Brentwood

Grade 8 Program

Welcome to the Brentwood Grade 8 Program website!

The purpose of this site is to provide a single place for students and parents in the program to keep informed of program happenings.

Current information will be updated routinely.

Sincerely,

Ms. Ramundi and Dr. Stevens

Parent-teacher zoom conferences

When: October 21 - 22


Where: Mr. Stevens' Zoom room (link found on contacts page of this site)


How: sign up for a 10-minute conference appointment at this link

https://grade8interviews.youcanbook.me/


Who: Ms. Ramundi and Mr. Stevens will meet together with you in Mr. Stevens' Zoom room. For other teachers (e.g. French, Learning Centre, or PE), please refer to the email you received from Brent Lee with senior school conference dates and sign-up details.


Note: These days will be regular school days for students. We have scheduled times around our contact time with students. We will not be available for tutorial, but the classroom will be open for students to study while we are in conferences.

Gr8 Program Parent group

Vanessa Lust, Jaxen's mum, has offered to be a point of contact for parents in the Gr8 Program this year. Thank you, Vanessa!

The purpose of this group is to build relationships in the Grade 8 Program parent community and also provide a communication conduit between parents and Daryl for volunteering, determining open house topics, program improvement etc.

Please contact Vanessa by email if you have any questions or if you would like to be part of a Gr8 Program Parents' WhatsApp thread: hello@vanessalust.com


Gr8 Program monthly parent meetings

I will be hosting monthly parent meetings in my Zoom room. The purpose of the meetings is to speak to any topic that parents would like to hear more about, such as student assessment and reporting, the Health curriculum, or Gr8 Program improvements.

The meetings will be held on Wednesdays at 7:00 PM. My zoom address is on the Contacts page of this site.

Dates for these meetings are on the Important Dates page of this site.

Please let Vanessa Lust < hello@vanessalust.com > know what you would like to learn more about. She will set an agenda for each of these monthly meetings, and I will happily answer questions and engage in dialogue with parents.

FRIDAY Letters

September 17, 2020

Dear Parents,

On Friday, September 17, students will make their first entry in their Health Journal, a simple yellow duotang with lined paper. In their Health Journal, students will write their parents a letter describing some highlights from their week at school, such as a lesson, activity, or special event. We will call this the "Friday Letter". I want to provide an opportunity for your students to practice timed writing on a regular basis, and I also want you to know more about what is happening in their lives at school.

The first letter you see will be an example of your student’s letter writing at this point in the school year. You won’t see any editing in this journal from me so that you will have an opportunity to see your child’s unedited writing development. I will continue to work with the class on their writing skills, and continuously provide feedback to your child for their writing growth. Students are expected to apply their learning to all of their writing activities, including this one. You will see writing growth over time in this activity.

Finally, I want the children to enjoy writing their Friday Letter and sharing it with their parent/guardian. You know how discouraging it is to write to a friend who never writes back; you can help me at home by writing a brief note to your child in response to the letter they have written to you. You can write a response in simple letter format on the following page in the Friday Journal. Over time, there will be a collection of student letters with parent replies.

Please keep your responses focused on celebration and encouragement, and I will provide formative feedback for writing improvement. Students will write their entries every Friday for several weeks, then we will take a break and return to them later in the year. They are expected to return the Health Journal to me the following Monday morning. We will do other work in the Health Journal as the year progresses, and we hope you will benefit from seeing some of the ideas we are discussing in health as well.

Thank you very much for your support of our work.

Sincerely,

Mr. Stevens

PS Boarding school students will scan and send their letters to parents by email. When you reply to the letter by email, students will print your reply and put it in their journal.

Geology Trip DETAILS

Students will stop at various points of geologic interest to observe rock formations:

  • Marie Canyon, Cowichan River

  • Morden Colliery Park

  • Jack Point

  • Coal seam in downtown Nanaimo (Cavan Street Parkade)

  • Abyss trail on Harewood Mines Road

WHAT TO PACK FOR Geology Trip

  • CLOTHING – Be sure to check the weather before dressing for the caves. Rain or shine, we will be outside for the full time. This time of year, it is possible that, you will get wet. Wear clothes you can be active in, and consider packing some extras so you can adjust to circumstances and be comfortable for the day. Think layers: underwear, socks, shorts, pants, t-shirt, sweater, warm jacket.... Note that denim jeans and other cotton clothing items are not great; once wet, they can really slow down your ability to participate in the activities and can increase the risk of hypothermia if it is wet and cold.

  • STURDY, CLOSED HEEL/ CLOSED TOE SHOES - lace-up sneakers or light hikers are good; waterproof or rubber boots are recommended if the forecast is rainy

  • EXTRA CLOTHES - consider the weather and think layers; you may get wet

  • REFILLABLE WATER BOTTLE - please do not bring bottled water

  • RAIN GEAR (if rain is forecast) - an affordable poncho works great; a hood helps a great deal

  • OPTIONAL – insect repellent

  • DAY PACK - this is to carry all of the above in

Note: Please do not bring your phone or any other electronic device. If you do, you will pass the device to Dr. Stevens for safe-keeping for the day. Ms. Ramundi and Dr. Stevens will be taking many pictures and will share them with students and parents.

