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​Hometown retired hockey hero Willie O'Ree spoke to a capacity crowd of students at Fredericton High School on Sept. 13, telling the audience his best advice for today's youth is to believe in yourself and never give up on your dreams and goals.

O'Ree is a Canadian former professional ice hockey player, known best for being the first black player in the National Hockey League. O'Ree played as a winger for the Boston Bruins, officially joining the team in 1958. Today, he is a member of the New Brunswick Sports Hall of Fame, the National Hockey Sports Hall of Fame and is also a recipient of the Order of Canada. He is recognized as a pioneer of hockey and a dedicated youth mentor. 

The City of Fredericton recently named a fully accessible, state-of-the art facility on the north side of the city, the Will O'Ree Place. It features two NHL-sized ice surfaces. Today, O'Ree works for the NHL's youth development program and speaks to youth as part of his travels.

"It's very important to stay focused on your goals, work at what you want to do," O'Ree said. "Believe in yourself and what you can achieve. You need to stay in school and get as much education as you can. When you move on, you'll be ready to move into a different era. Don't let anybody tell you can't achieve your goals."

Early in his hockey career, O'Ree sustained a serious eye injury that threatened his dream to become a professional hockey player. He kept his injury a secret for over 20 years, scoring 1,000 points over the course of his long career. 

​O'Ree said most hockey players he met were supportive of his desire to play hockey although he said some racism did exist from time to time. Despite this, he worked to stay positive and not let personal remarks prevent him from achieving success.

"I was just another hockey player, I wasn't a brown or black hockey player. I was a hockey player there to win the game. I set two goals for myself when I was 14 -- to play professional hockey and join the NHL. Now I want to give back to hockey what it has given to me. I've been very fortunate to meet a lot of boys and girls like you."

O'Ree is often referred to as the Jackie Robinson of ice hockey for breaking the colour barrier in the sport. O'Ree told the students he met Robinson twice in his younger years in 1949 and again in 1962 while in the United States and it gave him courage to continue toward his goals.

O'Ree told the students to remember: "You have choices, decisions and consequences. Those are the things you deal with everyday."

The hockey great played with various NHL teams over the years, but said  his favorite hockey team is still the Boston Bruins. His most memorable moment on the ice took place in 1961 when he scored his first goal on New Year's Eve. It was also the winning goal allowing the Bruins to beat Montreal with a score of 3-2.

​During the school assembly, Fredericton High School presented O'Ree with a Black Kats jersey as a member of their hockey alumni.

Shown in the photos below (1) Willie O'Ree entering a packed gymnasium at Fredericton High School; (2) Willie O'Ree accepts his Black Kats jersey from high school teacher Shawn Ells.

9/13/2019 11:00 AMSep 13 2019, 12:00 PM9/13/2019 11:38 AM

​About 200 students at Fredericton High School took part in an enrichment opportunity of a lifetime when they joined a music class with the award-winning Blues singer, guitarist and songwriter Morgan Davis on Sept. 9.

A native of Detroit now living in Halifax, Davis visited Fredericton High as part of Blues in Schools, an educational program created to promote, preserve and perpetuate the art, culture and heritage of blues music and to examine the music's influence on other genres. 

Every year, during Harvest Jazz and Blues Festival week in the capital city, performers are sent into local schools to play for more than 3,000 students from elementary to high school. Besides performing, the musicians teach students about the culture and history of blues music. The performances are free for the students who get an authentic musical experience from some of the best musicians on the national and international stage.

"They loved hearing him and what he was saying," said Craig Woodcock, music teacher at Fredericton High School. "They were very impressed with the history he gave and his reputation for playing with the greats."

Davis sang and played his cigar box guitar, telling the students he wanted to "bridge the generation gap" and show them how to feel blues music. The blues usually tells a story, often reaching the audience in a personal way about their own life experiences.

"I really enjoy these presentations," Davis said. "It's an investment in blues fans and that keeps me in business."

Davis said blues music has a rich history, invented by "poor folks down south whose ancestors were black slaves." Through rhythm, creativity and resourcefulness, they learned to make their own amazing music that eventually touched, changed and captured people around the world.

"Today, we are inundated with music," Davis said. "It's everywhere we go. The songwriters and producers sit down and think about what sells. Blues music (on the other hand) exemplifies an art form made strictly to communicate with people."

For more than four decades, Davis has been on the road travelling across Canada, the United States and Europe. His performances draw from a rich tradition of country blues as well as his own contemporary songs.

9/10/2019 3:00 PMSep 10 2019, 3:30 PM9/10/2019 3:12 PM

​The Fredericton Police Force is seeking reliable, community-minded individuals to join the Crossing Guard Program.

The crossing guard program is intended to keep students safe as they walk to and from school with a special focus on elementary school students.

Crossing guards are hired by the Police Force and are paid an hourly wage to work three hours a day. Positions are available for various locations across the city. The time commitment is mornings and afternoons on weekdays. 

Applicants must successfully complete a background check prior to employment. A traffic vest, stop sign and on-the-job training are provided.

Adult crossing guards are assigned to a specific post for the duration of the school year and must provide their own transportation to and from the post.

If you like working with children, and would like to have a job where you perform a valuable service to children in the community, please contact the Fredericton City Police at 506-460-2300.

9/10/2019 2:00 PMSep 10 2019, 2:20 PM9/10/2019 1:54 PM

Build it and they will come – Centreville Community School

 On Sept. 9, students, staff and parents at Centreville Community School got a firsthand look at a $46,000 refurbishment of the school gym, made possible through a community partnership.

Vice-Principal Chris Sparrow said community stakeholders recently joined forces to form the Centreville Community Gym Re-Fresh Committee. This group, in consultation with the school, worked to carry out the gym work by creating an action plan and raising sufficient funds to complete the project within a few months.  

As a result, the refurbishment of the gym was completed in mid-July and included floor sanding, painting the lines and keys, adding a new centre court logo, varnishing, purchase of a protective floor cover, installation of new energy efficient lighting, and new score clock which is expected to arrive soon.

“Our gymnasium gets a lot of use,” Sparrow said. “In addition to our physical education classes, intramural programs, sports and extra-curricular activities, we have a variety of assemblies during the year along with drama and musical performances. It is certainly a multi-use facility as our community also uses the gym to support its mini-ball program, a basketball summer camp, as well as various services throughout the year such as our Remembrance Day service and our annual Christmas concert. We even host multiple blood donor clinics throughout the year. It’s a busy place.”

Prior to the refurbishment, safety concerns arose about the slippery floor and the darkness of the gym due to outdated lighting. A 30-year-old score clock was also not working properly. The improvements have now created a place for the school community to take pride in, Sparrow said.

 “Students are excited about the change. They are taking ownership over the floor, being a little more careful and always wearing proper footwear.”

 An official opening of the refurbished gym is being planned for later in the fall.

