Adminfo is published five times per year by the BC Principals' & Vice-Principals' Association.

Issues are mailed to all BCPVPA active members (and archived on the website) in October, December, February, April and June.

Write for Adminfo: Adminfo welcomes your submissions. We are particuarly interested in best practices, school success stories and educational research. For information email your questions or submission to Richard Williams.

Advertise in Adminfo: A rate card is availble here.

June 2015

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue also includes a column by President Gordon Li on connecting with colleagues across Canada, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger about the Association’s book publishing initiatives. Download the entire issue.

Building Cultural Pride

by Leslie Dyson A unique ‘birth to six program’ in Langley celebrates local cultures and reconnects individuals to their ancestry. Read.

My Inquiry

by Andrei Sala
How do we as educators ‘grapple’ a high level of apathy towards learning? How do we help our students learn what passion is all about and to experience, through their own successes? Read.

Supporting Teachers to Reduce Turnover

by Marc Daneault An offshore school vice-principal (South Korea) shares his solutions to reduce teacher stress and burnout … and those strategies could be adapted to strengthen the culture at any school, anywhere. Read.

Recruiting Schools Leaders and Supporting their Work

Charles Ungerleider reviews a 2013 OECD study of teaching and learning and writes that ministries and school boards can make a substantial contribution to recruiting successful principals and vice-principals by clearly articulating core system goals. Read.

Aboriginal Education: Politics, Authenticity & Moving Forward

Brad Baker writes about the politics of Aboriginal education and how, despite the strides forward, there are still endless opportunities to integrate Aboriginal education into BC’s curriculum. Read.

You’re moving where?

by Heidi Grant Where’s that? …Why? … Those are the questions we were asked when we decided to leave our jobs in the Vancouver/Victoria areas and move to Nechako Lakes. Read.

June cover art by Kacie Long, SD#73

April 2015

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Gordon Li on learning first hand about the initiatives that move student learning forward, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger about flawed harassment language that too frequently results in the respondent being the person harassed. Download the entire issue.

Developing Empathy & the Courage to Make Wise Decisions

By Leslie Dyson École Glenmore, in Kelowna, offers two programs designed to help students develop their social and emotional skills: Voices for girls and Mavericks for the boys. Continue reading.

In praise of the eternal inevitability of change

By Rachel Reynolds An English teacher says no to instructional strategies that worked in the 20th Century and instead develops an inquiry-based project to boost student achievement in literacy now. Continue reading.

Top 10 actions to develop your PLN

By Craig Mah In 2007, my school was among five elementary schools closed in a district budget process. Continue reading.

Makes Me Wonder

By Erica Thompson It was a day of many firsts, for many at the Cheakamus Center in Brackendale. In the company of Conor McMullan, Director of Educational Programs and Kate Keogh, Vice-Principal (North Vancouver) at Cheakamus Centre, children walked along the streamside trails and adjacent forests, which were littered with chum remnants. Continue reading.

April cover art by Morgan Young, GP Vanier, SD#71

February 2015

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Gordon Li on being inspired by our leaders, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger who reflects on the history of residential schools and how we are working to overcome their legacy. Download the entire issue.

Blending future forward

By Leslie Dyson A raft of unique programs guides Navigate students to success. Continue reading.

Reading for Joy

By Margaret Paxton Like most schools across our province, we are concerned about vulnerable readers and how to support them most effectively and efficiently. We have tried many different methods of assessment and intervention, searching for those that will give us the biggest “bang for the buck.” We know that there is no one perfect approach that will work for all children. What seems to be having the most impact upon learning in our school is the practice of the Case Study. Continue reading.

Investing a positive twist on anti-bullying

By Margaret Geddes The Principal at George Greenaway in Surrey stops to think about bullying and redrafts a positive message of kindness. Continue reading.

Acknowledging Anxiety

By Alan Stel A principal -- who is also a veteran swimmer — suffers an anxiety attack and the experience leads him to reflect on how to help students recognize their anxieties and become more comfortable with the unknown. Continue reading.

February cover art by Max Joe, Kinnikinnick Elementary School, SD#46

December 2014

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Gordon Li on Andy Hargreaves' six uplifting forces, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on "education systems that have been held as exemplars." Download the complete issue.

Engagement with Research
as a Form of Teacher Development

Sardar M. Anwaruddin, a PhD candidate argues that effective teacher development is best realized when undertaken by a community of teachers, who are locally based, and perform most of their activities online. Continue reading.

Web extra: references for above article.

