Persuasive Writing

Arusha Times News

Why Every Middle School Student Should Read an Hour in School 

It’s been a long day and all the students are weary of Math, French, and L.A. 

They look up to the schedule and see two words. Silent reading. An hour of reading would benefit everyone because… 

Firstly, reading provides you with an expanded imagination. It does because as you read, you imagine what you’re reading about. Because of this, students could be sitting at their desks, but in a different world of their choice. 

Secondly, if, in the middle of the school day, say, middle school students had an hour of silent reading, where they could relax and bury themselves in their favourite books in a quiet, peaceful environment, to rest before the next half of the day. They could also look at stressing school work under a different light, allowing them to get better grades. 

An additional bonus is that teachers could plan their lessons during the hour of silent reading. Do you know how long it normally takes a teacher to plan a lesson? 

Lastly, an hour of reading would also encourage students to use a larger vocabulary of many different words and an interest in learning new and interesting words that can be used in many different scenarios.

Of course, not everyone is interested in reading. Many middle schoolers prefer comics or graphic novels to regular books, but an hour of reading would firstly develop different interests and open-mindedness, secondly encourage a healthy interest in reading (Did you know that reading can boost emotional development and career prospects by 50% to 100%!) and thirdly allow students who would normally never read to discover how fun it can be. Another counter-argument is that most students have time to and do already read at home. However, an hour of reading at school forces the students to read as much as a 10-13 year old should. In conclusion, an hour of reading daily in school would provide rest, relaxation, an improved vocabulary and imagination, and a chance to grow interests. So go out today and ask your teachers, principals, and administrators for an hour of reading time each day.

By Victoria K., Grade 6

Christmas Programs

Arusha Times News

Elementary Christmas Programs December 12 and 14 

Students in K-6 are preparing to share a variety of Christmas music with our community in less than three weeks! The performances will be at New West CRC (the church across the street from the elementary campus). This will be a musical celebration of Christ’s peace and joy to us at Christmas and we pray that you will hear the good news of Christ’s birth in new and familiar ways.

Students are expected to participate in all music classes and performances. They are encouraged to wear nice clothing that is appropriate for a Christmas performance. Clothing your child has worn for a piano recital or similar events would be suitable. Please do not wear shirts with words/logos or large headpieces/decorations that can be distracting.

We have a school photographer and videographer for each performance so we ask that parents come and enjoy the live performance and not take any photos when students are on stage. Cameras and flashes are extremely distracting for students when they are trying to focus on their songs and look at the director. Families will get a link to all the school photos and videos after the performances.

There is limited space in the church so we ask those who are able to attend the afternoon performances do so in order to allow others to attend in the evening. You and your extended family near and far may also choose to watch the video instead of attending a live performance.

For the evening performance on Dec. 12, primary students will meet in their SCHOOL classrooms at 6:30.  School doors will be open at 6:25 and church doors open at 6:30 for the 7pm performance. 

For the evening performance on Dec. 14, intermediate students will meet at the church in their designated rooms. Church doors will open at 6:30pm for students and families.

We are so excited to share the good news of Christmas with you!

Primary K-3

Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 1:30 and 7:00pm

Intermediate 4-6

Thursday, Dec. 14 at 1:30 and 7:00pm

By Rebecca Visser, Primary Music Teacher with Jocelyn Groot, Intermediate Music Teacher

Discovery Days

Arusha Times News

This month eight JKCS students and Mr. Frank Sun, our Chemistry teacher, had the privilege of attending Discovery Days in Health Sciences hosted by the BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute. 

“Discovery Days in Health Sciences is a one-day event that gives high school students and teachers the opportunity to explore a variety of career options in medicine and the health sciences. Organized by The Canadian Medical Hall of Fame, the day comprises a dynamic keynote lecture, hands-on workshops, and a career panel discussion. Students gain a clear picture of what it would be like to be a health professional by interacting with researchers, clinicians and educators in their real-life work setting.”  

Here is one student’s account of their day:

“Before the sun rose, students were assembled and already hard at work saving lives. In an underground room, doctors and physicists clustered around CT scans identifying treatment plans for several patients with tumours. These tumours were located anywhere from their leg, prostate, breasts, lungs, and to their brains. These doctors planned to administer both external beam radiation and internal radiation (brachytherapy) on patients to beam their cancer down.

