Photo Credit: Steele Curry Grade 12 Student
Can you figure out which description matches which counsellor?
A fourth generation immigrant whose parents were interned by the Canadian government during WW II, I've lived on three continents: North America, Africa and Europe. Schooled in French through my primary grades, sadly, the only language I speak now is English. In my 40’s, I ran 10 half marathons.
A proud descendant from Metis heritage, I was born and raised in East Vancouver and love to spend weekends biking and hiking on the North Shore. This past summer I hiked the Cape Scott Trail with my family. I ran my first marathon in Idaho during my first-year teaching in Grand Forks. I have worked in four school districts as a teacher, elementary and secondary counsellor, slowly working my way west. I am an avid sports fan and cheerleader on the sidelines watching my two sons play a variety of sports.
A Maritimer of both Celt and Acadian heritage, I am fluent in the unique dialect Chiac. My pre-educator life included working as a bouncer, an actor and a magician’s assistant. I’m a published playwright and won BC’s Opt Sexual Health Educator of the Year award in 2017. I’ve run four half marathons and I love zombie films.
Born and bred in North Vancouver, I’m passionate about the outdoors, gardening, yoga and travel. In my earlier days I ran the Vancouver Marathon and a 3-day Trans-Rockies Run through the beautiful Colorado Mountains. My Covid superpower is that I learned how to make sourdough and grow my own veggies. Oh, and one last thing: I love to scuba dive even though I am scared of fish!
I was adopted as an infant and lived in Newfoundland till I was 10. My favourite places in the world are Ruby Lake and Eleuthera, located in the outer islands of the Bahamas. I’ve been aspiring to be a long distance runner since I graduated from high school and hope that my life goal to complete a half marathon will one day soon be realized. I am the only one in our department blessed with a daughter!
School Psychologist (from the desk of Melanie Nelson)
My name is Melanie Nelson, and I am the school psychologist for Carson Graham this year. In previous years, I was a learning assistance teacher and Indigenous support teacher at Carson, Queen Mary, Norgate, and Westview Elementary. I have been working in public schools for 14 years, and have experience working with youth K-12. My mother is from Samahquam (In-SHUCK-ch Nation, St'at'imc) and Squiala (Stó:lō Nation) communities, and my father is French Canadian. I am excited to work with youth and families at Carson this year.
Hearts for Help (from the desk of Ms. Brumec)
What started as a project by local artists has now made its way to Carson. Ms. Brumec has been working with some volunteer art students to paint canvas hearts which will then be sewn into small pillows by a group of her friends. The hearts will be sold at various pop-up locations... Edgemont Village, Park Royal and the Quay, with 100% of money raised from the sale of the hearts going to the North Shore Christmas Bureau. Funds will buy groceries and grocery gift cards for families in need on the North Shore. The hearts have a string sewn into the top so they can be hung on people's front doors. You may have already seen some in the community!
Work Experience (from the desk of John Grant)
Work Experience is off to a great start this year. Work Experience is one of the Career courses offered by NVSD and students are able to take this course in grade 10, 11 or 12. The intent of the course is to give students insights and experiences in careers. Prior to this year the course had a reasonable amount of online content for the students. In a response to the challenges for this school year, we implemented a number of new initiatives online and the success has been excellent. Work Experience has the extra challenge of being outside of the regular class rotation, and as a result students are required to schedule themselves for meetings and assignments. The movement to Office 365 has been very effective in reaching the students and allowing them to stay current with the course. Using this format has proven to be a superior model for the course. Many students have progressed through their initial training on safety, rights and responsibilities, and are now ready to seek out a work placement. We are looking forward to their success.
Dance 9 (from the desk of Cora Pross, Dance Teacher)
In dance 9, physical activity and mental health are essential components of our curriculum. In addition to learning genres of dance such as ballet, jazz, tap and hip hop, the students have been doing extra activities to support their social and emotional well-being.
The first photo depicts students exploring natural beauty of Carson campus, during their hybrid class. Smaller class sizes allow students to receive individual attention and extra support. Opportunities for inquiry-based learning have increased substantially Students can explore their own interests, deepen their understanding of topics, build curiosity and a love for learning. There is an enriched sense of connection and belonging when students attend their smaller hybrid classes.
