Monster – a poem by Dennis Saddleman

Listen to a very powerful poem written by Dennis Saddleman about his experience of Residential Schools: Read the complete poem below: MONSTER, A RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL EXPERIENCE By Dennis Saddleman I …

Source: Monster – a poem by Dennis Saddleman

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This Week @VCS (Oct. 31)


VCS – This Week (October 24)

On Friday, Murray, April, Doug and I worked on a “Board of Education” where we are documenting and keeping track of each child’s learning plan/journey.  It’s kept in the Bodega (large classroom) if you would like to take a look.  We’re excited about the visual accountability that each teacher and each child will have … come and take a peek 🙂

This week is full of mentors, designing presentations from the data collected from our VCsporation question ressearching, new CC Studies, and passion development.  On Monday students will be receiving their personal USB sticks.  (Please pay the $30 student fee if you haven’t already done so.  This money is paying for the student’s journals and the USBs.).  On Tuesday students will get their Fresh Grade codes and begin their learning documentation, as well as reflecting upon the experiences lived thus far.  CC study assessments will be posted today as well.  On Wednesday, there is Woodwork Wednesday with the Dougler, and the teacher candidates from UBCO will be hosting a mini conference on “Mental Health and Wellness”.  Thursday and Friday will find the students polishing and rehearsing for their presentations which will begin next Monday.  Friday will also find the Outdoor School travelling to Bluenose Mountain for an adventure !

We hope that you received the invitation to the Nov 14 professional day learning opportunity – “Relationship Matters”.  Please RSVP so we can ensure food/seating.

We are looking for a sewing mentor if you know of anyone.  We are also looking for a woodworker who would like to help out with Woodwork Wednesday student project work – more about support and less about direct teaching.

Many thanks for all your support.  Over the weekend a Professor from UBCO (not Leyton or Margaret) told me that VCS is like a “rock star” around the Valley now.  WOW !  Yeah for us !

Ta Ta For Now,
K

P.S.  If your child was in Writing CC Studies this term, please remind them to submit their writing to Kim – for assessment and posting to Fresh Grade.  Thank you !

This week – October 11, 2016

Well, for starters, I am thankful for each and everyone of YOU – co-creators of Vernon Community School.
I hope you enjoyed a pause in life’s busyness – I rode the Okanagan Rail Trail and watched Kokanee spawning with my son.

FOR YOUR INFORMATION:

1. EMOTIONAL REGULATION:
I also had the privilege of attending the first weekend of Dr. Kevin Miller’s Mind Body Attunement Certification course at Blackrock Counselling Centre in Vernon (friday – sunday).  It is providing me with a deeper understanding of how to support students pay closer attention to their body sensations – particularly during challenging or upsetting situations – and will give me practical skills overtime of how to help the students work with and heal emotional triggers (this varies from person to person).  The following information is from Dr. Miller’s website
(http://www.drkevinmiller.ca/Drkevinmiller.html):

Mind-Body Attunement Therapy ® helps establish emotional regulation which reduces suffering and enhances well-being by working directly with the physiological elements of relational trauma stored in the nervous system. Interventions access deeply held anger, sadness and fear and gently discharge the energy by generating a sense of calm and paying attention to the sensory changes in the bodies.

Mind-Body Attunement therapy ® is applicable to a wide range of psychological, emotional and life issues including:
• Developmental difficulties including Abuse, Abandonment
• Difficulties in relationships or relating to others including Loss of trust, Incompatibility, Drifting apart, Affairs, Breakdown, Rows, Separation
• Losses including Bereavement, Redundancy, Separation
• Emotional dysregulation including Anxiety, Panic attacks, Depression
• Low self-esteem, Lack of confidence, Insecurity
• Life stresses including Work pressure, Domestic violence
• Impulse control difficulties including Addiction, Eating disorders, Anger or rage

**I am also able to refer students to Dr. Kevin Miller at Vernon Child and Youth Mental Health.  There is no cost.  His therapy style is gentle and supportive, and mind body attunement therapy is becoming more mainstream as the healing found there is transformative.  I encourage you to consider this if your child is struggling with any of the life issues mentioned above.  I am happy to facilitate the initial contact with Dr. Kevin Miller.  Just let me know.  We can also figure out transportation during the school day if necessary.**

2.  FRESHGRADE: 

We are determined to be online with Freshgrade by Friday … come hell or high water !  We will be doing some creative problem solving to ensure this happens …

3.  HALLOWEEN PARTY:
Many thanks to Shae Vance for taking this up. She has formed a committee and they have some plans …

EmojiVCS Halloween Party Emoji
Monday, Oct. 31 from 12:30-3:00

Choice:  dance or view a movie
Costumes are welcome (no weapons or violent costumes)

Please bring Halloween themed potluck items (sweet or savoury)

4.  STUDENT VOICE:

In the co-creative process, the teachers have noticed that they need student voice at their planning meetings.  We invited nominations and had many.  Corbin, Matt & Sekoija received the most votes.  We congratulate them and invite the students to share their questions, comments, feedback and concerns with Corbin, Matt & Sekoija so we can continue to attend to the health of our ecology of learning & growth.  Thank you to all the nominees.


