Sixteen youth from among five coastal Labrador communities will come together in song this week as part of Canada’s 150 anniversary celebration in Ottawa. The students range in age from Grade 7 to 12 and hail from within Nunatsiavut, calling Nain, Hopedale, Makkovik, Postville or Rigolet home. A relatively new choir, under the direction of Janet Wiseman (with help from Shallaway’s Kellie Walsh) and through a partnership between the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District and the Nunatsiavut government, Ullugiagatsuk will join hundreds of other choirs and musicians from throughout the country to celebrate this momentous occasion on Parliament Hill… and they have only ever sang together in person a handful of times!
Recently, the publication Labrador Life profiled the new choir, their challenges and their excitement about being part of such an historic event. The article, written by Holly Lake, can be viewed at the link below.
The students head to Ottawa June 28, in advance of the weekend’s big show.
The District wishes all participants a wonderful trip – we are certain you will have a wonderful experience and will be an amazingly appropriate representatives of our province and our country on this national stage!
The students and staff of Woodland Primary in Grand Falls-Windsor made a video to show how we can be an Everyday Hero.
To view, please follow this LINK or through the link at the bottom of the page.
St. Michael's Regional High (Grades 7 to 12) and the residents of Bell Island will be front and centrer as part of this week's episode of Still Standing on CBC TV, airing 9:00 p.m. NST on Tuesday, June 27, 2017.
A number of students, as well as school and community related initatives will be featured.
Details of a special showing at the school can be found in the poster above and more information on the television series, starring Newfoundland's own Johnny Harris, can be found HERE.
Grade 6 students received and participated in an ArtsSmarts project with artist Winnie Glavine where students learned the traditions and evolution of rug hooking in Newfoundland and Labrador. Together, they designed their own project, focusing on a symbol of our province and learned the process involved in the art of rug hooking. In addition to learning the how, students developed skills in concentration, patience, and perseverance. Additionally, they experienced the calming effect of rug hooking. Their finished piece was a certainly a personal reward; an expression of their creativity and a tangible expression of pride in their completed project. It was evident that the students learned a lot about rug hooking and the role it played in our culture. It highlighted that some students have a natural flair for this particular art, discovering a new activity to engage in in their spare time. Many students were hooked before the end of the project!
For more information on the ArtsSmarts program from ArtsNL, please feel free to visit their website HERE.
Gander Academy is the 2016-17 Pythagorus School Provincial Champion for Newfoundland and Labrador! The school's Grade 6 mathematics students also scored above the Canadian average with over 60,000 students competing in this year's contest. These results are indicative of much hard work and support by Gander Academy students, staff members and families over their first 7 years of schooling.
The school's administration is very proud of their student's great work, congratulate all students for their efforts and also thank their amazing Grade 6 teachers for administering the test and encouraging our Grade 6 students.
A special mention to Gander Academy's top 5 students: Jessica Ugwoke and Serena Woolridge (both tied for 1st), Charlotte Bown, Adam Pinsent, and Luke Taj.
Way to go Gander Academy!
Students in Cathy Baker's Kindergarten class at Holy Cross School in Eastport waited... and waited... and today (June 20th), just days before summer vacation, their patience and care were finally rewarded. A baby duckling finally hatched from their incubator, much to the awe and excitement of students.
Last month, an incubator was set up and eggs were introduced so the children could work on project-based, play-based learning. Ms. Baker says the results among students have been extremely positive and responsive.
To see the big event and learn more about the project, visit the Compass' website story link HERE.
A Rennie's River Elementary long-time volunteer has received recognition as one of Canada’s Favorite Crossing Guards. Dave Innes was recognized in an Assembly on mid-June, in which dignitaries, honored guests, parents, staff and students of Rennie’s River Elementary were present. Mr. Dave, as he so affectionately referred to by students, ensure the safe crossing of young learners on one of the busiest streets in the capital city, Elizabeth Avenue. Dave is out in all kinds of weather and often, as we all know, he can experience 4 seasons in one day!
Mr. Innes has been spotted shoveling the sidewalk to ensue students are visible to passing traffic and that they have a safe passage way out into the street. His sense of duty as Crossing Guard extends beyond the school and out to include the community. He has assisted the elderly from the neighbouring St. Pat’s Mercy Home, runners using Rennie’s River Trail, and even ducks from the river, in crossing the street safely.
