Trafalgar Thunder News
THE DRAGONS OF NIBIRU AUTHOR VISITS
Several Trafalgar classes spent time with Kamloops-based author, Lorna Carleton, learning about writing, following your passion, and the do-it-yourself ethic. Lorna, an L.V. Rogers graduate (Class of 1978), shared the story that brought her to writing including her efforts to self-publish her first book (which has sold over 3000 copies in Canada since July 2017). The Library has two copies of the first book of the planned seven books series, The Dragons of Nibiru. A HUGE THANKS to Lorna for sharing her time and passion with the students!
GRADE 5 STUDENTS BEGIN TRANSITION!
The Library hosted students from Blewett, South Nelson, Rosemont, and Redfish Elementary schools as part of Trafalgar’s Grade 5 orientation and transition process. The students and their teachers spent the morning in the makerspace program learning about design thinking and electronics while completing design challenges and tinkering with the MakeyMakeys. Huge thanks to all of the teachers for bringing their gangs!
LEARNING ABOUT THEIR ANCESTRY
Local Metis elder and president of the Nelson and Area Metis Society, Don Courson, shared his knowledge and stories with aboriginal students keen to learn more about their family. Don shared how he learned about his Metis heritage and how students can begin to ask questions and learn their heritage. Thanks to Don for sharing his wisdom!
A LESSON IN OIL SPILL CLEAN UP
Environmentalist Sheila Street from the BC Ministry of Environment presented to Ms. Comrie’s 8-5 students on hydrofluorocarbons and the consequences of oil spills on our environment. Students had the opportunity to use a variety of materials to experiment with soaking up a simulated oil spill. What did they find? PLASTIC works the best! Why? Plastics are made from oil and its adheres well to…oil. Huge thanks to Ms. Street for sharing her time and expertise with the class! Photos courtesy of Katie Comrie.
BLACK HISTORY MONTH: TRAFALGAR GETS A LESSON
February is Black History Month and Trafalgar students and staff received a terrific lesson on black history by Canadian actor, Omari Newton. Joined by his sister, Akilah, Omari spoke to the school about the history of athletics and black activism from Willie O’Ree (first black player in the NHL) to Muhammed Ali, and Kurt Flood (credited with bringing free agency to professional sports). The students asked terrifically insightful questions and offered equally observant comments. Thanks to Omari and Akilah for spending the morning with us! Photos courtesy of Christophe Valls.
Mr. Tim.s 7/8 class spent a beautiful Kootenay winter day snowshoeing and learning some natural history at Nancy Greene Provincial Park.
SELKIRK COLLEGE DISCOVER YOUR PASSIONS EVENT
The Grade 8 students spent a day at the 10th Street and Silverking campuses of Selkirk College late last week. The main reason for the annual Discover Your Passions is to expose our students possible future career options in the trades and the required post-secondary training. Each student actively participated in two selected workshops that included everything from making a book stand in the carpentry program, cutting out their initials in the welding program, making sushi in the professional cook program, learning about the music recording process in the music program, and designing a rocket in the digital arts and new media program. After a morning of learning and a hearty lunch, the students (and staff) participated in a fun-filled Selkirk School Spirit Award Olympics. A huge thanks to Selkirk College for opening their doors to our school. And a grateful round of applause for the Industry Trades Authority for, once again, offering the necessary grant funding to make this event possible. Photos courtesy of Bob Hall. More photos to come!
REPORT CARDS TO GO ELECTRONIC
We are continuously working to improve our processes around communicating your child’s progress to you. In an effort to reduce the amount of paper we are using, as well as to ensure reports are received by parents, we have moved to an electronic format. The appearance of our report card has changed slightly. However, the information that is communicated to you about your child’s progress remains the same (big ideas, evidence of learning, what your child should know/do/understand) in a letter grade free format.
If you have a child who took part in one of our short seven week LLE classes this term (Photography, Outdoor Recreation, MakerSpace & Robotics, Hands On Science, Stitch ‘n Craft) you will be receiving a one page summary of their progress for this class. This brief report will be EMAILED to you on Monday, February 19. If your child is taking any of the other LLE classes, they are still in progress and you will receive a report on Thursday, March 15.
