The Superintendent's Report is available in Microsoft Sway and text copy (below).
Updates from the Superintendent, including the monthly Superintendent’s Report, are available for review in the Superintendent’s Updates section of the website.
A Message from the Superintendent
Dear North Vancouver School District Community,
“One child, one teacher, one book, one pen can change the world.” – Malala Yousafzai
October marks both World Teachers’ Day (October 5) and National Principals’ Month. As I shared through my video message earlier this month, I believe it is a profound honour to be called a teacher, and to teach young people how to be, how to live, and how to live together in the world. Educators have the responsibility to collectively and incrementally transform society, and with all that is happening around us, locally and globally, never has their work been more important to the development of healthy people and healthy communities.
The North Vancouver School District systems’ work this year is centred on the theme of relationships--with self and others, with technology, and with the Earth--and how these relationships together determine the health of modern society.
As we connect with one another, embrace our diversity and attend to our mental health and well-being, we learn more about who we are as individuals. Our relationship with modern technology makes us consider what supports humanity and what takes away from it. Our relationship to Earth has us look at our current stewardship practices and how young people can not only continue this work but also champion the actions that will make up for the damage done.
Understanding how these relationships are interdependent to the overall well-being of societies is what is often illuminated in the classroom. For this, I am grateful for the critical work of educators and educational assistants, as well as all staff who support our public schooling system, and I am excited for the teaching and learning experiences that will take place this year. I trust you are too.
Dr. Pius Ryan
Superintendent of Schools
In this Issue
Good News from the NVSD
- New artificial turf field open at Argyle Secondary
- Framework for Enhancing Student Learning
- Competency Based Individual Education Plans
- Student Inclusive Education Sub-Committee opportunity
- Mental Health and Well-Being
- Food Access update
- Career Pathways 44 – A new resource for students
- Celebrating Halloween safely + “Thriller” teaser video
- Staying safe in darker, wetter weather
- Severe weather information
- SMS text messaging via SchoolMessenger
- Alertable public alerting system
- Outdoor safety – Be prepared
- Music at the Smith returns for the fall season
- Standing Committee Meeting – November 14
- Public Board Meeting – November 21
- The Art of Conversation opening reception – Exhibition open
- Explore & Create at the Gordon Smith Gallery – Open
- 2024/25 Kindergarten – Registration open
- Advanced Placement Exams – Register by November 1
- Academies – Registration ongoing
- AFK After School Art – Registration open
- AFK After School Choir – Registration open
- North Vancouver Online Learning – Online registration open
Visit our Learn, Share & Grow blog and News & Announcements to read about the good work happening throughout the school district.
For the stories with images that are included below, please click on the caption for a link to the blog post or article.
New artificial turf field open at Argyle Secondary
The North Vancouver School District and District of North Vancouver are pleased to share the new artificial turf field (ATF) at Argyle Secondary is open and in use by Argyle Pipers' athletic teams and community field sports users.
The field is lined for field hockey, football, rugby and soccer; includes lighting, bleachers and sports team seating; and also includes an adjoining turf practice area that opened in September.
This is an important amenity for both the Argyle community and the community as a whole. We are especially thrilled this North Vancouver School District-District of North Vancouver partnership will see students coming together through sport with friends, family and community cheering them on.
Outside of school hours, the field is bookable through the North Vancouver Recreation & Culture Commission.
Framework for Enhancing Student Learning
The Framework for Enhancing Student Learning combines accountability with evidence informed decision making to support a system-wide program of continuous improvement. It formalizes the planning and reporting expectations for all school districts with a focus on improving equity of learning outcomes and enhancing the intellectual, social, and career development of all students in the K-12 public system. We encourage you to review the school district’s Enhancing Student Learning Report (September 2023); past versions are available on the Framework for Enhancing Student Learning web page.
Competency Based Individual Education Plans
The Inclusive Education department has created a new website resource for families on Competency Based Individual Education Plans (CB IEPs). Please visit the Inclusive Education section of our website for an overview, description of the three core competency areas, listing of key features and links to resources.
We are pleased to share the October 5 online session, Supporting Parents/Caregivers with the Transition to Competency Based Individual Education Plans with Dr. Shelley Moore, was well attended. The session was recorded and a link to the recording will be shared widely with families once the link is received from the presenter.
Student Inclusive Education Sub-Committee opportunity
The Student Inclusive Education Committee is a sub-committee of the school district’s Inclusion Committee and was created in 2022. The sub-committee provides neurodivergent students and students with disabilities an opportunity to ensure support for students’ education and school journey by:
- Sharing their experiences and perspectives.
- Providing advice to the NVSD on all matters pertaining to students with disabilities, autism and/or intellectual disabilities.
Participation is open to students in Grades 6-12. All students have the option to attend meetings with the support of a family member, peer or support person. Meeting locations and schedule will be determined with the participants.
If your child would like to participate on this sub-committee for the 2023-2024 year, please email InclusiveEducation@sd44.ca and provide the student’s name, school, grade and contact information. The number of sub-committee participants will depend on the number of applicants.
