Blog Posts

Sunrise light at the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on a foggy morning, suspended walking bridge in middle of forest, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. iStock - Capilano Suspension Bridge
February 1, 2024

The Bridge to Anywhere

There are no guarantees in life, but wherever you want to go or can imagine going, education is probably the best way there. How does a child in Kindergarten one day become an architect? How does a grade nine student become an arthroscopic surgeon or an agriculturist? How does one become an electrician or a chef? You guessed it - education. This is why I often describe education as the bridge to anywhere.

Sunrise light at the famous Capilano Suspension Bridge Park on a foggy morning, suspended walking bridge in middle of forest, North Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. iStock - Capilano Suspension Bridge
Students working within the classroom McMillan - Raelene's Classroom
February 1, 2024

Gentle Starts, Giant Connections

As we start each school day at McMillan Elementary, we seek connections with colleagues to chat about how we are feeling, the Netflix show we watched the night before, or how our kids' team performed at last night's game. We seek a morning connection to ground us for the emotional, social and mental demands of our day. Our students are no different. They, too, need this foundation to set them up for a successful day of learning.

Students working within the classroom McMillan - Raelene's Classroom
September 7, 2023

Welcome Back to School!

As our first week of school is coming to an end, students are happily getting to know their teacher, and making new friends. We are all looking forward to a terrific year. This year, we kicked off with a video from our mascot Silver, who had a wonderful summer doing all the fun things he could think of. You can watch that above. He has reminded students of the Husky Virtues, Respect, Cooperation, Honesty, Empathy, Courage, Creativity, Kindness, and Perseverance. Students are excited to begin collecting Husky Tags at our future Husky Assemblies.

Group of diverse learners gathered together for a photo with smiling faces 28June2023 - Superintendent Newsletter - McMillan
June 29, 2023

Ready for Middle School! Why Inclusion Matters

Jayde and Skyla are twins in grade 5 who started school at McMillan in Kindergarten. The girls have a designation, due to cerebral palsy, and are confined to wheelchairs. They were nonverbal when they started school, and their learning and growth over the past six years has been remarkable to watch. Even more inspiring, though, has been watching them grow in their relationships with their peers.  I sat down with Jayde, Skyla and several of their friends to talk about their learning journeys as they get ready to move on to middle school.

Group of diverse learners gathered together for a photo with smiling faces 28June2023 - Superintendent Newsletter - McMillan
June 29, 2023

Outgoing Superintendent's Message of Gratitude

With my last blog post as superintendent (I still have a few more to write in my retirement), I would like to close with gratitude and appreciation for the many people with whom I have travelled this thirty-six-year path. I mentioned in my last post that it was because of the inspiration and encouragement of teachers, and one in particular, why I chose to become an educator. The journey to finding and fulfilling my purpose, particularly in leadership, has been filled with meandering adventures and learning. What resonates most with me are the people who have been on the journey with me.

Elderly man holding man and speaks at his 90th birthday Mr. Marshall - KG - Superintendent Newsletter Image
June 20, 2023

A Road Not Taken

With all the recent retirement festivities I have had cause of late to reflect on my journey in the education system.  One of the frequent questions I have been asked is why I decide to become a teacher “all those years ago.”  I have had occasion over the years to mention it on World Teacher Day, but for me, the decision had everything to do with my school experiences, and a challenge extended to me by a very special human being.

Elderly man holding man and speaks at his 90th birthday Mr. Marshall - KG - Superintendent Newsletter Image
equity framework pillars
May 23, 2023

Equitable Endeavours through our District's Equity Framework

In previous posts, I have shared my perspectives on the spectre of systemic racism in education, particularly in relation to Indigenous Peoples. I highlighted two interrelated constructs related to this issue: epistemic racism (the idea that there is only one form of true knowledge) and the related “racism of low expectations” highlighted in the 2016 Auditor General’s Report.

equity framework pillars
Large tree with arms wrapped around it and a drawn heart in the middle of the tree between the two hands Tree Hug
May 23, 2023

Save the Tree!

At Margaret Stenersen Elementary School, there is a big and beautiful tree that some people want to cut down. The tree is a cedar and I LOVE IT!!! It is peaceful and I do not want it cut down. There are lots of trees at our school but this is the biggest. You are going to break our school’s heart. So many students play there. It is an old-growth tree and it holds all the school’s secrets. - Arija J., Grade 4

Large tree with arms wrapped around it and a drawn heart in the middle of the tree between the two hands Tree Hug
Hammer and Nails
April 28, 2023

CHAT GPT: Friend or Foe?

O wonder!
How many goodly creatures are there here!
How beauteous mankind is! O brave new world,
That has such people in't.

— William Shakespeare, The Tempest

Hammer and Nails
Two adult females helping two student make fruit salad Dave Kandal - Fruit Salad
April 11, 2023

Family Partnerships

At Kandal, we are committed to strengthening our family partnerships in our school community. It’s no secret the more parents are involved in their children’s lives, both at home and school, the more they will be in the ‘know’ about how best to support their children. To this end, our kindergarten and grade 1 teachers and our English Language Learners (ELL) teachers initiated the “Parents as Partners” program.

Two adult females helping two student make fruit salad Dave Kandal - Fruit Salad