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January 10
Happy New Year

Dear Renfrew Families,
Happy New Year and best wishes for 2017!  We hope you had a restful, relaxing Winter Break with family and friends.  I am very excited to be joining the community at Renfew and look forward to my first year. I look forward to meeting and working with all of you.  The students are eager to be back and get into their classroom routines.  Teachers are planning, collaborating and implementing a variety of learning activities for their classes. The start of the new calendar year is also a busy time for us in the office as we already start thinking about the next school year.  Our grade seven students and families are in the process of making decisions about high school.  Registration for choice programs begin and we start looking at school organization for the next year. 
At this time we have been advised by the District that there is a possibility that the Winter Break dates for 2017-18 might be changed from December 18-January 1st to December 25th to January 5th – to align with all other neighbouring distircts. We expect to know for certain on January 24th, after a decision at the Board Meeting. We would recommend that you hold off on confirming plans during that time until we are able to confirm the dates.
Thank you for your understanding about this matter.
Ms. Sandhu
November 25
a change in Principal...

November 25th, 2016


Dear Renfrew families,


I have had the privilege to be your Principal at wonderful Renfrew school for the last 5 years and I have enjoyed being a leader to make Renfrew even better as a school.  I have now been asked by the District to be Principal at Queen Mary School starting in January. 


While it is hard to leave this school I am excited to help lead at a new school.  I am reminded that every year we ask our students to leave one classroom to start fresh in a new class.  While we all find it hard to make these changes it is what leads to new challenges and keeps learning exciting.


I am proud of the accomplishments and growth for Renfrew: planning and starting our new District Montessori program which is now at grade 5; supporting our District Rem class in moving into our main building to be more a part of our school; working to put Technology into our school—new computer lab, 30 iPads, 20 laptops, new projectors and Apple TV etc.; and supporting all our learners to reach their success.  I am so thankful for the great families and supportive PAC.  I love when visitors come to Renfrew and are so impressed with our well behaved, caring and helpful students. 


I know Renfrew will continue to be an amazing school as it has an amazing staff.  I look forward to introducing you to the new Principal, Ms. Sandhu and helping with a smooth transition.  She is currently Principal at Strathcona Elementary and brings with her a wealth of experience and knowledge.


When you are at Renfrew for pick up and drop off, the Breakfast with Santa and the Winter concert, I hope we get a chance to say hi and bye.  Renfrew will always be remembered as one of my favourite schools! 


Thank you for supporting this great school.




Hugh Blackman

Principal Renfrew


September 27
October newsletter

News from the Principal...

A BIG THANKS to PAC for wonderful connections on First Day and Meet the Teacher!

Lots has happened this last month including a great Terry Fox Run, Meet the Teacher events, First Week Social Responsibility Theme, and great assemblies.  Students have settled nicely into their classes and are focusing on good learning habits.  

The staff spent much time carefully considering class placements.  We balanced the classes to ensure the most optimal learning environment for all students.  There are often combined grade classes and our teachers ensure that the curriculum and learning needs are met for each student.  I am proud of our skilled teaching staff at Renfrew.

This next week teachers will be involved in class reviews to ensure support staff are assisting all students with their learning.  We are also looking forward to Goal Setting Conferences on October 5th and 6th.  This is an opportunity for parents to meet with classroom teachers to set goals for a successful year of learning.

It is great that all students have settled in so well with our awesome teachers! 

As always, I encourage parents to follow us on Twitter @renfrewschool and check out our webpage: to see all the great things.  The calendar is there for you to keep up to date!

Have a great October!  Mr Blackman  ​

September 06
Welcome back to school 2016!

​Hi all,

Welcome back to an exciting year of learning!

School is 9:00- 10:00 today

Welcome to the New School Year 2016-2017!

After a great summer, it is wonderful to see all the students and families back at Renfrew. We especially welcome new families to our Renfrew School community. Please feel free to drop by the office to introduce yourselves after the rush of the first couple of weeks has subsided. We look forward to meeting our new families and renewing relationships with our returning families. It is my pleasure to be able to work with our teachers, support staff and community to continue to build a great school; one that enables children to thrive emotionally, socially and intellectually.

