Mailbox for our Program


Our “mailbox” or “drop box” to pick up and drop off forms, assignments, etc., will be outside at the front door of the school starting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

I have decided to label it “Shannon’s Drop Box.”  I decided this because I think that no matter what iteration of of our name I labeled it, i.e. “Home Learner’s box,” or “Home Learner’s Program box,”  or “H.L. box,” there would be someone from one of the mainstream classes who is currently doing the transition choice who will be confused and think the box is for them.  So, look for the “Shannon’s Drop Box” label on the lid and side of the bin!

Class Welcome and Introductions

In this very strange covid situation, some students will be returning to programming at Beaconsfield, some won’t, and some may at a later date.  I know when I am meeting people, I like to be able to put a face to a name, and I know all the students are curious about who is in their group this year!

I’m asking parents to email me a photo of (each) your children.  Head shots/faces are best.  I am going to put the photos into a little welcome and intro presentation for our students.  Your child(ren)’s photo will not be shared outside the group nor used for any other purposes unless I contact you and get express approval to do so (which sometimes happens, but rarely).

I hope that by making a presentation to send out that the students will feel more like this is “their” group and class and feel more a part of what is going on.  It is hard to build community during this darned pandemic!

Thank you in advance for sending your photo and if I may, I’m asking for photos to be sent by Friday, September 18th.

Thanks Kindly,


September 11, 2020

Entering the heading to this blog post, it suddenly hit me what day it is today.  It is this day that changed the course of my life.  As I sat in the media room with colleagues at my corporation watching events unfold, attempting to track down my cousin whose office was in one of those buildings, our VP walked in and commented that we had better things to do than waste our time watching that.  I knew in that split second that I needed to make a change. The rest, as they say, is history.  I’m sending out positive thoughts to everyone who has feelings and memories from this day.

A couple of items for today:

I am making some of our regular paper forms, such as the Allotment Request Form and others as they arise, into fillable PDFs.  As soon as I have them ready to go, I’ll upload them to this blog and people will be able to fill them in and email them to me.

I know not everyone has a printer/scanner or can necessarily afford to be printing out documents and materials I send out.  I am putting  “Mailboxes” outside at the front door of the school for people to drop off forms, documents, school work, etc.  I will also be able to leave paper documents, materials, etc. in the mailbox for you to pick up – I will have one for pick up, and one for drop off.  The mailboxes will be at the front door from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. Monday to Friday.  I can’t leave them out in the evening as they are likely to disappear.  I have been providing envelopes to people who are meeting me face-to-face for their SLP meeting, as a courtesy, in case people want to drop off their Activation Assignments.  Please clearly label whatever you drop off for me as other teachers will be using the drop-off box.

Finally,  I believe everyone was sent a health and safety document from our administration that needs to be signed and returned to me.  I have been advised that everyone needs to sign this.  Please either sign, scan, and email it back to me, sign and drop it off, or bring it with you to our Student Learning Plan meeting. Health & Safety Letter

Thank you, and have a good weekend!




Wednesday, September 9

Good morning!

I have a couple of items for now that I want to share with everyone.  The first thing, as we start our Student Learning Plan meetings tomorrow, is that for the families meeting me on school grounds at the “picnic table,”  I have changed that a bit.  I will be putting a table and chairs at the front north-east corner of the front yard of the school – where there are large cedar trees and grass. Right at the corner of Penticton Street and 20th Avenue, just inside the fence. For returning families, this area is where you picked up your year end report cards and school work.  Also, just a friendly reminder to not enter the school building itself if you aren’t sure where to meet me!

I have moved us to this location as some of our meetings at the picnic table would have occurred while students were having recess or lunch times, and no parents or unregistered children are allowed on school grounds at all this year.

The other item is, if you haven’t already received it, there is some information being sent to you from the Principal today.  I asked her to indicate in her email the things that do not pertain to Home Learners.  However, she has a ton on her plate right now, so if anything seems confusing or you think might not apply to you as an HL family, please contact me.    It is common for information on school events and other such things to be sent out that do not pertain to us, for example, parent-teacher meeting early dismissals, or the alphabetized morning attendance for the mainstream classes on Thursday and Friday.  I’m not exactly sure what is being sent out today, so I can’t provide any insight, but please let me know if you have any questions or concerns.  🙂

Enjoy your day!



