Friday, December 19, 2014

Christmas Concert generosity!

At our Christmas concert on Dec 18th, the PAC held it's annual food drive for  The Mustard Seed, our local food bank.  Beginning last year, the PAC added the annual collection of cash donations, which are given to the administration and our Youth and Family Counsellor Emily Stark, to convert into grocery store gift cards, which are shared with families in need throughout the year.

We are thrilled to let you know that not only did we collect over three apple boxes FULL of non-perishable food items for our greater Victoria community, but we also collected a whopping $325 for our own school's families.

Thank you all so much for your generous donations. Every bit counts! 

Have a very safe and super fun holidays.  See you in January 2015!

Sunday, December 14, 2014

Vic West PAC Silent Auction 2014

The Vic West PAC recently held the first annual Silent Auction. Under the wonderful guidance of Shannon Ferguson, the auction included donated items from many local businesses and individual people in our community. It proved to be a great success, raising $1,480, which is all money that will go back into benefitting the school and students. Thank you to all those that bid on the items or even just came into the Vic West Community Centre to have a look at them, your ongoing support is truly appreciated. 

We would like to formally thank and acknowledge the following people and businesses that donated the prizes, without them we would't have been able to do this:

  • Barber & Fritz , Hair Products
  • Hive Hair GC
  • Dog walking and dog training packages from John Ratchford @ Ideal Companions
  • Red Barn Market
  • Wildfire Bakery 
  • Bean Around The World coffee shop
  • Stillpoint Community Acupuncture
  • Come See Victoria Walking Tours
  • Uplands Golf Course
  • Liberty Spa
  • Amy Bronee
  • Trinity Babichuk @ Cushion Cut Decor
  • James Roult @Victoria Shorin Ryu Karate Shinkokai 
  • Lola Girl Jewellery
  • Erin Dawson @ Tacofino
  • Cinecenta
  • Spiral Cafe
  • Darcy's Pub
  • Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory
  • The Hudson's Bay
  • The Delta Ocean Point/Lure Restaurant and Bar
  • Dianna Jean @ Lovin' Lucy
  • Jennifer Aikman @ Wildcrafted Cordials
  • Clearskin Victoria
  • Pet Planet Westside
  • Lori Cubbins crochet
  • Melissa Jean Jewelry

And finally, a very heart felt thank you to both Shannon Ferguson and Natalie McKay for volunteering so much of your time to make this event possible. 

Friday, November 28, 2014

Ms Carrico's class plants crocus bulbs at Banfield Orchard

Today Ms.Carrico's grade three class (assisted by E.A. Nada and parent volunteers) planted over 100 crocus bulbs in the garden beds at Banfield Orchard.  The students were excited to get their hands wet (and dirty!)  Tools and gloves, donated last year by Capital Iron, were used to dig the 2" holes, each of which had three crocus bulbs dropped into them. 

While digging took place, a cry of "WOW- just LOOK at all the WORMS" was heard frequently!

A great big thank you to Mark Dickerson at Garden Works, for his donation of the bulbs and a big thank you to Patti Parkhouse for suggesting the idea, providing the connection to Mark and for continuing to support ongoing collaborations between the Banfield Orchard and Vic West Elementary School. 

Make sure to check out the Orchard in the spring, when the crocus bulbs will be blooming for the whole community to enjoy!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Vic West PAC presents: Family movie night

Family Movie night is back! The Vic West PAC presents 'Frozen', come along and join us on Thursday November 20 in the gym for a 6pm movie start and just 'Let it goooooo'. Bring cash for snacks; popcorn, juice, candy available.

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

Growing Chefs program with Ms. Carrico's 2013/2014 grade 3 students

The Island Chefs Collaborative (icc) is a community of food and beverage professionals with a common interest in regional food security, the preservation of farmland and the development of local food systems.

In 2013/14, ICC partnered with Island Health Authority to bring the Growing Chefs program to Victoria and Pat Carrico`s 2013/14 Grade 3 class was chosen to pilot this wonderful program!

ICC chef volunteers are paired with a grade 3 class to give students hands-on experience growing and cooking their own food. Over the course of three and a half months, the chefs visited the classroom every two weeks and helped the students plant and tend their indoor vegetable garden.

The chefs engaged the students in games, lessons, and activities focusing on plant growth, local and urban agriculture, sustainability, and nutrition. The students harvest their vegetables, and the chefs taught them to cook delicious, healthy meals with was grown.