Love, nurturing & fantastic learning

By Leslie Dyson Despite good programming to support its kids, an inner city school in Surrey, presents a challenging environment. But the school also attracts outstanding staff because they feel they can make a difference. Continue reading

interest-based negotiations

By Carmen Eberle A member of the BCPVPA’s Contract Advisory Committee shares her thoughts on some of the issues involved with moving from a collective agreement to a personal services contract. Continue reading

Improving School Climate
through Disability Awareness Programs

By Karen Morrison The Rick Hansen School Program offers resources to build disability awareness and encourage students to create positive change. Continue reading.

October 2014

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Gordon Li on "a community of leaders," and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on "resetting collective bargaining in education and allowing BC’s public schools to be viewed as the success stories they are." Download the complete issue.

Listening, enabling &
building student achievement

Lesley Dyson interviews participants in the BCPVPA’s Supervision for Learning program and discovers the great learning conversations between principals,
vice-principals and teachers. Continue reading.

A Community of Learners’ Spiral of Inquiry

By Mary-Lynn Epps Each year we enter our classrooms and look into the hearts and minds of the individuals who stand before us. As inquiry-minded educators we ask the question: How can we connect and develop a relationship with each individual learner while simultaneously cultivate a momentum of learning within the entire group? Continue reading. Web extra: Download a planning summary.

Creating Leaderful People:
Resilient, Caring, Creative, Connected & Thriving 

By Christine Marin and Diana Cawood Do you ever feel a sense of isolation in your administrative role? How well do you know the values of the management and administrative teams? Continue reading. Web extra: Download a Three-levels of learning graphic.

An age of improvement

By Sandy Balascak An Alternate school in Agassiz brings seniors into the mix. The results include improved student performance and behaviours, budding self-esteem and community responsibility ... and a lot more graduates. Continue reading.

Evidence-based, teacher-delivered social and emotional learning

By Kate Evans and Kelly Angelius A Ministry of Children and Family Development program helps educators support their students and build engagement. Continue reading.


June 2014

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger.

Download the complete issue.

Wading through fields and into streams

By Leslie Dyson There’s no better way to understand an ecosystem than to stand in the middle of it. Grade 2 and 3 students at North Otter Elementary School in Langley had that opportunity when they took part in the Salmon in the Valley program. Continue reading.

Duty to Report

By Julia Hengstler, Gail Krivel-Zacks and Elizabeth Kroeker Society looks to school principals and vice-principals, faculty, and staff as gatekeepers of children’s well-being. School personnel are often aware of, and trained in, the protocols around duty-to-report in cases of physical neglect, sexual abuse, or potential self-harm. However, duty-to-report is not well understood in terms of student safety in digital contexts. Continue reading.

Download an Incident Protocol.

Download a Response to Incident (pptx)

Opportunity to achieve

By Margaret Geddes Margaret Geddes, Principal, William Watson Elementary, writes
about how Surrey embraced a special track meet for athletes. Continue reading.

Paths to reading

By Wendy Briggs A principal in Central Okanagan intervenes to reinforce respectful behaviour. She also uses that interaction to review the student’s progress from non-reader to competent and avid reader in a single year. Continue reading.

Employment & Regulations: Four questions and answers

By Laura Bickerton Laura Bickerton completes her series of three columns on aspects of teacher regulation. In this issue, she addresses the interconnections between the regulatory and employment arenas in which BC educators work. Continue reading.

April 2014

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on "a time to self-assess, identify competencies, and set goals," and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on the BCPVPA's strategic plan for 2014-2017. Download the complete issue:

Beyond the two-hour workshop

By Kim Atkinson Teachers in Saanich School District participate in a year long
professional learning process to reflect and share ideas and build a community of practice.
Continue reading.

Building engagement and achievement, one project at a time

By Janilee Stovel and Sandra Pond At Pacific Coast School in Prince Rupert, a team of educators address student achievement by asking two questions: 1) How could culturally inclusive, cross-curricular, hands-on, and project-based learning founded in the principles of Assessment for Learning (AFL) and LUCID (Imaginative Education) be implemented to increase student engagement and attendance? and 2) Will this implementation improve achievement for our Aboriginal students? Continue reading.

The road to leadership

By Jessica Werb Improving school safety and developing student leadership are two of the significant benefits of participating in BCAA's School Safety Patrol Program. Jessica Werb travels to Burnaby to report on the program at two elementary schools. Continue reading.

Immersed in French and nature

Two Kindergarten teachers help their students learn about nature in the most natural setting possible. The learning team reports on the school’s success in tapping into the magic of outdoor space. Continue reading.

