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Happy New Year! It's not only a new year but also a new decade and we wish you all the very best. May 2020 be a fantastic year for you. It's time for the first new staff feature of the year: Meet Brittany Lowe, and don't forget to check out our Learn & Play Winter Challenge!

1. What’s your name and where are you from? 

My name is Brittany Lowe and I am from Kamloops, BC.

2. How long have you been a teacher at SCIDES? 

This is my first year teaching at SCIDES.

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We're getting close to our winter break and there is time for one more feature of our new team members before the year is over. Meet Tom Oram, and stay tuned for the Learn & Play Winter Challenge coming soon!

1. What’s your name and where are you from? 

My name is Tom Oram, and I was born and raised in Kelowna, BC.

2. How long have you been a teacher at SCIDES? 

I completed a short stint at SCIDES approximately 5 years ago, and I’ve officially been back since September 15, 2019.

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Hard to believe it's already been two months since the school year started! We have several new teachers on our team, and it's time we start introducing them to you. First up - Cory Hart. 

1. What’s your name and where are you from? 

My name is Cory Hart. I was born and raised in southern Alberta before moving out to Victoria where I received my Education Degree.  I recently moved from Quesnel, where I had been teaching math and social studies for the past 19 years.

2. How long have you been a teacher at SCIDES? 

 I started at SCIDES this past August.

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The new school year is here! As much as we enjoy summer, it’s always great to get back to a routine, and to learning. For the 2019/2020 school year, we thought it would be fun to introduce a theme, and we’re thrilled to share with you that the SCIDES 2019/2020 school theme will be learn & play. 

We’re inspired by the Play is the Way® movement and want to explore how we can challenge, support, and engage our students to embrace new ways of learning by incorporating play and stretching their comfort zones a bit.

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Did you know that there are over 100 trades you can get certified in, in British Columbia? Working as a certified tradesperson does not only provide a good income, trades careers are often described as a very satisfying type of work, because you are generally working with your hands and can see tangible progress at the end of the day. What is it that you love to do? There’s probably a trade for that!

SCIDES wants to support your journey into trades, and we have two fantastic programs we would like to introduce: the Work in Trades and the Train in Trades programs. Each can be taken independently of each other, and in any order, and both of them will give you a headstart on your career and lots of other benefits.

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November is here and while some people are starting to feel festive about the approaching holiday season, others are feeling anxious about the exact same thing. Of course, anxiety is not something that just affects people during the holiday season. It is something that many people - including a lot of school-aged kids and teen - live with all year long. There is help available, and we've compiled a list of resources we want to share with you. 

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We're a few weeks into the new school year, the weather is turning colder, and the days are getting longer. After a hot summer and a busy beginning of the new school year, we thought it would be helpful to share some tips on how to get your workspace set up in a way that works best for you, and how to study for learning success. After all, we want the 2018/2019 school year to be your best one yet! Here's what we suggest:

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~ A message from Principal Karen Goetz ~

The following is an excerpt from J. Abner Peddiwell’s The Saber-Tooth Curriculum, first published in 1939. Two stone-age philosophers are discussing education and, interestingly, what they say, even by 1939 standards, is not that different than modern discourse on the subject.  

“Schools are educational institutions, aren’t they?”

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Summer is here and that means vacation time, family time, sleeping in, and relaxing. All great things, but we think that reading needs to be part of this list as well. Research has shown that you lose some of your reading skills if you don't read over the summer, and there's an easy way to keep that from happening: read! We put together some suggestions for you, and we challenge you to read at least three books over the summer break. Share with us on our Facebook page which books you're reading, we'd love to know! Have a great summer - and remember that SCIDES has teachers and support staff available during the summer months. Get in touch at 1.800.663.3536 or email registrar@365.sd58.bc.ca

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It's the last month before Summer Break (watch for our Reading Challenge coming your way!) and we're thrilled to talk to the final Educator of the Month for this school year, Mrs. Melissa Cadwaladr.

Mrs. Cadwaladr, thanks for taking the time! Let's get started. Where are you from?

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Spring is here in the Nicola Valley and we hope you're enjoying some sunshine as well, where ever you are! We're thrilled to share our next educator of the month with you, Mrs. Kathleen Gunn.

Mrs. Gunn, thank you for taking the time. Let's get started! Where are you from?

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We hope you had a fantastic Spring Break! We're thrilled to share our next educator of the month with you, Mrs. Cathy Southwell.

Mrs. Southwell, thank you for taking the time. Let's get started! Where are you from?

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We're excited to share the first Educator of the Month in 2018 with you - Joan Wheeler. Here's how she answered our questions (hint: we love her approach to education!)

