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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 26th – 30th


This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 26th - 30th

Hello Mariners!

It is June 30th, the final day of the 2016-17 school year, and I would like to wish the entire Earl Marriott family the very best for a wonderful summer! Over the past year we have accomplished so much as we have all worked and learned together. We can all be very proud of the 2016-17 school year at EMS. The school has been a gathering place for our community and has played such an important role for us all.

As this is my final official day as Principal of Earl Marriott Secondary, and as I reflect upon my last 3 years as a Mariner, I am reminded of the critical importance of our public education system. I am reminded of the influence that our school plays in the lives of our students and their families. I am reminded of the value of “The School As Community”…

This verse speaks directly to this value, and of the power and importance of our Mariner community.


Somewhere, there are people to whom we

Can speak with passion, without having

the words catch in our throats.

Somewhere a circle of hands

Will open to receive us,

Eyes will light up as we enter,

Voices will celebrate us whenever we come

Into our own power.

Community means strength that

Joins our strength

To do the work that needs to be done.

Arms to hold us when we falter.

A circle of healing.

A circle of friends.

Someplace where we can be free.


From Calling the Circle, Christina Baldwin

Over the final week of the school year we have been completely absorbed with year-end activities and celebrations.

On Saturday afternoon through Sunday morning we joined our graduating students and their families and guests to our first ever Family Celebration, and then at the Graduation Banquet, and then Dry Grad and then the Grad Breakfast. It was a long and very special evening of celebration. I would again like to thank the many staff and parent volunteers who put in countless hours of time to plan and host these graduation events. Our EMS grads of 2017 looked wonderful and were very fortunate to celebrate in such style!

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On Monday our Humanities Co-Op students, “The Co-Operators” held their annual Awards and Celebration night. This has been such a positive program and tradition in our school. Thank you to Ms. Coulas for your caring guidance and support of our Co-Op students.

On Tuesday afternoon EMS held our first ever “minimal garbage” locker clean-out. Thank you to all students for your high levels of environmental friendly cooperation as we were able to clean out our lockers while diverting most items to recycling. Great work everyone!

On Tuesday, the sun was shining, and our PowerTech 9 class were launching their rockets. Great fun had by all!

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The last day of regularly scheduled classes was on Wednesday. We noticed many smiles across the building and throughout the day as students and staff considered their summers ahead. It was an exciting day of farewells and best wishes. We held our annual Awards Ceremony on Wednesday evening recognizing close to 400 students with departmental awards of excellence. Again, this year, our gymnasium was full of proud family members and happy students. It was an honour to congratulate our students for a year of hard work and great success.

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And after a very busy semester completion day with student tutorials, report card creation, cleaning, moving classrooms, and many other year-end tasks we have arrived at our final day of the year.

Our Staff meeting today provided a very important opportunity for us to recognize the importance of our work, of our colleagues and of our school. I would like to take this final opportunity to recognize the hard working and dedicated staff of Earl Marriott Secondary. You are difference makers; you change lives and you build community. Our students are so fortunate to belong to this family of Mariners. Thank you for all you do; I wish you all the very best.

To our students; enjoy your summer. Rest, relax, have fun, and be safe. Enjoy all that summer offers. Know that the Earl Marriott Secondary family will be ready to greet you in September for another year of learning and celebration.

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All the best,



Upcoming Events:

This is an important message to parents/guardians regarding the distribution of final report cards.

Report cards will be distributed online through the new MyEdBC Parent Portal.  Report cards will be available on Thursday, July 6th.

In order to access the portal, Parents are required to log in to set up your account and reset the temporary password.  All parents received an email on June 12th with your login and password.  The email was sent from

Please look for this email and set up your account.  If you did not receive this email, please contact the office for assistance.

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Report Card Distribution – MyEdBC Parent Portal

June 26, 2017

To: Earl Marriott Secondary Community

RE: Report Card Distribution – MyEdBC Parent Portal

Parents/Guardians are reminded that Earl Marriott Secondary has recently launched our MyEdBC Parent Portal. All parents/guardians should have received an email message from on June 12/17 with your temporary login and password information. Sample:



Subject: Welcome to the Surrey Parent Portal

Welcome to the Surrey MyEducation BC PARENT PORTAL which will allow access to see grades, attendance and other information on your child(ren). Each parent or guardian will have their own separate account.

