Parents » BRE Friday Communicator

BRE Friday Communicator

At BRE We Lift Each Other Up! - Celebrating Pink Shirt Day on Feb. 24th

Our student leaders worked diligently and with great care to create the gorgeous Pink Shirt Day mural at the gym (See photos below).  Mrs. Hackett created all the staff postcards for the mural. In each of the small rocket ships is a staff member’s photo.  Our students are enjoying identify our teachers, support staff, EAs and custodians.  The mural project was featured in the Squamish Chief this week - click to see the article.

 We Lift Each Other Up mural

And, the pink shirt day video that Ms. Murakami, our Music Teacher, is coordinating for our Pink Shirt Day celebration is on track as planned. She is teaching all classes "body percussion" (actions) to: "Treat people with Kindness" by pop star, Harry Styles. The video will feature snips of all classes performing along with photos of students doing acts of kindness around the school.  Each class will also have a cameo appearance in front of the mural to say hello to everyone at Brackendale.  Ms. Maginot will end the video with a mindfulness moment for the whole school to promote mental health and wellbeing.  We will post the video on the school website to share with our larger community. 


Sending Hugs and Love to our Grandmas and Grandpas

Building on the theme of kindness and caring for others, Ms. Webb's students sent these life-sized hugs to their Grandmas and Grandpas along with lovely cards with their drawings and writing!  We are so proud of the progress our youngest students are making with their learning!

hug collage


Health and Safety HighlightCommunity Partner COVID-19 Update from Vancouver Coastal

Health - Our School District is sharing the February 17th Community Partner Update with parents and caregivers - you can access it here.


Parents bannerPurdy's Chocolates - deadline Saturday, March 6th, pickup MarchPurdy's logo 19th - order online- register or log-in and join the Brackendale PAC group with the customer number 7337.  

 Neufeld Farms logoNeufeld Farms orders are open!  Orders are due by Friday, February 26th and pick up is Thursday March 11th at 5:30PM at the Brackendale Elementary School.  You can add your order online through the Hot Lunch site (access code is BDHL) and pay by PayPal!


Happy Hippo logoHappy Hippo Bath Co. fundraiser - Happy Hippo is based out of Red Deer Alberta. All products are handmade in small batches. They are cruelty, SLS, and paraben free. That means no chemical additives that products don't need. Use code : BRACKENDALEELEM For 10% off your order and for our PAC to receive 20% in commission. Orders are shipped directly to you via Canada Post and all orders over $40 receive free shipping. Click here to shop.


Upcoming PAC meeting: Wednesday, Feb. 24th by Zoom all are welcome!

Brackendale PAC is inviting you to a scheduled Zoom meeting.

Topic: Brackendale PAC's February Zoom Meeting
Time: Feb 24, 2021 07:30 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)
Join Zoom Meeting

Kindness collage

Kindness, Friendship, Empathy, Diversity - Our teachers creatively weave the themes of kindness, friendship, empathy and caring into curricular learning all through the month of February. These themes and ideas complement understanding connected to Black History Month, this year’s Pink Shirt Day theme of Lift Each Other Up, and for those who celebrate, Valentine's.  At BRE you will see evidence of random acts of kindness, expressions of gratitude and love, and the promotion of diversity and empathy through literacy, learning, and everyday actions.  We are so proud our BRE students! 


Health and Safety Update - brought to you by River (our therapy dog)

physical distancing dog poster

Mental Health and Wellness - BRE COVID Survey Results  Feedback provided by parents/guardians through the SD#48 COVID Survey, specific to BRE is linked here. The key SD#48 and BRE findings indicate that students feel safe at school and mental health remains a concern. Please contact Ms. Saenger at to provide suggestions for supporting student wellbeing.


A mystery and making connections with the Brackendale Farmers' Institute 

decorated treeMs. Teasell from the PAC sent a note to Ms. Saenger the other day:  Just received an inquiry from the Brackendale Farmer’s Institute wondering what the story is regarding the lovely decorated trees in the BFI grounds.

Derek, the volunteer grounds keeper, has been keeping an eye on them. It seems that someone is mysteriously replacing decorations that fall to the ground. 


Ms. Saenger explained: This is such a beautiful story.  The first set of tree decorations were seed covered pinecones placed in the trees before winter break.  We know that our children and their families are visiting the trees, but, we suspect that someone else has found joy in this lovely gesture and is tending to the trees! That remains a delightful mystery.


Ms. Wong added some background to the story: I am equally delighted by this mystery of "someone" who is helping to keep our winter garments on our special tree! 


decorated treeThis is exactly the kind of inferring we did, when reading The Mitten Tree by Candace Christiansen. Old Sarah watched the children to see who did not have mittens to warm their hands and would knit a brightly coloured pair and hang it on the blue spruce tree. The children in the story were delighted to find these mittens all winter long, but never knew who knit them. Sarah discovered her basket of yarn, always replenished, but did not know by whom. 


Each Friday afternoon, Mrs. Webb and I take our students on adventures in nature. We decided to expand on our learning about animals in winter: some hibernate, some migrate and others adapt. We adapt too, by wearing winter coats, boots and mittens. So, on one Nature Walk, we dressed up our tree in warm winter clothes! 


Ms. Webb and Ms. Wong encourage all families to pay a visit to their special trees.  And, we are all thrilled that this activity has created delight and mystery for Derek and the Brackendale Farmers' Institute.


literacy collageCelebrating Literacy - there is lots going on in our Library (thanks to Ms. Mah and Ms. Tolmie and their crew) - we are celebrating family literacy with the 10 Book Challenge (read a book in each of 10 categories - they may be outside of your regular genre) and Family Literacy Bingo activities.  Ms. Mah has been busy updating the Library and Literacy pages of our website where you will find great learning links, the library catalogue and the Virtual BRE Library Learning Commons (current issues are featured there).


new sledsSnow is Coming - we have restocked our sled supply and are eager for the white stuff to fly!  Thanks to Layne for labelling 

winter clothes

all the new crazy carpets.  We have enough crazy carpets for everyone to enjoy so please don't send personal sleds to school with your children. 


To make everyone's time outdoors more fun please check to make sure your child has their snow clothing in the morning.


parents banner  Neufeld Farms logoNeufeld Farms orders are now open!  Orders are due by Friday, February 26th and pick up is Thursday March 11th at 5:30PM at the Brackendale Elementary School.  You can add your order online through the Hot Lunch site (access code is BDHL) and pay by PayPal!


Happy Hippo logoHappy Hippo Bath Co. fundraiser - Happy Hippo is based out of Red Deer Alberta. All products are handmade in small batches. They are cruelty, SLS, and paraben free. That means no chemical additives that products don't need. Use code : BRACKENDALEELEM For 10% off your order and for our PAC to receive 20% in commission. Orders are shipped directly to you via Canada Post and all orders over $40 receive free shipping. Click here to shop.


In The Know poster - February 2021In The Know - Information and Support for Families - February webinar topic is 'A Conversation About Eating Disorders' Monday, February 22 at 6:30pm.  The webinar is free, but registration is required through Family Smart

Families don’t cause eating disorders but they can be one of the most effective influences in their child’s recovery. Listen to a young person, parent and Eating Disorders Therapist share their perspective and knowledge as they talk about the continuum of disordered eating, what to be aware of, the importance of connection and strategies that can support recovery.


PAC Meeting Minutes and Treasurer's Report - the minutes of the January meeting and the January treasurer's report are posted to the PAC Meetings page now.


