News & Events

Top 10 Reasons Why Your Child Should Be On Time For School

October 17, 2018

It is important for your child to arrive to school on time. Being punctual reveals integrity, it demonstrates dependability and respect for others. At Southpointe Academy we value punctuality. We believe every student should arrive to school on time and ready to learn.

Some of you may think, “What does it really matter if my child is a few minutes late to school? Everyone is just trickling in and the teacher doesn’t really start the day right away anyway.” Well, nothing can be further from the truth.

Let us share some of the ways being late has an effect on your child:

  1. They miss the morning greeting from their teacher. Our teachers are able to check every child’s mood/readiness to learn as they walk in to advisory or homeroom. The personalized learning for your child for the day begins with this first interaction.

  2. Starting the day with personal peer interactions is an important and healthy way to start the day no matter how old you are.

  3. Practicing mindfulness is often how a teacher will begin the day which prepares a student’s executive functioning skills for learning.

  4. It is stressful being late.

  5. Students who enter the classroom once the lesson has begun may feel anxious or embarrassed.

  6. Arriving late disrupts the learning of others.

  7. Arriving on time teaches responsibility. Being tardy often teaches bad habits that are difficult to change in adulthood.

  8. Arriving late sends the wrong message. Being late tells the teacher that you do not respect their time.

  9. Researchers found that students who are frequently late to school often miss out on important opening announcements and academic activities.

  10. We value being on time as a school. Punctuality is an important life skill.

Of course, things happen that are out of your control and at times you may be late. We do hope, however, you are now convinced that leaving a few minutes earlier in the morning to get to school on time is really worth it.

– Cori Kusel, Senior School Vice Principal & Paul Ketko, Junior School Principal

PYP Principal’s Tea 

October 17, 2018

On Tuesday, October 2 parents attended the first PYP Principal’s Tea of this school year. The purpose of this session was to review the updated Home Learning and Reporting to Parents guidelines, and explain the IB PYP self-study that the Junior School will be undertaking this year.

Following are the highlights from the discussion:

  • Traditional homework methods do not contribute to a significant positive increase in student learning or understanding.
  • The updated Home Learning Guidelines at Southpointe define home learning as an extension of classroom learning with the focus being on inquiry, collaboration and critical thinking.
  • Home Learning is a time to explore and build an extended understanding of an individual’s interests. It promotes creativity and research, thereby building the key skills of success.
  • Playtime is important for students so they can access opportunities for unstructured activities. It assists them in developing the skills to plan, organize, problem-solve, communicate, create and imagine – all 21st-century skills that prepare students for success.

During the session, parents recognized that they needed to change how they viewed Home Learning. They reflected on mechanisms to engage with children. Some parents shared that they found it helpful that teachers were beginning to send questions home. These questions, connected to their child’s learning at school, could be used by them to engage their child in inquiry.

Our discussion about reporting to parents stimulated questions around Seesaw, the new e-portfolio programme that the Junior School is implementing this year. Seesaw will enable students to post pieces of work and document their learning. We hope to make Seesaw available to parents on Thursday, November 1.

In addition, we are enhancing our reporting procedures for parents. Schools are instructed by the BC government to communicate student progress to parents a minimum of five times each school year. In an effort align our reporting practices with the Ministry of Education’s expectations, we will be sharing student progress on a minimum of seven different occasions this year. A few parents wondered if the Grade 4 FSAs connected to inquiry learning. The short answer is, no. The FSAs are government-mandated assessments that have no direct connection to how students are learning through inquiry at Southpointe.

Finally, parents were provided with an overview of the IB PYP self-study process that the Junior School will be undertaking this year. As part of the self-study process, parents will be receiving a survey this month to provide feedback about the PYP at Southpointe. The IB evaluation visit in November 2019 will result in a report which will include commendations and recommendations. The report will help the School set educational goals for the next five years in the form of an action plan, so we can continue to enhance the learning of our students.

It was wonderful to see parents attend the discussion. Our next PYP Principal’s Tea in January will focus on the PYP Self-Study Parent Survey results and much more.

Links to documents discussed at the PYP Principal’s Tea:
Home Learning Document
Reporting to Parents Document

– Paul Ketko, Junior School Principal

An Introduction to Philanthropy at Southpointe

October 17, 2018

One Heart, One School, Southpointe’s Annual Fund 
In 2015, Southpointe launched its first Annual Fund campaign. Similar to other leading independent schools in the Lower Mainland, our tuition schedule only covers operating costs such as salaries, essential classroom supplies and maintenance. The generosity we receive from our community enables us to enrich and enhance a Southpointe education, so that our students have unique opportunities. We launched the 2018-2019 Annual Fund campaign this week. Our goal is, every family makes a gift every year to One Heart, One School. Please watch your mail for your family’s opportunity to support this year’s fund or make a gift online by visiting www.southpointe.ca/support-us.

