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Jun 18
Surrey students medal at Skills Canada National Competition

Skills Canada Sam S.JPG

Earl Marriott Secondary student Sam Schweigel receives his silver medal for Website Design at the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition.


Skills Canada 2018 Samantha Hsu and Julie Ma.pngSurrey students who competed at the Skills Canada National Competition in Edmonton recently made B.C. proud by making their way onto the podium.

Earl Marriott Secondary student Sam Schweigel won silver in Website Design, and Samantha Hsu and Julie Ma (right), from Fraser Heights Secondary, teamed up to secure bronze in 2D Computer Animation. Sukhman Brar from Princess Margaret Secondary also competed in the Electrical Installations category.

The top two qualifiers at nationals compete head-to-head at next years national competition in Nova Scotia, with the winner possibly joining Team Canada at the world competition in Russia.

Check here for the results from the 2018 Skills Canada National Competition.

Jun 15
Ray Shepherd Elementary’s ‘G is for Grandfriends’ program wins award

Ray Shepherd grandfriends Group2.jpg

(Back row, left to right) Surrey school trustee Laurae McNally, Caroline Melm and Charan Gill (both from the BC Retired Teachers' Association), and teachers Colleen Siple, Ellen Petersson and Lisa Tome, with seniors from Evergreen Care Home and Ray Shepherd Elementary students.


When Carter Cullen was in Grade 1, he and his classmates at Ray Shepherd Elementary began visiting seniors at Evergreen Baptist Care Home.

Now in Grade 5, he says going to see his "grandfriends" remains one of his favourite things to do.

"Ever since the first time I was there, I could hardly wait to go back," Carter says. "Looking at their smiles always makes me feel happy inside."

Ray Shepherd grandfriends Group1.jpgCarter spoke at a special event at Ray Shepherd where the school's "G is for Grandfriends" program was honoured by the B.C. Retired Teachers' Association (BCRTA).

The Golden Star Award acknowledges programs that have developed rich and transforming relationships between students and seniors in their communities. The Surrey school was among just five recognized provincewide.

Established in 2009, Ray Shepherd's intergenerational program involves three classes – those of teachers Ellen Petersson, Lisa Tome and Colleen Siple – which visit Evergreen once a month, connecting with residents and enriching their days with music, arts and crafts and games.

Student Nico Van Nuland-McDonald said he was nervous initially, but soon realized how meaningful the student visits are.

"It's our privilege to bring them joy. They smile, I smile," he said, looking toward a row of seniors who travelled to Ray Shepherd for the award ceremony. "Your happiness is our happiness."

BCRTA's Charan Gill and Caroline Melm presented the school with a trophy and a $1,500 cheque to further enhance the program.

Gill noted that one of the things that stood out about the Ray Shepherd grandfriends program was the mutual learning and respect between the students and seniors.

As Nico said, the program has proven "no matter how old you are, you can still have fun together."

Jun 14
Queen Elizabeth Secondary students earn $5,000 for Surrey Urban Mission

QE philanthropy win.jpg

Grade 10 Queen Elizabeth Secondary students Manveer Sidhu, Harnoor Cheema, Catherine Huinh and Jessica Basra present a $5,000 cheque to Surrey Urban Mission executive director Mike Musgrove after winning the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative.


A group of Queen Elizabeth Secondary students is helping make a difference in the lives of those in need, after their advocacy garnered $5,000 for Surrey Urban Mission (SUM).

The students were participants in the Youth and Philanthropy Initiative (YPI), which grants hundreds of thousands of dollars to community-based social service charities each year, based on the research, presentations and support of secondary students.

About 40 groups at Queen Elizabeth have been participating in YPI throughout the year, giving presentations about their chosen charities. Three groups faced judges in the finals, with Grade 10 students Manveer Sidhu, Harnoor Cheema, Catherine Huinh and Jessica Basra's group winning first place.

The students not only explained and created a visual representation of SUM's initiatives, but used Kahoot (an online quiz platform that specializes in game-based learning) to make the presentation interactive and encourage audience participation.

They also spoke about how the money would benefit the organization, and about their experience volunteering to serve breakfast to the mission's clientele.

"Sometimes when you look at them, you can't really tell the difference… that they're struggling," acknowledged Huinh.

Mike Musgrove, executive director at SUM, visited the school to receive the cheque from the QE students, whose efforts he praised.

"We've had other YPI groups come in and compete on our behalf and we haven't had anyone succeed," he said. "So, this is just an amazing result and we are absolutely thrilled. We are beside ourselves."

SUM provides meals, shelter and support to community members in need.

Musgrove said SUM is looking to improve the shelter and upgrade from mats on the floor to cots, as well purchase pillows and extra sheets for shelter guests. The student-generated funds, he said, means the improvements can go ahead.

"It's unbelievable, and your timing is phenomenal," Musgrove said. "Now we have no concerns. We know that we have the money…"

The students were thrilled their philanthropic efforts were successful.

 "We never thought we'd win," said Basra.

