Choosing the Right School with Brockton

North Vancouver’s Brockton School Weighs in on this Significant Consideration 

Selecting with whom to entrust your child for their schooling is never easy and always significant. From the age of 3 through to 18, the choices we make for our children will have profound impacts on their development, their future opportunities, and to varying extents, the direction of the society within which they live.

Public or private, small or large, near or far, traditional or innovative, outcome focussed or process focussed, academically rigorous or holistically balanced… there are so many considerations.

QUESTION: In a time when it is impossible to predict the future for our children, a time when there is such uncertainty in the world, a time when knowing what is ‘best’ is not always easy, how do we choose a school that will best support our child?

ANSWER: It depends. It depends on your priorities (what do you want for your child; what is your definition of success). It depends on your child (what are his/her needs and ambitions). It depends on your options (what is available and what are the pros/cons of each option).

To be certain, in the years ahead, your child will need a toolkit on which they can rely – a toolkit that will survive (and thrive through) a myriad of circumstances. Yes – your child will need a basic education with essential knowledge and skills, but beyond this, your child will need: a sense of belonging, community, compassion; a sense of who they are and their responsibility in the world; a sense of vision and action; a sense of courage and character, and more. Your child will need a school that recognizes, values, and nurtures them as a uniquely special individual and walks with them on their journey.

Brockton School (JK-grade 12, IB Continuum, co-ed day school) invites families to converse more about the options that exist. Contact Brockton School at:

Safe School Lunches

Getting ready for school can be fun for kids and parents alike. However, along with packing school supplies such as books and pencils, you’ll also be packing school lunches for your children. While there are food safety tips that you should follow to avoid food poisoning, it’s also important to remember allergy awareness when you are packing lunches. If your children pack their own lunches, you should help them understand how to handle food safely and be aware of food allergies.

As many as 1.2 million Canadians may be affected by food allergies and this number is likely increasing, especially among children. Currently, it is estimated that six per cent of children are affected by food allergies. Although many foods can cause allergic reactions, the majority of allergic reactions in Canada are caused by peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, soy, seafood (such as fish, crustaceans and shellfish), wheat, eggs, milk, sulphites and mustard.Because of the potential seriousness of allergic reactions, many schools have policies in place to stop students from bringing certain items in their lunches. It’s very important for you to follow the school’s food allergen policy closely, even if your child does not have allergies. The health and safety of other students depends on all parents and students following the school’s policies. Here are some tips that can help:

  • If your child is allergic to a certain food, make sure the school knows about the allergy. Work with them to come up with a strategy to keep your child safe.
  • Remind your child that it is not safe to trade or share food.
  • If peanut is on the school policy as a restricted food, try thinking about alternative sandwich-making ingredients. For example, try hummus or apple butter instead of peanut butter.
  • Always read the labels on the food you pack in your child’s lunch. Don’t pack any food with ingredients that are restricted at your school.
  • Look for warning statements on the label such as “May Contain…”. Remember, even trace amounts can cause a severe allergic reaction.

Check out Healthy Canadians for more tips and tricks on food safety.

Man Up! play by the Boys Club Network

The Westcoast Boys Club Network Foundation (aka Boys Club Network or BCN) is pleased to present their acclaimed reality stage play Man Up! in Abbotsford from November 25 through 27, playing to a targeted audience of high school students, educators, youth workers, families and other stakeholders at the W. J. Mouat Secondary School Theatre.

Man Up! is the gritty, heart-wrenching, emotional and life-changing story of two determined eastside Vancouver educators, a group of at- risk boys on the sharp knife-edge of life, a handful or generous and visionary Lower Mainland businessmen from all walks of life, and the compelling four-year journey they took together – from the edge of frustration, hopelessness and despair, to the pinnacle of hopefulness and success. Man Up! Shares authentic, deeply personal stories of individual struggle, overcoming demons and realizing dreams.

