June 23, 2020

 

principal picDear Pacific Heights Families,

Preparing to say a final farewell has been emotional. Pacific Heights has provided me the honour of meeting and working with a community that is kind and caring.

As I reflect, I am grateful for the teachers, parents, and students of this community as they have shown me much support and embraced every new adventure with enthusiasm. Some of these new ventures included playgrounds, adding more portables, a brand new beautiful 12- classroom addition.  We also had our share of tangles including traffic, the morning and after school pick up, power outages during the Christmas Concert Finale, and now ending the year with COVID-19. Each challenge brought us together and made us a stronger community.

I am proud to have worked with all of you to implement programs and events that benefited students. Together we implemented “Kindness Counts”, Maker Faire, Canada-thon, Family Math Night, Halloween Dances, and so much more. Each event was beyond successful and done with pride – our school pride is something that sets us apart and is to be inspired.

Thank you to the PAC and parents who have been a positive force.  Their commitment to making our school great is shown through the weekly hot lunches, numerous fundraisers, and most importantly – school spirit.  I have great respect for our parents and their consistent dedication to maintaining school spirit and a sense community. This is demonstrated through Winter Breakfast, Year End Barbeque, stepping in during Book Fairs (and even running them), the willingness to drive on field trips, and their happy nature during morning drop offs and after school pick-ups.

Most of all, I will miss the students so very much; it has been a great privilege to watch them grow over the years and develop strong relationships.  I have watched our students come into their own as they learned from their mistakes, learned how to pay it forward, and learned how to take ownership of their learning.

I love Pacific Heights.  Thank you for being a part of my journey – what an amazing chapter this has been with so many memories and experiences that will stay with me forever.  I will miss you all.

Sincerely,

Ms. Chohan

June 8, 2020

Happy Retirement

annaWe were fortunate enough to have Ms. Crosland be our Teacher-Librarian for a year.  Ms. Crosland has accomplished so much in her successful career. She was Teacher of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing for 20 years.  She created (and the program is still running) an in-school program for deaf children at Bear Creek Elementary.  Ms. Crosland decided she needed a change and new challenge so decided to become a Teacher Librarian (TL).  In her 12 years as a TL, Ms. Crosland worked at Georges Vanier, Martha Currie, and Pacific Heights Elementary.

To say that Ms. Crosland is a trailblazer in the world of TL’s would be an understatement.  She presented to TL’s at both the district and provincial level. She transformed every library she worked in – her collections were diverse because it was important that “children can see themselves on the shelves”.  Ms. Crosland kept a close eye on her circulation and made sure it was quality reading, yet high interest.   Ms. Crosland did not use a book drop, she ensured when students entered the library she saw what they were returning and asked if they liked the book or not.  She took great pride in knowing what the students in the school were reading.

The students truly benefited from the instruction and programs Ms. Crosland brought to her library.  She has held book clubs for reluctant readers, where she was able to recruit entire classes, she did book give-aways at the end of the year so every child would go home with a “good” book that would be read. She gave it her all in every library she entered, and she left her libraries in tip top shape – places of reading, inquiry, and a place where we could be “makers”.  Innovation, diversity, inclusion, and kindness were felt on a daily basis in our library.  We wish you great adventures on your retirement!

Teacher Goodbyesgoodbye

There are three teachers who have been a part of the Pacific Heights community for a long time and are now onto new adventures. 

Mrs. McKelvey has been part of Pacific Heights since it first opened in 2006!  Ms. McKelvey has decided to TOC in the district.  We will miss her calm and steady manner.  She could be counted on to go above and beyond when pitching in.  She modelled kindness for staff and students.

We must also say goodbye to Mrs. Beare who has been at our school for 10 years.  We could always count on Ms.Beare’s spunky personality and her contributions during our theme days and various other committees.  Ms. Beare has gone out of her way to support staff and parents throughout her years at PH – her presence will be missed. Ms. Beare will be teaching at Adam’s Road in September.

