Who’s the Boss?

With the title, “The collapse of parenting: Why it’s time for parents to grow up,” it is no surprise that this Maclean’s article is getting a lot of attention. In it, the author Cathy Gulli, often citing the works of psychologists Dr. Leonard Sax and Dr. Gordon Neufeld, argues that while guided by the best of intentions, many parenting styles are doing children no favors.

The article is worth reading but I will do my best to summarize it as follows:

(Common) Parenting beliefs and interests

Parents want…

  • the best for their children.
  • their children to feel listened to and respected.
  • their children to be independent and think freely.
  • to avoid conflict and be liked by their children.
  • their children to be assertive and able to stand up for themselves and others.

Parenting behaviour

Guided by the beliefs above, parents…

  • ask their children to make decisions over major and often seemingly minor things (to finish eating green beans) which become significant things (parent’s control, child’s nourishment).
  • negotiate with their children; e.g., “If you finish your green beans, you can have dessert.”

Response of children to parenting behaviour above

The result of this parenting behaviour is role confusion: children question whether the parent is going to make decisions and as a result take on this responsibility. Children begin to see themselves as the decision maker and take on the “alpha” role in the family hierarchy.

Consequence of role confusion

  • Children will make decisions on important matters such as food choices and thus, despite often having limited experience or information, have control over their nutrition and physical development.
  • Children control access to technology and may, due to lack of understanding and/or discipline, not prioritize sleep over screen-time.
  • Same age peers will become more important and influential to children than their parents and other adults.

The crux of the argument is that the world is becoming less hierarchical but hierarchy is still needed in families, and classrooms too, where the relationships involve people with vast differences in knowledge and experience.


I feel quite lucky as a teacher and now principal that prior to becoming a parent myself I have seen a tremendous amount of remarkable parenting. I have also seen that sometimes small moments – a child throwing his backpack at his parent as he runs to the playground whilst barely acknowledging them – are really big things but could quite easily be overlooked by the parent who has just been at work all day and wants nothing more than to see his son play on the swings rather than telling his son to take care of his own backpack. In that instance, who is in control?

And issues of hierarchy are not exclusive to parenting. An example in schools: Self-regulation has been a major focus of BICS and many schools for several years. Self-regulation differs from regulation in that the goal in self-regulation is for the student to take control. Parents regulate a child with a scraped knee with a kiss on the cheek or a hand on the shoulder. Self-regulation involves the student identifying their emotions and self-regulating so that their behaviour matches their environment and/or activity. Dependence is therefore a key element of regulation while independence is the key for self-regulation. This is a worthy goal: parents and the school have an interest in students becoming independent and self-regulation is about self-control, not control of others.

But how about when self-regulation includes taking a break from the classroom and learning activity? Most schools have self-regulation spaces in classrooms or rooms where the student can take a break from the busyness of a classroom. The spaces are great: they are usually quiet, with subtle lighting and comfortable furniture. As classrooms are potentially the most stimulating learning or working environment most people will ever be in, it makes sense that students might need a change of environment at times other than scheduled (and often stimulating) recess and lunch times.

However, like a child avoiding their greens with the result of malnourishment, too many breaks from the classroom may come at the cost of learning. One might argue that the dysregulated student who feels they need a break won’t be learning anyway, but what happens when student decisions take precedent over reasonable expectations from the teacher. If the student feels the expectations of the teacher take precedence over their decisions to need a break, might that student be more likely to rise to the occasion? Balancing authority and control with honouring student/child voice and independence is not easy but is important.

The key element in who should have most control of decision making is whether the decision is best informed by personal preference or life experience. For example, if it is a matter of a child wearing a red or blue sweater to school on Thursday, it is a matter of personal preference. If, however, the question is about wearing a sweater at all, the parent’s life experience, knowing that the child has soccer after school at 4:00 PM and that the temperature outside will drop when the sun goes down, trumps. Clarity and comfort as to who is in charge and why is essential for parents, educators and of course children/students. A child’s trust that the parent or educator has their best interest in mind when applying their life experiences to a decision is essential.

This balancing act is not easy and the article concludes with the idea that it is OK to make mistakes; in fact, it has to be OK as mistakes will be made. Ideally, awareness of who is making decisions and why will be helpful in the relationships so that students/children feel heard and so that adults can look out for the long-term interests of students.

What is new in BC’s New Curriclum

This post was originally published on the BICS Blog.