This first week of school students will return to their last year’s class each day.  This will allow the re-establishing of routines, settling in and allow us to quickly determine our school organization for new classes.  We will be rotating classes through stations around the theme of ‘Social Responsibility’. We hope we will be placing students into their new classes by Friday and will keep you informed of this. Teachers look at many factors to decide which class is best suited for each student using our professional judgment and experience to create the best learning environment for all the children at Renfrew.  We ask that once your child is assigned to their new class you help support them in this transition. 

This year our school wide goals are: To continue to improve Literacy and Numeracy skills for K to Grade 7 students where students will engage in personalized learning activities, with a focus on authentic, real world application. To increase knowledge, acceptance, empathy, awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal histories, traditions, cultures and contributions among all students.

All of our classes will be working hard on these goals in addition to all of the other areas of the curriculum.

Renfrew School is well supported by our Parent Advisory Committee (PAC). The PAC provides wonderful support in many areas of the school— planning and organizing special events, fundraising for fieldtrips and school needs and communicating with parents and the school. They are always open to new members and welcome both new families and returning families to become involved. PAC meetings are held 5 or 6 times per year. PAC meeting times will be announced in future newsletters and our website.

This year we are continuing to be environmentally responsible by posting Newsletters, Calendars and Important updates on our website. Please follow us at: or Twitter @renfrewschool. (A few printed copies will be available at the office if needed)

I hope to see everyone at Meet the Staff on September 14th at 6:00 p.m.

Thank-you for your on-going support at Renfrew School.

Hugh Blackman Principal            Staff Updates

Welcome to our new Vice Principal and new teachers at Renfrew:


Renfrew’s Code of Conduct

Renfrew has a set of guidelines for conduct and these are the expectations for all our school community. It is based on our motto and our Renfrew Cares statement:
 Renfrew’s Motto is: “Renfrew Cares, We think about Others”

And our Code of Conduct is: Renfrew Cares for Self, Renfrew Cares for Others, Renfrew Cares for the Surroundings

These guidelines reflect the school's philosophy. Renfrew is a safe and caring place, where everyone tries their best, treats others kindly, and respects the environment. It is a place where students, staff, families and the community work together to share ideas and create a wonderful place to learn. There is a rising expectation that as students develop with age, they will show increasing maturity, self-responsibility, decision-making ability, and leadership.

 We have also added a “We are caring Digital Citizens” code.
 More information regarding Renfrew’s Code of Conduct will be sent home with your child.

Renfrew Before and After School Care

Child Care spaces for before and after school are available at Renfrew School. Contact Collingwood Neighbourhood House at (604) 412-3700.

School Forms and Fees

There will be a number of important forms sent home in early September, these include forms that request emergency contact numbers, pertinent health issues, neighbourhood field trip permission, lunch permission and media permission. These forms need to be returned to your child’s classroom. If information changes throughout the year, please update the school immediately by calling the office. The school must be able to contact parents at all times.

We will be sending out information on school fees with collection envelopes with-
in the next 2 weeks. School fees for all ages are $25.00, agendas for Grades 2
to 7 students are $5.00 and Jump Math workbooks for Grades 4 to 7 are

 Please do not send money to school until you receive your collection envelopes


Full school days begin tomorrow. Please send a lunch with your children. If students would like to go home for lunch, it can provide a pleasant break in their school day. Students who are going home for lunch should be picked up at 12:10, if older students are going home unaccompanied by an adult, we request a note of permission. Students who remain at school will eat their lunch in the lunchrooms.

Please avoid nut products in your child’s lunches.


Bell Schedule  

·      08:55 a.m. Warning Bell

·      09:00 a.m. Class

·      10:35 a.m. 10:55 a.m. Recess

·      12:10 pm. 12:57 pm. Lunch break

·      01:00 pm. 03:00 pm.  Class



Student Supervision

Please do not send your children to school early and please pick them up at 3:00 as we have limited supervision from 8:30 to 8:55 and from 3:00 to 3:30. If a student wishes to play on the school grounds at 3:30, they must go home and get permission from a parent before returning. It is the parents’ responsibility to supervise play after 3:30.

