Please see below for classroom opportunities, updates and spotlights regarding environmental education.
Saanich School Park Stewardship Program – As you may have heard we are working on expanding the Saanich School Park Stewardship program that will connect schools with parks in their neighbourhood in which they can work as stewards to help protect the area. If you are interested in having your school connected with a nearby Saanich Park then please contact Aaron (firstname.lastname@example.org) for more information. We are hoping to expand to include Victoria, Oak Bay, Esquimalt and View Royal soon so if your school is in these areas please feel free to reach out as well.
Environmental Plan – As you may know we are working at a district level to develop an environmental plan that will help reinforce and support the great work that is happening in the district. We have been developing specific district goals and are planning to have them finalized by this spring. We look forward to sharing those with you soon as we know that they are important to add further support to the great work that you are doing with your students as well as to provide direction as we aim to be more sustainable as a district.
Nearby Nature Film Festival – We NEED you and more importantly we need the story of the work that you are doing with your students. Once again we are planning our film festival which will be taking place at the end of May but we need to know the number of entries that we will be sharing. If you are able to document and share your students experiences please contact Aaron Maxwell or Dave Shortreed and let us know. Also if you have a story, but are not sure how to document the work, please contact about some potential solutions for that.
We are very happy to offer the third year of our Dream Big program. This program started with 6 classes in the pilot year, then last year we grew to 24 classes, and this year we have 45 spots for classes to come and take advantage of this partnership between the district, the RBCM and the IMAX theatre. Throughout the month of May, three classes per day will be working together to learn about potential sustainable solutions to some of the challenges that we are currently facing as a society. Students will watch the film “Dream Big” and then work in teams to imagine, develop and sometimes build their ideas so that they can share them with each other.
On November 7 our first school group was able to get out on the Salish Sea and take advantage of our district partnership with Eagle Wing Tours and the Royal BC Museum. Students from James Bay elementary were able to spend the morning in a floating classroom and explore kelp forests, Race Rocks Ecological Reserve and spent time observing seals, sea lions, sea otters, humpback whales and a variety of seabirds. It was an amazing morning an part of a three week program that helps students connect with this magical ecosystem that surrounds us. The program culminates in April at the Royal BC museum where all of the classes (up to 800 students) will have a chance to share and learn from each other. Each group will produce and share an artifact(s) of their learning from this program by putting those artifacts into the various collections in the museum itself.
Groups will be headed out every Wednesday until Spring Break and we know that each trip will be different but they all promise to build a sense of connection to this special place and hopefully start to nurture the future stewards of the Salish Sea!
Hanging out with Ollie and Sea Otter at Race Rocks We were lucky enough to spend time with a couple of humpback whales near Race Rocks