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and kindness are championed every day in Surrey Schools and on Feb. 28,
students, teachers and staff will make their commitment especially visible by flooding
local schools with pink.
Day was inspired by an incident in 2008 when a Nova Scotia student bullied for
wearing pink to school. Other students who witnessed the harassment encouraged
their classmates to wear pink the next day – both to support the victim and to
send a message to those who were bullying that their behaviour wasn’t
acceptable. The response was overwhelmingly positive.
is now nationwide and on the last Wednesday in February, schools, businesses
and individuals take the day to show their support by dressing in pink.
slogan is ‘Nice needs no filter,’ focusing on online behaviour.
information, check pinkshirtday.ca
The Surrey District Science Fair is fast-approaching, with more than 200 students expected to showcase their ideas, research and innovation.
The 51st-annual fair, open to all intermediate and junior secondary students (Grades 4-8), will be held March 1 at Central City Shopping Centre (10153 King George Blvd.).
Participating schools will be allowed to send between three and five projects apiece to the district event and students may exhibit individually or in pairs.
The optional theme for 2018 is STEM: Science in Action!
The Surrey district fair is the largest and longest-running in Western Canada and celebrates the Ministry of Education goal of providing the opportunity "to develop the skills, processes, attitudes and scientific habits of mind that allow students to pursue their own inquiries using scientific methods."
Public viewing and judging of projects takes place from 5-7 p.m., with award presentations to follow. A handful of projects will also be selected to be presented at an upcoming meeting of the Surrey Board of Education.
Check here for more information.
The Johnston Heights Secondary combined junior/senior jazz band, featuring students in Grades 9-12.
For the 36th year, the Surrey Schools International Jazz Festival welcomed more than 2,000 students to the local stage.
Budding musicians from schools throughout the Pacific Northwest performed for adjudicators during the two-day event, which featured jazz and stage bands of all sizes, as well as jazz vocalists.
Students performed on the Bell Performing Arts Centre stage, as well as in the library, band room and gymnasium at Sullivan Heights Secondary.
The annual festival was started by Surrey band teacher Bob LaBonte, who nurtured the event as it grew into a successful showcase over the years. It is now run by arts education helping teacher Carol Sirianni.
Dozens of individuals and groups also receive scholarships and awards each year.
This was St. Thomas More's first year participating in the Surrey Schools International Jazz Festival.
Each year, the board's budget process and decisions are focused on achieving sustainable programs and services supporting students across the district in accordance with the board's strategic plans and objectives.
The board is offering an additional way to provide input on budget priorities for the 2018-19 school year, using the online consultation tool PlaceSpeak (www.placespeak.com/sd36budget). There, the public can access information to better understand the budget and budget process, in addition to offering feedback.
As in prior years, demand for services will likely exceed available funding and the board will be faced with difficult decisions as it works to achieve a balanced budget in accordance with legislation requirements.
Of course, suggestions about budget priorities may still be submitted via regular mail or email:
The Office of the Secretary-Treasurer
School District No.36 (Surrey)
14033 92 Ave., Surrey, B.C. V3V 0B7
Written submissions should be received no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, March 9.
For additional information and background, various district and financial reports are available HERE.
Four Surrey secondary students have been awarded scholarships of $5,000 apiece from the Horatio Alger Association.
The scholarships are awarded annually by the charitable organization to deserving students nationwide who have overcome significant adversity, while demonstrating strength of character, academic excellence, a desire to contribute to society and a commitment to pursuing higher education.
Surrey students Woojin Lim (Fraser Heights Secondary), Reina Li (Panorama Ridge Secondary), Lydia Kim (Kwantlen Park Secondary) and Mutte Chen (Semiahmoo Secondary) were all named 2018 Horatio Alger Canadian Scholars. Eighty-five students from across Canada were chosen to receive the scholarship.
"This was a stand-out year for our association in terms of the number of applications received and the quality of the applicant pool. Choosing winners was a difficult task," said Prem Watsa, president of the Horatio Alger Association. "We are honoured to help them as they strive to overcome adversity and obtain a good education."
Thousands of applications were received for the needs-based scholarship, with most coming from low-income households and many candidates having experienced hardships such as abandonment by a parent, abuse, disability/serious illness, and drug or alcohol abuse in the home.
Nevertheless, the average award recipient maintains an academic average of 89 percent and more than half also manage to hold down jobs during the school year.
Check here for a full list of recipients.
Surrey teacher Linda Dyck (fourth from left) is one of 11 people selected to judge the Global Learning XPRIZE contest, aimed at bringing education to children in developing countries.
A Surrey elementary school teacher has been chosen to be part of a global experiment aimed at helping more than 250 million children learn basic literacy and numeracy skills.
Linda Dyck, a Grade 4 teacher at Maple Green Elementary, is one of just eleven judges – and only two teachers – selected worldwide for the Global Learning XPRIZE, a $15-million contest to develop software that will allow children in remote African villages to teach themselves how to read and do simple math.
The underlying goal of the project, sponsored by UNESCO and The World Food Program in conjunction with Tanzania government, Google and a $15-million prize provided by Elon Musk, is to "enable a child to learn autonomously." Currently, about 260 million children globally do not have access to education.
"Being chosen among such a prestigious group of accomplished people and participating in such an important project has been amazing," says Dyck.
She was invited to be an XPRIZE judge after being recognized as an education leader in 2014 by the International Society for Technology in Education (ISTE).
"Being a part of such a huge project is both exciting and rewarding," she says of her latest assignment. "The best part of my ISTE Outstanding Teacher award is having this opportunity to be part of Global Learning Xprize."