We also say goodbye to another amazing teacher – Mrs. Fadum.  Ms. Fadum worked hard to build strong relationships with her students and our staff.  We are sad to see her go, but also happy that she will be Vice Principal at Fraser Wood Elementary. Congratulations, Mrs. Fadum!

We say farewell to Ms. Tillberg who has been our school counsellor for the past 6 years.  Ms. Tillberg has helped so many students in our school, and has helped teachers create more supportive classrooms.  She will be greatly missed. She is leaving to be counsellor at Douglas Elementary.

We must also say goodbye to teachers who have been with us for this school year.  With school boundaries changing and Edgewood Elementary opening in February 2021, we will be decreasing in divisions and next year we are projected to have 16 divisions.  So this means, we also say goodbye to an amazing group of teachers who were only able to be with us for a year.  These teachers contributed team spirit, positive energy, kindness, and excellent teaching. We wish the following teachers all the best at their new schools:

Mr. Litt (going to Rosemary Heights)
Ms. Pather (going to Goldstone Elementary)
Ms. Duncan (going to White Rock Elementary)
Ms. Dubrovskaya (going to Woodward Hill)
Ms. Polok (going to Douglas Elementary)
Ms. Kerslake (going to Coyote Creek Elementary)
Mr. Roth
Ms. Ames
Ms. Temple
Ms. Gardin

 

Supply Pick Up

Dear Parents and Guardians,

It has been wonderful having our students back in the building.  Seeing our students and sharing stories with them has been great these past two days.

Many parents have inquired about school supply pick up.  We have drafted a schedule that will allow parents to pick up supplies and maintain physical distancing.  Supply pick up will happen next week on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

Where do I pick up?

downloadTeachers will have tables set up outside their classrooms or in front of their classroom exit/entrance door.  On the table will be your child’s supplies in a labelled bag.  If your child’s classroom is upstairs in the new wing, then those tables will be set up by the bike racks.

When do I pick up?

Monday, June 8:  pick up will be for students with last names A – K from 10 am to 2 pm.

Tuesday, June 9:  pick up will be for last names L – Z from 10 am to 2 pm.

Wednesday, June 10:  pick up will be for parents who were unable to pick up on Monday and Tuesday.

If this schedule does not work for you, please contact your child’s classroom teacher and make alternate plans.

D6JglrPWwAEtf5TLibrary Books that are at home?

We ask that when you come pick up your child’s supplies that you also bring your library books and leave them on the table.

Return to In-Class Instruction

Dear Families,

Thank you for your patience as you have waited for our return to in-class instruction plan.  We hope that you and your family are safe and healthy during this time.  We have missed our students being at school and are looking forward to their return.

Remote learning will continue for all students until June 25th, however, schools will also be offering in-class learning, beginning on June 1st. In class learning is optional and the decision of each family.  We will continue to support students whether at home or as we welcome them back to school.  To assist us with our planning, your child’s classroom teacher will send you a survey today about whether or not your child(ren) is returning to in-class instruction.  Please complete the survey by Wednesday May 27th.

The model for instruction is guided by two key priorities:

  1. Schools will adhere to provincial and district health and safety protocols; and
  2. In their planning, schools will use the provincial protocols to limit gatherings, transitions of students and to support physical distancing.

We have composed an A/B class structure that considers composition factors such as: family/siblings on the same day, class composition, unique learning and support needs, etc. If your child is attending in-class learning, please send your child to school on his/her designated day as we cannot exceed the 50% density maximum for K-5 and 20% density maximum for grade 6/7 on any instructional day.

Monday: K-6 Group A and the children of Essential Service Workers (ESW)
Tuesday: K-6 Group B and the children of ESW
Wednesday: Deep Cleaning Day and the children of ESW
Thursday: K-7 Group A (no grade 6’s) and the children of ESW
Friday: K-7 Group B (no grade 6’s) and the children of ESW

*Our grade 5/6 and grade 6/7 class are considered community of learners; therefore we are not splitting these classes by grade level. Instead, the grade 5/6  class will be split into group A/B and will have the option of coming Monday and Thursday or Tuesday Friday.  The grade 6/7 class will be split into an A/B group and will attend Monday or Tuesday.