It has been said, “The only constant in life is change.”

That statement certainly holds true in education, perhaps now more than ever.

Last week, BICS Vice-Principal Laura Magrath and I spoke to parents about BC’s New Curriculum as part of our BICS Open House. Our staff has been learning about and working with what until recently has been termed the “Draft Curriculum” for two years and I have been sharing information with our BICS PAC and writing blog posts on the topic since November 2013. But the “Draft” stamp has recently been removed from the curriculum and it is now referred to as the New Curriculum so we felt it was a particularly important time to share aspects of the New Curriculum with parents; particularly three important changes.

This post summarizes some of the key messages of that presentation. For the 2015-2016 school year, both the “old curriculum” and New Curriculum are usable documents. In 2016-2017, what is taught in Kindergarten to Grade 9 classrooms will be based on the New Curriculum only.


For purposes of explanation, the curriculum can be divided in two parts:

1. What students understand and know à this is termed Content in the New Curriculum

2. What students can do à this is termed Core Competencies and Curricular Competencies in the New Curriculum


Three Key Changes

1. Content – What Students Understand And Know à Start with the big picture.

The “old curriculum” was organized by themed learning outcomes. For some time, teachers who have taught with an inquiry-based approach to learning have tried to discern the essence of the learning outcomes. Teachers would find themselves asking, What’s the big idea here? Beyond facts and figures, what is the concept or understanding that students will take away from this unit of study that they can apply to future learning situations?Big_Ideas

The New Curriculum starts with the big picture. Ideas and theories are presented as Big Ideas and from there the content, which is used to develop an understanding of the Big Ideas, is articulated. As suggested by the name, Big Ideas are greater than what can be covered in one subject in one grade. So, many Big Ideas are repeated throughout many grade levels as students develop more sophisticated understandings of theories and ideas.

2. Competencies – What students can do à Competencies are key.

While all people need a level of general knowledge to understand themselves, others and the world, knowledge is easily lost; skills less so. For example, most people likely have forgotten many of the facts, figures and ideas they learned in Grades 1 and 2, the age when they were learning to read. But people don’t forget how to read.

2015-03-19_0946In the New Curriculum, Competencies are key. The content, while still worthy in its own right, is a vehicle to develop two types of competency.

The first type of competency are the Core Competencies – Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social. The Core Competencies are not subject or grade specific. It is thought any learning activity can demonstrate and develop some or each of the competencies. As learning is a lifelong endeavour, the competency continuum is also lifelong.

The second type of competency is Curricular Competencies. These are subject specific skills; for example in Science, Questioning and Prediction as well as Planning and Conducting experiments, are curricular competencies

3. Communicating – How Student Learning is Communicated

As part of our transition to the new curriculum, in terms two and three of the 2014-2015 School Year, many BICS teachers used language from the Core Competencies in their opening comments. However, the report card looked identical to previous terms and did not reflect the changes that have been made to the curriculum. Kindergarten and Grade 4 reports will look very different in 2015-2016 offering space for Core Competency and Curricular Competency assessments. Further, as reflecting on learning is essential, there is space on the new reports for student voice and reflections. Further information will be shared by Director of Instruction for West Vancouver Schools Lynne Tomlinson regarding a change of reporting for Kindergarten and Grade 4 students in 2015-2016, and a change for all elementary school students in 2016-2017.

While this curriculum signals a major change in BC education, it is also a response to the innovative work being done in classrooms across BC including BICS. The Curriculum will support the work we started long ago – inquiry, self-regulation and critical thinking – and also push us to examine and evolve in other areas of practice. Change truly is the only constant in life, and so to in education.

Preparing Students for Anything

This post was originally published on the BICS Blog.

It is not easy to predict the future.

BC’s School Act asserts, “the purpose of the British Columbia school system is to enable all learners to become literate, to develop their individual potential and to acquire the knowledge, skills and attitudes needed to contribute to a healthy, democratic and pluralistic society and a prosperous and sustainable economy.”

It is very possible to determine what skills and attitudes are needed in society now. What is more difficult is predicting the skills and attitudes needed for society many years from now.

One example:  How will people use technology? I have some concerns with the amount of screen time for children and adults who often disengage from their immediate environment  and instead connect online with others. Will people tire of staring into the screen and will there be a major pendulum swing back to living in the immediate world: less Wii baseball, more baseball, less online messages, more phone calls, less Guitar Hero, more guitar. Or, will technology become even more engaging, entertaining and successful at connecting people to others?