The Centreville Community School Gym Refresh Committee was led by Ginny Banks with multiple community partners making monetary contributions to the project. 

9/10/2019 11:00 AMSep 10 2019, 11:06 AM9/10/2019 11:02 AM

"You're off to great to great places. Today is your first day! Your mountain is waiting, so get on your way!" Dr. Seuss wrote. 

Each new school year can be an exciting time for students and their families.

At Gesner Street Elementary School, the first 'Meet the Teacher' event attracted an "amazing turnout" of parents, Principal Heather Cripps said. 

A message board posted inside the school welcomed students with inspiring thoughts and best wishes for the new school year.

"Earlier that day, our staff wrote their hopes for our students for the year," Cripps explained. "Then at 'Meet the Teacher,' the parents wrote their hopes for their children. It was a great way to begin the year with our hopes (on display) for our wonderful students."

The idea was also a testament to little things mean a lot.

9/5/2019 10:00 AMSep 05 2019, 9:49 AM9/5/2019 9:43 AM

News Release

September 4, 2019

ASD-W schools first in Atlantic Canada to earn energy star certification

FREDERICTON – Two schools in Anglophone West School District have earned Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) ENERGY STAR certification for 2019 for superior energy performance.

This is the second year NRCan has officially certified buildings in Canada, and Bliss Carman Middle School and Royal Road Elementary School are the first schools in Atlantic Canada to receive ENERGY STAR certification.

“It is great to be recognized by this organization for accomplishments that often fly under the radar,” said Superintendent David McTimoney. “While safety and creating a positive, comfortable learning and work environment are most important in terms of our buildings, finding energy efficiencies is also a responsibility that we take seriously.”

ENERGY STAR certified buildings are verified to perform in the top 25 per cent of buildings nationwide, based on weather-normalized source energy use that takes into account occupancy, hours of operation and other key metrics.

To qualify, only buildings that earn a score of 75 or higher on NRCan’s 1 to 100 energy performance scale are verified by a licensed professional engineer or registered architect in order to receive the certification mark.

Bliss Carman Middle School and Royal Road Elementary School earned scores of 93 and 86 respectively by embracing energy efficiency in the following ways:

  • Optimizing operations and energy efficient technology in the school buildings;
  • Energy conservation during off school hours using electrical and mechanical systems;   
  • Analyzing data and benchmarking energy consumption in the schools;
  • ​Reducing energy costs by industry best practices and by monthly monitoring of energy performance.

McTimoney said credit for the certification goes to the facilities, maintenance operations and maintenance staff with the district for their work in operating, scheduling and maintaining schools. Improving energy performance will also be a priority for other schools as the effort in energy efficiency continues in the district.

Shown in the photos below with the certifications are (1) Angus Smith, facilities manager for ASD-W, Bliss Carman Middle School Principal Chantale Cloutier, Vice-Principal Jamie Chiasson, Nadine Peters, assistant facilities manager for ASD-W, Tim Cross, energy manager at Service New Brunswick's Energy Management Group; (2) Jeff Durepos, electrician and maintenance/repair staff at Royal Road Elementary School, Nadine Peters, assistant facilities manager for ASD-W, Royal Road Elementary School Principal Sheila Legere, Angus Smith, facilities manager for ASD-W, and Tim Cross, energy manager at Service New Brunswick's Energy Management Group.

9/4/2019 4:00 PMSep 04 2019, 4:09 PM9/4/2019 3:42 PM
Supply Teacher Orientation Session for Fredericton and Oromocto
Thursday, August 29 1:00-3:00 pm
Location:  New Brunswick Teacher’s Association – 650 Montgomery St. Fredericton
8/14/2019 10:00 AMAug 14 2019, 9:46 AM8/14/2019 9:46 AM

​About 25 educators from across the province gathered in Fredericton July 11-12 for two days of professional learning about the benefits of including Indigenous games in the physical education curriculum.

The training goal was to promote inclusion in the public school system, while introducing or reconnecting students to recreational and sport activities that reflect the cultural heritage and traditions of First Nation communities.

Cole Wilson, a retired physical education consultant from Saskatoon, attended the sessions and served as keynote speaker. He said the training for educators, hosted by ASD-W, will help First Nations students feel more welcome at school, while also building on learning outcomes for all students taking part in physical education programs.

During the two days, educators were learning by doing -  participating as a group in Indigenous games from the Eastern Woodlands such as relay, double ball, long ball, lacrosse, bone and toggle, stick and ring, hoop and dart, feather balance as well as traditional First Nations dancing.

Indigenous communities have a special bond with nature and many of their games were historically created to develop skills necessary for hunting and gathering food, while increasing physical activity, resilience, strength, coordination and agility.

"This can be an important learning experience for all students from physical, emotional, and social skills to spiritual well-being," Wilson noted. "Teaching is adapted to be culturally relevant and provide a holistic world view from the Indigenous lens."

Wilson said educators will continue to meet  curricular outcomes, while challenging the school system to be more inclusive "so more kids can belong, engage and hold on."  It's also a positive way to promote citizenship and social responsiblity.

"I've often found I'm not the only teacher in the room," he said. "My (First Nations) students have lessons too. What I learn from them makes me more culturally aware." 

7/15/2019 11:00 AMJul 15 2019, 2:28 PM7/15/2019 12:11 PM

Education and Early Childhood Development

Site selected for Hanwell school

HANWELL (GNB) – A new school for 650 students in kindergarten through Grade 8 will be built in Hanwell next to the new Hanwell Community Centre.

“We heard from parents, students, educators and the district education council who were concerned about growing enrolment and overcrowding in Fredericton-area schools,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “The new K-8 school in Hanwell will help address those concerns and keep students living in Hanwell closer to home.”

About 450 students in Hanwell are currently bused to and from schools in Fredericton, which takes between 30 and 60 minutes per trip, because there is no school in their community. The new facility is also expected to alleviate overcrowding in schools on Fredericton’s south side, where enrolment is rising and modular classrooms make up 16 per cent of all classrooms.

The school will feature 36 classrooms, an early childhood room; an outdoor learning area; two gyms; specialty learning spaces such as music rooms, a performing arts room, art rooms, science rooms, technology labs and resource spaces; and open project work areas for group collaboration.

The design will incorporate modern learning concepts, with the goal of creating an environment that engages learners of all ages and personalities, and promotes well-being among students.

A number of factors are taken into consideration when choosing a site for a new school, including community amenities, community school use, catchment area, accessibility of the site, available utilities, transportation strategies, natural site conditions and site size.

“The community has been actively lobbying for several years to have the opportunity to educate our children closer to home,” said Hanwell Mayor Susan Cassidy. “With today’s announcement of the school’s location, that will become a reality.”

An investment of $3 million was approved in the 2019-20 capital budget for the site selection phase, as well as for planning and design.