September 8th! A New School Year Unfolds…

Greetings Families,

Teachers are here in the school today and tomorrow learning the safety protocols, setting up spaces around the school, and getting together the things we need.  At 9:00 a.m. this morning all teachers are in meetings with our Principal, then we are in a meeting with the Superintendent for the rest of the morning.

My goal today is to reach out to as many families as I can – I know how anxious everyone is (including me!) and the lack of information as been excruciating for all of us.  I will also start setting up our Student Learning Plan meetings.  If you haven’t already, please send me your first and second choice of meeting dates and times.  After I have you booked, I will talk to each family directly about how you would like to conduct the meeting – that is, would you like to meet outside at the picnic tables, or meet online on Zoom?  That will determine also how I set up management of your Student Learning Plan and Activation Assignment.

Take a deep breath, enjoy today’s lovely weather, and rest assured you will have more information hopefully by this afternoon.




In the Home Stretch

Honestly, don’t you just love all the media this summer about our education system, and likening home schooling and distributed learning (technically, what our program is deemed to be) to the worst possible outcomes for children and families?  Ah – one must keep a sense of humour!  I just picked out this quote from an editorial in The Tyee, “More fundamentally, parents have not been given reasonable options even if their kids face higher risks from exposure. It’s either follow the plan, or you’re on your own with home schooling or distributed learning.”  I don’t know about you, but I have never felt alone in distributed learning…

This is a good time to share with you that I don’t think families need worry – everything will get settled.  I don’t know anything more than you do about protocols or rules that will be in place.  When I report to work on September 8th, what is known at that point will be shared with staff, and I will share it all with our families.  We will still proceed as usual, starting with the Student Learning Plan meetings – which will either be virtual or held off site( as parents will not be allowed in the school building).  I’m thinking a nice socially-distanced Home Learners picnic to meet and greet and get the school year started with a positive note?  More on that after September 8th.  In the meantime, don’t stress, enjoy the last vestiges of summer, and be safe.  🙂

End of June to September 2020


As this very peculiar school year wraps up, I would like to take this opportunity to let you know how much I enjoyed a year of learning adventures with your children, and how much I appreciate all the support and involvement of the parents.    What a great  community we have in our program!  After today, the school will be closed and all staff away until Tuesday, September 8th, 2020. 

On September 8th, the mainstream school students convene at 9:00 a.m. for a whole-school assembly in the gym to find out their classroom placements.  Home Learners do not attend that day.  As soon as practically possible on the 9th and 10th, I will be contacting all registered student’s families to book or confirm their Student Learning Plan Meetings.  These are very busy days and I will contact everyone as soon as I possibly can.  The Home Learners’ classroom is closed on the 8th, as all staff have meetings immediately following the classroom placement assembly, for the remainder of the day.  It is important to understand that everyone must attend a Student Learning Plan meeting and their child must complete an Activation Assignment before they are fully registered in the program.  That is a Ministry of Education requirement.

As with the rest of the distributed learning world, for Home Learners’, the first weeks of September consist mainly of planning, preparing, and completing individual Student Learning Plans with the teacher, working on and completing each student’s Activation Assignment, and starting (or continuing) their home learning.

Starting immediately, please click onto the calendar page for September to view available dates and times to book for Student Learning Plan meetings in September.  Please email me with your 1st and 2nd choice of Student Learning Plan meeting dates and times.  I will book people into meeting times on a first-come, first-served basis. Although I will not be accessing my VSB email over the summer, your email will be saved and read upon my return in September.  For newly registered families who do not have my email, I will contact you during the first week of the school year.  For Waitlist families, I will also contact you if and when I am able to provide you a placement. Otherwise, I am not able to contact people regarding “where they are on the list.”

I will do my best to book people into their requested meeting times on a first come, first served basis, and will email you confirmation on, or shortly after September 9th.  

In the event we are dealing with covid closures or restricted returns in September, we will still be meeting for our Student Learning Plans, which in that case will be virtual meetings rather than face to face here at school. We will cross that bridge when we come to it.  I have no information regarding plans for opening in the event of a second wave or spike, so if in doubt,  don’t worry, and wait to hear from me in September.  :-). I’m looking forward to seeing everyone again and meeting our new students and families!

