Welcome Back, Ridgeway!

I want to take a moment to warmly welcome everyone to Ridgeway – whether you’re new, returning, or currently on the transition program at home. I also want to extend a huge thank you to the teachers, admins and other staff who have worked hard to welcome us all back to school in these unusual times.

Since there are many new people at the school, I want to take a moment to share some resources:

While we cannot welcome you this year with a big event, we hope you will still feel welcome!

We encourage you to join us on September 21st for our first virtual PAC meeting & AGM (more details coming soon) to get to know more about the school & the year ahead.

PAC AGM Deferred

My fellow parents,

It is with great reluctance that we have made the decision to cancel, rather than defer, our Spring Fair. Originally scheduled for May 9, this event is beloved by our students, staff, parents, and our wider community. I want to personally thank our Spring Fair Committee for working hard on the event this year, bringing many new ideas and enthusiasm to our planning! We look forward to bringing these ideas to you for next year’s Spring Fair. Similarly, all Bike to School Week activities (traditionally held across BC at the end of May) have been postponed until the Fall – once again, I thank our Bike to School Week committee for all the ideas generated so far to bring the love of biking to our school.

The PAC Board of Directors held a virtual meeting this week to review our finances, to decide on the rest of the year’s events, and to discuss options for what the PAC’s role should be now during this stage of remote learning. Many of us volunteer with the PAC out of a desire to create and support a strong community at Ridgeway and in our neighbourhood. We will do our best to continue this support now. If you don’t already, please follow our PAC Facebook page for community resources and community news.

At this time in the year, we usually have two PAC meetings left in our calendar – one in April and our annual general meeting (AGM) in May. We do not have plans to hold a virtual PAC meeting at this time and our preference would be to have our AGM and to vote in new PAC executives in September, if our bylaws and reporting requirements allow for it.

It has been my true privilege to be your PAC President for the past two years – to get to know so many parents and to help bring together our community. Whoever decides to step into the PAC roles next year, I’ll be there to help!

Although we may be physically apart, together our community is strong. To this end, I want to send out a huge THANK YOU to all the amazing teachers and staff at Ridgeway for the work they have done to help bring some ‘normal’ back into our children’s lives with the remote learning we’ve had so far. This has been a huge undertaking – but so hugely appreciated.

Thanks,
Arieanna

COVID-19 Update

My fellow parents,

With K-12 classes suspended until further notice, I know you have many questions and concerns. Many of you are facing hardship, isolation, or anxiety. Many have questions about what we will do in the coming weeks when our children cannot resume school. I have spoken with our Principal, Dean Yeo, about some of those concerns and am assured the School District is working on a response.

Given the uncertainty of the situation we are all facing, the PAC has done the following:

  • Fun Lunch has been suspended. We will follow the lead of the school district, and re-evaluate Fun Lunch when/if schools re-open this year. If you have ordered fun lunch or snacks for the coming session, your order will be cancelled and the amount will remain as a credit in your munchalunch account and automatically be applied towards future orders – whether those are later this school year, or even next year. If your child is graduating this year, or if you would really like a more immediate refund, please email funlunch@ridgewaypac.org and the PAC will issue you a cheque. Please expect this to take some time, as it requires manual adjustments and volunteer time etc…
  • {Update: events are cancelled} We have hit pause, not cancel, on upcoming PAC events, including our Spring Fair, Bike to School Week, and Pancake Breakfast. We will wait to see how events unfold and will adjust our plans accordingly.
  • We are continuing the detailed planning for our upcoming playground thanks to the generous support of this community. It is likely we will have to delay the build until such time as it is safe for people to gather again.

We will try to share more educational and social resources on our Facebook page.

I also want to take a moment to thank the many parents working the front lines today in hospitals, grocery stores, and childcare services. I also want to thank all those families who are taking the advice to self-isolate and maintain social distance. I know it is not easy to do – and even harder to explain to our children.

