Tag Archives: HRSB

Halifax Citizen: Skills for success

Winners of the 2015 HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College, first place Chandler Slater from CP Allen, third place Tyler Slaunwhite from Halifax West and second place Matthew Devoe, also from Halifax West photographed with Shane Butler, Regional Manager of the Carpenters Union (Atlantic Canada Regional Council). (L-R)
Winners of the 2015 HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College, first place Chandler Slater from CP Allen, third place Tyler Slaunwhite from Halifax West and second place Matthew Devoe, also from Halifax West photographed with Shane Butler, Regional Manager of the Carpenters Union (Atlantic Canada Regional Council). (L-R)

High school students from Halifax Regional School Board put their carpentry skills to the test during the 2015 HRSB Regional Skills Competition in Lower Sackville last month.

“We’re really excited to have seven schools represented from all over HRM,” says Bev Young, director of Carpenter Millwright Trades College (CMTC). Up from four schools in 2014, the 11 students arrived at CMTC for 7:30 a.m. and were given a blueprint, tasked with building a garden shed using materials donated by Atlantic Canada Regional Council.

HRSB high schools students, representing seven schools, competed in the 2015 HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College. First place CP Allen student Chandler Slater and second place Matthew Devoe, from Halifax West will go to the provincial competition later this year. Third place was awarded to Tyler Slaunwhite, from Halifax West.
HRSB high schools students, representing seven schools, competed in the 2015 HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College. First place CP Allen student Chandler Slater and second place Matthew Devoe, from Halifax West will go to the provincial competition later this year. Third place was awarded to Tyler Slaunwhite, from Halifax West.

“The roof rafters are a little bit tricky, but I have them under control now,” says Zack Harnish, a Grade 11 student from Cole Harbour High School.

It’s Harnish’s first year in the competition and he says he expects to have the roof on by end of day. “I built a lot of stuff like this with my dad and my grandfather,” says Harnish.

“3:30 p.m. is tools down,” says Young. She says while some will be close to completion, they don’t expect the students to finish.

The structure is similar to last year’s dog house, but four feet taller. The scaled-up challenge was chosen to give finalists an advantage at provincials and nationals.

“For those who move onto provincials, they’ll likely do a dog house … they’ll have an advantage because they will have already encountered something bigger,” explains Young. “If they go to nationals, he or she has to build a shed or playhouse, bigger than this, so we said lets give them the scope of what they’re to expect at a national level … and see how they rise to the challenge.”

Returning competitor, Donovan Linfield from Eastern Shore District High School says he prefers the garden shed project. “It’s more up to your height, so you’re not bent over.”

HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College, first place Chandler Slater from CP Allen will go onto represent HRSB in the provincial carpentry skills competition later this  year.
HRSB Regional Skills Competition at Carpenter Millwright Trades College, first place Chandler Slater from CP Allen will go onto represent HRSB in the provincial carpentry skills competition later this year.

Key competition factors include accuracy, measurements, neatness and safety. “All big factors, but end of the day, the main objective is to give an experience of competition and showing off their skills; learning where they can improve; and the carrot of course, is moving onto the provincial competition,” says Young.

“A skills competition is really not a test, even though it feels like one,” says instructor and judge, Elliott Boudreau. “You’re leaving with a lot more knowledge and skills than you came here with.”

Read the full story in the Community Herald.

Remembering through the eyes of our students and teachers

IMG_9704Every November my daughter’s school shares in one of the many poignant, heart-felt and emotional Remembrance Day ceremonies enfolding across Canada.

The luxury of freelancing allowed me to watch and capture some of these moments; weaving In Flanders Fields with original poetry, song and Terry Kelly’s video, A Pittance of Time, before a trumpet played The Last Post, followed by silence and then O Canada.

I wanted to share with some of my parent-pals who may have missed this morning.

The school sings ‘We Shall Overcome’ in unison: Poem: Remembrance Day From The Eyes Of A Child: 

To watch Terry Kelly’s video, click the pict:

A Pittance of Time

Commmunity Herald: Lights off, green on!

The energy dashboard is lit and students at Prince Andrew High School in Dartmouth are making the connection between their power to reduce power, for a better future.

Students, teachers and energy officials helped launch the first of 40 energy dashboards to be completely operational by the end of this school year.  As part of the Lights Off – Green On! energy efficiency initiative, 90 schools are preparing to install the real-time dashboards by 2017, plugging in HRSB students and staff to their direct impact on energy, water and gas consumption.

The energy dashboard shows the school's water consumption in terms of how many bathtubs have been filled by 11 a.m.
The energy dashboard shows the school’s water consumption in terms of how many bathtubs have been filled by 11 a.m.

“Right now we’re lighting 6,664 light bulbs,” explained Lee Anne Amaral, Vice Principal at Prince Andrew.  It’s 11:15 a.m. on Wed. Oct. 8 and the school is in full energy mode and the dashboard shows they’ve already used enough water to fill 43 bathtubs. The dashboard has been aptly placed in a freshly painted bright green trophy case outside the cafeteria, the perfect location, she says, to invoke conversations about electricity demand.

IMG_9160
Vice principal Lee Anne Amaral says one of the biggest differences noticed, is the high electricity consumed on weekends. “It raises questions about electricity usage and what can we do to help out,” she says.

