As communicated earlier, I am moving from Carson Graham to become a Director of Instruction with the West Vancouver School District beginning March 16th. The decision to take on this new challenge has been incredibly difficult for me as I love Carson Graham, my job and working with you all. Although I am sad to be leaving Carson, I am very excited that Ms. Suzette Dohm will be taking over as Principal. As you all know, Ms. Dohm is an amazing educational leader. She knows and understands the school, the culture and the people. She provides stability and is the perfect choice to lead Carson Graham forward. The district has not yet announced who our new Vice-Principal will be.
Although my time at Carson Graham has been relatively short, I have loved the school and the experience. Carson Graham is a truly exceptional place that celebrates diversity, community and learning. Carson students and staff are incredibly proud of the school and the work that they do. Every day has been an adventure and every day I was excited to work in such a vibrant and caring community. I have thoroughly enjoyed greeting the students in the morning, watching their games and concerts and getting to know and work with such an amazing staff. I would like to take a moment to thank the Carson Graham community for the fantastic experience and opportunity.
The IB requires all authorized schools to engage in systematic critical self-reflection. The aim of the IB’s formal evaluation process is to regularly ensure that the standards and practices of the programme are being maintained. The evaluation process happens every five years, is complex and multi-phased, and engages all stakeholders in the school community. Carson Graham recently concluded our formal evaluation and received our evaluation report. We are pleased to share the following with you.
Step 1: Curricular unit evaluation (December 2016 - May 2017)
- Two evaluations per department and one interdisciplinary (16 units)
Step 2: Self-Study questionnaire (September 2017-June 2018)
- 96 page report
- Over 100 prompts addressed
- Critical review of all school policies
- Seven programme standards examined: philosophy, resources & support, organization, leadership & structure, collaborative planning, written curriculum, teaching & learning, and assessment
Step 3: Evaluation visit (November 26 & 27, 2018)
- 18 classroom visitations
- 10 meetings with department representatives
- 5 meetings with school leadership team members
- 1 meeting with School Board representatives
- 1 meeting with parents
- 1 meeting with students
Step 4: Feedback report & action plan (January 2019 – next evaluation starting 2020)
25 goals identified by Carson staff for improvement plus the following recommendations:
- The school further develops and enhances systems for the regular review of individual unit plans and the planning of approaches to learning skills.
- The school further explores ways to allow for meaningful opportunities for student service in action to arise from the written curriculum in each year of the MYP.
- The school further develops the use of the global contexts for inquiry-based learning.
Carson Graham received a glowing review as is evidenced by the following commendations:
- The governance and leadership structure supports all aspects of the implementation of the MYP.
- The school has created innovative collaborative practices appropriate to the school's context.
- The school has built a stimulating learning environment based on understanding and respect throughout the school community.
- The school has developed an inclusive programme with policies and practices that support students.
- The school has taken advantage of a variety of opportunities to participate and show leadership in the IB world community and the regional associations of IB World Schools.
- The school report system includes opportunities for continuous dialogue around student learning and progress.
Below is an excerpt from Remy Lamon, our IB School Manager.
“… Allow me to start with thanking you and your community for the commitment to a thorough self-study process and the thoughtful presentation of your results. Your commitment has been evident when reviewing your school’s documents and when you engaged with the team during the evaluation visit. I realize how much work this means and hope that the process of the self-study has already generated insights that have made the work worthwhile."
As you can see from the report, the following areas of programme implementation were identified as particular strengths in the evaluation report: collaborative practices and stimulating learning environment.
We encourage you to share such good practice with the IB community, considering one or more of the following:
- connect with the IB community to allow others to be inspired by what is going on in your school: either virtually via the programme communities or via your local IB network or association (Heads Engage, LinkedIn, Programme communities),
- encourage members of your community who drive excellence to join the educator network, e.g. as site visitors, examiners, members of curriculum review committees,
- apply to present at a global IB conference.
In addition, I hope you do not mind that we have shared the good practice we have found in your school internally across the IB to alert our colleagues to the expertise you have to offer.
Once again, we would like to congratulate you on the strong programme implementation that was evident in your self-study. We look forward to supporting you in the future…”
Carson Celebrates Pink Shirt Day!
On Wednesday, Carson Graham joined many schools across the county in celebrating Pink Shirt Day.