Outside days

By Leslie Dyson Photos by Craig Cerhit Maple Ridge’s Environmental School draws on the natural world to help students develop into all-round citizens. Continue reading.

February 2014

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on the value of laughter, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on lifelong learning and estabishling credentials. Download the complete issue.

On marriage, divorce and teaching

By Cathal Walsh The author reflects on his parents' marriage and how it stood the test of time. He says a teacher’s passion for the profession can be subject to myriad emotions, too … but sometimes a divorce from bad practice can lead to a renewed professionalism. Continue reading.

An Aboriginal cultural immersion program

By Lesley Dyson. Merritt’s Aboriginal Academy draws on aspects of the area’s two dominant cultures. Students are responding by assuming new levels of responsibility. Assessment is based on growth, mastery of skills, patience and spiritual understanding. Continue reading.

A day in the life of a one-room rural school

By Gloria Gadacz. Once a commonplace feature of BC’s education system, the one-room rural school is a vanishing institution. The author shares a typical day as vice-principal/teacher at her one room K-6 school in the Kootenay Lake School District. Continue reading.

The public interest and the regulation of educators

By Laura Bickerton. The author continues her series of three columns on aspects of the Teachers’ Regulation Branch. She discusses the public interest — what it means and the role played by principals and vice-principals. Three scenarios give rise to a discussion about transparency and professional responsibility.  Continue reading.

December 2013

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on how to talking with education students, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on five indicators of effective professional associations. Download the complete issue.

Three tiers to intervention and improvement

By Lesley Dyson. Watson Elementary in Chilliwack introduces a Response to Instruction and Intervention model, drawing on data and collaborative problem-solving.
This three tier approach helps the school to shift its focus, from fixing the student to fixing the instruction. Continue reading.

A Teacher's Inquiry on Inquiry

By Christine Marin and Jessica Wang. A pilot project to use an inquiry model of teaching to build students’ interest, ownership and excitement in their own learning gets off to a rocky start, but with supportive conversations, collaborative lessons, and resilience over time, the results are positive. Continue reading.

Education for the heart

By Stacey Burnard. The author shares research about social-emotional learning and how it empowers students to find success through resiliency and managing the inevitable failure. Continue reading.

A Time to Celebrate and Share Learning

By Craig Mah. School goals can be brought to life as students, staff and parents join together to celebrate learning. Continue reading.

The Standards of Professionalism

By Laura Bickerton. The author inaugurates a series of columns on how the work of the Ministry’s Teacher Regulation Branch intersects with the work of principals and vice-principals. Continue reading.

October 2013

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on how to have difficult conversations, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on reading the data from the May BCPVPA membership survey. Download the complete issue.

Exploring the Relationship between Time and Learning

Martin Blakesley

For years the Gulf Islands has operated on a modified school calendar based on a four-day instructional week. Over time, the Board monitored student achievement, but not to what degree student that achievement may have been affected by the length of the school week. A former principal undertakes to find the answer. In this article, he sets the context, explains the process, reviews the literature and shares his research results. Continue reading.

Putin, Pride and Policy

by Dr. Christine Perkins

In BC, 35 out of 60 districts do not have a policy prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation and/or gender identity. A Sea to Sky principal champions the cause in her district and offers other principals and vice-principals a blueprint for action. Continue reading.

Principals of Inclusion

by Darrin Griffiths

Book Excerpt: Principals of Inclusion: Practical Strategies to Grow Inclusion in Urban Schools by Darrin Griffiths. This excerpt is from Chapter One of the book. Other chapters cover growing inclusion with teachers, students, and parents as well as cultivating allies and reconceptualizing the principalship. Read the excerpt.

A Dynamic Approach to Dyslexia

by Leslie Dyson

When reading materials are tailored to personal interests, some students begin to understand what is being said. These steady improvements lead to improved comprehension and better prospects. Continue reading.

June 2013

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on how to sustain energy and enthusiasm, and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on the journey to become a teacher. There is also an article by Sharon Cutcliffe on The Duty of Fairness. Download the complete issue.

Highly engaged and knowing learners

by Heidi Grant

George Bonner Middle School in the Cowichan Valley creates a grade 7 class that focuses on personalized learning. Teachers and students are empowered to engage in inquiry and innovation. Continue reading.

The making of a great school

by Cathal Walsh

A principal makes the case that great schools are created by dedicated professionals who work in consort to meet the interests and needs of all students. Continue reading.

Bringing mindfulness intimately, clearly & deeply into schools

by Cea Winter

Mindfulness is a way of being fully present in this moment and a teacher explains how it can help youth cope with anxiety, depression and behavioral issues. Continue reading.

