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School Operations for Nov. 29 - Dec. 3  – 

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Last update: November 28th, 2021 at 7:58pm

 
 

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News: Saturday, November 20th, 2021

News from the Nest - Nov. 22-26

Spotlight on Learning:  Francophone Music and Culture

We have been incorporating French Culture in our French 11/12 classes with music. Weekly, we look forward to listening to Francophone musicians. The music contains authentic language, is easily obtainable, provides vocabulary, grammar, and cultural aspects and most importantly, engages the students. Students participate in a variety of activities in all aspects of the language. Students are:

  • Exploring Francophone cultural expression
  • Exploring the connection between language and culture
  • Engaging in meaningful conversations about music -Responding personally to the music

Prime Minister’s Award for Teaching Excellence – BC
Congratulations Ms. Bowater

 “Mrs. Bowater possesses an ability to make students feel secure and respected during these learning exercises. By demonstrating respect for the process of making mistakes and learning from them, Mrs. Bowater opens the doors of learning and self discovery in a manner very few teachers, and in fact people in general, are able to do. I realize how fortunate we all were to cross paths with this extraordinary educator during our years in high school.”

Student Teaching Approach

Karen’s approach to teaching is about leading students to successful academic and personal outcomes, and not a one way transmission of information. For her, pedagogy must have the objectives of developing critical thinking, a sense of citizenship, consideration for others and participation in the wellness of others. She understands that you don’t lead people by telling them what to do, you lead by example. In this regard, the measure of her success is the enthusiasm and the drive for excellence that she imparts to everyone around her.

In the Classroom

In most classrooms, there are two distinct roles - that of student and that of teacher. While this a fact officially, the pedagogical setting, and indeed the teacher-student relationship is not always that simple. Karen has the skill and aptitude in getting students to teach each other and process information together. She has the ability to earn respect by giving respect. Her classes are a space where students feel safe and where errors are learning opportunities instead of embarrassments. The discussions generated in class are fun, productive, and inclusive. Everyone is made to feel valuable to the discussion. The outcome is self-confidence, motivation, and ultimately, success.

Outstanding Achievements

Karen is the definition of an engaged community member and does so with an energy that inspires those around her. With the help of other teachers, she had huge success in hosting the Canadian Student Leadership Conference in Abbotsford. She was the Chair of Student Programming. Over 900 students from all over Canada came to Abbotsford where there was no shortage of school spirit, new friendships, and guest speakers.

Karen’s commitment to education is exceptional. She perceives success not in terms the number of students who go on to post-secondary studies, but rather on the success of each individual. She treats every student like she has all the time in the world to discuss their issues and always provides support when it’s needed. Time spent with a student is not work. It is an investment in the person’s abilities and potential. While transcripts are not her main focus, her results are impressive. It was a surprise to no one that she received the prestigious Teachers Building Leaders Award from the Loran Scholars Foundation - a national charitable organization that award scholarships for students entering university in Canada on the basis of character, commitment to service and leadership potential.

https://www.ic.gc.ca/eic/site/pmate-ppmee.nsf/eng/wz02465.html

Character Word of the Month:  Teamwork

Our Character Word of the Month is TEAMWORK

Q:  Signs of Successful Teamwork include:

  • Work well with others
  • Freely offer your help and ideas
  • Follow expectations
  • Do you part to keep a safe, happy environment
  • When you disagree, you do it respectfully and peacefully
  • Ask for help when you need it

Alien Art Alert!

In Science 10, a student is using a drawing to express their thinking in their biology alien unit. The project is used to help students appreciate the link between genetic codes in DNA and physical features. What impressed us most is the time, detail and creativity they invested in spite of many hurdles they face in their personal life.  Working with diverse learners and providing opportunities for them to express their learning using their strengths has been a priority for our LSS team. This work of art is a reminder that each student has strengths.  It is worth rejoicing when we get to see them displayed in a classroom setting! Enjoy the alien art

Cross Country Shout Out!

A huge congratulations goes out to Sam May who placed 15th out of over 250 runners at the BC Cross Country Provincials. He had a great season and made his coaches and school proud. WAY TO GO!

