School Talk - Maple Grove

School Talk - Maple Grove

School Talk

Maple Grove fosters excellence,

life-long learning, innovation,

and a positive sense of well-being,

in a community based on mutual respect.

April 30, 2010 Newsletter #9

Dear Maple Grove Families

On Thursday April 22nd we celebrated Earth day. We had a wonderful assembly organized by Ms Hales and Ms

Fisher which included mini-plays, songs, poems and speeches from many different divisions. The event was hosted

by two of our Grade 7 students, Bernice Si, Division 1 and Amelia Wong, Division 2 . The message from our

students was clear: Earth day is about respecting and caring for our environment. It is about being careful with our

resources and paying attention to taking care of our planet. They also gave ideas about how we can work at caring

for our planet.

Earth day originated 40 years ago. It was an idea introduced by U.S. Senator Gaylord Nelson at an environmental

teach-in held on April 22, 1970. Many communities celebrate Earth Week, an entire week of activities focused on

environmental issues. So it seems that some people have been concerned about the earth for at least 40 years. In

spite of this, we still have a world where respect for our environment is not a priority. As individuals and as entire

countries, are we all trying to “get ahead”, to create the best opportunities and the most wealth for our children, our

tribe, our country? In doing so, are we creating a world for our children that will be less wonderful than the world

we inherited from our parents because our individual or country-wide goals do not include caring for our planet?

Earth day is a time for us all to reflect on the changes we can make in our life-style to make a difference. Repairing,

reusing, recycling can all be ways that we can help. Can we use: less water, less electricity, less gas, less paper, less

plastic, less ink, less junk food? In our wealthy society there are many things that we can do, but we need to ask

ourselves, should we do them? Do we need a perfect well-sprinkled lawn? Do we need a new car? Do we need a

new set of dishes? A Native Indian Proverb says: “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors, we borrow it

from our children.” and Marshall McLuhan, a Canadian educator and philosopher said “There are no passengers on

Spaceship Earth. We are all crew.” Let us leave the world a better place than we found it, and follow our children‟s

lead in making Maple Grove an environmentally conscious school and community.

At the school we are doing our part with some new or re-emphasised practices: walk to school, composting, garbage

free lunches, communication by email, a global citizenship club, improved technology, school garden, clean-up the

neighbourhood walks etc. All these and more will empower our students, give them hope for their future as

Canadian and world citizens and help us adults keep on thinking about ways we can leave our planet a better place

for our children.

Performers at our Earth Day Celebration were students from the following teachers‟ classes: Mrs. Humeniuk, Ms

Wagner/Ms Wittrin, Ms Fisher, Ms Chester/Ms Gill, Ms Lam, Ms Ha, Ms Sam, Ms Hales, Ms Adams, Mr. Malin

and Ms Hayes-Brown.

Stephanie Sellars, Principal

Maple Grove Elementary


6199 Cypress Street, Vancouver, B.C. V6M 3S3 • Phone: 604-713-5356 • Fax: 604-713-5358

School Board Budget and a Visit from Mike Lombardi

Our PAC took the initiative to invite Mike Lombardi, our

school liaison trustee, to come to our meeting and present

information about the budget. Everyone appreciated the

clarity of his presentation and the details provided about

the history of finances at the VSB and some of the

challenges in creating a balanced budget. Mr. Lombardi

was able to detail the many cuts that have been

recommended by our District Management Team in order

to balance the budget, and expressed his regret that these

were necessary. He also explained the assignment of a

financial advisor by the Ministry to assist in planning the

school boards‟ finances. Many questions were asked and

there followed discussion about how our PAC could

initiate and facilitate communication amongst parents at

our school and with our political representatives. If you

are interested in finding out more you can contact me, go

to the VSB website

201011-school-year or speak to members of the PAC


There are many ways in which Maple Grove will be

affected directly and indirectly by the budget proposals.

Here are some of the ways we will be affected if this

budget proposal passes:

1. Eleven teachers received notice of possibility of layoff

letters. Most of these teachers have specific qualifications

that make it almost certain that they would be re-hired to

fill the position again. However, such letters cause

uncertainty and are not good for morale, especially as we

begin to plan for next year. The reason for the early notice

has to do with contract requirements.

2. Incremental staffing reduction means that our librarian

will probably have less time in the library and that there

will be less resource support for ESL, special needs etc.

3. There may be a reduction in time allocated for

counselling, psychology, and speech language support.

4. The band program will be cut. (We have started

discussions at the PAC about how we can re-introduce

something similar.)

5. Administrative time will be cut – this will mainly affect

VP time.

6. The temperature in the school will be reduced.

7. Maintenance such as painting, weed control etc. will be

cancelled or reduced.

