Our first two weeks at Belfast have been wonderful! Teachers welcomed students back on September 5th to our playground surrounded by more than 20 beautiful trees! What a beautiful backdrop for an amazing year!
Additions to our Team
This year we welcome five new staff members - three teachers and two support staff members. Mrs. Medland joins the grade 1/2 team, Mr. Ursenbach joins the grade 3/4 team and Mrs. Austman rounds out the 5/6 team. In addition we welcome back Mrs. Zinken who has returned to the grade 3/4 team after her maternity leave! We also welcome Mrs. James who will be working in our Learning Commons on Mondays, Wednesdays and alternate Fridays, and Mrs. Carter who will be completing our lunchroom supervisors team! Welcome to Belfast! We are so happy to have you with us!
Some of our teachers are in different spaces and on different learning teams. I would like to say an enormous thank you to Mr. Sangster and Ms. Knight who both volunteered to change grade assignments this year. Our teaching culture at Belfast is very special, highly collaborative and interconnected. Both these teachers demonstrate through actions what it is to move from "me" to "we" in putting the needs our our school and our students first! Thank you both for helping to support teachers new to Belfast in your new roles!
Getting to Know You!
The staff refers to first few weeks at Belfast as "cocoon time" during this time, we keep limit the number of interruptions or special events to allow classrooms to settle, to create routines and to allow students and teachers to come to know each other. This year we also included release time for teachers in grade 3 - 6 to interview their students one on one. Some of these interviews are ongoing and will be completed this week. Teacher and student feedback following interviews was incredibly positive.
We are looking forward to a very busy week at Belfast next week. We celebrate the contributions of Terry Fox on Monday with our Terry Fox Assembly and run during the lunch hour! Earlier in the day we will host our first #belfasty Day! Our #befasty Days are exciting times for us to build community through learning that we do together as a school. In past #belfasty Days we have explored creative challenges, engineering challenges (STEAM) and indigenous cultures. On Monday we will community as we form our "family" groups and team identities that will last the year. Students from K-6 are placed in family groups for #belfasty Days. This allows our older students to demonstrate and develop leadership and our younger students to build connection and belonging here at Belfast! For this first #belfasty Day our kindergarten students will not participate as they are still becoming used to their own classroom and the routines coming to school.
Connecting with Parents
On Thursday we will welcome parents during parent teacher conferences on Thursday. This year students from grade 1-6 will come to school for a half day on the Thursday*. Teachers will take a break for lunch then start interviews at 1:30. We have reserved 2 days to meet with parents (Thursday and Friday). The first day is for parent bookings and we encourage parents to book an appointment on this day. The second day (Friday) is reserved for longer parent meetings that are required for students who have Individual Program Plans (IPP's) or other personalized learning plans that have carried over from the year before and need to be revisited.