They calculated the amount of radiation different types of tissues could withstand and went out of their way to protect as much neighbouring tissue as possible from the particles targeting the tumour. They meticulously designed a personalized treatment plan that could protect their patients, catering both to their comfort during treatment and side effects after treatment.

In another hospital room nearby, other students diagnosed patients of an ophthalmologist, checking numerous aspects of their patients’ vision. These students tested their patients’ 3-D vision, their sensing of motion, and the way their eyesight affected various motor functions, all under the guise of various video game designs.

The clinic was full. While students scrupulously marked on papers, clients of all ages with various eye problems played computer games and deciphered images on books while wearing coloured glasses. Still others squinted and strained at the distant charts, trying to identify the minuscule imprints on it until their eyes watered…

I finally blinked. The tiny letters were still smaller than ever, and I surrendered to my myopic vision amidst a roar of amusement from my peers.  My eyesight was poor, and that was undeniable. But the two workshops (“Putting the ‘Rad’ in Radiation Therapy” and “Human Vision: How to Assess it”) really opened my eyes to experience this sector where more and more of us suffer from the radiation of electronic devices.

The radiation workshop, “Putting the ‘Rad’ in Radiation Therapy”, piqued my interest in the study of cancer and the methods of treating it. It was an intriguing experience enough to make me start exploring more about the disease before the lecture was over.

During the workshop, my peers and I got to experience firsthand the procedure an oncologist would take to treat a patient with cancer. From being given the chance to think for ourselves how we would direct radiation beams at patients during treatment, to hands-on situations where we got to immobilize a dummy, it was peek at the daily life, challenges and delights of a radiation therapist.

The keynote lecture challenged my perception of doctors in immaculate rooms, suited up and operating with shining metallic tools.  I learned that in many countries, doctors were not able to operate with such facilities, and I felt a real pang towards their challenges. The lecture revealed the path of becoming a trauma surgeon, and the day-to-day pressures and responsibilities the job entailed.

Dr. Emilie Joos oration of Doctors Without Borders showed me just how committed people can be, and the risks they are willing to take to help others.  It was a reminder, as beautiful as the last rays of the sunset in the afternoon as we left, to persevere through difficult times.”

By Matthew C. 10A

DTES Reflections

Arusha Times News

Each month JKCS students work together to make sandwiches, baked goods, and compile nutritious bagged lunches together for residents in Vancouver’s downtown east side (DTES) who are currently experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and financial challenges.  Grade 11 students are tasked with distributing the 200 lunch bags to the people living in DTES.  Here is one student’s thoughts and impressions of her first ever visit to the area:  

     “Vancouver is facing challenges related to homelessness. Efforts have been made by the government and nonprofit organizations to address this issue through initiatives like providing shelters, supportive housing, and social services. However, homelessness is still a problem; it is not a singular problem but a complex issue influenced by multifaceted factors such as socio-economic disparities, mental health concerns, and inadequate support systems.

     People experiencing homelessness have diverse perspectives. It’s essential to recognize that individuals experiencing homelessness have their own unique stories, struggles, and ways of understanding their circumstances. Many among them seek not only assistance but also opportunities to rebuild their lives and reintegrate into society. 

     The younger generation can play a crucial role in addressing homelessness through volunteering at local shelters, food banks, or community-driven organizations. They can extend their time, skills, and resources to offer support to those in need, and learn and understand more about the complexities of homelessness. Other ways that the younger generation can become involved include:

  • Encouraging conversations and educating peers about the underlying issues contributing to homelessness. 
  • Engaging with local and national policymakers. 
  • Advocating for changes in policies related to housing, healthcare, and social welfare that can positively impact homelessness. 
  • Encouraging community projects that bring people together and support those who are marginalized or experiencing homelessness. 

The collective efforts of the next generation can lead to substantial changes in addressing homelessness and cultivating a society where everyone feels seen, valued, and supported.  It begins with taking a trip to DTES and handing out bagged lunches.  It begins with writing this article to encourage you.  It begins with reading further.  Here’s an article to get you started.