To Access the MyEducation BC System:

  1.  Visit
  1.  Make sure popups are enabled for your browser
  1.   Your user name will be: ______
  1.   Your temporary password will be: ______

NOTE: Both user name and password are case sensitive

  1.   Enter your user name and password then click Log On to access the system.  You will be prompted to change your password, and fill out some information so that in the future you can click “I forgot my password” to receive a new password.

Once inside the MyEducation BC system you can navigate around to view information for your student(s).

*** Please do not reply to this generated email.

You will need to log into the account in order to update your password and gain access to the portal. Please see the attached detailed User Instructions document for information on navigation of the portal, registration and password recovery.

Parents/Guardians are reminded that we will be distributing the final Report Cards through the parent portal during the first week of July. Please log into your account and contact the school if you have any questions.

Thank you.

Ken Hignell


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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 19th – 23rd

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 19th – 23rd

Happy summer season everyone! The weather is glorious and all staff and students at Earl Marriott Secondary are looking forward to the summer break. We have 3 days of classes remaining, with “Semester Completion Day” on Thursday, June 29th.

The school has been busy with final assessments over the past weeks. EMS students should be very proud of their hard work and diligence in completing their curriculum and preparing for their final exams.

This week we have been preparing our graduating students for their upcoming Grad Dinner Dance and Dry Grad. On Tuesday the Administration took the time to visit all grade 12 classes to review the details and expectations for the event. Our first message to students was that we anticipate this will be a very special celebration for them. We are proud of our graduates and wish them the very best. We look forward to celebrating their accomplishments with them. Graduates were also reminded that this is a school event, with all school rules in effect. There will be no tolerance for any association with drugs/alcohol. Students were very clearly warned that anyone found to be under the influence or in possession of drugs/alcohol will not be permitted to attend any of the Graduation Celebration events and will be sent home. My final message to EMS graduates is to enjoy your “once in a lifetime” high school graduation celebration. Much work has gone into making this a memorable and very special evening. Please be responsible, safe, and make wise decisions.

June is LGBTQ Awareness month and our HEROES club was raising awareness and promoting inclusion throughout the week. I would like to thank teacher sponsor Mr. Lin and all of our club members for your important work this year. Your influence in the school has helped to reinforce our EMS culture of caring, inclusion and understanding. Thank you!

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This week we held one of our first Football practices of the season. It was a perfect day to be on the field. Students are encouraged to see Mr. MacKay-Dunn if you are interested in playing football next year.

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Wednesday was National Aboriginal Day. It was a special day at EMS.  We are honoured to share a unique and close relationship with the Semiahmoo First Nation People. It is on their unceded territory in which our school resides. The two Welcome Posts in our entry foyer were carved by Semiahmoo Master Carver Leonard Wells, and they serve as sentries for all students, staff and guests who come to Earl Marriott Secondary. They serve us well. We hope that you took a moment to recognize our good fortune, the contributions of our indigenous people and the significance of National Aboriginal Day.

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On Wednesday we distributed the 2016/17 Yearbook. As usual, this year’s edition is a beautiful anthology of the year’s special moments. Congratulations and thank you to Ms. Van Weerden and your team of Yearbook students for an incredible job. Well done. The Yearbook will be a wonderful keepsake for years to come. Our students are very fortunate to be able to enjoy such a creative and professional yearbook.

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Wednesday was also our first EMS I.C.Y. (Ice cream, Courtyard, Yearbook) Day! This was organized by our Student Government and was a great success. The weather cooperated with beautiful sunshine, and our students celebrated their year with ice cream and Yearbooks in the courtyard. A great time had by all! Thank you to our student leaders for hosting such a positive event for our school.

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Thursday afternoon was an opportunity for our English Department to celebrate this year’s Writing Award winners. Students and their proud parents gathered to celebrate the literary talents of our students. We have many talented writers, and it was another example of our EMS community celebrating excellence. I would like to congratulate all the Award winners and recognize all of our English Department teachers for your very high levels of professionalism and caring support of our students.

This morning was another significant event for our grade 12 students as they wrote their English 12 Provincial exam. The gymnasium was full of very studious Mariners as they completed one of their very last graduation requirements. Again, congratulations to all of our graduating students on this achievement.

