Winter Break: gratitude and well wishes
Dear Students, Parents, Caregivers, Staff and the New Westminster community,
As we head into the Winter Break and bring this unprecedented year to a close, we do so with much gratitude for all we have managed together.
For all of us, this school year has only served to reinforce the powerful role school and education play in the growth and lives of our students. From the excited faces of kids returning in that first week of September, to the opportunities created that enabled learning in new ways, and on to the many shining examples how staff are going the extra mile to support all their students … we’re so proud to see what’s been possible when we work together.
And not only is there innovation and inspiration in what’s happening within our classrooms, there’s excitement about what’s happening outside of them too: fast progress on the four outdoor learning spaces we’re adding to the District, substantial progress on the replacement school at Richard McBride, and, of course, finally getting to announce the opening of the new NWSS in January.
We’ve also seen the community step-up to support our students, staff and families this fall. That includes seeing photos of all the food and gift drives at so many of our schools … acts of generosity that will help New Westminster families meet some basic needs and celebrate the season. And we’re happy to share this: that effort will be amplified this year, thanks to a generous partnership with the Greater Vancouver Food Bank. On their behalf, we’ll be working with our schools to distribute a total of $16,000 worth of grocery gift cards to families who could use a little extra support to get through this tough season.
So it’s safe to say that, while this Fall has been far from ordinary, the achievements of everyone feel quite extraordinary.
So whether you are bringing light to dark nights as you light a menorah, or creating new ways to celebrate a traditional Christmas, or channeling your best Santa at-a-distance opportunities, or reflecting on how the principal of ujima has been central this year as you look toward Kwanzaa, or perhaps are just looking forward to quiet time to rest through the Winter Break … on behalf of the Board of Education and New Westminster Schools, we wish you all the best this holiday season.
With warm wishes,
Gurveen Dhaliwal & Karim Hachlaf
Board Chair & Superintendent of Schools