By Ophelia L. 11A

Gairdner High School Symposium

Arusha Times News

Student Reflection: Nick L., Grade 10B

The 2023 Gairdnеr High School Symposium was filled with inspiration, knowledge, and a glimpsе into the fascinating world of science. As a high school student attending this еvеnt, I was fortunatе to participate in a sеriеs of lectures and hands-on еxpеriеncеs that left an indelible mark on my understanding of thе scientific rеalm.

Thе morning bеgan with thе opportunity to listеn to two scientists who shared their expertise and insights. The first lecture was presented by Dr. Wеiss, a rеnownеd biochеmist who shеd light on thе captivating world of brain stеm cеlls. The second lecture was equally captivating, as Dr. Vеrchеrе introduced us to the intricate world of bacteria. Shе emphasized the remarkable impact that microscopic organisms have on our health and well-being. Morеovеr, both scientists emphasized the importance of еmbracing challenges and not being dеtеrrеd by difficulty. Thеy еncouragеd us to ask questions, reminding us that curiosity and pеrsistеncе are key attributes of successful scientists.

Following thеsе enlightening lectures, I had the opportunity to еntеr a laboratory where I could obsеrvе and study cеlls undеr a microscopе. The hands-on еxpеriеncе of examining cancer cells up close was both educational and еyе-opening. It allowed me to connеct thе theoretical knowledge from the lectures to practical applications in thе lab.

In thе final lеcturе of thе day, I lеarnеd about cardiac arrеst and heart attacks, gaining a deeper understanding of critical medical issues that affect countless livеs.

In conclusion, the 2023 Gairdner High School Symposium was a remarkable еxpеriеncе that broadened my horizons and fuеlеd my curiosity about the world of science. Thе insightful lеcturеs, hands-on laboratory еxpеriеncе, and invaluablе lifе advicе from Dr. Wеiss and Dr. Vеrchеrе lеft a profound impact on mе. This reinforced my belief in pursuing one’s passions, asking questions, and embracing challenges on the path to scientific discovery. It was an opportunity to learn, be inspired, and contemplate the endless possibilities that the world of science offers. I am gratеful for the chance to attend this symposium, as it has undoubtedly enriched my education journey and ignitеd a passion for further exploration in the field of scіеncе.

Student Reflection: Claire Ann Y., Grade 10B

On October 23, 2023, I attended the Gairdner High School Symposium at the BC Children’s Hospital. Dr. Weiss and Dr. Bassler, Princeton University professors, came to speak to students interested in going into the field of science, specifically biochemistry! I learnt a few things related to science, but this event has made me think about whether or not I want to major in biochemistry.

Dr. Weiss talked about his discovery of adult neural stem cells in the mammalian brain and its importance in nerve cell regeneration while Dr. Bassler discovered how bacteria communicate with each other and surrounding non-bacterial cells, and how this idea can fight against infectious diseases. 

From these two fascinating speakers, I learned being a scientist is not the goal, science builds logic, improves communication, and boosts critical thinking skills.  Furthermore, being a scientist is puzzling, never boring, and it changes the world. I also learned that biology/chemistry sparked an interest for me. I am currently still thinking about whether or not this is something I want to learn about for four or more years. However, to get there I learnt that getting into any university, especially competitive ones, requires an impressive amount of extracurriculars, an interesting background, unique experiences, and most importantly,  knowing who you are as a person instead of just being an ideal student. 

Volunteer Reflection

Arusha Times News

During the 2022-2023 school year, I collected a total of 275 hours, which I am proud of because I beat my high score from last year. I enjoy volunteering and working for others. I believe it is a gift from God, and I plan to continue putting my all in volunteering throughout the rest of my high school years.  I have volunteered with various organizations, inside and outside of our school. I get most of my volunteer hours from Yearbook which I really enjoy.

Graphic Production 12 – Yearbook is offered as a class at JKCS, and being able to use my abilities for my school is really fulfilling. I always enjoy taking photos for sports as it allows me to explore a different side of my passion for photography. This makes up a big chunk of my athletic service hours.  Athletes are always very grateful for my time, and I am sure Mr. Loro does as well. 