Have a fabulous summer everyone!

Epic Info!

Our students have been reading and viewing a lot using Epic!  Since April, they have:

Finished  757  Books                             

Read for 175 Hours


Watched 152 Videos! 

Starting July 1, all families who signed up for remote student access will be able to enjoy Epic Free, which offers every student 2 hours of free weekly reading in a limited library of high-quality educational books. There is nothing else you need to do! Kids can continue reading at home on Epic throughout the summer and beyond simply by logging in through your account.

If you would like your own account to access the entire library and have unlimited use, please go to:

Report Card Pick-Up

This is a friendly reminder that the pick-up time for report cards and student belongings for our program is tomorrow, Tuesday, June 23rd from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Distribution Center which is located at the front of the school, at the door on the North end.

This is the only time for pick-ups.  The rest of the week is booked for other classes for their pick-ups.  Anything not picked up will be here for you in September, safe and sound.  Please also remember to bring a bag with you to take work, art, etc. home.  There is quite a bit of stuff here for me to give out!

I’m looking forward to seeing you tomorrow!


Friday, May 29

Starting on Monday, June 1st, all the teachers and some students will be back in the school building.  During all our virtual classes, like Novel Study, Story Time, Show & Tell and Primary Games, students will be able to see that I am in the classroom.  🙂

By now, I hope that everyone has received the letters regarding the health and safety rules regarding coming to school.  Only those students who identified themselves as returning will be allowed to return.  If students show up who did not identify themselves as returning, they will be asked to go home.  Parents will not be able to enter the school building except by previous appointment through the Principal.  I don’t know yet what the plan will be to pick up student work, belongings, and report cards, but once that is determined, I will let everyone know.

Starting on Monday, the Intermediates will be doing a new Novel Study.  I have booked Novel Study for Mondays and Fridays to ensure that we will complete the book within the month.

I also have Story Time planned for the Primaries (and any Intermediates who enjoy listening to stories), an open Show & Tell for any student who would like to share something they are learning about, or something they made, and a Primary Games time when we will do fun games together.  Please look at the calendar for the days and times of these online programs.

Those students who are attending will attend on Thursdays. There are 5 students returning.  Please be on time for outside pick up by me at 9:00 a.m. and when I bring the students outside to go home at 3:00 p.m.  Please also remember that snack and lunch wrappers, food, etc., needs to be packed up and taken home, and no toys or stuffies from home.  The cloakroom is closed off, so students will be keeping sweaters, backpacks, etc. at their own assigned desk areas.

Wednesday, May 27

So here is something pretty fun!  Chris Hemsworth, Meryl Streep, Ryan Reynolds, Benedict Cumberbatch and many more have come together to read chapters of Roald Dahl’s James and the Giant Peach with Taika Waititi.  You can watch and listen to a chapter at a time, or more if you like.  Enjoy this classic Children’s book with these well-known Actors.

If you would like to supplement the reading with more Roald Dahl information or activities, look here:

This week’s independent study packets:







Tomorrow, Thursday, May 28, information will be coming from the school about what to expect if your child(ren) is/are returning to school next week.  I have been asked to refrain from sharing information before the information from the school goes out, just so everyone has it at the same time, and receives the same messaging.  I’m sure people will have lots of questions, which I will be more than happy to answer.

In the meantime, I want to thank everyone for their time during Portfolio Week and starting next week again, I will again be hosting weekly Show & Tell, Story Time, and Novel Study for students. 🙂

Wednesday, May 20

This Monday, May 25th, our Portfolio Meetings start.  Please ensure you take a look at the calendar and send me your first and second choice of portfolio meeting dates and times.  Now that return to school is slated for June 1st, we need to fit all our meetings into one week.  All meetings will be virtual as we cannot access the school site until June 1st.  Please remember that Portfolio meetings are a mandatory aspect of the program for everyone.

Right now, information, and mis-information, is flying around like the Wicked Witch’s monkeys.  Much of what I hear on the media is speculation rather than information.  As soon as I know anything concrete, any decisions, etc.  I will let you know.  Letters/emails will also be sent directly from the school or the Board.  Please keep in mind that the letters sent from the office are written for the mainstream classroom audience.  As these things unroll, I will clarify how things will look for Home Learners, specifically.

