It’s Official! New Westminster Schools is a place where students love to learn…

Charting a course in a time of change…

Dec. 12, 2017 – School trustees have renewed the Vision and Mission for New Westminster Schools that will guide and inspire the district into the future.

After 18 months of careful consideration weighing the meaning of words and their implication for the education of all students, Board of Education trustees passed motions establishing new Foundational Statements for the district.

Trustees Michael Ewen, James Janzen, Mark Gifford (co-chair), Kelly Slade-Kerr (chair), Mary Lalji, Jonina Campbell, Casey Cook.

In addressing the fundamental purpose of school, trustees felt a vision that was both an aspiration and realistic would be captured in the statement: New Westminster Schools is a place where students love to learn.

The district’s newly- forged Mission Statement is: to enable each student to learn in a safe, engaging and inclusive environment

Renewing New Westminster’s Schools’ Vision and Mission will drive strategic directions and inspire learning, teaching, and support in all aspects of the educational journey, said Board Chair Kelly Slade-Kerr.

Board of Education trustees passed the motions this fall and incorporated feedback following an online survey in the summer seeking input from the public.

First day of school in September 2017 for a kindergarten student at New Westminster Schools.  Superintendent Pat Duncan shared the hope that students will leave Grade 12  as filled with curiosity as they were when they started kindergarten…

A long and powerful conversation…

“This has been a long and I believe a powerful conversation,” Duncan said last week as discussions continued to unfold.

“A strategic direction for the district depends on our vision, mission and values. We are preparing students for a future we can’t clearly define, and we are in the process of implementing BC’s Redesigned Curriculum. It has been a time of change.”

Trustees are currently in the process of finalizing the half dozen values that address the question: How must we behave to create the schools that will achieve our purpose?

Duncan explained that value statements provide clarity that guide the individual work of each member of the New Westminster school district,

That means, for every value identified, “it should be possible to point to many examples from all corners of the district of that value in action. Do you see this value embedded every day in the work we do?” Duncan asked.

Trustee discussions on key values such as equity have touched on issues of systemic barriers to equal opportunities for all students in having what they need to be successful in their education –  and how the board can ensure these can be overcome.

As trustee Michael Ewen noted during a meeting in October, values such as collaboration can be made visible not only in the education of children but in the work trustees undertake.

“Collaborative decision-making requires lots of input; lots of discussion. It requires empathy for other people’s opinions. And it’s critical to making good, lasting decisions.”

Slade-Kerr congratulated the board for working well together in what had been a “truly respectful process” and said the results would help set the district on the right path for 2018 and beyond.

Values now under refinement for final consideration include collaboration, engagement, equity, inclusion, innovation and integrity.  Value statements are expected to be finalized in January.










All children welcome and safe at New Westminster Schools: The New Westminster Board of Education passed a Sanctuary Schools Policy in the spring of 2017…