Head of School’s Weekly Message
March 6, 2020
Dear Urban Academy Families,
Thank you for your work with us on Parent-Teacher Interviews and Student-Led Conferences. The students look forward to your follow-up on their report cards once you have met with teachers. We are into the final term now and the Senior students will have an Interim report at the halfway point in this term as well so that you can stay on top of grades and outcomes for year-end. On March 11, we will acknowledge our Senior students who achieved Honour Roll and Head of School’s Honours List this term; this is always an enjoyable assembly!
I am pleased to share with you that we have hired a Technology Education Specialist who will join us on March 30. Ms. Ashley Bayles will join us from Westside Schools in Vancouver to work specifically on our MakerSpace and our Applied Design Skills and Technology curriculum for September. We have had wonderful leadership in this area from Ms. Leeson, Mr. Leclair and Ms. Herman so she is joining a supportive team as we enhance our instruction and our learning opportunities for students, and we fit out our space. Ms. Bayles will take on some English teaching responsibilities in the Senior School in the fall as well. Welcome, Ms. Bayles! We are in the position of growing our middle and senior school and I will be hiring at least three new positions to augment our current staff. We will add in the areas of Mathematics, French and English as well as the above-noted Technology position. Some of this hiring is already under way. Assignments for current staff are being worked on as well as next year’s timetable and student programming opportunities. It seems like September is a long way away, but the work needs to start now so that we are well organized with strong staffing and a thoughtful instructional plan in place.
Our Grade 4-6 students are embarking on public speaking. This is the grade group range where this skill is intentionally and carefully taught and developed so that other presentation skills start to flourish. Some of this will happen in class with a unit of instruction (Grades 5 and 6) and some of it will be a co-curricular club (it is introductory for Grade 4). One the unit is complete, we do hope to have an event where students who really enjoy this aspect of the curriculum can showcase their learning. Our Grade 5 students are showing off the complex machines they built to their younger classmates today as well as they finish off their Science unit and learn how to explain and share their learning.
Next week, teachers will be going through classrooms and lockers to send home items that need washing, cleaning and sorting over the break. Junior students need to take home items that teachers pack up for them. Please ensure your Senior students take home the materials, band instruments (for practice), and other items out of their locker that they will need over the break. Gym uniforms, I can assure you, need laundering! We will have a number of trades in over the break to perform some work that cannot be done while the students are in session as well as extraordinary cleaning in the building. Please plan to look through Lost and Found on the lower level outside the gym change rooms next week – you may find treasures there that you have been missing!
Please note the message from InSchoolwear for our families regarding store hours for your personal shopping.
Have an enjoyable weekend, see you all back on Monday morning.
Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont
Head of School