The next phase of the project, architectural planning, will proceed now that a location has been chosen.

Construction is expected to begin in the spring of 2020. The school is expected to open in January 2022.​

6/28/2019 10:00 AMJun 28 2019, 9:44 AM6/28/2019 9:44 AM

Transportation and Infrastructure

Carbon monoxide monitors to be installed in schools

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that carbon monoxide monitors will be installed in about 160 provincial schools which have fuel-fired appliances.

Tenders were issued on June 3. Installation work will begin during the summer break and is expected to be completed before school heating systems are turned on this fall.

“The health and safety of our students is our top priority,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “I am proud that this initiative will help ensure our schools remain as safe as possible by providing monitoring devices for schools with fuel-fired appliances.”

“We have identified an opportunity to make our schools safer and we are working diligently to have this work completed,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “Each school requires an individual assessment and plan for installation, and while these assessments are ongoing, we are eager to get started.”

Once installed, these new systems will provide early detection and alerts should carbon monoxide be present in the schools. The devices were not installed in these schools initially as they are not required by the National Building Code of Canada, which is the standard the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure builds to.

“Carbon monoxide poisoning can occur quickly and without notice,” said provincial fire marshal Michael Lewis. “It has no colour, taste or smell and does not irritate the eyes, nose or throat. Whether in the school or at home, installing a carbon monoxide alarm is the only way to ensure people’s safety.”


6/20/2019 10:00 AMJun 20 2019, 9:04 AM6/20/2019 9:04 AM

​Students at Park Street Elementary School gathered before a full gymnasium to showcase their accomplishments this school year, while marking ARCC (Awareness, Resiliency, Compassion, Community) Day on June 18.

"We can all be leaders here at Park Street School," the children sang to the school song. "It's the best possible place to grow."

Principal Rien Meesters said students were proud to celebrate ARCC Day and share what they have been learning and doing whether it be lessons in the classroom, passion projects with their teachers, fundraising and community service activities or taking part in monthly school assemblies. 

"This day continues to grow and become a bigger event each year," Meesters said. "It's teacher and student driven and fits in with the province's 10-year education plan to build mental fitness and leadership." 

"The students enjoy it," explained Vice-Principal Tarah Gauvin. "A lot of them get involved in a community piece and become aware of the world around them as well as the world within our school building."

On June 18, there were classroom visits, individual classes presenting special projects, performances in the gym, as well as displays of student art work, music composition and song writing, handmade crafts, baking club, gardening and nutrition, outdoor education, coding, sports and running club and more.

In community service, students raised between $4,000 and $5,000 for various local charities as well as help for the people of Haiti. The students decided what charities they would support after non-profit groups visited the school to explain what they do in the community.

During ARCC Day, student leaders led their own school assembly, outlining their school year, as their teachers and parents watched from the audience.  There was a performance by students involved in musical theatre as well as the school choir and then all students joined in for the school song.

 "It's really amazing to see what we can do in our school, our community and around the world," Grade 5 student Alex Shephard said from the podium.

"Let's take a moment to give ourselves a big round of applause," added Wyatt Wasson, Grade 5.

Other activities for ARCC Day included an outdoor race demonstration by the running club, outdoor games and a family picnic.

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6/18/2019 2:00 PMJun 18 2019, 3:02 PM6/18/2019 2:39 PM

​Abigail Cartwright is a brave, young woman on a mission. She graduates from Leo Hayes High School this year with a long list of achievements under her belt, despite her personal struggle with serious health issues.

When she started high school, Cartwright was an athlete who planned many sports. Shortly after, she was diagnosed with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a group of disorders that affects connective tissues supporting the skin, bones, blood vessels, and many other organs and tissues. It presents as a wide range of symptoms, ranging from mildly loose joints to life-threatening complications. 

"She did not let this stand in her way," said Vice-Principal Natalie Capson-Daniels. "She decided to find new things to do with her time, and joined the Science Club, Free the Children, and Best Buddies. In Grade 10, she became a Peer Mentor and took on a leadership role in both Peer Mentors and Best Buddies. In September 2018, she was chosen as one of four LHHS students to attend the Canadian Leadership Conference in Alberta. This summer, she will be travelling to Ecuador to help build a school and has been helping to raise he money to make this initiative happen."

Cartwright has also had an active role for the last two years in the New Brunswick Youth Voice Committee. This committee focuses on the Convention on the Rights of the Child’s Article 19, which states that “you have the right to be protected from being hurt and mistreated, in body or mind. " She ​has also assisted in training other young people, developing resources, and working on strategies to keep children safe in New Brunswick and has presented to UNICEF on behalf of Canada on strategies for youth safety.

"This is an impressive resume for anyone, but knowing what Abby had to overcome everyday makes it even more extraordinary," Capson-Daniels explained. 

At the start of Grade 10, Cartwright's health began to decline rapidly. By the start of Grade 11, her right arm became useless and would constantly dislocate with her hips and knees soon following suit. She was told that she needed to start water therapy, or she would be confined to a wheelchair. She had an operation on her right shoulder to stabilize it during exam week of Grade 11. Some nerves were damaged in her neck and she was unable to swallow or talk, and was told that she would need a feeding tube. She worked hard to overcome this. Six months later, she had to have multiple surgeries on the same shoulder as it dislocated many times and she would need to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance and sedated in order to relocate it.

Cartwright is now set to graduate with the ability to use both arms and muscle gain in her hips. She completed a dual credit program at the University of New Brunswick (UNB), completing a first year computer science course this year. She has been accepted into the engineering program at UNB and plans to attend McGill University after that to obtain a degree in biomedical engineering. Her goal is to one day return to UNB as a professor and create prosthetics.

6/7/2019 12:00 PMJun 11 2019, 3:20 PM6/7/2019 12:03 PM

​A retirement celebration in Oromocto June 8 recognized over 90 employees of ASD-W who have served the education system in various capacities and from many different positions through several years. They included district staff, teachers, principals, vice-principals, educational assistants, custodians and bus drivers. All had reached an important milestone, marking the completion of their successful careers with the district.

"We all know it is bittersweet to leave a workplace you have enjoyed," said Acting Superintendent Catherine Blaney. "The place we work and the people we know grow to mean so much to us. The changes and challenges we have experienced through the years stay with us in our collective memories. But it is the students and those we have see go on to achieve great things that make us the most proud. The children have been our inspiration and greatest reward."

Blaney told the retirees whatever their job description, their work and commitment have strengthened district operations through the years, and they would not be forgotten by their colleagues as they begin a new stage of life.