Mrs. Wheeler, we're thrilled to have you as educator of the month! Let's get started! Where are you from?

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After introducing our new principal Mrs. Karen Goetz in last month's inaugural Educator of the Month blog post, we're thrilled to feature the next educator of the month, Mr. Gareth Tilt. He was kind enough to answer our questions, and we're excited to share his answers with you:

Mr. Tilt, let's do something easy to get started: Where are you from?

I am originally from the Kamloops area and am now a Merritt resident. 

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Welcome to the new school year, welcome back to SCIDES! We look forward to helping you learn in a way that works for you and your schedule. Whether you're enrolled with us full time or part time, our team is here for you all the way. This month, we want to launch a new series on our blog, the Educator of the Month. First up is our new principal, Mrs. Karen Goetz; no better way to introduce her to you! 

Mrs. Goetz, we're glad to have you on the SCIDES team - welcome! Tell us a bit about yourself. 

"Thank you! I'm happy to be part of the team! I was born and raised in Terrace, B.C. where I still have some family. Ever since I can remember, I knew I would be a teacher. I was the first in my family to attend kindergarten (because it was a new thing back then!) and every day after school I would goad my sisters into playing “school”. When in high school, I was a member of the Future Teacher’s Club through which I got to be a student teacher, and I taught piano lessons to Pre-Kindergarten children."

That does sound like you were born to be a teacher! Tell us a bit more about your path to becoming the principal at SCIDES.

"It has been a great journey! I completed a Bachelor of Arts Degree in English and History at the University of Victoria and then added a year to earn my teaching certificate. I began teaching in 1987 in a tiny northern B.C. town that doesn’t even exist anymore – Cassiar – then moved out of the “land of the midnight sun” in 1989 and arrived in Merritt where I started teaching English at Nicola Valley Jr. Secondary. In 1996 that school changed to become Coquihalla Middle School. Merritt Secondary School was the next move I made in 1999. Between 2002 – 2004, I completed my Master’s Degree in Education and in 2009 I became one of the vice principals at Merritt Secondary. I'm thrilled that SCIDES is the next step -  a great school with so much opportunity for students." 

It's great that you're so connected to Merritt! Will you share your favourite aspect of teaching and your favourite book with us?

My favourite aspect of teaching is pressing for critical thinking and being able to engage in those sorts of rigorous conversations with students. My favourite book is Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein because of its invaluable theme of “learn from me.” I believe that we all have so much to learn from each other and learning is like healthy candy for our brains (ok that may be an oxymoron!). When we take the time to listen, think and problem solve, it’s amazing what our minds can conquer!

Mary Shelley's Frankenstein is a fantastic book! Now tell us, what do you enjoy doing when you are not at SCIDES?

Outside of everything education, I enjoy my family, weight lifting, travel, and shopping. My husband and I have three adult sons who are all pretty close to being established in their various career paths. I am super proud of them all.  

And finally, what's your best advice to a student who is not sure what to do after graduation?

My best advice to anyone is to get some sort of post high school training. The world opens up to those who go beyond and we discover things we never even knew existed. It’s exciting!

Thank you, Mrs. Goetz. Glad to have you on our team!

Do you have questions about how we can help you take charge of your education? Connect with us via our website, where you can also browse course and program options, and find study tips for elementary and secondary students.

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Summer is approaching fast, and before we jump into our yearly celebrations in June, we want to share another exciting topic with you: Math! Yes, math is exciting, and not just for mathematicians. Math is used in many professions, including air traffic controller, architect, astronaut, forensic analyst, nuclear engineer, stockbroker, and urban planner.

But today we’re not talking about the careers that math makes possible (we talked about careers in general in one of our recent blogs), we want to highlight a few other interesting things for you.

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How was your Spring Break? We hope it was fantastic and you had a chance to relax and explore. Maybe one of the things you explored was your potential career path, and in case you haven’t read it yet, we encourage you to check out our last blog post about a possible career in trades.

This month, we celebrate Science Month at SCIDES.

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Happy New Year! We hope that 2017 will bring you happiness, health, and inspiration. For this month’s blog post, we want to help you kick start your inspiration, with 31 journaling prompts. Write your heart out, then come back to read through it, and get inspired to take action.

Set a timer for 10 minutes, pick a prompt, and start writing unfiltered. Whatever comes to mind, write it down. Don’t’ worry about grammar or editing (yes, we said that), just get your thoughts onto paper. You’re only writing this for yourself, not for marking! 

If you get into a habit of journaling, you’re in good company. Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Mark Twain regularly wrote in their journals. And journaling is not a thing of the past, people like Lady Gaga and Jennifer Aniston are avid note takers.

