Welcome back to a new school year, 2018 – 2019. I trust families have had a wonderful summer break with many opportunities to explore the great outdoors both locally and globally. I look forward to reconnecting with returning students and families and welcoming newcomers. Together with the Ridgeview staff, I look forward to an exciting, productive and successful school year!
During the summer months, our West Vancouver Facilities staff together with outside contractors have been very busy preparing the school for the year ahead. A portable refresh is in progress and we anticipate this space to be ready for school start. My thanks to site custodians Mr. Mercado and Mr Ibias and the entire WVS crew for preparing the school for opening day. Our school sparkles and we are ready to welcome over 400 students in grades Kindergarten through Grade 7!
Maintaining parent-teacher communication throughout the school year is the key to student success. Research has shown that students do better in school when their parents or guardian is positively involved. Parent communication with their child’s teacher(s) is critical in building a strong partnership with teacher(s). There will be many scheduled opportunities for parents to sign up for conferences/interviews through the school year. Details will be outlined on our school website, in weekly Ebulletins, in PAC (Parent Advisory Council) meetings, and will be shared via classroom communications.
The partnership you develop with the teacher and school can be enhanced and strengthened in the upcoming weeks by implementing the following strategies and suggestions:
- In the first week of school, students will receive a package of forms for parent/guardian verification. Please complete promptly and provide complete and current contact information.
- If you are new to the school, and wish to communicate any special needs of your child, attempt to communicate personally or with a positive note to school personnel that will be in contact with your child (teacher, principal, counselor, nurse, resource teacher). Refer to the “Our Staff” tab on our website for staff contact information.
- Create a system to regularly access school information (weekly Ebulletins, calendar updates, meeting and event details, website updates). Regular access should help to keep families informed and help students settle into school routines.
- Please take time prior to school start to map out a route for walking to school with your child. Traffic congestion around schools is common. Walking to school has many benefits. Check out the following information with map regarding drop off/pick up, parking, and walking routes to school.
- Read the weekly school Ebulletin. Generally sent out on Thursdays, the Ebulletin is brimming with dates and events specific to Ridgeview and to WVS. The first Ebulletin of the school year will be sent out on Thursday, September 6th.
- Explore the Ridgeview website to learn more about the school, our students, the staff, and opportunities for parents and community members.
- Attend Open Houses, music concerts, and special events at the school. The more parents invest in school activities, the more your children will invest in school! Mark your calendars for our Meet My Teacher/Ice Cream Social event to be held on Friday, September 14th, 2 – 4 p.m. Additional details will be outlined in the Ebulletin.
- Conversations with the teacher that are potentially longer than 5 minutes should be prearranged. Do not expect to have a meaningful conversation with the teacher when class is in session or directly before or after school if your meeting is unscheduled.
- Participate in the established RPAC, Ridgeview Parent Advisory organization. Meetings are held monthly and are a good source of information for school events/activities as well as provide educational context for teaching and learning. The RPAC is composed of parents and staff who are dedicated to help maintain and improve student success. The first PAC meeting of the year is scheduled for Friday, September 28th at 9 a.m. All parents/guardians of Ridgeview students are welcome. The meetings are held in the school library.
- Send a note of thanks or recognition of a teacher’s efforts. Small acts of kindness facilitate a strong parent-teacher partnership.
Education is complex but adult actions do make a positive impact on student learning if done in kindness, through positive ongoing communications, by acknowledging efforts, and by setting a positive example. At the end of the day, the most overwhelming key to a child’s success is the positive involvement of parents (Jane D. Hull).
As we begin the new school year, strong communications will go a long way to nurture a caring respectful culture where student successes are continuous. Together with staff, I wish all students and families a safe, productive, and joyful school year!
Principal, Ridgeview Elementary