The Road to Community School Status and Beyond

Please take a look at the Prezi that was created for our staff meeting. This is a brief lesson on what a community school is and what our overarching goals have been for the pilot at Byrne over the past 3 years. The questions at the end are meant to generate thought about our next steps and the focus or overarching goals that we will pursue over the next year.

When you scan the questions are there a few that catch your eye as most important? I look forward to hearing your thoughts in the months to come.


Byrne Creek Students Help Build Community

Byrne Creek leaders change community

Byrne Creek leaders change community

We have so much to celebrate about our students at Byrne Creek!

Click here to read the article found in the Burnaby Newsleader posted November 5, 2014. 

Guest Blog by Michael Yang: Community in not a Word-but a Story

Written by Michael Yang UBC Teacher Candidate placed at Byrne Creek for a 3 week Community Field Experience. What does community look like in a school? In my enriching and all-too short 3 weeks at Byrne Creek, I stepped into something that I am still trying to make sense of. I was able to witness

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Partners in Education

My name is Mrs. Iha Hayer and I am the Byrne Creek Community Room main blogger. A little about me: I have been an educator for the past 15 years and I love my career! I have been very fortunate to have worked in diverse communities throughout the Canadian provinces of British Columbia and Quebec

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The Magic of Community Programming


We are so proud of our students’ leadership successes! They have an article glowing about their deeds in the Burnaby Now! Link to the Burnaby Now article. The magic of community programming is what happens a few years down the line…when kids that once partook in programming are now leading that programming and acting as shining examples of healthy members of a community!


Taming the Fox

Carol Ann Tomlinson used St. Exupery’s book The Little Prince to explain a metaphor that both grounds and extends thinking about differentiation or responsive teaching in the classroom. This metaphor guides thinking about differentiation throughout her book, Fulfilling the Promise of the Differentiated Classroom: Strategies and Tools for Responsive Teaching (2003).

Honestly, it has been a while since I read this book. So, finding it was a treat! I love how she explains how building relationships with our students should be at the heart of everything that we do as educators and that our student success depends on this skill! I am very curious to hear what others think about Tomlinson’s ideas and her use of this metaphor. Please share your thoughts with me.

I did not write what follows. But I love it and wanted to share it with you. However, I encourage you to read the whole book.

The following passages is taken from Tomlinson’s book pages 6-9.

Taming the Fox

The Little Prince, a young boy who is in many ways representative of all of us, goes on a pilgrimage to make sense of life. In particular, he needs to understand what love means in the scope of his existence. Along the way, he meets and learns from a varied lot of folks-both wise and foolish. Near the end of his journey, he encounters a fox and asks the fox to play with him. The fox responds that he cannot play with the Little Prince because he-the fox-is not tame. The Little Prince is puzzled and asked what it means to be tamed. The fox observes:

To me, you are still nothing more than a little boy who is just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you, on your part, have no need of me. To you, I am nothing more than a fox like a thousands other foxes. But if you tame me, then we shall need each other. To me, you will be unique in all the world….

My life is very monotonous…And, in consequence, I am a little bored. But if you tame me, it will be as if the sun came to shine on my life. I shall know the sound of a step that will be different from all the others. Other steps send me hurrying back underneath the ground. Yours will call me, like music, out of my burrow. (p. 80, 83)

But the Little Prince is skeptical. He is very busy, he explains. He has so many thinks to do-so many things to understand. The fox gives a simple reply: “One only understands the things one tames” (p. 83). The Little Prince agrees to tame the fox.

The fox explains that taming takes time, patience, and listening. Words, he notes, are often the source of misunderstanding. In time, the Little Prince tames the fox, who shares with his new friend two important truths:

  1. “What is essential is invisible to the eye” (p. 87) and

  2. “You become responsible forever for what you have tamed.” (p. 88)

 In the end, the fox and the Little Prince must part ways, of course. There is great sadness in the parting, but there is happiness born of fulfillment as well. The two will be joined forever by the small memories the made together-the times they share. Children spend the majority of their waking hours in schools and classrooms. They are dependent on the adults who shape the experience in those schools and classrooms for the quality of each day spent there.

When they enter the classroom, the teacher says to them, “Come play with me”; “Come do the work I have for you here”; “Make my agenda your agenda.” It is likely that each child says to us in his or her own way, “I can’t do that until you have tamed me. I can’t give myself to this place, to this work, to you until I believe in you. I can’t believe in you until I know that you believe in me.” In 30 different ways, students in a class of 30 say to the teacher, like the fox, “ Tame me, please.” They want to feel a personal connection to those who share the classroom with them. They want to be affirmed there.

Like the Little Prince, teachers are skeptical. We have so many things to do, so many things to understand, too many mandates, too many students, too little time in the day that evaporate time. But if we take the risk to “tame” each child who came our way, the uniqueness of every individual emerges. It happens because we show up each day with patience, with the intent to listen. We make time to “see the invisible.”

In the process, we begin to understand what make a creative child unique, what a child with cognitive limitations needs from the classroom to grow, how the culture of a child is shaped by experiences both like and unlike our own, what the very bright child needs to feed both intellect and a sense of belonging, how a student’s particular interest represents that child’s dreams, and so on. We begin to understand what is essential about each learner.


BASES Thrift Store Gets Good Press

Byrne Creek is very proud to be connected with this social venture initiative.

Take a look at why here.

BASES Thrift Store Pic



The Southeast Burnaby community is culturally rich and diverse with more than 67 countries represented. Our goal is to provide funding to the six schools in that community for programs and activities for at-risk children and families, such as breakfast programs, after-school programs, summer camp, music, sports, and arts programs. Canada will be a better place when children and families who are underserved receive opportunities that are assumed by most Canadians.

The BASES team has been busy this summer! It received Charity Status and started to work on opening their Social Entrepreneur Branch. Thanks to many dedicated community minded folk….the Thrift Store is scheduled to open October 15, 2013. Read more about BASES Thrift Store here.

This thrift store will provide revenue for school programs as well as a wonderful place to gain work experience for many students and adults in our community.



Friends of Simon

Two Byrne Creek students, Esther and Jeanne, had the opportunity to spend the afternoon of September 25th, 2013 doing radio interviews promoting Byrne Creek’s partnership with Simon Fraser University for Rogers Youth Fund Day.  Both girls have participated in the Friends of Simon Program that brings SFU tutors two days a week to work with our students. The Friends of Simon is made possible because of the generous Rogers Youth Fund! It is a fantastic program that we value whole heartedly at Byrne Creek! For more information about the Friends of Simon check it out here.

The girls did a tour of Rogers Radio Vancouver, which you probably know as 96.9 Jack FM, News 1130 and SONiC 104.9. Here is a sneak peek at what they got to participate in during that day:


Our Garden is Growing!

Please take a look at our Garden Pilot Project at Byrne. Our little demonstration garden is growing and we are excited about all the possibilities that this garden holds. This will be a club. for credit course for students…as well as when expanded an opportunity to grow and share food with our families and greater community.

Take a look and let us know if you would like to get involved! Click here to a link the Healthy HEART Community Garden webpage.