Great Things Happening at South Canoe Elementary

-Students are spending a great deal of their time outdoors in many different learning environments. Still a lot of good reading, writing and numeracy happening.

-Teachers are just finishing administrating the S.N.A.C.C. which is the School District numeracy assessment which will give us a good baseline of how well our students are performing in numeracy and what we need to work on starting in September. They are also doing reading assessments to track student achievement.

– We’ve had some pretty amazing fieldtrips in the past few weeks, Canoe Creek Watershed Study, RJ Haney and now Kingfisher coming this week amongst many others.  I have noticed how much students have learned about the environment in these past months and how aware, knowledgeable and curious that have become about the world around them. Kudos to teachers for sharing their knowledge and organizing these opportunities, the invited guests to our school who have facilitated discussions and shared their passions for the environment, the natural world and all the living things that live around us, and to the parents who have accompanied us on fieldtrips to help make this a great learning environment for all.

– Check out the school garden – tucked on just South of the gym.  Thank you to our parent coordinator Clea Roddick for being the catalyst for this project as well as the work of students and staff. Its just the beginning!  Some great things growing!


Hiring is almost complete for September 2019.  Of course we had announced earlier that Jared King would be the new Principal.

– We have also hired Lisa Scott as a Kindergarten teacher. Mrs. Scott has worked in the capacity of a support worker this past year, but is a fully certified teacher. She enjoyed her experience at South Canoe and we are very happy to announce that she was the successful candidate for that position.

– Mrs. Elizabeth (Liz) Wilmot will be teaching the Grade (most likely)K/1 class or possibly a straight K this fall. She comes with a few years experience in this school district (other experience was in Terrace, BC) mostly at Parkview in Sicamous. We are excited to welcome her.

– Ms. Eberle Balfour will take on the Learning Resource Teacher role. Eberle is pleased to join the South Canoe team and will be working 0.9 of the time. We were lucky to have our time bumped up from 0.6 to 0.9 this coming year and to have Eberle join our staff.

– Mrs. Suzy Beckner will be returning once again in the role of Teacher Librarian. Suzy is an amazing team player and great with students. We are excited to have her back in this position.

A few more roles to fill:

–  Music teacher –  to be announced soon!

– A Grade 1/2 or Grade 1 teacher working 0.2 sharing (one day a week) with Emily Styles.  (Emily will be taking a one day a week leave next year and we are close to hiring a teacher to job share with her).

Hot Lunch

– We just had our 5th Hot Lunch Program of the year on Friday. I was away, but I understand that it was once again a real success.  Despite, electric breakers going and having to use stoves in two locations,  (we need that new kitchen 😉), the team came through once again.  Thank you again to our lead parents Serena Caner and and Corene Hunter as well as CEA Noemie Greenough who shared and helped prepare a recipe from her country of origin, the Philippines.  Again many parent volunteers and most importantly our student volunteer team.  Great work everyone!

Next week is a big week:

– Ride Don’t hide – Don’t forget to get sponsors for your child. Part of the funds stay at the school for a wellness project.  PAC will help make the decision on what that project should be.

– National Indigenous day on June 20th – Some great student workshops in the morning as well as “Lunch” is provided for students. A special thank you to Launa Rennie, our Indigenous Education Worker who applied for and received a grant to provide this day for students. She is the lead on this event with the help of some families and staff.

– Community Potluck and short student presentation on June 20th – 5:00 pm (bring your families, grandparents, etc… to our potluck. Hope to see many of you there!

The end of the year is only a number of sleeps away.  I will send out in a week or so, end of the year information as well as September start-up basics!

Have a wonderful week!


Community Hot Lunch!

On Friday, February 8th we had our first Community Hot Lunch at South Canoe Elementary.  It was fabulous!  Thank you to Corene Hunter for the amazing job of coordinating the volunteers and looking after the financial side of things, to Serena Caner for the delicious food and her skillset to create a lovely meal to feed our masses and also to thee parents who came to volunteer that day and who joined classes and ate with them.

