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December 28
Feeling Grateful

December 2016 is my last month as vice principal at Tecumseh Elementary School.  I have been at the school long enough to work, learn, play and share  experiences with enough children and adults to make leaving a hard thing to do.  Many Tecumseh students have heard my heartfelt speech that you choose everyday if you are going to make someone else’s life a little bit better or a little bit worse.  I just realized that I have missed an important element.  You have to understand that you impact others with the things you choose to do and the things you choose not to do.  During my time at Tecumseh, particularly this past December, the Tecumseh school community has chosen to show me that they care about me.  That choice has touched me deeply.

The cards, songs, poems, books and kind words show that you understand the things that are important to me and are grateful for our time together.  I love that I have been able to help someone learn to talk to people and make friends, make someone feel special by saying hi and smiling, make someone else feel like they can kick a soccer ball or code or blog or learn English or choose who they want to be.  I’m grateful to have talked and listened and laughed and learned with you.  I appreciate that many of you have learned that strength can be physical but also standing up for what is right and believing in yourself.


Staff gave me a beautiful silver necklace with the wolf symbol crafted by Harold Alfred,  as my parting gift.  This symbol was also given to me on a card when I left Norquay Elementary School.  I love it.  As you well know, I am very interested in Indigenous ways of knowing and worked hard to further our collective understanding of our history and traditional indigenous teachings.  I take the selection of this wolf symbol as a huge compliment and inspiration.   The wolf represents great strength, is considered wise and powerful, chooses one mate for life and demonstrates strong loyalty to family.  Not a bad symbol to have chosen for you!

I’ve learned many things about strength of purpose at Tecumseh.  I love that staff signed me up for the Bike to Work Week and tested by ability to persevere until I could pedal up the hills from Kits to 41st and Commercial Street WITHOUT getting off my bike.  I love that so many in the school community invested in our We Welcome Refugees project to show the strength of our conviction that Canada is a welcoming country that demonstrates empathy and belief in what people bring to make our country stronger.  I love the enthusiasm that Tecumseh students bring to new learning and challenges.  I love that so many students have the strength to continue to try even when they fail or the task is really hard or maybe not even fair.   I also value that the families in our school community are so invested in creating a better future for their children, often in the face of significant challenges.  My Mom struggled raising two daughters and supporting her extended family as I was growing up.  I admire the same tenacity in our Tecumseh families.

Students, staff, parents and community partners have shown me in so many ways that they value the relationship we have developed over the years.  I cannot tell you how much it means to me that the relationships we have developed means as much to you, as they do to me.  I am so grateful for our time together and I wish all the very best for you in the future.

P.S.  I am also grateful to Harold Alfred for creating my very special and beautiful gift.  img_0355

December 08
Snow Event Notification

Vancouver School Board has procedures that are followed in situations where heavy snowfall might be affecting schools.

All schools in the Vancouver School Board will remain open if at all possible during snow events. Any district-wide closure will be decided by 7:00 a.m. at the latest. Details of district-wide or individual school closures will be announced through the media and the district website:
Please note that no announcement will be made stating that schools are open. Only closures and delayed openings will be announced.
Information about school closures will be sent to Metro Vancouver radio and television stations. Please check the following stations for school closure information (but do not call them):
CBC AM 690 radio, 88.1 FM
Global BC
CKNW AM 980 radio
News AM 1130 radio
Fairchild AM 1470 radio
Student safety is the first priority of the Vancouver School Board. Schools will be kept open except under extreme circumstances to provide the option of attendance for all, but the decision to attend is the responsibility of each family.
Parents/guardians are responsible for their children's safe travel to and from school. If, for any reason, a parent/guardian feels that a child cannot travel safely to school, then they should make other arrangements.
During extreme weather conditions it is also common for police and other authorities to advise citizens to avoid unnecessary travel. Parents should take this advice as well. Students will not be penalized for lack of attendance under such poor weather conditions. Students are reminded to wear appropriate clothing for the conditions. When sidewalks and roads are slippery students walking to school should take extra care.
We encourage you to review your own preparations for severe weather conditions and ensure that you are familiar with the city’s response procedures for those conditions. We request that you strictly adhere to parking restrictions in and around all Vancouver schools. Your child’s school will contact you about any changes to driving routes that may be put into effect on streets adjacent to the school.
School buses for students with special needs will attempt to operate on their normal schedule during days with snow or other severe weather. Significant changes to the bus schedule as a result of weather conditions will be reported on the district website. Should the condition of side streets require a change to the operation of school buses for our students with special needs, or any cancellation of service, affected families will be informed.
October 21
Tecumseh Receives Technology Grant of $9,050.00

​a post by Caroline Wallbridge, Principal

I am happy to announce that Tecumseh School is the very lucky recipient of a significant grant from Best Buy Canada under its ‘Best Buy School Tech Grant’ program. As a result of strong support for the application submitted by Teresa Harris, Tecumseh was one of 17 schools selected from across Canada to receive a grant.