Building The Future, Southpointe’s First Capital Campaign
Southpointe is currently in the quiet phase of raising $1Million+ for the School’s next chapter. Independent schools must carry out organized, concentrated fundraising efforts to secure gifts for a specific purpose such as building construction, renovation and land acquisition during a specified period. With the School enclosing the Fourth-Floor terrace to create new spaces that will significantly impact student life and shape future experiences for the School community, we are excited to be in a capital campaign. We continue to meet with families to discuss the project and giving opportunities. If your family would like to explore ways to participate, please don’t hesitate to contact the Director of Advancement, Zoë Campbell at zcampbell@southpointe.ca.

Parent Volunteer Team Fundraising Gala 
The Parent Volunteer Team (PVT) has played a vital role in supporting Southpointe and its capital needs. In the past, the PVT has organized fundraising events such as golf tournaments, car rallies and Multicultural Nights. Funds raised at this year’s Gala on Saturday, November 17 will support the purchase of a new bus, iPads, computers, textbooks and other items to enrich our students’ education. To learn more about the Gala or to get involved, please contact gala@southpointe.ca.

Thank you to our generous community of parents, grandparents, alumni, friends, faculty and staff for your ongoing support at Southpointe. We would love to hear any comments or suggestions from you.

– Zoë Campbell, Director of Advancement

Southpointe Academy first to offer international qualification in Delta

IB-MYP to give students a ‘global perspective’ as interest in the program grows.

Southpointe Academy is poised to become the first school in the Delta district to be a fully authorized International Baccalaureate (IB) Middle Years Programme (MYP) World School.

“The IB has a hard-earned reputation for high standards of teaching, pedagogical leadership and student achievement,” explains Dean Croy, Head of the School. “IB’s philosophy aligns very closely with our own: to provide students with a global perspective and greater understanding of the world through interactive and holistic learning practices, and to make practical connections between their studies and the real world.”

The process to become a IB-MYP World School will take up to two years and involves a number of phases that are challenging, rewarding, and ultimately worthwhile for the school and its community. Southpointe has already begun to implement the program and staff are currently undergoing IB training.

“Children learn beyond the skills; they learn with meaning,” says Cori Kusel, Junior School Vice Principal at Southpointe Academy and IB-MYP teacher whose children are IB students at the school. “The program empowers students to inquire into a wide range of issues and ideas of significance locally, nationally and globally. The result is young people who are creative, critical and reflective thinkers.”

In 2015, following a stringent three-year evaluation process, Southpointe Academy became the only accredited school in Delta and Richmond to become fully authorized as an IB Primary Years Programme (PYP) School.

“We have witnessed truly remarkable results with our Kindergarten to Grade 5 students as a result of the IB-PYP,” says Croy. “Our decision to apply for the IB- MYP for Grades 6 to 10 is a result of student, parent and teacher feedback. They see the difference. MYP is a continuation of PYP.”

Originally developed to provide education for globally mobile families in the diplomatic sector, and for those involved with multinational business and intergovernmental agencies, the program has evolved and now offers a stimulating academic environment more in tune with today’s global societal transformations.

Not only is IB beneficial for students and parents but it offers greater opportunities for teachers as well.

“IB is a community,” adds Kusel. “You not only receive ongoing training to continually update your skill set, but you have support from a global network. As a teacher you learn with other teachers from across the world. It doesn’t change you and your creativity but instead supports, develops and records your skills.”

According to a BC Ministry of Education spokesperson, the IB program encourages students to learn in a variety of ways. “It academically challenges students, with the objective of preparing them for success at university” said the spokesperson on Wednesday.

The IB program is the world’s fastest growing pre-university education program. Between December 2009 and December 2014, the number of IB programs offered worldwide grew by more than 46 percent. Projections for 2020 forecast 10,000 programs worldwide involving 2,500,000 students delivered by 290,000 teachers.

Southpointe Academy only accredited IB PYP World School in Delta

Southpointe Academy has become well known for cultivating engaged, well-rounded citizens poised to thrive in their pursuit of post-secondary education and primed to achieve their full potential. It is much more than a school; it is a dynamic community of sharp, young minds, impassioned educators and dedicated parents. It is now the only accredited International Baccalaureate (IB) Primary Years Programme (PYP) School in the Delta and Richmond communities.

Southpointe Academy is dedicated to providing a high-quality education to its students and that is what led Southpointe Academy to apply for certification as a Primary Years Programme (PYP) International Baccalaureate World School. PYP is aimed towards students in Kindergarten to Grade 5, in which its emphasis is on the total growth of a developing child. The stringent 3-year evaluation and authorization process takes a rigorous look at the leadership, curriculum, instructional approaches, personnel and governance of the school. To receive this authorization, the International Baccalaureate Organization (IB), requires that administrators, and teachers commit to several hours of professional development and continuous learning coursework annually. The IB also assess the school’s ability to effectively guide young students in the five essential elements of knowledge, concepts, skills, attitudes, and actions that they need to be equipped for successful lives, both now and in the future.

IB World School students develop strong academic, social and emotional characteristics. They are also more likely to perform well academically – often better than students in other programs. IB prepares students for the intellectual challenges of further education and focuses on the development of the whole child as an inquirer, both in the classroom and in the world outside. Now an IB World School, Southpointe Academy is part of a global network of schools that “aims to create a better and more peaceful world through intercultural understanding and respect.”

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