BCN is a registered Canadian charity with a mandate to establish connectedness, trust and accountability to at-risk young men and help grow then into good men. The Network uses drama – more specifically the reality stage play – as a creative platform to spread their message of H.O.P.E. (Hope, Opportunity, Positive mentorship, Education) to communities throughout the lower mainland, to ignite discussion, and to inspire stakeholders to set-up new BCN chapters.

BCN independently operates seven chapters in Vancouver, North Vancouver and West Vancouver secondary schools with the cooperation and assistance of school districts and stakeholders in youth work and law enforcement. Close to 100 mentors, representing all facets of Canadian life, from break-even to billionaire, mentor a membership of more than 200 boys. The Network is grateful to Mr. Gino Bondi, a long-time BCN mentor and new Assistant Superintendent, Abbotsford School District, for introducing Man Up! to the city of Abbotsford, with its diverse population and eight secondary schools.


Man Up! messaging is entirely relevant to today’s students and educators, and parallels Curriculum Learning Outcomes in BC Secondary courses Planning 10, Health & Career 9, Drama Curricula, and lessons in Focus on Harassment and Intimidation. The supplied Companion Study Guide for Educators and Reflections on Learning student worksheets address topical issues like anti- bullying, personal accountability, gratitude, philanthropy and empathy. Buy tickets here!

Why Do Some Kids Struggle in School?

by Gillian Liebrandt of Millennium Learning Advantage and used with permission from Jill Stowell, Stowell Learning Center

Why are there students of average or above average intelligence who are struggling?
All over the country there are regular classrooms that have individuals with the potential to be comfortable, independent learners, but they look like a computer that doesn’t seem to work, even though there is nothing wrong with it.

Every day there are parents asking themselves “what’s wrong with my child?” They can see the intelligence, but when it comes to schoolwork, they are living with issues like:

  • Taking 3 hours to do 45 minutes worth of homework
  • Needing someone sitting with them in order to get their work done
  • Short work attention span
  • Don’t get it, in spite of lots of help and repetition
  • Appear lazy or unmotivated
  • Don’t recognize words from one line to the next
  • Can’t seem to get the “big picture” in a story or textbook
  • Seem disorganized
  • Can’t follow directions

It just doesn’t “add up” and both parents and students end up “tearing their hair out” trying to make sense out of things that don’t seem to make sense.

In “technical” terms, these are underlying processing and executive function skills and can include such areas as:

  • Phonemic awareness – the thinking process that supports phonics for reading and spelling
  • Comprehension
  • Attention
  • Processing speed
  • Auditory and visual memory
  • Visual and auditory processing
  • Language processing
  • Logic and reasoning
  • Integration and organization

The good news!
These building blocks can be reprogrammed or retrained to work more, which means that most students can become comfortable, independent learners in school situations. And because of the plasticity of the brain, this work can be done at any age. In computers, it is as easy as installing a new program. In humans, the concept is the same, but it takes more than a few minutes.

There are now tools/programs that remediate the inefficient skills so that a student who needed extra help can, over a matter of time, become both independent and comfortable.

Patience is a virtue the old saying goes. But for many students, going more slowly or repeating the directions over and over again, simply doesn’t make a difference. They can pay attention all day, but until they can process the information, it simply doesn’t make sense.

The sequence for making sense of the directions is:

  1. Evaluate and determine what the inefficiencies are
  2. Apply the right tools to strengthen the underling skills
  3. Transfer those skills to academic areas until those skills are automatic

The focus is to invest the time to build a strong foundation of underlying skills (install the programs) so that the brain is ready to learn and hold onto the academic, and then extra help will no longer be needed.

By using the right tools, students can strengthen and overcome the inefficiencies that hold them back. Rather than “limping” through academic life, these students can truly become comfortable, independent learners.

The 2015 Private School Expo!

