December Address

Dear Parents,

Season of Advent:  At this time of year, many people get swept up in holiday preparations: shopping, parties, decorating, making travel plans, etc. It can be a hectic and stressful time of the year. On Sunday, November 27, we began the season of Advent. It’s a time where we anticipate and long for the coming of Jesus as our loving Lord and Saviour. We anticipate the celebration of Jesus’ birth, when he came into the world to save us all from sin and death. The coming of Jesus into our lives at Christmas enriches our journey of faith every day, especially in the celebration of the Eucharist and in our acts of love, charity, and justice towards others. The very fact that the Creator of all humbled himself to become one of His creations should fill us with awe at the tremendous love and sacrifice that very act alone communicates.

Throughout Advent you can gather as a family for prayer around an Advent wreath.  You can focus your efforts as a family on ways to share your bounty with others to experience a more meaningful and impactful Advent Season.  Make sure your family takes the time to slow down and reflect on the true meaning of Christmas during Advent as that will help to ensure a truly blessed and Merry Christmas.

November Address

Dear Parents,

November has arrived with its blustery weather and shorter hours of daylight. With the impending time change, it often seems that November is such a bleak month with little daylight and foreboding weather. However, November has its upside as it is a month where we reflect on the value of peace in our world and commit ourselves to working towards achieving peace in our own personal lives and in the world as a whole.

We take the time during November to pay tribute to the brave young men and women who sacrificed everything to keep our nation strong and free. As Canadians we need to continue to honour them on November 11th, Remembrance Day. Wear a poppy both as a sign of respect for the generations who gave so much so that future generations could have the freedom to build a world of peace, and as a sign of your commitment to never forget that sacrifice. This is a good time to commit to being a peacemaker in today’s world.

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Back to School

Dear Parents,

We are pleased to welcome all our new and returning families to the 2016-2017 school year. Last year was certainly an exciting and challenging one with many fun and involving activities in our school. We hope everyone had a wonderful and fulfilling summer and are ready to get back to learning!

This year the theme for the Catholic Independent Schools of the Vancouver Archdioese (CISVA) is “Care for Our Common Home.” It rises from Pope Francis’ Encyclical Letter “Laudato Si” in which he appeals for the Church to become more concerned and involved in saving our environment. Below are excerpts taken from the introduction of Pope Francis’ letter in which he explains the urgency of the ecological situation we all face:

The urgent challenge to protect our common home includes a concern to bring the whole human family together to seek a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change.
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The Little Mermaid Jr. and CISVA Badminton Championships

It has been an exciting few weeks at St. Francis Xavier School! Firstly, we are proud of the efforts of our badminton team who worked hard to win the CISVA Badminton Championships! For a detailed list of medalists, please see the “May 2016” Newsletter on our front page.

Also, we are basking in the glow of the sucess of “The Little Mermaid Jr.” Thanks to the combined efforts of our staff, students and parents, we were proud to present a truly incredible whole-school production! Thanks goes to the entire school community for their support and cooperation in such a huge undertaking. Special thanks to Mrs. Lake, our hard-working and determined producer, and Mrs. Harris, our creative and passionate Music teacher and director, for their dynamic vision for the play. This shows how successful we can be as a school community in giving our students chances to shine!

SFX Open House

Hello Prospective and Current Parents,

Our St. Francis Xavier Open House is on January 20th, 2016 from 10am to 2pm. Tours will be hosted every 15 minutes and parents will have a chance to meet with the principal and selective teachers to inquire about more details. Unfortunately, our admission forms will only be available at the end of the tour. If you cannot attend the tour, the admission form will be made available online (under Admission … Forms) at the end of the day. Should you have more questions, please feel free to call us at (604)254-2714.

Thank you for your interest!

 

New Professional Days added to Calendar

The yearly school calendar is produced by the Administration at the beginning of every school year so parents have the opportunity to arrange care for their children on Professional Days or even family holidays. At the bottom of the calendar are the words “The above dates are subject to change.” This is to inform you of such a change.
At the end of this August, the BC Ministry of Education announced the Redesigned Curriculum. It is an all encompassing and challenging reform as every grade and every subject has been revised in terms of content, skills, and assessment.
In recognition of this, in October the BC Ministry of Education announced that public schools would have what amounts to two extra Professional Days for school staffs to work together on managing and planning for the widespread change. Just two weeks ago, a similar provision was made for Independent Schools as well.
We have decided as a teaching staff to use the two extra days on Monday, January 4th 2016 and Monday May 2nd 2016. On the January date, we will be joined by Christine Younghusband, an instructor from St. Mark’s College and a contributor to the Redesigned Curriculum. She will work with the staff to review the main changes contained in the document and delve into some of the issues around its implementation. In May, the focus will be on allowing our teachers to spend time revising their plans and working together to design shared methods of planning and assessment.
This is an exciting and challenging time to be a teacher in British Columbia. The Redesigned Curriculum is centered on giving all students the skills and knowledge they will need to take on the challenges of the 21st century. In many ways, the current way of teaching is still based in 19th century thinking and beliefs about education and its purpose. These dates will help prepare our staff for the challenges of making certain our students will be fully prepared to meet the requirements of this new approach to education.
Thank you for your understanding and support.

Halloween Spirit Day Reminder

For this Halloween Friday, all students must come to school wearing their uniform as there will be Mass at 9:00 am. Kindergarten classes do not yet attend Mass so they are allowed to come in their costume if you so desire. Students will be allowed to change into their costume during Lunch Recess.

 

A quick reminder that masks or costumes promoting evil or violence are not allowed; This includes witch and devil costumes. (Some students have asked if they can dress as a “good” witch; I am afraid I will have to say No to that; a witch is a witch.) Students could be creative by wearing a costume that represents a favourite storybook character, a character from the Bible, or current figure of the Church (Pope Francis, Mother Teresa, etc.)  Wearing fall or Halloween colours (e.g. brown, orange, black) is also acceptable instead of a costume.

 

There will be a costume parade at 1:15 in the gym and parents are most welcome to join us for the event.  Prizes for the best costume in each class will be awarded.  Students are also asked to bring canned goods for donation for the Food Bank and candy for the Agape Street Ministry (hosted by the Leadership Club) as in previous years in the week after Halloween. The Leadership group will be sponsoring special Halloween activities in the Gym at Lunch.