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February 2014 Newsletter

PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE
One of the exciting things about the learning here at Lucerne is the variety of instructional and learning strategies and tools used by our educational staff. Today as I was in the 4/5/6 classroom students were building bridges out of straws and recycled paper. The math, creativity, problem solving, and team building skills integrated into this project would be almost impossible to quantify on a Provincial assessment, but students were actively engaged and learning, and sharing, and excited about it. Teachers are also using literature circles and Daily Five literacy models, a learning greenhouse, online Moodle courses, graphic organizers, video cameras and graphics software, Kurzweil software, archery equipment, a school set of snowshoes, a school garden and perhaps the greatest learning tool of all – Nature.
These are just a snapshot of what makes Lucerne the best place for leaning in the world. While it is easy to look around and see something that another school may have like a school nurse or a swim team, I feel our students are very fortunate to be exposed to such a caring staff and so many engaging and meaningful learning opportunities.
“Education is all a matter of building bridges.” – Ralph Ellison –

NEW SCHOOL WEBSITE DESIGN
A number of us, including Julia Greenlaw, Cori Neilson, and Nikta Bouroumand, have been working on the upgrading of the new school website. The site is now fully active and functioning. While there are a few improvements yet to be finalized I am very pleased with the updated version. It is a more modern and functional approach which allows for access across platforms and technologies. One of the focuses of the design structure was to make things easier to find and the layout more intuitive. I would encourage you to take the opportunity to view the site and to check in regularly for calendaring updates. The site address is www.less.sd10.bc.ca .

GREAT BACKYARD BIRD COUNT
From Afghanistan to Zimbabwe, February 14-17 will be the weekend for the Great Backyard Bird Count. Scientists and bird enthusiasts can learn a lot by knowing where the birds are. Bird populations are dynamic; they are constantly in flux. No single scientist or team of scientists could hope to document and understand the complex distribution and movements of so many species in such a short time. The Great Backyard Bird Count is a great way for people of all ages and backgrounds to connect with nature and make a difference for birds. It’s free and easy. To learn more about how to join the count visit www.birdcount.org .

DISTRICT BUDGET PLANNING SURVEY
Our District is aiming for greater consultation and input in the budget process. They are asking parents to participate in a survey which is part 1 of the plan for input on our District budget planning for the next school year. The link address for the survey is http://sd10.fluidsurveys.com/s/budgetsurvey/ .

UPCOMING EVENTS
Wed, Feb 5 PAC Meeting (6:30)
Thu, Feb 6th, 13th, 20th, 27th Elementary Ski Dates
Mon, Feb 10th, Family Day (Statutory Holiday)
Fri, Feb 14th, Secondary Report Cards go Home
Feb 14-17, Great Backyard Bird Count
Mon, Feb 17th, Non-Instructional Day
Wed, Feb 19th, Secondary Ski Day
Mon, Feb 24th – 28th, Work Experience Week
Wed, Feb 26 KSCU Breakfast
Fri, Mar 14th, Elementary Report Cards go Home
Mon, Mar 17th – 28th, Spring Break
Mon, Mar 31st – Apr 4th, Arts Immersion Week (Sebben)
Mon, Apr 28th – May 2nd, Archaeology/Photography Immersion Week

COMPUTER AND INTERNET USE
At Lucerne we are privileged to have a new computer lab which is connected (hardwired) to a high speed internet and networking system. This serves as a potentially powerful tool for connecting students to learning. We are also facing the challenges which are associated with this technology.
Last week we were informed by our computer technician that there were concerns with instances of the internet and computers being misused. This was a serious concern to our staff as well as our collective student body. As a result we met together with all students and as a secondary staff to address the challenge and to build a plan to improve our practice and clarify our expectations around technology use at Lucerne. One of the concerns raised by students was a need for clear policies around internet use. The internet use agreement documents attached are designed to help students know what our internet policies and expectations are.
As part of our implementation of a new Technology Use Plan we are restricting most student access to the internet for this school week. This will not apply to students accessing an online Moodle course, and subject teachers may be providing limited internet access according to immediate student learning needs during a specific learning block. Please know that we will be working to ensure student learning is not compromised. Teachers are providing students with paper copies of assignments, computers are still accessible for students requiring them for word processing or if the use is part of an Individualized Education Plan (IEP).
Our goal is to enhance learning. Short term as students discover alternate opportunities for learning mediums including pens, books, libraries, asking people, and even looking at a map. And long term as they increase their self-management and self-direction skills so that they are controlling their learning tools and not letting their learning tools control them.
I have enclosed a copy of the student use forms that each student will be required to read, understand, agree to, and sign, before they will be allowed access to the school network, computers, or internet. This would be an excellent opportunity for parents to share with their child the importance of internet safety, prioritization of internet use, and the etiquettes needed for responsible and respectful computer practice.
We anticipate this approach will result in increased student safety, learning success, and personal growth. Please understand that this is a plan for learning and success and that, while all schools will be facing similar challenges, we are optimistic that this is merely a hurdle, and not a stumbling block on our path to informing a new generation of digital citizens.