Food program at Blackburn

Parents at Blackburn elementary have started a healthy food program in response to hungry kids.

Randi Dery started volunteering in her boy’s classroom last year, when she started noticing some students consistently weren’t eating lunch.

“I was seeing that more and more kids were coming to school with no food,” said Dery, mother to seven-year-old Kaleb and six-year-old Brody.

“Hungry kids is angry kids. They disrupt the class and it’s a snowball effect,” said Dery, who was volunteering because her son’s class was “very high maintenance.”

So she spent the summer planning, and by September had the program in place.

It’s called Let’s Eat and twice a week Dery fills a basket of fresh food – fruit, juice boxes, fig bars – in each of the 10 classrooms.

It’s important to Dery that the food be in the rooms and available to everyone, unlike some food programs where kids go to the office to get a meal.

“That’s not fair. They shouldn’t have to put their hand up and say ‘I’m hungry, can I go get food?’ because there’s shame involved,” she said. “They don’t want to say they’re hungry. I just think it’s important not to put a spotlight on those kids.”

She estimated it costs about $60 a month to sustain the program.

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Join the #bcparent Twitter Town Hall Tuesday, January 22, 7-8 pm

Twitter Town Hall

As a parent, we know you’re passionate about your child’s education. We know you’d like to be more involved in it as well. Join Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement Jane Thornthwaite for a live Twitter discussion on how we can better communicate with parents so they can support their child’s learning.

How the Twitter chat will work

  • Parliamentary Secretary for Student Support and Parent Engagement Jane Thornthwaite (@jthornthwaite) will discuss parent engagement by asking questions and seeking ideas for improving how we communicate with parents.
  • Ministry of Education staff will help moderate the chat via the @bcedplanTwitter account. Their job is to ensure the conversation runs smoothly, stays on topic and is on time. They will also provide a detailed summary of the conversation after the Twitter chat.

How to participate

  • To follow the conversation go to or enter #bcparent into your chosen Twitter client (e.g., Hootsuite, TweetDeck, or Tweet Chat). This will give you the feed of all the tweets for our event.
  • To tweet a question or a comment you will need to have your own Twitter account.
  • Please address your tweets to the Parliamentary Secretary by including@jthornthwaite in them. Be sure to include the hashtag #bcparent in your tweets as well. If you don’t your tweets won’t appear in our feed and we can’t respond. Your tweets won’t appear in our archive of the event either.
  • When responding to a tweet, please use the “reply” button to ensure conversations remain threaded.

See you next Tuesday!

Administrative Appointments

Superintendent of Schools Brian Pepper is pleased to announce the following appointments, effective August 1, 2012:

Rob Larson – Principal, Pinewood Elementary
Deb Kaban – Principal, Van Bien Elementary
Lori Dennill – Principal, Blackburn Elementary and Giscome Elementary
Deanna Hood – Principal, Quinson Elementary

We wish all four of these administrators all the best in their new positions, and Dan Domes and Lynda Stoppler all the best in retirement.

Statement from BC Principals and Vice Principals Association

The 2011-2012 school year has been anything but normal and as we head into its last few months, I have been asked to share the perspectives of members of the BC Principals’ & Vice-Principals’ Association. These illustrations, while not representative of all schools, are examples of the real challenges that many schools, students and parents have faced this year.
Schools are typically vibrant communities, with a lot of positive interactions both in classrooms and out of them. School culture has been significantly eroded this year by the continuing dispute between the BC Public School Employers’ Association (the body which negotiates on behalf of school boards with teachers in British Columbia) and the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF). The routine and critically important communications between teachers and principals and vice-principals about student progress have not occurred in the normal fashion. As a consequence many students have not had their important academic issues addressed in a timely fashion or at all.

This year has seen the cancellation of some Christmas and winter holiday performances and routine student recognition assemblies. Some meetings about students who are having difficulties have not taken place. Meetings with teachers to discuss the direction of school initiatives and goals have not taken place. Parents did not receive first term report cards about their child’s progress. While some parents were able to get information about their child, many did not receive this information. Indeed, some parents reported that they made electronic contact with teachers but received no helpful response. Students have informed us that they have missed out on numerous scholarship opportunities as many of these applications require leadership activities to be considered.

Continue reading “Statement from BC Principals and Vice Principals Association”