Ensuring Safety:

1.What is the District Safety Plan?  Click on safety plan  and go to https://www.surreyschools.ca/covid19/

2. Following the Surrey School District health and safety plan, we must request all parents refrain from entering the classrooms or school, unless it is necesssary. So this means:

  • There is no dropping off lunches – please send your child to school with a recess snack and lunch.
  • Parents who typically walk their child to school and wait with him/her in the classroom lineup are asked to park their vehicles, walk their child to his/her classroom door and after they see their child has safely entered the class, the parent can leave.  Please read below about our soft start plan (no more waiting in line ups outside the classroom doors).

FAQ’s

1. Bell Schedule and what will recess and lunch look like?

  • Our bell schedule will remain the same.
  • We will have indoor recess and lunch hours – students will be supervised at recess and at lunch (as they have been all year).  Teachers will follow our regular supervisions schedule at recess – to ensure students are physically distancing as they eat snacks and play.  At lunch the students will play in the class and our regular noon hour supervisors will supervise as they would on an indoor day.
  • Students can bring their own toys from home to play with during lunch.
  • So when do students go outside? Teachers will sign up for a spot to take their class outside (this may happen more than once a day – recess and lunch). We will create a schedule where teachers can sign up their class to play in a particular zone (gym, playground, or field).  On this schedule teachers will need to indicate number of students they have that day playing in this zone.  More than one class can sign up for a zone  – as long as the count does not go over 50.

3. Will we have a staggered start and end time of day?

  • Start and end time for the day will be the same (classes in session at 8:35 am, school ends at 2:27 pm)
  • We will have a soft start in the morning. Teachers will have their outside classroom doors open from 8:15 – 8:35 am.
  • Parents of primary students (K-3) will walk their children to class and leave. For those classes that are upstairs in the new wing, there are 5 different entrances on the main floor in which students can enter and head upstairs to their classes.
  • A soft start like this will allow students to come in and wash their hands and get settled. This will also support physical distancing before school.
  • After school: primary parents can come to the classroom door from 2:25 – 2:45 pm to pick up their child. Once the teacher sees the parent, the teacher will dismiss the child to the parent.  Intermediate students will be dismissed at 2:27 pm (no waiting for parent pick up at the door).

4. Will the school playground be open before and after school?

  • Playground equipment will not be available before and after school.  We will be opening our playgrounds for school use only (during school hours) from 8:35 am to 2:27 pm.

 If you have any questions or concerns, please call the school or email Ms. Chohan.

Sincerely,

Ms. Chohan

 

May 25, 2020

download

Please see this video message for parents, students and staff regarding ongoing preparations leading up to next week’s return to optional in-class instruction.

What can you expect in the coming days? Likely two things, says Supt. Jordan Tinney:

  • A timetable for your school, likely with alternating days Monday/Tuesday and Thursday/Friday for elementary and, for secondary, a schedule where your child can receive direct support from their teacher on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
  • A survey asking you if you are certain that your child will not be attending school. We need to know this information because we are planning for all children and if students don’t arrive at school, we will be phoning home as part of our safe arrival programs and we don’t want to make unnecessary calls. We also need to know how many students will be attending so we can plan for bussing.

 

“All along we’ve been talking about slowly and steadily, we’ll get there,” says Tinney. “This week, teachers are preparing and doing their orientations to a whole new look and feel to school for them. Next week, when parents arrive, you’ll also encounter new routines and we will need your patience and support.

“We have never done this before, and so we’re all learning together.”

The video, as well as full written transcripts of the superintendent’s message in English, Punjabi and Chinese are available at https://www.surreyschools.ca/covid19, where you can also find other helpful information and resources.

