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Sep 26
Heart-Mind conference aims to help cultivate resilience in children

Heart-Mind2016Surrey.JPG

The 4th-annual Heart-Mind conference comes to Surrey this October, focusing on child development, education and mental health.

Surrey Schools has partnered with the Dalai Lama Center for Peace and Education to present the two-day event. With a theme of Cultivating Resilience, it is designed for people who care for and teach children and youth, including educators, parents and community members.

The conference will feature some of the leading minds on social and emotional learning, with the goal of addressing the Dalai Lama's question: "How can we educate the hearts of children?"

Presenters include Kimberly Schonert-Reichl, Shelley Moore, Michael Ungar, Linda Lantieri, Dzung Vo, Monique Gray Smith and Eli Puterman. Maria LeRose will serve as moderator.

Heart-Mind 2016 takes place Oct. 21-22 at the Bell Performing Arts Centre. Click here to register.



Sep 08
Surrey School District welcomes province-wide anti-bullying initiative

​The Surrey Board of Education welcomes the announcement by the Minister of Education to ensure all school boards in the province include sexual orientation and gender identity in anti-bullying policies.

Surrey's board began development of a comprehensive Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity regulation in fall 2012 and adopted the new regulation in June 2013. The regulation was developed by a working group consisting of parents, students, employee groups and district staff.

Student and staff communication, staff resource development and training, parent education and curriculum materials were developed and implemented in 2013 and work continues today to "ensure that LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning) members of school communities and their families are welcomed, accepted and included in all aspects of education and school life", as stated in the district regulation.

Quotes:

Surrey Board of Education chairperson Shawn Wilson

"Our trustees are proud of the fact we pursued this important initiative with the involvement of our school communities four years ago and—although the work continues—we are well along the path of promoting safety, respect and acceptance of LGBTQ students and others in our schools."

Surrey School District superintendent Dr. Jordan Tinney

"Having a policy is an important first step, but we must constantly work together toward inclusive and supportive environments for all students, staff and community members. As with many things, we are well on our way, but this is an ongoing journey."

Surrey Teachers Association president Gioia Breda

"Surrey has completed the first step; we have policy and regulation that ensures the safety and inclusion of LGBTQ staff, students and family members.  We know teachers want to create safe and inclusive spaces for our students. Moving forward we need to continue to listen to the voices and experiences of queer youth and look for more opportunities to work together to further understand how to create more supportive, inclusive environments where LGBTQ staff and students can feel safe to be their authentic selves."

Student Anthony Hope (Surrey School District grad & District Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Policy Working Group member)

"This is very welcome news and I am optimistic that thousands of students, staff and parents across the province will greatly benefit from a safer, more inclusive school environment. I applaud all of the school districts and independent school systems who have stepped up and already included sexual orientation and gender identity into their anti-bullying policies - like Surrey in 2013 - and am thrilled by today's announcement to expand these to all districts and schools."

PDF of news release

Sep 06
Here we grow again!

As an estimated 1,000 new students enter Surrey schools this fall, the Surrey School District continues to have the largest enrolment in B.C. with more than 71,000 learners.

The district has been working hard to complete building upgrades, as well as build space for the fast-growing student population, and some of those classrooms are ready for the new school year.

A 10-classroom addition has been completed at Adams Road Elementary in the north Cloverdale neighbourhood, while Rosemary Heights and Morgan Elementary have new two- and four-classroom additions, respectively. The added space at Rosemary Heights and Morgan will eliminate the need for portables at the two South Surrey schools. Adams Road will retain four of the 13 portables it had last year.

The construction of the much-anticipated Salish Secondary is well underway in north Clayton near 184 Street and 72 Avenue. Expected to be completed by spring 2018, it will have a capacity of about 1,500 students and ease the pressure at Lord Tweedsmuir Secondary and Clayton Heights Secondary schools, which are both well over capacity.

Lord Tweedsmuir continues to operate on an extended day schedule to accommodate more students, and has 18 portables on site – the most of any Surrey school. Sullivan Heights Secondary also has an extended day schedule and has 14 portables. Both Sullivan and Lord Tweedsmuir have capped in-catchment enrolment this year. Thirty of Surrey's elementary schools are closed to out-of-catchment enrolment due to space constraints.