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And so, the week is over in a flash – as usual.   This weekend is the Family Celebration, Graduation Dinner Dance, Dry Grad and the Graduation Breakfast. This celebration symbolizes so much. We celebrate 13 years of education and the emergence of our children into young adults. Graduates, enjoy these moments, and thank your family, friends and teachers for all of their support in allowing you to reach this goal. High school graduation recognizes the importance of our work together.

See you on Monday.  Enjoy our summer weather.




Kudos to:

Student Government was so pleased with the turn out at I.C.Y. Day (Ice cream, Courtyard Concert, and Yearbook) on Wednesday during both lunches.  Mariners came out to enjoy the warm sun and a cool treat, while they signed yearbooks and listened to live music.  A special thank you to M. Ouellette, Mr Dawson, Mme Hare, Ms. McBride, Mme McNeill, M. Éthier, Ms Bensley, Mr. Rodgers and Mr. Ewacha for helping to make this event a big success.  We’ll be sure to make this an annual event!

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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 12th-16th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 12th-16th

We are now in the “final push” of the 2016-17 school year. Teachers are planning their final lessons of the semester in order to complete the curriculum, and students are working very hard to finish their last assignments and prepare for their upcoming final exams. This is a very busy and important time for the entire school. I would like to encourage all students to “hang in there” and finish strong! Your efforts at this time of year have an absolute and direct impact on your achievements and success. We know that our EMS students will continue to achieve outstanding forms of success across all curricular areas. We know that the success stories of 2016-17 will continue to make us very proud!

Students and parents/guardians are reminded that the final day of regular classes will be on June 28th.   June 29th will be “Semester Completion Day” – classes will not be in session on this day, however, teachers will be available for support. Please speak to your teachers directly for more details regarding completion of missing assignments and/or tutorial support. On June 30th the school will be closed to students for Administration Day.

This week all of our grade 8 and 9 students completed the first ever Self-Assessment of Core Competencies. My thanks goes to all Period 4 (Homeroom) Grade 8-9 teachers for your assistance in reviewing Core Competencies with the lesson planning material provided earlier, and then distributing and collecting the assessment this week. We are now in the process of scanning all of the assessments into each student’s MyEdBC locker (account) in order to distribute to parents/guardians through the new MyEdBC Family Portal.

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All parents/guardians are highly encouraged to view your child’s self-assessment and discuss their reflections about their Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social Responsibility skills. Parents/Guardians will be notified, with instructions on accessing the MyEdBC portal, when we have finished uploading the assessments.

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Here are some of our PE and Drama students in grade 8 and 9 reflecting on their Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social Core Competency skills this week.

Please see the Ministry of Education’s website for more details on the new Core Competency curriculum:

Parents/Guardians are reminded that we have now implemented the new MyEdBC Family Portal. All parents/guardians should have received an email message this week with your User ID and temporary password to access the portal. Please check the email address you provided the school, and then contact the office if you have not received this information.

In the Portal students, parents and guardians with an account can view:

  • class attendance information
  • contact information
  • some classroom assessment information
  • student schedules
  • student course requests for next year
  • school information
  • published report cards
  • a school web page that contains resources and information for parents and students

Please see our website for a link to detailed User Instructions:

The portal can be accessed at:

A mobile site is available at:

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Important note: This year, in addition to the Grade 8 and 9 Self-Assessment of Core Competencies document, we will be publishing the Final  Report Cards to the Family Portal instead of providing hard copies to students. All parents/guardians will receive an email that will provide instructions and a link to your account when the Report Cards are published in the first week of July.

During the week I caught some of the “Ultimate” action in Mr. Roberts’ PE class! The students were enjoying the game, learning some new Frisbee skills and getting in a great workout.

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I also had the chance to visit our Trades Exploration Co-Op class and check out their current project. The class is building a large garden shed that will be relocated to a White Rock backyard. It is coming along nicely with students learning numerous construction skills. This year’s Trades Exploration Co-Op has been an exciting Pilot project for the school. Our students were very fortunate to have this opportunity and learned skills in carpentry, plumbing, electrical and welding. I am confident that this experience will provide an introductory foundation for many future skilled trades careers. I would like to thank teacher Mr. Weir and Career Education Department teachers Ms. Brabanec and Ms. Jenkins for your support and guidance of our students.