Thank you to staff for supporting the event, to student Teams 3 and 4 for helping with food preparation, serving and clean-up and to all our students for their willingness to try something new. Everyone was well fed and even had an opportunity to go for seconds. We were served a choice of meat or vegetable soup as well as fresh baked buns and orange and apples.

We’re looking forward to the March 8th meal we will be sharing together!

Great Things Happening at South Canoe Elementary

Happy New Year Everyone! I thought that I would highlight some  of the great things that are happening at the school. We hope that you have had a wonderful Winter Break and that your child is off to a great start. For some, the first week of transition can be a bit more challenging, but we are hopeful that with a full week of routine under their belt that everyone will be at their optimal. The January to March time frame is the period of time for the best academic learning as relationships and trust have been build and all our aware of expectations. Thank you for continuing to provide reading opportunities for your child on a daily basis.

Please check the upcoming events on the side bar for a quick glance at what is happening from now until Spring Break. We are excited to present our Winter Concert at South Canoe Elementary on Thursday, January 31 @ 6:00pm.  More information to follow, but save the date and the time. All students will be involved in this presentation.

The proposal to expand to Grade 7 will be proposed to the Board of Trustees on Tuesday,  January 22. If any of you would like to join me, the meeting will be starting at 6:00pm.

PAC Meeting on Monday, January 21 @ 6:30pm. Child-minding provided. Agenda to follow later this week.

The School District Pirate Loppet takes place on Feb. 1. This fun race takes place at 10:30am. South Canoe plans to take part. A couple staff members will be helping with this event. Students from Grades 3 – 6 are welcome to participate as long as they are able to snowplow on some of the downhills. Students in Grade 1 or 2 may attend with a parent. Information for those interested will go home on Tuesday with your child. Please feel free to contact the office if you need more information.

Extra Curricular Clubs/Teams Happening at the School

Chess Club – Thank you to Geoff Styles for organizing this lunch time club. We have students from Grades 1 – 6 enjoying this opportunity and refining their moves.

Basketball Team – Thank you to Ceren Caner and Geoff Styles for coaching this mixed Gr. 5 and 6 team. They are practicing and getting ready for their first league game against some of the local schools.

Singing Circle – Thank you to Clea Roddick who has organized a once a week Singing Circle with our older students at lunch time. She plans on welcome students from other grade levels once it becomes well established.

Art Experience – Thank you to Michelle Atkins who came before the Winter Break to do some lunch hour drop in classes with some of our students.

Sewing Club – coming soon.  Thank you to Reina Tenveen who is sponsoring this opportunity for some of our older students.

Congratulations to parent and musician/songwriter Clea Roddick and teacher Ceren Caner who have applied for and received a grant from Arts Start in the amount of $2996.  Clea and other musicians will be working with Ceren’s class to create some songs that reflect the local area.  All other classes in the school will also get an opportunity to enrich their music experience as these musicians will also spend time with all our learners. Thank you Clea and Ceren for all your great work.

We are continuously trying to adapt to changes and challenges.  This past week we decided to try some inside eating days for students. The winter weather is making it more challenging for students to eat out. We are piloting some ideas. This week students played first, then came in at 12:05 to designated eating rooms to sit down and eat their lunch. Older students have been very helpful as lunch monitors. We are hoping that this helps students take a bit more time to finish their lunches.  We still plan to be eating outside once the weather becomes milder and the snow has gone. I’m sure more to follow on this one. 🙂

Have a wonderful January!

Please do not hesitate to contact me if you have questions or concerns.

All the Best!



Winter Gathering

We invite all families to join us on Tuesday, Dec. 18 for the South Canoe Elementary Winter Gathering from 5:00pm – 7:00pm.  We invite families to drop in anytime during these 2 hours to be part of the festivities and try their hand at making decorations, cards, wrapping paper, beeswax candles, bannock, Metis Dance, start gazing and more.  The event will take place in and outside the school as well as at Mrs. Tenveen’s across the street. Teachers will be asking parents if they would like to help out for a 1/2 hour shift, giving the opportunity to volunteer, but also to enjoy the evening with their family.

There is not cost for the event, but we encourage families to bring an item for the Food Bank.

