During the school year of 2014 – 2015, the Swedish School of Vancouver had 61 students in the fall and 60 students in the spring. Throughout the school year, we had 34 lessons on Thursdays 4:15-6:15 PM and 34 on Saturdays 9:30-11:30 AM. The students were divided into 7 classes, from pre-school level (age 3) and up, with 5 classrooms on Thursdays and 4 on Saturdays.
The school continued to offer affordable education due to an annual grant (approx. CDN$13,400) paid out from the Swedish Department of Education (Skolverket) for our 34 students aged 6 years and older and at least one parent who is a Swedish citizen. We also raised $2,900 through several fundraising activities.
This year we did not offer any”Cultural School” classes as we could not find a teacher for this class.
The Swedish School organized and also participated in activities that were outside the regular classroom lessons. In November, students and families participated in the school’s own Christmas party. In December, many of the students performed at the Cultural Society’s Lucia celebration. At the Christmas Fair, which was organized by the Cultural Society, we had two fundraising tables: a table with raffle tickets for two great Christmas baskets, and a flea market with children’s toys and clothing. In January we had Club Night at the Centre, and even though the event was not a financial success this year due to low attendance it was a fun event with catered food and kids activities. The Silent Auction at the Club Night was a great success. In April, some families attended the Valborgsmässofirande at Ambleside Beach in West Vancouver. In June, many students and their families participated in the Midsummer celebration at the Centre, and the school had a fish pond and some games to entertain and raise money for the Centre.
May 29-31 the school’s annual camp took place at Evan’s Lake, which was very much appreciated by both children and their parents. A total of 107 children, parents and teachers attended. We had a fun camp thanks to wonderful weather, activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, swimming, cliff-hanging, campfire, other social activities and of course the experiences of the beautiful nature surrounding the camp. The theme this year was “Circus”, and the children practiced various circus roles and finished this part of the camp with a show for the parents.
Information to the parents during the school year was delivered by a monthly newsletter via e-mail and by communication through the teachers. We continued to write our newsletters in English, to allow our non-Swedish parents to better support their children in their Swedish School activities.
The Board had four meetings throughout the year to discuss and coordinate the school year and support the teachers in their school plan. The teachers had two planning conference meetings, one to plan Lucia and the Christmas party and one to plan the camp, in addition to a social evening. A conference meeting to discuss the curriculum did not take place. On the new agenda is an intensified class that will be introduced in the 2015-16 school year. This class will be based on individual curricula developed by Svenska Distans and also incorporating material from En Läsande Klass. These classes will be a supervised on a volunteer-basis through two of our parents in collaboration with one parent from each family. The majority of these students will be meeting on Sundays 4-6 PM.
We had several new teachers join us this year, including Ida Blomqvist, Anna-Maria Hårstad and Camilla Mattsson. They have been a great contribution to the school and their enthusiasm and efforts were appreciated by our students. Linda has continued to coordinate all matters relating to teaching as the Head Teacher. Through the year we also had the wonderful assistance from Kate Rytter, one of our prior students concurrently attending Grade 11, who assisted on Thursdays.
This year we had a large turnover of teachers, and we would like to acknowledge the following wonderful who have left the school for other endeavors with a warm thank you: Ida Blomqvist, Julia Olsen, Anna-Maria Harstad, Camilla Mattsson, Annie Kvick, Sandra Benholm-Cheung, Linda Stenström. They will be missed! Joining us in the coming school year (2015-16) will be Britta Kickham, Mona Warsame, Emmalena Fredriksson and Caroline Ohlander.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank all our teachers and substitute teachers who again have done such a great job inspiring our student during their lessons in Swedish language, traditions and culture. We are very grateful to all our volunteers, a.k.a our parents, who have done everything from being on the Board through planning events, assisting in various functions and baking. Our gratitude further extends to the Scandinavian Centre for administration around rent and facility, as well as the Danish, Icelandic, Norwegian, and Finnish Houses for sharing their Rooms, and last but not the least the Swedish Cultural Society, Sweden House Society and SWEA for their support.
It takes a village to raise a child, and we could not run this organization without the help and commitment from our supporters. You all made the school year of 2014-2015 into a successful one!
September 14, 2015
Mia Logie, Chair, on behalf of the Board of the Swedish School of Vancouver