Note: An abundance of food is provided (snacks and lunch).

school supplies

Each Grade 8 Program student will require the following supplies:

  • One large zip-up style binder with 6 dividers

  • Pencils

  • Pens (blue and/or black)

  • Pencil kit

  • Pencil sharpener

  • Ruler

  • Pencil crayons

  • Scientific calculator ($15.00-$20.00 - please do not purchase a graphing calculator)

  • A personal laptop - if needed, please refer to the School website for recommendations from IT - https://innovations.brentwood.ca/hardware/student-computers

  • Athletic dress:

        • black Brentwood shorts

        • Brentwood logo t-shirt (black, red, grey or white)

        • Brentwood logo pull-over or hoodie for colder days outside

        • non-marking-sole runners for inside use

        • runners for outdoor use

  • Musical rehearsal dress:

        • comfortable bottoms, easy to move in (sweatpants, shorts, leggings)

        • a comfortable t-shirt (does not have to be a Brentwood top)

        • extra pair of socks

        • on the days we rehearse on the stage, you will be asked to wear runners or your school shoes

Please ensure supplies have an easy-to-read, hard-to-remove name label.

Note that the school store has competitively priced school supplies.

arts and athletics: extracurricular offerings

The Grade 8 Program is a complete program that includes both arts and athletics. However, if your child would like to become more involved, there are extracurricular offerings in athletics and arts for the 8s.

We encourage our 8s to participate in these extra offerings for several reasons. First, students can withdraw from these extracurricular arts or athletics if they find the time commitment too demanding. Second, 8s receive the same instruction and opportunity as the older students, and their participation in the extracurricular activity is noted on their report card by comment, but they do not receive a letter grade or score for the course; there is no 'penalty' for trying something new. Finally, it is a wonderful opportunity to build their relationships in the broader Brentwood community.

At the same time, while it really is an excellent opportunity to try something new, it is okay not to participate in these extras! Some students have commitments outside of school that are also important, some students need more 'down time' than others, and some students need more time to manage the demands of an already busy Grade 8 Program.

If students wish to register for extracurricular arts and/or athletics, please review the tentative options below and be prepared to engage in a conversation with Ms. Ramundi and Dr. Stevens on the first day of classes. By that time, we will know accurately which extracurricular art and athletic opportunities will be available to the 8s, and we will support the 8s in signing up for those activities.

grade 8 advisors

Brentwood uses an Advisor program as one important way to ensure all students have a strong connection and continuous support from an adult in the Brentwood community. In the 9 - 12 school, those adults are teachers or house parents or RFAs (Resident Faculty Assistants). In our Grade 8 Program, Ms. Ramundi and Dr. Stevens are the Advisors for all Grade 8 students.

As Advisors, we are the main contacts at the school for parents. We are the go-to adults for your children at all times. We guide, support and advocate for your children. We care for and want the best for your children.

Please use the contact information on the Contacts page of this website to touch base with Dr. Stevens and/or Ms. Ramundi at any time. We want to hear from you regarding any question or concern, no matter how big or small. We will contact you regularly with updates as well.

Together, through good communication, we can help your children have a wonderful year.

student cards

Students will receive their Brentwood student cards near the end of September. The student card has two main purposes: printing and purchasing on campus.

Printing is free. Students can print to any printer on the Brentwood campus, including the printer we have in the Grade 8 classroom. The student card is used to log in to the printer and activate the printing job.

Purchasing is done on campus at the school store and at McNeill's snack bar. Students load their student card with funds at the school store, and then use their student card to purchase items at the school store and at McNeill's.

It is important for parents to realize that students are self-directed when loading their card with funds at the school store. Student accounts are charged for the amount that students load onto their card. A conversation between student and parents regarding the use of the student card for purchasing is recommended.

Health, homework, and TUTORIAL

Brentwood is a busy place, and students go hard academically, artistically and academically each and every day in the Grade 8 Program. Moreover, most students participate in extracurricular Arts and Athletics, which makes for an even longer day. Still, there will be homework, and gradually there will be more homework as the year progresses. To begin the year, we will go slow and steady as we set expectations and routines.

Importantly, we want to ensure students make health a priority by getting home for a rest and a good sleep each night. We also expect students to stay home to rest and not share their bug when they are sick. Further, while we expect students to be organized and submit assignments on time, we also know that all students have different responsibilities and activities outside of school, work at different rates, and have strengths in certain areas of learning and challenges in other areas of learning. For all of those reasons, it is very difficult to find an amount of homework that is best for each student.

As teachers, we check in with all students each day to understand how students are doing and to adjust the work load for the class and/or for individuals as necessary. Students who are overwhelmed are encouraged to communicate with teachers in class or by email if they need extra support or more time. Tutorial times each day are excellent opportunities for students to receive extra support from their teachers. If necessary, and through consultation with parents, tutorial can be mandatory for students who require extra support.