"You have made an important contribution to education, while following our vision and our values for excellence, teamwork, professionalism and shared leadership," she said. "You have each played a key role in creating a safe and positive learning environment for our students across every corner of the district. Now is the time for new beginnings. The world is out there waiting for you with new rivers to swim and new mountains to climb. Just imagine the possiblities - you have earned it."​

Shown in the photos below are long-serving employees (1) Haldean Alward, bus driver, Doaktown; (2) Clarence Carr, custodian, Hartland; (3) Dorothy Duncan, district office, Fredericton; (4) Betty Hawkins, educational assistant, Harvey; (5) Angela Boudreau, teacher, Chipman; (6) Cheryl Miles, teacher/learning specialist, Fredericton; (7) Brent Shaw, teacher, Harvey; (8) Rita Sivitilli, teacher, Chipman; (9) Joan Corey, teacher, Oromocto; (10) Joanne Eales, teacher, McAdam; (11) Karen Little, teacher, Fredericton; (12) Michel Lanteigne, teacher, Geary; (13) Brenda Cameron, teacher, Fredericton; (14) Connie Boone, bus driver, Hartland; (15) Jocelyn Doucet, teacher, Burton; (16) Donna Marie Langille, teacher, Bristol; (17) Heather Sharpe, teacher, Hartland: (18) Carol Irving, teacher, Woodstock.


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6/10/2019 2:00 PMJun 11 2019, 8:37 AM6/10/2019 2:33 PM

Education and Early Childhood Development

Amendments introduced to immunization record requirements

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government introduced legislative amendments today that would remove non-medical exemptions from the mandatory immunization requirements for public school and licensed early learning and child care admissions. The amendments are to the Education Act and the Public Health Act.

 “Our highest priority is the health and safety of New Brunswick students,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “These changes will help make sure as many children as possible are vaccinated and help protect the most vulnerable members of society.”

The legislative amendments would require students attending public schools and children in licensed early learning and child care facilities – either currently enrolled in or being admitted for the first time – to provide either proof of immunization or a medical exemption on a form signed by a medical professional.

The Act Respecting Proof of Immunization would come into effect Sept. 1, 2021 and would:

  • remove sections in both acts that allow non-medical exemptions to be presented in place of immunization records or medical exemption; and
  • result in modifications to the Licensing Regulation – Early Childhood Services Act which refers to practices outlined in the Public Health Act.

“I am proud to be introducing these changes,” said Cardy. “Vaccines are a safe and proven way to prevent the spread of many diseases, some of which can be life threatening, especially for individuals with compromised immune systems.”

6/7/2019 2:00 PMJun 07 2019, 1:18 PM6/7/2019 1:14 PM

Autism Learning Partnership, a branch of the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development, is beginning a consultation process with parents/guardians of preschool and school-aged children with autism spectrum disorder.

Autism Learning Partnership seeks to understand the needs of parents in terms of training on autism spectrum disorder in order to be able to develop resources that will specifically address these needs.

A survey is underway to gather important and essential information to identify priorities for the development of future training initiatives. 

The survey is posted on the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development website at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/alpparentsurveyjune2019

Following the survey, in-person focus groups will be held with parents who have demonstrated an interest in becoming more involved in the process.

For more information, contact Lynn Gaudet at the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development at lynn.gaudet2@gnb.ca or call 506-238-0243.

6/5/2019 10:00 AMJun 05 2019, 10:07 AM6/5/2019 10:07 AM

​Twenty-five, Grade 11 and 12 students from Fredericton High School provided a musical interlude for seniors at the Parkland Shannex retirement residence June 4 as part of a multi-age experiential learning project called Barrier Mitigation and Connection.

The students wrote and performed their own musical compositions based on earlier recorded interviews with the seniors about their lives, accomplishments, hobbies or favourite memories. The students then wove and translated those stories into music. 

Grade 12 students surrounded the talking voices of the seniors with digital music, while Grade 11 students created purely instrumental works based on the thoughts, feeling and sentiments the seniors had expressed.

"I got to hear the stories while the students were composing," said music teacher Craig Woodcock. "It was a great challenge and unique opportunity for them. Many of the students were touched by the stories they heard."

Woodcock explained the students received their inspiration from the interviews and used mood, notes, harmony and rhythm to put their pieces together. They were excited to hear and play their music during class and for the seniors at Parkland Shannex.

"It's not that often that we get to talk to seniors," said Grade 12 student Jaime Little. "It was neat to hear about their experiences and pass it along in the pieces we put together."

"It was great to see the music come to life with our instruments and see the reaction of the audience," added Georgia Christie, Grade 11.

Students also performed a vocal number, Three Little Maids from The Mikado by Gilbert and Sullivan, to close out the concert.

Compositions by the Grade 11 students were entitled Lake Time, Teaching, Mother's Hymn, Ostern, Bowls, Fools and Trees, Cartoons at the Cottage, and Jigsaw.

The seniors will receive a listening copy of all the music performed to enjoy again in the future.

"It was really nice," said 88-year-old Jack Maxwell. "They did a great job. It's unbelievable what they can do."

Maxwell told the students about his many years working underground as a coal miner in Sydney Mines, Nova Scotia. The song performed for him about that experience made him feel closer to home, he said.

The school project was made possible through a grant from iHub Learning Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovative education in the Anglophone​ public education sector of New Brunswick.​

Shown in the photos below are (1) (left to right) Rhael Merten, Maggie Kerr, Georgia Christie, Anajose Ryes Guevara, Kate MacGregor, Tony Yu, Logan Aalders, Madelyn MacLean; (2) (left rto right) Megan Murphy, Georgia Christie and Madeline Yerxa singing Three LIttle Maids.

6/4/2019 3:00 PMJun 05 2019, 8:32 AM6/4/2019 3:43 PM

​McAdam Avenue Elementary School students have been teaming up with Grade 12 leadership students from Leo Hayes High School to visit with residents at the York Care Centre in Fredericton as part of a multi-age experiential learning project. 

When the buses rolled in on June 3 for their last visit this school year, the residents were happy to see them. The students presented each of the residents with framed photographs to remember them by as well as a stained glass ornament to hang in the window of their room. 

"The thing the students like the  most is seeing the residents smile and getting to know them," Principal Cynthia Burnett said. "Having their big buddies (from LHHS) has made it even better to help bridge that gap with communication. It's been lots of fun for everyone involved. It's really great when they recognize they make someone else happy just by being here." 

Burnett said the project taught her students global competency skills such as relationship building, empathy, respect and communication. They will each write a story about what they learned from the experience.

Each school brought 20 students together for the project starting in March 2019. They joined forces to make two visits to York Care Centre where they played bingo with the residents, made slime with them, and shared some lunch, cake and refreshments. The students also got together at Leo Hayes High to make their gifts for the residents prior to their last visit to the nursing home.

"I enjoyed it and don't mind hanging out with people from different generations," said Garrett Doucette, a Grade 12 students from Leo Hayes. "You learn how to have a conversation, work with younger peers, and be open to other people." 

Nursing home resident Brett Robertson said he made some new friends while socializing with his new school pals.

