Head of School's Weekly Message


May 26, 2017

Mrs. Beaumont

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you to our families for joining us at the Anvil Centre last night for our Artastic exhibit and the Spring Plays for the Uptown students. It was a wonderful performance and the students thoroughly enjoyed performing for their guests. I know our Robson families will enjoy themselves tonight. We are developing an excellent working relationship with the Anvil Centre and the team there for our school performances. A spring event where we can showcase all of the Fine Arts; Music, Drama and Visual Arts, in one lovely venue is proving to be a great learning opportunity for our students and enjoyable for our community. Thank you for your support of your children at this event.

Our Senior students travelled to St. George’s this week to take part in the VISTA drama competition for one-act plays. We had two entries and both did an excellent job. Our grade 7 and 8 students, in particular, came in for some very positive feedback and they were the youngest performers there by far. The outcome from the judges will be provided next week so we will see how we did.

We are now into the activities that characterize the end of the school year. A reminder that InSchool Wear uniforms will be available on line next week for ordering. The InSchool Wear representatives will be with us June 17th and 18th (10am to 3pm both days) to assist if you wish to take advantage of that. You already have the order form outline and the Uniform Manual with the uniform requirements electronically. Additional hard copies of the forms and uniform charts will be available at Robson in preparation for the visit from InSchool Wear. A sizing kit to try out with your child will be available at Robson starting on June 1. Please call Mrs. McNamara to set a time when you would like to come in to try it with your child. The sizing kit will need to stay at school for use but is available next week at school as an additional resource for trying on the product. The link to the website and the order form for UA is www.InSchoolWear.com.

Fathers’ Day Breakfast for Robson students and their dads is on June 9. For first-time dads at this event, you will want to mark your calendars and join us. A light breakfast will be provided under the port-cochere for you and your child. You can serve yourself and your child then join others to enjoy breakfast with your child and other families before school starts. We will have breakfast ready at about 8:10am and we will take the students inside for class at 9:00.

Sports Day is also June 9 at Queens Park starting at 11:00am for K-grade 12 students. Please feel welcome to join us. Students will not need a lunch that day as they will have a pizza lunch at the park. Lots of fun planned and this is a chance for the whole school to be together. Please check teacher blogs for specifics regarding what children are to wear and to bring.

One of the gifts of Urban Academy is the wonderful school community. It is these celebrations that we can share together as we count down another accomplished school year that make us so thankful and appreciative of our community. Enjoy the chance to connect with friends new and old at the activities that you are able to join us for. We recognize that families must prioritize the times that they are able to join us during a school day – this is the reality for all of our families. We are pleased to connect with you and welcome you when you are able to come.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable weekend. See you on Monday morning.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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May 19, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

The UA 2016-17 sports season came to a great close this week with a full playday at Southridge for our girls’ soccer team. Like all of the teams this year, they learned a great deal and had a lot of fun, meeting students from other schools and developing their skills. Thank you so much to our teacher coaches, stepping up to ensure that our kids had a chance to participate and grow our program in all of the sporting areas. Thank you to our loyal parent drivers, we could not have taken part without you! And to parents who showed up to cheer and support the students, they could hear your encouragement and it means a lot, out there, working hard for their school and their team.

Please note the opportunity to order a yearbook in this week’s email. Each year we have new families who do not realize that they and their child would really have liked a yearbook that captured the memories of this school year and they miss out on ordering. It is not possible to order later on so, please, check with others to see if this is an opportunity you would like to take advantage of and enjoy in June – place your order!

Out of School Care is getting organized for the summer. We will be open all summer long; in other years we have closed for a two-week period but this year we will provide service from the last weekday of school in June until the opening one in September. Staff plan activities for the young ones that are a combination of on-site fun and off-site field trips, including swims on hot days, new parks to explore and educational opportunities while still creating a “down time” experience over the summer. We staff according to the need so we will want to ensure that we have planned for your child’s needs. Please sign up early for the weeks you need.

We look forward to seeing you at Spring Plays at the Anvil Centre next week. Students and staff have worked hard to provide excellent productions. Thank you for your support. It will be a great experience and you will enjoy seeing our students up on the stage.

Have a relaxing and enjoyable long weekend.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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May 12, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

The package of information is out to families on the new uniform company, InSchoolWear, including an outline of items for each grade group and a timeline for ordering new uniform for September. Please note there are a few changes to streamline the uniform choices so take some time to go through the Manual. The changes are few in number but do provide appropriate uniform for middle school students as well as pieces for all grades that are the most flattering and comfortable for students as they work through all of the activities at school.

Congratulations to our Girls’ Soccer Team – they played to a scoreless tie on Tuesday against West Point Grey. Thanks to our teacher coaches, Ms. Hershfield and Mr. McDiarmid, for leading the grade 5-7 girls.

Mrs. Hilary Churton, one of our Kindergarten teachers, will be leaving us to make a move to Victoria where her husband will take up a new position. Her last day with us will be May 19. Mrs. Sara McBride, our Kindergarten teacher currently on leave, will return from leave a little earlier than planned to step in and teach the class for the remainder of the year. Mrs. McBride will be visiting us to meet with students and parents and provide a smooth transition. We wish Mrs. Churton and her family the very best in their move to a new community and welcome Mrs. McBride back to UA.

Our Junior students, JK through grade 5, enjoyed hosting their mothers today for a much-loved tradition at Urban Academy, the Mother’s Day Tea. This is an event that students put a lot of love into as they prepare for their gift of recognition of their moms. Thank you to our staff for working hard to provide this lovely event.

We want to wish a Happy Mother’s Day to all of our mothers this Sunday. Enjoy a wonderful weekend with your children and please accept our thanks at UA for the amazing impact you have on your children’s lives. Your loving support and wisdom as you guide their development is most deeply appreciated and recognized by each of us as we work with your children.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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May 5, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

All of our students (JK through Grade 12) are participating in the Spring Plays. Everyone has been working hard on their parts for the plays. It is critical that students attend their play and take their part in it, allowing the performance to work for all the other students as well. Staff are working diligently to provide these learning outcomes in the curriculum through a venue such as this and we need all of our students present, performing their parts. We are really looking forward to sharing the plays and Artastic with you at the Anvil Centre which is a fabulous venue for us to use.

We have had a full week, lots on the go as the last term of the year is underway. Mother’s Day Tea, Father’s Day Breakfast, Spring Plays and Sports Day are all in the planning stages. Senior Students had a wonderful camp experience at Strathcona Park Lodge on Vancouver Island. Our middle school students head there in June.

We had a lovely evening this week, at Volunteer Appreciation. I wanted to clarify for our community the adjustments that we have made in this celebration as the school has grown and as we have listened to community feedback provided in the last couple of years on this event. We deeply appreciate all of our volunteers and very much value the work put into the school by all of the families. However, we are getting to the size where we cannot host a full meal on the Robson site at this time of the year for all of the volunteers in our school community – and many have told us that they do not want or expect that. We have looked for a nice venue in our community where we could host an evening and acknowledge those volunteers who have really gone above and beyond their required hours. We looked at; those serving in a leadership capacity on the Board or a committee, a community leadership role or those who significantly exceeded the usual number of hours. Staff continue to review our traditions and celebrations as the school matures and we keep thinking about how we can best honour the generosity of our community while making all of the activities doable. Thank you again to our volunteers, your work on behalf of the school is very appreciated and we value the generous and spontaneous spirit in which it is offered to make sure your kids’ classrooms and activities are special for them.