Giving kids a sporting chance

by Leslie Dyson

A born-in-BC organization helps brings kids into sport with confidential financial support. Continue reading.

April 2013

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes a column by President Shelley Green on participating in the BCPVPA through its election process and a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on asking questions and being responsive. Download the complete issue.

Leading from where they stand

by Doug David

School leaders in the Comox Valley turn to distributed leadership and create a Curriculum Support Teacher role to support teachers and build capacity. Continue reading.

Turning 50, reflecting on life in a technological world

by Chuck Bloch

A principal reflects on how technology is eating away at the limited family time available and offers some tips to correct the imbalance. Continue reading.

Book review and excerpt

Taking Charge: Leading with Passion and Purpose in the Principalship

Mary Nall reviews Paul Shaw's book and an excerpt from Chapter Five (Capacity Building: The Promise of Professional Learning Communities) is included. Continue reading.

Covering the bases 

by Leslie Dyson

Project-based learning in Langley engages students, and peer mentors, to approach a single subject from a variety of perspectives. And parents are involved and committed too. Continue reading.

February 2013

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes 1) a column by President Shelley Green on creating safe, caring cultures, 2) the third article on the history of the BCPVPA as it celebrates 25 years as an autonomous organization, 3) an excerpt from Spirals of Inquiry by Judy Halbert and Linda Kaser and 4) a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on  the four critical elements of a success public education system. Download the complete issue.

Growing innovation in rural sites of learning, part 3

by Linda Farr Darling, Patricia Dooley and Terry Taylor

In the third of three articles, the authors talk about key aspects of successful projects and how innovative projects will be shared with other educators. Continue reading.

I dance, you dance, we all dance

by Vanessa Clarke

At Sechelt's Chatelech Secondary, all students are engaged by and participate in a dance program that offers fun, boosts school spirit and models best peer to peer practices.
ators. Continue reading.

A new school grows in the Comox Valley

by Leslie Dyson

The Comox Valley opens a K-12 school to serve the growing needs of students who are opting to know more about the Francophone culture and language. Continue reading.

December 2012

In addition to the articles below, the complete issue includes 1) a column by President Shelley Green on supporting schools with a high incidence of poverty, 2) the second article on the history of the BCPVPA as it celebrates 25 years as an autonomous organization, 3) a legal opinion on the use of cell phones in schools and 4) a column by Executive Director Kit Krieger on his first four months on the job. Download the complete issue.

In unplugged classrooms, these students dig the environment

by Leslie Dyson

Support from the World Wildlife Federation helps integrate environmental awareness and stewardship into the curriculum. Continue reading.

Five easy pieces to seamless technology integration

by Darren Rowell

A Maple Ridge School, custom built for technology, embraces technology and student directed learning. Continue reading.

Growing innovation in rural sites of learning, part 2

by Linda Farr Darling, Patricia Dooley and Terry Taylor

In the second of three articles, the authors share key aspects of projects and write about a community of learners around the province. Continue reading.

Collaboration brings innovation

by Karen Flello

When Distributed Learning and neighbourhood schools find opportunities for collaboration, innovative partnerships are created and student needs met. Continue reading.


October 2012

In addition to the individual articles, the entire issue can be downloaded as a single file. In addition to the articles below the entire issue includes articles by BCPVPA President Shelley Green on building capacity and BCPVPA Executive Director Kit Krieger on BC's high performing public schools. Download the entire issue.

The dividends of culture

by Leslie Dyson

Hazelton Secondary developed a three-day back-to-the-land camp to help First Nations students learn some of the life skills that are no longer being shared from generation to generation. Continue reading.

Volume, complexity and the challenge of capacity

by Harold Krische, Carol-Ann Leidloff and John Pusic

Download references for this article

 To focus on student achievement and school leadership, principals and vice-principals must meet the volume and complexity challenges of their roles by understanding the issues, focusing on the essential and developing leadership capacity. Continue reading.

Growing innovation in rural sites of learning

by Linda Farr Darling, Patricia Dooley and Terry Taylor

In the first of three articles, the authors set out the parameters for a program that will explore and document innovative practice in rural schools. Continue reading.

The BCPVPA is celebrating 25 years of quality leadership in education

In this, the first of five articles marking the silver anniversary of the BCPVPA as an autonomous organization, we look at the Principal's Journal, which began publication in 1960 and read some comments by Principal Jum Halcrow on the opening of the first BCPVPA conference in 1969. Continue reading.