June 24th, 2020
I hope this finds you and your family well.
As this has been an unprecedented year, I am extremely proud of our entire educational team and community for all the wonderful persistence everyone has shown. To mention a few of our successes this year, we successfully created an amazing school wide art project that now welcomes people to our school! You can read all about it in today's Mission City Record: https://www.missioncityrecord.com/community/community-art-project-unveiled-at-mission-school/. If you missed the unveiling ceremony, please see our website to watch the video that was streamed live using the Zoom platform.
Also, I am thrilled to announce that our inclusive playground was put in this week. We will be waiting until September to officially unveil it so to be able to properly honour everyone that helped make this project such an amazing reality! We can now be proud that we are the first playground in all of Mission to have an inclusive playground. Congratulations to everyone for your hard work in making this vision become a reality. There will be an article in next week's Mission City Record that you can read outlining this amazing achievement.
For next year, some of our exciting projects include creating a school community garden complete with an outdoor classroom attached to the project. We have already raised $3,500 towards this fantastic project!
Alongside my joy for all our school's accomplishments this year, I am sad to say that we will be having numerous staff members leaving our school next year. Sadly, we will be losing our librarian Ms. Dickson and LST Teacher Ms. Delaney. We are also unfortunately saying goodbye to the following wonderful Educational Assistants: Ms. Madison, Ms. Dhaliwal, Ms. Sidhu, Ms. Chapman and Ms. Confiss. We wish all these staff members all the very best in their future positions. Your new schools will be lucky to have you!
A quick reminder that tomorrow is the last day to come to the school to pick up report cards. We will have a team of staff members located in the front of the school between 11:00 am and 2:00 pm handing out report cards.
I want to take this opportunity to welcome all our kindergarten families who will be joining us in the Fall. Please check our website for the Kindergarten schedule for September and please watch your emails for additional information on welcoming you to our school next year.
Finally, I want to extend a huge CONGRATULATIONS to all of our grade 6's who will be moving on to middle school next year. We want to thank all of you for your wonderful contributions and leadership over the years. We will miss you ALL and wish you all the very best in your future endeavours!
I hope that by September, we will be back to session as per normal. Updates will be provided closer to the start of the new school year. I will provide updates as the Fall approaches. If you have questions anytime, please feel free to email or call me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 604-826-6401.
I want to wish all of you a fantastic and safe upcoming summer! 😊
Principal: West Heights Community School
May 27th, 2020
I hope this finds you well. Below I have outlined some measures that our West Heights staff are taking to ensure that we comply to the Provincial Health Officer's recommendations around the re-opening of schools. I realize that this is a lot of information and please know that it is not to add "stress" but, to keep you informed. Please be reminded that in person school is completely optional and students will be going through to the next grade regardless. It is imperative that if you plan on coming into school next week that you please contact your teacher and let them know so they can plan accordingly. Please contact me if you have any further concerns or questions.
- School will be re-opening for small groups on June 1st.
- Groupings will be sent in a separate email by teachers for those families that have expressed interest in coming back. Please understand that a lot of time went into these groupings and I kindly ask that you understand they are not easily changed. Currently, changes are not possible, however, if there is a concern please email your teacher
- Groups have been confirmed as Group A: Monday and Tuesday and Group B: Thursday and Friday with the remote learning day on Wednesday
- School will be regular hours which is 8:25-2:23
- Only one parent is allowed in the front foyer to talk to the secretary at one time. Besides one parent talking to secretary, absolutely no other parent/guardian is allowed in the school. We will have social distancing line-ups clearly marked. If you want to be in contact with the principal or a staff member, please contact them directly or call the school phone to make an appointment (604-826-6401)
- With the return of in class instruction, remote learning for students will look different then it currently does. Teachers are looking at how they will adjust their time, and this could look different from teacher to teacher. This is new to all of us, and the staff and myself really appreciate your patience as we navigate these new waters.
- We will use regular entrances to school. Hence, in most cases, this will be classroom doors from the outside
- The office is a restricted area, if your student is late have them "check in" at your classroom. Late slips will not be given out. Since access is still restricted to "visitors; this includes parents/guardians", you will not be able to walk them to the class, just safely drop them at the front doors. Thanks for your understanding.
- School will look different for students in the month of June. Please talk to your child about the changes in advance. Thank you! However, we are all working hard to maintain some sense of "normality" during this time.
- At this time, playground equipment will remain closed. However, equipment may be shared among their class cohort (this has been approved by Public Health Authority). For example, your class can play soccer, but tag may not be an acceptable game at this time.
- We ask that when you drop off or pick up your student, you do not socialize on school property. I realize that you have not seen each other in a long time and, you too, need the socialization; but, we are still required to maintain social distancing, especially with adults, and we need to minimize congestion outside.
- We will be closing our water fountain and limiting it to the bottle-filling option only. Please send your child with a water bottle.
- Please do not send your child to school if they are displaying any flu-like symptoms. We realize it is difficult with allergy season, but please do remain mindful.
- All students will be visually checked for any flu-like symptoms. If your child has any symptoms, they will be asked to go home. Instead of remaining in the class for pick-up, they will wait in a designated "isolation" room
- All staff will also be visually checked for symptoms when they enter the building.
- When entering the building, all students and staff are required to wash their hands using the proper hand washing technique. Students will be taught this on the first day back; however, I am sure they have it down pat already. 😊
- All staff and students will be required to follow the hand washing protocol whenever they re-enter their classroom (for example: if the class went outside they must wash their hands upon re-entering their classroom, or if they went to the washroom they must wash their hands once re-entering the classroom even though they washed them upon leaving the washroom.
