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So What Happens if…

As reports circulate surrounding the pending teachers’ strike and any escalation from the current phase of job action, many students have come to us (Mr. Li, Ms Hari and myself) with questions surrounding possible impacts of a change from the current phase.

Some of the questions include:

Will we get report cards for term 2?

Are Spring Sports going to be cancelled?

What about grad?

Will universities get my marks?

The reality is that we have answers to some of these questions, but can not predict others.  To begin I will address the academic questions from above.  At the time of writing, it is unclear what will happen with Term 2 report cards.  We continue to encourage students and parents to contact teachers for the most update to date information on student progress.  For contact information click here.

As for student transitions, we will continue to work with students to ensure that information is provided in a timely manner facilitating students’ transition to Post-Secondary institutions.

Regarding extra-curricular and other school events, we are unable to determine what the impact will be of any escalation from the current phase of the teachers’ strike.  As information becomes available to us, we will do our best to keep students, parents and our community apprised of the impact, if any, there might be to school life beyond the classrooms.

If you have questions of your own, please do not hesitate to add them  as responses to this post (simply add them in the comments section above) or you can send your questions through Twitter to our account @bbysouthsd41 and we will do our best to answer you there.

Thank you on behalf of your Administration.

Mr Tyler

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December Events

Yesterday Report Cards were distributed to all students.   As many of you are already aware, these reports included information on students’ attendance, as well as their courses and teachers.  Many students have downloaded a form created and available on the PAC webpage they have then taken this form to teachers to add their term 1 marks.  If parents or students have questions regarding individual student progress they should contact the individual teacher directly.  A directory of emails is available here: staff directory.  If your child has not picked up a report card, they can do so at the main office.

Other events that highlighted our month of December included 2 fantastic Holiday Concerts put on by the Music Department, the production of the play “Almost, Maine” directed by Mr. Wallace and performed by a cast of over 30 students.  Several clubs and councils held holiday events raising money for a variety of charities.  Perhaps the most visible of these events was the “Elf Auction” put on by the Community Leadership class.  Students and staff bid on “Elves” for a day of work leading the South community to raise over $500 in 45 minutes!

In a school the size of ours there are so many fabulous events put on by our students, for our students.  For a review of other Term 1 and holiday activities watch for the recent edition of our student Newspaper “South Source” coming home Friday.

On behalf of the Administration I would like to wish you a warm and happy holiday season with friends and family!

All the best for a wonderful 2012!

Mr Tyler

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Happy Halloween!

Today was a great day of Rebels’ school spirit.  Students of all grades came dressed inspired by their ghoulish thoughts and many teachers got in the act as well.  Events included the Leadership students lunch hour costume contest, the Southpoint photo shoot, and the Social Studies Deparments’ annual homage to notables from both recent and ancient history!  Below you will find a small sample of photos from today’s haunted fashion runway as a sample of some of the great work that went into costumes.  For more photos you will have to wait for the yearbook!

Homecoming

There have been many questions about the impact of the Teachers’s strike.  Many parents have been been concerned about their child’s progress and are somewhat relieved to hear through the media that reports will be issued from the schools.  What those reports look like and the extent of the  information included, is yet to be determined.

For the students, while some are concerned about receiving their marks, largely their concerns have been over the impact on student activities.  One of the most consistent questions that has been presented to the Administration is whether the annual Homecoming Formal will still happen.

We know how important this event is to our students, some have waited 3 long years looking forward to this Rebel tradition.   We are also aware that many of our students have already picked out dresses and suits in preparation for this wonderful evening. 

We are happy to report that Homecoming 2011 will be available to our grade 11 and 12 students again.  With the uncertainty created by Phase One of the teachers’ job action, a group of dedicated student leaders have taken on the planning of this event.  These students are collaborating to make this event a memorable experience for their peers. 

This year’s event will take place on November 23, 2011 at the Metrotwon Hilton at the same cost as which students have paid previously.  Please stay tuned as more information becomes available.

School Groups at Work

Last week I had the pleasure of having lunch with one of our largest clubs at Burnaby South.  The interact club now has over 100 members who meet regularly to plan activities.  These activities nearly always involve the students working towards the benefit of others.  Whether they are planning Christmas Shoe Boxes or acting as ambassadors at a Burnaby South/BCSD evening function, this group of students is always happy to help.

Here are some photos of their lunch where they hosted representatives of the Kiwanis Club for a feast of noodles and rice.  Before eating they also enjoyed some time playing a series of ice-breaker games that emphasized teamwork and fun.

Interact Lunch

Teambuilding Activities

Mr Kwan

Lunch Activities

You may be wondering “What do students do at Lunch?”  The activities that students participate in is as diverse as the student population at our school.  The gyms are always a busy place and today was no exception as you can see that several students kept themselves busy in a range of activities.

Table Tennis Club

Students and staff participating together in the Table Tennis Club.

Another group of students taking the initiative of a pick-up basketball game.

Pick-Up Bball

And multiple groups share some space playing soccer.

Futbol

It was great to see so many students sharing the gyms and keeping active by their own choices today at lunch.