8. Mini-school programs that some of our students are

going to next year will receive less administrative support.

9. District consultants whom teachers rely on to provide

advice and support in teaching methods, behaviour of

students, strategies for special needs and ESL etc. will be


10. The budget that each school receives for providing

books, furniture, equipment etc will be reduced.

A Wonderful School System and a Wonderful School

As we talk about budget cuts it is important for us to

remember that we do have a wonderful, world-class

school system in British Columbia. We have excellent

teachers and support staff who are committed to success

for each child, and to providing an education that benefits

both individuals and communities. Margaret MacDiarmid,

Minster of Education, wrote in a recent newsletter: “The

facts are that B.C.'s education system is world class, that

B.C.'s educators are doing excellent work, and that B.C.

student performance at an international level has never

been higher. The grade 4 Progress in International

Reading Literacy Study (PIRLS) for 2005 ranked B.C. 5th

out of 45 participating countries or provinces. B.C.'s 15

year olds ranked 6th in reading, 13th in math and 4th in

science out of the 65 countries or provinces that

participated in the latest Programme for International

Student Assessment (PISA).”

Maple Grove is a great example of an excellent school. I

believe we provide students with the best possible

education and that they leave here well prepared for High

School and for life as contributing citizens of Canada and

the world. It is the dedication of all our staff that makes

this possible even in challenging times.

Welcome New Families

Please plan to come and help us welcome newcomers on

May 25th in the evening at 7:00 pm. We will be having a

potluck dessert and coffee. Your help is needed to provide

dessert, but more important, your presence as a part of our

school will help us show the reality of our vibrant,

thoughtful, responsible and inclusive PAC and


Car Boot Sale

We will be having this fun community fun event on May

15th. If you haven‟t booked a spot for your car, do so

now. If you have nothing to sell, come and buy or just

have fun!

Workshops for Immigrant Families


This workshop will focus on helping immigrant parents

gain a better understanding of the BC school system.

What credits are required for graduation from high

school? How can my child graduate if s/he still requires

ESL support? How can my child go to university? How

can I best assist my child to succeed in school and to

further his/her education? Many questions will be

discussed by the VSB‟s District Principal for Student

Placement and ESL Programs. Interpreters will be

available for Korean speaking parents.

Information and Registration: Jenny Choi 604-713-

6000 #2491; Jin Engen 604-713-6000 #2492

Tues. 9:30am-11:00am Apr 13

Summer School Registration

The 2010 Summer School Registration Date, School Sites

and Program Dates are now available to view online.

Please direct all summer school inquiries to

Andrenid Bees

Our school grounds have been partly taken over by some

wonderful little creatures called Andrenid Bees. On sunny

days they can all be seen flying close to the ground and

digging to create nests. This is happening mostly on our

gravel playing field. The pest control expert from the VSB

told us that they will be gone soon in the natural course of

things. However, since they have the tiniest of stings,

(little more than a pinprick which they don‟t use unless

you pick them up) and because they are wonderful

pollinators, we don‟t want to destroy them. Students have

been asked to stay away from them.

Newsletter by email

We are hoping to improve our communication and use

less paper. We will be sending the newsletter by an e-mail

link to our webpage. If you haven‟t already done so,

please let us know your email address. A “hard” copy of

the newsletter will be posted, and also available from the


Traffic and Safety

Traffic is still an issue as reported by our Traffic

Committee, Jim Yue. He has been watching the situation

and our PAC is very concerned for the safety of our

students. It is important to obey all no parking and no

stopping signs. U-turns are illegal. Please be considerate

and do not block traffic on Cypress or other streets. Help

with traffic patrol is always appreciated.

Some possible solutions:

1. Plan your route to travel south on Cypress Street – from

45 th towards 47 th

2. Drop your children off on Angus or other close street

and let them walk the short distance to school. You could

park and walk with them.

3. Use the school‟s side entrances rather than the front


4. Let your children walk to school – you can walk with

them if safety is a concern.

5. Obey the law and the city bylaw

Scooters, bikes, wheeled vehicles

While we encourage students to come to school on bikes,

or using scooters, skateboards etc, please remind them

that wheels are not allowed on school grounds between

8:30 am and 3:30 pm. This applies to adults as well as

children. Please be good role models.

Letters re Class Placement for Next Year

Every year, teachers spend a great deal of time and

thought on placing students in classes for next year. They

take into consideration many factors: a child‟s preferred

learning style, teacher-child match, social dynamics in the

classroom, leadership potential of the child, gender

balance in the classroom, etc. Their decisions are almost

always the best for each particular child.

