MOA: tommorow

I’m so sad that I won’t be able to join you on our first trip of the year ūüė¶ Make sure you listen very carefully so you can fill me in on everything that we learn about First Nation’s culture. Please make sure that you have a rain jacket and boots as¬†part of the tour will be outside. Also remember to¬†send a car seat if your child still requires one. We will be¬†having lunch there so students won’t have access to a microwave heat up their lunch.

Have a great time!


Update: Drivers for MOA

Thank you for all your interest in driving to the MOA.  Aruna, Fred, Diana and James will be coming with us this field trip. Please remember to be here at 8:35 so we can leave promptly at 8:45. If your child needs a booster seat please send it with them on Wednesday. Lunch lady has been cancelled for anyone who has already ordered. Students will bring their lunch and eat at the museum.

Note on Report Cards

Dear parents,

I just wanted to advise you that science will not be reported on this first term. Our report card will reflect our first inquiry and it did not include
science. The Ministry of Education requires that we comment on science two out of three terms. The remaining inquiries are heavily science-based and will be reported on during the second and third terms.

Upcoming Field Trip: Museum of Anthropology



6393 Northwest Marine Drive  Vancouver, BC V6T 1Z2
(604) 827-5932

On Wednesday, November 28th we are going on our first field trip to the Museum of Anthropology. We will be asking for parent volunteers to drive us. If your child needs a booster seat, please send it with them.¬†Students should arrive at school 8:30. We will leave the school by 8:45 to arrive at UBC for 9:30. We will be doing the “Pole Walk” program until 12:00. Students will eat their lunch and enjoy the gallery until we depart at 1:15. We will aim to return to Urban Academy for 2:00 as we are doing a First Nation music program after DPA. Parents are invited to stay for this program or can leave once I am back at the school.

For more information on the MOA please see their website:

The “Pole Walk” program:

The Pole Walk
Grades 3-5
Duration: 1 hr 15 min
Times: Tuesday to Friday 9:45 am & 12:15 pm

The Pole Walk explores a variety of monumental poles originating from BC First Nations. Students learn to identify crests and gain a deeper understanding of the significance of raising a pole today. A tour of the outdoor poles, houseposts, and the Haida House are included, so please ensure your students are dressed appropriately for the weather.

Middle School: What an experience…


“This American Life” is¬†a podcast¬†I listen to¬†on a regular basis. This one is particularly interesting for me as an educator and possibly for you as parents. Is this how you¬†remember it? Is this what is to come? This¬†podcast does also remind me how lucky we are to be part of Urban Academy.

This American Life: “Middle School”


¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Host Ira Glass interviews a 14-year old named Annie, who emailed us asking if we would do a show about middle school. She explains why exactly the middle school years can be so daunting. (4 1/2 minutes) Education ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† In an effort to understand the physical and emotional changes middle school kids experience, Ira speaks with reporter Linda Perlstein, who wrote a book called Not Much Just Chillin’ about a year she spent following five middle schoolers. Then we hear from producer Alex Blumberg, who was a middle school teacher in Chicago for four years before getting into radio. Alex’s takeaway? We shouldn’t even try teaching kids at this age. Marion Strok, principal of a successful Chicago school, disagrees. (6 1/2 minutes)Education ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We sent several correspondents straight to the epicenters of middle school awkwardness: School dances. Producers Lisa Pollak and Brian Reed, plus reporters Eric Mennel, Rob Wildeboer and Claire Holman spoke with kids across the country during the nervous moments leading up to the dances. And Lisa even ventured inside, to the dance itself. (9 1/2 minutes)Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† When Domingo Martinez was growing up in a Mexican-American family in Texas, Domingo’s two middle school aged sisters found a unique way of coping with feelings of inferiority. This story comes from Martinez’s memoir The Boy Kings of Texas. (11 1/2 minutes)Education ‚ÄĘ Race ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† We realized that there are already reporters on the ground, embedded inside middle schools: The kids who report the daily announcements, sometimes on video with full newscast sets. Producer Jonathan Menjivar wondered what would happen if instead of announcing sports scores and the daily cafeteria menu, the kids reported what’s really on their minds. Students at Parkville Middle School outside Baltimore, and their journalism teacher Ms. Davis, agreed to try out this experiment. (7 1/2 minutes)Education ‚ÄĘ Journalism ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Producer Sarah Koenig reports on a kid we’ll call Leo, whose family recently moved away from Rochester, NY, leaving behind all of Leo’s friends and stranding him in a new ‚ÄĒ and in his opinion, much worse ‚ÄĒ middle school. (10 minutes)Education ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

  • ¬†¬†¬†¬†¬† Ira speaks with Shannon Grande, a teacher at Rise Academy in Newark, about a seventh grader who had all sorts of problems with behavior and hygiene and schoolwork. In order to help turn him around, Grande had to harness the power of peer pressure for good. This story came from Elizabeth Green, who’s writing about Rise Academy for a book and for a reporting project on the schools called Gotham Schools. (7 minutes)Education ‚ÄĘ Teenagers

I’m Leaving on a Jet Plane!

If you are free tomorrow, please come to the assembly tomorrow (10:25-11:30) and see the presentation our students have created.Have a great long weekend! I’m heading to Ottawa for the weekend, but feel free to email me if you need to contact me before Wednesday.

I also want to note that the temperature is dropping. Please make sure that students have jackets, not just sweaters and hoodies.

See you Wednesday!

Student of the Month: September and October

I feel very bad that I never publically recognized the September Student of the month.

I would like to thank Aidyn Khan for bringing his exceptional work ethic with him this year. From day one, I could see that he meant business and was here to do his best and succeed. He was awarded student of the month for September.

Our student that was recognized for October demonstrated a commitment to learning. Paige continues to grow as a member of the class. I credit this growth to all the hard work she puts in inside and outside of class.

Keep it up you two! You inspire the rest of us.