In all, the district has roughly 275 portables in use this year – about the same number as last year.

The Surrey Schools facilities department was busy over the summer, doing approximately $7-million in work at various schools, including drainage and mechanical upgrades, re-roofing, re-flooring and parking lot repairs throughout the district. The exterior of 11 schools was also repainted, gym floors were refinished at seven schools and lighting and fire alarms were improved at 14. 

Sep 01
Drinking water update

With guidance from the Fraser Health Authority, the Surrey School District has conducted water lead level tests over the summer at more than 620 water source locations at 63 schools that were constructed before 1990.

The results have been summarized in a letter to parents, and each school's test result, as conducted and reported by an accredited, independent laboratory, is posted below. (Please do not contact the laboratory as staff are unable to comment on the reports). Tests for some schools were done on different days, resulting in more than one report.

Surrey Schools has taken action at each of the tested schools to ensure the drinking water for students and staff is only available from fountains and sinks with water quality meeting health standards. Safe drinking water is available at multiple locations in every school.

At the request of the district, additional information about lead in drinking water has been provided by Fraser Health with links to further resources.

Parents with any questions are asked to check with their school principal.

AHP Matthew     AHP Matthew 2

Bear Creek     Bear Creek 2

Berkshire Park     Berkshire Park 2

Betty Huff

Bonaccord

Cedar Hills

City Central Learning Centre

Clayton     Clayton 2

Cloverdale Traditional     Cloverdale Traditional 2

Colebrook     Colebrook 2     Colebrook 3     Colebrook 4

Crescent Park​    Crescent Park 2     Crescent Park 3

David Brankin

Don Christian

Dr. F.D. Sinclair     Dr. F.D. Sinclair 2     Dr. F.D. Sinclair 3

Earl Marriott     Earl Marriott 2     Earl Marriott 3

Ellendale

Erma Stephenson

Frank Hurt     Frank Hurt 2     Frank Hurt 3     Frank Hurt 4

George Greenaway

Georges Vanier     Georges Vanier 2     Georges Vanier 3

Green Timbers     Green Timbers 2

Guildford Park     Guilford Park 2

Halls Prairie     Halls Prairie 2

Harold Bishop     Harold Bishop 2

Henry Bose     Henry Bose 2

Hjorth Road     Hjorth Road 2

Holly

H.T. Thrift     H.T. Thrift 2

Invergarry

James Ardiel

Jessie Lee     Jessie Lee 2     Jessie Lee 3

J.T. Brown     JT Brown 2

K.B. Woodward     KB Woodward 2

Kennedy Trail     Kennedy Trail 2     Kennedy Trail 3

L.A. Matheson     L.A. Matheson 2     L.A. Matheson 3

Laronde

Lena Shaw

Maple Green     Maple Green 2

Martha Currie     Marth Currie 2

M.B. Sanford

McLeod Road

M.J. Norris

M.J. Shannon

Newton

Old Yale Road     Old Yale Road 2

Panorama Park     Panorama Park 2

Peace Arch

Port Kells     Port Kells 2     Port Kells 3

Prince Charles     Prince Charles 2

Queen Elizabeth     Queen Elizabeth 2

Ray Shepherd     Ray Shepherd 2

Riverdale     Riverdale 2

Royal Heights    Royal Heights 2

Semiahmoo    Semiahmoo 2     Semiahmoo 3

Senator Reid

Simon Cunningham     Simon Cunningham 2

South Meridian

Strawberry Hill

Sullivan     Sullivan 2

Surrey Traditional    Surrey Traditional 2     Surrey Traditional 3

T.E. Scott     TE Scott 2

W.E. Kinvig     W.E. Kinvig 2     W.E. Kinvig 3

William Watson

Aug 25
Are you covered if your child is injured at school?