THREE BASIC KINDS OF HOMEWORK:

  • PRACTICE: routine practice of a skill. For example:

          • reading a novel

          • typing practice


  • PREVIEW: reading or writing to warm up for an up-coming activity. For example:

          • reading a Social Studies or Science text or article

          • write a brief response to a news article in preparation for discussion/debate the next day


  • REVIEW:

          • organize binder

          • rewrite notes

          • prepare for upcoming quiz or test (i.e. study)


To begin the year, students will have routine homework responsibilities such as these:

  1. Read a novel for 30 minutes (minimum!) every school night.

  2. Rehearse lines and songs for the musical for 20+ minutes each school night.

  3. Prepare for quizzes and tests.


smart casual?

Some days require "smart casual" dress, yet smart casual is hard to define!

Here are YES/NO lists that I hope will help guide students.

YES

  • Blouse

  • Polo shirt

  • Collared shirt

  • Button-down shirt

  • Sweater


  • Slacks

  • Dress pants

  • Khakis

  • Skirt

  • Dress


  • Closed-toe shoes

  • Sneakers

  • Flats

  • Loafers


NO

  • Jeans

  • Sweats

  • Athletic runners

  • Sandals

  • Hoodies

  • T-shirts

school holidays

School holidays and breaks are the same for the 8s as for the 9-12s. Please refer to the school documents website for dates: http://files.brentwood.bc.ca/. Note that the Weekly Schedule page on this site will be up-to-date at least a month in advance as well.

Bus interest

Please let the Transportation Department know if you are interested in having your child take the Duncan or Langford day bus to and from school this year. This service does have an additional cost.

PLEASE EMAIL TO INDICATE YOUR INTEREST and receive further details: travelquestions@brentwood.bc.ca

dismissal and care policy

The safety of each student is paramount. Brentwood assumes custody of care while students are in attendance and must account for students at all times through thoughtful supervision and explicit expectations regarding student location on campus. Please note that Grade 8 Program students are dismissed at the end of the academic school day (M/W/F at 3:30pm; T/Th at 2pm) and that custody of care is assumed by parents or guardians at dismissal time.

Brentwood will continue to provide custody of care beyond dismissal time for arts, sports, or study time in the Grade 8 classroom:

  • if a Grade 8 student participates in an after-school athletic or art activity, the coach/instructor will provide supervision for the duration of that activity;

  • because Ms. Ramundi and/or Dr. Stevens will be in the Grade 8 classroom each day until 5:00 pm to supervise Grade 8 students engaged in academic activity and to offer one-on-one tutoring and general supervision of students in the classroom to work on academics;

  • on M/W/F 3:30 - 5:00 and T/Th 2:00 - 5:00, when students are welcome to take a break from the tutorial sessions and before and after optional sport or art by 'hanging out' on the field in front of the classroom (Campbell Common) or in McNeill's Cafe in Crooks Hall because those areas are within a supervisory area for Ms. Ramundi and Dr. Stevens - all other areas of campus are not areas for Grade 8 Program students to 'hang out';

  • in Foote Centre when students are waiting in the designated day-student area for pick up by parent or Brentwood bus.

*NOTE: when dismissed at the end of the day, Grade 8 boarding students return to the care of the boarding house parents and are expected to follow boarding house and boarder guidelines and routines.

day student meal policy

Each day the Grade 8s are provided with a nutrition break (some sort of snack) and lunch. As our day commences after breakfast and finishes before dinner, we cannot invite day student Grade 8s to breakfast or dinner.

There is an exception to that general policy: if your child is involved in a Brentwood activity that goes over breakfast or dinner, such as a sports team that is eating together, they are more than welcome to stay for those meals.

Students are also encouraged to bring their own healthy snacks for a nutrition break scheduled specifically for the Grade 8 Program earlier in the day, and for the afternoon according to each student's own schedule of activity.

Water bottles on student desks are encouraged. We keep fresh water in a dispenser in the classroom for refills throughout the day.

cellular phone policy

We stress the importance of appropriate use of cell phones and other technologies in the Grade 8 Program. Cell phones are sometimes used for assignments because they can be a powerful tool for learning when used purposefully. At the same time, cell phones can be distracting and difficult for young people to manage and use wisely.

To meet broader Grade 8 Program goals of collaboration and social development, and to support students in the development of purposeful and safe cell phone use, all students will hand in their cell phones at the start of the academic day. Phones will be stored safely in the classroom and returned to students when they are required for a learning activity and upon dismissal at the end of the day.

If you need to get in touch with your child during the course of the day, please email Ms. Ramundi and/or Dr. Stevens. If there is an emergency situation, please contact reception by phone: 250-743-5521.

absences due to illness or appointments

If your child is going to be away, please inform both Dr. Stevens < daryl.stevens@brentwood.bc.ca > and Ms. Ramundi < amanda.ramundi@brentwood.bc.ca > as soon as you are aware they will be absent.