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It’s the last month of 2016, and we’re celebrating Language Month at SCIDES. Did you know there are over 6,900 languages in the world? There are 6,909 to be exact, as documented by the Linguistic Society in 2009. That’s close to seven billion people in the world, speaking over 6,900 languages – wow! Some languages are only spoken by a handful of people, while the most-spoken language in the world (by population) is Chinese, with over 1.2 billion native speakers.

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Can you believe fall snuck up on us like that? It’s in full swing and we’re dedicated to staying healthy and active during the cold and wet season – so we’re declaring November Sports Month at SCIDES! Let’s have a look at what we can do for you and your fitness (if you participate!) and what’s in store for this month.

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October is Art Month at SCIDES! We’re kicking off the new school year with creativity. Last school year, we had Art Month in May, and you can read about it in our blog archive. Just like last time, we have another trip planned to 4Cats Studio, and we’ll be offering various activities at SCIDES and online. But there is more! On October 21, 2016 is a non-instructional day (in School District 58), and we challenge you to create something that day.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

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Before you know it, summer will be over (we know, unfair!), and it’s back to school. 

If your kids are enrolled at SCIDES, you’ll have a lot more flexibility in the new school year to adapt your children’s education to your family’s needs. Doing school at home is especially rewarding and challenging in grades K-9; while you can always count on the support from the team at SCIDES, we also want to share studying tips that work well for younger kids, so you’re off to the best possible start for the 2016/2017 school year.

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Encounters with Canada is a wonderful organization that offers youth ages 14 - 17 the opportunity to spend a week in our nation's capital. With different themes like Arts & Culture, Communication & Social Media, and Youth & Democracy, the week in Ottawa is an unforgettable trip for those who participate. Several of our students have taken the opportunity to go (SCIDES offers up to $600 towards the trip - ask Mrs. Eves for all the details); and this month we asked one of the recent attendees to tell you about his experience. 

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Last month was Earth Science Month at SCIDES, and this month we're getting artsy - May is Art Month! We're talking about a few exciting field trips, BC artists past and present, post-secondary art schools in BC, and Aboriginal art in our province. Of course we also want to let you know that we offer Art Classes at SCIDES, and we're thrilled to feature the art work of SCIDES student Mariya Johnson in our blog picture this month, who's taking Art 12 right now. 

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March was Math Month at SCIDES, and we hope you had your slice of Pi! Just in case you missed it, here's something you should not miss: The "Lose Yourself in the Digits" Pi Day video, performed by Pi Diddy.

Now we're moving on to Earth Sciences, and we're talking about Earth Day, Geocaching, and Earth Sciences at SCIDES in this blog post - we know, it's exciting! 

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February was History Month at SCIDES, and we hope you had a chance to check out all the fantastic resources. All of North America celebrated Black History month, and if you haven't seen it yet, you need to check out this short video, where a 106-year-old black woman meets President Obama. (If you have seen it, watch it again - it's fantastic!). Now, let's move on to Math Month! We're excited about that, and it's not just because we plan on eating a lot of pie on 3/14.

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January was Reading Month at SCIDES and we hope you had a chance to check out some (or all!) of the resources we mentioned in our last blog post. This month, it's not only a new semester for most secondary students, but we're also diving head first into an exciting topic: history. History does not have to be ancient, and certainly not boring! It's being made every day and both our shared current and past experiences bind us together. They are stories worth learning and sharing! Here's what we want to share with you this month:

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Happy New Year! We hope you have a fantastic 2016, filled with joy and success. The SCIDES team is by your side to take your education to the next level, and we’re committed to providing you with great resources throughout the year.

December was Writing Month at SCIDES, and it was great to see your writing adventures on our Facebook page; we’re looking forward to hearing from you about your reading journey in January! 

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December is Writing Month at SCIDES, and we're celebrating writing in all its forms - especially letter writing by hand. (Yes! That's still a thing!)

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October is Science month at SCIDES and the Kengard Learning Center! We'll be celebrating, challenging, learning, and having fun with Science all month long. Check out what we have lined up for you...

If you're enrolled with SCIDES full time (meaning SCIDES is your school of record), then you're in for a real treat: you will get access to BrainPOP! BrainPOP is an online platform that engages students through animated movies, learning games, interactive quizzes, primary source activities, concept mapping, and more. There are two versions available, one suitable for Grades K - 3 (Junior BrainPOP) and one for Grades 4 - 10 (BrainPOP). 

BrainPop covers topics within Science, Math, Social Studies, English Language Arts, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Music, Health, Reading, and Writing - watch your inbox for the login code. We'll get it out to you soon!

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