Any questions, concerns, etc., please do not hesitate to contact me.

Here is Week 7 of the Independent Study Packages:








Wednesday, May 13

Let's Talk Science Challenge Online!

I just today received information about this fun program.  The Let’s Talk Science Challenge Online is a STEM enrichment event designed for Grade 6, 7 and 8 but open to all ages!
Each week from April 16 – June 4, students can participate in a weekly virtual quiz show and an at-home engineering challenge. Students will participate with their peers across Canada and have the chance to win prizes! For information on how to register and what you need to do to participate check this out:

We are now on Week 6 (!?!) of the Independent Study Packages.







Finally, this is a friendly reminder to please look at the calendar and book your Portfolio Meeting.  Please leave June 1st and 2nd open, if possible, in case there is some sort of return to classes.  At this point I have no concrete information.  The media continues to speculate and create scenarios to fill the void, but there is nothing to report at all at the moment.  We just continue as is for the time being.

Sports Day!




Beaconsfield’s Sports Day is on Thursday, May 14th.  This year, we will be having a Virtual Sports Day.  In order to create some Beaconsfield spirit, the staff have put together some ideas for activities that you can do to celebrate our Sports Day in a very different way!  You can complete as many as you like!

It looks like the weather will be changing everyday as it usually does in May, so please feel free to video your sports day event (if you are doing one outdoors) on a nice day and save the poster making etc. for the rainy days this week.


  1. A Beaconsfield Sports Day mascot
  2. A Sports Day cheer, song or poem
  3. A Sports Day dance
  4. A Sports Day poster
  5. A Sports Day event (inside or out) and video yourself performing the event
  6. A Sports Day menu that fuels you up for the day. Draw/write down/prepare a Sports Day breakfast, snack and lunch that follows Canada’s food guide.

We are hoping to compile the students work in videos and pictures so we can produce a video (like the one the teachers sent out last week) in order to celebrate Sports Day 2020.  If you would like to contribute a piece of your child’s work, please send a short video (20 seconds maximum) or a photo of your child’s work to Mr. Thomas.  His email address is  Also please indicate in the email that you are giving parental permission for your child’s work to be shared.  This will be a private you tube channel. If you want your child included but not their photo or image, feel free to send a picture of their poster, mascot, poems and menus and it will be added to Virtual Sports Day 2020 video.

Any questions, concerns and any submissions are to be sent to Mr. Thomas ( as the classroom teachers will be busy continuing their regular education opportunities.

Wednesday, May 6

2020 Facebook Banner

Many of our Home Learners have a keen interest in birds.  Did you know that this Saturday, May 9th is World Migratory Bird Day?  Events for Migratory Bird Day start tomorrow, with story times, movies, bird watching, and a live festival on Saturday.  To find out more, and to participate, go to

There are pages of great resources including printable colouring sheets, activities, projects and great information.  Go to the Bird Day Live page for the schedule of story times, movies, and other live events.  Enjoy!

Here are this week’s independent study packets:







Finally,  don’t forget to look at the calendar and send me your first and second choices for your Portfolio Meetings this month.


Monday, May 4

VanDusen Pollinator Days

It is unfortunate that with Covid, our field trip to VanDusen for their Pollinator Days, has been cancelled.  I think that is one of my favourite outings of the school year.  In place of  the field trip, VanDusen has created an online science course, for K – Grade 4 Through their Portal to Nature, students can access the online course Flower to Fruit – an exploration of flowers, seeds, fruit, and the role of pollinators in plant reproduction.  This course uses videos, games, around-the-house activities, and quizzes to keep young learners engaged while also connecting them to nature through a balance of screen time and indoor/outdoor exploration. Many activities are modified from their field trips’ greatest hits, and redesigned for students to do with their families.

As our field trip was already booked and paid for, this online course is, in fact, only available to students from HL, and other schools, who had booked to participate in Pollinator Days.  I have previewed the course and I think it is good.  If you would like this course for your child(ren) please email me and I will send you the sign-in details. A great course to fulfill your child’s Science learning goals!