Have a wonderful weekend and we look forward to seeing everyone on Monday morning.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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April 28, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Please find attached the school calendar for the 2017-18 school year. A few items require confirmation this fall such as the camp reservations (we have already booked them to be safely assured of space, we just always want to ensure we will want to return to that particular camp once we have been through their program with our students) but overall, the calendar will allow families to get started with plans. You can see the dates of holidays, professional days and year end. I will note that the final provincial examinations are still being developed and refined as the new Graduation Program unfolds but we do not expect exams to exceed the bookends of the calendar we have provided.

Please have a look ahead at the activities in May and June in this year’s calendar so that you are aware of those that you will want to attend to support your child. We have almost all of our RSVP’s in for Mothers’ Day Tea. Dads in K-grade 3 at Robson, you are invited to have breakfast with your child on June 9. If you are able to put that event into your plans that would be great.

Congratulations and thanks to PAX for hosting the first Book Sale at UA for our students! It was very successful with approximately $600.00 raised and a lot of happy faces as new reading treasures were carried home to be enjoyed. Thank you to our PAX team for that event which allowed our students and parents to come together to take part.

Have a wonderful weekend with your family.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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April 13, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Urban Academy hosted its first home game this week at Queens Park field. Our girls’ soccer team hosted Brockton Prep on Monday and our girls played well scoring two goals in a 3-2 game for Brockton. Thank you to parents for their support and turning out to cheer them on despite the changeable weather and thank you to coaches Mr. McDiarmid and Ms. Hershfield.

I inadvertently left a thank you off the list last week in the Friday email for our lovely staff appreciation lunches – Bonita Zarrillo was part of the team that hosted us and we thank you! The whole event was very thoughtful.

At Uptown this week we recognized our Honour Roll and Head of School Honours List students. We are very proud of all our students and I am gratified by their diligence and the work of our staff. Our Senior students have all done exceedingly well as they graduate and have been most successful with their post-secondary applications – this year is no exception.

We are planning our Volunteer Appreciation evening once again. This event recognizes volunteers in our community who have gone above and beyond in their work on behalf of classrooms and our school. We are very appreciative of all of our volunteers and the many tasks they undertake at Urban Academy. We do know, however, that some families expend many more hours than we ask and we do want to acknowledge that with a special evening out. Those volunteers will be receiving an invitation from their child’s teacher in the next week and we are looking forward to thanking them in person.

Our first ever PAX Book Sale is next week! The details are in this week’s email for you. Please support this initiative, students are going to enjoy picking out new books!

Enjoy your Easter weekend. See you on Wednesday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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April 7, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for your work with teachers on the Parent-Teacher Interviews and Student-Led Conferences. The discussions are always very valuable to staff as they work with your child to support their progress. It is a wonderful experience to see the youngest students hosting their parents at Student-Led Conferences, we enjoy seeing their confidence in the learning and their pride in sharing it with you. If you have follow-up questions for individual teachers, please do not hesitate to contact them. We want all of our students headed for success in their final and third term for this year.

This week our staff were very spoiled by our PAX with two lovely Staff Appreciation luncheons, one at Robson and one at Uptown. The decorations, menu and beautiful little touches to make it a special day are very appreciated. Very kind and thoughtful words were shared with us in appreciation of our work as well. Thank you ladies, it was lovely! Special thank you’s to Dana Bailey, Reeshma Premji and Rupa Marcus for their time.

Our upcoming Professional Development Day is on April 18, right after the Easter Monday. That adds an extra day to the long weekend, so mark your calendars and for those who require Out-of-School Care, please ensure you have signed up. This particular day is an important one for us; planning for next year, the next steps on the identity work for our grade groups, the next stage in the changing curriculum and meeting new colleagues who will be joining the staff for next year. Once we get to May I will be able to share our roster of staff with our community but I have been most gratified by the excellent applications we have received, with lots of interest from wonderful professionals who want to join our growing school.

The Board of Directors has been working on formalizing the Advancement program for Urban Academy. Advancement is a critical component of private schools. Along with yearly tuition and the government grant, charitable giving by our community forms the third leg of funding that advances the needs of every private school. Clearly, we have made strides in this area with the generosity at the recent Gala and the Annual Appeal. This year, between our Gala, Capital Campaign and Annual Appeal we are at the $100,000.00 mark for our community! Our large donors to the new gymnasium and theatre space are in addition to that. We are off to a great start for our school development. The time has come for the school to formalize policy and practice in this area. Many families have expressed to us that they would appreciate knowing clearly what giving levels are most helpful and what the expectation is, so that work on Advancement is being undertaken and will be shared in upcoming weeks. We are also refining our needs for specific donations to the Capital Campaign for the new school so that families will have that information as well. We have heard from families that if there is something special in the new school that they could provide some help with, they would like to know what the possibilities for donating could be. An outline of the facility needs to open the school will help families with that.

Thank you for a great week, enjoy your families this weekend and we will see everyone on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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March 31, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We have had a great first week back and were so pleased to see sunshine at week’s end – the real kind not liquid! The students need their outside time but it is so much more enjoyable on a dry day.

Urban Academy has been working hard all winter long on a new re-brand for our school. We will be introducing a new UA website in early May. We have sought professional advice on developing a new website that is easier to navigate and more reflective of the programming and identity of the school. Over this last week we have enjoyed working with a professional photographer at school to take pictures for use on our new website and Marketing materials going forward for families. Our students enjoyed posing and sharing their experiences at school for the photos. We are looking forward to unveiling the new website with you and hope that you find it helpful as a guide to the information about our school.

We are also introducing a new logo for UA! Our colours stay the same but we will introduce an updated logo that reflects our maturing school. We will be able to share that in early April. As you are aware, we have new uniform providers going forward and families will receive a package of information in the next month that lets them plan and acquire new uniform for September from our new provider, InSchoolwear. The uniform pieces from InSchoolwear will have the new logo on them when you go to select and purchase for your child. We do have a one year transition from Cambridge however, I have heard from many families who are looking forward to being able to keep the same colours and tartan but purchase the new pieces which are of excellent quality and design.

Our elementary school moms (JK-grade 5) will be receiving their invitation to the Mothers’ Day Tea in the next week or two. We have reached the point where we just cannot provide the tea for all 175 students and their moms – the space available to us and the ability to find spots for all the kids and moms is a real challenge – what a good problem to have! We have worked hard to provide age-appropriate experiences for our middle and senior students and will now be focusing the Mothers’ Day Tea on JK-grade 5 students and moms. Our younger students are working hard to provide a lovely tea for the moms and we are looking forward to hosting those moms on May 12th.

Report cards are going home next week on Wednesday with opportunities to meet with teachers scheduled for Thursday and Friday. The second term report is an important one with a substantive term behind us and the solid amount of instructional time in the year ahead of us. We want to ensure that all parents have had the information on their child’s progress answered. Please make sure you take advantage of the opportunity to come in for the times scheduled.

Have a great weekend – see you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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March 10, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We have had a very enjoyable week leading up to Spring Break. Students are working hard in the last two weeks of term and the winter sports season is coming to an end as spring approaches (we hope!). We are engaged in seeing what spring athletics we can field teams for that would provide students with a good learning experience and some fun, competing against other schools.

