April 8, 2017
Hope everyone has some great plans for the weekend. To help get you started, here are some things worth celebrating from the past week at HD Stafford Middle School.
Truth And Reconciliation Blanket Exercise – As a school, district and province, the journey towards truth and reconciliation is proving to be a powerful process as we come to terms with the history of our country and its treatment of Aboriginal People. This past week, some of our grade 8s participated in The Blanket Exercise. This hands-on, story-telling activity gives students a foundation in Aboriginal history while allowing them to experience some of what it may have felt like. Best of all, it is a wonderful spring board for the conversations that need to occur in order for us to truly empathize and understand.
LSS Helps Students Learn “Beyond The Hurt” – This past week, a grade 10 class from LSS came back to work with some of our grade 6 students. They are working through a bullying and harassment prevent program called Beyond The Hurt sponsored by the Red Cross. The older students (many of them HDSMS alumni) went through a variety of activities with our kids and then followed them up with reflective, deeper conversations. It was another opportunity for us to help our kids develop skills to not only protect themselves from bullying and harassment but also to learn how to treat those around them. We look forward to them coming back for follow up sessions.
Rugby Girl Secure First Wins – This past week, our girls rugby team played two games on our home field. Tuesday they toughed out a close one against Abbotsford Traditional Middle School winning by a score of 26 – 24. On Thursday, against Abbotsford’s Reimer Middle, the girls seemed to hit their stride as they dominated their opponent, ending up with a final score of 17 – 0. And while the wins are great, the best part is seeing their excitement of playing, all covered in mud! Next up is a game against WA Fraser next Tuesday on their field.
Technology Empowers Literacy – In a world where technology is everywhere and most people have a computer in their pocket, it is so imperative that in schools we learn to harness these devices to truly empower learning. And while there are many gimmicky things that we have access to, there are some really powerful apps and tools that help students grow quickly in areas like literacy, numeracy, critical thinking and problem solving. This past week, two of the OSMOS units arrived in our learning support department and the impact was instant. This kit turns an iPad into a hands-on manipulative device where students can manipulate letters, numbers and a variety of other things while interacting with the screen. It didn’t take long to engage students (and staff) with the tool. We look forward to it being utilized to its full potential.
Things Hopping In Access: As we approach the Easter long weekend, our students in the Access program were well on their way getting into the bunny spirit. In fact, they literally had a rabbit visit them in class! It was such an awesome time watching the students interact with the cute fuzzy creature. And, inspired by the special guest, the students made their own home-made Easter cards and delivered them to staff around the school.