March 2nd, 2020
Dear Vanier families and friends,
Since the news broke last week regarding the credible allegations made against Jean Vanier, we have entered into many conversations about what this means for us as a school. Jean Vanier was the founder of L’Arche and a member of the family after whom our school was named. We previously held him in high regard and now know that this trust was unwarranted. We have removed pictures of Jean Vanier from our walls and staff have engaged students in conversations about the significance of these reports.
The most common question we have heard is: “Will we change our school name?”
Our honest, but perhaps unsatisfying, answer this week remains the same as it was last week: “We don’t know, yet.”
However, our School Council will be undertaking a consultation process in the coming weeks to hear from all those both within and outside our school community regarding the issue of whether to keep or change the school’s name. This process will include seeking input from staff, students, parents, the diocese and the broader community, including local First Nations, before a decision is made. Information about this process, including ways for you to express your thoughts and opinions, will be shared by way of these emails from the school.
In the meantime, we would like to reiterate that, as a school community, we stand in support of the women who came forward to report their abuse. We also stand with the thousands of residents, volunteers, and staff of L’Arche communities who continue to struggle with this news. Further, in no way will this process be an attempt to minimize these allegations. We strongly condemn any actions that violate the emotional and physical well-being of others.
We would also like to echo our message from last week that news like this is never easy to hear and, for some students and families especially, hearing about abuse may cause feelings of anxiety, fear, sadness, or anger to name just a few. If your child is feeling this way, please encourage them to reach out to an adult they trust to listen and help. In particular, Ms. Brogdon and Ms. Ouellette will welcome any student who seeks support.
If you have any questions, concerns, comments, or feedback about this matter, please feel free to bring them our attention and/or our school council Chair, Cynthia Lyslo, at [ mailto:email@example.com ]firstname.lastname@example.org
Ryan Sikkes, principal and Jeanette Gallant, vice-principal
Upcoming Important Dates
• March 2-6 – This week!! Informal Reporting Window. Parents/Guardians should expect progress reports emailed or telephone calls.
• Wednesday, March 4 – PLC (Early Dismissal)
• Friday, March 13 – Locker Clean out. VCSS will be home to many athletes during the Arctic Winter games over Spring break. Keeping this in mind, we will be facilitating a locker clean up this Friday to ensure we are as prepared as possible for homing so many people during the AWG.
• March 15 – 21 –The Whitehorse 2020 Arctic Winter Games, officially known with the slogan “Bring it North”, is a multi-sport event which will take place in Whitehorse! Vanier will be hosting Arctic Sports, Gymnastics, Accommodations, and Food Services. The Arctic Winter Games is the world’s largest multisport and cultural event for young people of the Arctic. Best of luck to all participants!
• March 16 - 27 – Spring Break – Have a relaxing couple of weeks.
• April 3-4 – THINKfast – THINKfast is an interactive learning experience designed for youth. Students can choose from a collection of activities and reflections that will help them and their group experience the challenges of poverty and injustice in concrete ways. By participating in this 25-hour educational and fundraising fast you stand in solidarity with those in the Global South who need our support, both through financial support to projects they are leading and through a greater understanding of the structures that perpetuate poverty and injustice. In one day, you take a stand against oppression and directly support programs in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East that bring about peace, justice, and development. Registration forms will be distributed after spring break.
Food for Learning
The Yukon Food for Learning Association (YFFLA) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the nutritional needs of school students in the Yukon. Their vision is a Yukon where every student has access to nutritious healthy food while at school.
Here at Vanier we have been using our funding from the YFFLA to ensure we always have healthy food on hand that is accessible to all students.
Students are encouraged to stop by the office where they can be directed to supplies to make healthy sandwiches, paired with fruit and granola bars, if they are hungry or have no food.
Grad of 2020 Fundraiser
The Graduation class of 2020 is currently accepting donations towards their Raven Recyling fundraiser. When returning recyclables to Raven Recycling, just quote “Vanier Grad Class of 2020”, they will then put the refund towards the grad account. They provide refunds on all ready to drink beverage containers sold in Yukon. This includes all beer, wine, liquor, pop, juice and milk containers. Any and all donations are greatly appreciated.
Wood Street Centre – 2020-2021 Program Application Dates
• Deadline for 2020 - 2021 Program Applications (except ES 11) into Wood Street Centre - Friday, March 6, 2020.
• ES11 Overnight Event - Friday, March 6, 2020 and Saturday morning, March 7, 2020.
Please see woodstreetcentre.ca for all 2020-2021 Application Packages.
Service Learning Hours
If your child received an “I” on their report card for Religion and had a comment saying they need to get their Service Learning Hours completed, please encourage them to see Mr. Gillard regarding this matter. They may also have hours not completed in previous years that is affecting credits on their transcripts. Please keep in mind, if a student did not complete hours in one year, they do carry over to the next.
Please visit the website for more details: https://www.vcssreligion.com/service-learning
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