UNIVERSITY HILL ELEMENTARY SCHOOL

5395 Chancellor Boulevard,
Vancouver, BC V6T 1E2
Telephone: 604-713-5350
Fax: 604-713-5353

Principal: Kathy Pickford; Vice-Principal: Shannon MacDonald;
Co-PAC Chairs: Tim Dow, Hazita Harun
Associate Superintendent: Val Overgaard; School Liaison Trustee: Allan Wong

January 31, 2012

VSB OUR FUTURES CAMPAIGN

The Vancouver School Board is embarking on an exciting new project to determine the future of our schools. The VSB has a wide-range of services, programs and educational resources available across our district. Now it’s time to take stock of what we offer and determine what programs and opportunities should be prioritized now and into the future in order to create the best possible learning environment.
It’s a big task and a major part of the process is our new website called Our Future. The site is located at: http://ourfuture.vsb.bc.ca and has three sections: Your Schools, Your Community and Your Voice.
We have designed it to help you understand what we offer in neighborhoods and schools across the district. You’ll discover a wide range of information about your schools, the programs they offer, their demographics, facility information, staffing levels, catchment statistics and other community resources.
Once you have explored the Our Future website, you’ll be able to add your voice to the discussion of the future of our district at http://ourfuture.vsb.bc.ca/voice.aspx. The survey is short and won’t take you more than 5 minutes to complete.
We are hoping that you will join us in this exciting consultation project. With your participation, this survey will help us guide the coming discussion around the district’s future.

UNIVERSITY HILL’S MISSION STATEMENT

. . .to provide a stimulating learning environment to develop responsible students who strive to achieve their academic, social, and artistic goals. University Hill honors the rich diversity of its school culture and instills a commitment to personal excellence and a love of lifelong learning. The school values its physical environment and enjoys a mutually beneficial relationship with the community it serves.

GROWTH PLAN UPDATE

The University Hill community has been working hard to implement plans and programs related to our school literacy goal this year.
Once again this year, our goal is Literacy Development. We have been working to examine and to be thoughtful about our discussion of teaching strategies in writing development and to implement new strategies for both reading and writing development in Kindergarten through Grade 7 classes. Toward this end, we will be offering early literacy and school readiness opportunities through Ready, Set, Learn funding, for families in our school with children 3 to 5 years old, and expanding our small >Early Literacy= Collection in the school library. The teachers are also focusing some of their professional development on learning about >best practices= in teaching writing and in assessment for learning.
We are now trying to begin the process of collecting and collating data from several sources (FSA scores, DRA and RAD Assessments, Performance Standards, School Wide Writes, etc) and will try to review it to find trends and make plans for next year regarding how best to help our students’ progress in this area. These measures help to give us insight into each student’s individual progress and allow us to plan instruction to suit individual student needs in literacy development. We continue to refine our thinking about and instruction in the area of literacy development in order to best facilitate student growth in this area.

REGISTRATION FOR 2012/2013

As you may know, University Hill elementary fills very quickly and each year we have a very long wait list of people wanting to return to and/or enroll in the school. This year we have already started a wait list for fall enrollment at the school.
In the next little while, we will be holding a lottery from those families who registered before January 31st to see who will get our available kindergarten spots for the 2012/13 school year. Those who do not get in will be placed on our wait list for September and will be called in order as space becomes available.
If you live in the University Hill Elementary catchment area and have not yet registered, please do so as soon as possible to ensure a spot either in the school or on our wait list for 2012/2013.

WEATHER REMINDER

We would like to remind parents that at this time of year we have regular visits to the office from students who did not come to school appropriately dressed for the weather. While children may choose to stay inside on days when the weather is wet, most days it is expected that children will go outside to play at recess. Please help us by sending your children to school with appropriate clothing for the cold and/or wet weather. Because of this year=s greater than normal rainfall the grounds are very muddy. We do have a small supply of extra clothing in the office, but if your child plays outside at recess and/or lunch, you may wish to send an extra pair of pants and socks to school for emergencies.

TRAFFIC SAFETY REMINDER

We have noticed recently an increase in cars dropping off and picking up students. Traffic flow is extremely congested and continues to be a very concerning issue at the school. To keep our children safe please do not pick up your children on Hamber Road B the road into the school B without pulling over into a parking spot. Please continue to drive slowly through the round about loop and keep your place in line. Please do not pull out and try to move ahead as this creates confusion and congestion. As space permits, please drive all the way through the loop. This will help prevent cars from lining up into Chancellor Blvd and will also prevent cars from driving side by side, which can lead to accidents.
Additionally, please respect the parking regulations posted and remember that it is both dangerous and illegal to make U-turns or stop in the middle of the road (double park) to pick up children. The small amount of extra time it takes could prevent the injury of a child. We would also like to remind you to encourage your children to use the right hand sidewalk as they leave the school to walk out to Chancellor Boulevard. There is no crosswalk or safe crossing area between the school and the light on Chancellor.
Thank you for your attention to this matter. As always the students’ safety is of most importance.

