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Aug 14
District and Options come to an agreement regarding joint operation of Growing Together Program

Options Community Services and the Surrey School District are pleased to announce that we have come to an agreement regarding the joint operation of the Growing Together Program at Guildford Park Secondary. Options Community Services will remain in its current location and continue to provide childcare and wrap-around services for young parents finishing their high school education until July 2020.

"The most important thing for us was providing certainty, as soon as we could, to Growing Together students as well as community families who are taking part in the provincial $10/Day Pilot Program about their access to childcare in the fall. We have achieved that," says Christine Mohr, Options CEO. "We will continue our search for a new location and we are confident that we will be able to move without disrupting childcare and services to those who count on us."

"Our board's priority is supporting our young mothers who are students of the Surrey School District as they work towards graduation and beyond," says Surrey Board of Education chairwoman Laurie Larsen. "Trustees are pleased to be able to move forward with that support in an effective manner and continue to ensure district resources are focused on our students."

 

For more information, please contact:

Christine Mohr

CEO, Options Community Services

604.584.5811 / Christine.Mohr@options.bc.ca


Doug Strachan

Manager, Communication Services, Surrey School District

778.772.5032 / Strachan_d@surreyschools.ca


Aug 12
School starts Sept. 3: Opening day information

back-to-school SurreySchools.jpgAfter a two-month summer break, students in the Surrey School District head back to class Sept. 3.

Classes for students in Grades 1 to 7 at all elementary schools begin at 10 a.m., but will end earlier than usual. It's important that dismissal times are confirmed with individual schools.

Kindergarten students are on a gradual entry schedule for the first two weeks of school, so start dates and times should again be confirmed at each school. All kindergarten students will begin regular, full-time attendance on Sept. 16.

Secondary school and learning centre schedules also vary from school to school on the first day, often depending on the grade level. (See a list of high schools and start times at link below).

Detailed information about the opening day of school on Sept. 3, as well as registration information for students who are new to Surrey Schools, is available HERE.

Aug 01
Registration info for parents & students new to Surrey Schools

Welcome new students Surrey Schools.jpgSurrey and White Rock continue to be desirable places for families to live. As such, more than 1,000 new students are expected to enter Surrey School District public schools during the 2019-20 school year!

If you are new to Surrey Schools, registration is done in person at individual schools.

  • Secondary school registration takes place Aug. 19-30 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

  • Elementary school registration is Aug. 26-30, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.


Check HERE for a list of schools. If you are not sure which school your child should attend, a boundary map is available HERE, or you may enter your address in School Locator to determine your catchment area.

Registration at our five learning centres also begins on Aug. 27, as does adult education registration.

Students may register for our online or blended learning options with SAIL (Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning) anytime at www.sailacademy.ca.

For more information, including what documents are required at the school when registering, check the Student Registration page. Parent brochures are also available in English and Punjabi.

Opening day of the 2019-20 school year is Sept. 3.

Jul 31
Grade 12 exam results

**UPDATE**

The Ministry of Education has indicated the issue has been resolved and revised transcripts will be posted by July 31.

See Minister Rob Fleming's statement regarding the student transcript issue.


Background:

B.C. school districts have been notified by the Ministry of Education that there was an anomaly in the tabulation of the Grade 12 provincial exam results. Ministry staff members are working to identify and resolve the issue.

The ministry is reviewing each June 2019 exam result to ensure student grades are accurately reflected on their transcripts. The ministry has also contacted post-secondary institutions in B.C. and across Canada to inform them of the issue to help ensure no student applications are affected. It will work with others outside Canada as needed.

The sending of printed copies of transcripts and diplomas will be delayed by a couple of days, according to the ministry.

Students are advised to wait until final exam results are re-posted before deciding if they need to re-write the provincial exam on Aug. 8.

The ministry will post any updates on the issue to the Student Transcript Service website.

Jul 25
Celebrity chefs offer a “pizza” proficiency to students at cooking camp

SuperChefs.jpg


Retired BC Lions coach and CFL hall-of-famer Wally Buono (above, centre), and MasterChef Canada winner David Jorge (above, right) provided tasty tips as they each prepared a pizza at the Dr. Greg's SuperChefs Cookery for Kids camp at Johnston Heights Secondary.

Dentist and philanthropist Dr. Greg Chang (above, left) established the SuperChefs program to provide nutrition education and culinary skills, as well as sports activities for children, during the summer. The program has been available at Surrey Schools since 2010 and is provided around the world.