Will the ecological imperative to consume less impede access to technology? Instead of buying electronic goods and other items, will people need to not just buy locally but also build locally and grow locally? Will gardening skills, carpentry skills, sewing skills etc., trump all others? Should these skills be prioritized in schools?

These are all very challenging questions that as an educator, I can’t answer and fortunately don’t need to. Even if the future was predictable, human interests and possibilities are so diverse that there is no singular future we could possibly prepare students for. There may be some similarities, but “the future” will look different for everyone.

It is therefore impossible to prepare students for everything so we must prepare students for anything. What that means is that the most important role of a school is to increase students’ capacities as learners so that whatever the future looks like, they will have the literacy and numeracy skills, problem solving skills and most importantly the motivation and confidence, to learn whatever is needed.

In speaking with a colleague recently, I shared my puzzlement at the current trend of teaching coding to elementary school children. Coding seemed like a waste of time: I figured by the time students would actually need coding skills, the coding system students were learning would be replaced so what was the point? He shared that while his students are encouraged to code really what he was encouraging was problem solving.  I understood what he meant:  I’ve taught students to use PowerPoint, a program that may very well not exist by the time students are giving presentations for work, but I was not really teaching PowerPoint, I was teaching how to summarize and how to present – timeless, transferable skills like problem solving.

It is a relief to know as an educator of students entering a quickly changing world of immense diversity and possibility, that it is not my role to prepare students for everything but instead help prepare students for anything.  We do not know what a student’s lifelong learning journey will look like, but we do know that there are core skills and attitudes that must be identified and developed in students to build their capacities as learners so that whatever the conditions of the world they live in and whatever diverse passions they pursue, they can adapt – which is to learn.

In British Columbia, the “core skills and attitudes” students need have been identified and articulated as Core Competencies as part of British Columbia’s draft curriculum. When students learn coding, PowerPoint, or gardening, they will be developing core competencies. The competencies are helpful in virtually all settings and while perhaps nothing is change-proof, the Competencies should stand the test of time for they increase a person’s capacity as a learner which increases a person’s capacity to adapt.  I will write about the competencies and what they look like at BICS throughout the school year. These competencies, including students feeling inspired and confident to make use of them, are at the heart of what we do: preparing students to be learners, helping prepare students for anything.

The Challenge of Opportunity

Below are the thoughts I shared at the Promotional Assembly for our Grade 7 students (now Grade 8s!) on June 24.



The Promotional Assembly is a special tradition at BICS and many other elementary schools.  I am always conscious when I am immersed in one place so deeply – in my case BICS on Bowen Island – of not assuming things are different, special, or even better here than elsewhere but I would cautiously say that graduating from BICS is a more significant moment than for students graduating from other elementary schools.

Next year, each day you will travel off island.  You will have longer days and far more independence than any of your peers in Secondary School.  You will need more trust and more independence from your parents than many of your peers will need.

So are you ready?

I have no doubt that academically and socially you are.  You have your parents’ guidance and BICS is an outstanding school that has provided you with wonderful learning opportunities.

But are you ready for the decisions secondary school offers you?

I’m not referring to those Health and Career Education lessons we have spoken of so often – the times when saying no to something dangerous or unhealthy is quite obviously the right answer. Those are incredibly simple decisions though often placed in complex situations.

The complex decisions I am talking about in this next phase in your life is how you will prioritize your time; how you will manage the challenge of opportunities.  These next years will be filled with an abundance of opportunities – literally everywhere you look there will be opportunities:  band over here, rugby over there, choir down that hall, mechanics down another, improv in the theater, ski club, the list will go on.

And you will have time, perhaps more time than other points in your life, to take advantage of those opportunities.

As you get older, opportunities and time do not disappear, but you do have to look harder for them.  They are often not just down the hall.

So have your parents and the school prepared you how to prioritize your time?

We have no doubt shared that you need to spend time reading and doing your best with your schoolwork; and you do(!) but have we told you to not join basketball so that you will have time for band and choir?  Or not to join improv in order to have time for the environmental club?

We certainly have not.

Your interests are changing and always will change.  And to be honest, most of the people who might give you advice on what to participate in are wrestling with some questions ourselves:  is it best to excel at Field Hockey at the cost of not doing much with music?  Or is it better to spread your time across many activities and never really excel at any?  Should you do as many activities as you can while a teenager –play instruments, join choir, play soccer – and then specialize in something at a later age?  Or is that too late to excel at a sport or activity?

