North Vancouver School District
the natural place to learn©
News Item

Year End Message From The Superintendent

July 05, 2017

From: Mark Pearmain, Superintendent, North Vancouver School District


Dear Students, Staff and Parents/Guardians,  

This school year has been truly inspirational for me as a new Superintendent. I am honoured to have been able to visit all 32 of our schools in the North Vancouver School District over the year. Thank you to all of our students, staff and parents for welcoming me into your schools and classrooms. The innovative teaching and learning I have observed has genuinely left me impressed and inspired for the coming year.  

Implementation of the new BC Curriculum for Kindergarten to Grade 9 is occurring in meaningful ways that are positively impacting student engagement and success. I have observed first-hand, dozens and dozens of examples of this throughout the year. In one classroom, grade five students were engaged in a lesson that combined environmental science, social studies, current affairs, computer coding with Makey Makey, and self-reflection on the communication competency. Another classroom had Kindergarten students engaged in a theatrical play that the teacher was recording on an iPad to enable the students to self-reflect on their learning and also to share the learning with parents. The creativity that our staff are using to enhance learning for our students is exciting and inspiring. 

We have tried to capture a glimpse of the world-class instruction and inspired learning taking place every day in all of our schools through the ‘NVSD Yearbook 2016/2017’. Please check out this fun video that includes photos from every school. We have a lot to celebrate in our school district! 

While BC’s New Curriculum is exciting, it is a change that we are still getting accustomed to. Change is not always easy and I want to thank you all for your patience and perseverance. As well, other changes have taken place this past year in the way our school district operates. These include new reporting and assessment practices (including the online report card through MyEd BC), a new online maintenance management system used internally by staff, and the restored teacher contract language, which will result in different ways of organizing classrooms. 

I ask for your continued support as we work through implementation of the newly restored teacher contract language. It is exciting and very positive to have additional teaching resources in our schools to support students. The smaller class sizes and new composition requirements have, however, resulted in some change in practice for our school district in terms of space. Over the past few months we have been working closely with our facilities department and the Ministry of Education to approve a capital plan to support our additional classroom requirements. The needs for

classroom space vary from school to school and different solutions are being implemented at each site. Decisions have been made by balancing the needs of the school district as a whole and the individual needs of each school. While some schools require only minor work, others require more extensive construction to reconfigure classroom space, and some schools will be receiving portables. 

Overall, it has been a very thorough and challenging process to ensure each school across the school district maintains educational programming while also creating additional classroom space. I want to acknowledge the hard work of our facilities staff to help us develop the physical site plans and for the upcoming work they will undertake over the summer to ensure each school is ready for school start-up in September. I also would like to, once again, thank all of you for your patience and understanding. In September, these changes will be noticeable and I ask that we continue to treat each other with kindness as we implement new routines. 

As we close this school year, I want to express my sincere gratitude to all of our students, staff and parents for the work you do every day to ensure world-class teaching and learning. We value the efforts of our entire school district community and are making a concerted effort to recognize and celebrate what makes us successful - you! This past October we delivered apples to school staff as a thank you on World Teachers’ Day. We also undertook an Employee Engagement Survey to provide all staff the opportunity to provide feedback about our school district and how we can continue to improve. Through our school district blog, ‘Learn, Share & Grow’, and social media channels we are celebrating the successes of our students and staff that occur daily in schools and classrooms. This past year, we also had 11 student presentations (primary grades through to senior grades) at our Board of Education meetings describing the various opportunities, initiatives and issues affecting students across the district. We will certainly continue to share and celebrate in this manner.      I want to wish all of you a wonderful, safe summer filled with family, friends and relaxation. I look forward to the 2017/2018 school year, where we will continue to move forward as a learning community to provide the best educational environments for students, staff and parents. 


Mark Pearmain


North Vancouver School District