Your daughter had a tooth knocked out while playing hockey in gym class. Your son smashed his glasses on the playground at lunchtime. Your teen broke an ankle after tripping on stairs.

accident ins - broken glasses.jpgAccidents can happen anytime, anywhere at school. And while some may occur in places one might anticipate danger, such as shop class or the science lab, most often, school injuries involve nothing more than a student's own feet.

"I would say the majority of incidents involve slips, trips and falls," says Kelly Thomson, director of risk management with Surrey Schools. "The second most common incident involves running into something, often another student but sometimes a stationary object such as a wall, a door or a fence."

In the past eight years, the number of student accidents reported in Surrey Schools has nearly doubled. During the 2007-08 school year, there were 975 incidents, compared to the 1,845 reported last year.

What parents and guardians may not know is that Surrey Schools insurance does not cover expenses for student injuries that happen on school grounds or during school activities. Parents are responsible for those costs, and provincial coverage (MSP) and group health plans often limit or don't cover things like dental treatment, casts, physiotherapy or eyewear.

Optional student accident insurance is available through private companies and interested parents are encouraged to research which plan suits their family's needs.

Surrey's District Parent Advisory Council (DPAC) and the Surrey School District provide the opportunity to voluntarily purchase accident insurance through the Kids Plus Accident Insurance program. The plan provides year-round coverage, whether children are in or out of school, including coverage for costs not fully insured under MSP or group extended health insurance plans. Premiums start at $14.50 per year per student, with discounts available for families with three or more children.

For more information, check kidsplus.ca or visit the "Parents" tab at surreyschools.ca or see the printable parent brochure.

student accident chart.JPG

Aug 22
Registering students who are new to Surrey Schools

StudentRegistration.jpg​​This fall, more than 71,000 students in Surrey and White Rock will be returning to classes in the Surrey School District. About 1,000 new students are expected to enter local schools this year.

Students new to the district must bring documentation to verify age, residency and citizenship (for the student and a parent) to register at their neighbourhood catchment area school.

Registration for new students takes place at secondary schools from Aug. 22 to Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Elementary school registration begins Aug. 29 and continues until Sept. 2, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

For more information on registration, check here or see our parent information sheet​.

To register in the Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning (SAIL) or Surrey Connect online courses, visit www.sailacademy.ca or call 604-592-4263.

The Welcome Centre (604-543-3060) can provide assistance, information, translation services and assessments for new students who are English language learners.

Non-residents can phone the International Education department at 604-595-6168 or email internationaled@surreyschools.ca for information about registration.

Information about adult education courses and registration can be found here.

Aug 19
August public board meeting cancelled

The Surrey Board of Education meeting tentatively scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 25 has been cancelled.

The next scheduled public board meeting is Sept. 22. All meetings begin at 7 p.m. and are held at the District Education Centre, 14033 92 Ave.

For a list of the 2016 meetings, check here​.

Aug 17
Cooking up culinary competence

SuperChefs.JPG

Muskan Mahil, Saveena Rai and Mikayla Ritchie, all entering Grade 8 at Enver Creek Secondary, were among dozens of Surrey students to take part in the SuperChefs program this summer, as did Grade 7 Green Timbers Elementary student Damin Mutti (below).


More than 150 Surrey students have cooked themselves up some tasty kitchen skills this summer.

The students, aged eight to 12, were part of a SuperChefs Cookery for Kids summer camp that provided six weeks of workshops and physical activities.

The workshops, offered in partnership with Surrey Schools, were held at Queen Elizabeth Secondary and Sullivan Heights Secondary.

SuperChefs2.JPGSuperChefs is a non-profit society created by Dr. Greg Chang in an effort to curb the childhood obesity epidemic by encouraging children to learn healthy and tasty cooking skills.

Surrey-based Fresh St. Market donated ingredients to support the SuperChefs summer program, which was offered to Surrey students free of charge.

"Our students benefit in many ways from the SuperChefs Cookery for Kids summer camp, particularly children and families who are challenged to fund activities or trips over the summer break," says Surrey Board of Education chairperson Shawn Wilson. "It's been wonderful partnering with SuperChefs over the last six years to offer such a great learning experience for children that also happens to be so engaging and entertaining."

