Dear NVSD Staff, Students, Parents and Community:
Subject: Have a great summer
Summer is here and school is out – it is now time to relax and to carve out some quality time for yourselves, your family and your friends. It is also a time of reflection. A time to assess and leverage the personal growth we, our students and our children have experienced through the successes and challenges of this past year.
Looking back on 2017/2018, I want to thank staff, students and parents for the opportunity I was provided to witness innovative practice across the entire school district. In schools and classrooms, as well as within various projects and departments, I was continually impressed by the pride, dedication and passion that I observed. Our staff do incredible work every day to inspire success for all students; our students learn, grow and thrive as a result.
I also want to show my appreciation for your patience and understanding as the school district worked through restoring the teacher contract language. Staff in all areas of the school district worked incredibly hard to transition through this change as seamlessly as possible. I understand that this was a time of change for everyone, and I am thoroughly impressed with the strong focus on student-learning that remained core to the entire process.
This year, student learning continued to shine under the new BC Curriculum. Student self-assessment as part of the reporting process proved to be very powerful. By working through reflective practise, students learned a great deal about themselves and their own personal growth. Self-assessment also allowed parents to hear directly from their children about their children's learning – a valuable way of fostering connections between home and school.
A strong focus on integrating Aboriginal education into the curriculum continued this year across the school district. Many prominent projects occurred, such as new Welcome Poles at the Education Services Centre and Ridgeway Elementary, and many smaller, yet just as meaningful, initiatives took place in various ways in every school and department. The richness and sense of belonging that these teachings are nurturing are indescribable.
Just as impactful is the work our staff is undertaking to celebrate and support complex learners. By focusing on seven core competencies, great partnerships have formed between staff, parents, students and broader community partners. To find out more about this exceptional work, please visit: http://nvsd44complexlearners.ca/.
The work being undertaken to support student mental health is exceptional and is being noted provincially as leading-edge. The North Vancouver School District recently received a grant from the Ministry of Mental Health and Addictions that will be used to enhance the mental health curriculum. This funding will also support increased collaboration between community partners and agencies in order to enhance student well-being. Stay tuned for more information in the 2018/2019 school year.
Throughout the school year, we also started to implement the findings of our employee engagement survey. By engaging staff in efforts to meet our goals of continuous improvements and positive support for all employees, we are strengthening the North Vancouver School District as the best place to work and learn for both staff and students. Through our employee engagement initiative, I heard a need for more transparency from my office and from the central departments in general. As a result, this coming school year I will be reaching out even more to share the work happening at the school district level and to directly connect this work to students, parents and staff. I had the privilege of visiting all 32 schools, Eslha7an and Cheakamus Centre this year, and plan to do the same next year. I look forward to sharing with you what I learn at these visits.
I am incredibly proud to work in the North Vancouver School District where our staff commit themselves daily to the success of our students. The innovative and inspiring teaching taking place to foster student success is truly world-class. Every single day, in every single classroom, amazing teaching and learning is taking place. We continue to share and celebrate these stories through our district blog, 'Learn, Share & Grow', and social media channels and I hope you recognize, as I do, how fortunate we are to have such strong school communities.
I want to wish all of you a wonderful summer. I look forward to the 2018/2019 school year, where we will continue to move forward as a learning community to provide the best educational environments for students, staff and parents.
North Vancouver School District #44