Our community enjoyed a very successful Gala on Saturday night. Congratulations to the community and to a great Gala team. We exceeded our previous Galas, raising over $51,000. That is a fabulous outcome! We announced a very generous donation from our Wesgroup partners to outfit our new gymnasium – they have contributed $100,000 to our school. In order to completely outfit the gym with benches, basketball hoops, etc, we needed to add an additional $20,000 to that sum. We are very happy to report our Open Appeal at the gala evening successfully raised the amount needed. In addition, an anonymous donor has come forward with $100,000 to outfit our theatre performance space! We have a very good start to our Capital Campaign. Those who wish to still contribute, you are most welcome to do so. Thank you to all of our community for your generosity and kind support.

On Monday night at City Council, our Development Permit for the new school was approved. This is a big milestone for us. We are now on to the details of Building Permit, planning for the demolition of the building at the site and subdivision of the property.

This week UA hosted guests from 15 ISABC schools at a day-long event at Robson, discussing Advancement processes, procedures and sharing best practice. Our thanks to Sonja Kennedy for taking the lead on this for ISABC – it was their first meeting as a group – and getting that professional learning community organized. All of the participants enjoyed the day, enjoyed seeing our Junior School and started new professional networks that will provide benefit for all of us. They already have their next two meetings planned so the group is really coming together.

We have some staffing news to share. Ms. Misty Prokop’ev, our teaching assistant at Uptown, is expecting her second child. She is feeling well and will be with us right until the end of June when she will go on leave. We wish her and her family congratulations as they plan for an addition to their family. Ms. Chelsea Thompson, teaching assistant at Robson, will be leaving us at Spring Break to take a position in the public school system. We wish her the very best and may see her from time to time on our On-Call list. Students at Robson will have the support of Ms. Sterndale-Bennett and Ms. Haywood-Farmer in her place between now and June, both staff that they are most familiar with from our Out-of-School Care team.

Enjoy a wonderful break with your children. We will see you in two weeks!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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March 3, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

I am excited to share with you that our signage is up at the new Braid St. site! Our new address will be 466 Rousseau Street and you will see signs facing both Braid and Rousseau that announce the new home of Urban Academy.

We are looking forward to the Groundbreaking Gala on Saturday night. We have exciting news to share with you regarding the Capital Campaign we are launching to fit out our new school. It will be a lovely evening and your Gala Committee has worked tirelessly to provide a great opportunity to socialize with each other as well as support our school.

Re-registration is brisk with several classrooms full or almost full. If you have not completed your re-registration information, please do so to secure your spot for September. We had many families re-register early to ascertain space, which is appreciated. The sooner we have firm enrollment numbers per grade, the sooner we can finalize staffing for each class for September.

We are in the final weeks of the second term. With Spring Break coming up, it may seem as though there is quite a bit of time before report cards are due but, in reality, there is less than two weeks of instruction before the terms ends and we start term three. If you have any concerns or questions whatsoever, please make sure you touch base with your child’s teacher.

Have an enjoyable weekend- see you at the Gala!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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February 24, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Science Expo was a great success – thank you to our parents who helped judge the projects. All of the students did a wonderful job of taking the curricular theme they were working from and developing their own research. We have three candidates who have been invited to move on to the Regional Science Fair at UBC – Cole Wilkes, Vienna McKenzie and Alinah Premji. Congratulations to these students – we look forward to their work at UBC.

Thank you to our families who have given so generously to this year’s Annual Appeal. We have raised over $37,000 for our school in this year’s Appeal! And 30% of our families have contributed. Each year this number grows, however, our Board of Directors is working on formalizing our Advancement program at the school to include every family in giving to the school annually. We will be sharing that information over the next few months so that all families can learn of the opportunities to support the growth of the school. It is critical to any independent school to have a strong and vibrant Advancement department; it is one of the foundational aspects of school finance. Advancement provides many of the additional enriching experiences in classrooms and in the school that families may take for granted but are impossible to provide without the financial support of our whole community. If you have not contributed yet, please do so. It is the responsibility of every family to be part of advancing the school.

Our Gala is coming up week after next and that is another major event on our calendar when our community comes together to support our school, while enjoying each other’s company and the amazing evening of entertainment planned. Funds raised through both Advancement and the Gala support technology in the classroom, music and drama competitions, workshops and performances, visual arts supplies, additional field study and camps, leadership and outdoor education, sports and clubs, as well as classroom materials to enhance the library, the sciences, literacy and numeracy from JK to grade 12. We are carefully putting aside most of the funds raised to outfit the new school but we also expend a good portion each year to ensure students have enhanced educational experiences at the two campuses in the current learning year, impacting every curricular and co-curricular area.

This year alone we have increased the iPad program at both Uptown and Robson, purchased more MacBook Pros and MacBook Airs, headphones, software and projectors, photography equipment, musical instruments (I hope you enjoyed that big bass drum at Christmas!) basketballs and nets, badminton equipment, soccer balls and even furniture in the Dining Hall at Uptown. The headsets purchased at the Gala last year have paid dividends in the drama program and increased student performance and confidence immeasurably (as well as making it possible for parents to hear their child at the concert!). Skiing, snowshoeing and rock-climbing programs have been subsidized and busses provided for larger field studies, such as Leadership Camp and Carousel Theatre. Students are receiving dance instruction and an Artist-in-Residence to extend the Fine Arts program. We have supported sporting teams competing in volleyball, basketball, soccer and track. These are just a few examples of how your commitment through Advancement moves your child’s educational experience to an enriched level well beyond the classroom.

Thank you for your generosity and support of our students. As we move closer toward our new school, you will have additional opportunities to be part of the expanding program for students. Please consider where you would like to most invest in your child’s education. We want everyone in our community to be a part of the future of UA!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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February 17, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a wonderful week, working with your children. There is a lot on the go in classrooms and outside of school with field study, ski trips, Science Expo, trips to the Vancouver Symphony and a final week with our Artist-in-Residence at Uptown. Our Artist-in-Residence, James Michels, has worked with all of our students at Uptown to produce beautiful Bentwood Boxes and students have written legends to accompany the boxes. It has been a wonderful arts-infused project that they have all benefitted from.

Our teachers enjoyed excellent Professional Development at Collingwood last Friday. Both Ms. Herman and Ms. Cochrane were presenters in their area, representing UA well. Our teachers are part of a vibrant professional learning community with their independent school colleagues, which is of immense advantage in planning the instruction for your children.

The re-registration packages are out for you to complete to secure your child’s seat in a classroom for the 2017-18 school year. Thank you to those who have already been in and completed the registration for September. Our Admissions are brisk at many grade levels with significant interest in the growth and future of UA.

As you are aware, we are changing uniform companies and will be ready later this spring for families to order for 2017. We also have planned a year in transition from Cambridge to InSchool Wear, which means students can finish off 2017-18 in Cambridge-provided school wear. The Uniform Exchange may have items that you can acquire in the interim and those volunteers are most willing to help you out, even if it is in between uniform sales. Your class parent or our PAX executive will be able to put you in touch with them if you have questions regarding available pieces. We will be in touch soon with the new uniform pieces and the options for the children, which are comfortable, attractive and very comparably priced.

Have an enjoyable weekend. See you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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February 9, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Happy Family Day weekend! On behalf of our staff we wish you a relaxed and enjoyable time with your family.

Our teachers are at Collingwood in West Vancouver on Friday at the ISABC Professional Day. For ISABC schools the February day is devoted to a large scale conference – one provided on the Mainland and one on Vancouver Island to accommodate all schools. There is a wide range of learning opportunities for teachers with a lot of focus on the new curriculum unfolding. Ms. Cochrane, one of our grade 2 teachers, will be providing a session for colleagues at Collingwood today on Mindfulness and Brain Science, a focus this year for Robson teachers. Her session has been extremely well-subscribed and I know she will be well-received.