A huge thank you to Carolyn Morris and Ms Carrico for sponsoring and supporting this program at our school.  What an amazing opportunity!
The Vic West PAC hopes this can be an annual event for all grade 3 students.

More information can be found at
For additional information on the ICC please see

Monday, October 27, 2014

Halloween Fun Fest- Pumpkin Bowling!

For the third year in a row, the Vic West PAC has supported the Vic West Community Centre's Halloween Fun Fest by hosting a halloween themed game for the kids to play.  This year we did pumpkin bowling- which was great fun for the kids and adults alike :)  Each child had a chance to bowl with the wonky, rolling pumpkin, sometimes several times over, until the pins were knocked over. The kids then were able to pick a treat of their choice for their goodie bags. A big thank you to PAC members Coral (the Southern belle) and Ahna (Minnie Mouse) for organizing and running this event.  This is a great example of our school working together with our community centre, to make our community great! 

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

The Breakfast Program

The Breakfast Program is up and running again at Vic West Elementary. Thank you to the volunteers that help make this possible!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Thifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program

Did you know you can raise money for our PAC just by grocery shopping? True! Simply pick up a Thrifty Foods Smile Card from the school office or at PAC events and put money on it before your next grocery shop, and 5% of the amount you load onto the card will automatically go toward supporting performing arts activities at our school. It's that easy!
A BIG thank you to Thrifty Foods for continuing to support our school each year. We very much appreciate it! 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Information about the first days back at school

For the most current information about when school will be up and running and what the first days back will look like, please check the school's website.        Victoria West Elementary School

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

A message from your Vic West PAC

As uncertainty continues in regards to when the 2014/2015 school year will begin, here is some information that you might find helpful.

For more information about the $40/day reimbursement and for other parent info from the government, please refer to the following website.
BC Parent Info

Should the strike continue, here are some resources to help you work with your child on their educational requirements.
Curriculum Packages by Grade

For any questions or comments, please feel free to email us at

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PAC Raffle Winners and Monk School Supplies update

A big thank you to Kate Longpre at the Vic West Community Centre for drawing the tickets of the winners of our great raffle prizes.
Handmade quilt:  Laura F.
$50 VWCC gift card: Erin S.
$50 Spiral Cafe gift card: Mike O.

All winners have now received a phone call to let them know of their good fortune!

An extra special thank you to Kate Musgrove, local Vic West artist and quilter who donated the beautiful quilt, the Vic West Community Centre for their donation of a $50 gift card and the Spiral Cafe for their donation of $50 in gift cards.  Your support of our school is greatly appreciated! 

To all who bought tickets for our raffle, thank you. 
Good luck next year. You can't win, if you don't buy tickets!

Monk school supplies update:
Monk Office will be delivering the pre-ordered school supply packages sometime in late August. They will be distributed in the first week of school. If you ordered supplies, expect to get a phone call/email with further details in early September.

Have a very fun and safe summer!

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

A year in the life of the Vic West PAC (2013-2014)

As the school year comes to a close, this link will give you a snapshot of what the Vic West PAC has been involved in and achieved over 2013-2014. We look forward to new ventures and collaborations with you all in the new school year as we continue to make Vic West the best!

Monday, June 2, 2014

Thrify Foods Smile Card deadline approaching

You have until June 21st to load up your card in the Thrifty Foods Smile Card Fundraising Program. In the past year, Thrifty Foods has donated $610.37 to your Vic West Elementary PAC as a result of this effective program. So, keep up the good work!

Cardholders can load their cards until the end of the business day on June 21st, 2014 and Thrifty Foods will contribute an amount equal to 5% of the amount loaded on the card. When the card is used to make purchases is irrelevant.

Get your card in the school office today, or pick one up next time you shop at Thrifty Foods and let them know you'd like to support your Vic West Elementary PAC.


Thursday, May 29, 2014

Principal Jana Dick wins district-wide award!

Principal Jana Dick of Victoria West Elementary wins the School Partnership Award, presented by the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (VCPAC). Left to right: Vic West PAC President Mercedes Calvert, Principal Jana Dick, VCPAC Chair John Bird, Vic West PAC Communications Director Amy Bronee.