Student Safety and Traffic

We encourage families to walk or bike to school to reduce automobile congestion. Students can bring a lock and secure their bikes in the bike storage area.
Please go over the traffic safety rules with your children. With the “back to school”
excitement, children can forget these important pedestrian rules. If you are dropping
children off, please make sure that it is on the school side of the street and use 22nd
Street as it is safest. If walking to school, please do not walk through the parking lot/ drive way—use the new path that was recently put in.
The staff parking lot is for VSB employees and school deliveries. Dropping off your
child in this area can be dangerous as vehicles back up and small children are difficult to see. Also please do not jaywalk, this models illegal and dangerous behaviour for our children.

Parent/guardians are requested to sign in and sign out their child if they are arriving late or leaving early. The sign in book is the office and Mrs. Barts can show you the location.

To help our staff keep track of adults who are on our school grounds and in our school. If you are coming to visit/observe your child at play at lunch or recess, please come to the office and get one of the guest badges. These will help our supervision aides see who belongs and save you many inquiries of “how can we help you and who are you?”

Thanks for your help in keeping our students safe.

We encourage students not to bring valuable items such as electronics or a large amount of money to school. We do not have student lockers at Renfrew nor secure storage for student use. Therefore, the school will not be responsible for lost or stolen items. We suggest these items remain at home.


June 21
FInal school days  June 2016

Final newsletter for June!


It is hard to believe we are almost finished school at Renfrew!  I am enjoying reading all the reports which lets me further see the great learning going on.  There have been wonderful learning experiences and June is great when we get outdoors to learn.  Soon school will be done but that doesn’t mean learning stops.  Please take the time to arrange fun learning for your child.  This could be regular visits to the library, keeping a travel journal, planting and tending a small garden or a couple of plants and playing board games which are good for thinking skills.


In the next week please make sure your child checks the lost and found and starts to take home stuff that they don’t need to use.  Teachers will be helping students clean up the classrooms before the summer break.


Next week we will send home a newsletter that will introduce you to new staff and recognize some staff that are retiring.  Renfrew continues to grow and is such an amazing community of learners.


As always there are daily updates and great pictures on our school twitter account @renfrewschool and I will try and find a moment to upload some new photos to our website.


Have a great summer if I don’t see you at Grade 7 Grad, Service Assembly or Final Day Assembly.



May 16
May is here!

​Hi parents!

Lots has already happened in May with us welcoming over 60 new Kindergarten students at events such as Ready, Set, Learn, Welcome to Kindergarten and Ready, Set, Kindergarten.  We are also starting preliminary staffing for next year and will soon be planning which class each student will go into.  Remember if you have any information that will help add to all the information we use for class casting then let us know.  Students will not be officially placed until the end of the first week in September (as we need to wait for our exact enrollment numbers).

This Thursday will be our Sports Day which is always such a fun day at Renfrew.  Hope you can join us! There will be a letter out early this week with details.

We had a hugely successful bike program called iRide and we hope that students remember all the safety that they just learned.  Please reinforce safe biking with your child.  And remember NO riding in school grounds from 8:30-3:30

Our Track and Field Team is going strong with mini meets and there are so many other activities for your child.  Ask them for details!

Lots of great learning happens in the classroom and school and also on field trips.  Thanks for reminding your child that our Code of Conduct is in affect on field trip days.

Have a great May!

Mr B

April 26
Almost May!

Renfrew School update!                                                         April 26, 2016



It has been such a busy year of learning and it is hard to believe we are almost in May!  The end of the year is fast approaching and this means lots of learning to finish up and lots of preparation for the students moving to the next level: K to primary; primary to intermediate; and grade 7 to secondary school.  We even have lots of events for preschoolers coming to Kindergarten!  As always we send home the monthly calendar and important dates reminder and hope you go to the webpage (school and PAC) for all other information.  Occasionally we send home a newsletter such as this just to make sure all parents are getting the information.

