Update from the Superintendent

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August 21, 2014

Dear Parents and Guardians,

The purpose of this letter is to provide you with an update on the provincial labour dispute.

As you are aware, the BC Teachers’ Federation (BCTF) and the BC Public School Employers’ Association (BCPSEA) reached an impasse with regards to negotiating a new contract and, as a result, on June 17, 2014 the BCTF escalated their job action to a full strike. Unfortunately the two parties have not been able to make significant progress over the summer months and the possibility of schools opening as usual following Labour Day is uncertain.

A decision on school opening will likely not be made until Friday, August 29, 2014 in order to provide both parties with the maximum amount of time to reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open.

If there is a settlement within the next week, our expectation is that all schools in the Sea to Sky School District will open on Tuesday, September 2, 2014 as ordinarily scheduled.

If there is no settlement within the next week, there are two likely scenarios.

One is that teachers could return to work, continuing job action at a stage lower than a full walk out. This would mean that schools would open on time.

A second scenario in the event of no negotiated settlement is that either picket lines or BCPSEA action could prevent schools from operating. In this scenario, all schools will be closed and students would remain home. School bus transportation will be cancelled. Administrators will remain on site at each school in the event of any emergencies and to support any students who do arrive on site.

Parents are encouraged over the next week and the long weekend to consult media, our school district website http://sd48seatosky.org/ the BCTF website http://www.bctf.ca/ and the BCPSEA website http://www.bcpsea.bc.ca/. If you need more specific information about school-related matters, please contact your principal directly.

It is most unfortunate that there has not been a resolution to this dispute and it remains our collective hope that the two parties adjust their positions and reach a negotiated settlement before schools are due to open. We will continue to endeavour to keep you up to date on this information. Thank you for your continued understanding during this challenging time.


Lisa McCullough

Superintendent of Schools

Back to School

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Hello everyone. 

Intermediate student school supply lists are available on this website under Things You Need to Know.  For the primary students, we are going to ask for $35 ($30 for Kindies) and we will purchase the supplies for you.  The $35 will include a Squamish Elementary School Planner.

Intermediate students are asked to bring $5 for the planner, please and thank you!

We will be in touch with new kindergarten families in mid-August regarding the first week of school.

Have an Awesome August!

Farewell Assembly June 25th, 2014

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Special thanks to all of the parents for making our Farewell Assembly happen for our grade 6 and 7 students. Well done!

Mrs. Paxton’s Words on June 25th
This has been an interesting year, hasn’t it?
Expect the unexpected, is what I kept telling the teachers.
It has been a year of change and new challenges. Some of them exciting, some kind of daunting.
For some people, change is terrifying. For others it is energizing.
One thing I know for sure is that change is inevitable and the more resilient and confident you are, the more you will be able to adapt and adjust, riding the wave like a surfer.
To that end, I’ve made a short list of things I would have liked my 12 year old self to know.
1. Don’t take things personally. As Eleanor Roosevelt said, “No one can make you feel inferior without your permission.”
2. Don’t take yourself too seriously. Find your funny bone. Exercise your imagination. Life’s too short to worry about things that are out of your control. We all do it. But try to do it less.
3. If you’re feeling afraid, fake courage! I do this all the time. Don’t let fear stand in your way. Don’t let fear win. Because there really is very little to be afraid of.
4. Know that you are loved. And because you are loved, those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind. That’s a funny way of saying that not everybody’s opinion counts. See rule #1.
5. And finally, Always be a little kinder than necessary. Did you know that it was JM Barrie who said that, the author of Peter Pan? He also said, every time a child says, I don’t believe in fairies, there is a fairy somewhere that falls down dead….
But I think “be a little kinder than necessary” is a pretty good idea.
So as we say farewell, I hope you will leave Squamish Elementary just a little smarter, braver, and kinder person. Walk into Don Ross with confidence and pride. Come back and visit, but maybe not while our classes are still in session on Friday afternoon. And lastly, remember where you came from: Squamish Elementary, where we care about each other, we care about ourselves, and we care about our school.

Kindergarten and K/1 French Immersion

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Dear Families:

Over the summer, we will be planning what the first week of school will look like for your children.  We are very pleased to announce that the K/1 French Immersion teachers will be  Nadine Marcil, Geneen Lazar, and Micheline Gregoire.

Our English K/1 teachers will be Tammy Lapointe and a new teacher, to be determined.

We will be in touch in August to let you know about the first week of school.  Please feel free to email me with any questions you have over the summer.  mpaxton@sd48.bc.ca


Margaret Paxton

Year End Letter

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Letter to Parents and Guardians:

June 27, 2014

Dear Parent/Guardians,

In a letter dated June 23, 2014, Superintendent, Lisa McCullough indicated that the typical year-end reporting processes will not occur this year due to the current labour dispute. In our district, some teachers had completed Report Cards prior to the teacher walk-out and students in their classes will be receiving a complete or condensed version of a Report Card. However, many teachers in our district were not able to submit their Report Cards prior to this job action and, as such, no formal year-end achievement information is available at this time for their students.

You are receiving this letter because we are not able to provide you with your child’s year-end achievement information, at this time. However, please note that your child has been promoted to the next grade level. Year-end progress information for your child for this school year will be provided to you, in some format, as soon as possible following resolution of the labour dispute.

Once again, we all regret that this year was not able to end on a more positive note. We are hopeful that some resolution to this dispute will happen over the summer.
I wish you and your family a safe and enjoyable summer break.


Margaret Paxton

Margaret Paxton