- When leaving the building to go home, all students and staff will be required to wash their hands using the same protocol as when entering.
- There will be no sharing of school supplies. We ask that supplies be brought to school on the student's first day and taken home on the second day. If the students have forgotten their supplies, we do have extras.
- There will be no garbage cans provided. All lunches packed into the school and the associated garbage must go back home each day
- Our morning breakfast program and lunch kitchen will be closed until further notice
- Student workstations will be physically separated and the student will use the same work area for the remainder of the year. All workstations will be sanitized nightly.
- Students will be asked to remain in their class as much as possible (leaving for the washroom, water refill, recess and lunch, and if their class is doing an outdoor activity). We are trying to ensure that the hallway does not become a gathering place.
- At this time, our gym will be closed. Physical activity will be completed outside.
Some Health and Safety protocols are still under review. We will keep you informed as updates are available and if information about the above points need to be adapted to follow the new protocols. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we move through these uncharted territories.
Again, please contact the school with any questions you may have. I can be reached at 604-826-6401 or by email. Have a wonderful day!
Principal: West Heights Community School
May 21st, 2020
I hope everyone is well. I am excited to announce that we will be re-opening the school on June 1st for families who want to attend. Please be advised this is completely voluntary and optional.
At this point, we are working hard as a district and school to iron out the details. We will have more definitive details to share early next week. At this point, it is looking like we will have two days of in school learning for families who want to attend the school and one day of online learning for families who do not yet feel comfortable returning. Please be advised once again that in school learning is completely optional. We have already been contacting families and have a good indication of those who will be attending and are in the process of planning to make sure everything is as safe as possible for everyone.
On another note, as we are not able to do our annual "Volunteer Appreciation Tea" this year, instead, our staff made a video for all of you amazing parents who do so much for our school community. Please see our website to access the video. It is now up and ready for viewing!
I want to extend my appreciation to everyone for your understanding and patience as we continue the planning process for the next stages. We will be in touch as soon as more details are available.
Enjoy the rest of your week!
March 26th, 2020
Dear Parents and Guardians;
I hope you and your families are safe and well during these unprecedented times. As the principal of West Heights Community School, I just wanted to reach out and share the limited information that I have at this time. Understandably, as things are in constant flux, any plans that are in place today may change at anytime so please do not take any information shared at this time as concrete.
At the moment, the Mission Public School District's (MPSD) leadership team and teachers have been, and will continue, working hard to create a plan to facilitate some form of education for our students starting on Monday, April 6th. What this may look like for each class will depend on a variety of factors. I have attached an email with important information shared by the superintendent, Angus Wilson, earlier today. Also, your input is greatly appreciated. Please go to the following link to give to give your valued information and input which will help with planning going forward: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/educationalcontinuity
Although I have already began working remotely, I plan to be physically back in the school starting next week. However, we ask that you do not come to the school until we have contacted families letting them know it is safe to do so. However, please feel free to contact us next week with any pertinent questions you may have. Rest assured, either myself or Mr. Wilson will send out a letter to families as important information becomes available. Also, please make sure to keep your eyes on the MPSD website as it will also share important notices as information unfolds.
I hope you and your families continue to stay safe in these difficult times. We look forward to working in partnership with you to provide a continuity of education for your children.
I am very enthusiastic about my second school year as principal of West Heights Community Elementary School. We have had a great start to the 2019/2020 school year. I am excited to see the great things we have started as a school community as they come to fruition moving in to 2020!
To name some of the exciting projects that we are working on so far this year: we have already raised around $18,000 for our inclusive playground. We plan to put in our first phase early in the New Year. We also have everything in place to start our school wide project early in the New Year. Moreover, we plan to have our school inclusive community garden operational by late spring. I cannot extend enough thank you to our entire school community (parents, PAC, students and staff) for contributing to all of the great things we are working to achieve this school year.
To give a little background on myself, I graduated with my Bachelor of Arts Degree from Simon Fraser University (S.F.U.), and I pursued my Bachelor of Education through the University of British Columbia (U.B.C.). I believe strongly in life-long learning and completed my Master of Education in Leadership and Administration, with a partial focus in counseling, through Gonzaga University. I have over a decade of experience as an educator that spans from Kindergarten to grade 12. I have also taught both internationally and locally. As many of you know, I was the vice principal and acting principal of Heritage Park Middle School before commencing at West Heights last spring. Before that, I was a vice principal and principal at various elementary schools in the Cariboo.
My mission as an educational leader is to help students become industrious, confident and creative builders of their futures. My vision is focused on developing the whole student so that they can become well balanced, healthy individuals, who will contribute positively both inside and outside of our community walls. To achieve this, I promote physical activity, emotional well-being, proper diet and a strong sense of belonging.
I strive to facilitate an educational environment that helps students meet academic challenges with an openness to taking risks with enthusiasm, while learning to solve problems strategically. I strive to support the development of children who are thoughtful individuals that actively contribute a sense of community and compassion for all.
Here at West Heights Community Elementary School, we have a proud group of educators and students who are continually doing great things! I believe it is important to celebrate and acknowledge the developments and achievements our school. For this reason, I have created this blog so that parents and guardians can be updated monthly on the fantastic things that are occurring in our school. Please see the photos under my principal blog page to see some of the great things we are doing on a monthly basis.
Please feel free to contact me at email@example.com or call the school with any questions you may have. I look forward to a great 2019-2020 school year ahead!