Thursday, April 30, 2015

2015 Network Symposium May 8 & 9

The Network Symposium – Passion and Purpose: Making it Real – is now just a week away on May 8 & 9. We’ve now posted the Program Summary – check out the amazing line up of speakers, school team presentations, flash chats and opportunities for networking and collaboration. Come ready to share the ways in which passion and purpose are coming to life for your learners.

We’ll also be joined by over 20 students from Grades 6 – 10 who will act as embedded journalists during the symposium and whose voices will add an important dimension to our discussions.

Still need to book a hotel room? Please see the updated hotel booking information

Not yet registered? Please don't delay as we're near capacity:

Hope to see you next week! Any questions? Please contact Donna Weaving, Network Coordinator,

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Update to Hotel Booking Information for May 8-9 Symposium

We're looking forward to seeing you on May 8-9 at the NOII Symposium!
The Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel in Richmond is now full, but their sister hotel, the Sheraton (just a few steps away on the same property) is booking overflow rooms for us at $155.00.

To book your room at the Sheraton Vancouver Airport Hotel (7551 Westminster Highway, Richmond, BC) call 1-800-663-0299 or local number 604-273-7878. To ensure reservations are made under the correct block and rate, state you are with “NOII Symposium 2015”.

If you have not yet registered for the Symposium, please hurry as very limited spots remain.  Visit to register online. 

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Ins-PI-red Learning in Langley

We recently heard about a very neat project led by Ann Pimentel, Resource and LA Teacher with the Langley School District.  Ann has been leading the ins-PI-re Project in the district, an inclusive curriculum where elementary students learn about computer programming through a 'credit-card-sized-single-circuit-computer' called a Raspberry Pi. This is really innovative work, which Ann blogs about here. Ann also provides professional development workshops for educators and others in the community.

Earlier this month, as part of their NOII/AESN inquiry, Ann coordinated an ins-PI-er workshop at James Kennedy Elementary, in collaboration with their Aboriginal program. Students learned about coding in Python and coding the Fibonnaci sequence throughout the day. It seemed like a wonderful day of learning and sharing with coding experts and community members. But don't take my word for it -- check out this amazing trailer of the day to see more!

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Registration is almost full for 2015 NOII Symposium - May 8 & 9

If you are planning to attend the 2015 NOII Symposium taking place on May 8 & 9th, please register now as remaining spaces are very limited. This year's theme is Purpose and Passion: Making it Real -- come prepared for an engaging two days of sharing, networking and learning from colleagues across BC and the Yukon - as well as from researchers and thinkers from around the world.

2015 NOII Symposium
Purpose and Passion: Making it Real
Friday, May 8th - 8:30am - 4:00pm
Saturday, May 9th - 8:45am - 12:30pm
Register online: 

Hilton Vancouver Airport Hotel
5911 Minoru Blvd, Richmond, BC
Book Hotel Room Reservations online

 This year's event will feature a number of speakers, including:
  • Scott Benwell, Superintendent, Vancouver Island North School District (#85)
  • Bob Blacker, Write to Read Project for First Nations Communities
  • Jo-Anne Chrona, Curriculum Coordinator, First Nations Education Steering Committee
  • Maureen Dockendorf, Superintendent of Reading, Ministry of Education
  • Sherry Elwood, Superintendent, Comox Valley School District (#71)
  • Suzanne Hoffman, Superintendent, Langley School District (#35)
  • David Istance, OECD's Centre for Educational Research and Innovation
  • Ben Jensen, CEO, Learning First, Melbourne, Australia
  • Anthony McKay, CEO of the Centre for Strategic Innovation, Melbourne, Australia
We are excited to be joined by 24 students from Grades 6 to 10 who will be acting as embedded journalists during the symposium and whose voices will add an important dimension to our discussions. We are also pleased that there will be 15 school teams sharing the focus of their inquiry work - from Vancouver Island North to Burnaby, Comox Valley to Okanagan Falls - and many places in between. Also joining us will be 10 educators  from England who are part of the Whole Education Network. Their schools are part of a pilot initiative using the spiral of inquiry and they are coming to learn with us and also to share what they are doing in their schools to create greater equity and quality. Finally, there will be lots of opportunities for networking, connecting and sharing passion and purpose through a series of flash chats. Space is limited, so register soon!

Any questions? Contact Donna Weaving, Network Coordinator,

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

How Springwood Middle Incorporated the First Peoples Principles of Learning

A key aspect of the Network has always been the sharing of learning and experiences of Network schools. Network members embrace talking about how their work is going at various points during the school year, as well as through the submission of yearly case studies. This sharing is vitally important. Not only does it reinforce a culture of collaboration, but it allows for collective troubleshooting, support and refinement of practices.

We know that many schools are working on integrating the First Peoples Principles of Learning (FPPL) into all aspects of teaching, so we wanted to share how Springwood Middle School (now reconfigured as Springwood Elementary) in SD #69 Qualicum, integrated the FPPL school-wide last year, as well as embraced a truth and reconciliation approach to teaching about residential schools. They started with a specific, straightforward inquiry focus:

“How can we create an integrated, welcoming and all-inclusive community for our learners that values First Nations teachings within the diversity?”

Springwood Middle incorporated the FPPL posters and BC Map of First People into all classrooms and linked the resources to lessons throughout the fall. With Truth and Reconciliation events taking place across BC, and with many of the school district’s community members involved in events, students showed a general curiosity toward what they were witnessing.  As Springwood’s case study notes, students “wanted to understand what was happening and why.”  Students had “many questions about the residential school system for First Peoples along with more general inquiries that fell into three categories: heritage, culture and traditions, and land connections.”

As a result, the inquiry team responded to this curiosity by first presenting a series of lessons about residential schools and then inviting residential school survivors to share their stories with students. This was to align with one of the First Peoples Principles of Learning, which states: “learning ultimately supports the well-being of the self, the family, the community, the land, the spirits, and the ancestors.”

In order to address the need to be “all inclusive,” as outlined in their inquiry, staff members were careful to use a common language – for all students and adults – when engaging with the material. Students also tracked their learning progress using a simple scale: Emerging Awareness, Acquiring Awareness, and Deep Awareness. Regular check-ins with students allowed for learning to be structured and well designed to meet their evolving needs.

A really interesting professional learning that emerged was around how this inquiry approach was also helping prepare the middle school learners for coming transitions: “we learned that preparing children well by answering their questions about important social and cultural experiences is a profoundly effective way to prepare them for transitions, building confidence and sustaining curiosity.”  What a wonderful bit of learning to discover.

To read more about this inquiry, you can access Springwood Middle’s case study.