Health and Safety Update - Pets and Plants Support Mental Wellbeing! Pets can be a source of joy and comfort and spending time in (or with) nature can also lift our spirits. Putting both of these strategies together is part of BRE mental heath and wellness action plan. Mr. Zigar and his class have quite an extensive collection of flora and fauna and they have offered to lend them to other classes to help boost our collective mental health. Some of the pets and plants available on loan are stickbugs, a hobo spider, a betta fish, an alligator lizard and some lush tropical plants such as venus fly traps, dragon fruit cactus, avocado and mango. Ask your classroom teacher to borrow one of these fascinating class pets.plants and pets collageIf you are not sure whether to call 811 or have your child tested for COVID19 - check out this easy new K-12 Daily Health Check for students.  
Thing 1 and Thing 1Twin Day! Friendship Friday, February 12th - Planned ahead or a happy accident - our Student Leadership Crew wants to see everyone and their twin come out in support of the Ocean Cleanup Project and the Rare Disease Foundation. To participate simply wear matching colours or outfits with a friend, sibling or relative.
We can accept donations at school that day, or through School Cash Online.
GoByBike logoWinter GoByBike Day - Friday, February 12th - perhaps you and your twin might ride to school on Friday to celebrate both events at once!  There is a brand new Squamish Bike Map available for free at the Squamish Library, the Adventure Centre or at your local bike shop.  You can register a team by clicking the link - registering and logging your rides makes you eligible for some great prizes.

Parents banner

Neufeld Farms orders are now open!  Orders are due by Friday, February 26th and pick up is Thursday March 11th at 5:30PM at the Brackendale Elementary School.  You can add your order online through the Hot Lunch site and pay by PayPal!   

Neufeld Farms logoHere are the registration details:

 1-Register for an account on the website

-Access Code: BDHL

-Enter the rest of the form - your name, email and phone number are all mandatory fields. 

2 - Select ‘Student’

-Insert new

-Fill it information for your child

*if you don’t do this you can’t order

OR select ‘Customer’ 

-Insert new

-Fill it out as yourself

*if you don’t do this you can’t order

3 - Select Orders on the top menus bar

-The click student orders 

-Neufeld Farms order will be at the top, beside your name on the right side click order. 

4 - Fill in your order and at the bottom select Place order and proceed.

Thank you to the BRE PAC for all your support!!

Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Cleaning and Disinfecting
Thank you to Roy, Jun and Nixon, our custodial team!
Custodian RoyCustodian JunCustodian Nixon
Custodial hours have been adjusted to maintain frequent cleaning of high touch surfaces during regular school hours ( (e.g. door handles, cupboard handles, handrails, grab handles, light switches, desk tops, counter tops, shared keyboards and devices, phones, washrooms and associated handles, etc.). The after school cleaning and disinfecting of the school includes the second disinfecting of the frequently touched surfaces, including items that only a single student uses (e.g. desks and chairs).
Snow at Brackendale is the best!
snow day fun!
It's snow much fun sledding
The school provides all the outdoor equipment, including crazy carpets for sledding, for student use. We are meeting our playground objectives of promoting pro-social behavior and collaboration among children while ensuring student safety. For sledding, this requires some extra care and organization on behalf of our playground supervisors to ensure that all children have a partner(s) to share a crazy carpet but the reward of smiles, laughter and happy children make our efforts worthwhile. It's snow much fun! 
Crazy Hair Day
Thank you to everyone who went CRAZY on their hair.  It was fun and thank you for donating to our charity, The Ocean Clean Up Project. Our next spirit day is Twin Day on Feb. 12th.  Celebrate friendship and kindness.thing 1
The Student Leadership Team
BRE COVID Survey Results  Feedback provided by parents/guardians through the SD#48 COVID Survey, specific to BRE is linked here. The key SD#48 and BRE findings indicate that students feel safe at school and mental health remains a concern. Please contact Ms. Saenger at to provide suggestions for supporting student wellbeing.
Remember Public Health declares that mask-wearing is optional for elementary students at school. Those who do so are respected, of course. The protocols we use at BRE, based on our Health and Safety plan, are working to keep us safe.  Thank you to students, staff and families for your continued support.
Crazy Hair Day
Brackendale Student Leadership - a group of our senior students, supported by Mr. Zigar and Ms. Mowbray have planned some fun(draising) spirit days in the coming months.  Funds raised through these voluntary activities will be divided between two charities selected by the group.  This year Leadership is supporting The Ocean Clean Up Project ( and The Rare Disease Foundation (  Donations can be made through our School Cash Online website.
First up is:
Crazy Hair Day - Wednesday, January 27th - Messy, Slick, Up-Do, Glitter, Colour - anything is possible!
2019-2020 First Nations Student Awards - Our First Nations students are presented annually with certificates recognizing their achievements through the school year. In an ordinary year there is a ceremony at Totem Hall in June, but due to the pandemic the awards were presented here at school last week.
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Mental Health and Well Being
 Contribute, Create/Innovate, Collaborate, Play and have fun!!


BRE’s Mental Health and Wellness plan includes:

- Daily Check-ins
- 4 Blankets of Resilience
- Outdoor Play and Learning
- Addressing emergent needs - School counselor –individual and small group sessions - whole class social/emotional learning
- Supporting student agency, independence, growth mindset and competency development
- Staff Professional Development - Mindfulness Workshop – January 29, 2021 Pro D Day
Snow Much Fun!  It looks like we might see snow in the next few days and that is always so exciting here at Brackendale!  Please remember that due to COVID19 our playgrounds are closed before and after school.  We ask that you don't send sleds to school from home - we have plenty of them here at school and we will make sure everyone who wants to will get a chance to slide on the hills.
Parents banner
January PAC Meeting
Wednesday, January 27th
Mr. Azim, our District Secretary Treasurer, will discuss School catchment boundary changes
Ms. Saenger, our Principal, will present Brackendale Elementary's results from the COVID Survey
Have you ordered your coffee from the Galileo Coffee fundraiser yet?  Your morning jolt of java can help the PAC!  Place your order online until Monday, January 25th - delivery before Valentine's day.  If you haven't used the Hot Lunch Online website before the access code is BDHL
Rail Safety - with the fine weather we are noticing lots of students walking or biking to school!  It seems it might be time to remind students to stay off the railway tracks in their travels.  Any time is train time.
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Mental Health and Well Being
The sunny weather has lifted our spirits and enabled us to spend more time outside learning and participating in daily physical activity. Playground zone rotations are now happening daily and outdoor equipment is replenished as often as necessary to provide students with lots of options for games and activity. Smiles and laughter abound as students are happy to be back at school, especially to see their classmates, friends, and teachers. 
Helping students build skills and knowledge to contribute to their well-being is part of the learning at BRE and in the BC curriculum.  Many of our classes are continuing their work on the 4 Blankets of Resilience.  This learning begins with acquiring a sense of self: Who am I? Who is my family? Who is in my community? What are my connections to land and culture?  These are just some of the questions that students explore to define their 4 Blankets of Resilience. 

One way to think of children and resiliency is to imagine them with four blankets wrapped around them. These blankets protect them, guide them, root them in who they are and where they come from...ultimately fostering their resiliency. (Source: Monique Gray Smith: Fostering Resilience with Indigenous Children and Families)


Mental health and wellness in schools includes building resiliency and acknowledging our strengths. It also includes social and emotional learning.  Those are specific skills that help us manage our behavior and build positive relationships.  Ms. Shultz, our counselor provides some of that support, in whole class lessons and individually. Knowing and understanding how to access help when needed is another facet that schools promote. Support through ERASE = expect respect & a safe education anonymous reporting tools and immediate hotline/text with a counsellor, can be accessed directly from our school website. (Go to the Families tab and scroll down to ERASE) We need each other perhaps more now than ever.  Let's work together to erase stigma because everyone needs a little extra help sometimes.  erase

VCH LogoVancouver Coastal Health News Release - VCH reports on COVID-19 transmission in schools across its region:

Vancouver Coastal Health (VCH) today released data which indicates a low rate of COVID-19 transmission in schools across its region in the first half of the school year. Since schools reopened in September, VCH has not recorded a significant increase in COVID-19 cases among school-aged children relative to other groups. Those aged 5-17 years of age accounted for 6 per cent of VCH’s COVID-19 cases since the beginning of the pandemic, despite representing 10 per cent of VCH’s population. Evidence shows children are less likely to get infected with COVID-19, and less likely to experience severe symptoms if infected.  Read the whole news release here.