Sr. Girls Volleyball into Playoffs

Our Senior Girls are into the playoffs after an absence of a few years.  Kudso to Coach Rahe and the girls for battling hard throughout the season to make into the playoffs. Yesterday, they lost a 5 set heartbreaker with a 15-13 set 5 loss to cross-town rivals Yale and play for 3rd or 4th place in the Valleys on Monday.  Shout outs go to the entire team and especially our graduating Seniors’ on an excellent season. 

Food Drive and More!

The Benevolent Nerds are partnering up with Key Club, Leadership, PE Leadership, and interested Block B classes.

Thank you to you and your students for your anticipated support! Abbotsford is getting help from other regions, so it will be great for our school to help our own community. 

 If they want ideas about what items to bring in, here are some suggestions:

  • Canned protein (Fish & meat)
  • Canned fruit.
  • Canned vegetables.
  • Meals in a Tin (e.g. Pork n' Beans or Stew)
  • Whole grain rice.
  • Pasta and pasta sauce.
  • Healthy canned soups.
  • Baby formula (large cans)
  • Peanut butter
  • Baby jar food
  • Cereal
  • Even diapers (prefer size 4 or 6)

Music Program Fundraiser

The music program’s annual Purdy’s fundraiser is going on right now until November 27. 

If you would like to order Purdys chocolates for Christmas and support the music program at the same time, please follow this link:   https://fundraising.purdys.com/676746-85566. The chocolates will be delivered directly to the school and will be hand-delivered to you on December 9 or 10.

The fundraising money will go towards the music program and our efforts to purchase a new vibraphone. Come and ask Ms. Wade if you have no idea what that is and want to know. If a student approaches you to buy something from them then all the better. In that case the money will go towards their band trip or a series of day trips we will do instead.

Calendar: 

  • All Week:
    • Food Drive
    • Basketball Intramurals
  • Monday, Nov. 22
    • ABCD
    • PAC Meeting via Zoom
  • Tuesday, Nov. 23
    • CDAB
    • Thrive Field Trip
  • Wednesday, Nov. 24
    • BADC
  • Thursday, Nov. 25
    • DCBA
  • Friday, Nov. 26
    • No School
    • PD Day

SUPPORTING CHILDREN AND YOUTH DURING NATURAL  DISASTER  EVENTS

Natural disasters include hurricanes, earthquakes, tornadoes, wildfires, tsunamis, and floods, as well as extreme weather events such as blizzards, droughts, extreme heat, and windstorms. These events can lead to many adversities for children and families, including displacement, loss of home and personal property, changes in schools, economic hardship, loss of community and social supports, and even the injury and death of loved ones.

Tragic or traumatic occurrences can alter a person’s sense of security. We know that children may be upset or have questions about what has taken place. The first and most important support for children and youth are their family. Below, is a list of ways that we can work together to create a safe environment for children and youth during this difficult time.

Be reassuring. Children take their emotional cues from the significant adults in their lives. Your reactions are most important. Recognize that some children may be concerned about something bad happening to themselves, family or friends. Explain to them the safety measures in place and reassure them that you and other adults will take care of them.

Be a good listener and observer. Let children guide you to learn how concerned they are or how much information they need. If they are not focused on the tragedy, do not dwell on it. However, be available to answer their questions to the best of your ability. Young children may not be able to express themselves verbally. Pay attention to changes in their behaviour or social interactions.

Monitor the news. Images of a disaster or crisis event can become overwhelming, especially if watched repetitively. Young children may not be able to distinguish between images on television and their personal reality. Older children may choose to watch the news but be available to discuss what they see and to help put it into perspective.

Emphasize people’s resiliency. Help children understand the ability of people to come through a tragic event and go on with their lives. Focus on children’s own competencies in terms of how they previously coped in their daily life during difficult times. In age-appropriate terms, identify other critical incidents from which people, communities, or countries have recovered.

Highlight people’s compassion and humanity. Large-scale tragedies often generate a tremendous outpouring of caring and support from around the country and world. Focus on the help and hopeful thoughts being offered to those affected by other people.

