Tuesday, 7 February 2012

A Very Personal Journey

One of the great parts of working at any secondary school is when students graduate and move on to whatever is next for them in life. At LEC, it is especially rewarding and meaningful for a number of our students who sometimes weren't sure if they would graduate. 

Grad ceremonies are a few months away still, but students are meeting graduation requirements even now. In talking with one of our students about her upcoming graduation this June, one thing she said in particular caught my attention: "It is a very personal journey". Graduating is a big deal to all our students and her poem and project (pictured) is a great reminder of her achievement and journey, along with all our upcoming grads. Enjoy...


My days of missed classes from time long ago
Proved travel through high-school a trip made too slow
The challenges many for the reason unique
My head filled with sadness; a milestone not complete

The house has no halls full of friends on the move
My room far too quiet has me down feeling blue
Lessons in envelopes delivered by mail
Correspondence style learning, I so want to bail

Jobs come and they go the layoffs there too
A cycle worth breaking the first move to do
No more excuses from thoughts full of fear
The vision to upgrade now seen to be clear

Entrance requirements cannot be met
A foregone conclusion from missing this step
Solution alone is mine all to have
This marked rite of passage referred to as grad

Enrollment anxiety could be related
To the homework and tests that once were so hated
The moment is now; I’ve got much to offer
My mind on a goal it’s my choice to prosper

The load of assignments at last now complete
This government curriculum has finally been beat
Time for tradition of cap and gown dress
Hearing your name called is simply the best

In a crowd full of people there’s some I know dear
Full of smiling faces and more than a few tears
They’ll capture the handshake give my diploma award
Taking a moment before I move forward

The special celebration, it’s gathering near
To honour the student’s journey whose end is now here



Monday, 9 January 2012

What's Working, What Needs Work...

The logo for the Langley School District inlcudes a line taken from our district's mission statement: "working together for student success."

One of the ways to work together for student success is to find ways to talk and learn from each other in our school community – staff, students, and parents – about what is working well and what could use some fine-tuning at our school. To help that discussion, we recently met with a group of people who are representative of our diverse culture (various ages from teens to adults, various programs, students and parents) here to talk about their thoughts on a variety of topics related to LEC. One of the things that was discussed was "what is working well for students here at LEC, and what is not working?" Check out some of the students' and parents' comments below:

What works well at LEC:
  • It’s a school of positive hope
  • The encouragement students get, often after being discouraged about education before
  • Flexibility, caring & willingness of staff to help the students
  • Students / parents being able to manage the courses they take at times that work for them
  • Everyone is here because they want to be and is trying to succeed
  • There is an atmosphere of success here, all the staff put in extra effort to help students succeed and finish
  • People smile and are friendly here; it’s a happy place where people talk to one another
  • Students can work at their own pace and are able to finish quickly if they want to
  • Being able to choose the hours that work for each student, can work and go to school on the same day if needed
  • Having a child-minding centre on site
  • If it doesn’t work out here the first time or you need to leave, you can come back and try again when you are ready and no one looks down on you
Suggestions to make LEC better:
  • offer more electives to go along with the academics we already have
  • more options for some courses instead of only being offered in the evening
  • child minding also available at night
  • before they enrolled at LEC themselves, they heard things and were told things about LEC that were inaccurate and gave them the wrong perception
  • need to get the word out better about how good we are as a school; people ‘out there’ often don’t know about what LEC offers and what it can do for students 
This is not meant to be an exhaustive list of what is working and what needs work. Some of the suggestions are things we can look at and see what we can do, while other things might cost too much or not be practical, but they are still things to consider. 

So what do you think? If you are a current or former student of LEC, why not add your two cents worth below by clicking on the word "comments" and let us know what is working or has worked well for you? Your success story might be the inspiration to help someone else stick it out and realize they can succeed too. If you have some suggestions for things that could be fine tuned, add your thought on that as well!

Thursday, 5 January 2012

Welcome to 2012 and Registration Day!

The line starts here...
How do you know if someone is really committed to something? Well, one way to know is if people are willing to line up early in order to get what they want. And in this case we are not talking about Boxing Day or Black Friday specials. We are talking about the first day of registration for a new semester and as usual there was a line-up of dedicated students wanting to make sure they got the courses they want and need to help them connect to their future and where they want to go next with their jobs and education.
For those of you who were here on the first day and braved the lines and for those of you who have come in since or are still planning on coming in, thanks for your patience and for letting us help you get to where you want to go. Whether you are taking a semestered class or one of our self-paced directed learning course, the teachers and staff of LEC look forward to helping you reach your goals in 2012.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

Educational Texting?

My wife and I have four kids ranging in age from 16  to 24, and as of a month ago we now all have cell phones with unlimited texting. When I helped them set up their accounts, they made it pretty clear that while a reasonable number of minutes of call time were important, the most important thing in their world was to have unlimited texting. Out of curiosity,  I looked over the last three statements for one of my kids and found that on average over 2000 text message were sent each month. I did the math, and on old plans without unlimited texting where they were charging 15 cents a text, that would have cost us $300 a month in text charges alone! And for the record, as a family we are not constantly messaging and we do have real face-to-face conversations without electronic devices being used.

For me, more and more I am using texts to communicate with my brothers, my sister-in-laws and even my nieces and nephews. Texting is one of the main ways that more and more people I know are staying in touch with each other and their friends. For many, an e-mail account is still important but by far a secondary way to communicate quickly electronically.

So what is the point of all this? At LEC we offer courses to students mostly over the age of 16, many of whom are using texting as a main way to stay connected. For a while now I have been curious about how we could use texting to allow individual teachers and us as a school to better stay in touch with students and parents, but hadn't come across a system that would allow personal information (such as teacher's, student's and parent's cell numbers) to remain private. Maintaining clear boundaries of what is appropriate is critical.

Check it out at
Which is why it intrigued me when I saw a link referring to a text messaging system ( designed especially to allow teachers or schools to communicate with students and parents. The good part about the system is that a teacher or school can set up the "class" and it doesn't involve them having to use their personal cell phone number. The other part of it is that students or parents subscribe to the "class" by texting from their phone or by using their e-mail, and they don't have to share their cell phone number to do it.

The other nice thing about the system is the low maintenance involved. Students and parents manage their own subscription to the list by following simple instructions to join and sending a simple 'stop' message if they no longer need to be on the list. That's it.

I don't know if we will end up using the system or not, and there are questions I need to answer about how texting charges work from their service in the US to Canadian cell phones, even if people have 'unlimited' text plans. But overall the concept looks promising and I'll give an update as we try it out here at LEC with a test group. Click on "comments" below to add your thoughts and whether you think this might work.