Soon we will start to organize our school for next year.  This means waiting until HR at VSB approves our staffing organization (number of classes).  The teachers then spend a lot of time organizing and balancing classes to ensure an optimum learning environment for all.  We have lots of information we use but if a parent has information that may assist us in placing their child we ask that you to send a letter or email to Mr. Blackman.


Technology at Renfrew


Our Renfrew teachers are involving themselves with lots of tech to transform their teaching and student learning.  In the last year we now have:

   A brand new computer lab

   Cart of 30 iPads

   2 small 'group learning’ Totes of 5 iPads and Apple TVs

   15 teacher/ classroom iPads

   10 new HDMI LCD projectors (plus 10 old)

   15 Apple TVs

   20 used laptops

   10 Doc Cam stands for iPad/ iPhones

   5 Smartboards

   5 iPads for the Primary Rem class

Plus, a number of teachers are involved in the VSB Technology Pilot project


Safety at Renfrew


At Renfrew we work to ensure our students are safe this means:

·      practicing drills for fire and earthquake and other danger preparation

·      Peer helpers to assist supervision Aides at recess and lunch as well as staff supervision before and after school

·      Student Crossing guards at intersection on 22nd Ave as well as pedestrian safety sessions for students

·      Learning to safely cycle-- iBike program coming up for students (reminder no cycling on school grounds until after 3:30 for safety)

·      Learning and following our Code of Conduct for student behaviour—Renfrew CARES!

·      Expecting parents to park in a safe spot to collect their children and not using the driveway and staff parking lot

·      Using crosswalks and not jaywalking








Community at Renfrew


We do lots to build a caring and fun learning community at Renfrew such as:


·      Weekly assemblies and special presentations

·      Daily Tai Chi for many classes (some classes do Yoga and other daily physical Education)

·      Buddy classes (older classes with younger classes to support reading and other learning)

·      Student talent show and school teams and sports—X country running, basketball, volleyball, badminton, Track and Field, MaraFun running

·      Our wonderful Library is the hub of the school and is open before school

·      Staff meet and collaborate (Primary, Intermediate, Resource Team, Full staff meetings)

·      The best Before and After School Care program!

·      A wonderful PAC (Parent Advisory Council) to support our school

·      Windermere After school programs  (WPC)


Welcoming Community


At Renfrew we pride ourselves on being a welcoming place, a home for all.

We do this by:

·      Supporting all learners including those with special needs (LAC and Resource support)

·      Welcoming the diversity of culture and language and supporting learners with English Language Support (ELL)

·      Encouraging teachers to personalize learning and differentiate for all learning styles. Staff focus on Professional Development as we are all ‘life long learners’

·      Integrating neighbourhood, Montessori and Primary Special Rem programs


How we communicate with parents


At Renfrew we encourage parents to be active in their child’s learning by:

·      Taking time to review report cards with their child

·      Supporting Student learning goals

·      Participating in Student Led and Goal setting conferences

·      Reading class newsletters and teacher emails

·      Going to the website for news and calendar dates

·      Referring to the monthly calendar and important dates notice sent home each month

·      Following our Renfrew twitter feed for updates!


Our School Goals are:


·      Literacy and Numeracy- To continue to improve Literacy and Numeracy skills for K to Grade 7 students where students will engage in personalized learning activities, with a focus on authentic, real world application.

·      Aboriginal Enhancement Goal: To increase knowledge, acceptance, empathy, awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal histories, traditions, cultures and contributions among all students




We hope everyone has a great last couple of months of the school year.  Remember if you have any questions about how your child is doing to contact their teacher.  I’m always available to support learning discussions with you and the teacher. 


Hugh Blackman, Principal​

April 07
April News

Parking Lot

This is a notice we have on hand to give any parent who drives into parking lot.  ( it is only a few who need constant reminders!)