On Thursday, January 31 at 6:00pm we will be presenting a Caravan-Style theatre on the school grounds.  All classes will be involved in this presentation.  We look forward to sharing these evenings with all of you.

Proposed Mission, Vision and Philosophy for South Canoe Elementary

We invite all South Canoe Elementary Families to take a look at the Proposed Mission, Vision and Philosophy Document  for the school that was put together by the Outdoor Learning Committee and Staff at South Canoe Elementary. Please feel free to provide feedback either by email to or in person at the PAC Meeting on Nov. 19 @ 6:30pm.


The mission of our school community is to inspire learners to act wisely by cultivating healthy relationships with nature, community, and self.


Among staff, we aim to work collaboratively to develop and deliver curriculum and best practices for optimum learning outdoors. Staff at the Outdoor Learning School will encourage, critique, and fuel each other’s practice so as to be better able to support all staff throughout the district in the delivery and growth of their own Outdoor Learning programs.
At a macro level, our aim is to develop a successful program that is replicable in our district and beyond, while contributing to the cultural shift in education towards human and planetary health.

Our aim is to develop and run an Outdoor Learning School where students are taught the B.C. curriculum through nature’s lens and where learning supports the four dimensions of health (mental, physical, emotional, and social) through the following pedagogical approaches:

     1. Mental Wellness: Inquiry-based learning

Learning through curiosity, asking personally meaningful and relevant questions, wondering and seeking solutions, story, play and a balanced academic program. Developing life-long learning habits such as problem solving, creativity, and reflection.

     2. Physical Wellness: Experiential learning

Learning through doing, exploring, trying, failing, reflecting, and bravely trying something new. Learning how to take appropriate learning risks. Making sense of the world through real lived experiences.

    3. Emotional Wellness: Place-based learning

Learning outdoors, growing an understanding of the natural world, and finding our human place within nature. Becoming familiar with the animals, plants, physical features, history, and intricate interconnectedness between components of the natural world, and thereby developing a sense of connection. Learning how to balance care of self and others.

   4. Social Wellness: Learning within a Community

Developing strong and compassionate relationships within all the communities of which we are a part, such as a class, multi-age groups, whole school, neighbourhood, city, etc. Deliberately nurturing gratitude, compassion, resiliency, collaboration, emotional regulation, and confidence.


  • We believe that thoughtful and active learning outdoors in a supportive community allows us to connect and relate to others and to the natural world, which together enables and inspires us to act wisely.
  • We believe that Outdoor Learning is most effective when all four dimensions of wellness are exercised: mental, physical, emotional, and social.
  • We believe that learning is about who we are, how to live well with others, and how to grow joy and balance.
  • We believe that nurturing a sense of connection grows compassion and responsibility: to oneself, to others, and to the natural world.



Diagram – Circle with four quadrants: Place/Inquiry/Community/Experiential

(Will post this Diagram later is it will not format for this media)


The circle is a symbol of connection, unity, and harmony and is recognized as a theoretical framework of Indigenous philosophy. The circle represents the Indigenous belief system of wholeness and balance, which symbolizes inclusion and equality for all.


Program and pedagogy 

  • Deliver an outdoor-focused program founded on inquiry, place-based learning and experiential education
  • Provide learning experiences that enable reflection on the concept of all things being inter-connected.
  • Provide transformative outdoor experiences that are awe-inspiring, imaginative, self-reflective, challenging and cooperative in nature.
  • Develop an educational program that is thoughtful, effective and (to some degree) replicable.
  • Support the professional growth of staff and parents (eg. first aid, certifications, Pro-D)
  • Provide resources and experiences for other schools in our district, including inviting other classes to visit the school and offer a ‘learn-by-doing’ approach for students and Pro-d for teachers.
  • Deliver a balanced outdoor-focused program, using the BC curriculum, and including strong foundations in numeracy and literacy.