We are now into the countdown for the Gala – and your Gala Committee is doing an extraordinary job under the leadership of their wonderful chair, Heather Hall. We have all of our available VIP tables committed and the donations of wonderful fare are coming in! It is a not-to-be missed UA tradition. Tickets are selling fast so if you have not purchased yours yet, please do so and please feel welcome to ask friends and family to join you. It is a most enjoyable evening.

Senior students are skiing at Whistler next week and middle school students are preparing for Science Expo right after that. Classes at both schools are completing their art work to enter into the Gala silent auction and there will be some lovely pieces for families to bid on and enjoy. The second term is a very full one academically. Please ensure that if you have any questions or concerns whatsoever about your child’s progress that you reach out to teachers. They will be most pleased to work with you to support your child’s success.

Enjoy the extra time this weekend and we will see you on Tuesday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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 February 3, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Our students are enjoying the best of a BC winter. Last week elementary students were at Mount Seymour and today grade 4 and 5 students were there for a day of skiing. The conditions this year have been excellent and students have enjoyed themselves. Thank you to parent drivers who have made this opportunity possible for our students.

I would like to share some news with our community – Ms. Spencer, our French and Art teacher at Uptown, will be leaving us in June. She has served here for 10 years and has been a driving force in developing the Arts-Infused focus that we include in our program. She is completing her Master’s degree and is pursuing a number of wonderful opportunities opening up to her in the fine arts field. We wish her all the best and thank her for her dedication to our school.

Middle School students are gearing up for Science Expo on February 21. Grade 6 students have focused projects on Body Systems and Health, Grade 7 on Electricity and Magnetism and Grade 8 on Light and Optics. We will be looking for judges from our parent volunteer community to provide feedback for our students. Our grade 3 students will be guests at Uptown that day for lunch and the Expo and we will provide details in upcoming newsletters so that if parents are able, they can stop in that day to see the projects.

Pink Shirt Day is also on the horizon at both campuses for February 22. Students are welcome and encouraged to wear a pink shirt with their uniform in place of their white shirt in honour of the day. We focus on how to be a good and inclusive friend, and how to recognize behaviour from our friends that is not positive and what to do about it to keep relationships constructive.

We would like to share a wonderful video representation of our new school design with you. We have had fun with this! You will find it on our website at: http://www.urbanacademy.ca/our-future

Our House system at Uptown that was introduced this year is a great success and very popular with the students. Students at Uptown are divided into the Hyacks, Sappers, Anvils and Royals and compete for points on a whole range of activities; sporting events, intramurals, scavenger hunts and Destination Imagination challenges just to name a few. Our senior students have taken on the leadership of each House and the younger students enjoy their day to play or participate in the next event on the schedule. We look forward to inducting new Hyacks, Sappers, Anvils and Royals as they come up through the grades and join their intermediate, middle and senior classmates.

Enjoy a relaxing weekend with your family and we look forward to seeing you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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January 27, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a great week – a West Coast week for sure and it is wonderful that students are able to be outside to play again. At Robson we have had students back to their usual outside routines. At Uptown, we have introduced students outside to the playground slowly to ensure that the extremely unusual melt does not cause long-term damage to the play area.

This week Grade 2 and 3 students had a day at Mount Seymour snowshoeing and tobogganing. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves. The grade 4 and 5 students are next for a ski day at Seymour. Our Senior students are looking forward to Whistler in a few weeks as well. We are also completing on our commitments to camp for each of the grade groups and we think students will enjoy each of their camps this spring.

As our school grows, we are working on changes to reflect the nature of our developing community. The Head of School and the Board of Directors have been working on the next Strategic Plan for the school for 2018, including a new Vision and Mission for Urban Academy. This work was shared at the recent Annual General Meeting;

Our Vision:

“Inspiring excellence through innovative, engaging education.”

Our Mission:

“Empowering creative and courageous leadership by delivering exceptional education through the integration of the arts, science and technology.”

This is a reflection of the introduction of a balance between the sciences and the arts, technology in the classroom in our school identity work and the introduction of the new curriculum in British Columbia. We are also actively engaged in the development of a new website and logo to share with our community. We should be able to share that work with you in April. As our school matures, we want the development of our programming and work with students to mature alongside that. These are exciting times for UA and your Board of Directors and staff are working hard to provide rich and engaging learning opportunities for our students that are aligned with the changes in education today.

Enjoy the weekend and we will see you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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January 20, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We have had a good week but one where a number of students and staff have been quite ill with the flu and colds that are going around. The bug out there right now is particularly virulent. We take extra precautions with cleaning at school but we must ask our families to keep children that are sick at home until they are well. When the germs and current bugs are passed through the school, far more children and staff become ill than might have through regular precautions. It is also impossible for a sick child to concentrate on their schoolwork and activities. Thank you for your help with this. Hopefully the flu season is waning.

Thank you to our guests out this week to view the design of the new school. Our design team has put the drawings into a video format that I will get out to our community. When it has had a little more refinement we will put it on our website as well. It is a fun way to bring the design to life.

Our Gala is approaching and once again, a masterful Gala Committee, led by able Chair Heather Hall, is planning an outstanding community fundraiser. If you have not purchased your tickets, please do so and please feel most welcome to invite friends and family to join you at this event. The food, music, entertainment and opportunities to contribute to our school all provide a lovely evening.

The Board of Directors is pleased to announce that Jaki Laga has been appointed as a Member-at-Large to the Board. Jaki and Vlas have two sons at Urban Academy and have been with the school for over 4 years. She is currently serving on our Gala Committee. Welcome Jaki – we look forward to working with you in this capacity.

Enjoy the weekend with your family. See you on Monday

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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January 13, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Please plan to join us at Robson Manor on Tuesday January 17 to view our new school design. Boards depicting the school will be up in OCR (Opening Circle Room) at dismissal. The architectural team will join us at 4:30 and we will have a presentation at 6:15. The team will go over each of the aspects of the school plan through the presentation and we will answer questions on our project and where things are at- which is a very positive place! Please join us if you can.

I wanted to provide early information for our families who use Out-of-School Care in July and August. In the past, we have been closed for a two-week period at some point in the summer. This year we will keep Out-of-School Care going all summer long and not close for a two-week period as we normally do. We have a strong program of activities for the students who register and we are not needing to close Robson for any significant maintenance that precludes having the children on site. As usual, we will run one OOSC and it will be located at Robson, so the Uptown students who take part will be at Robson for the summer program. In the upcoming weeks we will start to gather expressions of interest in the care program for the summer.

We will also have registration for OOSC for Spring Break out soon. Spring Break is March 13 to 24 and provided there is sufficient registration, we will be able to offer a program. Based on the interest at the Christmas break it seems most likely that we will be able to offer service. Extending the days available and the length of OOSC hours on the days that school is closed (i.e. opening at 7:00 am on non-instructional days) seems to work well for families and we are trying to meet the needs of two working parents who need to ensure care year round.

The work at Uptown with our Artist-in-Residence started this week and students are learning the craft of Bentwood Boxes and starting on their own. Please have a look at Lattimer Gallery (http://www.lattimergallery.com/collections/james-michels) to see the art we are learning about. The artist at Lattimer that we are working with is James Michels. You will be able to see some of his boxes on the website. The students will create legends as part of the art that forms their box. This is a fabulous Arts-Infused project for our grades 4-12 students that crosses several curricular areas; visual arts, social studies, language arts and First Nations studies to name just a few.