“We have more than 900 students.  They’ll come down and look at the dashboard … they’ll look at the weather and once you get to the bars you can see a comparison of one week to another,” says Amaral.

She says a PD Day last week sparked great curiosity amongst the students.  “I probably had 30 students here wondering why we didn’t use water last Monday … I asked them, did none of you use the bathroom?” she laughs.

Click for complete story.

Click the pict to take a peak at Prince Andrew’s dashboard:dashboard

 

Community Herald: Why not walk to school?

Basinview Drive Community School students Kate, Rory and Gillian participating in the launch of International walk to school month (IWALK) on Oct. 2 and say they enjoy walking to school, “rain or snow.”
Basinview Drive Community School students Kate, Rory and Gillian participating in the launch of International walk to school month (IWALK) on Oct. 2 and say they enjoy walking to school, “rain or snow.”

October is International Walk to School Month and students at Basinview Drive Community School took to the sunny streets of Bedford on Oct. 2 for the official launch.

Amidst morning commuters, yellow buses and early autumn sunshine, students shuffled their way to the LeBrun Centre and Atwood Terrace cul-de-sac, to make the walk along with school principal Ken Marchand and a few teachers.

“We walk to school everyday in any weather … but not hail or lightning storms,” says grade six student Gillian and her sister Rory.  Their friend Kate says her walk usually takes about 20 mins.  “We like walking to school, but not really in the winter because it’s cold,” smiles Gillian.

Kothai Kumanan made a special drive to get her kids to the IWALK launch.  She lives at the other end of Bedford and her children are usually bussed.  “If I could walk more, I would,” says her grade four daughter, Meera O’Neill.

Students from Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford gather to launch International walk to school month (IWALK), including Leah Castel with her children Mitchell and Jane.
Students from Basinview Drive Community School in Bedford gather to launch International walk to school month (IWALK), including Leah Castel with her children Mitchell and Jane.

International Walk to School Month (IWALK) aims to encourage students to walk to school as an active healthy living and sustainable transportation activity. Hosted by Halifax Regional School Board, along with the Halifax Regional Policy, Halifax Municipality, RCMP, the Ecology Action Centre and Child Safety Link, Trish Smith of HRSB says, “it is also an opportunity to promote road safety for both pedestrians and motorists.”

Basinview Drive Community School is one of Ecology Action Centre’s travel planning schools and Janet Barlow says they’ve created an active transportation plan for the school community and have been putting place initiatives to try and get more kids walking and biking to school.

“We try to walk as often as we can and we often bring a couple other children along,” says Leah Castel.  Her children, Jane and Mitchell walk about a kilometre and half everyday.  “It takes about 25 mins.  We bundle up and we go … October is a great month because you’re not overheating and it’s a great way to start the day with fresh air, activity and it gets the brain started … and it gets the dog walked!”

About 400 students, or two-thirds of the student population are walkers, according to Marchand, who joined the event.  “There are routes and pathways throughout the community and parents tend to walk with their kids … they have conversations with their children, find rocks and it provides fond memories for children and their parents,” says Marchand.

Click here for Community Herald story.

Top three mission of IWALK, according to Janet Barlow at Ecology Action Centre:

  1. It’s about the environment: “We care about reducing the amount of cars on the road, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions that come from that, and biking and walking is one way to do that.”
  2. It’s about safety: “Pedestrian safety is a big issue in Halifax, especially around crosswalks.  We want to make it safe for kids to do this.”
  3. It’s about physical activity: “Our kids don’t get enough physical activity and the walk to and from school each day can actually provide a large portion of the daily physical activity recommendation, which is about 60 mins.”

Community Herald: How does your community garden grow? The ABCs and 123s of school gardening

Halifax West Learning Centre teacher Jenn Bennett with  EPA Glendalee Clattenburg and students Fallon Osmond, Andrew Conners and Umar Ali (L-R).
Halifax West learning centre teacher Jenn Bennett with EPA Glendalee Clattenburg and students Fallon Osmond, Andrew Conners and Umar Ali (L-R).

Students love anything dirty, messy and outdoors, according to Jenn Bennett. “So what more can you ask for then a school garden project,” exclaims the learning centre teacher from Halifax West High School.

But there’s plenty more than seeds rooting beneath the soil of the students’ raised-bed, low maintenance gardens.

“A lot of students these days don’t know where their food comes from besides what they see in the grocery store … so it’s really great to know that they can be in charge and take ownership of the process involved in making some of the food they consume,” says Bennett. She says there’s also a lot of learning to be thrown in. “As far as measurements and weather systems, food, nutrition and even art … oodles and oodles of stuff you can hide in there!”

Over at CP Allen High School, students are preparing a garden of their own. “Right now they’re measuring and doing some science. They’re measuring every 12 inches and plotting out squares for each vegetable,” says Jill White, the HRSB school nutritionist, as she watches the learning centre students digging and planting amid an early June mist.

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“The garden gives a great opportunity for teaching that food comes from the ground, not a package. But it also builds independence and self-confidence,” says White.

These two high schools are among 32 schools awarded grants for gardening this year. “We supported schools with close to $20,000 in garden grants through the Department of Health and Wellness,” says White.

Emanuel has created a Google Calendar for anyone interested in volunteering. For more info or to volunteer email: letsgetgrowingcpa@gmail.com

Full story here.