Kindergarten Registration - January 19 - 22, 2021cartoon children

We are very excited to welcome your child to Brackendale.  Due to COVID-19, the school district is providing an online webform for parents and guardians to begin the registration process. This will avoid lineups for French Immersion and provide an opportunity for parents and guardians to book an appointment to come to the school to complete registration as there are some requirements in terms of documents and paper work. Access the webform here.  Ms. Saenger and Mrs. Hackett will be happy to help you navigate the process if you have any questions. You may also contact the School Board Office at 604-892-5228.

parents header

Do you love coffee? Looking for the perfect Valentine’s Day gift?

Look no more……

Galileo Coffee Company Fundraiser

Whether you are in need of the perfect Valentine’s Day gift or want to stock your cupboards full of delicious beans, BRE PAC and Galileo Coffee Company will get you caffeinated! Galileo Coffee Company is donating $8.00 from every bag purchased back to our school! Orders are due by Monday, January 25, 2021. Place your order online on the Hot Lunch site  Your order will be sent home with your child in time for Valentine’s Day. If you have any questions please email

Thanks for supporting Brackendale Elementary & Galileo Coffee Company


Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Personal Items

We minimize items that we bring from home and we take home our personal belongings every day. 

Here are the essential items to pack to school every 3dRose "Happy Earth smiley face smiling planet globe eco green  smile peaceful world peace cute smilie" Sports Water Bottle, 21 oz, White:  Kitchen & Dining

  • A Water Bottle
– school drinking fountains have been turned off, however, students may refill water bottles as needed during the day at one of our school water bottle filling stations
  • Snack and Lunch
– eat only what is packed in (no sharing of food or treats) and pack out recyclable and compostable items
  • School work/agendas 
– each student has their own school supplies which stay in their classroom and are not transported between school and home
  • Change of clothes
– we go outside every day for recess and learning. It is much more comfortable to have a change of clothes for those times when students get a soaking!
  • Rain jackets, pants, and boots
– be prepared to experience living in a Coastal Rainforest
  • Indoor shoes


Critical Thinking Outdoors – Math Challenge

Mrs. Stroh recently set up this math challenge for her students:

  • Create a pattern out of forest objects
  • Ensure that everyone on your team participates
  • Listen to everyone’s ideas
  • Translate your pattern into letters (i.e. ABCABCABC or ABBABBABB etc.)
  • Check that your pattern works and make changes if needed
  • Share your learning about patterns on video and upload it to SeeSaw
  • Enjoy!

The photss below show that there were many ways to create nature patterns; all of which are unique and creative.


Brackendale Students Letter and Card making is appreciated by Squamish Seniorssen2sen1

Thank you so much for the lovely Christmas cards and drawings. So very nice! We hope the teachers and students had a wonderful Christmas.  What a great bunch of children you have!

Thanks again.


parents header






COVID-19 Protective Measures and Restrictions on Social Gatherings

BRE staff appreciate that many parents and caregivers are wearing masks and keeping physically distant from children other than their own and other adults when on school grounds.  We recognize that it is nearly impossible to maintain 2 metres distance from others, particularly at dismissal time. For this reason, we encourage all adults to wear a mask when on school grounds to protect themselves and others.


Dr. Bonnie Henry has extended the restrictions on Social Gatherings through February 5, 2021.  Please understand the necessity to limit interactions in your home to family members with whom you live. 

As per the Province Wide Restrictions: No social gatherings of any size at your residence with anyone other than your household or core bubble. For example:

  • Do not invite friends or extended family to your household 
  • Do not host gathering outdoors
  • Do not gather in your backyard
  • Do not have playdates for children
Please, for the safety of everyone, follow Dr. Bonnie Henry's order and make alternative plans.  Let's flatten the curve and keep schools open.

COVID-19 Restrictions on Treats from Home

We are unable to allow treats from home due to COVID-19 at this time - this includes birthday cupcakes etc., and as we approach Valentines Day it also means that students will not be able to bring Valentines cards and treats to share.  Teachers will provide information about how their class may celebrate.


SD#48 Budget Input 

Our district has a carefully developed and well-defined education plan (Pathways to Learning). The annual budget is used to resource the Pathways to Learning Education Plan.  Partner groups, including parents and guardians, are invited to provide input toward this process through the survey link below.

2021/2022 SD48 Annual Budget Input Survey

The survey will be open for input until January 20th, 2021. Thank you for your assistance with this important decision making.  If you have any questions regarding the survey or the budget development process, please contact Secretary-Treasurer, Mohammed Azim, at


Kindergarten Registration

Registration for students born in 2016 (turning 5 in 2021) will begin January 19th at 8:00am - there is a new process in place - click here for more information


students share a letter they wroteSharing the Joy of Holiday Season with Others

Our students sent 273 cards and letters with wishes of joy and happiness to seniors in our community who may be feeling especially lonely this holiday season.  It was a great opportunity for students to practice empathy and to contribute to our community.

students caroling

Kindergarten watching the carolers

Mrs. Smith's class and Mrs. Fanzega's class shared their holiday caroling with some younger classes.  Pictured here are Mrs. Webb's Kindergarten students safely enjoying the merriment through the classroom window.


On Thursday, Ms. Moo and Tina organized a physically distanced sing-along for the whole school.  We gathered on the back field in our cohorts and shared a few minutes of singing holiday songs together. The weather was dry and everyone enjoyed being able to share in this Brackendale tradition in a new way.

School-wide holiday sing-along led by Ms. Moo


Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Holiday Traditions Re-Imagined


Make, Create, Innovate header

Mrs. Borsoff's students applied their creative thinking to decorate their classroom with "Ugly" Holiday Sweaters.

Carter described the process:

First, we had to image a design. Logon imagined big X. s1
Then, we drew a scene in pencil. Eva drew mountains, snow, the forest and a wolf.s2
Next, we picked colours that are strong and don't go well together.  Nathan used orange, purple, yellow, blue, green and brown.
s3s4Finally, we carefully cut them out and hung our "Ugly" sweaters on the clothes line. Carter's bold, purple and green Christmas Tree sweater certainly isn't pretty!
parents header

Spirit Wear - Emails have been sent out about Brackendale Spirit Wear pick up, please check your emails and junk folders for pick up details. Pick up is Friday, Saturday and Sunday. If you have any questions please email Jinelle at


We are back in session on Monday, January 4th 2021 at 8:45am - see you then!

It's Showtime! 

Presenting our Brackendale Elementary students performing hip hop street dancing.  Let's gather virtually and share the joy of breaking and freestyling to some trendy tunes. Try dancing along to these high energy, challenging moves and cool poses. Families, friends and community members are welcome to view our videos which will be available through winter break.

Did you know that Break Dancing will debut at the Paris Olympics in 2024? 

photos from Hip Hop Dance - collage

Click below to view all 7 different class cohort videos.

Ms. Wong and Mrs. Webb's Kindergarten classes

Mr. Fieldhouse and Mrs. Fieldhouse' Grade 1/2 classes

Ms Watson and Mrs. Stroh's Grade 1/2 classes

Mrs. Borsoff and Ms. Jorgensen's Grade 2/3 classes

Mrs. Fanzega and Mrs. Smith's Grade 3/4 classes

Mr. HIrn's Grade 4/5 and Mr. Grantham's Grade 5/6 classes

Ms. Mowbray and Mr. Zigar's Grade 5/6 classes


Special thanks goes out to Instructor Jhaymee Hizon from the Artstarts program, Video Recording and Production by Ms. Moo, our PAC for financial support, and our students for their tireless enthusiasm and risk taking!  

Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Province-wide Restrictions - How Children and Parents/Guardians can Help
bc wide

Dr. Bonnie Henry requires us to suspend our social gatherings and social interactions.