The second photo is the dance 9 class participating in their daily yoga practice, led by teacher Cora Pross. There is a focus on breathing, concentration and resilience. The students have reported that regular activities for mental health have improved their mood, energy levels, and readiness to learn.
Overall, the current learning model has presented challenges, but we can celebrate the fact that many Carson students are experiencing exceptional personal growth. Staff are working hard to ensure that social and emotional support is a regular part of our daily routines. This will enable students to reach their academic potential, in addition to feeling connected to each other and the school community.
Gordon Dick Visits the Squamish Language Class (hover over photo for artist's name)
Woodshop (from the desk of Bob Miraftab)
We are trying something new in the woodshop this year to minimize the usual crowding that happens around our machines. The students are showing their creativity by building tile mosaic tables and the examples are truly artistic. I am impressed with the engagement and attention to detail!
Creativity Comes in all Forms (from the desk of Jenna Benko)
We created Medieval Lego Manors as a class in conjunction with our study of the Feudal System. Students then completed research on sustainability and compared the Manor system to our modern lives. They compared the sustainability of life then and now.
On behalf of the Carson Graham staff, I want to thank you all for a fantastic year! Although it certainly didn’t end the way any of us anticipated, the students should be commended for their engagement and enthusiasm. They represented Carson Graham proudly in all aspects of school life including academics, music, athletics, visual and performing arts and service. Well done!
I also want to give a special shout out to the graduating class of 2020. It is unfortunate that the pandemic altered their high school graduation plans. This does not, however, take away from how monumental this occasion is in their lives. The grads need to be commended for the perseverance, strength, and the determination that they all showed.
I wish our entire Carson Community a great summer break. Enjoy a restful July and August and we look forward to connecting again in September! Be sure to check your emails at the end of August to find out details about what our return to school will look like!
Psychology 12 Classes Investigate Mental Health Amid COVID 19
With a lot changing and left uncertain in our lives, Ms. Hornstein had her Psychology 12 classes set out to better understand mental health, mental illness and what it means to be a mental health advocate. In addition to the learning done to understand the mental illnesses that impact youth, students completed online class discussions on the topic of labels and the harm that can come from them, looked at art work to deepen their understanding of different mental illnesses, and tried out different mindfulness practices to strengthen their own mental health.
As the main goal of this unit was to give students an opportunity to learn about and become a mental health advocate, students were challenged with the following: create a product that helps decrease the stigma around mental illness and promotes others in the Carson Graham community to become advocates for mental health.
The following album is a selection of their submitted work. Many students took advantage of online learning to develop their skills in creating infographics using a web based platform. Others chose to create original artwork, create videos, and plan future school clubs! We hope you enjoy.
A BIG thank you to Jack.org and Foundry for their amazing online resources.
Youth Writing Contest
English teacher Ms. Kat Thomson immediately recognized the way in which this contest connected to what students had been studied post-Spring Break and shared the info with her class. Congratulations to our own Rylen Bordeau who took third place in this contest. He wrote a great piece focused on the First Peoples Principles of Learning. Well done!
Dear Carson Graham Community,
It's been a while since I last reached out via my blog and I think it's time I did! In the absence of my regular classroom visits, I asked teachers to reach out with some of the innovative things that are occurring in their virtual classrooms. We have so many great things happening that are helping our students to feel connected and supported while learning!
I hope that you and your loved ones are all safe!
Face the Foilage
Art Teacher, Ms. FitzGibbon did this Face the Foliage assignment with her Art 9 class where students were tasked to create a portrait out of blossoms and other natural items. The results were stunning (and far exceeded the humble example that the she had created to illustrate what she meant)!
Explore the Medium of Clay
Recently, Ms. FitzGibbon arranged a contactless pick-up and drop-off for clay for the Ceramics 10 course. After giving students some directions on how to find household clay materials and work from a home studio environments, students were asked to explore through the medium of clay how the past few months has affected them and express this in a form of their choice. Some were inspired to be representative in human form, such as the work from Tamika Pacris, Sakiah Ela, and Madison Meyer, while others chose to represent more figural states of being, such as the work from Aria Tajalli, who represented his feelings as that of a sleepy bear.