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Principal's Corner
Harbour Happenings:
Emailed home :September 28, 2017
PHSS QUARTERLY
Dear PHSS Parents and Guardians,
I just wanted to take a moment and update our learning community about the many things happening at Pender Harbour Secondary School.
NEW STAFF
First of all- Things are different at PHSS this September. We have a number of new staff that have joined our family. Please introduce yourselves if at the school or contact them if you have any questions regarding your sons/daughterís progress in their classes.
Annalisa Adam:  Admin Assistant (taken over from Margaret Hartley- retirement)
Sara Douglas:           Choir, Music 7, & Band 8-12 Teacher (Tuesdays & Thursdays)
Bronwen Payerle:        Librarian, French 7-9 Teacher (Tuesday AM, Wednesday, & Friday AM)
Cathy Gordon:           District Career /Work Experience Coordinator
NEW COMPUTERS
The school has made a significant tech investment over the summer. PHSS has purchased 80 Chromebook laptops for student use at school. The intention is to provide a computer for each student in the building. A parental consent form with guidelines was sent home at the beginning of the year. Please sign and send back if you have not already done so. Forty of the Chromebooks have arrived and the rest of them are expected next week. We have also purchased six MacBook Air Laptops for our Yearbook classroom.
FLEX MODEL AND SEMINARS:
I have been receiving some concerning calls from parents about their sonís/daughterís schedule around Seminar blocks. I wanted to take a moment and explain how our timetable works. Seminar blocks are built into the hours required in each of our senior courses. For that reason, Seminar Blocks are instructional time and as important as the classes themselves. Our Flex Model allows students to prioritize what they want or need to work on when in seminar BUT not if they should work…..that is not flexible! As a result of this feedback from parents, the school will be holding an Info session around senior classes, grad requirements, and post-secondary opportunities in the next few weeks.  Notices will be sent out Monday.
PHOTO DAY
October 3rd is Photo Day. Students had details sent home with them the first week of class.
MOBILE DEVICES
Mobile Devices are part of life and independence for many youth at PHSS. WE SUPPORT THAT-- when the phones are being used for educational purposes. We are requesting parentsí help in reinforcing the message. Students are being told that phones and tablets are not to be used (during Class Time) unless it is directly related to their coursework. Any messages and calls that can be sent during the break/lunch is appreciated and if there is an urgent message it should be directed to the office. Students are using parents as a reason for needing their phone on or needing to be on a social media site- if there are special circumstances, where that is the case, please let us know in the office.
MULTIFUNCTION ACTIVITY BUS (MFAB for short)
PHSS will have its new MFAB starting next week. This bus will be able to be booked by any school in SD46 but will be housed at PHSS. The bus seats 24 people and will definitely make fieldtrips on and off the coast easier.
FIELDTRIPS:
We are going to take full advantage of the new bus and so we have planned the PHSS version of Week without Walls”. Fieldtrip permission forms will be going out early next week.
Upcoming Trips:
October 10th:   Post-Secondary Conference @ Elphinstone Secondary (Gr.10-12)
October 11th:   Chemistry 11 and Physics 11 class to PNE/Playland.
October 12th:   Marine Science Fieldtrip to Egmont. (Gr. 7-9)
October 13th:   Whole School Fieldtrip to Science World. (Gr 7 -12)
HEAD LICE
Head Lice: We will be having a group of volunteer parents coming to PHSS in order check students for Head Lice and Nits. Parent Volunteers will be there on October 2nd at 9:15 am.
PHSS PAC FACEBOOK/ MYPHSS SCHOOL APP
Our PAC would like parents to know that there is a PHSS PAC Facebook group. It is a closed group and so you will need to request approval. It will allow PHSS parents to connect with each other. Our next PAC meeting is October 16th @ 6:30pm.
Please take a moment and download the free “MYPHSS” School APP for IPhone or Android. It is an excellent source of timely information regarding PHSS. (Important Info such as Bus delays and cancellations will be pushed out to your device immediately).
FOUNDATION SKILLS ASSESSMENTS
The Foundation Skills Assessment is an annual province-wide assessment of all B.C. studentsí academic skills in grades 4 and 7, and provides parents, teachers, schools, school districts and the Ministry of Education with important information on how well students are progressing in the foundation skills of Reading, Writing, and Numeracy. This year the FSAs will be taking place in a new season. Our Grade sevens will be writing between October 02nd to November 10th. Pamphlets and an information letter from the school district were sent home yesterday.
McCREARY SOCIETY HEALTH SURVEYS
Select schools on the Sunshine Coast have been approached with the opportunity to be part of the preview survey for McCreary Societyís 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey.
The purpose of the study is to pilot the survey instrument for the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey (BC AHS).  
The BC AHS is a pencil and paper survey that has been conducted in schools across BC every 5 years since 1992. It is used to gather information about studentsí physical and emotional health, and about factors that can influence health during adolescence or in later life. It is the most comprehensive source for reliable data on the health behaviours of students in BC. More than 130,000 adolescents aged 12-19 have participated in the BC AHS to date, and the next survey is scheduled to be administered in schools between January and May 2018.
Consent forms have been sent out to all grade 7 and 8 students and the Survey will take place in the first week of October.

Community School Sports Offerings:

Fusion Sports Night for all high school youth with Xander.~
Mondays 7-9pm, $3~drop in and all welcome
Floor Hockey returns ~ Tuesdays 7:30-9:30pm, $3 drop in fee -~boys only~with David Lacey. High school students and older. Both are organized by the Community School~

Grad & Parent Info Night

We are planning an info session for grads and parents on October 12th. It will be an opportunity to hear from staff about expectations for the year, Planning grad activities, and Post Secondary Information. Save the date as the time will be advertised next week.

OPEN COMMUNICATION WITH PARENTS:

If you feel there are any questions or concerns regarding your childís progress, please feel free to contact the school in order to discuss them at any time. Our learning community (parents, staff, and students) are all part of the same team in delivering the best education possible at PHSS. I would recommend contacting the subject area teacher first but if not sure who to speak with-please call the office.
Thank you for your support and we are looking forward to a great year!!
Mr Lekakis


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Last Modified: Oct 11, 2017