What a wild and crazy ride this week at University Hill Elementary! The news has been filled with the challenges of fulfillng the class size and composition language in the provincial contract. The good news is that class sizes are smaller and support is in place to meet the needs of our most vulnerable students. University Hill is a very desirable place to work and we are pleased to welcome teachers: Megan Lowrie, Gurinder Aujla, Holly Broadland and Pam Schofield; counsellor: Celia Lyons; School Support Workers: Haidee Tang and Megan MacLeod and Office Support: Ursula MacLeod. From my short time at University Hill, I have been impressed with the professionalism of teachers, the plethora of amazing programs, the work that has been done on the implementation of new curriculum, as well as the eagarness of teachers to continue their inquiry of new possibilities and get down to the work of creating classroom communities.
We have welcomed back students attending UHill last year, several students from other countries, a large influx of students from the Norma Rose Point catchment and several staff members new to the school. The good news is that there are many new people with different perspectives. The challenge was that teachers had to return to the drawing board to re-organize many of the classes in the school. Composing classes for the school year is a complicated venture. Teachers from the sending classes get together to discuss the best learning situation for the children who they have gotten to know over the course of the year. This includes information gleaned through classroom interactions, the student's learning profile and information from parents. This information about returning students and information about new students is used to create classes that align with the context of the receiving classes, as well as the contractual class size and composition information. The tentative organization published in June needed to be revisited to include new additions to our school community throughout summer and early September.
We appreciate your support in helping your child to come to their new classroom with the best possible attitude. Unfamiliar children and adults are new opportunities for learning and new friends. On Friday, a little bat flew into an unexpected window and ended up flat on the ground. The children and I gave that little bat some space, a place to regroup and some time to get his bearings. The little bat hid behind the flower pot for awhile and then tentatively flew up over our heads, gained speed and height and soared throungh the tall trees towards the beach. I am confident that even those children who need some support getting adjusting to their new classrooms and new students will be soaring in no time.
Thanks to Ms. McEwen's efforts, the Vancouver Whitecap's arrived on Thursday to do a great session on team building with University Hill students. Sam Lenarduzzi and his team focused on including many of our students in the session focusing on how we support our team members while developing new skills. Of course, Spike, the Vancouver Whitecap's Mascot, was a huge hit. You do not need a Twitter account to check out @UHillElementary on the school website - uhill-elem.vsb.bc.ca Only students who have a completed Media Release form on file in the office will have their pictures posted. There are three opportunities to attend a Whitecaps game with your child. Students brought home a voucher for a free ticket when an adult ticket is purchased. Enjoy!
Thanks for your patience and diligence in completing the many forms that require you attention for school supplies, current information, media release and the hot lunch program. After this initial organization, we can go about doing our job.
Due to our RCMP liaison officers doing traffic management, teachers, ICBC signage and great parent cooperation, we are off to a safe start for our students, as cars drop off and pick up students for school each day. The PAC Safety Committee did a lot of work in this area last year and their flyer with translation will be attached to the first newsletter sent home and posted on the PAC website.
On Monday we will be
fully implementing the District Safe Arrival Program. It is detailed below so you can easily post on the fridge or copy/paste this information
into your phone. You must report absences and lates by 9:30 am or you will
be receiving a call inquiring about whether your child is safe. Thank you in advance for your cooperation.
of the Safe Arrival Programme:
Reporting Student Absences:
is of paramount importance at the Vancouver School District. Ensuring student safety is a shared
responsibility. In order to assist
schools, we ask parents to notify schools of student absences. If your child
will be absent from school, please phone the school to report this absence as
early as possible. Parents should leave a message on a dedicated answering
service by calling 604-713-5159. Messages will be
received before the office is open. School offices are busy places: consistently
notifying the school in advance of your child’s absence will significantly
improve the efficiency and effectiveness of the Safe Arrival Morning Routine.
To Report Your
Childs Absence – Please Call 604-713-5159 prior to 9 am on
the first day of the absence. You will
need to enter the phone code for University Hill Elementary School - 89.
Student Sign Out Procedure
When you pick up
your child during the school day, please ensure that you sign them out at the school
office. If you do not sign out your child, they will be unaccounted for, and the
school will identify your child as a ‘missing’ student and will commence a
search of school grounds. If the school staff do not locate the child, and are
unable to reach a parent promptly, the school will call the Vancouver Police
Department. Therefore, clear communication is essential for ensuring the safety
of your child and to prevent unnecessary searches.
Thank you for
helping us keep your children safe!