In this time, our children will look to us for leadership, guidance, and support. We must look to each other for the same. I encourage you to reach out to others in our community who you suspect may not have very much support. Reach out to parents in your class or parents you know from the playground. Extend a hand in friendship and support. Perhaps relax media rules for children, allowing them to call, FaceTime, or text their friends.

We’re all in this together.

Thanks,
Arieanna

Playground Update

Through the amazing support of this community, we are looking to schedule the build of 2 new play areas this Spring. This is Phase 1 of our playground development project, with 2-3 additional new areas hopefully introduced in the coming year.

The play areas include:

  • Climbing net play structures (2)
  • Teepee
  • Natural log climbing areas (2)
  • Stepping structure
  • Sensory equipment
  • Rubber fall surfacing to make the area wheelchair friendly (all blue areas, river design)

Barring any unforeseen delays or changes to the design (necessitate by budget or final approvals), we are hoping to firm up our schedule for late May / early June, with the final reveal in September 2020 after all the finishing touches have been added. Design not final.

There are many to thank for helping us get to this point, but this project has been moving very quickly this year. In response to the needs of the specific species of trees on our property, we chose to add rubber tire surfacing to protect the trees from foot traffic. The surfacing also helps us achieve a level of accessibility for this area we did not believe we could budget for.

As you can imagine, as our design as evolved, costs have gone up. But so has support – although we do need more! At this time, I’d like to thank the major support we’ve received to date:

You will start to hear a LOT more updates about the playground as we approach the Spring. There will be many requests, including for volunteers or in-kind support.

Questions? Want to help?

If you have questions or want to contribute to this amazing project, please reach out to president@ridgewaypac.org

Playground Phase 2

Our overall design includes new classroom and play areas that have been split into a second Phase of the project, including:

  • An outdoor classroom area near our Welcome Pole
  • An improved boulder / bio swale, with new boardwalk bridge and potential play features
  • Accessible spinners and accessible play surfacing that extends from and around the “blue playground”

Our second phase requires a substantial investment, given the ‘off the shelf’ nature of some of the features. As we have increased the scope of Phase 1, adding in play surfacing and more play features, we have had to use a greater portion of the overall playground fund (meant to support Phase 1 and Phase 2). The phasing of the project also contributes to increased costs.

We still need your support. Our current estimate is that we have raised $177,234 of the estimated $250,000+ we could need – though the amazing partnerships we’ve created means our design is actually worth several times more than what we’re paying.

Donate Now (tax receipts available)

We also welcome corporate partnerships, with the opportunity for recognition and activation at our build and media events.

THANK YOU! Together we are making this amazing project happen.

Parent Education: Blanket Exercise

We are excited to be bringing a very special parent education night to Ridgeway. Led by the Indigenous Education team, the Blanket Exercise is a participatory storytelling of Canada’s history, meant to foster truth and respect among Indigenous and non-indigenous peoples.

MARCH 2
6:30 – 8:30PM
Ridgeway Library
Sign Up  Here 

This event is open to a maximum of 30 people. Please sign up for the waitlist if the event caps out.

This is a very powerful event and a great opportunity for parents who want to learn more about the history of the indigenous people in Canada. We are lucky that our children have been privy to this history as part of their curriculum, but it was absent for many of ours.

You can learn more about the blanket exercise hereYou will be asked to bring a small blanket.

Multicultural Fair Coming Soon

Ridgeway’s second Multicultural Fair is coming soon, celebrating our amazing cultural diversity!

Due to the popularity of this event, we’re making it bigger by shifting to the gym, including:

  • ‘Country’ or regional displays created by individual or groups of families / students (we will help coordinate)
  • Displays ideas include photos, facts, books, toys,  crafts, or bite-size tastes of a regional snack or treat
  • A craft area
  • Beverage sale by the Grade 7s: coffee, juice, carbonated water
  • Sign up to contribute to a table HERE

The Multicultural Fair is held on the evening or our Scholastic Book Fair and is a part of our annual PAC Family Fun Night. You can sign up to help at the book fair HERE.