Kids can help:

  • Postpone hang outs, playdates, and parties, without making a fuss when plans are changed,
  • Show independence - "Kiss and go" - Say good bye to caregivers and parents at the curb or sidewalk 
  • Follow safety routines - Go directly to your zone in the morning,
  • Do not hang out after school - Go directly home,
  • Show understanding that this order is only for a short time, and,
  • Following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice:
    • Be Kind
    • Be Calm
    • Be Safe
Parents and Guardians can help:
  • "Kiss and go" at the drop off area in the morning if at all possible 
  • Say good bye to children at the curb or sidewalk
  • Stay well back from arrival and departure zones when at the school
  • Refrain from congregating on school grounds
  • Wear a mask on school grounds as physical distancing is difficult to maintain 100% of the time
The Public Health order requires that we:
  • Do not invite friends or extended family to our household 
  • Do not host gathering outdoors
  • Do not gather in our backyard
  • Do not have playdates for children


Survey Photos.jpg
SD48 Feedback Survey for Parents-COVID-19 Check-In: We hope you will help by filling in a survey for each SD48 child in your household.
UBC and The BC Children's Hospital Spring Studybc childrens
Researchers at UBC are launching a new study to learn more about the role that children and young people play in the transmission of COVID-19. They are seeking thousands of volunteers. To participate in the study please visit the website:
Here are some frequently asked questions from the website:
Thinking Critically in PE
Physical Education activities offer plenty of opportunities for students to think critically.PE
How many ways might we invite critical thinking with this PE activity?
  1. Challenge students to find as many ways as possible to transport one team member across the gym using a bed sheet as fast as possible
  2. Engage students to judge their success against criteria: every team member participated, every team member was safe, every team member had an idea to share, every team member listened to others' ideas, every team member had fun.


hip hop dance

Artist in Residence - Jess Dance

This past week, Brackendale Elementary students enjoyed learning how to hiphop street dance style in 4 high energy classes. With support from our  Brackendale PAC, we were able to access Jess Dance through the Artstarts program and get teacher, Jhayme Hizon to teach some cool moves that he honed from over 20 years of competitive dancing and teaching. Students had a great time trying out challenging moves and working up a sweat! Final performances from all classes were filmed and will be available soon on our school website for you to enjoy. 



In The Know poster


If you have a child or youth with mental health challenges, you may already adapt things around the holiday season. Many of us do. As the 2020 Holiday Season may be one for the record books, let’s get together and talk about what that might look like for families like ours. Join the discussion by computer or phone on Friday, December 11 at 12:00pm – registration is required

parents banner
Writing Day in the classrooms
Our wonderful PAC provides such amazing support for our students, teachers and school as a whole!  Our students really enjoyed the wonderful Writing Day supplies that the PAC provided for today - nothing beats a special pencil and eraser and some fun stickers!
Thanks to everyone who purchased beautiful plants and holiday decorations from the plant sale last month!  The plants arrived today and they are beautiful.  Funds raised will support more of the great fun activities that the PAC has planned.
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Mr. Grantham's students remind us how we can keep safe with these colourful posters that they have displayed around the school.  
Health and Safety posters by Div 1
c care
14th Annual DIY Pancake Breakfast fundraiser
Friday, November 27th from 7am-7pm
A record breaking year of generosity:  $2236.75 plus 14 gift cards AND 80 toys/gifts!!


Our DIY Pancake Breakfast saw families and community members stop by our school to donate cash, gift cards or new unwrapped toys for the Squamish Christmas Community Care. In return they received a reusable bag containing  pancake mix and fixings to go.


Thank you to our PAC and all of our Community Sponsors for this creative COVID-safe,14th Annual Christmas Community Care fundraiser!


Ms. Saenger

Make, Create, Innovate header
mittenActivities that go along with those cozy warm mittens from the PAC:
  • Read Jan Brett’s “The Mitten” YouTube Reading by the author
  • Put the Animals in the Mitten (Click to download PDF file) -great for sequencing
  • Design your own mittens and place in a Mitten Book or display around your home
  • Design a glove/mitt for your favourite sport’s team 
  • Explore which is better mittens or gloves.  What type of hand protection is best for various outdoor use? 
  • Write a poem on an outline of a mitten (Click to download PDF file
Thank you to our PAC for the warmth and joy that came in a pair of cozy mittens!
Library News header

A big thank you to parent volunteer, Kelsey Roberge who helped organize our first virtual book fair and to other parents that helped out too!  The fair brought in $386.00 worth of book credits to our school! Thank you to families that made book purchases online to help spread the love of reading and support school libraries.


Reading Link Challenge is a go this year and BRE has 45 students signed up for this yearly event!  Students from grades 4, 5, and 6 have signed up and will find out what books have been selected for the challenge from our public youth librarian, Kate Inman very soon.  BRE greatly appreciates the local family that donates funds each year to purchase all the novels for this event!


Lastly, please look around your home and/or vehicle for any books your child may have borrowed last spring.  It is a busy time, but if you can check and see if there are BRE library books tucked away that need to be returned, it would be appreciated!


Ms. Mah

BRE teacher librarian


Parents header

Purdy's Orders Have Arrived

Please read the note below from our Purdy's coordinator Jessi McLennan,Purdy's Chocolates

Thank you so much for supporting the BES PAC this year!  Because it's a bit of a strange year, we will be doing pick up a little differently.  Pick up will be from my house - 1603 Depot Road between 3.15-6pm Friday 27th and 9-2 Saturday 28th.  Before you come to pick up, please text me - 604-815-7087 or call me and let me know when you are coming. I will put your order out front (under cover) and you can come and collect it.  If you can't come between those times please send me an email at and suggest an alternative. 

This was our biggest year ever for the fundraiser (which we thank YOU) with over 70 people placing orders. I will do my absolute best to ensure a smooth pick-up, but please help me out and arrive when you say you will so I don't leave your order unattended outside.

Have a very happy and healthy holiday season.


Winter Plant Fundraiser pickup - next Friday, December 4th from 2 - 3:30pm.


letter writing childWriting Day - Friday, December 4th - We can’t have volunteers and parent helpers due to COVID protocols, but we will still spend most of the afternoon enjoying writing with our class or cohort.  Letters written at school will be sent home for mailing or delivery.  If your child wants to write to a family member or friend please send the address along.  Many thanks to the wonderful Brackendale PAC for supplying the classes with stationary to use.


Ongoing PAC fundraising:

Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - What can we do to stay safe during COVID-19?

To answer this question, Mr. Hirn's students created the list below. Read these to someone and see if they can fill in the underlined word before you say it. 

  • wear a mask
  • maintain physical distance - 2 metres
  • stay home if sick,
  • sneeze into your elbow,
  • cough into your elbow
  • wash your hands for 20 seconds,
  • don't touch your face,
  • don't touch your friends,
  • when soap and water is not available, use hand sanitizer,
  • listen to Dr. Bonnie Henry,
  • don't share food,
  • have good airflow,
  • stay in your home bubble,
  • don't touch stuff, including toys in stores
  • don't hug people,
  • sanitize door handles and tap handles
  • don't go to other people's houses, and
  • stay healthy with good food and sleep

Students have created their own list of top 5, most to least, important actions. Next, they will evaluate their top 5 lists against criteria for effectiveness. 


River, the Therapy DogRiver, the Therapy Dog, is coming for a visit


Hi, my name is River. I am a loveable 1.5 year old lab mixed breed pooch. I am a certified therapy dog, who is trained to provide companionship, love and affection. This Wednesday I am looking forward to working on my social thinking skills with a few students at school!


When I am working, please ask Ms. Shuker if it is okay to pet me.



Professional Learning Summary.  Our teachers and support staff are committed to enriching their practice through a wide range of professional development opportunities.  Here is a short list of educational themes that we have been working on:cory

Indigenous Learning – Cory Douglas, Indigenous Artist and Graphic Designer, lead us through a workshop that gave us a deeper understanding of the significance, similarities and differences between the  elements of Haida Form line and Coast Salish designs.


Truth and Reconciliation – We explored the Decolonize First handbook by Author and Innovator, Ta7talíya Michelle Nahanee of the Squamish Nation.  This text challenged us to examine our assumptions, undo colonial impacts and find ways to move forward with reconciliation without blame or guilt.