Tecumseh will receive $9050.00 to buy equipment that will support STEM (Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics) learning. Our grant application specifically targeted purchasing Lego education products for all ages, to support engineering and coding skills.  The equipment will remain ours. Initially, the STEM Student Leadership Group will lead small groups of students from a range of grades, in activities.  Over time, this equipment will be available for teachers to use.

It will be our pleasure to host a celebratory assembly, with a representative from Best Buy present, to join us in acknowledging our good fortune.

October 20
The Great BC ShakeOut

​Tecumseh will be joining 760,000 British Columbians in practicing a worldwide Earthquake drill today.  Students will practice Drop, Cover and Hold On in order to be prepared.  We will not be parents to sign out students out at this time but evacuating to the field outside.  The biggest difference from a fire drill is that we are not in as big a hurry to get out of the building.  Once the shaking has stopped, students count until 60 before getting their coats and bags to go outside.  If the shaking starts again, they take cover and hold on and start counting from 1 again when the shaking stops. 

Check out the link on our Twitterfeed for ideas to help prepared yourself at home or at work in the event of an earthquake.

September 16
I Read, I Rock!

     Tecumseh students gathered in the gym on September 8, 2016 to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of International Literacy Day.  The UNESCO target for all children in the world to have access to free access to school is 2030.  Although conflict and lack of directed funds have served as barriers to this goal, the will to make school accessible for all children in the world continues to be strong. 

     Primary and intermediate students were broken up into two groups.  Both groups received wrist bands with “I Read.  I Rock” on them.  Bookmarks of the book character Flat Stanley catapulted primary students into a discussion of their favorite books, book characters and times to read.  Bedtime was the winning time to read with many, indicating the strong support for reading in our school community.

      Students in the Multi Aged Cluster Class (MACC) shared their experience with the Kids Lit Quiz at both the provincial and national level.  The team competing in Toronto last year won third place last year and amazed many with their knowledge of authors, book plots and characters.  Students were anxious to answer our very own quiz questions and share their favorite titles.  

     A lot of research has been done on how to improve the reading ability of our students so there are able to be successful learners.  The number one thing – READ.  The more we read, the better we get at reading.  For this reason, many classrooms have Home Reading Programs.  Making reading a daily activity in your home will help your child to better in all areas of school.  This should be an enjoyable time where you talk about books, laugh and share the things the books make you think about.  We WANT kids to LIKE reading so they will DO it!

     Primary students may enjoy BOOKFLIX that can be found by going to WEBCAT on the school website under the library tab.  The username is 39tc and the password is library.  Children can listen to the story and then follow along and read.  Some students will also be using Raz-Kids where they read the story and then answer questions.  Listening to books on tape will help children to learn new words and follow the plot but be sure to schedule time where you are decoding the text and learning all of the skills to understand written text too.

                                                                Happy Reading!​

August 31
Welcome Back To School

Another summer has flown by and it is that time of year for new beginnings.  Time to come to renew friendships, make new ones and begin a learning journey with new classmates and teachers.

Tuesday, September 6, 2016 is Back to School.

Grade 1 - 7 students report to June 2016 classrooms  from 9 - 10 am on Tuesday morning to check in.

     Students who were in Ms. Pearce's class, please report to Room 101.

Kindergarten students and their parents report to the MultiPurpose Room from 11:00 - 11:30 am to check in and say hi to the Kindergarten teachers.

Parents, grandparents and caregivers are invited to come to the Gym / Primary lunchroom for tea and coffee from 9 - 10 am while students are in class.  Hope to see you there!

June 12
Superheroes Champion Syrian Refugees via CBC Podcast

​     It all started with a suitcase on Human Rights Day on December 10, 2015.  Tecumseh students were asked to reflect on the Syrian Refugee crisis.  Students wrote letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau expressing their desire for Syrian boys and girls to live in a place without war where they could go to school in safety.  They wrote heartwarming notes to Syrian refugees so they would know that Canada is a country that values human right and was welcoming to people wanting to start new chapters of their lives.

     This project captured the mind and heart of Grade 5/6 teacher Marion Collins, who worked tirelessly to provide learning opportunities for teachers and students throughout the year in the spirit of the redesigned curriculum in British Columbia.  With the help of a grant from Promoting a Culture of Peace for Children Society, the suitcase became a symbol of the refugee experience and a work of art welcoming individuals to add their individual voice to the multicultural expression of Canada.  With the help of a grant from ReadingBC​ (BC council of the International Reading Association), the writing component of the project grew to include stories and photos of the journey to Canada of Tecumseh students, clothing with messages to Syrian refugees to go in the suitcase, reflections of what students would grab if they needed to leave home in a hurry like refugees.  