This is the 10th year Queen Elizabeth Secondary has run the YPI program.

Jun 11
Summer learning opportunities in Surrey

​Surrey Schools offers a variety of summer learning opportunities for students.

For secondary students, full-credit courses are offered during morning or afternoon sessions July 4 to Aug. 3 at five locations: Clayton Heights Secondary, Earl Marriott Secondary, North Surrey Secondary, Princess Margaret Secondary and Queen Elizabeth Secondary. Grade 10-12 courses are offered in a variety of English, math, languages, physical education, sciences summer learning.JPGand social studies options. Please note that not all courses are available at all sites.

Secondary-level remedial courses, for students who have taken a course already and want to better their mark or increase their knowledge, are available at Clayton Heights and Queen Elizabeth Secondary schools in July during morning or afternoon sessions.

For students who are entering Grade 10, Surrey Schools also offers Skills Exploration from July 4-27 at Princess Margaret Secondary. The course gives students a hands-on introduction to a variety of trades, including plumbing, carpentry, electrical and welding.

For more information about summer learning for secondary students, check HERE.

Registration closes June 25 and re-opens July 3 at the summer school sites.

Summer learning for kindergarten to Grade 7 students is done by referral by classroom teachers. Please contact your child's teacher or school principal for further details.

Jun 07
Frank Hurt Secondary student lands $100K scholarship

Becca_Lim_photo_1.jpgBecca_Lim_photo_3.jpgFor the third time in the past four years, a Frank Hurt Secondary student has been selected as a Schulich Foundation scholar and awarded thousands in scholarships to pursue post-secondary education.

This year, Rebecca (Becca) Lim, a Grade 12 student, has been chosen to receive $100,000 to study biomedical engineering at the University of B.C.

There are just 50 Schulich Leader Scholarships awarded each year across Canada and more than 1,300 high school students are nominated nationwide.

Lim credits the "dedicated and supportive" staff at Frank Hurt for much of her success.

"They go above and beyond to ensure students receive the personalized support they deserve," says Lim. "They guide us through challenging times, root for our success, and always look out for our best interest. From classroom teachers to administrators to support staff and counselors, the Frank Hurt staff are simply extraordinary."

Lim was not only recognized for her outstanding academic achievements, but also for her tireless and varied involvement in numerous extra-curricular activities. She not only plays, but coaches minor hockey, as well as leading Frank Hurt's STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) club.

Schulich Leader Scholarships are awarded to the "best and brightest" graduates who are enrolling in STEM undergraduate studies at participating universities in Canada and Isreal. The idea is that with their university expenses covered, they can focus their time on their studies, research projects, extracurriculars, and entrepreneurial ventures.

"They are the next generation of technology innovators," the Schulich Foundation states.

Frank Hurt grad Ali Janjiana, now a UBC student, was named a Schulich scholar last year, as was 2015 graduate Wylee Fitz-Gerald, who attends the University of Victoria.

"We have a huge community-minded staff and student population," says Jen Anderson, career facilitator at Frank Hurt Secondary, of the school's record landing Schulich scholarships. "There is a lot of support for students to get involved at school and in the community and learn more about the world around them."

Lim agrees, saying the school possesses an atmosphere that cultivates ambition.

"We're a culturally diverse school with students talented in a variety of areas, including academics, athletics, applied skills, and fine arts - and we work together to support each other in our pursuits," says Lim. "Despite attending an inner-city school, students feel empowered to set and strive to achieve goals that may at first appear outside their realm of possibility."

Jun 06
Royal Heights Elementary welcomes VSO’s Maestro Tovey for his last school visit
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Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's retiring conductor Maestro Bramwell Tovey made the last school of his VSO career to Surrey's Royal Heights Elementary.

As the Maestro's music echoed through the Royal Heights Elementary gymnasium, some swayed, others clapped along and one small student in the front row held his arms above his head, conducting the conductor who was playing the piano.

The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra's Maestro Bramwell Tovey was at Royal Heights June 4 for a once-in-a-lifetime concert for students, staff and special guests – an event that also marked Tovey's very last school visit before the conductor of the VSO retires after 18 years.

_VSO Bramwell Tovey Royal Heights Elem with Anshal.jpg"I've been to hundreds of schools and done hundreds of talks like this, and this is the last one!" he told the audience at Royal Heights, "And it's so great to come on such a beautiful day to such a beautiful school and to play such a beautiful piano."

He proceeded to play several songs, highlighting a variety of styles and composers. He also showed off his composing expertise by playing an impromptu composition especially for Grade 3 student Anshal Prasad (whose birthday was that day) using the letters of her name.

_VSO Bramwell Tovey Royal Heights Elem pointing.jpgRoyal Heights was treated to Tovey's visit after receiving the VSO Connects grant, which not only included the Meet the Maestro module, but involved a student tour of the Orpheum Theatre in Vancouver.