However, the volunteer experience that I have appreciated the most was my time with the Girls and STEAM event** with Science World. I find that STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math) is very boy-oriented, noticeable even during my time with Future Science Leaders***.  It was nice to make friendships with girls younger than me, who share the same passion as me. The spark I saw in their eyes reminded me of myself when I was their age.

I am very grateful for the ability to volunteer for my community, especially when it means doing things that I love. Hopefully, in the following years I can volunteer for more diverse organizations, including those outside of our school.

Beatrice L., 11A

** ”Girls and STEAM, presented by STEMCELL Technologies, is a Science World program that encourages young girls and women, ages 12-14, to pursue their scientific interests and explore careers in STEAM by expanding their knowledge of and access to STEAM opportunities.”  Please check out the Science  World website for more information.

*** “Future Science Leaders (FSL) presented by Acuitas Therapeutics is an after-school science enrichment program for teens designed to unleash creative potential and build a life-long network of like-minded peers while engaging curious minds with the nature of STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art & design, and math) in sessions led by diverse experts and professionals.”  Please check out the Science World website for more information.

Ride for Refuge

Arusha Times News

Thank you to all the students who came out to the first volunteer opportunity of the 2023-2024 school year.  Students volunteered with Ride for Refuge with Journey Home Community Association (JHC) to help with parking, setting up, decorating bike helmets, face painting, waiting table, cleaning up, cheerleading and disassembling tables and chairs.  Journey Home Community staff said, “John Knox students reflected Christ’s love by showing their servant hearts in humble acts of service and their excitement for God’s people.  They give us hope for our next generation of leaders.”  Here is what one of the volunteers had to say:

“Volunteering at the Ride for Refuge event hosted by the Journey Home Community was an awesome and rewarding experience. Journey Home Community is a Christ centered organization with a mission to create a caring community that offers refugee claimants housing, settlement support, and opportunities for connection. My role as volunteer at the event primarily involved assisting with traffic control, table setup, cleanup and whatever else needed to be done, but it was so much more than just those tasks. Being part of such a well-organized and purpose-driven event was inspiring and encouraging. It was rewarding to witness the enthusiasm and dedication of the riders, walkers and volunteers alike, all coming together for a common cause.

The event not only provided me with a sense of community but also offered some perks, such as a free shirt and a delicious meal. These small gestures of appreciation from the Ride for Refuge organizers made me feel valued and motivated to give my best throughout the day. I’m grateful to have been a part of this event and I look forward to volunteering again in the future and continuing to support the Journey Home Community in their meaningful endeavors.”

By Joshua C., 10A

Healthy Schools

Arusha Times News

Make dental, hearing and vision checks part of a healthy routine

Health screenings help find issues early which can make treatment easier and more effective. It’s important for your child to have regular eye exams and routine dental checkups. It is also important to recognize any hearing loss early as this is essential for speech and language development. Read on to learn when and how to access services for your child.


Tooth decay is the most common, but preventable, childhood chronic disease. It is important to establish good oral hygiene at a young age and have children’s teeth checked by a dentist regularly. To find a local dentist near you who is accepting new patients, visit the BC Dental Association’s Find a Dentist database. If you are a member of a low-income family and you do not have extended health coverage, there are several programs that can help you access affordable dentistry for your children. You can also contact the dental program at your local public health unit and ask about resources available in your community.


BC Doctors of Optometry recommends children receive their first eye exam when they are six to nine months old with a follow up exam at least once between the ages of two and five and then yearly once they enter school. You can find an optometrist accepting new patients near you at the College of Optometrists of British Columbia’s Find an Optometrist database. In B.C., basic eye exams, one per year, are free up to the age of 18. Some optometrists may charge a small user fee of about $35 per visit so be sure to ask about any fees before you make an appointment.


Good hearing is essential for speech and language development and plays an important part in a child’s social and emotional growth. It is important to recognize hearing loss early and seek out testing and treatment if needed. Fraser Health’s Public Health community audiologists provide hearing services for children from birth to 19 years of age. If you have a concern about your child’s hearing, referrals can be made by a parent or caregiver, a health care provider or education professional to your local public health audiology (hearing) clinic.