EX15-OurKids-Vancouver-300x250Don’t miss the 10th annual Our Kids Private School Expo, November 8th from 12:00 to 4:00 at The Westin Bayshore Hotel. If you are a parent, educator or someone who works with children, this informative expo will give you all the information you need about local private school programs in your area.

Hundreds of families are expected to visit the Expo to meet with top-ranked local private schools and international boarding schools, along with education experts and consultants that will help them make the best decisions about their children’s education. “It’s a one-stop shopping experience. It saved me a lot of time because I get all of the information I need in just one day.,” says Mrs. Delany, a mother of two who attended the Expo two years ago. “We want to know what our options are, and attending the information seminars and meeting with all the schools really gets you thinking about the choice and opportunity available.”

The Our Kids Private School Expo features:

  • 3 information seminars on choosing and applying to school, plus tax breaks and financial aid options
  • An expert speaker panel with education consultants, admission specialists and financial planners
  • Opportunity to meet with the leading private and independent schools (preschool to high school) all in one afternoon

Admission to the OUR KIDS Private School Expo is only $10 per group or family with pre-registration at, or $20 at the door.

If you’re thinking about sending your child to private school, don’t miss the Our Kids Private School Expo!

Taming Back to School Anxiety

The Back to School buzz is already happening and the anxiety has set in for both parents and kids. We’ve provided a few tips to help make the transition from summer to school as smooth as can be! Preparing for this time of year is one of the most effective strategies to make it as successful as possible. Here is our 5 STEP APPROACH for a smooth transition:

  • PREP: discuss with children the details of what is going to be happening. The name of the school, teacher, friends etc…. so they can start visualizing their return to the classroom.
  • VISUALS: using visuals can help kids prepare, understand and learn what will be happening in the future. This can directly help the fear of the unknown because the child’s questions are answered and are legitimate because they are written down. Putting things on paper keeps it accountable, which can help strengthening the connection between the parent and child relationship.
  • CLEAR EXPECTATIONS: discuss with children what is expected from them and what they can expect from their parents and caregivers as their routine changes. Role playing could be a fun and effective way to figure things out, if the kids are up for it.
  • ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: acknowledging the emotions of what a child may be going through. When kids feel upset or worried, try to reiterate it back to them. For example, “I can see that you are worried about starting the first day of school. You’re worried aren’t you? You are right, it is a bit of a scary time because we don’t know what to expect. It’s ok to feel that way.”
  • CONSISTENT FOLLOW THROUGH: stick with the same plan of action each and every time. Try to use the same language, phrases, boundaries and expectations. Kids feel more secure when they can predict what their parents are going to say and do.

Children observe their parents to see how to behave and cope with life situations. Be the leader and guide for your child and ensure you have a plan of action for this time, whether your child is going back to school, starting a new program or childcare centre.

Learn more about Julie Romanowski -Children’s Behaviour & Discipline Specialist, Coach, Leader, Educator, Author, Speaker & founder of Miss Behaviour: parenting coach & consultant service – through her tipsbloge-newsletter, & articles

Back to School Shopping!

imageWe know getting ready for school can be exciting, overwhelming or downright terrifying – so we’ve enlisted Shopping Editor and mom of two, Liv Judd Soye, to share her ABC’s of back-to-school shopping that will make getting dressed in the morning a breeze.

Let your kids pick clothes that speak to who they are as individuals. Giving them ownership over their style makes getting dressed more fun and seriously cuts down on morning tantrums.

There’s no better way to spice up an outfit than with accessories. From socks to hats to headbands, accessories are an easy way to add personality (or change personality!) without breaking the bank.

Be sure to stock up on lots of basic essentials – long sleeved T’s, leggings and hoodies will be worn over and over. Never skimp on quality, instead, find a brand you trust to provide quality craftsmanship that you know will last.

Strike a balance between solid basics and matching sets to maximize the number of outfits you and your child can mix and match and turn getting dressed into a fun morning game.