Parents of and the staff at Rennie’s River can start their day with the confidence and knowledge that the students who walk to school are safely guided across the high traffic Elizabeth Avenue. A heartfelt thank-you to Mr. Innes, the reliable, dedicated and pleasant Crossing Guard who has not missed a single day of service to his school community.
Two educators within District schools in Newfoundland and Labrador have each received one of the country's highest honours for the 2016-17 school year - the Prime Minister's Award for Teaching Excellence. Waterford Valley High School (St. John's) educator John Walsh and Belanger Memorial School (Doyles) teacher Kristy Boland have each been named to this year's list of recipients based on their dedication to education and approach to engaeding their students to encourage a deep understanding of core subjects like Math, Chemistry, Physics, and technology.
Information on John Walsh's nomination and Certificate of Achievement can be VIEWED HERE.
Information on Kristy Boland's nomination and Certificate of Achievement can be VIEWED HERE.
Congratulations from your colleagues and co-workers throughout the District.
French immersion students across Canada were invited to create a video demonstrating their French immersion learning experience based on the theme Mon inspiration francophone. This contest was organized by the Association canadienne des professionels de l’immersion (a Canadian association of French immersion professionals). The ninety second video clips were evaluated based on the students’ oral communication skills in French, originality, and creative use of technology.
Jakiera Rideout, a Level III early French immersion student at Holy Spirit High School, successfully placed third in this national competition. Third place winners receive a $4000.00 scholarship to attend the University of Ottawa.
Jakiera’s winning video can be viewed HERE.
Students, staff and families came together Tuesday morning, as Larkhall Academy hosted its annual Community Breakfast at the school. Participants noted that the morning event was a huge success, thanks in large part to the many volunteers. Parents, guardians, teachers, school board members, politicians, Rotary Club members and friends participated and helped to make sure the delicious food was prepared and that there was an accepting, fun, and inviting atmosphere for all in attendance. Always aware of their responsibility to help those who may be less fortunate, the school ensured that all the leftover food headed to The Gathering Place in the spirit of caring and sharing.
Mount Pearl Senior High’s Community Outreach Program operates out of the school and includes such initiatives as coats for kids, visiting with seniors, Christmas hampers, Causes for Concerns, Christmas Boxes and a Soup Kitchen.
The Soup Kitchen is a 12 week program that runs from Feb to May with students meeting each Thursday after school met to prepare chili or goulash, as well as muffins or cookies. With the generous support from the corporate sponsors, Sobeys, Dominion and TRA, the students were able to prepare meals for the Salvation Army's Wiseman Center which provides temporary and supportive housing to socially-displaced homeless individuals. Monies were also provided by the Elim Pentecostal Church and the Causes for Concern group.
The last day for MPSH’s South Kitchen program was May 25 and concluded with the students and teachers bringing their food to the Wiseman Centre on Friday to served, eat with patrons and cleaned up, before returning to school.
Students saw firsthand the value of their hard work and putting the needs of others ahead of their own. We often hear of teenagers are selfish and self-absorbed but that is not the experience at Mt. Pearl Senior High, where students have at times volunteered for this program even though they already have their career hours. The program is in good hands moving forward as many of the current assistants have said they will be returning to the program next year. So much for being self-absorbed.
Cameron Rice is a Grade 12 student at New World Island Academy who was selected as a recipient of the TD Canada Trust scholarship, valued at $70,000. In providing him this scholarship opportunity, TD has noted the following on their website; ‘... hoping to re-invigorate community togetherness in an isolated fishing port, Cameron joined the Coming Home Year festival committee and organized a dory race that attracted more than 400 people. He decided to make the Herring Neck Dory Festival an annual event and gained the support of provincial politicians and the Atlantic Lottery Corporation. Cameron served as co-president of the Student Council, hosted an annual community Christmas supper to share the holiday spirit and organized a benefit concert for the Canadian Cancer Society. He plans to study commerce at Memorial University (2017).’
Everyone at the District and at New World Island Academy is very proud of Cameron and wish him all the best in September.