Technology – Many teachers are collaborating to enhance their digital skills and to understand how and when to use technology to benefit student learning.  Technology also plays a role in how we share student learning with families and how we engage families in the feedback process.  


Social Emotional Learning - Some of our staff took a deeper look at social emotional learning and how strategies such as Zones of Regulation can be helpful.  One well attended workshop on Trauma Informed Practice asked us to consider “What emotions do you want people to feel in your presence?”  This thought provoking question reminds us that our own emotions influence how others around us feel. 

c care Make sure you plan to participate in our 14th Annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser for Community Christmas Care on November 27th.  We can’t gather for breakfast in the gym due to COVID, but our 

clever PAC have adapted and we will have a donation drop off from 7:00am – 7:00pm.  Community Christmas Care is not accepting food donations this year – please bring unwrapped toys, cash or grocery cards and gift cards for teens instead.

 When:   Friday, November 27th 7:00AM-7:00PM

What to bring for donations:                               Nov. 27th is also PJ Day 

  • Unwrapped Toys                                              Wear your comfy onesie!
  • Cash
  • Gift Cards for teens

What you get:

  • A Breakfast bag to go!
  • *Come early to make sure you get your breakfast bag to go as supplies will be going fast*

How to be part of the larger celebration virtually:

  • Make your own pancake breakfast when it is convenient for you,
  • Share your photos with us to be entered into a draw to win a family gift basket! Photos can be shared by social media using the tag #brackendalepancakes or by sending to email


Parents Banner

December 4 is Writing Day – We can’t have volunteers and parent helpers due to COVID protocols, but we will still spend most of the afternoon enjoying writing with our class or cohort. Many thanks to the wonderful Brackendale PAC for supplying the classes with stationary to use.


A thank you to all the families who helped fill Teachers book wish lists during our Scholastic online book fair, we brought in over $300 towards library funds. And a thank you to Kelsey Roberge for running this fundraiser and gathering class donations. 


Purdy’s chocolate sales were excellent!  Sales: $11,237.10 Profit: $2,809.28! A great big thank you to Jessi for leading this fundraiser.


 You are invited to this month's "In the Know":  In The Know poster

 "Connecting with our kids when anxiety leads to social isolation"

What does social isolation look like and feel like for our kids and in our homes? Let's talk about strategies families can try and how important it is to connect with your children before doing the hard work of trying something new.


Watch a video with us and come together with other families for a facilitated discussion.

November 26th from 6:30-8pm  To register please follow the link:

Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Do what Dr. Bonnie Henry says

At BRE we stay safe and agree to:physical dis

  • stay home when sick,
  • wash our hands often, 
  • avoid physical contact,
  • not share our things, 
  • practice physical distancing, and
  • do what Dr. Bonnie Henry says.


On November 7, 2020, Dr. Bonnie Henry issued a Provincial Health Order for  the lower Mainland, including Squamish, to significantly reduce social interactions. Among the restrictions are:

No social gatherings of any size with anyone other than your core bubble. For example:

    • Do not invite friends or extended family to your household 
    • Do not gather outdoors
    • Do not have playdates for children

 Note that your core bubble is typically only the people that you live with. For full details, click here.

Kids can help by:

  • Postponing their hang outs, playdates, and parties,Be kind
  • Showing resilience and not making a fuss when plans are changed,
  • Applying optimism and understanding that this order is only for a short time, and,
  • Following Dr. Bonnie Henry’s advice:
    • Be Kind
    • Be Calm
    • Be Safe


Indoor group physical activity programs, including Dance classes, have been suspended.  Indoor sports programs such as Hockey and Martial Arts may require adaptations. Check with your child’s recreation program organizer for specific information.  This order is currently in effect through November 23, 2020 at 12:00 pm.​


smsEach year, on November 17, we celebrate SMS Awareness Day with the entire Smith-Magenis Syndrome community!

This is a day dedicated to spreading education and understanding of Smith-Magenis Syndrome around the world. Smith-Magenis Syndrome (SMS) is a rare neurobehavioral disorder characterized by a recognizable pattern of physical, behavioral, and developmental features. It is caused by particular genetic changes on chromosomal region 17p11.2, which contains the gene RAI1. SMS is a rare disorder that occurs in between 1 out of every 15,000 to 25,000 births. (Source: )


Maddy is a grade 4 student in our school who has SMS.  She loves dancing, being with people, and giving "air hugs".  She says, "I love to do math and on the playground, I love going on the monkey bars. I love to move my body and sometimes I get out of control."  Maddy is good at reading and loves cooking food and chocolate cookies.  Maddy is just like every child in our school who overcomes challenges with the kind support of her friends, classmates and teachers. Maddy says "Thank you Ms. Hansra and Mrs. Fanzega for helping me!"


Pictured here is Maddy and Ms. Saenger sharing “air hugs”.


Remembrance Day Art Collage - created from our hallway and classroom displays

Many people from near and far, have reached out to Mr. Grantham and Ms. Saenger to say how much they appreciated the opportunity to connect with family and friends by watching the digital ceremony.  Residents at Hilltop House expressed that this made them feel a part of the larger celebration.   Our website visits over the last three days is staggering - 705 views! Thank you to everyone for participating.  The video will continue to be available through November 23rd.

christmas care

Same Care, Different Share!

Please join us for our 14th Annual Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for the Squamish Community Christmas Care

 Where: Brackendale Elementary School

 When:           Friday, November 27th


What to bring for donations:

  • Unwrapped Toys
  • Cash
  • Gift Cards for teens

What you get:

  • A Breakfast bag to go!
  • Including pancake mix, fruit, syrup and some hot chocolate! *Come early to make sure you get your breakfast bag to go as supplies will be going fast*

How to be part of the larger celebration virtually:

  • Make your own pancake breakfast when it is convenient for you,
  • Share your photos with us to be entered into a draw to win a family gift basket! Photos can be shared by social media using the tag #brackendalepancakes or by sending to email


Ongoing PAC fundraising:


Health and Safety Highlight of the WeekSafety Banner

Administrative Measures include policies, procedures, and methodologies which reduce the risk of exposure.  One measure is taking learning and instruction outside.

Take Students Outside More Often

Brackendale Elementary School is honoured to learn, work and play on the Traditional, Ancestral, Unceded Territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation and Village of Waiwaikum.  Our ample school grounds, lush forests and accessible local environments, enable us to take students outside more often.

Student curiosity and risk taking is enhanced through movement, hands on learning, and exploration.  They grow their knowledge, sense of place, and application of learning by spending time outside in the natural environment. (Source: SD48 Education Plan)

Outdoor and environment learning may include some of these examples:mud puddle fun

    • nature walks and exploration,
    • habitat and life cycle studies,
    • plant, pollinator and animal observations and recordings, 
    • climate action inquiry projects,
    • invasive species inquiry projects,
    • Art and creative design projects,
    • PE activities,
    • Circle, daily check-in activities,
    • STEM (science, technology, engineering, math) learning
Families can help by:
    • Sending children with rain jackets, boots and a change of clothes - everyday
    • Completing the walking field trip permission form online
We wash hands:
    • before,
    • during if necessary, and
    • after outdoor learning and play

Sunglasses from The Great Pacific Garbage Patch

sunglassesLast year our students raised funds to support oceans:  Mr. Fieldhouse’s student sold handmade ornaments, Ms. Mowbray’s class attended the Climate Action Rally and held a bake sale, Mr. Zigar and our student leaders hosted a noon hour school dance.  But, the students struggled to find a nonprofit organization that met their criteria.  They wanted to make sure that their selected nonprofit would specifically address plastic pollution in oceans.  At first, it seemed that 4Ocean was a good prospect.  But then, the students rejected this organization when they discovered that the bracelets sold by 4Ocean are composed of less than 5% reclaimed ocean plastic.


Mowbray and Zigar with glassesMr. Zigar’s and Ms. Mowbray’s students analyzed another nonprofit called, The Ocean Cleanup, and found it promising.   They are removing plastic pollution from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch and have made sunglasses composed of 95% recycled ocean plastic.  This is first product ever made with plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.  And, each donation for a pair of sunglasses, helps clean an area of ocean the size of 24 football fields!


