Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Message from the Superintendent

North Shore News: 2008 October 22

The beginning of each school year brings into focus possibilities for the future. With the introduction of an over-arching Vision for the North Vancouver School District, we now have a compass by which to set our course and enrich our educational programs and services.

This Vision will help us to continue to progress as a school district in an era of unprecedented change. It provides the clarity we need to go forward with a strength of purpose and a shared awareness of the contribution that is made by public education, and our school district, to a better world.

Our focus on enhancing student learning encompasses literacy, numeracy, social responsibility, safe and caring schools, emergency preparedness, health and physical fitness, early learning initiatives, early school success and information and communication technology.

There are many profound examples throughout the School District of alignment between the Vision and our recent achievements. As always, our greatest successes are realized by our students and we continue to maintain and build upon an outstanding School District.

Our students continue to receive awards and honours for a full range of academics, fine arts, and athletics at the provincial, national and international level. Their environmental and social responsibility has reached into the international arena through eco-challenges, not-for-profit home-building projects, and climate change awareness programs.

In April, we hosted author and education consultant Damian Cooper to deliver "8 Big Ideas to Improve Learning" as part of our Instructional Institute professional development program. We are currently implementing a number of projects to improve success rates for struggling students and new strategies to support differentiated learning and assessment for learning.

We are excited by the popularity of "Programs of Choice" in our schools. The International Baccalaureate (IB) Program application continues to make good progress at Carson Graham, Balmoral and Capilano Schools. Late French Immersion is being introduced at Grade 6 at Boundary Elementary this school year and Windsor Secondary is proceeding with the implementation of French Immersion in 2009. Opportunities available through have also greatly expanded in response to increased student demand.

The ongoing engagement of parents and community members in our recent "School Talk" communications audit is appreciated, as well as the Towards the Future for Schools public consultation process and the 6th Annual Community Forum scheduled for October 16, 2008.

We recognize the positive influence our educators have in encouraging healthy living and are implementing the Ministry of Education's Daily Physical Activity mandate throughout the School District this year.

We are privileged to have co-hosted, with the Tseil-Waututh and the Squamish Nations, an evening of literacy with Chatelaine Gwen Point on October 2nd. In partnership with the B.C. Coalition of School Libraries, we look forward to the honour of a visit from Lieutenant Governor Steven Point on National School Library Day, October 27th, at Carson Graham Secondary. We are, as always, grateful for our strong community relationships that contribute so much to "the natural place to learn."


John Lewis, Superintendent of Schools

North Vancouver School District