Amalgamated Academy in Bay Roberts hosted a 'Pride Week' during May to help highlight and celebrate diversity. This was an initiative of the schools Safe and Caring Committee that was facilitated by a Safe and Caring Special Project Grant. Many activities were planned during the week which included the rising of the Pride flag, the rainbow coloring of the school crosswalk, a Loom Band Project for the elementary students, 'Different Kinds of Families' presentations (presented by the Foster Families Association), and a rainbow day where every member of the school community was given a rainbow cupcake and asked to dress in rainbow colors for the day. Various information was provided to both staff and students and it was awesome to see the students embrace this as they took it upon themselves to display their pride by doing things such as placing rainbow posters around the school and painting rainbows on their faces. We hope that this week will have a lasting impact and that the school community will continue to welcome and embrace diversity.
At their recent graduation celebrations, the six senior classmates at Lakewood Academy in Glenwood marked the absence of an old friend. In 2008, then 8 year old Rorry Calder died in a terrible car accident at an intersection in Gander on the Trans Canada Highway. Every year at their final awards ceremony, Rorry is remembered by the school he would have attended, but this year as his friends graduated, the students wanted to make sure he was included in their special day.
Recently, CBC reporters spoke with Rorry's mother, Brandi, Principal Cathy Rowe and the members of the 2017 graduating class at Lakewood Academy about Rorry's memory and why it was important for them to include him in their special day.
CBC News (May 22, 2017) - View news story HERE.
CBC News Central - Morning Show Interview Audio, available HERE.
An innovative high school student from St. John's has taken home a gold medal at the Canada-Wide Science Fair held in Regina, Saskatchewan. One of a six-person NL team that made the cross-country journey, Holy Heart High School Grade 12 student Nora Boone won a gold medal, as well as an Innovation Challenge award, and a Youth Can Innovate award for the development of a tool to help doctors in rural areas of perform emergency neurosurgical care when needed. She worked with a number of local doctors and Memorial University of Newfoundland's medical students in their 3D laboratory to create her project and was thrilled to bring the honour home.
Additionally impressive, Team NL members Aaron Sarkar of Macdonald Drive Junior High also won a silver medal, while Kurtis Collins of Waterford Valley High, Nisarg Dave of Gonzaga and Noha Shehata, also of Holy Heart, each won a bronze medal. More information on the projects can be found here.
CBC News recently spoke with Boone about her award-winning project and the impact it could have on rural medicine accross the country and throughout the world.
CBC News NL (May 22, 2017) - View news story HERE.
It is grad season and many of our most senior students are celebrating the culmination of their secondary school educational experience. The students of Waterford Valley High in St. John's held their prom festivities at the Convention Center, featuring in-house WVH entertainment. School Board Trustee Keith Culleton attended the celebration and says he was impressed with the number of graduating students who displayed their talents for the more than 800 individuals in attendance. Culleton also took the time to thank teacher-sponsor Mr. Robert Smith for his tireless efforts to coordinate or organize the grad with the student committee - a testiment to the dedication of Mr. Smith and the District's many staff members throughout the province who give of themselves to ensure our students have a good send-off from what we hope is a postive educational experience.
Students and community members came together recently to showcase how taking care of your mental health can be both fun and engaging!
The Mind Your Mind gathering, which kicked off May 5 at Menihek High School, featured session and presentations on such activities as yoga, martial arts, journaling, sumba, art, laughter and more.
The local newspaper, The Labradorian, sent reporter Mike Power to the conference to speak with participants to understand how talking about mental health does not always have to be in the negative.
The Labradorian (May 11, 2017) - View news story HERE.
Young environmentalists at C.C. Loughlin Elementary in Corner Brook are doing all they can to ensure that thousands of plastic bags are kept out of our local landfills. Students have come on board this year with the Plastic Bag Grab Challenge, which saw upwards of 15,000 bags collected last year through the efforts of school staff. This year, the students have already more than doubled that total... and they still have more than two weeks to go until the end of their efforts.
West coast newspaper, The Wester Star, sent reporter Gary Kean to speak with the students about the reasons why they care and what everyone should be doing to keep our communities clean.
The Western Star (May 14, 2017) - View full story HERE.
After a 6 hour delay at Pearson Airport and an early morning arrival in Quebec, Grade 6 students, teachers, and chaperones were 'up and at 'em' earlier this month at the Cosmodome in Laval, all part of a weeklong Space Camp excursion.