These are complex questions without any easy answers.  So I have no advice to share with you on what to participate in.  I only have two questions I want you to ask yourselves as you enter this next phase in your life and throughout your life because prioritizing time is one of the most important things you will do.

Question 1:  Why do you do what you do?

It seems like the answer to this question would be obvious – “it’s fun” is a common response.  But we often pursue our interests without thinking about why – only that we find them enjoyable for some reason.

Is it because we’re good at it and it makes us feel better about ourselves that we are good at things?

Do we like competition?  Winning, or at least the pursuit of winning?

Do we like spending time with the people who do the activity with us?

Does it allow us to travel?  Can you get a scholarship with it?  Can you get paid to do it professionally?

Does it help other people?

There seem to be a lot of right answers as to why we do what we do; the only thing I’ve noticed is that most of the things in my life I truly enjoy are things I improve at.  There is something inherently satisfying about improving; it is the thing that keeps us progressing not regressing, the only thing I know that combats aging.

Why do you do what you do?  Ask this question to prioritize your time.  Will you dedicate your hours to one sport or activity so much that you have to turn down opportunities to do others.  Is your dedicated activity important enough to you to sacrifice others – does it build your confidence, build your peer network, allow you to travel, satisfy your competitive streak – enough to decline other opportunities?

Or will you not specialize – will you instead “generalize”.  Will you do a number of activities but never spend enough time on any of them to truly reach your potential?

There is no right way of prioritizing time; there is no right answer to why we do what we do.

But there is a wrong answer.  The response, “Because there is nothing else to do,” is the wrong answer.  No one should respond in this way, and definitely not people living on Bowen Island, coming from the families you do, and going to the schools you go to.  Your challenge is one of opportunity.  Your conditions to succeed are ideal.

So specialize or generalize – it will be different for you all.  But say yes; seek out opportunities and do meaningful things, things where you can answer the question of why you are doing it.

Question 2:  Why do you not do the things you want to do?  If the activity is safe and healthy, unlike question 1, there are very few right answers here.

For the most part, we don’t do the things we think we will enjoy because we don’t think we can do them.  We doubt our abilities, we question whether we can contribute, we wonder if we will be successful and what others will think of us if we are not.  We think there are some things we are good at and others we are not and never will be.

When we say “no” to doing things we truly want to do, it is not that we underestimate our abilities – usually we are bang on in assessing our abilities.  What we do is underestimate our potential.

Our featured virtue this month is confidence.  And in promoting this virtue, I don’t encourage you to have confidence in your basketball abilities if you have never played basketball.  I do encourage you, though, to have confidence in your potential.  Have confidence that if you commit to working incredibly hard, you can do incredibly well.

In addition to teaching you skills and providing experiences that help you understand the world, BICS taught you to be a learner – our school has been deliberate in increasing your capacity as a learner.

What that means is that not only do you leave BICS with your current skillset and current knowledge and understanding, but you also leave with a huge capacity to learn and do more.

Teachers are proud of the progress you have made but most proud of the progress you can make.

Grade 7s, as you look around this gym, please notice your teachers of this year and years past.  Notice families and community members.  They’re here because they care about you and they have or had a role in helping you be the person you are, the person that is ready for secondary school and a wonderful life beyond that, a person of immense potential.  Match our confidence in you.  Match our belief that Rockridge Secondary is incredibly lucky to have you as students next year.  You will make that school even better than it is.

But also know that confidence is different than arrogance.

Confidence is believing in yourself – not just your abilities but your potential. Confidence is helpful; it pushes us to do things that stretch us into more capable and successful people.

Arrogance is the belief that you are better than others.   Arrogance is not helpful; it just annoys the people around you and makes them less likely to help you succeed.

So as you go forward, go forward with confidence.

You are well set-up for success, not simply of where your abilities are now, but because of the potential of your abilities.

Prioritize your time to take advantage of the remarkable opportunities that are afforded to you.  We are incredibly privileged as Canadians that one of our challenges in life is a challenge of opportunity – there are so many possibilities, we have the privilege of prioritizing our time.  That means the question must be asked and must be asked often:  Why do you do what you do?

You are a wonderful group of students.  We will miss you greatly at BICS but this sentiment is eclipsed by excitement for all that is ahead.

