Head of School’s Weekly Message

October 2, 2020

Hello UA Parents,

It is hard to believe we are already in October. We had an incredible first month of school which is more meaningful than usual given the circumstances in which UA started the school year. The end of September also marks when we provide the Ministry of Education with our first report indicating who is attending UA. It is evident that word is out about the quality of the education experience at UA as we reported 315 students, up from 270 last year, which is a significant growth. Of note is the growth in our middle/senior program (gr 6-12) where we have seen an increase of 30% in our student body. We are grateful for our Class Parents who have been reaching out and connecting with all of our new families, and we are hopeful that in time we will be able to gather as a community and extend a proper welcome.

Many of you will have already heard the news from Wednesday evening’s Public Hearing of the New Westminster City Council. We are thrilled that Council supported UA’s application for a zoning amendment which will allow us to proceed with our fifth-floor expansion. A BIG thank you goes out to Mrs. Beaumont who has led our group through the application process and will continue to lead the construction process. Additionally, Abi Shu (Board Chair) and Deborah Mackenzie (Board, Member at Large) were instrumental in organizing the community, meeting with Council, and ensuring that our supporters were organized and prepared for the public hearing. The efforts of all the above and our supportive community members have paid off and will impact the future of UA for years to come. Thank you all.

In the coming days, you will see a package arrive in your mailbox announcing the start of our Annual Appeal. This year a significant focus is purchasing recording (sound and video) equipment as well as additional equipment that will help us share student learning at a time when we cannot gather for in-person concerts and events. UA has set a goal to raise $90,000.00 this year which will also include in-class resources for our students. Please consider your participation in the ‘Hear Us Roar’ Annual Appeal.

Congratulations to our students and their families for raising $1,405.75 for the Terry Fox Foundation. This is a new record for UA’s Terry Fox Fundraising. A wonderful contribution to an excellent cause.

Personally, it was another week of firsts for me at UA. This week I was excited to see the senior volleyball teams on the court having their first practices of the year. I also stumbled across a group of the senior boys playing a pickup game of basketball in the gym Tuesday morning and I couldn’t resist getting out there and playing for a little bit with them. I am happy to report that I hit my first ever shot in the UA gym! Maybe I should always play basketball in dress clothes. I also jumped in with the beginner band with the Grade 6 cohort and snuck onto the drums before Mrs. Kilpatrick caught me. Oh well, next time I will try and stay on the beat.

Have a great weekend everyone.
Yours in education,
Mr. Slinger

Posted on: October 5, 2020