Students from J. J. Curling Elementary in Corner Brook have been experiencing this amazing opportunity since 2011. Following four days of engaged learning in science and other STEM disciplines, as well as a simulated immersive astronaut training program, students graduated to return home with stories of an amazing experience that will last a lifetime.
In late April, the Centre for Distance Learning and Innovation (CDLI) French students took part in a unique opportunity to experience a French immersion setting in our own backyard. Some 13 distance education French students from six different schools travelled to St-Pierre to participate in the Francoforum program with CDLI e-teachers Glenn Cake and Michelle Pittman. Students represented high school French students from across the island, ranging from L’Anse-au-Loup to Plum Point to Carmenville and points in between.
Not only did they get a chance to finally meet their CDLI French teachers for the first time face to face, students were also able to meet their peers and get an opportunity to work, play and explore together 'en francais.' Students stayed in pensions (Bed & Breakfast), enjoyed French cuisine daily, and spent each day experiencing a host of authentic cultural activities which provided the opportunity to put their second language skills to work in real life situations.
A Grade 2 class at St. Mary's Elementary in St. John's recently learned how to ask the tough questions, as the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary and the provincial newspaper, The Telegram, partnered for the Newspapers in Education program.
The students, who are learning about newspapers and about to start their own classroom publication, experienced a mock media scrum about a missing princess and used their skills of inquiry to get to all the details from Media Relations Officer Geoff Higdon.
The Telegram's Tara Bradbury was among the visitors to Ms. Pinsent's class to share some tips and capture the event for their files.
The Telegram (May 7, 2017) - View full story HERE.
Grade 7 and 8 students at Catalina Elementary on the province's Bonavista Peninsula used their talents, creativity and community members to tell the story of the impact of the cod moratorium recently, as part of the Nickle Film Festival's Reel Youth filmmakers series. The theme of the series this year is 'water' and the students involved undertook an amazing endeavour, as many of the student were not even born when the cod fishery collapsed in the 1990s.
CBC NL were on-hand recently to see the documentary set-up in action and provided the students with the media spotlight to tell the public about their project.
CBC News (May 3, 2017) - View full story HERE.
For audio from CBC's On the Go, CLICK HERE.
The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is advising administrators and educators that the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why should not be used as a curriculum resource in the province's schools.
Acting Associate Director of Education (Programs and Operations) Lucy Warren recently spoke with CBC to outline the District's approach to the series and how discussions on the topic of suicide should be undertaken using appropriate resources and guidance.
CBC News (May 4, 2017) - View full story HERE.
After years of planning, a new outdoor recreation space is finally starting to take shape outside J.R. Smallwood Middle School in Wabush. The school has been planning and pulling together items for a number of years and last fall had the space hydroseeded to develop the green grass for underfoot.
Recently, the school was successful in receiving a 2017 Community Healthy Living Fund grant from the Department of Children, Wellness, and Social Development for $10,000 that Principal Darryn Cramm says will be used to purchase what they hope will be the final pieces of outdoor fitness equipment to fill the space once the grass begins to sprout and grow!
In the meantime, students in the Little Green Thumbs program have been using a section of the area as their vegetable garden with great results. Vegetables harvested this past September were shared with parents on curriculum night, with the reviews coming back to say the food was delicious. Congrats J.R. Smallwood - looking foward to seeing the finished product!
A choral group at Crescent Collegiate is evaluating which competitions it will enter in the coming months, after recently impressing the adjudicators at the WorldStrides OnStage competition in Orlando, Florida. Music director Sarah McDonald and her choir participated in the compeition in late April, walking away with a Gold Standard Award and second place honours in the Women's Choir category, while student Mackensie Smith received a Special Ovation Award for her solo efforts with the group. Their success has earned the choir invites to further competitions.
The local paper, The Compass, recently featured the school's win in their publication. The article can be viewed at the link below.
Waterford Valley High kicked off Mental Health Awareness Week with a dramatic production dubbed 'Not Myself Today'. The show, which saw musical and theatrical performances from a number of students, helped to highlight the challenges facing young people today, as well as the resources available and assistance needed.