Mental Health and Well-Being
World Mental Health Day is observed annually on October 10 to raise awareness of mental health issues around the world and to mobilize efforts in support of mental health. Mental Health and Well-Being, one of the school district’s strategic goals, was the main topic of discussion for the October Standing Committee meeting, which also coincided with World Mental Health Day. Suzette Dohm, District Principal, Safe & Caring Schools, provided a brief overview of school district priorities in this area and moderated table group discussions. A copy of the presentation is available for review and is posted to the Public Meetings web page.
To learn more about Social Emotional Learning, and specifically, what it is, why we teach it, and how we teach it at the NVSD, please watch this short video.
Food Access update
Research shows school food programs have multiple positive impacts, including better health, reduced risk of chronic diseases, improved cognitive function, enhanced mental health and increased attendance.
The provincial government has committed $214 million dollars over three years to support school districts to create or expand local food programs. School districts are using the provincial funds to purchase, store and hire dedicated staff to co-ordinate meals and snacks for students.
Local food programs will play an essential role in providing all students with stigma-free access to healthy and locally-sourced food. They are not intended to replace the food students bring from home, but rather to supplement with food such as fruit, vegetables and milk. In addition, food delivery will look differently from school community to school community, as it will be based on local need.
At the North Vancouver School District, Tine Parker, District Vice Principal, Healthy Futures, is supporting the delivery of this program, which includes coordinating with schools to provide food access for students. Examples of how the funding is being used include:
- Schools have a weekly food allowance to support initiatives that best meet the needs of their school community.
- Every school will have fruit or vegetables delivered 24 times this school year, which is enough for every student.
- At the school district level, work is underway with local agencies to provide healthy food in every school.
For more information, please visit the Food Access web page or speak with your school principal.
Career Pathways 44 – A new resource for students
Career Pathways 44 is our newest website, and it is designed to support students as they explore the future of work and career opportunities. Students will learn about programs, events and initiatives that provide information and insights to various careers and career paths. Students will also learn how they can gain practical experience while still in school through programs such as WEX (Work Experience) or Youth Train in Trades. Visit Career Pathways 44 for more information. Families can also access this new resource from the Parents and Guardians section of the school district website.
Celebrating Halloween safely + “Thriller” teaser video
Halloween is a time of celebration for many in our community. Each year, we look forward to seeing students enjoy various Halloween activities. Please refer to my annual Halloween message, which provides guidance on how families can help students celebrate Halloween in a fun and safe manner.
We are also pleased to share that Digital Media Academy and Argyle Drama students and staff have collaborated to produce a full length music video of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller.” View the teaser trailer; the full video will premiere on Friday, October 27.
Staying safe in darker, wetter weather
The school district encourages students to get to and from school in safe and active ways, including through the rainy months. Here are some safety tips to review with your children:
- Be seen by wearing reflective materials or bright clothes and using lights, even during the day.
- Cross streets only at intersections or marked crosswalks.
- Make eye contact with drivers, ensure drivers have stopped their vehicle before crossing, and keep looking for approaching vehicles while crossing.
- Walk, roll or cycle to and from school with a sibling or a buddy.
- Be aware of your surroundings, do not speak to strangers, and report anything of concern.
If you do drive your children to school in wet and dark weather, we encourage you to refer to your school’s Best Routes to School map to identify a Drive to Five location. Please take care in school zones and at intersections as your ability to see pedestrians and cyclists may be limited. Focus on the road, slow down, and travel at or below the speed limit.
Links to Best Routes to School maps and additional information and resources to support safe and active travel are available on our Safe and Active Travel web page.
Severe weather information
As winter weather approaches, we would like to issue a reminder about our winter weather procedures. All NVSD schools will remain OPEN during winter weather, including snowfalls, if possible. Any school district-wide closure will be decided by 6:30 a.m. (at the latest) and announced through media and school district and school websites, shared with families via SchoolMessenger (email and/or text message), and shared with staff via email. For more information, please visit our Winter Weather web page.
SMS text messaging via SchoolMessenger
Families who would like to receive SMS text messages when there is an emergency during school or non-school hours (e.g., severe weather or power outage) need to opt in for this service.
Typically, you will receive a SchoolMessenger text message when you register your child for school and registration is complete. The message is similar to this example: "North Vancouver School District 44 messages. Reply Y to confirm, HELP 4 info. Msg & data rates may apply. Msg freq varies. schoolmessenger.com/smsca". You can also opt in to receive SMS text messages anytime by texting "Y" or "Yes" to 978338. Note: Standard message and data rates may apply.
Alertable public alerting system
Residents of the North Shore are encouraged to sign up for Alertable, which is used by North Shore Emergency Management (NSEM) to send out alerts for emergencies (e.g., severe weather, natural disasters, industrial hazards, transportation accidents or marine spills), evacuation or shelter-in-place notices, or Amber Alerts. For more information and to sign up for this free service, visit North Shore Emergency Management.
Outdoor safety – Be prepared
With the cooler fall weather and shorter days, North Shore Rescue and BC AdventureSmart are reminding outdoor enthusiasts to prepare accordingly, no matter the outdoor activity.