Have a lovely weekend. See you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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January 6, 2017

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Happy New Year! I hope that all of you had a relaxing and enjoyable holiday break. 2017 promises to be an exciting year for Urban Academy, filled with great student learning, steady and significant progress on our new school and many lovely new families joining us.

Thank you to Sarah Cepeliauskas for leading the Urban Academy response on the Brunette Interchange consultation. Sarah is one of our newly appointed Board of Directors on the UA Board. She stepped up to ensure that Urban Academy was represented in response to the City’s request for feedback on the options proposed for the Brunette Interchange work. Thank you to each of our families who responded to the survey and worked with Sarah on this.

Our Annual Appeal is doing well with approximately 30% of our families having already responded with their gift. Please get yours in at the level you are able to give. Every gift helps toward the goal of equipment in classrooms and fitting out the extras in our new school. Advancement giving is a critical part of every independent school and an important aspect of providing the extras for your child.

Next week we are hosting two parent evenings; the parent information evening on Sexual Health Education on January 11 at Robson and Programming at Uptown for Uptown families on January 12. We have put out our invitation to our Uptown families already but all are welcome to join us. We will be sharing programming for next year at Uptown, graduation requirements and post-secondary application processes – never too early to start to learn about all of this! Understanding the options and programming opportunities for your children as they grow and progress through intermediate and middle school is helpful as your child gets old enough to be able to start to engage in these discussions with you.

Please mark January 17 in your calendar as well. As noted, we are hosting an Open House at Robson from 3:15-7:00pm to share the design of our new school.

Have a good weekend – hopefully, just a little fluffy snow to play in comes down and the melting begins!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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December 16, 2016

UA Lions

Dear Urban Academy Families,

This is a big week for UA! Today our students attended their first pep rally at Queens United Church and learned about their new mascot – the UA Lions! Guardian of the Fraser! All of the students were at the gym at 11:30 at Queens and had some fun together as our teams entered to cheers and music. The Lion was unveiled and we shared the aspects of the mascot that they helped shape with their School Wide Write ideas in June. Students have a couple little keepsakes celebrating the Lions to bring home today as well. I think that they enjoyed it and it was a great end to the term. We have the UA Lions off to a wonderful start!

Thank you to David Terepocki Grant for once again making some delicious gingerbread cookies for our JK to grade 3 students – they will enjoy those treats (if they made it home)!.

We are saying good-bye to Mr. Kitts as he leaves our school community and we wish him all the best in his new assignment. I am very pleased to announce that our new Athletic Director and PE specialist is Mike Twaites, from Stratford Hall, where he is currently responsible for Junior PE. Mr. Twaites is very excited to be joining UA at such a special time and is looking forward to continuing to build our program. He is a native of New Westminster and knows our community well. Mr. Twaites will join us in September 2017. In the interim, Mrs. Brooke will pick up the senior Social Studies classes and Ms. MacLeod will take over the senior PE classes. Right after the holidays I will send a letter to our Uptown parents with the minor changes we have had to make to the timetable to accommodate this internal change. I hope to introduce Mr. Twaites to you at upcoming UA activities this spring.

We also say good-bye to Mrs. Kirk today – she is having to take a medical leave a little earlier than anticipated. We wish her family well as they make arrangements for their move to Alberta. As mentioned in a previous email, Ms. Casey McKnight will be taking over Primary French and is able to start in January when we return.

We are making steady progress on our school expansion project at Braid St. I will be sending out an update to our community after the break. There is a lot of work underway with the City of New Westminster and WesGroup at this juncture with the complexity of subdivision and land purchase and things are moving along very well. Every week we have another task off the list!

Enjoy the holidays with your children. I want to wish each of our families the very best of the season and may the New Year be filled with health, happiness and prosperity for all of you. I look forward to a productive and exciting 2017 working alongside you. Thank you to our Board of Directors for their steadfast guidance of our organization and to our staff for their deep care and professional work with our students. The work of both is most deeply appreciated and valued. I am so gratified that we have a united team pulling together to provide the best for our students.

We will see you in 2017 – Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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December 9, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for joining us at the Anvil Centre for the Winter Concert. The students very much enjoyed performing for you and appreciated your response to their work. The concert is always an enjoyable start to the holiday season.

Approximately three weeks ago, the new Board for the upcoming year was introduced at the Annual General Meeting at Uptown. Not all of our community was able to be with us that evening so I would like to take this opportunity to introduce them and their positions to you. We are extremely fortunate to have these community leaders governing our school. Deborah McKenzie was re-elected Chair of the Board, and is serving this community now in this role for her 7th year. Jennifer Thompson stepped up as Vice-Chair taking over from Laura Bradley. Laura has provided wonderful service to the Board and is staying on as a Member-at-Large. Abi Shu was re-elected as Secretary and Rory Langran was elected as our new Treasurer. Elizabeth Fletcher served the Board as Treasurer for 6 years and is also staying on as a Member-at-Large. Brian Drummond, Jeremy Poole, Ben Marsolais, Viral Thakkar and Carmen Grant were elected as Members-at-Large. Our Board members each have Committee responsibilities as well. It is a privilege to serve such a dedicated and principled group of community leaders. Congratulations to each of them and on behalf of our community, thank you for your work for our school and our students.

The tradition of Opening Circle at Robson is a cherished one at Urban Academy and we want to encourage all of our parents to stop in to Opening Circle and join us whenever you can or your schedule allows. It is a time of learning for the little ones and both teachers and parents alike actively support the learning provided in Opening Circle. We do need to ask our parents to refrain from using cell phones during Opening Circle and to be present with us for the songs and the discussion. It is wonderful for students to know that parents are engaged with them during the activity. Thank you for your help in setting the example for our students.

The Annual Appeal is underway and the gifts are coming in from our community. Please consider your gift and plan to provide it in December so that we can issue you a tax receipt to support your 2016 return. Thank you to our families who have given, it is most appreciated and will be put to very good use for our school.

Have a good weekend, hopefully a little warmer next week!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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December 2, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a wonderful week and for joining us at Parent Teacher interviews. Please follow up if you require a more in-depth discussion with your child’s teacher than the interview time provided. We are pleased with student results at the end of the first term and are now well into second term work.

Thank you also to the Elford crew for decorating Robson Manor. It is beautiful and was a lovely surprise for the students on Monday morning.

UA had its first boys’ basketball game this week. We played Carver Christian on Tuesday afternoon. Our students played hard and it was a well-fought game. Carver prevailed with a final score of 31-25. Thank you to the Laga family for the wonderful basketball jerseys for our students. The team is practicing hard and are having a great deal of fun. Their next game is at Khalsa School next week.

Senior students travelled to St. Michael’s University on Vancouver Island last week to take part in a Leadership forum. They enjoyed the experience and contributed fully in all of the sessions they attended. These are wonderful opportunities for our kids and they benefit from meeting the other students and taking part in the work on student engagement and leadership development.

We are nearing full classes in Kindergarten registration for next September. Junior Kindergarten is also filling. We have contacted our current JK families and our new K families to indicate that their Consolidated Fee commitment will be due January 15 in order to secure their spot. We have on-going applications for September across the grades and want our families to have their children’s registration confirmed before the spots are gone.