Two pairs of Ocean Cleanup sunglasses arrived this week.  Now, the students are figuring out how to use these sunglasses to motivate others to take action.


Remembrance Day 2020

Our annual Remembrance Day Ceremony will take a slightly different form as we adapt to COVID protocols.  A little critical thinking and creativity by Mr. Grantham and his class (with technical support from Mrs. Smith) has brought our traditional assembly into a virtual format.  The virtual program will be streamed in all of the classrooms and will allow the opportunity for every class to take part in their own way. Families and community members may also watch the production from home.  Check back on Nov. 10th for the secure video release instructions.


In class, the Grade 5 and 6 students have been learning about Canada’s contribution and role in the world (Boer War, WW1, WW2, Korea, Gulf Way, Afghanistan) and what it was like to be a soldier in war. The virtual ceremony includes music, readings, guest speakers, and a shadow dance to interpret the feelings of those who support our soldiers. 


When reflecting on the experience of creating this virtual Ceremony the students had these words to say:

  •  It was kind of easier because we could try again if we messed up - Tessa
  •  I feel that we should do this more often because it can last forever and you can look at it again – Maria
  • All of us were really happy to be part of the ceremony this year and to try something different. - Ava
Parking Lot Safety
parking lot mapAs we get into the wetter and darker months there is a lot more activity in our parking lot at drop-off and pick-up times.  Please go slowly (remember that our 30 km/h school zone is in effect from 7:30am - 7:30pm); watch for children appearing unexpectedly and please observe our parking lot rules - here is the layout as a reminder.  There is no stopping/parking in the bus stop area in front of the school.
Parents Banner
Don't miss out.  Purdy's orders are due Friday, November 13th.  Perfect for advent calendars, stocking stuffers and end of year gifts.  Purdy's generously gives 20% of the purchase price back to the school, this helps tremendously with new books, school events and other benefits for the students.  Any questions please contact the Purdy's coordinator Jessi McLennan at 604-815-7087.
Spirit Wear sales have been extended to Sunday, November 8th - get your Brackendale logo wear - great for holiday gifts and a fun way to show your Brackendale pride!  If you haven't used the Hot Lunch Online website here are the easy directions:
  1. Go to the hot lunch website
  2. Register using the access code BDHL - complete the registration form
  3. Select "Student"; insert new - fill in the information for your child OR 
  4. Select "Customer" - insert new - fill it out as yourself
  5. Select Orders on the top menu bar - click student orders to find the order you want to place (in this case Spirit Wear)
The 14th Annual Pancake Breakfast for Community Christmas Care takes on a new style!  With COVID restrictions on gatherings the PAC have come up with a clever twist on our annual tradition - more information will be coming next week, but save the date - Friday, November 27th!  Christmas Care has requested that donations be in the form of cash or new unused toys this year.
Ongoing fundraising:
On another front - the PAC is looking for someone to take on posting to Social Media and the ‘Hot Lunch site’ uploading, this person would be posting about events and fundraisers on the PAC page as well as getting order forms on the Hot Lunch site when needed. (Hot Lunch is currently suspended due to the pandemic). This role would be less than an hour a week - if your comfortable with the Facebook platforms and are interested in helping with this position, please email
fall back - PST
safety heading
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week
Pack-in, Pack-out is a slogan that reminds us to take care of our own belongings.  Leaving our learning spaces free of clutter while reducing our environmental footprint enables efficient, effective classroom cleaning and disinfection - every day!
  • "Pack in/pack out" compostable items and plastic recycling. Our PAC and student leaders initiated this environmental practice 2 years ago to encourage "litterless" lunches
  • Food, snacks, treats may not be shared
  • School bags, back packs, clothing and personal items go home each day
  • Practice independence and show respect for yourself, others and the school environment by:
    • Checking that a jacket has not been left outside
    • Looking behind you before leaving the gym for shoes or sweaters
    • Ensuring that the 'coat cupboard' is completely empty of shoes, coats, bags etc. at the end of the day
    • leave no traceClearing desks, tables and counters of school materials, 
    • Stacking chairs, and
    • Completing classroom jobs
Leave No Trace - Families and children especially are encouraged to label gloves, hats, mitts, hoodies and jackets, as these items are most frequently left behind.
Mansions and Haunted Houses for Sale!
Mrs. Fanzega's students learned how to use adjectives, write a captivating opening sentence in a descriptive paragraph, and follow criteria for a project.  Here is a sample of their expressive writing:
Expressive words collage
Parents Header
spirit wear options
Brackendale Spirit Wear is back!  Order your Brackendale hoodie, t-shirt or toque here.  Hoodies and t-shirts are available in black or grey and all items are adorned with the beautiful two-colour Brackendale logo. Place your order by November 6th for delivery mid-December.
Speaking of spirits - make sure you check the BCCDC Guidelines for a safe and fun Halloween this year.
Ongoing fundraising:
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week


Arrival/Dismissal Procedures help ensure the health and well-being of children and adults in our school community:

  • Daily Health Check - Every child and every adult who goes to school must do a daily health checksafety
      • Stay home if sick
      • Keep children home if they are ill or show signs of illness
  • Every child must go directly to their arrival zone and remain there while they wait for their teacher
      • Please do not send your child to school early; arrive close to 8:45am
  • Parents and caregivers must avoid congregating and maintain 1-2 metre physical distancing from others.
      • As physical distancing is not always possible, adults are encouraged to wear a mask
  • Teachers escort their classes to their Arrival/Dismissal Zone in a staggered fashion to avoid congestion and mixing of cohorts
  • Playgrounds are closed at arrival and dismissal to minimize mixing of cohorts
  • Use the bike rack assigned to your class and Learning Group.
      • To further disperse people, consider making your class bike a place to meet parents/guardians


4 Blankets of Resilience

Beginning with the first blanket of the self, family as the second, the third blanket of community, and finally the fourth blanket of land and culture, that wrap around them, students celebrate their strengths, connections and relationships that build their sense of self-efficacy, resiliency, and purpose.

(Adapted from: The Ripple Effect of Resiliency – An Indigenous Perspective by Monique Gray Smith)


Identity Project by Mr. Hirn’s Class

As an artistic representation of their 4 Blankets, Mr. Hirn’s students created an Identity Poster to celebrate their strengths, likes/dislike, their name story, their origin story, special family and culture.  Ms. Saenger interviewed Yuri about his project.


Ms. Saenger: I am curious about your name story.

Yuri:  My name means big and smart. I was named after the Russian Astronaut, Yuri Gragarin, who was the first human to journey to outer space.  He did this before the first man on the moon who was Neil Armstrong

Ms. Saenger: How do you feel about being named after this famous astronaut? 

Yuri: I think I am the only one in my class is who is named after a famous astronaut so that’s kinda cool. 

Ms. Saenger: Do you have aspirations to be a scientist or an astronaut?

Yuri:  Maybe, I have lots of space books.

Ms. Saenger:  What do you think about the meaning of your name: big and smart?

Yuri: I find it kinda cool that my name means big and smart. I am already smart but not big yet.  My Dad thinks I will have a late growth spurt. I am tired and achy right now. My Dad thinks I might be 7ft tall soon. Well, if I stacked up a bunch of chairs and stood on the top, then I’d be 7ft tall!


Many of the students were keen to share their identity project for this article.  Thank you to all Mr. Hirn’s students for celebrating their unique selves with us.