Thank you.

Ready, Set, Learn

downloadTypically at this time of the year, our school hosts Ready, Set, Learn to support three and four year olds in our community. Ready, Set, Learn is about fostering positive connections between families, the school system and local community agencies. As a result of Covid 19, we are unable to facilitate Ready, Set, Learn. In light of this, our District has developed a website called surreyschoolsone.ca that provides parents with activities to support learning at home. It has also provided some activities, resources and a list of community partners you may find helpful. Please see the list of ideas below:

Literacy Activities:

Numeracy Activities:

Social Emotional Learning Activities:

Other Videos:

Mrs. Mac (StrongStart Teacher) – Makes Playdough   – (Playdough Recipe)

Monique Grey Smith – You Hold me Up

Charlotte Diamond – Wash your Hands

Community Partners that are providing virtual learning opportunities:

May 14, 2020

Dear Pacific Heights families,

I hope you are continuing to be well in these very different times.  Here at school we continue to  plan and look ahead to next year.  In that spirit, it is my pleasure to welcome Mr. Stephen Hardy to the Pacific Heights community.  Mr. Hardy will be the principal of Pacific Heights as of July 1st, 2020.   I know based on my experiences working with Mr. Hardy, that he is a thoughtful and kind person.  He is a curricular leader with a student centered focus.  He is a great fit for Pacific Heights. Please read his message below:

Hello Pacific Heights Community,

hardyMy name is Stephen Hardy and I have the great privilege of having been appointed Principal of Pacific Heights starting July 1. I am both excited and honoured by the opportunity to be part of such a great school. A little bit about me. With the exception of 2 years at SFU as a Faculty Associate and 3 years as Principal of an independent school, I have been an educator in Surrey since 1992. For the past 5 years, I have worked as a District Principal in Human Resources and while I have enjoyed working at the District level, I welcome the chance to return to school-based work. I have heard nothing but wonderful things about the Pacific Heights community and look forward to meeting you all.

Sincerely,

Mr. S. Hardy

 

April 26, 2020

principals-notePrincipal’s Message

Dear Pacific Heights Families,

This past month has tested our strength, resilience and resourcefulness.  I am hoping you are staying as well as you can right now.

Our wonderful teaching staff has been hard at work planning learning activities for the week and then touching base with students throughout the week to provide further support. Our staff recognizes that it is not easy for families to adjust to distance learning. We know there will be frustrations and there will be bumps, but our teachers are committed to their students and are doing all they can to help you along.

I am most impressed with  how our community has stepped up during this pandemic.  Parents have stepped up to teach their children at home – not an easy task! Our dedicated teachers have launched distance learning, working odd hours throughout the day so they can be there for their own families and for your children.

Please note that this Friday, May 1st, it is a professional day.  This means our teachers will be busy learning through workshops they have signed up for and for this reason, your child may not have learning activities assigned for Friday.

Please remember that our ultimate goal is that we all stay healthy, physically and emotionally, and that we all stay engaged.  Please know that each and everyone of you is missed.  We will see each other soon and for me personally, that gives me great hope.

Please stay safe and healthy.

Sincerely,

Ms. Chohan

imagesGood Deeds – Paying it Forward

Liam Kerry, in Ms. Beare’s class, has found a way to spread kindness to seniors living in retirement communities and long term care, to help combat the isolation and loneliness they are experiencing right now.  Liam’s mom, Erika Kerry, has set up a program called the Grand-Friends pen pal program, which matches up seniors to kids to video chat, send emails, or have kids send in artwork and fun videos – all to spread cheer. The plan is that when this pandemic subsides, the grand-friends can meet in person and carry no their friendship. Click here to read the Peace Arch news article  to learn more about this program.

Liam has been participating in the artwork and video portion of the program. Liam sends in all kinds of artwork, science experiments, and telling jokes. He enjoys spreading the cheer and says, “I do not want seniors to be sad cause they miss their families”.