"It's nice to be able to talk to young people again," Robertson said. "I like rappin' with the youngsters and teaching them stuff. These kids should get all As." 

Josh Collins, a teacher at Leo Hayes High, said it's good for students to "get out of the high school bubble and see how life goes."

"It's good for them to come here and get another life experience," Collins explained. "It gives them another perspective about working with seniors and elementary school students. They were the common ground between the two age groups."

The project was made possible through a grant from iHub Learning Inc., a non-profit organization dedicated to supporting innovative education in the Anglophone​ public education sector of New Brunswick.

Shown in the photos below are (1) (left to right) Braxton Robinson, Grade 3 student at McAdam Avenue Elementary with Principal Cynthia Burnett and York Care Centre resident Viola Munn; (2) (left to right) Resident Ellen Saunders-Aube, Ben Young, Grade 12, Leo Hayes HIgh School, Aidan Williamson James Power, Grade 4, McAdam Avenue School, Mikayla Annis, summer student working at York Care Centre, resident Linda Bird, Mitchell Kean, Grade 12, Leo Hayes High, and Gabriella Drost, Grade 2, McAdam Avenue School.

6/3/2019 2:00 PMJun 03 2019, 3:03 PM6/3/2019 2:00 PM

​Jack Roy, a Grade 11 student from Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, and Rose He, a Grade 11 student from Fredericton High School, are among 16 students chosen from across the country to receive the 2019 Beaverbrook Vimy Prize, presented by the Vimy Foundation of Canada and the Beaverbrook Canadian Foundation.

The Beaverbrook Vimy Prize is dedicated to preserving and promoting Canada's legacy during the First World War as symbolized with the historic victory at Vimy Ridge in April 1917. The notorious battle is recognized as a milestone when Canada came of age as a military force on the world stage.

Recipients of the Beaverbrook Vimy Prize have the opportunity to participate in an immersive educational program in Belgium and France during the summer. 

From August 7-20, Roy and He will join this year's other prize winners in travelling to Europe to learn about Canada's history and contributions during the First and Second World War. 

"It is vital that we learn from our past to prevent future conflicts as deadly at the First and Second World Wars," Roy said. "Visiting Vimy Ridge and other battlefields in Europe where Canadians, and more specificilly New Brunswickers fought for what they believed in, serves to educate the youth of today in the most direct way possible."

Alumni from the Vimy Prize become ambassadors for the Vimy Foundation following their participation in the program, and often continue working to share their new knowledge and perspective of the First and Second World Wars with their peers, schools and communities.

Since the program was established in 2006, over 180 students have been awarded the prize and have travelled to Europe with the Vimy Foundation. Some of these high school students have gone on to speak at their school's Remembrance Day ceremonies, address guests at Vimy Foundation events, and study history in university programs across the country.

Shown in the photos below are Jack Roy, Grade 11 student at Leo Hayes High School, and Rose He, Grade 11, Fredericton High School.

5/30/2019 11:00 AMJun 03 2019, 1:56 PM5/30/2019 11:09 AM

​Students across ASD-W were the proud recipients of Turnaround Achievement Awards presented during three ceremonies held recently in Fredericton, Bristol and Woodstock.

The main purpose of the annual awards is to reward students at all levels for turning their lives around through demonstrated effort, commitment and perseverance. The recognition reflects a marked improvement in their behaviour, attitude and academics.

Acting Superintendent Catherine Blaney told the students "change is not always easy and it takes personal courage to accomplish significant change that pushes us beyond our comfort zones."

"You just have to get out there and do it and not look back," Blaney said. "Life gets better by opening ourselves up to new learning, new opportunities and new growth.....Sometimes change is painful. Sometimes it's beautiful, but most of the time it's both....Let today be the day you give up on who you've been for who you can become."

Blaney said the award winners worked to overcome obstacles and inner struggles to gain confidence and academic success. They embraced change and came out smiling, stronger and better prepared for their futures.

"Be bold, be courageous and always be your best," she said. "Each day, remind yourself that you are yet again, given another chance to improve on yesterday. If you are committed to doing what it takes, anything is possible. It's up to you. The world is your oyster." 

The awards are sponsored by community and/or private sector partners in each region of the district.

Shown in the photos below are (1) Award winners from the Fredericton ceremony; (2) Award winners from the Bristol ceremony; (3) Award winners from the Woodstock ceremony.

5/30/2019 3:00 PMMay 30 2019, 3:30 PM5/30/2019 3:04 PM

​Kathy Soucy, an elementary teacher at John Caldwell School in Grand Falls, has been awarded the 2019 New Brunswick Teachers Association (NBTA) Credit Union Award for excellence in teaching. The award was presented May 24 during the NBTA's annual dinner in Fredericton.

Soucy, who will be retiring at the end of this school year, has worked in the public school system for 33 years in the Grand Falls region, joining the teaching staff at John Caldwell School in 1991. She also served as the school's vice-principal from 2006 to 2013 and then returned to her first love of teaching students in the classroom. Soucy also taught for six years at the Monsignor Bernier School.

The NBTA award is presented annually to a member who exhibits teaching excellence and an ongoing commitment to students. 

Shown in the photo below are (left to right) NBTA Credit Union general manager Margery Nichol, teacher Kathy Soucy, and NBTA Credit Union board president Dale Weldon during the award presentation.

5/30/2019 11:00 AMMay 30 2019, 10:26 AM5/30/2019 10:25 AM

​Within a population of 1,900 or more students at Fredericton High School, there are approximately 40 students from First Nations communities. 

On May 28, an open house took place as part of a social action project organized by students to create greater awareness and appreciation for Indigenous language and culture within the school community.

"The main point of the project is to bring awareness to Indigenous people and their culture especially within a system they weren't even meant to be in," said Amber Solomon, a Grade 12 student from Kingslear First Nation. "Our school works on being inclusive, but I think we can always do more."

Teacher Shana Saunders said the project was developed as part of a social studies class on world issues where five social action groups were formed.

In this case, five Grade 12 students, Colby Marin, Amber Solomon, Grace Tarrant, Kaitlin Scott, and Logan Rumbolt, led their project and reached out to the Kingsclear First Nation community to organize and offer an in-depth look at Indigenous culture to inform and help promote diversity and inclusiveness. As a result, students and staff and members of the public were invited to a full afternoon of activities toward: "Our journey in Indigenizing FHS."

Elder Richard Paul opened the event with prayer in the Wolastoqey language and also performed a smudge ceremony and Honour Song so "you can learn about our culture, who we are, and where we come from," Paul told guests.

Hayley Polchies drummed and sang the Strong Woman Song for a group of young dancers dressed in First Nations attire. More songs and music came from Justice Gruben. The open house also featured displays on Indigenous history, handmade wooden bowls, baskets, arrowheads, jewellery, loom bracelets, medicine bags, dream catchers, jiggle dresses, artwork by Cyril Sacobie and snacks by the Allagash Lunchbox.