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Recently,  Ms. Hari recognized there was a need to help keep parents of graduation students informed.  The result of her observation was our first Grad Parent Information night (click here to view the presentation). 

Last Thursday we had nearly 160 parents attend an information session that covered topics such as Provincial Graduation requirements, Scholarships and school sanctioned Grad activities.  The evening went smoothly and the formal presentation was followed by a general Question and Answer period.

Not surprisingly many questions surrounded concerns about the impact that the teachers’ strike may have on graduating students. There were number of questions and a high level of concern stressing to us that now, more than ever, communication from the school is a vital connection between home and students.  Yes, many students are fantastic at bringing home messages and passing on important information.  However, based on the questions we fielded Thursday night, we realized that regardless of how great our students are, we can always find new ways to get the message out.

On Thursday we told parents about our email listserve, the school’s Twitter account as well as Facebook, and if you are reading this, you are already aware of the Admin Blog!  One avenue to help with those questions is that we will take questions that you have and post responses to try and answer your queries.  Chances are, if you have a question in mind, someone else has been wondering the same thing!

So, send us your questions (yes students can ask too!) using either the Twitter account, Facebook or by commenting on one of the posts here and we will do our best to answer them.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Why join our PLN?

The first question you may be asking is “What is a PLN?”  For those familiar with our school community here at South you have likely heard the term PLC but not PLN.   PLC is a Professional Learning Community and is a very important part of our school community.  Throughout the school year we devote an hour a week where teachers commit to exploring innovative strategies to improve student learning.  While they invest their time in this activity, our students are engaged in peer led activities involving social awareness, healthy living and for our senior students, peer to peer course support for the subject of their choosing.

The PLN is similar in strategy but different in delivery.  My PLN is my Professional Learning Network.  This is a network created by me, for my personal and professional growth and I connect with these largely through Social Media.  Specifically – Twitter and LinkedIn,  Facebook and more recently GooglePlus.

Through this media I can access the experience of educators and childcare workers around the world.  Many times I have received advice and support  while engaging in discussions with people who are experiencing similar challenges or pushing new ideas that help support student learning forward.

Last year we launched our school Twitter account.  A great way to help keep our community informed about life at school and now we launched our school’s Facebook page.  These two initiatives are meant to be more that just information sites.  Afterall, if that is all we intended we could have directed you to the school website!  Our intention is to provide another way for our community to connect and respond to what is happening in our school.  For the school Twitter feed click here.  For the school Facebook page click here.

Please feel free to ask questions, post comments and engage in our school through these two sites.  As your questions and comments come in, we have an opportunity to respond to your thoughts and concerns.  I look forward to creating our own PLN right here at South.

So, Whats New?

Here we are, another year is upon us.  In fact, we are on the eve of the final day of the first week!

As you are all aware many of the opening procedures have changed as a result of the current Job Action.  With any change in past practice there is a period adjustment.  Despite the challenge that this shift in practice could have presented the students were cooperative and their patience over the past 3 days is greatly appreciated! By the end of the day today all students had the opportunity to receive a locker, agenda, photo information and pay fees.

The really great part of this process was the opportunity to see and interact with all of our students.  In a building of nearly 1800 it can be busy, so getting an opportunity for the Administration to have a few minutes with several hundred students each was great.  (I have to confess that Mr. Li and Ms Hari along with members of our office team took the bulk of the shifts!).   I can’t reiterate enough that the patience and pleasant attitude of the students helped make the opening go smoothly.

Moving forward we have our grade assemblies beginning Friday and continuing through until Monday.  I look forward to these each year as it is another opportunity to connect with our students and start the year off on a positive note.  For all the school information you can check our website click here, follow us on twitter or find us on facebook.

Until the next post…enjoy the sun, keep smiling and have a great start to your school year!

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As many educators will say, the time between spring break and the end of the year seems to go by all too quickly.  This is certainly the feeling I have this year.

It is hard to believe that we are down to the final few weeks of classes and I find the Burnaby South class of 2011 in the midst of the traditional celebrations.  Friday night was their Dinner/Dance and next Thursday May 26 they will cross the stage as part of the School Leaving Ceremonies.

It was at the dinner/dance that a student mentioned that I hadn’t posted in a while and I have to admit he is correct.  In the past month we have had so much to celebrate at South with Choir winning Gold at the Fraser Valley Kiwanis Music Festival, the Tennis, Badminton and Senior Girls Soccer teams all winning District Championship banners all while students were writing AP exams and teachers were preparing students for whatever challenges they may face after the completion of courses in June.  The Green Team promoted environmental sustainability and Leadership held Pink Week in an effort to support their Anti-Bullying campaign.

While all of these great activities were taking place the schedule is being built for next year, including course selections and timetable building.  A group of teachers is exploring ways in which students can pursue their interests and passions through Personalized Learning opportunities and Student Government is in the final stages of preparing for RebelFest.

These are just a sampling of all the great things that have been happening since my last post.  There are many other events, field trips and activities that our students and staff have represented South proudly in.  If you know of some of these topics, please add them by posting a response to this entry or send them to our Twitter account @bbysouthsd41

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