I’ve been editing the weekly (bi-weekly in summer) newsletter for science journalists in Canada since February 2018. The newsletter shares with authorized subscribers the Science Media Centre’s top newsworthy picks, with pithy descriptions, from among all the embargoed articles on Eurekalert and peer-reviewed journal sites by Canadian researchers that are scheduled to be published that week. It also includes brief synopses of recently published articles, policy papers, science-related government announcements, and job notices of interest to Canadian science journalists.

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This fall, many schools are incorporating online and remote learning into their offerings, and many families are seeking to support their school-aged children in the new learning environment.

To help both navigate this new reality, SelfDesign® Learning Foundation has collaborated with Cognia, the world’s largest education improvement organization, to share our expertise in building meaningful relationships with learners online.

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SelfDesign recognizes that life can throw challenges at our learners and their families. Events and situations can each make learners feel unsafe and uncertain and can affect their ability to learn and families’ ability to support that learning.

SelfDesign Family Services provides resources and supports to help learners and families when events or situations interfere with learning. Within Family Services, members of the Contact Assistance Team – referred to as CAT – are experienced in working with learners in kindergarten to grade 12, including learners who receive Support Education services.

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As part of its commitment to furthering reconciliation and intercultural understanding and respect, SelfDesign Learning Community became a member of the Gord Downie & Chanie Wenjack foundation’s Legacy School network in 2019, joining a community of more than 1,600 legacy schools across Canada and linking to funding, educational resources and opportunities that advance reconciliation.

The Legacy School network is a national initiative that engages, empowers and connects students and educators to further reconciliation through awareness, education, connection, and action.

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The work of engineers and geoscientists in BC is impacted by changes in tools and technology. How is the landscape of our work changing, and what disciplines are emerging? In this Centennial Collector’s Edition, Innovation looks at biomedical technology, nanotechnology, seismology, climate change, artificial intelligence, and big data.

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SelfDesign® is poised to grow and develop in new and interesting directions, says Amber Papou, President and CEO of SelfDesign Learning Foundation, the not-for-profit, charitable organization that operates SelfDesign Learning Community, our kindergarten to grade 12 school. “We’re moving into the next phase of growth as an organization,” she says, “We’ve looked at the areas where our strengths lie in this organization, and we’ve determined a number of opportunities that we can reach for. I see many new programs that we can offer that align with our philosophy and approach to education.”

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When the BC Ministry of Education completed its inspection of SelfDesign® Learning Community’s programs and processes last fall, our Learning Experiences Library, our in-person camps and gatherings, and how we provide learners with opportunities to design their own learning received particularly high praise.

“The provincial inspectors commended us on doing what we say we do and being what we say we are – an online learning school that provides an innovative, flexible and personalized approach to learning,” says SelfDesign Principal of Educational Programs Nikki Kenyon. “It’s really great to have these areas of our program recognized.”

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When the B.C. government suspended in-person learning in B.C. schools in mid-March to protect students and slow the spread of the COVID-19, most kindergarten to grade 12 students in the province were about to go on spring break. However, one group of SelfDesign Learning Community learners and educators was poised to spend the break together at one of the school’s sought-after in-person camps.

Since 2017, Art Intensive Camp, held in Victoria, B.C.,  has brought SelfDesign learners in grades 9–12 together from across B.C. for one week in March to connect, collaborate and share while they immerse themselves in art. To cap the week of art exploration and creation, the learners host their own reception and art show for families and the community to showcase their work.

The B.C. government’s March 2020 order cancelled Art Intensive for the first time.

So what did the Art Intensive organizing team do? They took the camp online, of course, and opened it up to all interested SelfDesign learners.

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