For a time, FHS had the distinction of having the largest student body of any high school in the Commonwealth Nations.  In 1999, a second high school, Leo Hayes High School, was constructed on the north side of the city to further accommodate the number of students. Several students from St. Mary's First Nation are currently enrolled at Leo Hayes High.

Shown in the photos below are (1) Attending the open house on Indigenous culture at FHS were Kingslcear First Nation residents (left ro right) Rhonda Solomon, Amber Solomon, Samuel Francis and Mircea Francis; (2) Alara Solomon from Kingsclear First Nation with her Heritage Fair display on the First Peoples. 

5/29/2019 11:00 AMMay 29 2019, 12:02 PM5/29/2019 11:52 AM

The 17-year-old founder of the international youth organization Global Minds took part in a provincial conference at George Street Middle School in Fredericton on May 27 to bolster her troops into action.

Students from eight different schools filled the gymnasium and went about welcoming each other and their teachers. They were full of anticipation waiting for Klein to speak especially the Grade 6 students who were meeting her for the first time.

“Global Minds is bringing people, families and communities together,” Klein told the students. “It’s about bringing change and supporting each other at school. You are all doing that work every single day to make this happen.”

Global Minds is a "for youth-by-youth" organization which offers opportunities for students of all ages, social groups and nationalities to come together to break down barriers and build intercultural friendships, while gaining important social skills and learning about issues students face every day.                         

The program encourages tolerance and understanding, community engagement, leadership, friendship, inclusivity and also celebrates diversity. There are currently 25 schools in Canada and the United States involved in the Global Minds movement. 

Klein, a student in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, announced that a new Global Minds app has been launched to help share and communicate the values of the organization. As the founder and executive director of Global Minds, she has been featured on the Today Show, Fox News, in Teen Vogue, and the New York Times during her quest to promote the Global Minds message. 

In 2018, George Street Middle School started a Global Minds chapter with a small group of Grade 8 students forming a school club. It was the first chapter in Canada and the first at the middle school level. The program soon grew to become school wide at George Street with 150 students involved. An additional seven chapters have since been established in the province at Fredericton High School, Leo Hayes High School, Bliss Carman Middle School, Nashwaaksis Middle School, Oromocto High School, Moncton High School and Edith Cavell School in Moncton.

​"Youth are not only future leaders,” Klein said. “You are leaders today. We are here to support you to allow you to invest in your community. We are here to be the change.”  The theme of Global Minds is "Change your Mind. Change the World." 

Shown in the photos below are (1) student leaders (left to right) Rukeme Akalusi and Linda Trinh from Fredericton High School with Global Minds founder Peyton Klein, far right, during the provincial conference at George Street Middle School; (2) Student Michelle Renni, who recently arrived at George Street Middle School from India, performed a traditional dance for the students at the conference.

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5/28/2019 4:00 PMMay 29 2019, 8:52 AM5/28/2019 4:05 PM

​Over 50 students from six schools in the upper river valley participated in a Coding Expo at Carleton North High School on May 24. 

Wayland Dickson, technology lead for ASD-W, said the event was held as a showcase to celebrate what students have learned about coding during the school year. Students from kindergarten to Grade 12 were invited to set up displays to exhibit and share information about their projects with their peers. Some of the younger students demonstrated unplugged activities where they developed coding for Ozobots travelling over boards or paper tracks without computer technology. Others built computer games or interactive projects with the capability to identify and provide voice information about a specific location on a map.

Dickson said all the projects were designed to develop logical thinking, reasoning and problem solving, while strengthening the students' understanding of coding or computer programming. "It's the first steps to a different way to learn in the 21st century," he noted. 

Schools attending the expo included Centreville Community School, Florenceville Middle School, Bath Community School, St. Mary's Academy in Edmundston, Hartland Community School, and Donald Fraser Memorial School in Plaster Rock.

Dickson told the students the expo was an opportunity to share their inspiration and encouraged them to try out the other projects on display. There were also group workshops available to the students through a partnership with Brilliant​ Labs, an Atlantic Canada based non-profit organization dedicated to providing and creating opportunities for children and youth to learn coding and develop their digital skills in schools and communities in the region. ​Each school also received a coding kit to take back to their school as part of the expo.

Shown in the photos below are (1) Centreville Community School Grade 2 students Owen Johnston, Liam MacMillan, Wyett Sutherland and Griffin MacIntosh discuss their coding project with Brian Facey, ASD-W's subject coordinator for technology; (2) Twin brothers Brian and Owen Green, Grade 9 students from Hartland Community School, demonstrate their computer game Rapid Router; (3) Grade 7 student Gabriel Belu from St. Mary's Academy in Edmundston with his interactive map project; (4) Madison Walton, Grade 2 from Centreville Community school, with her project on Ozobots. 

5/28/2019 12:00 PMMay 28 2019, 3:03 PM5/28/2019 11:41 AM

Over 50 middle and high school students from ASD-W will attend a CyberSmart Youth Summit on May 29 in Fredericton as part of the CyberSmart 2019 Conference.

"Students will have the opportunity to learn about cybersecurity, careers and educational programs," said Brian Facey, ASD-W's subject coordinator for technology. "They will also participate in the main keynote address delivered by Dr. Ellen Ochoa, a veteran astronaut and former Director of the NASA Johnson Space Centre (Houston, Texas​)." 

Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development Dominic Cardy and Assistant Deputy Minister Chris Treadwell will welcome students to the summit.

There will be networking activities, workshops and exhibits on display for students as well as a NB Cyber Defense League Championship. Competitors will be addressed by IBM representatives throughout the day by appointment. Awards for the top competitors will be presented during closing ceremonies. 

A full day of events take place at the Fredericton Convention Centre and the Crowne Plaza in downtown Fredericton. The summit is being sponsored by CyberNB. 

CyberNB is a government mandated agency focused on growing the province's cybersecurity ecosystem.

Another event, CyberDay for Girls,will also take place in Fredericton on May 30.

Shown in the photo below are Carleton North High School CyberTitans who placed first ASD-W in the district cybersecurity competition. They will be participating in the summit on May 29 in Fredericton. Left to right: Jasmyn Bear, Grade 12, Delaney Kilfoil, Grade 11, Alex Colbourne, Grade 9, Tomas Valencia Ortega, Grade 9, and their cyber coach Brian Muise. Absent from the photo is Colby Harrington, Grade 10. Other Carleton North High School cybersecurity teams also placed second and third in the district competition.


5/15/2019 12:00 PMMay 28 2019, 2:09 PM5/15/2019 11:55 AM

​Benjamin Durettte, a Grade 10 student at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton, has placed in the top 10 per cent nationally in the Michael Smith Science Challenge organized by the Faculty of Science at the University of British Columbia. Durette also scored first in the province in the competition, winning a $100 prize for achieving the highest grade in New Brunswick.

