Author Archives: japroulx

Dwayne Peace Visits TRSS

Dwayne Peace is returning to our school this week from Jan. 8-10. Dwayne is a retired 25–year member of the Calgary Police Service where he spent the last seven years of his career as a School Resource Officer (SRO). Dwayne has a special talent for working with youth, and a passion for helping to make a difference in their lives.

He presented to our whole school last year on a variety of challenges that our students are faced with on a daily basis including bullying, cyber-bullying and online behaviour, body image, suicide, rumours, gossip, drama and more. In addition, he worked with a small group of mixed –grade students in the afternoon further investigating these issues and their impact on the students. This group of students recommended that Dwayne return to the school and do the small group session with individual grade groups.

While Dwayne is at TRSS he will be completing a  3 hour session with each grade level focusing on life’s challenges in secondary school. Students will learn how to make changes in their thinking and actions, and become more aware of how they can help those around them by doing so. It allows participants to witness firsthand that they have much more in common than what makes them different, yet they focus on each other’s differences. This session will motivate and empower the participants to make some positive changes in their lives and those around them.

“We talk about empathy but this allowed each of the students to experience empathy in a real and meaningful way”.
– An administrator’s comment to Dwayne following a small group session.

“I don’t know what happened, but for the first time in a long time, my son came home and gave me a long hug before he told me that he loved me.  He committed to saying it more in the future”. 
– A mother in tears prior to a parent session following a small group session at her son’s school.

We really look forward to having Dwayne back in our school. He has this innate ability to connect with kids and help them connect in a positive way with each other. If you have any questions, please send me an e-mail. If you want to learn more about Dwayne, check out his website at

TRSS is engaging students in their learning

Students at Tumbler Ridge Secondary School had the opportunity last year to participate in a five-month project building go karts. The project brought together teachers, students, industry, community, and civil leaders. The students not only learned how to build go karts, they also learned how to work as a team, put together a plan, analyze and assess criteria, develop strategies, communicate, and problem solve which is all related to the education curriculum.

The Industry Training Authority (ITA) supported the project by providing funds through a Yes To It grant. ITA also created a video of the event which showcases the project and includes testimonials from students, SD59 Career Team members, ITA and industry leaders. Check out the You-tube video.

Tribe of One – Rik Leaf Creates Video With TRSS Students

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Somewhere You Need To Know is an incredible place called Tumbler Ridge. I spent a week working with students at the high school.

Students invited me to their Outdoor Ed classes where they learn to build shelters, survive in the wilderness and cook moose smokies over portable firepits made out of washing machine drums welded to lawnmowers.

Another class took me on a hike where just 17 minutes from the front door we arrived at Flatbed Falls. And we had multiple cans of bear spray with us because the wildlife is actually that close. (as indicated by the number of people who put up their hands when asked if they’d met a bear walking around town!)

I worked with the students to write and record the song featured in the video. The inspiration for the lyrics came from a conversation on the first day, because people often refer to small towns like Tumbler as being, ‘in the middle of nowhere’ and that sparked a conversation…if Tumbler is the middle of nowhere…where is the center of somewhere? And who gets to say?

This project was created over the course of one week and is a celebration of a very creative and talented community of visual artists, musicians, rappers, Career Ed welders and Go Cart racers, actors, skaters and all multi-talented individuals I met. Working on a project like this lets everyone involved recognize how their piece is special and fits with all those around them who are gifted differently.

Somewhere You Need To Know (lyrics)
So much to see
So much to do
I want to show you
The middle of nowhere
Is actually somewhere
You need to know about
What you don’t know
About our world
You need to now
Cause it’s beautiful

If you know a school or community that would like their students to have an opportunity to work with a professional songwriter and producer to tell their story, please pass this video onto them!

And if you’ve never been to Tumbler Ridge…GO THERE NOW! 🙂



Fair Notice to Parents/Gurardians

 Fair Notice to Parents/Guardians

In the event of a serious threat to the wellbeing of students or staff, A Violence, Threat and Risk Assessment (VTRA) Protocol will be initiated.

A threat is an expression of intent to do harm or act out violently against someone or something. Threats may be verbal, written, drawn, posted on the Internet or made by gesture. Threats must be taken seriously, investigated and responded to.  If the threat is immediate, the RCMP will be called upon to deal with the threat immediately.

 What is the purpose of a student threat assessment?

  • To ensure the safety of students, staff, parents and others.
  • To ensure a full understanding of the context of the threat.
  • To understand factors contributing to the threat makers’ behaviour.
  • To promote the emotional and physical safety of all.
  • To be proactive in developing an intervention plan that addresses the emotional and physical safety of the threat maker.

What behaviours initiate a VTRA?

A VTRA will be initiated when behaviours include, but are not limited to, serious violence or violence with intent to harm or kill, verbal/written threats to harm/kill others, Internet website/social media threats to harm/kill others, possession of weapons (including replicas), bomb threats and fire setting.

Duty to report

To keep school communities safe and caring, staff, parents, students and community members must report all threat‐related behaviours to the principal and/or the RCMP.

VTRA Teams at each school

Each school will have a multi-disciplinary threat assessment team. The team may include members of school staff and members from district and community agencies.

What happens in a student threat assessment?

All threat making behaviour by a student shall be reported to the principal who will activate the protocol for the initial response. Once the team has been activated, interviews may be held with the student(s), the threat maker, parents and staff to determine the level of risk and develop an appropriate response to the incident. Intervention plans will be developed and shared with parents, staff and students as required.

Can I refuse to participate in a threat assessment process?

It is important for all parties to engage in the process. However, if for some reason there is a reluctance to participate in the process by the threat maker or parent / guardian, the threat assessment process will continue in order to promote a safe and caring learning environment.

Provincial Exams

There have been changes to provincial exams in British Columbia. Most exams have been eliminated, although any student taking English 12 or Communications 12 this year will have to write a provincial. Check out the following link for more information Provincial Exams.

In addition, starting this year, students in grades 10 and 11 will have to write a numeracy assessment prior to graduation. Check out the following link for more information Graduation Assessments. The first opportunity to write this assessment will be in January 2018.