Meaningful engagement… what difference does it make?

Welcome to our Learning Forward BC, October 2015, e-newsletter.

cropped-cropped-screen-shot-2015-06-17-at-1-43-57-pm.png This issue is dedicated to engagement. We invite you to explore the articles and videos that capture some of the ways learning and teaching experiences are supported by a focus on engagement. When you consider the idea of meaningful engagement, what comes to mind, what are the ways in which your organization is leveraging meaningful engagement? What difference is this focus making to the experiences of all stakeholders, in the places we call school?

Screen Shot 2015-10-18 at 12.47.16 PM  President’s Message, Sue Elliott

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” (Maya Angelou)

The October 1, 2015 session on student engagement, co-sponsored with the BCPVPA, was a powerful learning experience for all. Click to view the story “Perspectives on Student Engagement” on Storify

Engaging students and adult learners requires each of us to reflect upon what learning experiences have had a powerful impact upon our own learning, experiences that have tapped our passions, or inspired us to challenge our thinking and be innovative in our practice.

I often ask individuals if they know of a student who has had a less than positive school experience, who has had a ‘wasted year,’ or felt ‘pushed out of the school system.’ It is disheartening to learn that most know of a situation that has impacted a student and or family system in many negative ways. Is this acceptable, when we all know that positive, engaging, classrooms and schools abound?

How is it that negative learning experiences exist? I believe that support for students must include quality professional learning that engages all educators in acquiring the knowledge, skills and confidence required to provide a positive learning experience for all students. So often a core aspect is how educators form a relationship with students and their families, how teachers are able to bring together students with similar interests, how leadership in schools support teachers with similar passions, and districts support schools as they strive to provide engaging learning experiences.

Learning Forward BC seeks to engage educators from a variety of roles in networks to share stories of successful professional learning experiences that have impacted student and educator learning. If you have stories to share, please contact one of our board members. We look forward to hearing from you.

Uncovering Passion in Learning

An interview with students and parents
from SAIL (Surrey Academy of Innovative Learning), Surrey SD #36

Students from the Grade 8 & 9 STEAMX and STEM classes at Surrey’s SAIL program, engage in a conversation about learning with Learning Forward BC executive and board members Trudean Andrews, Leanna Garner, Karen Fadum and Karen Steffensen.

In the following video, a parent of one of the students in the Grade 8 & 9 STEAMX program shares her excitement about her son’s renewed passion and engagement with learning and his schooling experience. Together we explore what might be the enabling factors behind this change.

Heart & Mind Conference 2015

Overview by Kathy Shier, VP at Fleetwood Park Secondary, SD #36

Having recently attended the Heart & Mind 2015: Human Connection in Digital World conference put on by the Dalai Lama Center for Education and Peace, my quiet thinking time has been overwhelmed in questions. How do we help learners to develop self-regulation skills, empathy, compassion (and other moral intelligences) in an ever changing technological world and increase their engagement in learning while doing so? How do we re-engage parents in our school community?

Kim Schonet-Reichl of UBC presented research on the decline of empathy in youth since the year 2000 and the relationship between a lack of human connection to one’s physical health.  In a breakout group on the second day of the conference a member of the group spoke to the decline of parent participation and attendance at school events and the impact it is having on student engagement and student success.  It is my hope and belief that in developing moral intelligence with in our student population we will further connect students to us and engage them in our curricular studies.

I am left wondering more about the impact the decline in parent involvement in a child’s education is having on their engagement / commitment to learning. I am wondering how we can secure greater parent participation in our schools and attendance at our school events deepening a child’s skills in self-regulation & compassion and their engagement in our schools.

What are your thoughts?

Sea to Sky

Sea to Sky Learning Connections: Home of Cultural Journeys K-6, Learning Expeditions 7-12, Alternative and Online Schools in SD48. Deeper learning by design.

On September 10, 2015 Sea to Sky’s new Programs of Choice, Cultural Journeys and Learning Expeditions held their first school wide event: Learning Community Day.


Students, staff, and parents came together for a morning of activities where they collaborated on the questions: what is a learning community and what does it look, sounds and feel like.

To learn more about the ways in which they are exploring how passion, connectivity, and meaningful collaboration successfully fuels engagement, click here. To follow their journey on Twitter, click here.

FitKids Program, Engaging the Leadership Capabilities in all Learners

Chris Baldry, Principal of Chimney Hill Elementary, Shares their School Story of Engagement


At Chimney Hill Elementary, staff and students are redefining their views on leadership, turning the experience into an opportunity for all learners to find the leader within themselves. Through FitKids, an initiative involving all the senior grade level students partnering with their younger learning buddies, students engage in building a culture of caring, contribution and healthy participation through physical activity. Click here to read more…


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