The project challenged teams from around the world to design an app – in both English and Swahili – that will allow children aged seven to 10 to teach themselves. The initial 193 entrants were whittled down to five finalists, who received $1 million apiece to proceed with testing in Tanzania.
Dyck says each of the 11 judges bring varying viewpoints and expertise, including linguistics, artificial intelligence, gaming design, neuroscience and language development.
"As a judge, I have met with them all and spent a week with them reviewing and choosing the five finalists," she says. "Their insights and perspectives were thought provoking and enlightening."
More than 4,000 children in 150 remote villages have now received tablets with one of the five finalists' apps, and have begun a 15-month trial. At the end of the trial period, the children will be tested to gauge how much they were able to learn using the software. The grand prize winner will be awarded $10 million.
"This could change the lives of so many children and could be the first step in bringing education to many children in developing countries throughout the world," Dyck says.
Judging the finalists begins in February and will be an ongoing process until the final results are announced in April 2019.
Online applications are now being accepted for the 2018 kindergarten lottery for programs of choice.
The lottery applies to four programs only: Early French Immersion, Montessori, Traditional and Intensive Fine Arts.
Parents and guardians have a three-week window of opportunity to apply between Jan. 29 and Feb. 19.
Once the online application process has closed, a random automated draw will take place Feb. 26.
An email with the lottery results will be sent to all applicants during
the week of Feb. 26-March 16, when parents can accept, decline or be placed on
a waiting list.
Program seats at the various school locations will be filled until all
available spots have been allocated. If a student drops out of a program before
it begins or after it has started, the applicant who is next on the waitlist
for that place will be contacted.
SFU student and volunteer Jinder Kaler works with students at Newton Elementary during the Racing Readers after-school program, a partnership between Surrey Schools and SFU Surrey - TD Community Engagement Centre.
It’s after school on a Wednesday and while most students
have gone home for the day, 35 kids have gathered in an all-purpose room at
Their attention is on a Simon Fraser University student,
who is showing them some phrases in sign language: “hello,” “my name is,” “how
Another SFU student asks the kids to recall an incident from
the week prior, which sparks a conversation about respect, caring about others’
well-being and feeling comfortable, safe and happy. Journals come out and the
children put pen to paper, answering questions such as ‘why is respect
important?’ and ‘who deserves it?’ Then it’s off to the gym for a floor hockey
The elementary and university students are all at the Surrey
school for the same thing: Racing Readers, a weekly program that matches the
youth with the university students, who lead sessions that nurture fitness,
literacy, numeracy and social connection. The program targets students
identified as needing additional support, outside the traditional classroom
Developed through a partnership between SFU Surrey-TD
Community Engagement Centre and Surrey Schools, the program has been running
since 2014 at Newton Elementary, where there is now a waitlist to participate.
It expanded in 2016 to Betty Huff Elementary, where another 30 Surrey students now
get together with their university friends each week.
Grade 5 student Ramandeep (pictured at bottom) is happy to be attending Racing
Readers for his second year.
“I like that the volunteers are really kind and we do a lot
of physical activities, using our brains and our bodies.”
His SFU buddy, Jinder Kaler, has been volunteering with the
program for a year-and-a-half.
“I was looking to help the community,” he says, while he
helps one of the youth with their journal writing. “I was surprised how much
impact it has on the kids. They are easily influenced so it forces you to be
the best person you can. I try to be the best mentor.”
Trisha Dulku was an SFU student when the program initially
launched and now works as a community projects coordinator at the university.
She said from the outset, it was never difficult attracting university
volunteers, who are often pursuing careers working with children and want
experience, or who simply want to meet more of their university peers.
“It was exciting to see that there were so many SFU students
who wanted to get involved in the program,” she recalls.
Gagan Parhar is the program coordinator at the Newton
location. She says it’s important for her to be able to give back to students
who, like her, may have started school with English as their second language.
She also values the opportunity to have open – and sometimes deep –
conversations with the elementary children.
“Every week there’s something important that we talk about,”
she says. And every week, she is rewarded when the kids surprise her with their
insight and growth.
Student Ayaan (pictured at right) is a big fan of Racing Readers.
“I like that there’s a little bit of everything and it’s all
His favourite thing, he says, is the reading – and
everything that follows.
“When we’re done reading, we draw something from the book or
write about it,” Ayaan says. “I like it, because then you really know what you
Semiahmoo Secondary made a come-from-behind surge in the second half of the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic final to win the championship game against Tamanawis Wildcats.
The Totems faced the Wildcats Saturday (Jan. 20) at Enver Creek Secondary for the 27th-annual tournament final. By halftime, the Wildcats had an 18-point lead. But Semi dug deep in the second half, not only making a comeback, but riding the momentum to a 73-64 victory.
Tamanawis secured a spot in the championship game after beating Guildford Park 95-83, while Semiahmoo surpassed Lord Tweedsmuir 82-72 in the semi-finals to do the same.
This is the second consecutive year Semiahmoo's senior boys have won the RCMP Classic banner.
This year, the tournament welcomed more than 600 players from 22 senior and 20 junior teams representing secondary schools across Surrey.
Tamanawis beat Lord Tweedsmuir for the junior tournament title.
For more stats and information, visit http://surreybasketballclassic.info/
Did you know Surrey students have access to a wealth of rich and dynamic digital resources at school and at home? Available resources include eBooks, digital magazines, video streaming and downloads, online databases, and more!
Materials can be filtered by age range, subject/key word and language, and there are plenty of Canadian and B.C.-specific selections.
There are also free resources for parents and teachers, including everything from history to current affairs, career planning to digital literacy.