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Urban academy news

Weekly Update | November 10, 2022

November 10, 2022

Dear UA Families,

Yesterday, we held our Remembrance Day assemblies where our students had the opportunity to come together to recognize the sacrifices of those who have served our country and communities to allow us to live the life we do today. It is important that we look to the past to help inform the decisions of the future. Our young people have lived through some upheaval in recent years, with the pandemic, the war in Ukraine, and economic instability populating news channels and social media. Our students are resilient and chose to make ‘Peace’ the theme for this year’s assemblies. As one student noted in our assembly yesterday, “we are fortunate to live where we live because peace is a privilege embedded in our daily lives but others are not as fortunate as us.” I encourage parents to have conversations with your children about what Remembrance Day means to you and your families.

Earlier this month, I attended UA’s first CAIS National Conference for Heads and Chairs in Montreal with one of our Board Members, Kate Begent-Connors. This was an excellent opportunity for us to connect with others from across Canada in similar roles in other CAIS schools. The keynotes and breakout sessions were very informative. There were two that specifically resonated with me. The first was an engaging talk by author Michael Bach who spoke passionately about the concepts in his book, Birds of All Feathers – Doing Diversity and Inclusion Right. One of the more powerful moments was during the Q & A with Michael when the current Head from his old school got up and apologized to Michael for the way he was treated during his time at the school 30 plus years ago. Acknowledging the truths of the past creates space for reconciliation and the opportunity to move forward on a better path. The second keynote was a panel of current students and graduates from CAIS schools discussing their work in the area of social entrepreneurship. These students spoke passionately in the areas of Environmental Sustainability, Mental Health, and the Power of Art to tell the stories of our times. Hearing from them inspired me to ensure that our UA students have opportunities to demonstrate their entrepreneurial spirit with the goal of making a social impact. I look forward to the day UA students will be sitting on a panel like this, sharing their accomplishments.

I am also excited to announce that we are more than 20% of the way to our Let’s Get Moving Appeal goal of $250,000 having raised $51,420! Thank you to everyone who has contributed to date, it is greatly appreciated. These initial funds have allowed me to place the order for some comfortable seating for the 4th and 5th floors as well as move forward with converting the 3rd floor deck off the library into an athletic deck. This is very exciting!!  As a reminder, for the first time ever UA is allowing, if not encouraging, families to consider donating one or more of their Parent Equity Certificates of $5,000 to the Annual Appeal. All parent equity donations will receive a tax receipt in time for end of year tax benefits.

In closing, I would like to say that the energy in the school today was very high. As I write this message I can hear the cheers coming from the gym as our Middle and Senior School students take part in the Fall Activity Day events. Our Junior School students are up at Hume Park enjoying a cool crisp day of activities. I am sure the noise level up there equals that in the gym. Please enjoy the long weekend and don’t forget Monday is a Pro-D day. Teachers will be in the building with a learning focus on assessment and evaluation and the new BC Reporting Order.

Yours in education,
Mr. Slinger