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.