Below is Liam holding the artwork he sent off to his grand-friend and a video of Liam doing a science experiment. Please do not conduct this experiment unless you have adult permission and supervision.

IMG_0365

April 13, 2020

downloadPrincipal’s Message

Dear Pacific Heights Families,

I hope you are all staying healthy and safe during this unprecedented time of social distancing due to Covid-19.  During these past two weeks I have most definitely missed the students of Pacific Heights. I have been able to connect with some of you over the phone or email – and it has been good to hear that you are staying healthy and safe.  As many of you know, I have two children at home, so I do understand both the joys and challenges of being your child’s teacher.  I also feel like I am doing a lot more cooking and baking!

Our teachers and support staff (EA’s, ABA’s, CCW) have been working hard to implement a distance/online learning program that is responsive to the needs of our students. Depending on the grade level our classroom teachers are using either Office 365 (Teams, FlipGrid), email, phone calls, websites, and filmed lessons  – all to connect and teach our learners.  There is no “one size fits all” approach. Our goal is to work together with students and their families to support learning and overall well-being.

A learning principle that is always at the forefront of our minds is we know children learn in different ways in different rates.  What this means is some children will work through the learning activities quickly and can take advantage of extensions provided by teachers, while other  children are going to require some support.  This support is available to you – please contact your child’s teacher if your child requires more support.

The Ministry of Educations guidelines for elementary school are to focus on literacy and numeracy.  Our teachers are doing this along with providing students with extra projects and learning (STEM, Science, Art, music) if that is what the students need.  You can expect teachers to be providing feedback to students and families regarding the work students are handing in for assessment.  You can also expect teachers to contact students to see how they are doing with their learning and activities assigned.  It is very important that parents/guardians and students ask questions and communicate their concerns regarding the learning to their classroom teacher.  We are in this together – your feedback is appreciated.

Assessment
– There will be a final reporting period with a CSL report
– Teachers will be assigning learning activities and providing feedback

Technology
– For those families who require a device, please contact your child’s teacher so arrangements regarding pick up can be made.

Sincerely,

Ms. Chohan

South Surrey Consultation 2019 - Current BoundariesBoundary Changes

Prior to Spring Break notices were sent home informing families who will become part of the Edgewood or Douglas Elementary community in the coming school year.  Last week, we contacted families who had not received the notice either because their children were not at school or the family had a recent address change.

If you have questions regarding which catchment your are in – please call the school and we can verify for you.

There will be information coming soon about an online Parent Information Presentation. The online presentation will have information regarding Edgewood and  Douglas Elementary, and the transition for next fall.  We will also provide an overview  of some of the work happening this spring and next fall to get ready for the school.

Click here for the Edgewood Elementary School blog and click here for the Douglas Elementary School blog.  Both blogs include an area to ask questions.  In order to help us plan for the evening, we ask that you please forward any questions you may have so we can include answers to these questions in our presentation, or do our best to answer these questions during the evening.

More details regarding the catchment boundary options, public consultation, and the Report to the Board of Education can be found at bit.ly/sd36consultations.

heartStaying Connected as a Community

With all of us social distancing in our homes – we need to find creative ways to stay connected.  Ways to keep each other inspired and positive.  So we have a fun challenge for the month of April:  how you are paying it forward at home?  What action are you taking that is being helpful to your family and/or neighborhood without expecting anything in return? You are doing a good deed for the sake of being helpful.  For example, Kiera and Kaelyn Chong created a positive chalk art message on their sidewalk (as seen in picture above).

Please email your picture or video to Ms. Chohan: chohan_s@surreyschools.ca

Your good deed will be highlighted in our school IG account.

In the month of May we will be posting videos of our talented students.  May was when we were going to hold our annual Variety Show where we showcase the talents our students have (telling jokes, singing, playing instruments, dancing, etc.).  We will now be highlighting these talents on either our school blog or IG account.  So, start practising your talent and film it for our May showcase on IG!