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Weekly Update | June 18, 2021

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June 18, 2021

Dear UA Parents,

What a great way to end the week with Sports Day x 2. It has been an exciting week at UA culminating in a couple of days filled with fun and excitement for the Junior and Middle School students. I jumped in on some tug-o-war with the Grade 3’s and then had a fun time playing gold rush at Hume Park with the Ks. Our Grade 9-12 students used this week to complete their year-end assessments. From all accounts I heard from students, they were pretty happy with how the assessments went. Our seniors are now finished up for the year with only a year-end assembly on June 25 for them.

We had some optimistic news from the Provincial Health Officer and the Education Minister yesterday. They both indicated an expected return to a more ‘normal’ school year in September. One thing we have been told is that we will not have to restrict the school organization to learning cohorts, which will allow much more flexibility and cross-grade opportunities for the students of UA. The final K-12 Return to School Guidelines will be revealed in the middle of August.

It is the time of year when some of us need to say goodbye. We know there are some students who are moving away and who will not be returning to UA in September. We wish all of our departing students and families all the best in the years to come. Additionally, we also need to say farewell to a few faces from the UA teaching staff. Leaving us at the end of the school year are Ms. Plourde, Ms. O’Halloran, and Ms. Drought. We wish the three of you nothing but success in your new adventures and hope that you will stay in touch and keep us updated on how you are doing.

With departures also come big welcomes. I am very excited to announce that we will have 6 new teachers joining our staff: Ms. McCarron, Ms. Marsh, Ms. Dumortier, Ms. Hibberd, Mr. MacKay, and Mr. McCulley-Hayden. These new staff members will join over 60 new families at UA in the fall. We will be distributing a June update on Monday that outlines which roles many of these new staff will fill as well as an update on our plans to further grow and expand our program for the coming school year.

You will also find attached the important dates to help you plan your family’s year next year. Please note that one of the more significant updates is that the Winter Break will now be three weeks instead of two as in previous years. You will also note a number of additions that reflect on UA being able to plan for expanded field study and excursions in the coming year. We are very much looking forward to all of these initiatives!

Please take a moment to watch a special end-of-school-year message from BC Premier John Horgan, Minister of Education Jennifer Whiteside, and Dr. Bonnie Henry.

Finally, I would like to give a big shout-out to all of the dads, grandfathers, uncles, and father figures of UA. Thank you for all you do for your children and for our students. I hope you all get to enjoy a wonderful Father’s Day on Sunday. I know I am looking forward to some time with my girls and my dad.

Yours in education,

Mr. Slinger

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