5.  THIS WEEK (I’m sure I’m missing other mentors … so sorry !):

TUESDAY:
mentors – Laurie Moore (am) & Susan Guttridge (am) – both offering sessions related to understanding and regulating emotions
– VCSplorations (Burning Question or Self Study Inquiries)
– Passion Development

WEDNESDAY:

– Woodwork with Dougler (all day)
– Mentor – Andrea (am)

– CC Studies (am)
– continuation with VCSplorations (Burning Question or Self Study Inquiries)
– Passion Development

THURSDAYSchool ends at 1:00 because of Fulton’s Interview Schedule.  VCS teachers will be meeting to look at the recent BEE assessments and review each student’s Learning Plan

– mentor – Carmen (am) – felting and fibre arts
– mentor – Bryan Wilson (pm) – taking apart computers and learning the parts
–  continuation with VCSplorations (Burning Question or Self Study Inquiries)– Passion Development

FRIDAY
School ends at 1:00 because of Fulton’s Interview Schedule.  VCS teachers will be meeting to look at the recent BEE assessments and review each student’s Learning Plan

– Outdoor School will be from 8:30 – 1:00.
– CC Studies (am)

Here’s to a great week !
K, M, A & D 

This Week @ VCS (September 26, 2016)

Well, it seems our days are becoming more rhythmic.  We notice that as the community becomes more familiar to and with each other, powerful questions, provocations, and learnings emerge.   Because at VCS we take up the evidence-based belief that “Learning happens in the context of relationship” (Neufeld, 2016), the focus of our days has been on relating in different ways to different people through different content with different facilitators representing different ways of being in the world.  Yes, it’s complex, layered, and at times messy, yet this process is establishing the soil in which students will grow this year.  It’s a critical and sensitive time as students come to know themselves, their teacher/facilitators/mentors, and others better.  Trust will take root, and through this trust, students will be more able to “take chances, make mistakes, and get messy.”  Vulnerability or the opening up to the new, different, and sometimes scary, is the beginning of growth – It is the birthplace of  innovation, creativity and change (Brown, 2014).

Some Details:


Thanks to Bowen for taking up the making of a trailer for “Science” … stay tuned for loud explosions !

Monday – Today we had our choice of physical activity, worked at polishing our Bee Provocations (presentations begin tomorrow), and enjoyed exploring our passions &/or are struggling to find a passion.  A teacher candidate, Ross, from UBCO came to volunteer and see what VCS is all about.  He will be returning for more next week !  Thank you to Shae for doing such a wonderful job of publicly thanking Ross at the end of the day.

Tuesday – We have “CC Studies” (science, reading, writing, numeracy) in the morning and some of us will be helping to move the handmade Okanagan canoe from the Fulton cafeteria to a trailer, while others will be carrying it from the trailer to the shoreline at Kin Beach.  We are honoured to be asked by Lori Phillip to be a part of this ceremony that has been over 10 years in the making.  The “why should I care about pollinators ?” group will be presenting their discoveries to the VCS community.

Wednesday – Doug will return and support his Bee group in presenting their finished bee boxes.  He will also be offering strength and conditioning, as well as another game of “rugger”.  Mentor Andrea Clarke will be joining her small group studying “art and emotions”.

Thursday – Mentor Bryan Wilson will be joining his tech group as they begin the awesome adventure of building computers !  Another Bee Provocation group will present their discoveries to the VCS community.

Friday – “Orange Shirt Day” – our day will be infused with teachings from the experience of surviving/enduring Residential Schools by the First Peoples of Canada.  Each student will also be writing a reflective assessment on what was learned about bees and pollination through our first provocation of the year.

Finally,
I will be placing the magazine order tomorrow. 

Please double check that my list is complete.
I’ll assume it is correct unless I hear otherwise by tomorrow evening.

Milliken-Heape – 4
Hutchinson – 1
August – 2
Mullin – 3
Stark – 1
Harned – 1
Byles – 1
Mitchell – 3
Poitras – 4