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Connection in all its forms is the theme of Richmond’s Education Week

Students star in jazz music video compilation for Education Week
The H.J. Cambie Secondary School Grade 9-10 band performing for Jazz Nite 2022.

The Richmond School District’s annual event is being held virtually this week, and it showcases school and classroom initiatives including nature walks with an Indigenous herbalist educator, the opening up of a Pride club to the entire school, and a virtual Jazz Nite featuring eight secondary school music programs.  

When deciding the theme for this year’s event, ‘connection’ jumped out as the obvious choice, said Sandra Nixon, the chairperson of the Board of Education.  

“It seemed really appropriate. That’s what we’ve been talking about for the last two years. With the ongoing pandemic is our need to keep our connections, strengthen our connections,” said Nixon.  

“It seemed like a good opportunity to really focus on how our schools are creating connections for students in different ways.” 

Five main themes are showcased this year: connecting to a place, diversity equity and inclusion, exploring healthy living and well-being, learning together, and sharing our gifts. These themes are based on the school district’s 2020-2025 strategic plan, explained the Education Week website

In the past, the annual event had included in-person events such as a Science Jam in Aberdeen Centre, but the district has had to focus on virtual celebrations due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. This shift has created a new opportunity for the school district to connect to a wider audience, said Nixon. 

“The online format does allow a lot more schools and teachers to submit things on behalf of their classrooms... Last year we had 25 submissions, and this year we’ve got over 50,” she explained.  

The Jazz Nite is one of the school district’s annual flagship music events, where students perform at The Gateway Theatre in front of friends and family. This year, the school district hired a professional videographer and put together a compilation of the performances. 

“[Students] got dressed, they cleared out their spaces, so they looked as professional as possible. And they got to have that experience of having a professional recording done and then edited, and then put together as an offering for Education Week,” said Catherine Ludwig, principal of Westwind Elementary. 

Although the pandemic has prevented students from performing in front of a live audience, Ludwig hopes that the recording will provide an opportunity for students to share and receive feedback from their community. 

“We know when the students share their learning with their families and friends and the community, that they sort of have that experience that the communities are cheering them on their educational journeys,” said Ludwig. 

The Richmond School District’s Education Week 2022 will be coming to a close this Friday, with a celebration of the school district’s diverse talents.