A full report of your child’s progress in all subject areas will be EMAILED to you on Thursday, March 15. If you have changed your email address within the past four months, please let our office know as soon as possible to ensure that we have the most current one in our records.
PSA FOR PINK SHIRT DAY
A group of students spent some time at JuiceFM radio station to cut a PSA (public service announcement) for the annual Pink Shirt Day! Getting the word out about bullying and spreading the love. Way to go, team! Photo courtesy Carol-Ann Leidloff.
OUR SCHOOL NEW SIGN IS UP!
It’s official! We are a middle school (Grades 6-8). Huge THANKS to SD8 Maintenance for refreshing of our building signage! It is awesome! Photo courtesy of Lisa Hobden.
GRADE 8 STUDENT TO BE A PUBLISHED POET!
Congrats to Grade 8 student, Che Steffler! His poem, The Great River, will be published this spring as part of the Young Writers of Canada Contest! Che’s poem is one of hundred poems selected from over 6000 submissions from all over Canada. Look for the anthology Catch The Whispers in a local book store or our library in May 2018. Way to go Che!
MRS. LEIDLOFF NAMED ONE OF TOP SCHOOL ADMINISTRATORS IN CANADA
Trafalgar Middle School is pleased to announce that our Principal, Mrs. Leidloff, was selected as one of Canada’s Outstanding Principals for 2018. This prestigious award is in recognition of her outstanding leadership at a provincial and district level and especially her six years as Principal of Trafalgar Middle School. On behalf of the Trafalgar students, parents and staff we would like to congratulate Mrs. Leidloff on her extraordinary achievement!
PEMMICAN-MAKING IN FRENCH IMMERSION
Mme. Machado’s Grade 6 FI class spent time with learning about and making pemmican last week. An indigenous energy bar of sorts, pemmican is a very high caloric snack consumed by many aboriginal groups while hunting, checking trap lines or on very long treks. In lieu of ripe chokeberries, the pemmican was sweetened with dried currants. Some students also took the salty-sweet substance home to air dry before consuming. Hmmm-hmmm!
A CLIMBING WE GO…!
The outdoor recreation group spent time at the climbing gym at Selkirk College. Here are some students caught in the action. Photos courtesy of Staci Proctor.
Just before the holidays, Mr. Stainer’s 6/7 class spent the afternoon in the foods room making fruit clafoutis, french dessert that is a cross between a fruit pie and cake (or so we are told…). Apparently, they tasted as good as they looked! Photo courtesy of Brian Stainer.
LIFELONG EXPLORATION FUN AT APEX
The Outdoor Recreation LLE class spent the afternoon at Apex Cross Country Area. Fun in the snow! Photo courtesy of Staci Proctor.
VAZ’ZY WORKSHOPS WITH FRENCH IMMERSION
Last week, Vaz’zy was in the school! The duo, hailing from Grand Forks, worked with all of the French Immersion classes sharing, writing, and performing songs that celebrate French Canadian culture and tradition. The week of intense workshops culminated in a school-wide performance by the FI classes. Photos by Christophe Valls.
Ms. Comrie’s Grade 8 Drama Class performed their Remembrance Day offering to classes earlier this week. It was a powerful performance and sought to address the question: What is the relevance of continuing to recognize Remembrance Day anyway?
TRAFALGAR HOUSE STANDINGS
Going into the holidays after Rainbow Day here’s the Trafalgar House Points Standings:
FUNDS FOR FURRY FRIENDS
Ms. Kennedy’s class (6-3) recently dropped off a cheque to the Nelson SPCA for $261 through various baked goods sales earlier this spring.
GIRLS VOLLEYBALL TEAMS TAKE GOLD AND SILVER!
The girls volleyball teams competed a 1-2 sweep of the West Kootenay Girls Volleyball Finals this weekend at Mount Sentinel. The two squads played each other for the championship placing first and second ahead of ten other schools. Congratulations to all players for another terrifically successful season! Photo courtesy of Staci Proctor.