For student safety we continue to ask you to not drive in and park in school staff parking lot.


Before and after school, we have lots of pedestrian traffic and we want to minimize cars entering and leaving the parking lot.


As always you can park on the streets around the school or on the grass area in the alleyway behind the school.


Please arrange with your child for them to walk out and meet you at your vehicle or park on the street and come in and meet them.


Thank you for your cooperation to keep all our students safe.


School Plan
Just to let you know our teachers have been putting lots of time into learning about the new Curriculum.  We have another Curriculum ProD on April 15 and then our School Planning Day on April 18.
  I would be happy to report out our goals and plans at the next PAC meeting.

Satisfaction survey
Parents in grade 4 and 7 still have until the end of the month to complete the Satisfaction survey ( info was sent home to them).  The preliminary data is very positive for how our school is doing and how satisfied parents are.  I can share the results at the next PAC meeting.

VSB Strategic Plan ( link on VSB website)
Parents can provide their feedback or PAC could meet and put in one response

VSB2021 Strategic Plan Update 


Did you know? The Vancouver School Board is now updating its Strategic Plan, as part of its ongoing efforts to meet the needs of our unique district and ensure student achievement and well-being.

The new strategic plan will provide a clear framework for action over the next 5 years, but to update the plan effectively, we need your input!

Over the next 6 months, a wide range of students, families, teachers, staff and stakeholders will share their ideas for the future of our District. Key questions include:

  • How can we make sure that all students have equal access to quality education?
  • How can we engage our students to reach their full potential?
  • What role should our schools play in their communities?
  • How do we set priorities and use resources most efficiently?

Here is info and link on the proposed budget for parents to respond to.


This page outlines the VSB 2016/2017 Budget Process. 

For 2016/2017, the District is faced with significant financial challenges, and the proposed budget will have an impact on staff and programming.

The meetings and events listed below are an opportunity for the Board of Trustees to review submissions and hear your questions, concerns and suggestions.

It is important for us to hear from the public, parents, staff and stakeholders on the issues arising in this year’s budget proposal.

Written submissions regarding the 2016/2017 Budget may be forwarded via the instructions at the bottom of this page.

Further information and supporting documents to the preliminary budget and budget process are available as links throughout this page. 


February 04
school calendar

Draft School Calendar for next school year – and for 2017-18 & 2018/19

The proposed draft calendar for the 2016-17 school year has now been posted on the VSB website. There is also a proposed draft calendar for the 2017-18 and 2018-19 school years. These can be viewed at Should parents wish to provide any feedback, they are welcome to do so by emailing before February 26th. The final school calendar(s) will be approved and published before the end of March.​
January 27
Important changes at VSB and Renfrew Please read

Hi teachers, staff and parents, 


There are lots of exciting changes at VSB and to help keep you informed I am including an outline of some of the current items.  We will have lots of time to discuss what this will mean for our great Renfrew School and all that happens here to provide wonderful learning for our students.  Just as we give our students homework, I hope you will take time to do some homework and read the messages below and follow some of the links.  Our teachers will be meeting in March and April to examine the new curriculum and start to adjust their teaching.  We want to keep the good teaching and learning practices while adding new and deleting old.

Looking forward to lots of talk about this.



The world is changing…  BC’s New Curriculum:

Parents want their kids equipped to succeed. So do teachers. So does the Ministry of Education. 

The world is changing – and we have to change too. Technology and innovation are reshaping society – and the future.

That's why it's critical we refine our education system, designed in the last century, so students can succeed in the 21st Century.


Curriculum Redesign

British Columbia’s curriculum is being redesigned to respond to the demanding world our students are entering.  Transformation in curriculum will help teachers create learning environments that are both engaging and personalized for students. At the heart of British Columbia’s redesigned curriculum are core competencies, essential learning and literacy and numeracy foundations.

   Find out how these changes will support learning


VSB2021 Strategic Plan Update 


Did you know? The Vancouver School Board is now updating its Strategic Plan, as part of its ongoing efforts to meet the needs of our unique district and ensure student achievement and well-being.