The weather is still very rainy but with new snow on local mountains, it is possible we will have colder weather soon. A reminder to our families that if we do experience a snowfall one morning, the status of school being open or closed will be on our website right before 7:00 am and the information will be sent to CKNW. Please read through all of the school cold weather plans below. We have our fingers crossed for snow on the mountains and not on our roads.

Have a good weekend – we look forward to hosting you at the Anvil Centre on Tuesday evening. You will be able to purchase Gala tickets from your Gala Committee that evening for our upcoming event in March.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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November 25, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We are preparing for our upcoming Parent Teacher Interviews and have report cards ready to go next week. Please ensure that you sign up for an interview spot in order to meet with teachers on your child’s progress. The directions for sign up as provided before are in this email. Reach out to individual teachers if you need a more extensive discussion on your child’s progress. For our new families, please note that all interviews are held at Robson, including Uptown interviews. We will start on the Thursday afternoon at 5:00 pm and continue on to Friday afternoon.

You will have seen a letter (via email) this week on the changes coming regarding our uniform provider and the next steps. This is very positive for our students’ comportment and for service and convenience for parents. We are looking forward to the change and think it will be a support for families as they uphold our expectations on uniform. We will continue to be in touch on next steps as we get nearer the end of the school year and the necessity to prepare for uniform for September 2017.

City Council approved Fourth and Final Reading on the re-zoning at Braid Street. I will send out an update on all of the other aspects in the next two weeks but this is a big milestone for us. We have all of the other components of the project moving ahead and are track with our construction plans.

I am pleased to see the work of our Senior students in leadership at Uptown on our House system. This week they presented their banners and mottos that they worked on with the younger students. The work of every House was outstanding; very thoughtful and inclusive of all ages of the students. The points are adding up; uniform, attendance, intramurals and the banner to date. We have had a good turnout on the intramurals and it will grow. We are encouraging participation over winning and our younger students are coming out to play. It is a lot of fun.

The work supporting the little ones at Robson is underway as well. We have had our K students through speech and language screening. Vision and Hearing screening is next. These are all proactive measures for emerging learners that we want to ensure we have covered off as they work their way through the beginnings of their school careers.

Enjoy the weekend. See you on Monday morning.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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November 18, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you to our families who were able to join us at the community AGM last night. We enjoyed hosting our community to share the work of the Board over the last year. The grade 4, 5 and 6 students shared some of their vocals work from this term and we appreciated the skills and growth we are seeing there.

Annual Appeal packages are going home today with the eldest child in each family. Please go through carefully and respond with your support for our school. Our future is bright and we need all of our families pulling together to ensure our students have the outstanding learning opportunities that we know we can provide for them.

At Uptown we have instituted an intramural program for our students. The focus is on participation and having fun. The first sport is floor hockey and students have had their first two days of the lunchtime challenge. Points go to each house for students participating with extra points for the team that prevailed in the game. Students have had fun with it and we have other sports planned for the program as we move through the winter.

Boys basketball is starting at Uptown as well. We are part of the Greater Vancouver Independent Schools Athletic Association and will compete in that league. Practice is underway and their first game is November 29 against Carver Christian.

We look forward to seeing parents at the upcoming Parent Teacher conferences and sharing your child’s progress this first term. Please make sure you book your appointment when the interview sign-up opens on November 23.

Enjoy the weekend.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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 November 10, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Our students participated in our Remembrance Day assembly at Queens Avenue United Church this morning. We appreciated hearing our students sing, our younger students recite “In Flanders Fields” and the work of our Drama program, presenting tableau. Thank you to parents who were able to be with us this morning. Your presence was appreciated and I hope you enjoyed the assembly.

Yesterday, each family received an electronic copy of the Board of Directors’ Annual Report and the audited financial statements for the previous school year ended. This is in preparation for our Annual General Meeting to be held on November 17 at 7:00 pm at the Uptown campus. Refreshments will be available at 6:45 and your Board of Directors will be there to welcome you and chat before the meeting is called to order. Our grade 4, 5 and 6 students will start the evening off with some songs that they have prepared in Music class. We are looking forward to sharing both information from the past year and plans for our future as we go forward. Please plan to join us.

The Annual Appeal for Urban Academy is traditionally launched in November of each year. Your Annual Appeal package will go home next week with the eldest child in each family. This is the time of year when families focus on what their donation to the school will be. A growing school that has ambitions to provide a purpose-built facility and additional programming for students must also have a community that makes regular gifts to the school in order for that school to flourish. Our families have been most generous in the past and we would ask you to again consider your Annual Appeal donation. Your gifts make a difference in your child’s classroom and to their educational experience.

Have an enjoyable weekend and we will see everyone on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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November 4, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a good week. We are now looking forward to our Remembrance Day assembly at Queens Avenue United Church. Parents are most welcome to join us. We will start our assembly at Queens Ave at 10:45 am on Thursday, November 10th. This is always an assembly where we teach the youngest and newest students what this special event and Remembrance Day means and how to conduct themselves there. The oldest students take the lead and lead by example for the little ones. We are so thankful to live in the country that we do. This is an opportunity to honour those who have served to protect our peace and democracy and to underscore the importance of peace, tolerance and respect for all cultures and nations throughout the world.

Please plan to join us for Urban Academy’s Annual General Meeting on November 17 at 7:00 pm at the Uptown campus. The evening will start with our grade 4, 5 and 6 students performing for your enjoyment and then the Board will share the work of the year as well as the financial report by our Treasurer. This is a wonderful opportunity to celebrate our success together as a community. Coffee and cookies will be available at 6:45 p.m. We look forward to seeing you there.

You will find some very specific directions in this Friday email on our concert for the Christmas season to be held at the Anvil Centre on December 6. This is our second concert at the Anvil Centre and we are adjusting for our community and our students based on what we learned from a very successful experience last spring. Please take a moment and respond with your order for tickets right away. We want to ensure that you are able to see your child perform.

We are wishing Mrs. Kirk a successful change with her family to Alberta in February. I want to share that we will welcome a wonderful new French teacher to our UA team to take over and continue building a vibrant Junior French program. Ms. Casey McKnight will join us in February on staff. She has been visiting and will TOC for us in the intervening months. She is a trained French Immersion and Core French teacher and has completed a very successful internship at Crofton House School. We look forward to her joining our team and the wonderful strengths and energy she will bring. Welcome Ms. McKnight!

We have some additional staffing news to share – Mr. Sean Kitts has accepted a position with the Burnaby School District. The Kitts family has made this decision and Mr. Kitts has bittersweet feelings – a new opportunity, but leaving a school he loves. We are working on hiring our new athletic coach, a wonderful opportunity for a new teacher. We wish him well and will miss him very much. He has made a remarkable contribution to Urban Academy.

Please note that the plans for the upgrade to the Brunette Interchange are underway. This is right in the neighbourhood of our new school location. Public consultation is happening and UA will respond to offer an opinion on the changes that will best impact our new school at Braid St. You can respond and follow this at http://engage.gov.bc.ca/brunetteinterchange/.

Have an enjoyable weekend. Lots on the go, we are all working hard to support our students in the best way possible!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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October 28, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Happy Hallowe’en! We know that our students are very much looking forward to Monday and the celebrations at both school and in their community. Parents are busy decorating Robson Manor as you are reading this. It will be perfect for the Hallowe’en party for the parent community on Saturday night and exciting for our students when they come to school on Monday.

