And where has the time gone?
Teacher recruitment has been my main focus since April 1st and I am happy to say that we have a lineup of fantastic and talented teachers joining us on August 28th! Our last candidate gave his verbal YES just yesterday! It will be interesting for our brand new teachers to discover how unique our geographical area is. The SEAS Community Initiative is an important part of where we want learning to move toward. In the spirit of 21st century learning, learning must be collaborative, hands on, and inquiry based. Having a set of ipads for classes to borrow for next year will move learning toward more active engagement with learning. The Grade 8 Students Learning Outdoors is a fine illustration of what hand on, interactive learning looks like. Our SEAS teacher coordinator is packing up to take a group of grade 5 children out for three days tomorrow. The grade 6/7s went out last week and enjoyed themselves immensely while learning! Also check out the Grade 10/11/12 Science Trip to Hakai Beach Institute. They had the use of an underwater camera that their teacher was able to secure for the school. Exploring and learning in the Great Bear Rain Forest is a high priority at BBCS. Making learning engaging while drawing in the outdoors and the cultural aspect of our village is important – our mission statement gives us that important focus.
Oceans Day was celebrated on June 7th and the weather cooperated! The community came out and teachers and students were equally engaged in a series of hands on learning activities. They observed community members filleting halibut and spring salmon and had the opportunity to observe and touch creatures who normally reside on the ocean floor. We hired a diver to bring them to a tank on the surface for the wonderment of children. Students and community members went out on kayaks and paddle boards to get close to the water. The weather was cool but very bearable and the event was topped off with a salmon bbq and community members going home with halibut and salmon for dinner. The photos below speak for the event.
As the year winds down, I wonder about how quickly it flew by and marvel at all that staff took on in terms of addressing literacy and numeracy while addressing the challenges of 200 students from N-12. Having FNESC resource people like Karen Linkert and Madeline Price in to help with PM benchmarking has made a tremendous difference for our elementary teachers as they focussed on doing what it takes to encourage and facilitate student success. Our most recent visit from Teresa Blackstone has given our elementary teachers a focus for the new year. We look forward to our visit from a Nelson literacy teacher to take us through the Nelson series and soon after that, the numeracy series that we have committed to for our elementary curriculum. Locating rich levelled books is a goal and we will be looking at Terry Mack’s resources from her fantastic website, Strong Nations. Our plan is to schedule four sessions of Aboriginal Pals into our school calendar so that parents can sit down and enjoy “choice” literature and the love of books with our youngest learners at BBCS.
Graduation celebrations are upon us and we are thrilled to have David Suzuki as our keynote speaker at the Graduation event on the 27th! Photos will follow!
It is impossible to convey all that took place this year at Bella Bella Community School except to say it has been a fantastic school year full of rich learning experience and opportunities for student achievement and teacher growth. Next year, we have a great lineup of pro d presenters including Karen Hume and Damien Cooper and we will begin the year as we will end it – with an opportunity for staff to learn more of and know the richness and opportunities to co-exist with the Great Bear Rainforest. I urge new and returning teachers to pack a lifejacket, paddles, and full body rain gear in order to get out on one of the schools kayaks or canoes whatever the weather. As we bid farewell to 2012-13, we look forward to the adventures in the 2013-14 school year.
Our school goals for 2013-14 emerged from a collaborative inquiry by BBCS teachers as to what they wished to focus on to facilitate student success. Their PLC and departmental goals are summarized under these three umbrella goals that have been endorsed by Bella Bella School Board:
A. Increase parental and community Involvement
B. Increase Opportunities for Student Engagement
C. Create conditions that will enhance student success and school climate
These goals and their respective strategies and data will co-exist and launch from the BBCS mission statement:
“Our mission is to develop in a just, caring, and respectful environment, students who are independent and life-long learners, incorporating our community traditions and culture with the acquisition of skills needed to succeed in both the traditional and modern worlds”.
ENJOY A WELL DESERVED VACATION!