…. and YES, there’s still a cupcake walk!

What is the cupcake walk?
A cupcake walk is like musical chairs: kids walk around a numbered circle – when the music stops, we draw a winner! The winner gets a plate of cupcakes. All for free! We will need cupcake bakers and volunteers – sign up here.

Bikes for Tykes Drive Dec 6

Your Previously Loved Bike
Tuned & Donated
to a Child in North Vancouver this Christmas

Ridgeway Bikes for Tykes Drive

December 6th 8:15am to 9:00am

Every year, James Wilson and his team at Obsession Bikes receive 100s of donated, previously-loved kids bikes from North Shore families for the Bikes for Tykes Program. The bikes are tuned and made like new for a new child to ride them. Through the work of the Christmas Bureau, these bikes (along with a brand new helmet) are given to kids in our area in time for Christmas, with the majority of recipients being identified through Family Services of the North Shore.

This is a great opportunity for the Ridgeway community to get involved and support a fantastic local initiative. As James described to the entire school during the Bike to School Week assembly back in May, his belief is that every kid deserves to experience the joy and freedom that riding a bike can provide. Not to mention all the places a bike can take us as we grow and keep riding!

This coming Friday December 6th, 8:15 am – 9:00 am, please drop off a bike that your child/children have outgrown, knowing you are helping create an amazing Christmas for some less fortunate child in our neighbourhood. Not to mention, clearing room for the next bike in your home!

*NEW* Playground Fundraiser

Students are coming home this week with a Playground Fundraising form. Please help support them in getting donations for their new playground.

Our current tally is now $12,000 higher thanks to recent donors, including a special thanks to Lynn Johnston Productions. It’s because of all of our current donors and these fundraisers that we are at nearly $140,000 – so close to reaching our goal of $200,000.  Thank you so much!

How the Fundraiser Works

Similar to our Spring Fair raffle, students are encouraged to reach out to friends, family, or the community for donations (cash or cheque) to help us build our new playground – which benefits not only our students, but hopefully the whole community! The form will help you keep track of donations and provide us with information for tax receipts.

NEED A FORM? DOWNLOAD / PRINT ONE HERE

Students are encouraged to set their own fundraising goal to help us fundraise that remaining $60,000. Students who fundraise more than $100 and who return their form and donations before December 6, 2019 will have the opportunity to win prizes, which include (but not limited to):

  • 2 Canucks tickets
  • A Family set of tickets (2 adult, 2 child) to Cineplex
Students should be accompanied by an adult at all times if reaching out to the community. Consider going further afield to avoid overlap with the many students who live around Ridgeway.
The CONTEST is open until DECEMBER 6th.

Online donations can be made here.

Traffic & Safety Survey

As part of the ongoing dialogue between the City of North Vancouver, the School District, the PAC, and the community, there is a NEW survey out to help inform City decision making around transportation-related issues.

TAKE THE SURVEY HERE (click ‘Let’s Talk’)

We know there are many factors around traffic & safety in the neighbourhood, whether it’s concerns about traffic levels on Keith diverting to our neighbourhood, speeding, visibility, crosswalks, or just the logistics of drop off and pick up. We hope you take the time to voice your opinion.

Please pay special attention to the SECOND tab of the survey called “Map Your Safety Issues / Suggestions.” This allows you to drop a pin on specific areas where you would like to see a positive change.

Parent Holiday Cheer on Nov 29

Join us November 29th for some Holiday Cheer.

Kick off the holiday season with fellow Ridgeway parents at this adult-only event, featuring light snacks & drinks. We thank the generous support of our partners for this event:

Thanks to their generous support, and our PAC fundraising, we are happy to make this an entirely FREE event!

BONUS – we are excited to have Larry’s Market joining us *in person* at the event to share all their exciting goodies and give you the opportunity to win a gift card!

Get to know your fellow parents & have fun!

When: November 29th at 6-9pm
Where: Ridgeway, Heritage Hall (enter from front of school)