HAPPENINGS IN MADAME DEXTER’S CLASS
Mme. Dexter’s class has been busy this fall with involvement in many community endeavours and deep learning opportunities. Check out all of the action on her classroom blog!
INDIGENOUS INSTRUMENTS: GETTIN’ RHYTHM!
Grade 6 students are getting an opportunity to learn about indigenous musical instruments from around the world courtesy of knowledge-keeper, Liam Fitzpatrick. Liam’s extensive travels to Africa and South American has resulted in a terrific collection of indigenous musical instruments that he shared with Grade 6 students this week!
MEDICINE WHEEL IN ACTION: GOAL HANDS
Ms. Comrie has been using the medicine wheel in her Grade 8 class to help students to focus on goals for the year.
SPOOKTACULAR HALLOWEEN FUN!
Door decorating, pumpkin carving, and the annual costume contest are highlighted a day of spooktacular fun as students and staff got into the Halloween spirit! Photo courtesy of Christophe Valls.
CELEBRATION AND SUPPORT FOR DIVERSITY
Transgender and gender variant advocate, Christopher Moore, returned to Trafalgar to begin his workshops of gender awareness and support with Grade 6 classes. He recently visited with Mme. Machado’s class. As part of his work with students, Christopher facilitates a brainstorming session for ideas to support transgender and gender variant awareness and diversity in our school and community. Below is some of the ideas generated by the students. Christopher will be in the school working with each of the classes this year. For more information on Christopher’s work please visit Kootenay Transgender Connect website. Photo courtesy of Wanda Machado.
“DROP EVERYTHING AND READ” 2017
For the third year in a row, the entire student body and staff flooded the third floor hallway, gymnasium, and fine arts centre to do something beautiful: read together for 30 minutes! DEAR is part of the school’s larger goal to increase literacy, promote the importance of reading, and to celebrate the simple pleasure of indulging in a great book. Photo courtesy of Jeff Yasinchuk.
STUDENT ASSESSMENT: FRESHGRADE, PORTFOLIOS, AND FORMATIVE EVALUATION
As the BC Curriculum changes, Trafalgar shifted its assessment practices of and for student learning. The school has moved from a letter grade system to a rubric-based process, which includes more ongoing, continuous sharing of learning using the digital portfolio platform, FreshGrade. Download a one page FreshGrade Parent Guide to explain how it works to empower parents (and students) in the learning process. For more details on how FreshGrade will help our students, parents, and teachers to support their learning please see Parent Letter.
THE INFERIORS ROCK THE HOUSE
On Friday afternoon, Trafalgar students and staff were entertained by The Inferiors a rock band from Kimberly, BC with members who are students at David Thompson Secondary. The four-piece rock band has been playing together for three years and it showed! With a set of covers and three original tunes, the ban’s impressive musicianship and camaraderie was evidence to those in attendance. You can find The Inferiors on Instagram (@theinferiors) and on Facebook. Thanks to the band for a great time!
ORANGE SHIRT DAY GATHERING
All students and staff attended a school-wide gathering to acknowledge and support national Orange Shirt Day held every year on September 30th. Orange Shirt Day recognizes all of the aboriginal children that attended residential schools in Canada. The event included words and support from Metis elder, Donna Wright, superintendent Christine Perkins, and SD8 Principal of Aboriginal Education, Gail Higginbottom. Wright opened and closed the gathering with a drum song and offered students a teaching about respect for all including the earth itself. Students then engaged in a closing activity to decorate tipi models throughout the school. Orange shirt cut outs were provided and students were asked to respond to the challenge: “What is one thing that you can do to make someone feel like they matter?” The shirts/thoughts were then wrapped around several model tipis throughout the school as reminders to all of us that ‘every child matters’. Students displayed immense respect and support for the duration of the gathering. For more information about Orange Shirt Day visit orangeshirtday.org. Photo courtesy of Christine Perkins.