Engineering and Science Challenges

The Dyson Foundation (yup, the vacuum guy) has created 44 engineering and science activities for children to try at home, from making a balloon-powered car to building a bridge from spaghetti.  The challenges are comprised of 22 science task cards and 22 engineering activities.  All the challenges can be completed by students using common household items.  I’ve been asked about science activities for students by quite a few people, so especially check out the science task cards!


Townhall for Kids with Dr. Bonnie Henry

Townhall for kids with Dr. Bonnie Henry
Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry and Minister of Education Rob Fleming will be answering questions from children about COVID-19 during a virtual town hall that will be live streamed on News 1130’s Facebook page from 1:00 to 2:00 p.m. on May 2. Details about the event and instructions for children to submit questions can be found on City News and News 1130’s website. This is a good opportunity for students to ask questions, and teachers and parents to learn about the pandemic’s impact on children and how to support them through questions submitted by children themselves.

Wednesday, April 29


I have one resource I would like to share with you today, besides this week’s instalment of the Independent Study Packages.  The resource is from The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra.  The Music Teaching & Learning Resources Guide provides a variety of resources such as alphabet songs, learning chants and other fun resources for learning with music.


At our staff meeting this morning, teachers decided that we will be hosting a Virtual Sports Day for everyone!  Braeleen asked me about having a virtual sports day a few days ago – so here it is!  Our regular Sports Day was scheduled for Thursday, May 14th.  The plan is that teachers will be sending all Beaconsfield students our own Virtual Sports Day video (surprise!) and students can send us their own one back!  More details will follow in the days ahead!   😉







Monday, April 27

Welcome to a new week!  I hope everyone is managing to stay well and enjoying your days as much as possible.

Many people have asked me about assessment and year-end reporting.  I will be preparing year-end reports as usual for all our students.  Nothing has changed in terms of the reporting format, so reports will look the same as you are used to.

I have set up Portfolio Meetings on the calendar (May 25th through June 2). Please take a look at the calendar and send me your first and second choices for meeting dates and times, and I will do my best to accommodate everyone’s request.  If we are back in class at that time, we will hold meetings there, if we are not back yet, I will set up individual virtual meetings with everyone.

Just in case we are back at school, I would like to ask everyone to try to book their meetings within the week of May 25-29, if at all possible.  I’m thinking that with all the time students have missed being together, it would be nice to try to add that Monday and Tuesday to each class.  I know this isn’t usually possible, but worth a try!


Celebrate Shakespeare’s Birthday at home on Thursday, April 23

Shakespeare's Birthday at Home #ShareYourShakespeare

Sponsored by The Folger Shakespeare Library and The Royal Shakespeare Company, this virtual birthday event is open to all ages, with every activity including many options for kids and families. Please join us by sharing your creations—from super quick-and-simple ideas to more ambitious ideas—or just get ready to enjoy and revel in others’ contributions. Try any of the following options:

Speak the speech

You may be new to Shakespeare, or you may have a favorite passage. Try a line or a speech and read it aloud. If it means something to you, tell us. Or, with your family or friends, turn a single speech into a group “choral” reading (at home or on Zoom). Check out our short, curated scenes for one or more actors and give it a go.

Strike a pose

Recreate one of our famous Folger Shakespeare bas-reliefs of scenes from the plays—or take a selfie as your favorite Shakespeare character.

Make a picture

Tip your hat to the Bard and his plays with works of art or visual shenanigans, including paintings, drawings, cartoons, photos, dioramas, and more—or put the words of a Shakespeare passage on display in cards, signs, or videos.

Write a sonnet

In keeping with a long-standing Shakespeare’s Birthday Open House tradition at the Folger, write your own 14-line sonnet. We’ve also included other interesting sources about Shakespeare’s sonnets—and the modern-day Pop Sonnets based on pop songs—including episodes from our podcast Shakespeare Unlimited.

Throw a Shakespeare party

Celebrate the Bard’s birthday at home and share some photos! We hope our recipes and other ideas add to the occasion.

Enjoy a virtual event

We’re live on April 23 with talks, #Staxpeditions in our collection, and a Macbeth Watch Party with the cast—on Facebookand YouTube. Tune in!

Still more activities and resources