Back-to-school clothes should be comfortable and durable so your kid can focus on being a kid: running around, exploring the world and learning their ABC’s. Jeggings are great pieces to mix and match and offer flexibility for wiggly little bodies on the move.

There’s a reason something becomes classic – that perfect pair of OshKosh overalls, for example, will never go out of style. A preppy stripe or khaki pants will always look fashionably chic. And while your child might out grown their clothes before we get to “Z,” quality classics are the best hand-me-downs.

École Sperling Elementary School Fun Fair Fundraiser!

École Sperling Elementary School  is hosting a Fun Fair to help raise money to improve the school’s technology program. Since education of our children affects us all, don’t miss the chance to help support the school and the further education of STEM!

When: Friday, May 29th from 4pm – 8pm

Where: 2200 Sperling Avenue, Burnaby.

There will be fun for the entire family with food, fun and excitement! There’ll be lots of exciting activities including:
· Climbing Wall
· Pony Rides
· Hamster balls
· Carnival Games
· Bouncy castles
· Giant Jenga
· Sand Art
· Cake Walk.
· ArtSpace and Gardenworks activity sessions
· Silent Auction with some fantastic prizes donated by our community partners.
Best of all, your little ones can enjoy FREE games and activities in the toddler area! Of course, don’t miss food from Whitespot and Gaya Sushi. There will also be all of the other carnival favourites, including hot dogs, cotton candy and popcorn. Plus a few healthy choices!

For more information please visit and come out for a good time for a great cause!

Private School Expo

Don’t miss the Private School Expo, November 16th from 12:00 to 4:00 at The Westin Bayshore Hotel.

Parent registrations for November’s OUR KIDS Private School Expo in Vancouver continue to grow. Hundreds of families are expected to visit the Expo held at The Westin Bayshore Hotel from 12:00 to 4:00pm to meet with top-ranked local private schools and international boarding schools, along with education experts and consultants that will help them make the best decisions about their children’s education.

“It’s a one-stop shopping experience. It saved me a lot of time because I get all of the information I need in just one day. ” says Mrs. Delany a mother of 2 who attended last year’s Expo. “We want to know what our options are, and attending the information seminars and meeting with all the schools really gets you thinking about the choice and opportunity available.

The OUR KIDS Private School Expo features:
Leading private and independent schools (preschool to high school)
An expert speaker panel
2 information seminars on choosing, applying, and paying for private school
Admission to the OUR KIDS Private School Expo is only $10 per group or family with pre-registration at Each attending family will receive a welcome tote bag including a complimentary copy of OUR KIDS Canada’s Private School Guide.

Back to School Emergency Preparedness

There’s no denying that most parents across the country have a “love-hate” relationship with Back to School, and endless checklists are just one part of that. On the one hand, they’re useful and can make Back to School shopping a breeze. On the other, they’re a reminder of everything that hasn’t been checked off yet!

If there’s one list that shouldn’t be ignored this season, it’s your child’s Emergency Preparedness school kit – they’re a requirement for most elementary children across the province, and thankfully, you can’t go wrong if you follow a few basics.

As a general rule of thumb, most schools ask for:

  • Water
  • Non-perishable snack
  • Flashlight
  • Thermal silver blanket
  • Rain poncho

As the emergency preparedness experts, St. John Ambulance B.C./Yukon has a full range of products that fit the bill if you need a little extra help crossing “Emergency Preparedness kit” off your to do list, starting with our Back to School Emergency Preparedness Kit. But there are a few more items you should consider including that will help keep your child both comfortable and comforted, like a toy, a hand-written letter, and a change of clothes.

Something to keep in mind as you’re preparing your child’s kit is that it should be stocked with enough supplies to keep your child self-sufficient for at least 72 hours. This is a good reminder for when you’re evaluating your own Emergency Preparedness kit at home.

And if you’re serious about being prepared, then you should check out our full list of different emergency preparedness kits online.