Virtual Book Fair countdown
Our PAC, in support of our school Library, are stepping up to keep the Brackendale Scholastic Book Fair tradition alive!  We can't host the book fair in person but we can hold a Virtual Book Fair.  Just think - you can join in the fun from your home, at a time convenient to you, in your pajamas if you feel like it!  The books will be delivered directly to you (no more trying to sneak them home without your child noticing) and the shipping is free for orders over $35.  What a great way to do a little sneaky Covid-safe holiday shopping and help the school library at the same time!
Parents header
In The Know series poster
Upcoming FamilySmart online workshop for parents - Parenting when our kids can't go to school.  This is a complex challenge - join the facilitators to talk about the pieces parents have control over, remembering how much relationships matter, and who to turn to for support. 
Thursday, October 29th, 2020 from 6:30 - 8:00pm.  Click here to register
PAC Meeting - Wednesday, October 28th by Zoom

Join Zoom Meeting


Meeting ID: 898 3344 0669

Passcode: 511388

Nesters logoA great fundraiser for Brackendale Elementary is the Nesters Gift Card program!  This is such an easy way to help support our school, especially when fundraising is a little more challenging due to Covid19.  Nesters Market will generously donate 10% of the purchase price of the gift card - for every $50 you spend at the grocery store that's $5.00 that goes directly to Brackendale Elementary PAC.  Gift cards are available in $50 and $100 amounts and can be ordered through the online hot lunch website and then picked up at the school office. You don't need to use up the entire card in one shopping trip.
Purdy's logoDon't forget to get your Purdy's chocolate orders placed - online ordering is easy - click here to register with customer number 7337.  Deadline for ordering is Friday, November 13th and pickup on November 27 and 28.
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week
Personal measures are actions individuals can take to protect themselves and others.  The basic measures identified in the school health and safety plan include:
  • Stay home when sick,
  • Follow Hand Hygiene
  • Use Respiratory Etiquette
  • Maintain Physical Distancing
  • Avoid sharing food, drink and personal items
To help teach and reinforce personal measures, Ms. Moo and our Intermediate students created a music video called “You can’t touch this” - A COVID parody of MC Hammer’s hit song.  Here are some of the actions this video highlights: 
  • Wash your hands
  • Don’t touch your face
  • Give others lots of space
  • Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
  • Clean surfaces that others touch – including money!
  • Wash your hands
  • Use your elbow to press elevator buttons and to turn on or off the lights
  • Use your sleeve to open doors
  • Rap or hum instead of singing out loudly
  • Keep your snacks and toys to yourself
  • Wash your hands!

Flexible Learning Spaces “…inherent in deeper student learning, are flexible and dynamic structures which take into consideration students’ physical, medical, social emotional, sensory, and academic needs.”SD#48 Education Plan
How we design and use physical space, including the tools we use, the materials we explore, the peers we work with, and the time we schedule for inquiry learning, form the essence of a student centered learning environment.  At BRE students are also often given the choice of technology, learning with a buddy, working on their own learning targets and finding a comfortable space for learning.  Captured in these photos are:
  • Mrs.Borsoff’s students taking their reading into the hallway, under desks, and into the corners of their classroom.
  • Mrs.Webb’s students enjoying their special reading spot in the classroom while exploring their books.
reading in the hallwayKindies reading

Student Photos – your child’s photo was likely taken on September 15th.  Lifetouch would like us to remind you that you that you should get your order placed as soon as possible.  If your child was absent on September 15th or you would like to have retakes done, our retake day is Thursday, October 22nd.  For retakes please return the original photo package to the school.
Forms and Student Supplies – many families have already completed the online permission forms that we require each year, but just in case you have forgotten please pop in to our online site and see if there is anything outstanding.  Student supplies payments ($45 per student) can be made there as well.


PAC header

Do you struggle to keep track of your children’s things?  Are you looking for labels for your canning and preserving? Do you just want the bear to know whose garbage can he’s bashing around the neighbourhood? The PAC has just the thing for you – place an order for Lovable Labels at – the PAC receives a portion of your purchase and you can put your own stamp on anything you want.

This holiday season, Brackendale Elementary School PAC will be fundraising with Purdy's Chocolatier! This program gives 25% profit back to the school and it's an EASY way to complete your Christmas shopping! As a special request we are running the program a few weeks early so that deliveries will be in time for Advent Calendars!  Please share your catalogue or the web-link with family, friends, neighbors and coworkers.  Order online at – the school customer number is 7337. ALL ORDERS DUE by November 13th  - pickup will be Friday and Saturday Nov 27/28 – location TBA 
Thank you for supporting our school and the PAC!
Enter your text here...

Orange Shirt Day

We recognize and honour the residential school survivors, we understand that every child matters,Orange Shirt Day and we reflect on the experiences of our Indigenous community members. Our students study literature, view videos and have class discussions that capture the meaning behind Orange Shirt Day.  While reconciliation is a life-long endeavor, this past week students have used words and imagery to capture their feelings and thinking about past wrongs. 


Every Child MattersHere are some student reflections, from Kindergarten through grade 6:

“Residential schools were a big mistake and I can’t imagine how the kids felt.”

“I’m sorry that you couldn’t speak your language at school.”

“I’m sorry that you couldn’t be at home with your Granny.”

“I wish you got to keep your self blanket.”

“I hope the government doesn’t make a mistake again.  What the government did was wrong!”

“We need our language”

“We need our culture”

“We need our family”

“We are important”

“Every Child Matters!”


Highlights from our Health and Safety Plan


We practice hand hygiene a lot! This is one way to prevent spreading diseases including COVID-19. 

Ms. Saenger interviewed some students about handwashing.  Derek (gr. 6) explained that: “Handwashing is healthy for you and I do it at home too.” Jakub (gr. 5) commented that “It is getting annoying washing my hands for 20 seconds, but I still do it because I need too.”  When discussing the importance of hand washing in Mr. Hirn’s classroom, Easton (gr. 4) said:

“The best way to get rid of hand washing…is to keep handwashing!”

Everyone at BRE must wash their hands:soapy hands

  • before leaving home; 
  • upon arrival at school
  • after using the washroom;
  • after breaks and outdoor activities;
  • before and after using playground equipment;
  • before and after using shared spaces (gym, library, etc.)
  • before food preparation;
  • before and after eating any food; and,
  • before leaving the school

We are fortunate at BRE because every classroom has a sink area which is equipped with running water, soap and paper towel which makes handwashing accessible. 


Put a Pause on Sharing - We often use the phrase “sharing is caring”.  For now, we are putting a pause on sharing personal items, food and snacks. You may see snack wrappers and compost coming home in lunch kits.  That’s because our school sustainability plan, created by students and PAC, says “Leave No Trace”.

Pack-in, Pack-out:

  • BRE started a “pack in/pack out” environmental practice last year and halted compostable and plastic recycling
  • Items from home may not be shared including food, snacks, birthday treats 
  • Personal items will go home with students each day
  • Students will help ensure that the ‘coat cupboard' is completely empty of shoes, coats, bags etc.

Student and Parent Handbook - a great place to look for the answers to your frequently asked questions about Brackendale Elementary.  Please make sure you take a look through it.  Inside you will find our student code of conduct, the dress code and lots of other useful information.  You can find it here.

Some New Additions to Mr. Zigar's Class
giant snails

"Hey! Mr. Zigar's class has three new slimey GALS. Do you know what GALS are? What should we name them? Put your suggestions in the box by Mr. Zigar's class. The names must be, funny and clever.  Thanks, Rhyden and Tori


Mr. Zigar has also welcomed Anastasia (below) - she's an albino California kingsnake.


Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Minimizing Physical Contact

  • Send someone an “Air High Five”kindie air hugs
  • Replace Bear Hugs with “Air Hugs”
  • Keep hands to yourself

Reducing the number of close, in-person interactions helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. When students are interacting within their Learning Group cohort they are to reduce physical contact with each other but do not need to practice physical distancing.  When students and staff are interacting with others outside of their cohorts, they practice physical distancing and avoid physical contact.

 (Source: School Health and Safety Plan)


To support this important health and safety measure, our learning groups play in designated zones at recess and lunch, students have access to their learning group bin or bag of outdoor equipment like hoops and scoops and balls for recess times and we adapt games and do not participate in traditional contact sport matches like football, rugby and hockey. 