The Michael Smith Science Challenge is a nation wide bilingual science contest written by students in Grade 10 and below. It was first piloted in the Province of British Columbia in April 2002 and since then has been held annually across Canada. 

The purpose of the contest is to challenge students' logical thinking and creative thinking skills with minimal memorization required. This year, 1,266 students from eight provinces participated. 

The exam covers a wide range of tough problem solving questions involving math, chemistry, and physics to challenge and test a student's knowledge on various scientific issues. It includes material in the science curriculum common to all provinces.

Science teacher Lisa Holyoke Walsh said Durette's accomplishment was "exciting news" for her student and the school and congratulations were being extended to Durette for his tremendous success and strong abilities in science. 

5/23/2019 4:00 PMMay 23 2019, 3:57 PM5/23/2019 3:44 PM

​Grade 9 students at Cambridge Narrows Community School have embarked on an important new project that puts them in touch with local residents at the Mill Cove Nursing Home in order to learn about their lives and document their stories.

"This biography project has allowed us to experiment with a project that is fluid in nature," said teacher Heather Bailey. "Even though there were clear expectations for the project, students are inherently making the project and questions their own, based on the experience they have with the residents. We've had to work very hard at communicating student to student, teacher to student, and student to resident in order to keep things running smoothly. Though this has been challenging, it is rewarding to see the students taking ownership of their work and try to get more comfortable in taking charge of their learning."

Students visited the nursing home once per week, spending quality time with the residents to write and then print their biographies. They were paired up with the residents to record interviews, all the while learning patience, empathy, respect, listening and writing skills and communication. Special software, designed to assist individuals with health or memory issues, was used to assist with the interview process. Students were coached on how to conduct interviews, ask questions and think quickly to follow conversational leads. Then they would return to school to review the audio file in their next class and better organize the information they gathered. 

As the visits unfolded, it wasn't long before students overcame any shyness they had about talking with their new friends. On the bus ride back to school, they often shared stories they heard, excited by the connections they made with the residents. Many had neighbours, friends and family members in common. 

"The experiential approach to learning through communication, collaboration and self-awareness is a key facet to this project," a newsletter from Principal Amber Bishop stated. "Not only are students taking responsibility for their work as individuals, they are creating connections outside of the classroom that facilitate their overall social growth as a constructive member of their community. Their (biography) projects enable them to master key outcomes, but have the fundamental importance of being created as a gift to their partnered resident. Attaching purpose to a project is all the more motivating for students to engage and self-direct." 

Some students enjoyed the experience so much they are considering pursuing a career in geriatric care or practical nursing after graduation. The partnership between the school and the nursing home is expected to continue into the fall. On May 17, this year's Grade 9 students celebrated with the residents with a trivia contest, and cake and refreshments at the nursing home. 

The biography project was made possible through a grant provided by i​Hub, a non-profit research organization dedicated to supporting innovative education in the Anglophone public education sector in New Brunswick.

Shown in the photos below are (1) Students visiting the Mill Cove Nursing Home (left to right, back row): Molly Richardson, Jamie Boyd, Jillian Boyd, Kody Rasmussen, Abby Duffy, Curtis Champion, Austin Sleep, Pastor Chris Price, Cody Gates and Cameron Boyd. Front row: Residents Ethel Northrup, Paula Fawcett, Everett Moss and Bruce Gosman; (2) Cody Gates, Kody Rasmussen, resident Paula Fawcett, and Molly Richardson.

5/21/2019 3:00 PMMay 21 2019, 3:36 PM5/21/2019 3:08 PM

​Grade 11 students at Fredericton High School filed into the Tom Morrison Theatre May 16 for a screening of a new Heritage Minute from Historica Canada commemorating the 75th Anniversary of D-Day and the role of NB North Shore Regiment.

"History happens right here and it involves New Brunswickers," social studies teacher Andrew Rutledge told the students as they arrived.

Anthony Wilson-Smith, president and chief executive officer for Historica Canada, introduced the film clip, featuring the story of 47-year-old Major Archie MacNaughton and members of the A Company from the North Shore Regiment in New Brunswick, who landed at Juno Beach in Normandy, France on D-Day and soon encountered enemy machine gun fire at Tailleville.

"What you will see, changed the world that day," Wilson-Smith said. "It changed lives and it changed communities. Fourteen thousand Canadians were part of the biggest invasion in war history. The​ next time you see a veteran remember they were once like you. A lot never got a chance to get any older."

Brandan Savage, a history teacher at Miramichi Valley High School, told students his grandfather Bill was with Major MacNaughton on D-Day, serving as signaller for A Company. Before his death in 2007, he told his grandson what happened at Tailleville. MacNaughton and several others in their nine-member troop were killed in action. Savage's grandfather was shot in the chest and listed among the dead, but Allied patrols discovered he was still breathing while scouring the area for survivors.

"These events I hold very close to my heart and they are very close to what I do," Brandon Savage explained. "It is a story of quiet heroism and tragic loss. We can't let this be forgotten. There is a cost in human lives."

Major MacNaughton had a wife, children and a farm at home in Miramichi. A veteran of the First World War, he volunteered for the Second World War even though he was considered too old, believing he had a responsibility to serve his country and take care of young troops on the battlefield. He wrote letters home saying he was glad to be there and play a role, regardless of the outcome.

"It was nice to see a common man and understand what he went through," said student Dianna Kopp. "To see him, a farmer from New Brunswick, it makes you understand how real it really was."

Dr. J. Marc Milner, a military historian, author, and Director of the Gregg Centre for the Study of War and Society at the University of New Brunswick, told the students "the burden on November 11 is not just to remember the dead passed down to us after the war." It is also to make sure war never happens again, that Canada remains a kinder country and a good place to live.

"History teaches us this kind of lesson," Milner stated. "It's a wake up call to stay engaged." 

The new Heritage Minute on the 75th Anniversary of D-Day will be released publicly on May 30. CBC National News will air a broadcast preview on May 29. Some 2.5 million viewers are expected to view it within the first 30 days of the official launch.

5/16/2019 2:00 PMMay 16 2019, 4:16 PM5/16/2019 3:07 PM

​Over 100 students from 22 schools in ASD-W took part in a Regional Heritage Fair May 9 in Fredericton with 89 booths on display for the judges. Winners will move on to the provincial showcase to be held June 22-23 at the Acadian Village in Caraquet.

The 2019 Heritage Fair commemorated the 100th anniversary of Women's Suffrage in New Brunswick, the Year of Indigenous Languages and the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Students from Forest Hill Elementary opened the event with the singing of the national anthem and the Wolastoqey Cihpolakonok dancers from Hubbard Avenue Elementary School performed a special dance for students and guests dressed in First Nations attire.

Wayne Annis, Director of Schools for ASD-W, commended the students for their work, noting the displays were full of interesting stories which make you think about the history of the province and the country and how that heritage is reflected in daily life.