You are welcome to write to me with your requests

regarding class placements for next year. These requests

should be based on educational reasons such as “I think

my child needs a structured setting,” or “I think my child

would thrive in a democratic classroom,” etc. Requests

with regard to placements in split classes can often not be

fulfilled because of the challenges of organization. Split

classes have many benefits and are therefore often good

places for children to develop leadership potential.

Requests for particular teachers are not helpful as we do

not know what divisions each teacher will end up with at

this time of the year. Thank you for your understanding in

this. Any requests should be made by June 1 st 2010.

Spring Festival

Our Spring Festival was a huge success. It brought the

community together for one happy evening of games,

food, fun and fundraising. Thank you very much to all

those who made it happen.

Dress Code

I would like to draw parents‟ attention to the following

dress code. This is from the VSB policy manual.

“While it is not the function of the school system to impose or prohibit

fashions or styles of appearance, the Board of School Trustees (the

“Board”) recognizes, as a custom of the elementary and secondary

schools of the City of Vancouver, that each student shall attend school

clean and tidy in person, and shall refrain from wearing hair styles,

clothes, footwear, jewelry, and other articles of personal adornment that

are, by reason of extreme styling, a distraction to the student

himself/herself or his/her fellow students, or that are otherwise adverse

to effective teaching in his/her class. These standards and regulations of

dress shall apply equally to male and female students.”

Please note that at Maple Grove we do not allow hats to

be worn inside school, except for special school events.

We expect that any writing or slogans on clothes should

be appropriate for an elementary K – 7 school. We hope

that parents will support and will respect that it must be

the judgement of the school staff and Principal about

whether or not certain clothing is appropriate.

June Report Card

Reports will not be given out before the last day of school,

June 28 th . If your family is leaving for a holiday before

that date, please provide the office with a stamped, selfaddressed

envelope. We will mail the report(s) to you.

Global Citizenship Club – Global Citizenship is very

important for preserving our world. It‟s especially

important because we are all brothers and sisters. You

can help people in other countries that need our support if

you join the G.C. Club. You can make a big difference.

Our Earth is a wonderful home for humans and animals,

so we need to respect the environment. Have a good heart

and help our world!

Eric Xie, Division 3

Maple Grove’s a Hero

After that awful tragedy that happened to Chile, Divisions

3 and 10 have come together to help. We have raised

over $554.61 through a popcorn and juice sale. This sale

happened at the end of March and early April at Maple

Grove elementary. We did this because we care about the

world and cannot stand seeing a country in need.

Divisions 3 and 10 thank you for your support. Without

your support, we would not have been able to help Chile.

After this experience, we have learned that together is

always better.

Some Dates for Your Calendar

May 4 th Montessori Interest Group Meeting

May 6 th Big One at Two Earthquake Practice.

Dismissal procedures may change.

May 9 th Sun Run

May 13 th Grade 7 Orientation at Magee

Iron Chefs


May 18 th Volunteer Tea

May 19 th PAC meeting

May 21 st Sports Day

May 24 th Victoria Day Holiday

May 25 th Welcome New Parents – Potluck desert and coffee

May 27 th , 28 th ,

and 29 th Grade 6 Camp

A Successful Egg Drop –

Ms. Plavan’s class studies


Cathy, Division 3

Royal Commonwealth Essay Results 2009-2010

Congratulations to: Celina Cheong, Lilian Chao and Sally

Seo - Commended, and to Ross Weston – Honourable


Magee Mainstage Program Presents the Musical

‘Anything Goes’

Take your friends and family out for a night of

entertainment at Magee Secondary School. Let the

talented young cast of „Anything Goes‟ take you on a very

affordable cruise. You will be amazed at the professional

calibre of these students.

Where: Magee Secondary School at 6360 Maple Street

When: April 28, 29, 30 and May 5, 6, 7

Time: 7:00 p.m.

Cost: $10.00 – students; $12.00 – adults

Pre-order: May Ng at 713-8200 – by credit card

Happy Birthday to Edward Hoptioncann was happy

bookday to Maple Grove! Edward’s guests were asked

to make a donation to our school library instead of

bringing gifts. Mrs. Tornroos was presented with

$320.00 for the library. Now that kind of fundraising

is a piece of cake! Thank you to the Hoptioncann



Telephone (604)713-5356

Principal Stephanie Sellars (604)713-5356

Vice Principal Julie Weatherall (604) 713-5356

Area Superintendent Laurie Anderson (604)713-4513

Liaison Trustee Mike Lombardi (604) 306-6948

District Parent Rosemary Wakefield (604) 261-1250

PAC Co-Chairs Tim Luu and Mary Ann Lo Office PAC box

SAFE ARRIVAL – (604)713-5792

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