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Creativity, Compassion & Community

Students, teachers, Principals and other staff are rising – together with our wider community – to meet the challenges precipitated by COVID-19.

While life looks different for all of us at the moment – including students’ learning experience – what hasn’t changed is the creativity and compassion of the Burnaby Schools community. There are lots of amazing things happening in and outside of our virtual classrooms. What follows is a snapshot of the many available examples.

Inspiring Assignments

Students at Taylor Park Elementary were challenged to rewrite the words to the song True Colors. One of the students, Mason, got very creative – using pictures of empty playgrounds, other images from around the neighbourhood and of himself – and created something he called “My Quarantine Music Video.” You can see the amazing result here.

At Maywood Community School, families were given an activity to create “affirmation bracelets,” identifying ways their strengths can help them meet challenges. They created ones with words such as: “I am surrounded by love,” “I am ready to learn,” and “staying connected.”

Connecting with Community

Second Street Community School students already had a special relationship with a nearby seniors’ centre. For example, before the suspension of in-class instruction, the school’s choir would go to Normanna Care Home to perform and the seniors would come to the school sometimes, such as for a special tea. With visits now restricted at the seniors’ centre and students now learning while at home, together they came up with a heart-warming campaign: a “smile swap” where you give a smile and get a smile – something the elementary students affectionately named “Selfies for Seniors.”

Coordinated through their teachers, the students submit photos of their smiling faces along with uplifting messages about what makes them smile. The images and messages were put on poster boards hanging in the care centre. The seniors are sharing their own pictures and messages, via teachers, to the students. You can learn more in coverage by CBC News online, CBC TV news and Burnaby Now.

Supporting Healthcare Workers

Several schools and students have done projects that show their appreciation for essential service workers, such as at Inman Elementary where students made signs like: “thank you for helping everyone in need, you save lives.”

A Burnaby North student is using his hobby and skills to support health care workers on the front line of the COVID-19 pandemic. Aaron Lu is mobilizing his 3D printer and making plastic parts that attach to masks worn by health care workers. His teacher is helping to amplify the work by circulating the file to print the part with other Tech Ed teachers. Learn more about the project and see the media coverage.

The Burnaby School District and our school staff are also working hard, in partnership with our childcare providers, to support children in Grades Kindergarten – 6 whose parents are essential service workers. Learn more.

Building Community

Teachers, students and families have been finding many new ways to build community, support each other in the midst of COVID-19, and spread hope and positivity. Learn more.


Updated April 16, 2020