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Priorities for Education

Empower Students Through Choice

West Vancouver School District has developed a remarkable number of specialty programs that enable students to chart a unique path within the framework of our school system. French and English International Baccalaureate, Advanced Placement (college level accreditation), Skilled Trades (ACE-IT), Entrepreneurship, Honour Choir and First Aid are just a few of the programs in place today that students can choose to pursue. I can say with pride that our school district is the furthest thing from a ‘one size fits all’ model.

Two of the most recent and exciting new programs involve an AP 12 Environmental Studies program at West Vancouver’s Department of Fisheries and Oceans Laboratory as well as a Digital Animation Academy at Capilano University’s Film Department.

To see a list of all Academies click here and specialty programs click here.


 

Technology in our Schools – Challenges and Opportunities

Our schools are integrating technology into students’ day-to-day learning in remarkable ways and “bring your own device’ is the new normal. Digital literacy in a competitive 21st century environment is not optional for our young people, it is a life skill.

Fresh Grade digital report cards, Discovery education, Math IXL, Coding Quest and Myblueprint.ca are just a few of the exciting new offerings. 3-D printers, a robust Robotics Academy and a Digital Animation program are all in place. Our teachers deserve quality professional development on how to use these new, rapidly changing tools so that they can take full advantage of them in classrooms. School libraries continue to be modernized so that they can continue to be a vital and relevant resource for students and staff.

All our schools emphasize the importance of Digital Citizenship. The practice of using the Internet and technology in a safe, respectful and responsibly manner is vitally important for students to understand.


 

Collaborative Partnerships: Public, Private and First Nations.

The building of bridges and collaboration with other school districts, government leaders and community organizations greatly enhance the quality of education in our schools. Numerous private donors and organizations have also shown interest in partnering with our school district to fund unique projects or provide expertise to educational programs.  I welcome their input and encourage these connections in public education. Pauline Johnson’s new Outdoor Learning Park is an excellent example of what is possible.

Our school district signed its first ABORIGINAL ENHANCEMENT AGREEMENT in 2014. The signatories included Skwxwú7mesh Nation, Aboriginal Peoples in West Vancouver Schools, West Vancouver School District and B.C. Ministry of Education.

The parties committed to developing an ongoing partnership to ensure the success of all First Nations, Métis and Inuit students attending school in our District. The Agreement provides direction for all parties as they work together to provide the finest possible learning opportunities for all our students.

To read the entire agreement: Click Here.


 

Education is a Community Endeavour

Local community support of public schools takes many forms and enriches our students’ lives in the best possible way. The Kay Meek Centre is a hive of activity for theatre-loving students.  BOOKtopia Children’s Literature Festival connects our public library’s literary world of authors and poets with our students. The Royal Canadian Legion sponsors essay-writing and art contests about Remembrance Day and veterans take part in school ceremonies.  The StreamKeepers Society reaches out to elementary schools and teaches about the importance of maintaining healthy ecosystems.  Business leaders volunteer to share their stories at the Sentinel Boys Club to inspire young men that need guidance and support. It has been my privilege to be a Director of the North Shore Coho Society for the past four years and can attest to their generous financial support for Outdoor Learning and Arts initiatives in dozens of schools as well as providing student volunteer opportunities at their annual Coho Festival.


 

Engage and Support for ELL (English Language Learners)

West Vancouver, Bowen Island and Lions Bay’s demographics are changing, and this is reflected in an increasing number of English Language Learners (ELL) registered in our district. Over 1,000 students enrolled at school last year had this designation, up from just over 700 six years ago. Additional learning supports are provided to these students and the Ministry of Education does provide extra funding. I am pleased to share that the ELL Specialist Educators in our district are leaders in developing B.C. curriculum around best teaching practices in this field.

Special efforts are made to reach out to engage these students’ families which is critical to building a cohesive school community and society. A record number of schools hosted Asian New Year events this year which was reflective of the interest and desire to celebrate our diversity. District programs like SWIS (Settlement Workers in Schools) that support newcomers on the North Shore continue to do great work.

Advance voting is open on October 10 from 8am – 8pm.

West Vancouver residents @ Municipal Hall
Bowen Island @ BICS
Lions Bay @ Broughton Hall

Official Election Date is October 20th.

Lions Bay West Vancouver Bowen Island

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