Our teachers are undertaking the Developmental Reading Assessment with all students grades K-6 during the month of November. We actually started with one class at Robson this week. This assessment is done individually with students and assesses their literal reading level and their comprehension ability. This helps us know the instructional level for students and the overall strengths of our students as well as the areas we need to focus new instruction on. The instructional level of material must be challenging but not frustrating, attainable but not so easy that it does not stretch their ability. Thoughtful assessment is a central part of planning and supervising solid instruction for students.

School Wide Writes are also happening over the next three weeks. Twice per year, we provide students with a topic appropriate to their age and ask them to respond in writing. We use the BC Performance Standards to assess and then consider the results to inform our instruction. We look at form, substance, grammar and the critical level of thinking. We are also interested in the growth students show between their fall School Wide Write and the one they write at the end of the school year. These assessments inform our instruction of students. They also help students understand how they approach assessments long before they need to handle those formal, provincial assessments.

Our fall athletic season with ISABC is coming to an end and our students have done well. They are maturing in their knowledge of the sports and competing. We are also now part of the GVISAA- Greater Vancouver Independent Schools Athletic Association. This organization is made up of a large number of schools, most of them smaller than those in the ISABC group, which also compete with each other. This will also be a great opportunity for our students. We start in November with boys’ basketball at Uptown. We are excited about this opportunity and know that our students will acquit themselves well and learn a lot. Thank you to teachers for coaching and to parents for driving and cheering- it is most appreciated and your kids love seeing you there!

Have a good weekend,

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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October 20, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Teachers are looking forward to the provincial Professional Day tomorrow. Traditionally, in B.C., it is the day all schools and public school districts have this day in October as a professional day. Schools and professional associations take advantage of being able to offer a wide range of programming for teachers and invitations are open to all throughout the province. It is usually a fairly reasonable cost for the work as well. Our staff are enrolled in a wide range of in-service and professional development opportunities. Much of this year’s work will focus on the new curriculum implementation in our province. We also have staff at sessions on technology in the classroom and some of the large events put on annually in surrounding school districts.

We are registering students for 2017 at a brisk pace and have been for several weeks, especially in Junior Kindergarten and Kindergarten classes. We would remind families that have a sibling to let us know if you have a younger child ready for either of those classes. We have several already accepted. We will make siblings a priority however, once the class fills we will be unable to prioritize them for enrollment for next year.

We have some exciting news to share about one of our staff members, it is both happy and sad times for UA! Congratulations to Mrs. April Kirk and her husband who are expecting their second child next spring. The other news is that the Kirk family will be moving to Alberta at the end of February to join family in Edmonton. We have benefitted from Mrs. Kirk’s commitment to UA and the work she has done to develop the kindergarten program. We will miss her but wish the family all the best.

Have a restful weekend with your family.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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 October 14, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We are enjoying working through the fall term with students. Students are well into the curriculum and Interim Reports went home this week with grade 6-12 students. At this age, our students are learning that mastering tougher curricula means extra study and focus and are learning the craft of achieving their grades through hard work. We are working with students to support them as they tackle new areas of study and prove themselves. Our younger students are really getting into the learning and adjusting to their new classes and new expectations. Please feel welcome to call or meet with teachers if you have questions about progress or the program.

Students have benefitted from the generosity of last year’s fundraising initiatives, both the Gala and the Annual Appeal. The generosity of those two initiatives have provided two more class sets of iPads and they are in heavy use! We now have iPads at Uptown as well as Robson. We added more MacBook pros at Uptown and have fitted out most classrooms with projectors. A bass drum and more sound equipment at Uptown has rounded out our performing needs, at least for this year. We continue to add specific sports equipment in order to outfit our growing athletic program and our ability to offer expanded opportunities for students.

Our Gala Committee is in full swing and they will be sharing their plans for this year’s event in the coming months. It is a not-to-be-missed evening! Our Annual Appeal will be launched again in November and this is a critical fundraising structure for our school. We do expect our families to support the Advancement of the school and the Annual Appeal is an opportunity to do so at the level your family can afford. Your children are the beneficiaries of the Advancement program, with equipment and learning experiences that are exceptional. Please start to consider the Annual Appeal and your contribution as we move through the fall.

Have a wonderful (rainy!) weekend. See you on Monday morning.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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October 7, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a good week, students are well into their term’s work and looking forward to the holiday weekend. This week we held a successful Community Consultation in Sapperton as part of the Development Permitting process for our new school. Our architectural team from Grant Architecture Studio provided a presentation to the community and we held a facilitated Q&A session for community members. We had a very limited turnout but some lovely compliments on the school. We appreciated the questions we received and the interest in Urban Academy’s re-location. We are proceeding through the Development Permitting process and hope to be successful with concluding it late this fall. We recently appeared at Design Panel, a City committee that has responsibility to provide feedback to us on the design to date. We had a number of compliments on the design and the urban nature of the school.

Staff are working to prepare for some upcoming school activities and none is more eagerly anticipated by students than Hallowe’en! Students are welcome and encouraged to wear their costumes to school for Hallowe’en Day, Monday, October 31. At Robson for Halloween this year, students are encouraged to be creative and artistic in their costume designs. Students are asked to come to school wearing a homemade costume. Each class will nominate a student for the most outstanding homemade costume, to be entered into the costume contest. Please ensure your child leaves all props and weapons at home, and that his/her costume is age-appropriate. Students will have a little costume parade and activity in the Opening Circle Room.

At Uptown, students are also encouraged to wear costume, bearing in mind nothing violent or inappropriate. Students will have a potluck lunch (instructions will go home with students about a week before), a scavenger hunt and finish off with a Hallowe’en movie.

But first we need to enjoy Thanksgiving! It is a wonderful opportunity to give thanks for the country we live in, our community, our families and all of the blessings we enjoy. Have a relaxing and enjoyable holiday weekend with your family.

Enjoy the Thanksgiving weekend!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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September 30, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a wonderful week. It is hard to believe this is the end of September! Senior Students, grades 6-11 will receive their Interim Report cards on Oct 13. They get an Interim in their core academic courses and any elective or non-academic course where there are concerns about their progress. Interims are provided to parents at the mid-way point of the first and third reporting periods and are intended to indicate to parents general feedback on progress in each course. If you have any concerns or questions regarding your child’s progress, please feel welcome to contact individual teachers directly. They will also be contacting parents that they would like to meet with before the term gets too much further along.

Clubs are underway at both Uptown and Robson. Please note the first term offerings for clubs at both campuses. We try to balance out the offerings in each of the three club sessions per year as well as ensure that there is something available for each age group. There are a few Uptown clubs that are year-long due to the nature of the skill being developed. Please encourage your child to choose a club and give it a try.

The Ministry of Education is re-structuring the Foundation Skills Assessment tests that students in grades 4 and 7 take each year. The attachment in this email outlines the direction the Ministry is headed with the FSA. We will not join the pilot program this year but will see how the first year of the new curriculum and the changes in FSA unfold. Parents can expect grade 4 and 7 students to write the FSA in the January-February period as we have done for the last several years.

At both Robson and Uptown, classes are beginning to work on emergency preparedness drills. We spend some time with students on how earthquake, lockdown and fire drill work in each site before we have the whole school drills. This always takes a little time but we work away at it until students are comfortable knowing their responsibilities in order to help ensure their safety.

Have a good weekend – October is next week!

