Reflection and Learning
Personalized student art adds a splash of colour in the hallway at Carisbrooke Elementary. Lisa Dalla Vecchia photos 

by Mark Pearmain, Superintendent of Schools

Having the opportunity to visit any one of our 32 schools throughout the school year is the highlight of my work as Superintendent.

Being in the field, talking to staff, administrators and students, allows me to observe the awesome work that is happening in our classrooms each and every day.

At Mountainside Secondary School, I had the opportunity to speak with students in Chris Doll’s Bike Maintenance course who were learning and mastering how to repair and maintain mountain bikes – skills they can immediately apply to personal and career-related endeavors, and especially on the North Shore. 

Mountainside 2.jpg

Mountainside teacher Chris Doll assists student Kieran with bike maintenance, as Superintendent
Pearmain observes.

At Lynn Valley Elementary, I sat in as Emma Van Ryn gave her Grade 5/6 class a civics lesson, which focused on values and perspectives.

Students offered thoughtful responses to questions such as, “Tradition is more important than change in our society,” and then discussed the importance and merit in listening to others’ perspectives in order to shape their own.

Lynn Valley Elementary Grade 5/6 students participate in a civics lesson.

At Highlands Elementary, I visited with Pam Hollingsworth and her Grade 7 class who were proudly sporting their new Class of 2021 hoodies.

With the recent provincial election as a backdrop, students discussed the pros and cons that come with a leadership role and the importance of strong leadership.

The conversation ended with me challenging each student to find the courage at some point to step into a leadership role – political or otherwise.

 Highlands Elementary Grade 7 students proudly wear their new grad hoodies.

Finally, at Carisbrooke Elementary, I was honoured to visit with Elder and Artist-in-Residence Latash Nahanee who shared the progress he has made in the final stages of his sculpting a bas-relief of the great Thunderbird, which will soon be placed at the entrance of the school – protecting everyone within the school community.

More details of Latash’s work will be shared soon.

Carisbrooke Elementary Artist-in-Residence Latash Nahanee inspects his Thunderbird carving.

In closing, I would like to borrow from the words and wisdom of Elder Latash Nahanee who shared, “Children are our precious gift, and we are here to nurture them.”

It is therefore my great honour and privilege to spend time, which always feels like it is not quite enough, with each school community.


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