Find more information on child health screenings and how to access free vision, hearing and dental exams on Fraser Health’s website:

Information provided by our school nurse and Fraser Health’s School and Wellness Program – Burnaby

National Day for Truth and Reconciliation

Arusha Times News

Our school is a gathering of many different histories.

We have families who have been attending John Knox for three generations, and we have families who just joined this year.

We have families with a long lineage of faith, stretching far back to distant relatives, and we have families who are the first in their household to know Christ.

We have families who have lived in Canada for over 100 years, and we have families who have only recently moved to this land.

There are many histories here, and it is a great privilege to live and partner together in creating new histories as the family of God. Often we do so with great joy, but some parts of our past require special and somber attention. This is especially true when we consider Canada’s treatment of First Nations people. It is a part of our history that needs to be remembered, but not passively. It demands action and response, especially by us who wear the name of Jesus.

When considering an appropriate, Godly way of responding to this horrid aspect of our nation’s history, we look to God’s word for guidance. I invite us to consider the words spoken through the prophet Jeremiah (9:24):

““…but let the one who boasts boast about this:
    that they have the understanding to know me,
that I am the Lord, who exercises kindness,
    justice and righteousness on earth,
    for in these I delight,”
declares the Lord.”

JKCS community, it is our desire to delight in the same things our Lord delights in, including the exercising of kindness, justice, and righteousness on earth. It is our calling at all times, but especially as we respond to the atrocities of our past and their legacy in our present.

As we approach the National Day for Truth and Reconciliation, we are keeping this call at the forefront of our hearts and minds. We are teaching, talking, and learning about the histories that have led us to this point. In age-appropriate ways, teachers are leading discussions and lessons on the histories of residential schools, the presence and impact of bias, racism, and stereotypes, and the ways we have treated – and still treat – “the other,” which at some point in our shared histories has been every one of us.

But we’re not stopping with the history lesson. We are also exploring tangible ways we can exercise Christ’s kindness, justice, and righteousness right where we live.

Parents, we ask that you talk with your children about what they are learning in school. Walk through this troubled past, and consider together how you and your family will respond.

As a school, we will be marking our call to remembrance and response by having a special chapel next Friday (September 29th). Students and staff are encouraged to wear an orange-coloured shirt as a way to visually honour First Peoples and our shared process of reconciliation.

As we take time to remember and reflect upon the events of our varied past, we do so with great hope that God will be free to speak to our hearts, and use us in shaping a future history that better reflects the desires of his heart, especially His kindness, justice, and righteousness.

By Jacob Rodgers, Elementary Principal

Grade 9

Arusha Times News

More photos from the Grade 9 Encounter Days activity: White Water Rafting on the Chilliwack River!

Encounter Days Waivers

Arusha Times News

Grade 7

Grade 8

Grade 9

Grade 10

Grade 11

Grade 12

Principal’s Welcome

Arusha Times News

Be joyful. Grow to Maturity. Encourage each other. Live in harmony and peace. Then the God of love and peace will be with you. 2 Corinthians 13:11 (NLT)

Dear JKCS Secondary Families,

As the warmth of summer begins to wane, I hope that your summer days have been a source of rest, reflection, and cherished moments with loved ones. As we eagerly await the return of our students, our staff has been working diligently, prayerfully preparing for an exciting year ahead.

Our scripture of the year is 2 Corinthians 13:11, quoted above. Just as changing seasons reveal the beauty of transformation, we are called to embrace a journey of growth and joyful maturity. In our pursuit of knowledge and understanding, may we encompass the development of Christ-like character in all aspects of life. This is the life of transformation and service that John Knox aims to nurture.

This year, may 2 Corinthians 13:11 be a guide. May the Apostle Paul’s words remind us to find joy in the journey, to seek growth in all experiences, and to be a source of encouragement that empowers others to flourish. As we extend our hands in friendship and our hearts in unity, we create a tapestry of grace and compassion that reflects the very nature of our Lord.

With hearts attuned to His love, and minds open to His teachings, I eagerly await the discovery, fellowship, and shared inspiration that await us. May this school year be a testament to the transformative power that comes from walking with our Saviour.