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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September 22, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a good week. We held our first school-wide assembly at Queens’ Ave. United this week. The first assembly is not long but is about teaching assembly expectations and having a little activity that the youngest students share with the older students. Many of our new students have never even visited the other campus and do not have a sense of the whole school. Seniors helped little ones use their names to create a crossword of all student names at UA. It was a little chaotic- but fun! We then excused the youngest ones (K-Gr 2) to go back to school while we spent time with the grade 3 and up students on upcoming team and sport opportunities, clubs and the year ahead. 

Thank you for your support with Terry Fox donations. The run in honour 8of Terry Fox is an enjoyable and respected tradition in BC schools now. Our students enjoyed their run at Queens’ Park today and the weather held to allow for an enjoyable afternoon. Our guest speaker for students was Jessie Alder, a motivational speaker on behalf of  and she was well-received by our students. 

Next week we have Picture Day for both schools, please note the dates above in this email. This is the next formal uniform day. Please look at the expectations for formal uniform. We expect all students to be compliant with uniform. We do have a few very young students coming to formal events in a school tie. The school tie is not worn until middle school at grade 6. If primary students are wearing a tie, please put it away for a few years! Please make sure that your child has their blazer (grade 9 and up) or sweater (grade 8 and down) at school as well as the correct shirt and skirt or pants. Thank you for your help with this. 

We have launched a House system at Uptown. All students are assigned to a House and will be part of that House during the entire time they are at UA. The Houses reflect New Westminster; the Royals, the Sappers, the Anvils, and the Hyacks. Students learned of their House assignments this week and Senior House leaders are working with the younger students at Uptown on beginning steps in creating a House identity. Students will earn House points for a variety of activities, the first one was on Thursday at the Terry Fox Run. This is a wonderful support system to develop collegiality and loyalty to UA. It is for students and is not connected to any of the other structures we have at UA, parent or staff-based. This is for the kids and it has been well-received by them. They are off to a great start!

Staff are busy at the Professional Day tomorrow on a number of topics; a Reading Power session led by Ms. Hershfield, school identity activity planning, and adjusting our reporting indicators to match the changes in the new curriculum underway- a big job as the changes are significant in terms of what concepts are taught at which levels. Staff are working hard to ensure that they are conversant with the curricular changes that need to be made as we move into a new curriculum. 

Have a good weekend- see you on Monday. 

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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September 16, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

We have had an excellent second week, settling in and getting instruction well underway. Thank you to parents who joined us for “Meet the Teacher Night”. We continue to try to refine the processes that will keep our families well-informed as we grow and add so many new students each year. We want to provide open communication and timely information in ways that are helpful to parents. If you had not had a chance to respond to the invitation to join your classroom blog, please do so right away. You will need it as a source of information to support your child.

On Monday, September 19 we will have our first whole-school assembly at Queens Avenue United Church at 2:15pm. Our Uptown students will walk down to Queens and the Robson students will meet them there. We try to find some opportunities to have both campuses together and have the students from each meet each other. It is important the younger ones learn assembly conduct, students sing the school song and O Canada together, and have the staff introduced to them. Please feel welcome to join us at approximately 2:15pm – we will not be at the church or have students settled until then but would like to have you join us if you are free. This is our first occasion for formal uniform. Please look it out this weekend. If students are not in formal uniform, you will be contacted to rectify that.

Our Uptown grade 6-11 students were at Leadership Camp today. They were at Camp Jubilee for the day, enjoying outdoor education experiences and a chance to get to know each other a little better as a group. Sports teams are also getting started under Mr. Kitts’ direction at Uptown. We have joined the Greater Vancouver Independent School Athletic Association for competition which will provide sports opportunities for our students with a large number of schools closer in size and experience to us.

Staff are turning their attention to clubs. We start clubs in October. The one exception is Running Club at Uptown which is starting next week in order to maximize the time left with good weather and light in the mornings. We offer three sessions of clubs per year at Robson and a slightly different structure at Uptown. The outline of the first ones will be out very soon.

Enjoy the beautiful fall weather with your family this weekend. See you on Monday.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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September 9, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Thank you for a wonderful first week back. We have very much enjoyed catching up with all of our returning families and getting to know the new ones. Teachers are focused on settling students into routines and getting instruction underway. Please make every effort to join us for the “Meet the Teacher” nights scheduled for next week. During that evening you will hear from teachers about classroom and instructional expectations that will help you support your child at school. Uptown parents will receive an email on Monday outlining the evening so that there is opportunity for parents of younger students to spend time with the homeroom teacher and to meet with subject specific teachers as well. This is an evening for parents, so please arrange care for your child at home so you are able to focus on getting to know your teacher(s).

Thank you for your attention to uniform. Staff are working with our students to help them master the expectations. The Uniform Manual should have come home to each family this week. Please let us know if you did not receive one via your oldest child. It is also available on the school website.

Just a reminder to our Robson parents who would like to take their child(ren) to the school playground. Parents are most welcome to do so however, please supervise your child closely, and be prepared to intervene if they need to be re-directed to stop rough or violent play. Families need to be ready to leave the playground at 4:00pm. Thank you for your help with this.

Next week, each of our students will receive a piece of UA “Spirit Wear”, a lovely T-shirt designed and produced by the Laga family, who work in the sportwear business. It is not uniform and not for PE use but it is something students will be able to wear in their free time that has the UA logo and identity on it. We will be asking our Senior students to wear it on their Leadership Day on September 16. Thank you to PAX for sharing with the school in providing this for students and thank you to the Lagas for such a great piece of UA culture for our students.

Have a lovely weekend with your children.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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September 2, 2016

Dear Urban Academy Families,

Happy New Year! We are very much looking forward to next week and the return of our students. It promises to be an exciting and productive year, filled with learning and growth. Thank you to all of our guests who joined us for the Back to School Barbeque on Wednesday afternoon and evening. It was an enjoyable evening and one that provided for families to meet their teachers and connect with each other as September arrives.

School will be a half-day on Tuesday with a full day of instruction and orientation for students on Wednesday. “Meet the Teacher Night” at both schools has been scheduled for next week as noted above in the email. This is an important night as teachers will go over individual classroom expectations as well as the year ahead in terms of work and assessment of students. Please plan to attend your child’s campus and spend time with the teachers instructing your child.

For our new parents, all teachers have blogs that they maintain to keep families current on classroom activities and topics under instruction. For older students, homework and upcoming exams are on the blog as well. This will be a topic at “Meet the Teacher Night”. Please accept your teacher’s invitation to the blog and set up a regular time in your household when you check the blog. It is a helpful routine to go over the blog together with your child.

Staff will make concerted efforts to oversee and help students with uniform consistency this year. Many families are conscientious about uniform and it does require some care and planning to have clean and appropriate uniform ready every day for your child. We do find a significant number of students come to school each day with shoes, socks, shirts and outerwear that does not comply with expectations of uniform at Urban Academy. Sometimes on formal uniform days, students do not arrive in formal uniform. We will be working very directly with those families and students to help re-form some of those habits. We appreciate the time you take to help your child learn to handle uniform.

On Tuesday a package of the Student Handbook, Parent Handbook and Uniform Manual will go home with the eldest child in each family. Please take time to go over the materials. You will find handy charts outlining the uniform for your age and gender of child that can be kept close to hand for reference. Thank you for your help with this. It is an important aspect of commitment to an independent school for students to develop care and pride in the uniform.

We are looking forward to a wonderful year! Please call or email at any time with questions that you may have. Our doors are open and we want to maintain open communication with all of our families.

Mrs. Cheryle Beaumont

Head of School

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