The action was unpredictable and the victories far from assured at both the Surrey Fire Fighters' Goodwill Classic and the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic tournaments.
The Panorama Ridge Thunder lived up to its team name, rolling in and upsetting the Lord Tweedsmuir Panthers in the championship game of the Goodwill Classic.
The annual all-Surrey girls high school basketball tournament, which this year saw 20 schools competing, took place at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary Jan. 3-7.
Panorama Ridge, ranked fifth in B.C. senior girls high school basketball, charged to a 76-71 victory in the final minutes of Axe division championship against the fourth-ranked Panthers.
Thunder forward Savannah Dhaliwal was named tournament MVP.
The Surrey Fire Fighters Association also gave $750 scholarships to seven players, including Simrit Bindra (Panorama Ridge), Navdeep Dhunna (Queen Elizabeth), Allison Hill (Earl Marriott), Katrina Frankenberger (Fleetwood Park), Jasmine Ghag (Tamanawis), Jessica Vidovic (Lord Tweedsmuir) and Elizabeth Wallace (Frank Hurt).
Semiahmoo Secondary won the Ladder division title, beating Guildford Park Secondary in the final.
The following week at the Surrey RCMP Basketball Classic, 22 Surrey's boys teams hit the court at Enver Creek Secondary from Jan. 10-14.
The Senior boys championship game saw the Semiahmoo Totems and Panorama Ridge Thunder go head-to-head in a nail-biting battle. The Totems got an early lead and despite the Thunder fighting back, Semiahmoo hung on for a 66-63 win, securing its first championship title in more than two decades.
The Totems' Brian Wallack was named tournament MVP.
Lord Tweedsmuir beat Semiahmoo for the Junior title.
It may still be under construction, but you can already take a close look at what Ecole Salish Secondary will look like, inside and out.
Thanks to a video prepared by KMBR Architects Planners Inc., viewers can take a virtual flight through Surrey's newest secondary school, currently under construction near 72 Avenue and 184 Street.
The school is scheduled to be ready by spring 2018, with a capacity for 1,500 students.
A public open house about the new Grandview Heights-area secondary school (image above by Craven Huston Powers Architects) is planned for Jan. 25. A second open house is scheduled Jan. 26 regarding a new elementary school in Clayton Heights (image below by Thinkspace Architecture).
Surrey Schools is hosting two open houses to inform the public about new schools coming to the Clayton Heights and Grandview Heights neighbourhoods.
The district is currently designing a new 1,500-student secondary school in Grandview Heights and a new 605-student elementary school in Clayton Heights to address overcrowding issues and growth in both areas. The Grandview school is set to be built near 168 Street and 25 Avenue, while the Clayton school will be built near 194 Street and 78 Avenue.
The Grandview open house will be held Wednesday, Jan. 25, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Pacific Heights Elementary, located at 17148 26 Ave. The Clayton open house is scheduled for Thursday, Jan. 26, 5:30-7:30 p.m. at Katzie Elementary, located at 6887 194A St.
The public is invited to drop in on the information sessions to learn more about the incoming schools. Attendees can speak to architects, as well as representatives from the Surrey School District and the City of Surrey's Parks, Recreation and Culture department.
Both open houses will feature maps, floor plans and renderings of the new schools.
Those who are unable to attend the open houses are invited to visit the online consultation platform PlaceSpeak to view resources and leave comments regarding the schools.
After productive meetings between a joint school district and Surrey Teachers' Association committee, the first phase of hiring new teachers is now underway.
The district has issued the call for 30 full-time learning support teachers, 20 integration support teachers (both positions focused on supporting students with special needs) and five elementary counsellors.
The postings will close at the end of the day Monday, January 16. However, at least 50 additional teaching positions are expected to be posted before the end of the month.
The hiring is the result of funding provided by the Ministry of Education through an interim agreement with the BCTF following the recent Supreme Court of Canada ruling on classroom conditions.
The hiring is announced in a joint communication from Superintendent of Schools/CEO Jordan Tinney and Surrey Teachers' Association president Gioia Breda.
A joint letter has been issued by Superintendent of Schools/CEO Jordan Tinney and Surrey Teachers' Association president Gioia Breda regarding the hiring of more than 100 teachers in the district.
Information sessions for Surrey's intensive fine arts, Montessori and early/late French immersion programs are scheduled through January.
Three dates are planned for parents and guardians to learn more about early (kindergarten start) French immersion programs: Jan. 5 at Cougar Creek Elementary, Jan. 10 at Laronde and Jan. 12 at Riverdale. All start at 7 p.m.
Both locations of the intensive fine arts program are hosting open houses Jan. 10. White Rock Elementary's is at 6:30 p.m., while David Brankin Elementary is holding two: at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
A Montessori program information meeting is slated for Jan. 11, 6:30 p.m. at the District Education Centre (14033 92 Ave.).
Three sessions are scheduled regarding the district's late (Grade 6 start) French immersion program. The first is at K.B. Woodward Elementary on Jan. 17, the second at Henry Bose Elementary on Jan. 18 and the third at Crescent Park Elementary on Jan. 19. All begin at 7 p.m.
Check here (or here for Punjabi) for more information about the kindergarten choice programs lottery.