May God’s abiding love and peace be with us all.

In Christ,

Adam Wasik


JKCS Secondary Campus

Free, Fun and Air-Conditioned!

Arusha Times News

If your children are not yet members of the Public Library – we encourage you to sign them up. Every library runs a fun summer reading program – it’s free, fun and air-conditioned. Librarians prepare displays of books to borrow and are on hand to advise if you need suggestions. Did you know that you can take out 50 books at one time!  If it’s a hot day, consider taking your children in the younger grades to your local library, get an armful of picture books, find yourself a comfy spot and read away. 

BC Public Libraries Summer Reading Club 2023 – Journey Through Time!

For more information about the reading club, click here.


Have you ever read books aloud together as a family? To help you get started or to keep going, see the picture below of our display this week in the front entrance with lots of recommendations. Parents and Grandparents, Aunts and Uncles – this can be a wonderful way to share a story together. Ask your children to select a couple of titles, put them on hold and head to the library to pick up your copy. Or simply choose a pile of books from the library display. It doesn’t matter whether you’re choosing picture books or chapter books. Just choose what works for your family. Then get started. Keep it simple. Read a chapter at a time and keep going if you’re asked for more. 

Titles in the picture which could work for families with children spread across grades 3 to 6 (and older).

Some Kind of Courage – Dan Gemeinhart

Voyage of the Sparrowhawk – Natsha Farrant

Robin Hood – Look for the David Calcutt Re-Telling

Fuzzy Mud and Holes – Louis Sachar

Wonder – Patricia Polacio

Danny the Champion of the World – Roald Dahl 

Also try Roald Dahl’s: The BFG and The Giraffe and the Pelly and Me

The Wild Robot – Peter Brown

Word of Mouse – James Patterson

From the Mixed Up Files of Mrs Basil E Frank Weiler – E L Konigsburg

Kate DiCamillo – Flora and Ulysses

Escape from Mr Lemoncello’s Library – Chris Grabenstein

Pay Attention Carter Jones – Gary Schmidt

Fortunately, the Milk – Neil Gaiman 

The One and Only Ivan – Katherine Applegate

Maizy Chen’s Last Chance – Lisa Yee

The Trumpet of the Swan, Stuart Little and Charlotte’s Web – all by E B White

Nevermore: The Trials of Morrigan Crow – Jessica Townsend

A helpful website to use as a guide is Melissa Taylor’s Imagination Soup. Click  here.

The site has lots of lists from which to choose books for your children, everything from read-aloud stories to picture books to graphic novels to middle-grade fiction. Taylor lists books for different age-groups. 

We’d love to hear of any successes or challenges you experienced. Send us a photo – we’d love to share in our next Times issue snapshots of two or more people in your family sharing a book together.

Happy Reading! 

Your librarians, 

Pansy Hwang and Ruth Flannigan

You can send us your pics: OR 

Collaboration Wednesdays

Arusha Times News

Teacher Reflections

Finding the time to sit down, face to face, and collaborate with the teachers in our Grade group can be a challenge, but it is essential. On Wednesday afternoon, we have time set aside to get inspired by each other, plan field trips, flesh out new units of study, check in with each other and help one another. We get to hear from guest speakers and learn something new ourselves. I think it is an important way to mentor teachers that are new to the profession as well. I am thankful for this little slice of the week.    

Hannah Buikema, Grade 6 Teacher

As the new Mandarin teacher in our high school campus, I am very grateful for all the support and warm welcomes the school, staff and parent community has so kindly provided. What I found especially helpful in supporting my smooth transition into the John Knox community was the early Wednesday collaboration times. Polishing my teaching and developing accuracy in my assessment practices is always on my priority list. The collaboration time provided the perfect opportunity for me to engage with other teachers, to share ideas and help each other improve. Under our curriculum advisor’s guided material, I can quickly build connections with other teachers and get on track with the latest and most effective ways to set up assessments for my teaching. This directly results in improving the quality of my students’ learning experience. I also like the consistency of collaboration sessions because they happen once a week at a set time. It takes consistent collaboration between teachers to see consistent quality increases that support our students in their learning experience. I am looking forward to the future collaboration times. The benefits to my teaching practice and therefore my students, excite me greatly. 