Dr. Greg's SuperChefs for Kids was recognized at the event by the TD Bank for "embodying exceptional dedication" to the community.

In his address at the event, Surrey Board of Education trustee Garry Thind pointed out the SuperChefs program is provided at no cost to students' families.

"Our board continues to be proud to partner with SuperChefs to offer such a great learning experience for children that also happens to be so engaging and entertaining and completely free to families," says Thind.

The program has expanded in Surrey Schools over the last two years to include an adapted version for students with special needs.

Jul 23
Surrey teacher honoured by Rick Hansen Foundation for accessibility & inclusivity initiatives

Renuka Senaratne.JPG


When Renuka Senaratne was in Grade 10, a man named Rick Hansen was just beginning his Man in Motion World Tour.

Her teacher asked if anyone wanted to help do some fundraising, and teenaged Renuka got on board.

"We didn't know who he was or what he would become," she says, recalling that a year later, she and some classmates got to go to BC Place to witness Hansen's tour finish. "It was so exciting and so amazing to learn about the obstacles he had overcome."

Several years later, Senaratne was attending UBC when she faced her own health crisis and found herself in need of a wheelchair and learning about disability, access and inclusion struggles.  Uncertain how permanent her incapacity might be, she was understandably shook. The Disability Resource Centre where she would go for support happened to share an office with the Rick Hansen Foundation at the time.

"At one point, Rick Hansen was in the office and I had a chance to meet with him and talk to him," she remembers. "It gave me that extra boost of encouragement I needed."

Fast forward many years. Teaching degree in-hand, Senaratne was working at Janice Churchill Elementary when Hansen began his 25th-anniversary Man in Motion tour. She was one of thousands of medal bearers chosen to re-create his original cross-Canada trek, and completed a portion of the journey on 152 Street in Surrey – and again, met Hansen.

Her life repeatedly had the pair crossing paths, so when she received word recently that she won an award from the Rick Hansen Foundation, it seemed things had come full circle from that day in Grade 10 when she first heard his name and learned about his inspiring message.

RHF difference Maker.jpgSenaratne has been chosen a 2019 Educator Difference Maker of the Year, for her many inclusive initiatives, such as improving school accessibility, inviting Rick Hansen Foundation Ambassadors to her school, speaking openly about her own disability and abilities with her students, raising awareness about inclusive opportunities and sharing information about adaptive sports.

"It was pretty exciting," she said about receiving this recognition, her certificate and a personal letter from Rick Hansen, "especially because he's somebody I admire, as well."

Senaratne, who now teaches at Hillcrest Elementary, was nominated by principal Daljeet Rama at Janice Churchill Elementary, where Senaratne taught for 18 years.

"From the first day I met her, using her crutches and wheelchair, she was able to demonstrate her strength of character and express her ideas to make our school a better place," said Rama in her nomination. "By expressing her opinions and bringing her perspectives, she assisted with changes around our school that will help the lives of other students in wheelchairs for years to come."

Rama noted that the front parking lot has a paved surface instead of loose rock, thanks to Senaratne's advocacy, and the hallways are more accessible, so there's room for two wheelchairs to pass one another.

In addition to her work to improve physical inclusivity at the school, Senaratne promoted inclusion of students in wheelchairs and helped to educate staff and students and arrange speakers and presentations. She also prepared materials surrounding the Paralympics and brought a gold medalist to the school twice. She bridged a valuable connection with the Rick Hansen Foundation that continues at Janice Churchill Elementary, Rama said.

"Renuka Senaratne brought meaningful experiences to our school and others' lives on a daily basis," she added. "She teaches and shows on a daily basis how to turn impossible to possible."

Senaratne says her motivation comes partly from her own experiences and also from what she observes. Striving for and demonstrating accessibility and inclusion for all, she says, benefits everyone.

"When we focus on our abilities and share stories of struggles or success with students they learn that all of us can set goals, work toward those goals and achieve them," she says. "It has also helped encourage empathy in the classroom."

Jul 19
New day camps = summer fun for children with cancer, blood disorders

Caped girls Surrey City Camp.JPG

With kids of all ages playing basketball in the gym and others creating personalized superhero capes in a craft room next door, it appears the summer day camp running at Surrey's A.H.P. Matthew Elementary is like any other.

And in many ways it is – there's an array of themed activities every day, snacks and lunch and lots of playtime indoors and out.

The main difference is that the children taking part are living with ­– or beyond – cancer and blood disorders.