They say "Vic West is best" and this week we were reminded of how true that is when our school principal received a distinctive award. Principal Jana Dick was presented with the School Partnership Award for her work in building strong relationships within the school community. The award, presented by the Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils (VCPAC), recognizes an administrator who champions authentic partnership in his/her school based on shared vision and active collaboration. This award is open to any administrator in the Greater Victoria School District who:

  • practices active partnership with parent leaders; 
  • actively promotes and models partnership in the school; 
  • facilitates the development of vibrant school culture based on the core values of students, staff and parents; 
  • creates opportunities for shared decision-making; and 
  • uses formal and informal processes and structures to support authentic partnership between staff and parents.
Despite being in the role of principal for just half a school year, Ms. Dick has been a positive force at Victoria West Elementary for 15 years. She arrived at the awards ceremony Tuesday night directly after cheering on Vic West students at the district track-and-field meet. Two members of the Vic West PAC were on hand at Spectrum Community School to congratulate Ms. Dick on her award. Vic West kindergarten teacher, Nicole Stead, was also one of the nominees in the Parents Choice Award category. Congratulations to them both!

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Our new, collaborative, student painted mural in progress!

If you have been in the halls of our school in the last two weeks, down by Mr DiCicco's room, you may have seen local artist and elementary school teacher Misha Smart, working diligently with small groups of students, to create our new school mural.  Every student, teacher and staff member has been invited and encouraged to participate in this collaborative project.  Thank you to parents Lori, Ahna, Aaren, and Tara who have been volunteering their time (and painting skills!) to help Misha and the students to create this one-of-a-kind mural.  It's been so fun and therapeutic to both be involved in the painting of the mural and to see the excitement and ownership that each student has, to the piece of the mural that they have painted. 

Ask your child, which part was "theirs"!

 If you haven't been by to see the work in action, come on Friday May 30th or Monday June 2nd, when the finishing touches are being done. 

Thursday, May 8, 2014

Thank you, Daryl

Everyone likes to be appreciated for their contributions, and students in Mr. DiCicco's grade 2 class are showing their appreciation for school custodian, Daryl Hamill. This wonderful display of artwork and messages decorates the hall outside their classroom. One message reads: "Daryl is a hard working person in our community because he cleans and rides the blue chariot." Yes, indeed he does! Stop by and read more about how much Daryl means to students.
The PAC is also a big fan of Daryl, as well as night custodian Al Pirrone, for all they do to make our school a wonderful place for students and families.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

New labyrinth

A new addition to the back compound has bloomed! On Saturday May 3rd (World Labyrinth Day, mind you), a group of PAC members got together and had a great time painting a labyrinth on the play area behind the school. Labyrinths are a valuable tool for walking meditation, creating an ideal space for students to become centred, focused and ready for mindful learning. Plus, they are just plain fun!
The PAC is proud to create this new asset for the kids of Vic West Elementary and the community at large to enjoy. In the future, students will be adding additional elements to it. So, come and take a look and walk the labyrinth!
Special thanks to Beth Threlfall for the lovely design, Michael Colemand at School District 61 Facilities for his guidance, General Paint on Jutland Road for the price break, and of course to Principal Jana Dick for facilitating this fun project.


Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Seaquarium Artwork and Day

The PAC-funded seaquarium was in the spotlight at last Friday's assembly. Ms. Carrico's grade 3 class presented their colourful artwork and research inspired by the living things inside the sea tank outside the main office. The presentation also served as a reminder of Seaquarium Day coming up on June 2nd when students will get an opportunity to touch some of the creatures in the Seaquarium and learn even more fascinating facts about sea life! The PAC is proud to fund the seaquarium in our school each year.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Local Artist Misha Smart is coming to our school this week to start the new MURAL project! Parent Helpers Required!

Local artist and elementary school teacher, Misha Smart, is coming to our school to spend 6 days, over the next 5 weeks, working directly with students and staff to create a new mural to replace the current mural that is located by the front playground.  The current mural served us well for many years, but as time has passed, it has faded and ripped, and it's time for something new, vibrant, beautiful and reflective of our great school!  This is where Misha comes in.  Misha, a gifted and experienced artist and teacher, has created several beautiful murals that are located throughout Victoria, including a project at Strawberry Vale Elementary.
**Click on the hyperlink above to see Misha's website.

Collecting ideas from the students and staff, Misha will be creating sketches that will be projected and outlined onto the big white panels which were primed this weekend by parents.  Then, starting May 12th, Misha will be taking small groups of students from their classes, to individually paint parts of the mural.  As an elementary school teacher at James Bay Community School, Misha has experience working directly with students and is really excited to start working with our students, staff and parents.

One thing that Misha finds really helpful is to have parent helpers for this project, to assist her while working with the students.