  • Build an organizational culture of experimentation (ie. embody experiential ed)
  • Establish a network of supportive community partners
  • Establish a team of teachers and support staff, admin, parents (PAC), advisors and volunteers that are
    positive, inclusive, and supportive of each other’s ideas and work.
  • Cultivate a process-based mindset – the end goal has value but the steps to getting there must be exciting, fun and creative.
  • Achieve organizational stability & develop/implement a sustainable growth plan.
  • Achieve reputation as a model school for outdoor learning in our region and beyond.

Student Attributes 

The following are a list of attributes the OL committee recommends should be fostered through the proposed program:

  • Gratitude
  • Positivity
  • Empathy/Compassion
  • Literacy (Eco and Language Arts)
  • Problem solving
  • Resiliency
  • Collaboration
  • Inclusion
  • Creativity
  • Self-confidence
  • Self-regulation
  • Self-care (Well-being/fitness/nutrition/sleep)
  • Humility
  • Communicativeness
  • Adaptability
  • Mindfulness
  • Risk takers and Risk managers
  • Reflectiveness
  • Curiosity
  • Respect
  • Honesty
  • Acceptance

Introducing the New PAC Executive

On Tuesday Evening after the School Community Potluck, we held our first PAC Meeting with the first task being that of electing a PAC Executive. Thank you to the many parents who attended the meeting and who came to support those who put their names forward. The Parent Advisory Committee (PAC) is the voice of all parents at the school.  Even if you are not on the Executive, we urge you to take part in events and decision making through your PAC.  The next meeting of the PAC will be announced soon.  Childminding will be provided.

In the meantime, I would like to introduce this year’s PAC Executive:


From Left to Right:

Chairperson (President) – Melissa Parmenter, Treasurer – Richard Gage, Vice Chairperson (Vice-President) – Corene Hunter, Secretary – Michelle Purdon


Mid- September News

Exciting things happening at South Canoe Elementary.

Parent Information Night

Thurs. Sept. 20 we will be hosting a parent information night.  Here is the plan for the evening:

6:30pm – Kindergarten and Grade 1 teachers present to the parents of their students.

7:00pm – All parents in the gym for a general session

7:30pm – Grade 2 – 6 teachers will present to the parents of their students

We look forward to seeing many of you there.

South Canoe Elementary Potluck

We hope that many of you can attend the South Canoe Elementary and South Canoe Community Potluck on Sept. 25th from 5:00 – 6:30pm. Please bring a dish to share, plates and cutlery for your family and a chair if the weather is nice, otherwise we’ll be indoors and we’ll set up chairs in the gym.

PAC Elections and Meeting

Our first PAC Meeting will be held in the South Canoe Library at 6:45pm on Sept. 25 right after the Potluck.  According to the protocol for forming a PAC, the first meeting is to be held by the Principal of the School. Elections will be held that evening for the PAC Executive.  Nominations are now open for Chairperson, Vice-Chairperson, Secretary and Treasurer. Please let me know if you would like to nominate someone for one of these positions or if you would like your name to stand. Nominations will also be taken at the first meeting as well. Once the PAC is elected, we will then vote on a constitution which has been constructed using a constitution framework from BCPAC. Once the Executive is in place, changes can be voted in. We will have a presentation from a few photographers as we choose a photographer for individual and class photos. We hope that many can attend this meeting as Parent Advisory Councils (PACs) are extremely important in schools as the body which includes all parents at the school and provides that much welcomed parental voice.

New Parent Information Session

If you know of new parents considering South Canoe for Sept. 2019, please let them know about the New Parent Information Session that we will be holding at the school on Oct. 3 at 7:00pm. There will be a 30 minute presentation and then a Q & A.  Registration for South Canoe and for all schools in the School District is on Oct. 9

Have a wonderful week!




Bell Times and Details

Hi Everyone,

You will most probably not hear the bells ringing at South Canoe Elementary.  We call the start of the day with the drum to gather all students in the field.  The end of the day is announced with 5 beats of the drum.  Once you hear this, your child is free to go home. Here is our Bell Schedule:

7:45am – supervision starts

8:00am – start of day

9:40 am – recess

9:55am – classes start for second half of morning

11:35am – lunch (eat first/play after) – on most days students will be eating

outside with supervision.

12:27pm – classes resume for the afternoon

2:00pm – end of day- student pick up