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Class Act: Burnaby school board recognizes academic upper crust

The Burnaby school board recognized the top 2018 grad from each of its high schools at a board meeting last month.

The Burnaby school board recognized the top 2018 grad from each of its high schools at a board meeting last month.

The Governor General’s Academic Medal for secondary schools is awarded to the grad with the highest average mark for all of his or her grade 11 and 12 courses.

For 2017/18, those students were Alpha’s Paniz Najjarrezaparast, Burnaby Central’s Andy Hwang and Cariboo Hill’s Rickesh Mysuria, who are all studying at SFU this year; Burnaby Mountain’s Jessica Zhan, Byrne Creek’s Amarpreet Powar and Moscrop’s Alice Wang, who are all at UBC; Burnaby South’s Carol Zhang who is in Ontario at the University of Waterloo; and Burnaby North’s William Shen, who has decided to study at Harvard.

School pride

Moscrop Secondary was the second school in the Burnaby school district to get a rainbow crosswalk to celebrate LGBTQ inclusion.

Moscrop, rainbow crosswalk
A rainbow crosswalk was installed at Moscrop Secondary School recently to celebrate diversity and inclusion.

The school board voted unanimously last month to approve the project, which was paid for with school funds and installed on district property between the school’s visitor parking lot and front entrance. The crosswalk was in place within days of being approved.

The district’s first rainbow crosswalk was put in this summer in front of Burnaby Mountain Secondary.

“It's symbolic of the school's commitment to ensuring that this is a safe space," Burnaby Mountain social studies teacher Jyoti Panesar told the NOW.

Literacy honours

The Burnaby school district has earned a Literacy for Life Innovation Award honourable mention and $5,000 for a new approach to teaching adults new to Canada English.

The district’s Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program offers free English classes for recent immigrants.

In Burnaby in 2017/18, more than 700 people were enrolled in the program, which is funded by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada and run by the district’s community and continuing education department. 

The local program was recognized for its blended teaching model, which includes both classroom instruction and online learning, to accommodate parents juggling work, childcare and other school commitments.

The model has also opened up space for childminding for parents attending LINC classes.