Jeremiah Yao, Grades 7 – 12 Mandarin Teacher

Our weekly collaboration time allowed for consistent professional development throughout the year. We were able to learn new research-based assessment approaches, try them out in our classrooms, and then spend time sharing and reflecting on how to best implement our learning in our classrooms. As educators, we are always trying to improve our practice. However, the weekly collaboration time gave us shared topics to focus on and shared goals to work towards.  I am excited to see the benefits of us working together on big-picture goals for JKCS. 

Liz Johnson, Grade 2 Teacher

Collaborative Wednesdays have given staff the opportunity to incorporate professional development into our regular routines. Each week, we have specific time set aside to deepen our learning as educators. This time on Wednesdays also allows us to collaborate with colleagues as we share insights and resources and challenge each other to grow in our roles. As a community, we’re continually working together to learn more about what it means to be well-equipped, Christ-centred educators. 

Colleen Breedveld, Grade 4 Teacher

Collaboration time provided us with the opportunity to connect with our grade teams to discuss how to improve our units, assessment, and pedagogy. By working together to share ideas and resources, we were able to bring new strategies and tools into our classrooms. We also had the chance to get inspired by the shared expertise of the other grade teams and see what worked well for them to create a more cohesive flow between grades. 

Jeanine Wasik, Grade 5 Teacher

When I learned that the high school schedule for the 2022-2023 school year would include weekly collaboration time, I was delighted. Providing opportunities for team members to share their skills and abilities with colleagues was one of my primary commitments. Sessions on creating and using e-portfolios to chronicle student learning and growth, accessing and contributing to student IEPs on MyEdBC and mining online resources to share with their colleagues (excellent material on “clarifying vs helping,” scaffolding complexity, trauma and mental health, the necessity of relationship and movement in the classroom, etc.) were all led by ESS support teachers (Education Assistants.) Tracking and collecting data for IEP goals and reviewing non-violent crisis intervention skills were sessions led by Kristen Kringhaug, our staff Behaviour Consultant. Some collaboration sessions were for brainstorming, where we used our collective wisdom to encourage one another and to offer strategies and suggestions for challenges shared. Still other sessions were deliberately “unplanned” so our support teachers could connect with subject teachers to discuss student progress, upcoming units of study and how to make the content accessible for different learning styles and needs. Support teachers were also free on these days to meet as teams to prepare, plan or adjust material and/or learning expectations and outcomes as needed for the students under their guidance. These weekly collaboration sessions have given space to ESS staff to learn new things, to share creative and insightful ideas, to strive to enhance the educational experiences of their students and ultimately, to feel encouraged and part of the community that is JKCS. 

Trish Joyce, Secondary ESS Coordinator

The Story of the John Knox Hawk and Sitka the Raven

Arusha Times News

The raven, Sitka, had one thing in her mind- and her natural detective senses were saying that something wasn’t quite right. What was the John Knox Hawk doing down at the main office which was located in the lobby? Something didn’t add up here. The Hawk was up to something suspicious, that’s for sure. And Sitka was going to find out what the Hawk was doing there.

Read More

Whistler Trip

Arusha Times News, Uncategorized

With Choir and Senior Band

Last weekend, April 20-23, the small village of Whistler was overrun with teenagers. Over 2200 students from 45 schools gathered for the annual Con Brio Music Festival, including 35 students from John Knox, representing our Choir and Senior Band. Both ensembles performed very well and had great workshops with the adjudicators. Choir was awarded a Silver for their performance, and Sr Band got a Gold! I am so incredibly proud of all of our musicians!

Read More

Team Guatemala Reflections

Arusha Times News

“No matter how much you prepare yourself for a trip like this, it won’t be anything near the actual experience. We did a lot, we learned a lot, and we experienced a lot; but the thing that stood out to me the most was the fact that there was no shame in religion. Whether we were at a school, a home, or a church, everyone—the kids, the parents, the families—poured out their hearts to God, and there was no judgment.” Rachel S., grade 11

Read More