Maintain as much continuity and normalcy as possible. Allowing children to deal with their reactions is important but so is providing a sense of normalcy. Routine family activities, classes, after- school activities, and friends can help children feel more secure and better able to function.

Spend family time. Being with family is always important in difficult or sad times. Even if your children are not significantly impacted by this tragedy, this may be a good opportunity to participate in and to appreciate family life. Doing things together reinforces children’s sense of stability and connectedness.

Ask for help if you or your children need it. Any tragedy can feel overwhelming for families directly affected, particularly those who have lost loved ones. Staying connected to your community can be extremely helpful. It may also be important to seek additional support from a mental health professional to cope with overwhelming feelings.

Communicate with your school. Children directly impacted by the event may be under a great deal of stress that can be very disruptive to learning. Together, parents and teachers can determine what extra support or leniency students need and work with parents to develop a plan to help student.

Be aware of your own needs. Don’t ignore your own feelings of anxiety, grief, and anger. Talking to friends, family members, religious or cultural supports and mental health counselors can help. It is important to let your children know that you are sad. You will be better able to support your children if you can express your own emotions in a productive manner. Get appropriate sleep, nutrition, and exercise.

Strategic Interventions - Points to Consider

Individuals closest to Ground Zero and others in the Impact Zone who are experiencing fear and hopelessness need to be grounded to circumstances they have control over. Instead of focusing on very broad issues (e.g. “what is wrong with the world and how do we fix it?”), the focus should be on micro-interventions and realities such as emphasizing safety in the local area:

  • Make sure families are wrapping around overwhelmed children and youth.
  • Expect some regressive behaviour.
  • Restate school safety protocols to students and staff.
  • Monitor media and social media exposure and show an interest in what students are seeing and posting themselves.
  • Be prepared to engage in impromptu child and youth initiated conversations.
  • Model calmness.
  • Be visible. School personnel intentionally connecting with students reduces anxiety.
  • Students may be gathering more after school hours to maintain a sense of connection. Leaving the school open, for as long as possible, during this critical period will contribute to lowering anxiety.

Parents and caregivers may need to be reminded that a child who appears to be overreacting may in fact be so overwhelmed with personal issues that the societal anxiety has simply “pushed them over the edge”. This is an important time to have meaningful conversations about resolvable issues to bring relief. Also, prompting the child’s favorite aunt, uncle, brother, sister, grandparent, etc. to make contact can help to increase that sense that at least “we are all right!”

Additional Resources

Anticipating that students may have a reaction to this event, we have collected some resources available for parents and educators that could be helpful in responding to children's concerns.

The National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN): https://www.nctsn.org/sites/default/files/resources//age_related_reactions_to_traumatic_events.pdf

Health Emergency Management – BC Mental Health and Wellness Recovery Toolkit: http://www.phsa.ca/health-emergency-management-bc-site/Documents/Mental%20Health%20and%20Wellness%20Toolkit%20January%202021.pdf

BC Teachers’ Federation - Supports and resources for members affected by flooding and severe weather: https://www.bctf.ca/whats-happening/news-details/2021/11/17/supports-and-resources-for-members-affected-by-flooding-and-severe-weather

Emergency Management BC – Staying Safe and Healthy in an Emergency: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/safety/emergency-management/preparedbc/make-your-plan/health-in-emergency

Canadian Mental Health Association: https://cmha.bc.ca/documents/coping-with-natural-disaster-stress/

First Nation Health Authority - Recognizing and Resolving Trauma in Children During Disasters: https://www.fnha.ca/Documents/FNHA-Recognizing-and-Resolving-Trauma-in-Children-During-Disasters.pdf

Red Cross: https://www.redcross.ca/crc/documents/well-being_links_20171002_en.pdf

Flood Specific:

PrepareBC Flood Guide: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/assets/gov/public-safety-and-emergency-services/emergency-preparedness-response-recovery/embc/preparedbc/preparedbc-guides/preparedbc_flood_preparedness_guide_fillable.pdf

NCTSN Flood Response: https://www.nctsn.org/what-is-child-trauma/trauma-types/disasters/flood-resources

Informed by resources from:

  • Association of Chief Psychologists of Ontario School Board Psychological First Aid – National Child Traumatic Stress Network

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