For further information about all specialty and choice programs offered by Surrey Schools, check here.
Registration begins Jan. 16 for children entering kindergarten in September 2017.
Children who turn five before Jan. 1, 2018 are eligible to start school in the fall.
Kindergarten registration must be done in-person at your neighbourhood school or school of preference (if space is available). For a map of school catchment boundaries, check here and for a list of all schools, check here.
The following documents are required at the school when registering:
* proof of birth date for the students (eg. birth certificate or passport)
* proof of guardianship (eg. birth certificate or other legal documentation)
* proof of citizenship (eg. birth certificate, passport, citizenship card, landed immigrant document, permanent resident card)
* proof of address (eg. rental agreement, utility bill, driver's license)
Please note that enrolment at several schools in Surrey is already at, or over, capacity and they are therefore unable to accept out-of-catchment registrations.
Specialty and choice programs are also available. Some (French Immersion, Intensive Fine Arts, Traditional and Montessori) require kindergarten online/lottery application (Punjabi info sheet), which begins Jan. 30. For more information on applying for the kindergarten choice lottery, check here.
Students from several Surrey schools have visited senior's homes in their community this month to entertain and visit with residents.
A group of Grade 11 & 12 Sullivan Heights secondary students visited the Progressive Intercultural Community Services Society (PICS) Assisted Living facility in Strawberry Hill to provide gifts they'd prepared, as well as chat with the seniors and learn from their stories and experience. The students also learned from staff about the assisted living concept and operations.
Sullivan Heights student with PICS resident
Across town, students in the Lord Tweedsmuir secondary's Social Media Awareness Club spent time at the Zion Park Manor to sing Christmas carols and do some Christmas crafts alongside residents.
And Bear Creek elementary Grade 6 & 7 students braved the snow and ice to walk a few blocks over to the Bear Creek Villa retirement home. As part of the Classroom Champions program, the students created handmade Christmas cards containing fun, winter-themed riddles. The students also researched Christmas songs popular in the younger days of the retired residents and created a caroling playlist before trudging through the snow to deliver the cards and sing carols with their new friends (below).
Sometimes extreme weather conditions or other unusual circumstances can cause class cancellations at a school, or districtwide, on short notice. No announcement will be made that schools are open; only cancellations, closures or delayed school openings will be announced.
In the event of class cancellations, closures or delays, Surrey Schools will post information on its website at www.surreyschools.ca as soon as information is available and provide updates to the following radio and TV stations:
• CKNW (980 AM or www.cknw.com)
• News 1130 (1130 AM or www. news1130.com)
• CBC Radio (690 AM or www.cbc.ca/bc)
• Red-FM (93.1 FM)
• CTV News Vancouver
• Global News BC
Class cancellation/delayed opening information may also be posted online by the above news media as well as newspapers. Do not call the radio or TV stations as staff members are very busy receiving updates and preparing newscasts. Calling schools and district offices is also impractical since staff members are generally not available to answer telephone calls far in advance of regular school opening time and phone lines typically become congested in any event.
Weather, power, road and safety conditions can change substantially within a few hours, therefore assessments and decisions must be made as close to school opening as possible for the information to be reliable. However, the district will do its best to communicate the status of schools by 7 a.m.
Even if all schools are open, many schools can face conditions and circumstances unique to a neighbourhood. Therefore, the district encourages and respects the importance of parental decision-making regarding accessing a school, based on parents' own location and individual circumstances, their route to school and overall attention to safety. See here for more.
For information in Punjabi, click here
L.A. Matheson Secondary teachers Gurpreet Kaur Bains (in red) and Annie Ohana (to right of Bains) have been instrumental in elevating a project meant to bring South Asian heritage and history to B.C. schools. This photo was taken at an event announcing the province is providing a $248,000 grant to Indus Media Foundation to expand its display and create learning resources.
A Surrey school and its teachers are playing a key role in furthering a project to help bring South Asian heritage – through exhibition displays, resources and learning tools – to B.C. schools and community spaces.
Indus Media Foundation's display, 'Duty, Honour & Izzat – The Call to Flanders Fields,' is an interactive guided tour that commemorates the contributions of the Indian army to the First World War, where Punjabi soldiers fought alongside Canadians and suffered enormous losses.
Gurpreet Kaur Bains, Languages Department head at L.A. Matheson Secondary, has used the resource in her classes to elevate lessons about Punjabi culture, history and language.
Annie Ohana, head of the Aboriginal Department at L.A. Matheson and social justice curriculum expert, added social justice understandings and connections to the project. Both she and Bains not only helped form a volunteer corps to assist with the Indus project, but serve as student leaders in bringing it to schools.
The value of the project, they say, goes far beyond a simple narrative from a minority group.
"What elevates it above and beyond another side story…is its potential to empower the stories of others. This resource allows teachers, community members, and veterans to be recognized in new ways, and to be empowered to put forth their stories."
The provincial government awarded Indus a one-time grant of $248,000 in late November to expand the existing display and create learning tools and teacher resources to share in classrooms throughout the province. The contributions of the South Asian communities to B.C. are part of the new K-12 curriculum, which will be fully implemented by the 2018-19 school year.