December 11th, 2017

IN THIS ISSUE: (click CONTINUE READING below to access links.)


Dear Parents and Guardians,

What a busy time of year it is at Jessie Lee as teachers continue to engage students in rich and meaningful learning tasks, communicate student learning, and prepare for our Winter Concert and Spirit Days.  I invite you to scroll down and continue reading for more details on all of these.

I also want to thank our PAC Executive and all the parents who came out to our evening PAC Meeting last week.  Jessie Lee has seen many changes, new teachers, new staff, two new divisions, and a new office space.  Teachers are working together to plan and implement Ministry and District curriculum and assessment initiatives; they continue to meet regularly, collaborate, and attend district in-services and workshops.   With these changes come many questions and concerns.  I want to ensure you that your children are in good hands and their safety and learning comes first.  Together we are working to have a great year!


I also want to send our best wishes to our teacher librarian, Madame Sproule, who is recovering from surgery and, if all goes well, will be back on the 18th.  And a big thank you to our temporary office ladies, Mrs. Gail Gilmore and Ms. Robin Brown who have been doing a fantastic  job.  Thank you!

Sincerely, Kelli Vogstad



Jessie Lee students showed their generosity and thoughtful shopping prowess as they carefully selected their holiday purchases.  Our PAC’s Christmas Store was a big success!  Thank you to all those who donated items and to all those who volunteered!


Buddy, our Elf on the Shelf, continues to show up in the most unusual places.  He was even spotted outside on the weekend on the playground slide and on Madame Sproule’s computer in the library reading our school blog.


Our Jessie Lee teachers continue to engage our students in all kinds of curriculum tasks.  Students are working on developing their  Core Competencies across the curriculum every day in school.


Student work displayed on hallway bulletins also show evidence of learning.  We invite you to drop by and have a peek.



SPIRIT DAYS: Ten Days of Christmas!

Dear Parents/Guardians:

The Jessie Lee Student Leadership Team has been hard at work planning an exciting and fun last two weeks before we are off to winter break.  Each day will have a different Spirit Day theme and students can visit the Leadership table in the primary playground to collect stickers for every day they dress up.  Students will also be collecting donations of canned goods for our local food bank and donations of money for our school lunch program.

Our list of events will be as follows . . .

    • Monday, December 11, 2017:  Christmas Headwear
    • Tuesday, December 12, 2017:  Crazy Sock Day
    • Wednesday, December 13, 2017: Hawaiian Day
    • Thursday, December 14, 2017:  Card Making Day
    • Friday, December 15, 2017:  White, Red, and Green Day
    • Monday, December 18, 2017:  Decorate Yourself Day
    • Tuesday, December 19, 2017:  Twin Day
    • Wednesday, December 20, 2017:  Ugly Sweater Day
    • Thursday, December 21, 2017:  Formal Wear Day
    • Friday, December 22, 2017: Pyjama Day!


We can’t wait to see everyone dressed up!

Yours sincerely,
The Jessie Lee Student Leadership Team


COMMUNICATING STUDENT LEARNING: Proficiency Scales vs Letter Grades

This week, on Wednesday, December 13th, students with FreshGrade portfolios will bring home a short “check-in” notice with an invitation to confirm that you have checked your child’s portfolio. I have access to all our student portfolios and continue to monitor and work with our teachers as they document their students’ progress and learning.

Students whose teachers have made the professional choice to not use FreshGrade, will be bringing home a CSL report. In both cases, if you have any questions, or would like to meet with your child’s teacher, please contact your child’s teacher to make an appointment.

Teachers at Jessie Lee have engaged in conversations regarding the use of letter grades in communicating student progress in the Intermediate Grades. We know that there is a substantial amount of research indicating that external rewards and letter grades are detrimental to student learning. As well, letter grades can often be subjective, while not truly communicating the progress your child has made in relation to learning objectives.  The issue of letter grades for elementary students has always been divisive. The teachers at Jessie Lee are aware of a significant body of research that indicates that:

Grades tend to reduce students’ interest in learning itself
Grades tend to reduce students’ preference for challenging tasks
Grades tend to reduce the quality of students’ thinking

Rather than using letter grades, some teachers will be using the District’s Proficiency/Performance Scales and will provide you with descriptive feedback regarding where your child is, what s/he is working towards, and the ways that learning can be supported. If a parent requests a letter grade, the teacher will provide one.

Screen Shot 2017-12-11 at 7.04.34 AM

Screen Shot 2017-12-10 at 11.14.51 AM

Read more about letter grades:

From Grading to De-Grading
Do Grades Do Any Good?
Can We Get Beyond Letter Grades?

In the new year, we will be planning and holding an evening Community Forum to share to learn more about British Columbia’s new curriculum and changes to how teachers are assessing and communicating student learning. Some of Jessie Lee’s teachers will be on hand to share information and facilitate discussion. Stay tuned!

VIDEO OF THE WEEK: The Surprising Thing About What Motivates Us





Over the past few weeks, the students of Div. 1, 2, and 3 have been participating in the Young Entrepreneurs program. Students have explored the world of business through hands on activities. Each student has produced a product, created a business model, and chosen how to market their product. The final showcase at the end of this week will be a chance for students to sell their products and gain real-life business experience.

Here are some of our eye-catching entrepreneurs’ posters displayed in our hallways, advertising their products.


We invite all Jessie Lee students, families and friends, to the final show, Friday, December 15th starting at 9:30 a.m. in our school gym.  Every class will have an opportunity to visit the market.  Student products range from $1.00 – $5.00.

We hope to see you there!
Div. 1,2, and 3 Students



Screen Shot 2017-12-09 at 9.13.37 PMOur Winter Concert will take place on Wednesday, December 20th with shows at 12:45 and 6:00 p.m. A ticket order form was sent home with students on Wednesday, December 6th. If you did not receive one, please drop by the office.  

Christmas Concert 2017 order form

We are asking $1.00 per ticket in support of our snack and hot lunch for kids program.  Ticket money will be collected at the door.  Please bring the exact change.  As well the school will be accepting donations of non-perishable food items for the Surrey Food Bank at all performances. Thank you!

Order forms are due Wednesday, December 13th.

Tickets will be sent home with students on Monday, December 18th.

Please call the office at 604-531-8833 if you have any questions. Thank you!


QUOTE OF THE WEEK: Holiday Spirit



11-Federal Election – Gym
11-Spirit Day – Christmas Headwear
12-Spirit Day – Crazy Sock Day
13-Spirit Day – Hawaiian Day
14-Spirit Day – Card Making Day
15-Spirit Day – White, Red, and Green Day
15-Div. 1,2, and 3’s Young Entrepreneurs’ Market – Gym 9:30 am
18-Spirit Day – Decorate Yourself Day
18-PAC Christmas Bake Sale
19-Spirit Day – Twin Day
20-Spirit Day – Ugly Sweater Day
20-Winter Concert 12:45 and 6:00
21-Spirit Day – Formal Wear Day
22-Spirit Day – Pyjamas Day
22-Last day of classes before Winter Break
25-Winter Break begins
5-Last Day of Winter Break
8-Welcome Back! First day of school in 2018
16-Early Dismissal for program evaluation
12-Family Day – Classes not in session
16-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
19-29-Spring Break
30-Good Friday
2-Easter Monday
4-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
21-Victoria Day – Classes not in session
23-Welcome to Kindergarten – 12:30-2:30 pm
28-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
28-Last Day of classes
28-Early Dismissal for program evaluation
28-Student Learning Communications sent home
29-Administration Day – Classes not in session for students


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