Aug 15
Time to gear up for back-to-school! Opening day Sept. 6

​After a two-month summer break, students in the Surrey School District will head back to class Sept. 6.

All elementary classes (Grades 1-7) begin at 10 a.m., but will end earlier than usual on the first day. Dismissal times should be confirmed with individual schools.

Kindergarten children are on a gradual entry schedule for the first week, so start dates and times should be verified with schools.

back-to-school.jpgSecondary schools in Surrey also have a shortened day Sept. 6, but again, hours differ from school to school and grade to grade. Opening times and dates also vary at the district's five learning centres.

Students new to the district must bring documentation to verify their age, residency and citizenship to the school to register. Secondary schools will be open for registration from Aug. 22 to Sept. 2, 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., while elementary schools are open Aug. 29 to Sept. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Registration for adult education classes also begins Aug. 29.

More information about registration is available at surreyschools.ca (under "K-12 Schools" and "Adult Education."​

Check HERE for detailed information about opening day for the 2016-17 school year.

Aug 08
Curriculum and exam changes continue to be phased in this fall

The upd​ated curriculum developed for K-12 education will continue to be phased in at Surrey schools in the 2016-17 school year, with changes to assessment and provincial exams also taking hold beginning this year.

Until now, the curriculum has been optional for teachers in kindergarten to Grade 9, but it will be the official curriculum in those grades starting September 2016.

The new Grade 10 to 12 curriculum will be optional for teachers in the 2016-17 school year and full implementation is scheduled for the 2017-18 school year. The draft curriculum can be viewed at https://curriculum.gov.bc.ca/curriculum/10-12 and feedback can be submitted by emailing curriculum@gov.bc.ca

Why a new curriculum?

As explained in a May 2016 letter to parents from the education minister, the world has become much different since the original curriculum was developed. New technologies enable access to a wealth of information on virtually any topic. Today's students need to learn skills to successfully locate, analyze and evaluate information, then apply it in a proper and useful way.

The emphasis now is more on understanding concepts and processes, as well as a personalized learning experience and flexibility to better match individual student strengths and needs, as described in B.C.'s Education Plan.

What has changed?

  • There is more flexibility for teachers to tailor learning to a student's needs and passions.
  • There is also increased flexibility for teacher innovation; for example, to take advantage of current topics of interest to students and to develop learning experiences that cross different subject areas.
  • There is greater focus on communication, creative/critical thinking, positive personal and cultural identity and social responsibility as core competencies.
  • Aboriginal perspectives and content are integrated into all subjects.
  • There is an emphasis on core foundational skills while focusing on higher-level conceptual thinking.


Changes to assessment and provincial exams

Beginning in the 2016-17 school year, changes in curriculum, assessment and graduation requirements are being phased in for students in Grades 10 to 12.

The changes include discontinuing the five current secondary school provincial exams and replacing them with two provincial exams that focus on literacy and math skills – the key subjects post-secondary institutions look to for admissions.

Provincial exams for Science 10, Social Studies 11, Language Arts 10 and Math 10 will no longer be used and will be replaced by classroom assessments.

There will be overlap between the previous grad program and the new one, and therefore a transition period to account for students progressing toward graduation under different scenarios. Students entering Grade 10 in the 2017-18 school year will be the first group where the new requirements apply entirely.

In the 2016-17 year only, there will be no changes to the Language Arts/English 12 provincial exams. They will run as scheduled, aligned with the prior curriculum, not the new one.

The provincial government has provided this chart to help clarify requirements for students entering Grades 10 to 12 in the 2016-17 transition school year:

 ​NewAssessmentChart.JPG

To graduate, students will still need to complete 80 credits and write two provincial exams. That hasn't changed.

For younger students, standardized tests of reading, writing and numeracy (called Foundation Skills Assessment or FSAs) will still take place in Grades 4 and 7.

Where can I get more information?

The Ministry of Education has a wealth of plain-language information about the new curriculum on its Building Student Success website. See also a June 2016 letter to parents​ from Surrey Schools Supt. Dr. Jordan Tinney.

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