TRAFALGAR SCHOOL CLOSURE UPDATE
In July 2016, the School District #8 (Kootenay Lake) Board of Education passed a by-law* to close Trafalgar Middle School. Please see below for answers to many of the questions you may have regarding what this means for your child:
- WILL THE SCHOOL CLOSE AT THE END OF THIS SCHOOL YEAR?
- While the Board motion indicates that the school could close as early as the end of this school year, this possibility is extremely unlikely because renovations must occur at Blewett Elementary School and Central Education Center (CEC) in order to accommodate our students. Funding for these renovations is dependent on our District receiving a Capital Grant from the Ministry of Education.
- WHAT IS THE MOST LIKELY DATE FOR SCHOOL CLOSURE?
- We anticipate the school will likely close at the end of the 2017-18 school year at the earliest, although the Board motion provides an additional year (2018-19) for the renovations to Blewett and CEC to be completed before the anticipated closure of Trafalgar Middle School will occur.
- IS IT POSSIBLE THAT THE SCHOOL WILL NOT CLOSE AT ALL?
- Yes, this is possible – if the renovations to Blewett and CEC do not occur. The District, however, is committed to following through on the by-law passed by the Board and will make every effort to do so within the anticipated time-frame.
- WHAT WILL THE SCHOOL CLOSURE PROCESS LOOK LIKE?
- If the renovations to Blewett and CEC have been completed, Grade 5 students will remain at their elementary schools for Grade 6 and 7. Students in Grades 7 and 8 currently in attendance at Trafalgar will transition to L.V. Rogers Secondary School (which will become a Grades 8-12 school).
- WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO THE FRENCH IMMERSION PROGRAM?
- The French Immersion Program is a District program that is currently ‘housed’ at Trafalgar Middle School. If/when the school closes, the French Immersion Program will be moved to the CEC.
- IF THE SCHOOL IS CLOSING, SHOULD I SEND MY CHILD TO TRAFALGAR THIS YEAR?
- While the District always encourages students to attend their neighborhood/catchment area school, we recognize that families may choose to send their children to other schools for a variety of reasons. If Trafalgar Middle School is your catchment area school, then yes, please enroll your child. School closure (if it happens) is still a couple of years away.
- WHY IS TRAFALGAR MIDDLE SCHOOL SCHEDULED FOR CLOSURE?
- Our school was built in 1921, and as a result requires a great deal of regular maintenance. The building has reached the point where it requires significant renovation and ‘deferred’ maintenance in order to continue to meet the needs of our students. The cost of these renovations and upgrades outweighs the benefits, particularly when the Facilities Review process has shown that our other schools could accommodate Trafalgar’s students. This move would more fully utilize the number of ‘seats’ filled in each of the other district buildings. In other words, it is more cost effective to close Trafalgar than it is to renovate and/or rebuild the building.
* School District #8 School Closure By-law (re: Nelson Family of Schools):
- BE IT RESOLVED that the Facilities Plan reflect the Board’s desire to continue to work with schools and communities to strengthen the Family of Schools model.
- Whereas the Board needs to build capital reserves while making a case for capital renewal for the addition to Blewett and the renovation to Central [Education Centre], there is time between the finalization of the plan and the implementation of the plan to monitor enrollment projections; be it resolved the Board agrees further fine-tuning of the scenarios should be carried out in the interim, reflecting changes in enrollment projections, school capacities, and programming space.
- Given that the final facilities plan is dependent on capital funding for 2 additions, 1 renovation and 1 new build, that the following priority be given to the capital projects on future capital plan submissions–Salmo Secondary Addition–Blewett Elementary Addition and Central Renovation–South Nelson Elementary Rebuild on Trafalgar property.
- Be it resolved the board commit to supporting the cultural and physical preparations of all receiving schools.
- The Board direct staff to semi-annually report back to the Board on the status of the Facilities Plan implementation including enrollment projections, property disposal status, capacity utilization, facility condition index (FCI), programming and transition update and capital planning status.
- The Board have an annual meeting in each family of schools to talk about the Facilities Plan.
- The School District No. 8 (Kootenay Lake) Facilities Plan, as amended, BE APPROVED.
Need more details? We encourage you to visit the District’s facilities review webpage.