City Camp, a new program offered by West Coast Kids Cancer Foundation (WCK) in partnership with Surrey Schools, is for kids aged six to 12. It's the first time WCK has worked with a school district to offer such day camps and so far, it's been "phenomenal," says Shannon Hartwig, theKrish with spider.JPG foundation's executive director.

She says the concept arose following the realization that there were cultural barriers and sensitivities to things such as overnight sleepovers or coed environments stopping parents from signing up for other camps.

"We realized the best move forward was day camp, because then they can play all day and they have the comfort of going home," said Hartwig.

Organizers looked to Surrey due to its demographics and cultural diversity. It was an added bonus that Surrey Memorial Hospital, which has a pediatric oncology unit, is nearby.

Camper Naila Abdi is just seven years old and has a sickle cell disease. That didn't stop her from soaring around the room in her shiny blue cape. She said she's had a ton of fun making crafts and new friends, and though it's the first summer camp she's ever attended, wasn't scared – once she realized it didn't involve a tent in the woods.

"I thought I had to go to the forest for summer camp," she said.

The pilot program has been an inspiring experience for camp coordinator Kelsey Merritt. She says the key is removing barriers – both for the participating children and their families – so they can forget their worries and have fun.

Not only does the camp also welcome siblings of children facing cancer or blood disorders, but scheduling is flexible, so that kids who need to skip a day to attend treatment, or who aren't feeling well, can come another day.

Volunteers will even step up with transportation help, if needed. When some kids didn't show up earlier in the week, camp organizers surprised the parent with a phone call.

"Mom was like, 'I'm swamped. My littlest one who's really sick needs to go to the hospital,'" said Hartwig, "and we just said, 'we'll come pick up your kids then.'"

 

High school students volunteering

Another unique aspect to the camp is that students from Surrey secondary schools are helping out.

Paul Bruce, a Surrey Schools career facilitator, put out the call to schools and chose 12 volunteers in Grade 11, 12 and recent grads. For two weeks prior to the camps starting, students attended workshops and information sessions, and were briefed about illness, grief and loss by experts.

Mandy Bhabba, a Grade 11 student at L.A. Matheson Secondary, hopes to pursue a career in social work and knew City Camp would be the perfect learning opportunity.

"It's been amazing. The kids are so awesome – they have so much energy," she says, noting it's nearly impossible to tell if any of the children are facing illness.

"They have just as much energy and they're just as crazy as all the other camps I've done. I don't see them as any different than any other kids I've worked with. They're so resilient and strong."

Jeff Randhawa, Community Schools Partnership coordinator, said the district is monitoring the success of the new summer program and considering how to extend the partnership and keep the children connected to the mentors and to the program.

Ultimately, he says, that would also include having the high school student volunteers mentor new students from year to year.

For more information about City Camp, which continues July 22-28 in Surrey, check wckfoundation.ca

masked superhero City Camp.JPG

Jul 16
New course has Surrey students cooking with confidence this summer

Culinary summer Surrey Angelina Bajwa.JPG

Angelina Bajwa, a Grade 10 student at Enver Creek Secondary, is one of 18 students enrolled in a new Culinary, Baking and Meatcutting summer course being taught by teaching chef Mike Doyle.


While many students have left school behind for a couple of months, a group of about 18 teens at Enver Creek Secondary are spending half their summer not only cooking and eating, but earning course credits while they're at it.

The Culinary, Baking and Meatcutting trades exploration class is a new addition to the Surrey School District's summer school offerings. Taught by chef Mike Doyle, the program draws students from various Surrey secondary schools and is designed to introduce them to three apprenticeable trades in the hospitality industry.

There are about 18 students in Grades 8-12 enrolled, each for different reasons.

Culinary summer Surrey Tej Kaur.JPGTej Kaur (at right), who is going into Grade 11 at Fraser Heights Secondary, is interested in cooking, and also anticipates an academically heavy couple of years ahead.

"I wanted to take a summer school course to get something done early. This looked really intersting and it's been really good so far – I'm really enjoying it," she says. "It's a fun summer school course. It's not like science or math."

Each day Doyle demonstrates what's to be done that morning, and the teens get busy doing everything from deboning a chicken to preparing dough, dicing vegetables to whipping up a decadent chocolate mousse. And of course, eating their wares and ensuring the industrial kitchen is left as clean as they found it.

Angelina Bajwa, a Grade 10 student at Enver Creek Secondary is passionate about cooking and wants to pursue a career in the culinary field, so the new summer course is one she hopes kickstarts her future.