Student volunteers decorated the school, greeted students in the morning, the community wore pink and we all took time to reflect on how we can prevent bullying by focusing on celebrating diversity, showing empathy and standing up! The day culminated with a full school assembly that included student speakers, a choir performance, student videos and dancing. Please a moment to watch the Carson Graham Happy Video produced by Carson Graham students Fiona and Olivia.
It is sure to make you smile - guaranteed!
I wanted to take a moment to congratulate the Carson Graham community for an outstanding Celebration of IB. The personal projects, art exhibits and CAS/EE presentations were outstanding. Students were truly owning their learning and were proud of their accomplishments. I would like to thank all of our staff and parents for helping our students get to a place where they can think, inquire and engage at such a high level. It was an amazing celebration of learning – one that we can all be proud of. Congratulations!
Images from Grade 10 Personal Projects (below)
Last week the district hosted Key Note Speaker: Dr. Milan Khara for a Community Conversation on Youth & Vaping.
The evening event was led by Dr. Khara and included a panel discussion with students, parents and North Vancouver School District Administrator Pam Craven.
I have included a link to the webcast below.
Your Parent Advisory Council (PAC) had a successful meeting on January 30th featuring the Deputy Registrar of UBC, Andrew Arida. Mr Arida demystified the university application process and provided a lot of helpful pointers to parents and students.
We have another meeting coming up very soon on Wednesday, March 6th at 7 pm. At that meeting, we will say farewell to Principal Kennedy and hear about transition news. Moreover, Principal Kennedy and Jenn Tieche will discuss the results of the MYP Self-Study and Evaluation and students will make presentations about Pink Shirt Anti-Bullying Day and the Vancouver Model United Nations conference. The Fine Arts Department will pitch an exciting funding proposal. There will be also be a status report on the school’s state of emergency preparedness and an update from the Carson Graham Music Parents Association on the Music Department’s activities. Remember: all Carson parents and guardians are automatically PAC members and are encouraged to attend Wednesday’s meeting. I hope to see you at this meeting and wish you, in any event, a relaxing spring break 😀. Please email me anytime with questions or comments : firstname.lastname@example.org
Great turn-out at our Carson Graham Careers Fair
Over 30 potential employers had booths at our careers fair. Students had the opportunity to cycle through, ask questions, get employment information and submit resumes.
Each year, Carson Graham staff and students do a number of fire, lock-down, evacuation and earthquake drills and the staff are well versed in this area. These drills include outside student muster stations, incident command posts, and communication with a variety of emergency support services.
The district has done a lot of work in creating emergency response protocols that are on hand if needed. These protocols include the access to student emergency contact information and also include guidance on how to enact a school-wide emergency release process.
We also have a wealth of emergency response equipment and supplies, and our emergency bunker has been restocked this year with water, food, flashlights, batteries, tables, tents, tarps, latrines, shovels and first aid equipment. If you have any further questions regarding our emergency response procedures, please contact Tim Ireland at email@example.com.
This morning, members of the New Zealand All Blacks Rugby 7s team visited Carson Graham as part of the HSBC Community Visit Program. During their short visit, our guests were welcomed by Evan and Josh (who sang the Eagle song) ran a brief training session, promoted Indigenous involvement in sport and shared their love and passion of the game.
This year was an extremely successful year for Carson Graham’s Model UN club. Our delegates blew everyone away when almost every single one of them won an award - at their first conference! From Best Position Paper, Honourable Mentions, and even Best Delegate, every base was covered. However, the conference was about more than just awards - students found their debate and diplomacy skills challenged in the fast-pace and exciting world of the UN, and walked away from the conference, having learned more about the world, politics, and themselves, than they had anticipated.
March 6 - Careers Fair 11:45 AM - 1:35 PM
March 6 - PAC Meeting - 7:00 PM
March 15 - Last Day of Classes - Start of Spring Break
April 1 - Classes Resume
April 10 - EPIC Wednesday - 8:35 Start
April 10 - PAC Meeting - 7:00 PM
April 11 - Parent Teacher Interviews - 1:15 PM Dismissal
April 12 - Early Dismissal - 1:15 PM
April 17 - Staff Collaboration - Late Start 9:55 AM
April 19 - Good Friday - School Closed
April 22 - Easter Monday - School Closed
April 22 - Earth Day