- Make a plan and leave a copy of the plan with someone you trust. Include when they should expect you back.
- Know before you go. Know the terrain and understand the conditions and weather patterns.
- Bring navigation tools (e.g., map and compass, cell phone with a GPS mapping app and offline maps, or a handheld GPS), a whistle, a basic first-aid kit, and a headlamp (your phone's light does not count).
- Wear or carry suitable clothing (e.g., puffy jacket, rain shell, toque, gloves) and dress in layers. Wear proper footwear (e.g., hiking boots and traction such as microspikes).
- Be aware of cellular and satellite coverage in the area, as it may be limited to highway corridors or impacted by physical obstacles, which can block the signal.
- Know your limits to avoid injury, getting lost/disoriented, and exceeding your abilities.
- If you need help, call 911 ASAP and stay in one location. There is no charge to call 911 for rescue.
Both North Shore Rescue and BC AdventureSmart offer safety tips, resources and videos to ensure we all get outside and get home safely. Links to both organizations can be found on our Outdoor Safety & Emergency Preparedness web page.
Music at the Smith returns for the fall season
Music at the Smith returns for a season of jazz and classical performances by preeminent B.C. musicians at the Gordon Smith Gallery (2121 Lonsdale Avenue). Each evening performance includes an informal exhibition tour. Doors open at 7 p.m., and performances begin at 7:30 p.m. Visit Music at the Smith for more information.
Fall Schedule (remaining dates):
- Tuesday, November 7 - Rising Stars: Elysian Trio
- Tuesday, November 21 - Artie Shaw’s Gramercy Five
Standing Committee Meeting – November 14
A Board of Education Standing Committee Meeting takes place on Tuesday, November 14 at 7 p.m. The focus of the meeting will be truth, healing and reconciliation. Visit our Public Meetings web page for information on how you can participate and to review the meeting agenda, which is posted on the Thursday afternoon preceding the public meeting.
Public Board Meeting – November 21
A Board of Education Public Board Meeting takes place on Tuesday, November 21 at 6:30 p.m. Visit our Public Meetings web page for information on how you can participate and to review the meeting agenda and board package, which are posted on the Thursday afternoon preceding the public meeting.
The Art of Conversation – Exhibition open
The Gordon Smith Gallery and Artists for Kids invite you to experience The Art of Conversation. The exhibition features artwork by over 20 Canadian artists who explore the role of art as a platform for communication. The Art of Conversation draws conventional threads between the works in the gallery and highlights arts’ potential to facilitate and provoke dialogue. The perspectives and artistic conversations of elementary and secondary school students are featured through original writing and art. Visit Artists for Kids for more information.
Explore & Create at the Gordon Smith Gallery – Open
Families with children ages 5-12 are invited to visit the Gordon Smith Gallery for Explore & Create, a by-donation, drop-in art program inspired by works in the current exhibition, The Art of Conversation. Explore & Create takes place on Saturdays from 1-3 p.m. There will not be an Explore & Create activity on November 18, 25, and December 29.
2024/25 Kindergarten – Registration open
The initial registration period for 2024/25 Kindergarten (children born in 2019) is open and continues until Monday, January 15, 2024. Applications submitted within this time frame are processed equally and placed according to initial placement category groups. Information regarding the registration process, including how to book an appointment to register your child, is available on the Kindergarten Registration web page.
Advanced Placement Exams – Register by November 1
Handsworth and Sutherland (NEW) are offering a range of AP exams for self-study students in May 2024. The deadline to register and remit payment is Wednesday, November 1. Visit the Advanced Placement web page for more information.
Academies – Registration ongoing
Applications continue to be accepted for many NVSD Academies. There are limited spaces remaining for Field Hockey, the Business and Gaming Entrepreneurship Lab, and others. Information about our Academy program offerings is available on our Academies web page. For an application form, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
AFK After School Art – Registration open
Taught by art specialist teachers and assisted by secondary art students, Artists for Kids’ After School Art classes provide students the opportunity to further their artistic ability and foster positive attitudes towards the visual arts. Visit Artists for Kids for more information and to register.
North Vancouver Online Learning – Online registration open
NVOL provides engaging, accessible and interactive learning experiences for students. Students can enrol any time during the school year and have one calendar year to complete their course. Students can also choose to engage in their NVOL courses entirely remotely online or in a blended model of online and in-person interactions at our NVOL Centre.
Visit the NVOL website to see our full suite of courses from Grades 8 through 12 in both English and French. The French Immersion online course offerings allow students the opportunity to meet the requirements of their Diplôme de fin d'études secondaires en Colombie-Britannique online through L' École Virtuelle de Vancouver nord. Reminder: NVOL is a Provincial Online Learning School.
Reminder: NVOL is a Provincial Online Learning School.
Missed an issue?
Updates from the Superintendent, including the monthly Superintendent’s Report, are available for review.
The North Vancouver School District is situated upon the unceded traditional territory of the Skwxwú7mesh Nation and Tsleil-Waututh Nation. We would like to thank the Coast Salish people and value the opportunity to learn, share and grow on this traditional territory.