"It's not basic," she says of the advanced techniques taught. "We're introduced to new things."

That's Doyle's goal – to not only have students engaged and enjoying themselves, but expose them to new methods and skills, as well as teaching them where food comes from and how easy something like mayonnaise or salad dressing can be to make.

"It's cool for kids to see that with a few simple ingredients… 'I put it together – I can make it myself'," Doyle says.

He's also made a point of having students work with a different parnter each day.

"That way, they all get to know each other," he says. "And I explained that in the kitchen, you don't get to choose who you work with. Any job is like that."

As well as being treated to visits from guest chefs, students will go on a field trip to the Pacific Culinary School on Granville Island for a tour and meal.

Culinary summer Surrey pizza oven.JPG

Jul 10
Surrey student-approved summer reading ideas for all ages

With school out and summer break officially launched, there's often more time to read – not to study and not because the teacher said to – but for pure enjoyment.

If you're looking for some fresh ideas, we have some winning youth and children's titles that have been endorsed by Surrey students.

Each year Surrey School District teacher-librarians support three readers' choice award programs in which Surrey students have an opportunity to participate. The Surrey Teens Read program is available to secondary students, while the Surrey Picture Book of Winning teen book 2019 One of Us is Lying.JPGthe Year and Surrey School's Book of the Year programs are for elementary students. Students vote on nominated titles throughout the year and the books with the most votes in each category

The winning novel in this year's Surrey Teens Read contest was One of Us is Lying, by Karen M. McManus. The book, chosen from a list of 10 nominated titles intended for young adults, Follows the lives of four different students who are in detention and become suspects in another student's death. You can also view the winning youth novels and nominees from the past five years (under 'Results' tab) and check out the new list of nominees for 2019-20.

Winning intermediate book 2019 Mighty Jack.JPGThe Surrey Schools Book of the Year for 2019, geared toward elementary school students in intermediate grades, was Mighty Jack, by Ben Hatke. The graphic novel follows a boy tasked with watching his autistic sister over the summer, and their adventures after a mysterious box of seeds they plant grows a magical garden behind their house. View past winners in this category, and see the list of 10 intermediate reader nominees for 2019-20.

Winning primary book 2019 The Bad Seed.JPGThe Surrey Picture Book of the Year, aimed at primary-level readers, was The Bad Seed. Written by Jory John and illustrated by Pete Oswald, the book as about a mischievous seed who's been bad for as long as he can remember, but one day decides he might want to be happy. See all the other primary reader nominees and past winners.

Surrey Libraries also has a free Summer Reading Club for kids of all ages, as does the White Rock branch of Fraser Valley Regional Library.

Jul 08
13 Surrey students spending July in universities across Canada

Thirteen students from Surrey Schools have been selected to spend a month in Shad summer enrichment programs at various universities across Canada.

Shad Canada is a STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts and math) and entrepreneurship program for students in Grades 10 and 11 that offers an opportunity for students to live on campus, attend seminars, labs and workshops, and interact with faculty and experts.

SHAD-logo.jpgThis year's group of Surrey students represents six different local secondary schools. They join about 1,000 other students from across the country who earned a Shad spot. Applicants are selected based on their well-roundedness, academics, creativity/innovation and extra-curricular involvement. Since 1984, more than 250 Surrey students have attended Shad.

In addition to meeting peers from every part of Canada, participants are asked to develop a plan and prototype that solves a real-world issue. This year, students have been tasked with creating an original and impactful product to help Canadians reduce their waste.

Near the end of the program, Shad participants will display their projects during an event held at each campus on July 25.


Here are the Surrey students selected and where they're spending the month of July:

Elgin Park Secondary

Max Follett, Grade 10 – Mount Allison University


Fleetwood Park Secondary

Martin Ye, Grade 11 – York University

 

Fraser Heights Secondary

Kitty Li, Grade 11 – Carleton University

Grace Kim, Grade 11 – Ryerson University

Jenny Sui, Grade 11 – University of Waterloo

Sehaj Singh, Grade 11 – York University

North Surrey Secondary

Ayush Kaul, Grade 11 – York University

Owen Scott, Grade 11 – University of Calgary

 

Queen Elizabeth Secondary

Anjali Dhaliwal, Grade 11 – McMaster University

Kaitlin Law, Grade 11 – York University

 

Semiahmoo Secondary

Alisha Duggal, Grade 11 – Dalhousie University

Jessica Yao – Grade 11 – McMaster University

Bethany Poon, Grade 11 – University of Saskatchewan

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