Check out this fun YouTube of Katie Dedmak‘s book ‘If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug'


We are maintaining physical distancing in our safety practice at school - our first fire drill was held this past week and we arranged it by learning cohorts in staggered time slots.  Ms. Saenger spent time with each group ensuring that they understood the importance of these safety drills and was very pleased by the respectful and orderly conduct of all the classes.


Growth Mindset - Teaching and reinforcing a growth mindset, defined as empathy,growth mindset posters flexibility, persistence, resilience, and optimism, enables students to stay the course when things get tough and become better learners.  The following examples come from Mrs. Stroh’s class where students in grades 1 and 2 connect literacy to their real life learning.  Through the book series about Gerald (an elephant), and Piggy (a pig); and the series of Indigenous legend books by Robert James Challenger which combine stories of the Northwest Coast with the tradition of Aesops's Fables, students deepen their understand each of these different traits.


Dylan – “Finn hurt his leg at recess.  Brysen showed Empathy with Finn when he fell down.  Brysen was asking Finn if he was OK.”

Gibson – “I showed Resilience when I wasn’t giving up at bike camp.  I tried to get all of the cones but only got two.  I got only a little bit sad but knew I could get more next time.”

Finn – “My example is Persistence.  I saw other students with big, big logs, and sticks and big rocks and lots of stuff like that.  They worked hard at building their fort.”


Truth and Reconciliation – Comparing and contrasting how we feel at our school with our thoughts about residential school is one way that students in Mrs. Fieldhouse’s class explored this important topic.  They also noticed a lot of Empathy during these learning activities.

orange shirt day messages

On the Orange Shirts students have written words that they would like to say to children who attended residential school.

“I wish you could have stayed home”

“I’m sorry your language got taken away”

“I’m sorry your family blanket is gone”

“I’m sorry you got taken away”

“I wish that your self-blanket didn’t get taken away” (Teacher note: Self-blanket means self-identity)


On the White shirts, students have written words to describe how they feel at our school.

“Joyful, safe, good, happy, grateful, smart, loved”

“I feel joyful, safe, loved, ready to learn, amazing”

“I feel loved ready to learn”

“I feel happy, good, safe”


Do you know what the PAC committee does?

parents - the information you need

The Brackendale Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is an unbiased, non-profit organization representing the parent community at our school. We hold meetings monthly and volunteer our time at a variety of events and fundraisers that benefit students, families, and teachers.  We collaborate with school staff and encourage parents to share their ideas around issues and opportunities regarding the school’s programs, policies and procedures, budgets, facilities, and equipment.

A few programs and fundraisers we help with: 

  • Book Fairs - it will be virtual this year!
  • Food program with Helping Hands
  • Hot Lunches 
  • Art Cards for Kids 
  • Pancake Breakfast (fundraiser to support the Sea to Sky Community Christmas Care program) 
  • Writing Day 
  • Kids Christmas Sale 
  • Neufeld Farm Fundraiser 
  • Purdy’s Fundraiser (watch for your Purdy's catalogues coming home next week!)
  • Nesters Gift Cards (available anytime through the school office - just call Ms. Hackett)

Money raised during the year goes to help funding many programs, including new play equipment, Teacher classroom funds, sports activities, arts and music programs and learning resources. 

We know a lot of these programs will look very different in the coming school year, but we are going to continue to support these fun events and programs the best that we can, in new ways.


If you would like to help out with PAC this year, even if it's only an hour, any support is greatly appreciated. You can email with your availability and contact information to be added to our volunteer list. Without parent and family volunteers, these programs would not be possible. 

Have an idea for PAC? Send us an email and we will discuss it at our upcoming PAC Meeting October 28th.

PAC Zoom Meeting information, agendas and past minutes are all posted in the PAC section of the Brackendale Elementary School Website, under the Families tab.

Professional Development Day, September 28th – Learning together is paramount to helping our children, staff and the school community thrive during these ever-changing times. By focusing on First Peoples’ Principles of Learning, Trauma-in formed Practice and Educational Technology we will be better equipped to support student agency, foster resilience and be inspired to create different learning opportunities for children.  For information about part of our Pro-D Day see: “Building Compassionate Communities in a New Normal”. We are excited that Monique Gray Smith, who authored the concept of the 4 Blankets of Resilience, is one of the speakers in this webinar.  Thank you also to Tina Sherlock, Dixie Cameron and Natalie Mah for leading our technology infused in-service workshops.

Orange Shirt Day - Wednesday, September 30 -  opens the door to global conversation on all aspects of Residential Schools.  It is an opportunity to create meaningful discussion about the effects of Residential Schools and the legacy they have left behind.  A discussion all Canadians can tune into and create bridges with each other for reconciliation.  A day for survivors to be reaffirmed that they matter, and so do those that have been affected.  Every Child Matters, even if they are an adult, from now on.
Highlights from the PAC Meeting
  • New PAC Executive for 2020-2021
    • Jinelle Thompson - President
    • Krista Breau - Vice President
    • Catherine Rosen - Secretary
    • Heather Teasell - Treasurer
    • Krista Brea and Heather Teasell - DPAC Reps
  • Neufeld Farms Fundraiser - We’re excited to offer another Neufeld Farms fundraiser, time to stock the freezer with some fall goodies!
    • Orders are due Thursday October 1st
    • Pick up is Wednesday October 14th at 330pm at the school! 
    • Ordering online through the hot lunch site for your convenience!  New to the hot lunch site? 
    • Register here Access Code: BDHL  Payment can be made on the site by Paypal (etransfer, cheque or cash payments can also be arranged if needed)
    • If you have any questions - please reach out to Jinelle Thompson or Michelle Greenlees. 
    • PAC email -    We look forward to this fundraiser being another success!  Thank you for your continued support.
Dress for the Weather - we play and learn outside a lot!  Please make sure that your child has clothing and footwear appropriate to the weather each day.  It is very helpful if younger students also have a change of clothes with them in case they get wet.

What a busy week we have had!  We are settling into a routine again (with some adjustments for COVID protocols and the smoky weather.)

Welcome Ceremony

Welcome Ceremony  - Roxy Lewis, Rachel Baker, Yvonne Brekke and Cynthia Lewis marked the beginning of the school year with some drumming and singing in our beautiful forest area.  We live-streamed the ceremony into our classrooms at both Brackendale Elementary School and Don Ross Middle School. This tradition brings us together as one community and highlights our special relationship with the land on which our schools sit. We are hounoured to be teaching and learning on the Traditional, Ancestral, Unceded Territory of the   Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation. The video is available here on our website.


Today we also held a modified Terry Fox "Walk" – students walked in their

Terry Fox - Try Like Terry

learning groups at staggered times through the day.  We didn’t send home our usual donation envelopes, but we encourage you to make a donation if you can – here is the link to our school donation page

Thanks so much to Emily Tolmie, Heather Teasell and others for stepping up to help our last year Grade 6 students make their handprint stepping stones before school started last week.  We are very grateful that our  students were able to participate in this legacy project.


The Brackendale PAC has some very exciting plans in the works and would love for you to join in the fun!  They are holding the BRE PAC AGM/ 1st Meeting Virtually on Sept 23rd - 7pm via Zoom and will be communicating details very soon. Neufeld Farms fundraiser is happening now!  Orders are due by Oct. 1st.  Order online here and note that the access code to register is BDHL.


There are a few housekeeping items for you to review:

  • Please take a read through the Student/Parent Handbook – it holds the answers to many of your frequently asked questions and is a great resource for families.
  • Our school calendar can be found here – please make sure you note Pro-D Days and early dismissals in your family calendar.
  • There are a few forms that we need you to sign – they are available electronically at if you are not already registered it is an easy process and makes paying for students supplies and field trips and signing forms a snap.
  • Speaking of School Supplies – if you have not already purchased your child’s supplies please visit the site and do so at your earliest convenience. We are happy to provide this slick alternative to the mad scramble of supply shopping each year.
  • Late Arrivals - Students who arrive after their class has entered the building in the morning must check in at the school office. It is a quick and efficient process, but there may be a short delay due to the need for physical distancing in our foyer.