     Grade 4/5 teacher, Ms. Conley’s participated in a HumanEYES art based initiative that celebrated the diverse life experiences of young people throughout the Vancouver, Coast Salish ancestral lands.  This project documented inter-generational and inter-cultural storytelling and celebrated the importance of family and maintaining cultural roots.  The project culminated with an intergenerational cookbook filled with recipes, art and family photographs of her 4th graders that has been included in the suitcase as well.

     Last week, Science World hosted the Digital Fair of the Vancouver School Board.  Grade 5/6 students presented their Graphic Novels featuring their Refugee Superhero to equip Syrian refugees with the skills to cope with the experience.  They use captions, time labels, sounds and speech bubble to demonstrate their innovative, creative and unique style.  Most of all, they continued on the spirit of welcoming that comes from children who understand the challenges and difficulties that accompany leaving your home to start a new chapter of life in another country.​

June 07
A Letter from PAC President - Sirtaj Ali

Good Morning


I hope you are enjoying your beautiful Saturday with an awesome sunny day to start.


I just wanted to take a moment to say thank you to all of you yet again and while most of you might not remember or recall, today is the One year Anniversary of the Tecumseh Elementary Playground.  Yes, can you believe it, it has been one year already.


I know it was long yet fulfilling journey to get the kids and community a playground that could be enjoyed for years to come and without your hard work, committment and dedication, this wouldn't have been possible.


Thank you to all of the parents, students and volunteers who worked throughout the years to make all of it possible and a very special thank you to Overwaite Food Group and all of their staff who spent the entire day putting the awesome playground structure into the ground, in one day no less.  Without your generosity and more importantly your people power, it would not have been possible.  Of course we can't forget the great food, drinks and desserts provided by them as well.


So thank you for allowing Tecumseh Elementary to enjoy our First Year Tecumseh Playground Anniversary.  All of you have a footprint on the playground and your contributions and legacy will continue to live on with every kid and student who play and smile.


Thank you and enjoy your weekend.


Sirtaj Ali

PAC President

Tecumseh Elementary School​

June 01
Grade 6 Camp

​Grade 6 students, Junior counsellors from David Thompson, Ms. Harris and her daughter, Ms. Cantelon, Mr. Larson, Mr. Meredith and I had an amazing experience at Camp Elphinstone.  Special thanks to the volunteers for giving Tecumseh students this amazing opportunity.  For many of the participants, the world opens up with a myriad of outdoor opportunities for learning and fun at camp.

Check out the @Tecumseh39 Twitter feed for pictures and Ms. Froese's blog, Inquire2Empower , for some of the highlights in her blog post on Grade 6 camp.

May 09
Author Deborah Hodge Speaking at Shaughnessy Elementary School on Wednesday

​We are excited about Deborah Hodge speaking to educators and students on Wednesday.  Click here ​to read details in my blog, Inquire2Empower (

Deborah Hodge has also shared the important information about her book West Coast Wild and the redesigned curriculum in British Columbia:

West Coast Wild & How it Aligns with the New BC Curriculum

The BC Ministry of Education has implemented a new curriculum for all subjects and grades. Adoption of the curriculum by teachers is voluntary this year (2015-16) and mandatory next year (2016-17).

The new Science curriculum includes an emphasis in these areas:

            • a focus on place and locality in British Columbia

            • a strengthened focus on ecology and environmental education

            • Aboriginal perspectives reflected in the content at each grade level


West Coast Wild focuses on a specific place and locality — the book is set in BC’s Pacific Rim region of the Pacific west coast.

West Coast Wild has a strong focus on ecology and the environment — the book features a unique ecosystem where a temperate rainforest meets the sea and describes an extraordinary community of plants and animals that thrive in an interconnected web of life.

West Coast Wild acknowledges an Aboriginal perspective — by recognizing the Nuu-chah-nulth First Nations who have lived as stewards of the land and sea in this area for thousands of years. In their words, “Everything is one and all is connected.”

West Coast Wild is intended for an audience of Grades K-2. The new Science curriculum for these grades includes some specific content and learning goals that align with the content of this book:


            • life cycles of local plants and animals

            • basic needs of plants and animals (food, water, shelter and space)

            • how local plants and animals depend on their environment

            • how different features of plants and animals help them meet their basic needs         and survive in their environment

            • daily or seasonal changes and how plants and animals are affected by these

            • stewardship of the environment


Language Arts connection: West Coast Wild is an alphabet book and it presents an example of an important literary technique that can be used to encourage the development of reading and writing skills in the primary grades. 

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