Seniors from Kinsmen Place Lodge were also invited to the school for the afternoon of music. As Tovey played his final tune for the full crowd ­– Don't Get Around Much Anymore – the crowd clapped along, cheering and applauding the maestro as he took his final bow. Afterward, he took time to play a couple of additional songs for the senior guests, some of them singing along to As Time Goes By and Blessed Assurance.

"There wasn't a dry eye in the room," said Royal Heights principal Catherine Hanna.




May 31
Student talent on track at district-wide elementary meet

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Eli VanHulsentop, a Grade 6 student at South Meridian Elementary, clears the bar during high jump competition at the 2018 Barry Morley Memorial Track Meet at Bear Creek Park in Surrey. Below right, Mehar Bajwa, a Grade 6 Prince Charles Elementary student, makes an attempt in Bantam boys long jump.


_Elementary track meet 2018 Mehar Bajwa Prince Charles El.jpgHundreds of budding Surrey track stars have descended on Bear Creek Park track for the 44th-annual Barry Morley Memorial Track Meet.

The six-day event welcomes students from 100 of Surrey School District's elementary schools to compete in sprint and distance running events, high jump, triple jump, long jump, shot put, discus and relays. Schools compete against one another based on their enrolment size (tiny, small, medium, large, extra-large and big) and students are categorized according to age (tyke, peewee and bantam).

The meet was named for Barry Morley, who began teaching in Surrey in the 1960s and was instrumental in starting the district track meets and creating the schedule that is still in use today. The high-energy, multi-day event is made possible by the efforts of teachers, parents, current and retired school administrators, trustees and secondary students.

This year's competitions began May 29 and continue until June 6.

_Elementary track meet 2018 tyke girls 80m.jpg Above, Tyke girls prepare for their 80m sprint. Below, Leif Jensen, in Grade 7 at Ray Shepherd Elementary, runs ahead of the pack in a 1500m Bantam boys race. 

_Elementary track meet 2018 Leif Jensen Ray Shepherd El.jpg

May 22
Help us name two new Surrey elementary schools

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A rendering of the new Edgewood-area elementary school planned near 166 Street and 23 Avenue in Surrey.    courtesy thinkspace architecture


Surrey School District has a pair of new elementary schools in the works and we need your help naming them.

Participate in local history by making a suggestion – or two – for the newest schools slated to be built in the South Surrey area.

The Surrey Board of Education is inviting submissions from the public to help name schools in the following locations:

 

•          17335 2 Ave. – Douglas/Dufferin Park-area elementary (Site 180)

•          16666 23 Ave. – Grandview/Edgewood Drive-area elementary (Site 206)

 

According to school board policy, school names should reflect the history or geography of the neighbourhood or community. Special consideration is given to names that have significant meaning to students and members of the community.

Email suggestions and if desired, a short explanation, by June 8, 2018 to schoolnames@surreyschools.ca.

Please be sure to indicate the school site number beside each name suggestion.

(As there are often many submissions of the same name, or close variations, acknowledgement is not given for selected names).

May 18
Everyone wins as Surrey’s Special Track Meet celebrates 10 years

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Darcy Pederson (right), a Grade 4 student at Adams Road Elementary, runs toward the finish line at the 2018 Special Track Meet.


They ran, they jumped and they threw and, judging by the smiles and laughter, had a blast doing it.

Hundreds of Surrey elementary school students with varying needs were at the South Surrey track over two days to take part in the 10th-annual annual Special Track Meet.

A Zumba warmup – including some Macarena dancing – was quickly followed by sprints (80, 150 and 350m). All students were awarded ribbons of multiple colours, depending on the event, presented by volunteers and officials at the finish line.

"I won!" said a Strawberry Hill Elementary student, high-fiving a nearby adult as he was awarded his second ribbon of the day. "And I won my last race, too."

Others burst through the ribbon finish line with their arms in the air to celebrate their victory.

Field events included long jump, an obstacle course, softball throw, Frisbee toss and tee hitting. There was also a Pin Trading Station on site and fundraising concession. 4x60m relays closed out the event.

Each competitor also received a medallion and a McDonald's coupon for a free ice cream cone.

_Special Track Meet Gerald Scott-Gilders Hyland Elementary Surrey.jpg

Gerald Scott-Gilders, a Grade 3 student at Hyland Elementary, is awarded a ribbon from Surrey Schools Supt. Jordan Tinney.

May 17
Are you getting the message?

With so many options to communicate these days, Surrey Schools wants to know if parents, staff and students are getting the information they need, when they need it and in the way that works best for them.

Surrey Schools communications survey 2018.jpgThe district has launched a review of its communications efforts so we can ensure we are communicating with you effectively and efficiently.

A critical part of the review is our online survey so we can hear directly from you what works well and what doesn't. The results will guide us in making changes to serve you better.

The survey is anonymous and will take about 15 minutes. If you choose, you can also enter a draw for an iPad after completing the survey.

Don't put it off though, the survey closes at 11:59 p.m., Monday, May 28, 2018.

We encourage you to share the survey link: surreyschools.ca/communicationssurvey.

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