HELPING YOUR CHILD DO WELL IN SCHOOL

Parents can demonstrate how much they value education and motivate their children to do well in school. Their help is needed to: provide books and other reading material at home, help children set goals, give praise and encourage them to do well.

As a parent you are your child=s first and most important teacher!

 Show your child that education is important to you. Set aside fifteen minutes a day to talk about assignments and school activities.
 Monitor homework, helping your child when necessary, but don’t DO it!
 Read to or with your child, and let your son or daughter see you reading every day.
 Turn off the TV except for special shows or at agreed-upon times. Serve as a good role model! Don’t spend all your time watching TV.
 Get to know your child=s teachers and obtain any special help that your child may need.
 Attend all parent-teacher interviews, and as many school events as possible.

 Be sure your child is properly supervised before and after school hours.
 Help your child feel good about herself or himself. Children with good self esteem are better students and grow up to be happier and healthier adults.

Inspire the next Generation of Science Enthusiasts!

Our school recently registered with the Young Naturalists’ Club of BC (www.ync.ca) to become a school club where our children can explore the Natural Sciences in our own school yard. The goal of this club is to peak the curiosity of the students to discover how nature works and to show them how to learn more about the things that inspire them. The objective is to use the natural resources that are abundant around our school to explore these topics, thereby staying in our own neighbourhood. A number of community groups are already involved in this initiative including the school PAC, Administration and Teachers; U-Hill High School Environmental Club; Metro Vancouver Parks; and UBC.

The club will launch with a six week after school program (3:15 – 5:00pm) designed to introduce a series of Natural Science themes to the students with hands-on activities. The themes are tentatively scheduled as follows:
Tuesday, April 17: Plant Discovery (Plant Lifecycle),
Tuesday, April 24: Creek Side Salmon Study (Spanish Banks Salmon Creek Survey)
Tuesday, May 1: Adopt a Tree (Schoolyard Tree Identification)
Tuesday, May 8: Frequent Flyers (Build and install bat and bird houses in the schoolyard and surrounding park)
Tuesday, May 15: Forest Adventures (Pacific Spirit Park Interpretative Walk)
Tuesday, May 22: Citizen Scientist Directed Programs (Student Self Directed Learning)

We are currently soliciting interest from Parents who may be able to contribute to the club in any number of the following capacities:
1. Student Mentor to help lead groups of 5-8 students to complete the activities designed by the Program Leaders
2. Club Administrator to help coordinate registration to the club and manage the sign-in and sign-out of children at each meeting
3. Scheduling Coordinator to help organize the speakers, meeting location, and materials for each meeting
4. Subject Matter Expert to design and deliver a program theme (one listed above or other Natural Science themes)

Your support and interest in this club will ensure its success for the children. The more Student Mentors we can recruit, the more children that we will be able to accommodate in the club. The more Subject Matter Experts who can help us develop the themes (this year, and in the future), the more enriching the program will be.

We’d appreciate hearing from potential Parent Volunteers by February 10th so that we can determine the club intake size based on appropriate Mentor-student ratios. Student registration to the program will begin in March, with priority given to students whose parents are Mentors.

Please join us to make this the best experience for all our children.

Connie Chen and Nancy Brown

Connie: patriciaethanho@gmail.com 604 688-9091
Nancy: nancybrown@telus.net 778 238 8605

Citizen Science Opportunity – Great Backyard Bird Count

http://www.birdsource.org/gbbc/
The Great Backyard Bird Count (GBBC) is an annual four-day event that engages bird watchers of all ages in counting birds to create a real-time snapshot of where the birds are across the continent. Anyone can participate, from beginning bird watchers to experts. It takes as little as 15 minutes on one day, or you can count for as long as you like each day of the event. It’s free, fun, and easy—and it helps the birds. The 2012 GBBC will take place Friday, February 17, through Monday, February

Martin Luther King Jr Day

Writing and Pictures by Division 12

I have learned very much from you. Like use LOVE to find a solution not HATE. I even love the “I have a dream” speech. Your voice really has power its loud and serious. I was so sorry they BOMBED your house. Another THANK YOU god bless you and your family
LOVE – Niki S.

Thank you for making a difference. Thank you for speaking out loud. Thank you for changing the rules for the buses. Thank you for being a great man. When you gave the speech it changed a lot of things. Thank you for everything.
By Jackson