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
“A COMMUNITY OF LEARNERS”
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 http://www.vsb.bc.ca/budget-process-
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
5. Administrative time will be cut – this will mainly affect
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
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
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.
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.
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
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
May 15 th CAR BOOT SALE
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
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
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