Good luck.

Happiness & Generosity

In 2012, the United Nations declared March 20th International Day of Happiness. Last Friday was the world’s third celebration where the United Nations stated, “The pursuit of happiness is a fundamental human goal.”

There is a political element to the day with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging member states to consider the impact peace and climate have on the potential for happiness of the “human family.”  The UN Foundation also encouraged global citizens to sign the Live Earth Petition which urges world leaders to “sign a strong and meaningful agreement at the climate negotiations in Paris this year.”   (For more on Paris 2015 COP21, click here.)Generosity

The day also recognizes that while happiness is fostered in conditions of peace, prosperity, human rights, and sustainability, happiness to some degree is a choice and individuals can take control it.  The charity Action for Happiness has articulated Ten Keys to Happier Living, described here and summarized in the graphic to the right.

At BICS, we are focusing on the Virtue of Generosity for the months of March and April.  This virtue flows well from the virtues of Kindness and Tolerance which were a focus in January and February. Generosity is both an act and an expression of kindness and leads to more kindness and generosity as it contributes to the happiness of all involved – givers and receivers.

So, part of generosity is giving.  But as Ban Ki-Moon reminds us in his message of happiness for 2015 below, celebrating happiness also involves giving thanks for what makes us happy.  Therefore, we can use our focus on generosity not only to encourage being generous to others, but also recognizing the generosity of other people and our planet.  As spring is upon us and Earth Day is April 22nd, it is a fitting time to recognize how the earth so generously provides the necessities of life – food, water, and clean air.  It is a fitting time to recommit to school initiatives to reduce the amount of garbage we produce through the encouragement of litterless and boomerang lunches.

Let March and April be a time where all members of the BICS community generously commit acts of kindness, for each other and the planet, and more fully appreciate the generosity of others and the earth.

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon ‘s Message for 2015:

I wish everyone around the world a very happy International Day of Happiness!
The pursuit of happiness is serious business.
Happiness for the entire human family is one of the main goals of the United Nations.
Peace, prosperity, lives of dignity for all – this is what we seek.
We want all men, women and children to enjoy all their human rights.
We want all countries to know the pleasure of peace.
We want people and planet alike to be blessed with sustainable development, and to be spared the catastrophic impacts of climate change.
Let us give thanks for what makes us happy.  
And let us dedicate our efforts to filling our world with happiness.
Thank you.

Making Use of the Core Competencies

Many of our efforts at Bowen Island Community School (BICS) to transition to the new draft curriculum are focusing on understanding and making use of the Core Competencies: Communication Competency, Thinking Competency, and Personal and Social Competency.  This is not easy work and my understanding of the competencies continually shifts thanks to conversations with educators at BICS and in #SD45PLN.2015-03-19_0946

Below, shared in green, are three understandings I think will affect the way educators and students make use of the competencies.  In blue, based on the understandings, I share how the competencies can be used by teachers and students.

1.  The Core Competencies, the Draft Curriculum notes, “are sets of intellectual, personal, and social and emotional proficiencies that all students need to develop in order to engage in deep learning and life-long learning.”  The competencies are not subject-specific (subject-specific competencies are called curricular competencies, i.e., the scientific method in the subject science), they are transferable and often applicable to all areas of learning.

Most learning experiences can develop some facet(s) of one or more of the competencies.  While teachers are always mindful of developing literacy and numeracy foundations, in my experience as a teacher I have sometimes planned lessons and assignments with too great a focus on knowledge acquisition and not enough focus on what students would be able to do, or to do better, as a result of the lesson or assignment.  When planning, the teacher can examine the competency facets to ensure what students can do is a core part of the lesson or assignment.  The facets may even broaden or simply make explicit the range of abilities students can develop.

2.  The competencies are a continuum which a person develops from the moment they start learning to the moment they stop learning.  In other words, they are not limited to a student’s experience in K-12 education and the profiles of each competency are not intended to align with any grade level expectations; for example, it is not expected that all students have reached profile level 3 in the Personal and Social Competency by grade five.

It is not important to focus on what profile level students achieve because a students level will vary from task to task.  Profile level 8 for the Communication Competency does not mean “A+” or exceeding expectations.  Students should also know that experiences outside of school, such as participating on a sports team or attending a community event, develop competencies.

