September 9th, 2019
Dear Vanier families and friends,
Here is this week’s update.
Our website – www.vcss.ca – is a great source of information, too!
Ryan Sikkes, principal
Dates to Note:
September 9-13 – School Wide Writes – Grades 8-12 students will participate in the SWW during their Humanities and English class. Teachers score the student responses collaboratively and use the information to establish directions for instruction. We can also use the information to check in with how specific groups of students are doing, for example, students who are ELL or those who have IEPs.
September 3-6 – DARTs – Last week, students in grade 8 and 9 participated in the “District Assessment of Reading Test,” which involves reading a non-fiction text, answering comprehension and analysis questions, and having a short oral interview with a teacher. This information is used in much the same way as the SWW information. Our goal is to ensure students have effective reading strategies as they encounter more difficult text in their high school courses.
Parents / guardians can view a child’s SWW and DART during student-led conferences on October 29, or by setting up an appointment with their child’s teacher.
Wednesday, September 11 - Students will participate in a “Home Room” class with the goal of inspiring students to consider how they are using the core competencies in their classes every day. Each student will need to complete a “Core Competency Self-Assessment” by the end of the school year, so this session will be an initial foray into reflecting on these matters. The groups will meet with this focus again in November and finally in May. The core competencies are: Communication, Critical and Creative Thinking, Positive Personal and Cultural Identity, Personal Awareness and Responsibility, and Social Responsibility.
Coming Soon! – A large package from VCSS will land in your mailbox. Please review the forms carefully and submit all requested information and fees. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.
Office 365 – As part of the mail-out package mentioned above, you will see information regarding “Office 365,” which is an online suite of programs that students can access through Yukon Education. Vanier believes this is an excellent tool and resource. We hope that all students “opt-in” for Office 365. If you have any questions, please call us.
Monday, September 30th – A day to listen, learn, act and celebrate First Nations’ Culture
Orange Shirt Day is a legacy of the St. Joseph Mission residential school commemoration even held in Williams Lake in the spring of 2013. It grew out of Phyllis’s account of losing her pretty new orange shirt on her first day of school at the Mission, and it has become an opportunity to keep the discussion on all aspects of residential schools happening annually. The date was chosen because children are back in school and teachers have time to plan, and to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the year.
Tutoring - Through the Skills Room, all Vanier students can access a free tutoring program. If your child needs support with their school work (academics, organization etc), please encourage them to pick up a form requesting tutoring in the Skills Room". All concerns and and questions can come to Ms. Cann. At this point in time we have many tutors available, but as the school year picks up there tends to be less availability.
Reporting Schedule for Semester 1
Informal (email/phone call)
September 30 – October 4
A “heads-up” about how the student has settled into the school year. The focus will be on work habits and a “predictive” performance evaluation. Some teachers may also send paper interim reports home with students. There will be a follow-up phone call to students’ who are not doing well in their classes.
Student Led Conference
Students to share how they are doing in classes, supported by evidence of learning and time for reflection and goal-setting. (Nothing will be mailed home – students are expected to attend these conferences with a caring adult.)
Informal (email/phone call)
November 25 - 29
A check-in to describe how students are doing as they head into the final weeks of the course; including what they need to do to be (more) successful. The report will provide a “predictive” performance evaluation. Again, there will be a follow-up phone call to students who are not doing well.
Formal Written Report
For senior level courses, this will be a final evaluation of learning performance in the course. This is an overall summary mark/performance evaluation. The comment will refer to strengths, areas for development, and possible course recommendation for future courses.
For grades 8-9, this is a mid-year report. Parents will be informed about how their child is doing, with comments about strengths, areas for improvement, and next steps.
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