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Community Connexions News

Virtual Meet The Teacher Nights

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While we missed out on the social aspects of our annual Meet the Teacher Nights, the virtual versions hosted last week and this (with the Senior School event taking place tonight) have proven successful.

Parents of students in all grades had the opportunity for an introduction to their children's teachers as well as to hear about their teaching and learning philosophies, classroom expectations, and curriculum.

"We've had great participation from parents as well as excellent feedback," says Lindsey Berns, Deputy Head of School. "This is an event that has morphed as a result of COVID, but in a really positive way. Parents are remarking that they find it very efficient, and still effective, to attend these sessions from home instead of coming to school. I suspect this is something that we might continue in the long-term."

An Otterly Fun Summer

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When school’s out for the summer, many of our Senior School students remain engaged in their communities by donating their time and talents to various initiatives. Mulgravians are encouraged to partake in volunteer programs related to their hobbies and interests, to build responsibility naturally.

For Quinn M, G10, volunteering at the Vancouver Aquarium was a no-brainer. As an avid outdoorsman with a passion for animals and the ocean, he jumped at the opportunity, promoted through The Mulgrave Citizen (TMC). “I knew right away that it was a perfect fit for me; information about animals, nature, and the environment has been appealing to me for as long as I can remember.” 

But beyond his personal interests, Quinn’s motivation was the chance to inspire and educate thousands of curious visitors about Ocean Wise and the many conservation efforts of the Vancouver Aquarium. “The amount of information I gathered through my training is much more than I could accumulate on my own. The leadership skills I have gained are also very relevant to the IB Learner Profile, especially risk-taking!”

Quinn’s volunteer experience started in November 2019, pre-COVID, when he was able to educate visitors from around the globe in-person during each shift. As social distancing measures became a reality, his role transitioned to an online researcher for polar and subpolar sea life. Quinn credits this turn of events, and the incredible leaders and staff at the aquarium, for teaching him about the power of pivoting in the face of uncertainty.

The Vancouver Aquarium is currently closed due to the pandemic, and its future is unclear. Quinn urges the need for support, now more than ever. “If you have the inspiration or resources to help the 70,000 animals in need of food and care at the Aquarium during this challenging time, please do so.” For more information, click here.

Bringing Current Events Into The Classroom

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Grade 12 Economics students have put theory into practice, assessing and debating two critical issues.

With news of Translink options to connect the North Shore with downtown Vancouver, Mr. McLeod's class discussed the appropriateness of a smaller scale interventionist supply-side policy focused on infrastructure. Initially, students thought government spending would bring greater productivity and economic growth to the region. However, they concluded that this would be outweighed by further increases to the government's deficit, already at an all-time high.

Their assessment of the Bank of Canada’s recent policy announcement to hold the overnight lending rate at 0.25% also sparked lively debate. Arguments were presented in favour of maintaining, increasing, and even decreasing the rate. After discussing the long and short term impacts, students decided that a critical consideration in keeping rates unchanged was the high level of uncertainty related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

CAS Explained

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The acronym CAS permeates our Upper School, but what does it mean? Broken down into the categories of Creativity, Activity, Service, CAS is an integral part of the IB Diploma Programme. However, for us, CAS programmes in the Middle and Senior Schools also facilitate sustained student engagement and learning in our local and global communities, often beyond the traditional classroom. At the heart of CAS is the goal to develop opportunities for youth to explore, embrace and embody the ethos of what it means to be a global citizen.

The idea is to balance these three elements, complementing the academic programme:

  • Creativity: develops a student’s sense of original thinking and expression and is interpreted as imaginatively as possible. The form is limitless and may include visual and performing arts, digital design, writing, film, culinary arts, crafts and composition.
  • Activity: an element of physical recreation that promotes lifelong healthy habits related to physical well-being. Pursuits may include individual and team sports, aerobic exercise, dance, outdoor recreation, expeditions, and fitness training.
  • Service: an unpaid and voluntary exchange that has a learning benefit. It involves collaborative and reciprocal engagement with the community in response to an authentic need. Students work to understand their capacity to make a meaningful contribution to their community and society while developing and applying personal and social skills in real-life situations.

Alongside these three areas of development, Mulgrave students identify growth opportunities in five competencies which promote global-local engagement and understanding: school engagement, collaboration, intercultural skills, leadership, and personal health and wellness. 

CAS is an ongoing effort throughout the year. Right now, students in Grades 7-12 are setting goals related to efforts in creativity, action, and service, which focus on personal outcomes (vs tasks). With their advisor’s support, students monitor and report on their goals using the five competencies (G7-10) or IB CAS Learning Outcomes (G11-12) as the basis for their reflections.

Here’s an excerpt from a Grade 9 reflection related to a creative goal of joining various school clubs to broaden horizons: “During this (Model United Nations) conference, I engaged in discussions of real-world issues, proposing creative and original resolutions to the series of presented problems. This event helped me grow in both leadership and collaboration, as it required me to frequently discuss and work with other delegates to solve problems, and I was able to both take the position of a listener and a speaker. Moreover, this event helped me grow intercultural skills, as I gained more understanding of this world issue through research and tried to interpret it from the perspectives of various groups of people with different cultural backgrounds. Representing a country and discussing the topic from its view also allowed me to be aware of cultural differences and become more empathetic.”

For more information, see the MYP CAS Guide and DP CAS Guide.

When To Stay Home: Self Assessment, Isolation & Quarantine

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The BC Ministry of Health and Centre for Disease Control have updated guidance for schools regarding student and faculty attendance. Please click on the image for the new self assessment document. It also clarifies when individuals should stay home with symptoms of illness and what to do following a COVID-19 test.

Students and faculty must also stay home when directed by authorities to isolate (separation of a sick person from others) or quarantine (separates and restricts movement of those who may have been exposed to the illness).

As a reminder, anyone who travels internationally must quarantine as per the government's regulations.