Students performed for faculty and special guest during the day and are also offering an evening performance at the school Monday, May 1st, at 7:30 pm. Performances are free, but any monies collected are being directed to the Newfoundland and Labrador chapter of the Canadian Mental Health Association.
SchoolStock has returned. Read about the revitalization on CBC NL website.
As part of a continued effort to ensure a safe and caring learning environment for all students in the region, King Academy's Peer Helper group, along with the guidance counsellor, took time out from their Easter Break to put a new look on their lockers. Painting the lockers with the rainbow pride colours to support the LGBTQ community is a Safe and Caring Schools project funded through a Department of Education and Early Childhood Development grant provided earlier this year. Students had fun with the project and felt that the colours, even without words, will make a meaningful impact with those discovering their identity.
St. Peter's School in Black Tickle is expanding its library thanks to teacher Krista Conway.
Read the CBC NL story at the link below.
A Grade 12 student from Holy Heart High School is riding high after winning “Best of Fair” at Husky Energy’s Eastern Newfoundland Science Fair.
Holy Heart of Mary High School and Memorial University have established an amazing partnership to help foster communication with English Second Language students. Read The Gazette story at the link below.
Ms. Howard's Grade 1 class at Bishop Feild Elementary learned about gardening with members of the Autism Society of Newfoundland and Labrador Transitions program.
View the CBC NL story through the link below.
High school graduation often puts a lot of pressure on students and their families to deal with the financial aspect of such a big celebration in a student’s life. To help ease the financial burden, New World Island Academy in Summerford and J. M. Olds Collegiate in Twillingate are partnering to start a "Grad Closet."
After seeing how successful the Grad Closet has been in other areas of the province, Guidance Counsellor Laura Gushue brought the idea to the two schools. The idea behind the Grad Closet is that any student needing or wishing to borrow a dress, suit, or accessories are able to take the items out for the weekend and return them for someone else to borrow. This is open for students who are graduating, and students who are attending any graduation in the area. When the student returns the item(s), they will be free for the next weekend to anyone who may want to borrow them.
The schools are currently accepting donations from surrounding communities and will make the items available to the students at the end of the month. The closet will be rotated between the two high schools on a weekly schedule. One of the many great things about this project is that it requires no fundraising and all items collected this year will be stored and available for years to come.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Ms. Gushue at New World Island Academy, 1-709-629-3412.
Exploits Valley Intermediate celebrated Pi Day again this year with several students showing off their number skills. Students were challenged to memorize the first 100 digits of the irrational number Pi. Of the four students who attempted it, two were successful in memorizing the first 100 digits and reciting them in front of their peers. Ella Browne and Rachel Bartlett showed an impressive display of their mathematical skills, and they were each rewarded with a brand new math set.
They were also given the opportunity to pie their Principal (John Antle), Vice Principal (Darren Woolridge) and Math teacher (Tom Caines) in the face to the great delight of all students watching. It was a great afternoon with a fantastic show of school spirit.
In honour of the 150th anniversary of Confederation, the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons are hosting a speech writing competition (500 - 750 words) for Canadians aged 12 to 17.
The topic is "What Parliament Means to Me."
Finalists will win an all-expenses-paid trip to Ottawa in June 2017. While in Ottawa, the finalists will meet with the Speakers of the Senate and the House of Commons and be recognized at a reception at Parliament. Further details about the contest and a video can be found on the Parliament of Canada's Youth Connection Facebook page.
The Historic Sites Association has announced the student winners of theie 2017 Design and Story Contest. Marystown Central High School Grade 10 student Olivia Blake won the overall provincial prize for her entry, 'Newfoundland Fairytale.' Six regional winners were also announced, including:
- Avalon - Julia Brake (Grade 10, Gonzaga High School)
- Burin - Katelyn Butler (Grade 5, Sacred Heart Academy)
- Vista - Mark Butt (Grade 5, Anthony Paddon Elementary)
- Central - Jasmine Neal (Grade 8, Smallwood Academy)
- Western - Jada King (Grade 5, Our Lady of Mercy Elementary)
- Labrador - Erica Jacque (Grade 9, B.L. Morrison All Grade)
Congratulations to all who particiapted. More information on the contest and to see and read each of their entries, please visit the Historic Sites website here.