The new strategic plan will provide a clear framework for action over the next 5 years, but to update the plan effectively, we need your input!

Over the next 8 months, a wide range of students, families, teachers, staff and stakeholders will share their ideas for the future of our District. Key questions include:

   How can we make sure that all students have equal access to quality education?

   How can we engage our students to reach their full potential?

   What role should our schools play in their communities?

   How do we set priorities and use resources most efficiently?





There will be various ways to get involved in each phase of the update. Initial activities include:

   Attend the Ideas Fair on Thursday, February 18th at Prince of Wales Secondary School. Drop-in to this fun, interactive event any time from 4 – 7pm. Share your ideas for a chance to win great prizes!

   Complete a brief survey to tell us about your key ideas, issues and priorities for the future.

   Sign up for email updates to find out about upcoming events and activities, review input summaries, and stay up to date the plan as is developed. Your information will be kept confidential.

   You can also follow #VSB2021 for updates.

Don’t miss your chance to shape the future – join the VSB2021 conversation!


VSB Community Engagement and Consultation

The Plan

How to Get Involved?

Safe Schools: Seismic Upgrades

Committee II Report – Interim Long Range Facilities Plan

Interim Long Range Facilities Plan - Background Report

Appendix L – Possible Timeline for Implementation of the LRFP

Seismic Mitigation Program

Current Capital Projects

Capital Projects Process

Completed Capital Projects

Planning and Consultation

Beginning in late February 2016, we'll begin public consultation about our Long Range Facilities Plan.

We will share information and research and, most importantly, listen to your ideas and knowledge about your schools and neighbourhoods.

Watch this page for updates on events, meetings and community engagement. Check back for the latest information and opportunities to participate in this conversation.


The Plan

What is a VSB Long Range Facilities Plan (LRFP)?

The VSB has more than a hundred schools across the city to manage and maintain. Just as the City of Vancouver develops local area plans to guide long-term land use planning, the Vancouver School Board must create a long range facilities plan (LRFP) to outline specific goals and targets for the management of its properties.

The LRFP is a framework to help achieve an important goal – getting students and staff into safe, seismically upgraded schools as quickly as possible. It will also ensure we have schools where they're needed to meet future enrolment demands.

This 14-year plan offers a starting point for setting priorities. It will be reviewed every year to reflect changes in the city of Vancouver and changes in district priorities. It is not an implementation plan.

Decisions about specific schools will only be made only after more study, specific community consultation and direction from our elected trustees.

See the Long Range Facilities Plan FAQs on this page for more information about the latest on the process.

What will a successful plan look like?

We have set some guiding principles for this plan. They include:

   Safe and sustainable schools;

   Facilities that support innovative, educational approaches, ultimately providing effective learning environments;

   Schools located where they can support school-aged populations now and in future; and

   Planning that takes into account economic, community and environmental benefits for students, families and all citizens of Vancouver; and

   Improved facility conditions.


How to Get Involved?

The VSB's facility planning approach combines staff expertise with values expressed by parents, students, community members, and direction from elected trustees.

We are committed to inclusive and meaningful community consultation. Over the coming months we will be holding workshops, open houses, posting online surveys and multiple opportunities for your to add your voice to the planning process.

Please watch this site, our social media feeds along with school and parent advisory councils for updates on how to stay informed and involved.


Safe Schools: Seismic Upgrades

The Province has committed to completing its Seismic Mitigation Program by 2030. It is the Ministry of Education funded program that retrofits and/or replaces schools to ensure that, during an earthquake, all staff and students can exit the school safely.

As of January 2016, the Vancouver School Board has upgraded or built 20 schools through funding from the Ministry under the seismic mitigation program. Another 69 schools are classified as high seismic risk and require seismic mitigation. Five schools are currently being upgraded or replaced. A further 24 have been approved to undertake project definition planning, and 40 more have not yet received support from the Province to proceed.



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 About this blog

Welcome to the Principal's blog. I look forward to posting lots about our wonderful school.​