I am very happy to have landed here in the principal’s office. Many of you will know me as I have been teaching at Vanier since 2005. I am grateful for the support and fine work of my predecessors, Ryan Sikkes and Katrina Brogdon, and our staff in leaving the school in such excellent shape through the events of the last year and a half.
Sadly, the recent news of revealed graves at former residential schools has caused shock across the country. Please know that as a school community, Vanier remains committed to walking the path of reconciliation with our First Nations.
To be sure, the Covid-19 pandemic has been a disruption for all of us. Now that we are entering a recovery phase, we can focus on our primary mission - the education of our students. MS-Teams will continue to be used as a way for teachers to post assignments and keep in touch. This is a great way to keep things rolling if students, for whatever reason, can’t attend.
Student and staff safety remain front of mind, but we are looking at a school year that looks much more ‘normal’ than the recent past. Some precautions will remain in place for now, such as continued mask-wearing in hallways and common areas, but not in classrooms. We ask that students bring their own masks and keep them handy. While we can provide masks for students and guests, we have no budget for them. The cost of supplying masks to students will soon put a crunch on our budget if we need to provide as many as we did last year. Stay tuned for updates on mitigations. We will be sharing information with students and the school community on the first day and as developments occur.
Our school timetable will be returning to our pre-covid schedule of five classes per day and the shorter lunch. Students will also be assigned lockers this year. You can find a copy of the school-wide schedule on vcss.ca
Please look at our website for important dates, supply lists, and the school handbook which outline behaviour expectations, dress codes, and general school information. Updates are upcoming and ongoing.
We have some new and returning staff and some moving on:
Maria Gray, our former religious education coordinator, has moved over to Holy Family as their new principal. Congratulations and all the best in your new role. You will be missed.
Mia Ouellette is back from her education leave as our full-time counsellor.
Kristen Johnston, lately from Jack Hulland, will be in the junior learning assistance role.
Monica Best, whom many will know from Christ the King, is our new religious education coordinator.
Rosalind Schmitke will be rejoining us in our Shared Resource Program while Richard Johnson is on leave.
Serge Comeau has moved to the Individual Learning Centre for this year.
Students entering grade 8 and their parents/guardians are invited to an information meeting on Thursday, August 19 at 7:00 PM in the small gym. This is a repeat of the meeting held last spring, so if you attended that one, no need for this one. However, grade 8 students are expected to attend the orientation on Friday, Aug 20 at 1:00 PM. Our new students will get a chance to meet their teachers and their new cohorts, receive their lockers and schedules, and explore the school.
On the first day back, Monday, August 23, students are welcome in the building. At the first bell, grades 8 and 9 will be in the small gym, and grade 10, 11, and 12 will meet in the large gym. We will hand out schedules and convey some other information.
Schedules were not released at the end of the year as we were uncertain what this year would look like because of Covid. Over the summer we had new floors installed which prohibited access to the office. Now we are playing catch-up. Please be patient with us. Schedules will be released to grade 8s at the orientation, and all others will receive them first day back, Monday, August 23.
Bus passes are changing. Instead of monthly passes, students will be issued bus passes for each semester, so students will need to decide if they will take the school bus or city transit. More information regarding bus registration will be out through email.
Our school’s name is also in the process of changing, but the process takes time. When we can share some news, we will.
Jerry and Jeanette will be returning to the cafeteria this year to provide students with nutritious lunches and snacks. With the shorter lunch period, line-ups will be a thing. Let’s remember to keep it courteous.
You can expect some forms to come in the mail regarding school fees: $25 for school fees in addition to $25 for religious education fees. Families with more than one child attending Catholic schools pay $40 for the whole family for the religious fees. We respectfully ask that you pay fees promptly through cheque, cash, or e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org
2021 Grads (last year’s) are welcome to a BBQ at the school on Thursday, Aug 26 at 5:00. This will be followed by the first annual Jim Giczi Memorial Dodgeball Game where students pit their skills against the red serge from the local RCMP detachment.
This new role will come with challenges, but we are blessed with a great team of educators and staff, and the students are amazing. You have my assurance that I will do all I can to make the school experience as rewarding, enriching, and memorable as possible. Please don’t hesitate to contact me with any concerns and questions. We are always ready to help.
Finally, as we hopefully emerge from the Covid emergency, we see that the world continues to roil away and defy our expectations. As a Catholic school, we profess Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Guided by his divine presence and wisdom, we work to bring peace, love, and dignity to all. Always remember that with God, all things are possible.
Yours in Christ,
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