Hello Lynx families,
Over the past few weeks teachers and students have brought to my attention several incidents where students were not treating each other with the proper respect. To be more specific, students were making inappropriate comments to and about others both in person and online. To be clear, we do not believe that language like this creates a safe, welcoming environment at Vanier and we will be dealing with it over the coming months. The staff and I have met numerous times over the last week in order to create a multi-targeted approach to address these issues.
The first step was a whole school assembly that was held on Monday. At the assembly, students were made aware that we know of the recent incidents and that they are not acceptable at Vanier. Teachers followed up after the assembly in homeroom groups to speak with their classes about microaggressions and the importance of empathy and treating each other with kindness and respect. We also spoke about the difference between “snitching” and “asking for help” (a good example to speak with students at home can be found here.) Without students coming forward and asking for help, which we acknowledged can be scary and difficult, we are not finding out about many of these issues until it has become normalized or grown online.
One of the most important facets of a school is the culture that permeates its walls. In creating this culture many different factors play a role; one of the most critical being student voice. This bears repeating, I do believe that a large part of building a safe, welcoming, inclusive Vanier culture is dependent on our students being empowered to speak out and educate each other on these issues.
We have a phenomenal group of students here at Vanier. Over the past few weeks, I have been speaking with many exemplary students, all of whom had been identified by their teachers as leaders (academic, athletic, artistic and behavioural) in the school. I will spend days speaking to more in the coming weeks. Our school is overflowing with students like this, and I want their voices to resonate throughout the halls.
Our purpose as a school is to educate the next generation, not just in the fine arts, athletics or academia, but also in a more holistic manner. Learning both about and from each other is an essential part of public education and the diverse swath of Calgary (and the world) that is represented at Vanier makes this an ideal, almost unique, place for this to happen. The education of fellow students about the inappropriate nature of their comments, and what is acceptable, will be a focus at Vanier in the coming months, after which we hope we will see a dramatic drop in the number of incidences brought to our attention.
Students have also been made aware of the Student Code of Conduct and the ramifications if they continue to make inappropriate comments, both during this time of learning and afterwards.
Over the coming months we plan to continue these lessons and to have other speakers come in to address the students, both in small-targeted groups and as a larger student body. I fully acknowledge that this is not a problem that will be solved with a few conversations and a few suspensions, it will be a longer journey full of mistakes, learning and difficult conversations, all of which I hope that the Vanier community is a part of.
I strongly believe parent input and support is essential in running a school and we would very much appreciate you speaking with your child(ren) over this Family Day long weekend about what you all hope Vanier looks like in the years to come, and how they can play a role in creating this.
As always, my office, and Mme. Laurelle’s, are always open.
Enjoy your long weekend and Family Day.
Bonne longue fin de semaine,
Chad Edmonds – Principal GP Vanier
Pink Shirt Day
Pink Shirt Day is February 22, 2023. Pink Shirt Day began in 2007 when a student in Nova Scotia was bullied for wearing a pink shirt to school. It has since been recognized annually worldwide as a day to stand against bullying.
Pink Shirt Day encourages Albertans to be inclusive, welcoming and supportive with colleagues, clients, friends and family. Building healthy relationships is one of the best ways to prevent bullying and create safe environments.
We will be recognizing Pink Shirt Day here at Vanier on the 22nd. Our Leadership classes are planning activities and messaging to be shared with students on the day.
We would like to welcome back Ms. Yeo, and thank Mr. Khan for his commitment to our learning community and best wishes as he begins a new position.
Elevate Aviation who is an all-female company, that helps girls/women get into aviation with courses, contacts and bursaries. Elevate Aviation is hosting a cross country tour this spring and coming to Calgary March 16th, for girls ages 12-18. The day starts at the Westjet Campus, includes lunch and after lunch the groups will then get the chance to go on tour of three different types of aviation sectors around the airfield. Best part it's free. You just must register on their website. It is cap at 60. https://elevateaviation.ca
Loonies for Literacy
Thank you Vanier families for your support for our Loonies for Literacy. We have raised $104.00 of our $1,000 goal.
February 16-17: Teacher’s Convention (no school for students)
February 20: Family Holiday (no school for students)
February 22: Pink Shirt Day
February 24: Jr. Badminton Tournament 4:00 – 8:00
February 28: School Council Special AGM and meeting
March 1 & 2: Grade 6 Field Trip to Interpretive Centre
March 3: Sr. Badminton Tournament 4:00 – 8:00
March 9 & 10: Parent Teacher Conferences
March 13: Sugar Shack
March 15: MRU Music Field Trip Grade 7 (details to follow)
March 17: Climbing Trip ENVOE9 (details to follow)
March 20 - 24: Semaine de la Francophonie/French Week