“North” by Sleeping at Last

Concept drawing submitted with student proposal.

This afternoon I had the privilege of cutting the ribbon on an art installation created by the GVC Choir 30/40 students.

In choir 30/40S we were tasked as a class, to complete a self-designed project that allowed us to connect, make, create and respond to music. Our choir decided to create a mural for a song we believed represented us a s a choir. We chose the beautiful song “North” by Sleeping at Last to represent our choir because the song is about belonging and feeling accepted.

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Why are boys not working to their potential?

Last spring, we created a GVSD high school goal to inspire teachers to focus our attention on improving the academic success of our grade 9 students. The finalized goal reads:

Recognizing that literacy and engagement are keys to student success, by June 2018, 85% of grade 9 students will achieve 70% or higher in their grade 9 courses.

This fall when we pulled data from June 2017, we were pleased to find that we had almost achieved this goal without implementing any new strategies, but were disappointed at what we learned when we broke down our results by gender:

On June 2017, 82.8% of grade 9 students had achieved 70% or higher in their grade 9 courses. Our students missed meeting the goal by 2.2%.

By gender, 91% of Girls and 76% of Boys are achieving 70% or higher in all grade 9 classes. Continue reading

GVC Skillz Competition

A group of 49 GVC students joined the first ever, GVC Skillz Competition. On January 16, 2018, students competed in one of five competitions which included; photography, digital film making, clothing and design, food and nutrition, and business, and had five hours to complete various challenges. Students demonstrated the skills they had learned throughout the semester in their various courses and although they reported significant levels of stress during the competition, all students who were interviewed expressed interest in next year’s competition.


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Re-Post: Yelling Upstairs by Seth Godin

Following, is a great reminder that engaging in conversation is always the most effective option.

When you’re cooking breakfast and the school bus is coming in just a few minutes, it’s tempting (and apparently efficient) to yell up the stairs. If a recalcitrant teenager is hesitating before heading off to school (I know, sometimes it happens), go ahead and yell.

Good luck with that.

The alternative is to turn off the stove and walk up the stairs. Catch your breath, then have a quiet conversation.

Not efficient, but effective.

This is an almost universal metaphor. We keep finding ways to rationalize various versions of yelling upstairs instead of doing the difficult work of engaging instead.

Ted Talk – Connected But Alone – Sherry Turkle

This Ted Talk was filmed in 2012 and our connectedness with our personal devices has in no way diminished since then. Sherry Turkle gives another reason why we, as GVC, need to be very intentional about creating climates of belonging within our classrooms. The staff of GVC watched this video as a kick-off to our Professional Development day on Friday.


Remembrance Day

Graphic from the Vimy 100 website

How lucky are we to work with such amazing students! Today we hosted two Remembrance Day services led by Student Council co-presidents, Lani Ens and Flora Russell. The services featured music by the senior band, poems, and a reflection on a memorable visit to Vimy Ridge by grade 11 student Destiny Dyck. We are so proud of our students. During our two services, the students were respectful and attentive. Thanks to our parent community for raising great kids! Thanks to the GVC Student Council and teacher advisers, Mark Wilson, Tom Friesen, and Morgan Mullin, band teacher Melissa Hodge, special guests, and everyone else who helped out.

How Canada became an education superpower

Reposted from the BBC https://www.bbc.com/news/amp/business-40708421

Image copyrightREUTERSCanada 150
Canada has climbed into the top tier of education rankings

When there are debates about the world’s top performing education systems, the names that usually get mentioned are the Asian powerhouses such as Singapore and South Korea or the Nordic know-alls, such as Finland or Norway.

But with much less recognition, Canada has climbed into the top tier of international rankings. In the most recent round of international Pisa tests, Canada was one of a handful of countries to appear in the top 10 for maths, science and reading. The tests, run by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), are a major study of educational performance and show Canada’s teenagers as among the best educated in the world. They are far ahead of geographical neighbours such as the US and European countries with strong cultural ties like the UK and France. At university level, Canada has the world’s highest proportion of working-age adults who have been through higher education – 55% compared with an average in OECD countries of 35%.

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