3.  Following from point 2, the profile levels within a competency are more pertinent to the task assigned to the student rather than the student’s performance in the task:  some tasks only require the development and demonstration of a certain level of competency so regardless of how competent a student might be as a communicator, the task itself may be limiting to what the student does.

The competencies are helpful for self-assessment.  But self-assessment when using the competencies is more about assessing the task and the opportunities the task offers the student to demonstrate and develop the competencies than it is about assessing the student’s performance in demonstrating the competencies.  In other words, self-assessment is more about understanding the task and what competencies the task makes use of and develops.  Therefore, a major, if not the major, part of self-assessment happens prior to starting the task when the student assesses the task and identifies what abilities they have, or need to develop, to be successful at the task rather than after completing the task where the student evaluates their performance.

In summary, teachers can use the competencies to design learning experiences that effectively develop what students can do, not just what they are to know.  Teachers have long used learning outcomes and the Performance Standards to ensure planning developed students skills as well as understanding but determining what facets of a competency might be applicable for a task allows teachers to broaden the purpose of learning tasks and provides language to articulate this purpose clearly.

Students can use the competencies to understand a learning experiences:  beyond what knowledge and understanding they are to gain, how is the task intended to make the student a more capable/competent communicator or thinker?  What skills do students already have that they should apply to the task?

The key to planning for teachers and to self-assessment for students is to have a strong understanding of the end in mind.  While I am not yet certain how students will be assessed or self-assess the competencies for reporting, or even if they will do so, what is clear is that educators can make use of the competencies for planning, and students can make use of the competencies to understand tasks and their purpose.

A New Beginning?

In January of 2005, I started my teaching career at Bowen Island Community School.  It was a temporary assignment, just six months, teaching Grade 6-7.  After leaving BICS, I taught Grade 5 for several years at Ridgeview Elementary School before returning to BICS as vice-principal in 2010 to carry on my teaching career and begin my career as a school administrator.  Now, in January 2015, I have the honour and privilege of leading BICS as principal.  So, in many ways, BICS has been a place of beginnings for me.

But will the change of principals at BICS be a new beginning for the school and, if so, a beginning of what?

At first thought, it might seem ungrateful and naïve to suggest that the school will carry on just fine without the thoughtful guidance and inspirational leadership of BICS’ now retired principal, Jennifer Pardee.  But so much of Jennifer’s work at BICS was to create a shared vision for the school involving students, educators and the community and to build capacity in staff to pursue innovative approaches to teaching and learning.  So, while Jennifer will be deeply missed by the BICS community, professionally and personally, much of her leadership has been to foster conditions for continued success after her retirement.

Over the years, I have heard BICS described as a “moving school.”  A moving school is one that has very clear priorities and where there is buy-in from staff to develop and implement strategies and tactics to achieve those priorities.  In other words, a “moving school” is an improving school.  Current research, insights from experience, as well as technological innovation, have created many opportunities for schools to move forward on several key initiatives.  At BICS in recent years, there has been a greater focus on social and emotional learning, aboriginal education, self-regulation, and a restorative justice approach to student conduct; there is increased access to digital technology, and our school iswell on its way to an inquiry-based approach to learning where students practise and develop critical thinking skills and mindset.

We are certainly not at the beginning stages of any of these initiatives but they will each continue to guide the work we do for years to come.  I will use this blog space, as Jennifer and I have done over the last several years, to write about our school’s progress.

So there is much to be continued, but there are other changes on the horizon in BC education; there are new beginnings.  The BC Ministry of Education has released a new curriculum, currently in draft form, that BICS will transition to in coming years.  The curriculum is a major redesign that articulates what students are to know and understand in a way that supports inquiry-based learning (I have written on this aspect of curriculum here), and will change the way student learning is communicated with a focus on three core competencies – Thinking Competency, Communication Competency and Personal and Social Competency (I have written on this topic here).  Our school is well-positioned to transition to this curriculum as we have been focusing on many of its core elements – inquiry, critical thinking, flexible learning environments – for years.

What students need from their education to be successful in a rapidly changing world and insights into how people learn means that the vision for BICS will continue to evolve as we strive to provide students with the most relevant and effective learning experiences we can.  But as the BICS staff is deeply invested in many initiatives, at this time of transitioning principals, at this time of a new beginning for me, consistency for the school in pursuing the initiatives in which we are immersed, in doing them as best we can, is needed.

Change is certainly upon us at BICS, but change is nothing new in a moving school.