"Heritage is something that contributes to our society, our nation and our culture," said Annis. "It makes us who we are. As we look to our past, we can celebrate what we did right and learn from our mistakes of the past so we can make sure they are not repeated." 

Following the judging, students took part in field trips to the Beaverbrook Art Gallery and the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick. Awards were presented to the top students before the close of activities in the afternoon. Award winners were as follows:

Provincial Showcase: Jonathan O'Grady and Jarrett Barrett, Nackawic Middle School, for the Big Axe Brewery; Amanda Morris, George Street Middle School, for the display Alanis Obomosawin; Samantha Scott, Harold Peterson Middle School, the Polio Epidemic in Canada.

Young Citizen's Awards: Tanner Trail, Nackawic Middle School, for Mountain View Taxidermy; Yuser Mahmud, Kingsclear Consolidated School, the New Heritage - the Muslin Community Heritage; Eli Paul, Hubbard Avenue Elementary School, for the display Fred Saskamoose.

Shown in the photo below are (1) Samantha Scott, Grade 6 Harold Peterson Middle School; (2) Shyla Nicholas; (3) Grade 7 Bliss Carman Middle School; (4) Rhys Rowinski, Grade 5 Garden Creek Elementary School; (5) Scott Beach, Grade 7 Bliss Carman Middle School; (6) Dancers from Hubbard Avenue Elementary School.

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5/10/2019 11:00 AMMay 14 2019, 10:08 AM5/10/2019 11:14 AM

​Dozens of Grades 3-5 students from Connaught Street School celebrated the official opening of Bear Witness Day celebrations on May 9 while surrounded by their Spirit bears in the downstairs gallery at Government House. They were joined by First Nations Elder Imelda Perley who told them she could feel both love and a spirit of healing in the room

"This is what Jordan would have wanted," Perley explained. "He wanted to be loved."

Every year on May 10, people across the country gather their Spirit bears together to celebrate Bear Witness Day and Jordan’s Principle, a guiding rule established in 2007 to help ensure First Nations children have access to all public services when they need them.  On May 10, 2016, in a landmark decision, the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ordered the federal government to fully implement Jordan’s Principle, named in memory of Jordan River Anderson from the Norway House Cree Nation in Manitoba. The Spirit Bear, representing First Nations children across the country, presided over these hearings.

Connaught Street School received a Global Competencies grant from the Department of Education and Early Childhood Development to embark on their long term project. Grade 3-5 students heard from First Nations leaders, who also worked with them to make beaded necklaces and leather medicine bags and name their bears. The students were gifted with a string of copper jingles for their bears from Amanda Reid Rogers, vice-president of Indigenous Engagement at the University of New Brunswick, which they rang in recognition of Jordan River Anderson and their work in taking part in reconciliation. Students wrote letters to Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and to Jordan’s family and also attended an annual powwow hosted by UNB.

On May 10, all students from Connaught will visit Government House to learn from Oromocto First Nation students about traditional dancing, drumming and oral storytelling as well as the meaning of a smudge ceremony. They will also visit the downstairs gallery to view the Spirit Bear exhibit which will be open to the public weekdays for the rest of the month. 

Principal Barb Corbett said the Bear Witness project created "an in-depth and authentic learning experience for students and teaches the importance of treating everyone fairly regardless of who they are within the context of a First Nations cultural experience."

During opening ceremonies, students sang about the Wolastoqi River in the Wolastoqiyik language before reading their letters to Jordan's family in which they called for an end to discrimination and unfair treatment for First Nations children in need of help from government.

"Your spirit created Jordan's Principle which is helping other First Nations people across Canada," read student Oliver Youssef.

"I hope people learn from your story and make things better," read student Liam Mooers.

"Students have shown incredible growth while doing this project," said teacher Richard Champagne. "This is a celebration of what you have accomplished and what you have learned. Take that knowledge with you into your future."

"I have never seen a school so committed to indulging in our culture and Indigenous traditions," said Sarah Francis, First Nations subject coordinator for ASD-W, who helped lead the project. "Students have poured their heart and soul into this and First Nations leaders were there to support them."

As the ceremony began, Francis drummed and performed the Honour Song. While on the podium, she shed a few tears over her passion for the project, the enthusiasm of students and the support received from First Nations elders and school administration in seeing it to fruition.

"My best advice for you is what I have been taught by the elders - always speak from a place of love," Francis told the students.

Connaught Street School students have also been invited to the Legislative Assembly of New Brunswick on May 10 to be introduced by the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs Jake Stewart in recognition of Bear Witness Day.

Shown in the photos below are Connaught Street students (1) Shoroug Odeh, Grade 3; (2) Luke Thornton Lewis, Grade 3; (3) Gwen Ashfield and Miriam Field, Grade 3; (4) Lily Seabrook, Grade 3, who were all enjoying their Spirit Bear display at Government House.

5/9/2019 3:00 PMMay 10 2019, 9:29 AM5/9/2019 2:55 PM

News Release

Beyond immersion: inviting New Brunswickers to create a world-class education system

FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Education and Early Childhood Development will maintain the Grade 1 French immersion entry point in September 2019. The government is announcing a broader education review, including a plan to deliver high-quality French second-language programming within the context of a world-class education system.

“Through our consultations over the last several months, we have learned that the challenges with the education system go beyond the entry point, and exist throughout the entire system,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “The current system is failing to graduate bilingual students. A change in the entry point at this time would only address one small part of a larger challenge facing our education system. Only 162 students, or 10 per cent, who entered early immersion in 2005 achieved the goal of advanced or above by the end of Grade 12 in 2017. By way of comparison, 71 per cent of francophone students who graduated in 2013 were bilingual. This was the last time such information was gathered.”

This fall, the provincial government will host a summit to solicit further input and ideas on how best to transform the overall education system so that it prepares young people to meet the challenges of the rapidly changing global community. This summit will be the first of its kind and will bring together some of the best educational experts, both French and English, from within the provincial system and around the world. The province’s francophone and anglophone systems are joining forces to host the summit and learn from each other. The summit will be preceded by the release of a green paper on education, and the public will be invited to give input on all aspects of the education system and challenges affecting the classroom. These challenges include classroom composition, student engagement and graduating future-ready learners. It is important to hear the voices of parents, teachers, administrators, students, community leaders and concerned citizens, said Cardy.

“New Brunswickers told us they want the government to focus on how we can build a world-class education system,” said Cardy. “Our goal is to be top ten in the Program for International Student Assessment rankings in reading, math and science. We need to give teachers the opportunity to be engaged and have the ability to reach their students if we are going to reach our goals.

“We are committed to an education system that is fair for all, world-class, and prepares our students for success.”​

5/9/2019 2:00 PMMay 09 2019, 1:45 PM5/9/2019 1:45 PM
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