Would you be able to step in, to be an integral part of this exciting school project?  
Choose to do a whole day (bring your lunch, spend the day in your child's school!) or a half day.  Please email us at if you can help Misha and our students.

Dates needed (half day times are: 8:45-11:45 or 12:30-2:30)
Monday May 12th
Friday May 23rd
Monday May 26th
Friday May 30th
Monday June 2nd

On Friday June 6th, Misha will be coming to our school assembly to present the completed panels to the whole school.  Join us for this exciting unveiling!
Please welcome Misha if you see her in the school.

Monday, April 28, 2014

Our third Banfield Park Orchard visit - Busy Bees, Seed Balls and a Clover Takeover

On Earth Day, April 22nd, Mrs. Stead and Mrs. Lienard/Mrs. Davey's kindergarten classes from Vic West Elementary had their third walking field trip to the Banfield Park Orchard.  The students planted their clay seed balls (watch to see what grows- it's a surprise!), learned about the mason bees that have now taken up residence in the orchard, and marvelled at how quickly the tiny seeds of clover (that the students planted last visit) have now grown. It is a clover takeover!  The clover adds nitrogen to the soil, thus making it richer and more vibrant.  There are many blossoms on the fruit trees and if you watch the mason bee homes, you can see them coming in and out, doing their daily business.  It was a beautiful, sunny day of learning.

The Optimist Club of Victoria - Bike Bonanza!

Recently, Principal Dick and the VW PAC created a partnership with the Optimist Club of Victoria.

The Optimist Club has a bike program. They receive donated bikes from various sources, fix them up, buy helmets to go with them and then donate them to students and families who will put them to good use!  George Jay Elementary School has been a recipient of this program for years.  As of 2014, we are now also the lucky recipients of this generous bike program.

An extra special thank you to Optimist Bob, who fixes all of the bikes himself, and came by to drop off the bikes last week.

Look for the Optimist Club catering truck at our annual June Fun Fair on Wednesday June 25th. They have volunteered to cook up and serve hot dogs at this fun event!

Make sure to give them a wave and a thank you!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

VCPAC Awards Nominations

 Do you know a teacher/parent/administrator/student who you would like to formally recognize for their contributions to our schools and communities?

The VCPAC (Victoria Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils) is holding its annual awards ceremony at the next VCPAC meeting on May 27th at the Spectrum Community School Library.

There are 9 different awards, in varying categories. The nomination form is on the website. Nominations are due by MAY 3rd.

 Click here for more details:
VCPAC Awards Nomination Information

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Spring Has Sprung!

In a celebration of spring and new growth, the students of Mrs Lienard, Mrs Davey, and Mrs Stead's kindergarten classes each created a handpainted panel for a Spring banner. Last week, the two classes joined together to explore the orchard, searching for bugs, flowers, and more, in a scavenger hunt.  Songs were sang, poems were recited, and mud was thoroughly enjoyed :)

Come on down to your community orchard (across from the Spiral Cafe) to see what's new and growing as Spring Has Sprung!

See how our students' field trip has found a place on the Vic West Food Security website: 

Monday, March 3, 2014


Well, if ever there was a time for students to remind us of this important message, it is now.  Many kids, teachers, and families have been hit HARD by a cold/flu over this winter season.  The students of Mrs. Lienard and Mrs. Davey's kindergarten class have created a brilliant and fun bulletin board, reminding us all to use our tissues, not our hands.

Lastly, a reminder of the why's and how's of handwashing.

Stay healthy everyone!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Chess club so popular new sets are needed

The chess club at Vic West Elementary is seeking chess set donations to keep up with the success of the club. Since the fall, students have been gathering in Ms. Brown's classroom after school on Mondays to play round-robin style. Some students came to chess club never having played before but, through the guidance of parent and grandparent volunteers, students have become dedicated to developing their skills in the game. Word is out that chess club is fun and attendance has grown steadily in response. Some glass chess sets in the club have begun to break, so donations of sets with wooden or plastic pieces are preferred.

Donations of chess sets can be dropped off at the school's main office, 750 Front Street.

Thank you from the chess club!

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Love Is In the Halls!

Valentine's Day is approaching and we can see it in the halls of our great school. 

Last week, one of our kindergarten classes paired up with a grade two class, to work cooperatively on "Bee Mine" bees.  During this project, several grade two students were paired up with their younger sister or brother.
Also in the grades 2-5 hallway, we see more examples of creative Valentine's art. 

Thank you to our great teachers for facilitating these fun and lovely art projects.