Weekly Update » September 8, 2023

September 8, 2023



We can be Heros!

We come from good people. At ST’a7mes school we use our strengths to support one another; we are all connected. We show kindness, treat others with dignity and respect. We care for people in need.  We are connected to and we represent our family, ancestors, and community. We work with exertion and diligence.


Ha7lh Skwayel Families -

What a wonderful opening week we’ve had welcoming back our students, their families and those new to our community.  It’s been a busy week with new routines, new classes and social dynamics, new caregivers and adults in the building.  Kindergarten Spakwus are off to a great start with a week of gradual entry and next week they start full days with us! Welcome little ones!  Together we’ve invested good, rigorous energy into settling into all these new experiences and changes. 


I want to honor our students for the energy they have put into this week, coming to school in a good way.  I want to honor the teachers for the work they have done to create a safe and caring start to school, introducing their students to good ways of being in the classroom this year.  I want to honor the families for the exertion of love it takes to get the kids to school in the day, and the support they give as kids unwind and process all the work that went on in the school day.


We can be Heros!

As a school district, we base our learning goals around the competencies of create and innovate, collaborate, contribute and thinking critically.  Each year schools choose one competency to base their year learning plan around.  This year our learning theme will be centered around the district competency of contribution and our learning catch phrase will be “We can be Heros!” What this means for us is that we believe all of our children and staff come with gifts and talents. These gifts are unique and special. These gifts are our superpowers to contribute to making our school, and the world a better place. Their talents can be used to learn and understand things in a personalized way, to solve problems and to give acts of kindness and healing. 


“What’s my Superpower?” by Aviaq Johnston is a great story about a child trying to discover their super power.  This year our work will be to lift our students up by helping them continue to discover and cultivate their superpowers. 






Introducing our New Staff -

We have welcomed some new staff to our team this year. New faces you will see around the school are the following:

Katya Smirnova – our new LEX Scimatics Teacher. She comes to us after teaching PE and outdoor education with the Tsleil-Waututh Nation School over the past couple years.   

Emily Yamashita is our new Humanities LEX teacher. She comes to us after working with XETOLACW Community school in various roles in Mt.Currie.

Mr. Jordan Andrews and Ms. Angela Woods join our Team of EAs. 

Ms. Sarah Fleming joins our Learning Services team, she comes to us from teaching in Ontario. 

Ms. Casey Thomas will be joining us again in Sxwi7shen class one day a week

Ms. Tegan Davies will continue to cover Ms. Lisa Seidel’s mat leave until Ms. Lisa returns. 


Partners in the Learning; Family Homework and reminders from the Principal

The first wonder-full week of school can be quite tiring. If your child has been coming home with all the feelings and meltdowns, take heart, you are not alone. These feelings and behaviors are natural reactions to a week like this.  Hang in there. We are building our stamina and things will settle.  Below I’ve attached a couple of resources from one of my go –to’s: Dr. Vanessa LaPointe (a child psychologist who specializes in attachment parenting and discipline without damage).


The After-School Meltdown: Why it happens and how you can handle it with style



Get to know your teacher :

We hope you see your teacher as a supportive partner in raising your child.  Building a family bond with your child’s teacher is a great way to support your child’s learning this year. Establishing good routines of team communication is important. Teachers will be sending out emails to introduce themselves to families. Opportunities to connect with your child’s teacher in person are coming up: Our back to school BBQ is next Thursday Sept 14th. It starts at 4:30 pm and wraps up at 6PM.  Our learning services team is already reaching out to make appointments for IEP meeting. Parent teacher conferences will happen in early October.


In the meantime, please feel free to connect with your child’s teacher through email or calling the school. At home, a good start to building a connection is talking about similar interests that your child has to their teacher. Talk about your child’s teacher highly with your child, and highlight the ways your child’s teacher has spoken highly of them. Your child will follow your lead when it comes to their connection with their teacher. 


Other ways to get involved in the school community:

Research shows that a family’s involvement in the school community supports student success.  We will be hosting community gatherings such as our Winter and Spring Sla7ashens throughout the year.  Please also join our Parent Advisory Committee. Our first meeting is Tuesday September 20th. 5pm – 6pm. We will have childminding and a chili dinner prepared for the meeting. 



Back to school BBQ – 4:30 – 6:00pm, Thurs. Sept 14th.  


PAC Meeting: 5pm – 6pm Tues Sept. 20th


Forms - Please review and sign the verification forms that were sent home with your child this week. In addition, please log into your School Cash Online  account and complete the forms attached to your child's account. 


School  Supplies - This year your child's teacher has pre purchased school supplies in bulk. We are asking each family to contribute $35 for supplies. You can purchase supplies on your school cash online account or send cash or cheques made out to St'a7mes School to the school office. 


Bus Pass Registration- Please note that St’a7mes students are eligible for courtesy ridership (with exception of families living in Valleycliffe). Please follow the link to complete the bus registration form, if your child plans on taking the bus: https://www.sd48seatosky.org/apps/pages/schoolbus .  Please note that it will take 24-48 hours for students to receive their passes after registration. Bus passes will be picked up from the St’a7mes School office.


Attendance – Please make sure you contact the office when your child is away. You can call 604-892-5904 to leave a message or email [email protected]


Outside Attire – Much of our learning happens out on the land.  Please make sure your child is prepared with weather appropriate clothing and footwear, and consider sunscreen and a hat if applicable.


As you go into this weekend, I hope your family is able to enjoy some relaxation and down time, reconnecting after such a full week. 


Most Sincerely,

Alysa Patching, Principal.