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The sun is beginning to poke through the clouds, and I hear the forecast for the weekend is promising.  Enjoy. Happy Father’s Day!

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Kudos to:

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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 5th – 9th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: June 5th – 9th

“A journey is best measured in friends and not miles”… an excellent reminder of the value of our relationships with those around us as we navigate through our lives. This is especially relevant for all of us within our Earl Marriott Secondary educational community. As we have spent the last week celebrating a year of success, and as the end of June rapidly approaches, I am constantly reminded of the importance of synergy, collaboration and partnership. We are very fortunate to be part of a rich and supportive broader educational community. I would like to thank all of our educational partners for your support and assistance, your expertise and passion, as we have worked together in support of our students. This open mindset of working with others is a very significant strength of our school.

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On Monday we held our final Department Head meeting(s) of the year. In addition to the usual Year-End systems, we were able to hear from each Department Head about their “top of mind” projects/initiatives/challenges for the upcoming year. Several themes emerged related to new curriculum implementation and the opportunities for collaboration within and across departments. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all Department Heads for your formal leadership and your support. You have fulfilled a very important role within our school; and your guidance and leadership have directly supported the success of our students.

On Wednesday, Student Government hosted our annual Grade 7 Scavenger Hunt. This was a fun and informative evening for our incoming Mariners. Great thanks to Ms. Amyotte and our Student Government for providing such a warm welcome to the grade 7 students. I know that the evening provided a sense of excitement and familiarity and hopefully some new friendships for the students. Well done everyone!

The Athletic Banquet and Ceremony was a wonderful event at Earl Marriott on Thursday night. The evening was very well attended with a full gymnasium of proud and happy student athletes and their parents. After some delicious appetizers and a chance to socialize, we moved into the gymnasium for the Award ceremony. Athletics plays such an important role in the culture of our school, and this was an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the many accomplishments of our students. Each year our student athletes represent the school as ambassadors with integrity and dedication. Thank you to all students, coaches and team sponsors, and parents for your contributions to your sport and our school. Special thanks goes to Mr. Clift for your leadership as Athletic Director. Your guidance and support of our athletes makes this all possible. This evening we will be attending the Surrey Secondary Schools Athletic Association Banquet to recognize and thank our coaches for their contribution to our students and schools.

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This week I had the chance to drop by our Technology Department to see our students at work. In the Automotive Shop I watched as a couple of Mr. Harrison’s Automotive students adjusted the timing and checked the distributor and spark plugs on an old Camaro. Another student was cleaning and tuning a 30-year old boat engine; and managed to get it started again. I was impressed with their mechanical talents and again realized that EMS students are learning very valuable life-long skills.

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I also had the chance to drop by and visit our Power Technology 9 class with Mr. Watt. The students had just finished building mouse-trap powered vehicles, and were very proud of their work.

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Dodge-ball is back! For the past couple of weeks students have enjoyed another season of Dodge-ball in our EMS Intramural program. Great exercise and lots of fun! Thanks to Mr. Letendre for another year of Intramural excitement at Earl Marriott Secondary.

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It is now mid-June and all of us are in the middle of busy and exciting times at EMS. Students and staff are working very hard to complete curriculum and are turning their minds to final assessment. Across the school we are recognizing excellence and celebrating the year with various year-end traditions. Days are full and very important. I encourage all students to finish the year strong. There are three weeks of classes remaining in the 16-17 school year; study hard, make the most of your time with us!


Have a great weekend, see you on Monday.


In the News:

New year, same result for Earl Marriott rugby side

Peace Arch News

Posted June 5, 2017

EMS finishes fourth in quad-A, while Elgin Park returns to provincial top-10.




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Family Portal

June 7, 2017

Dear Students/Parents/Guardians:

Our school is opening the MyEducationBC (MyEdBC) Family Portal for Parents and Guardians on Monday, June 12th.

The portal can be accessed at:

A mobile site is available at:

In the Portal students, parents and guardians with an account can view:

  • class attendance information
  • contact information
  • some classroom assessment information
  • student schedules
  • student course requests for next year
  • school information
  • published report cards
  • a school web page that contains resources and information for parents and students


MyEdBC is a secure student information system used in most school districts in the province of BC.  Security is guided by the rules and regulations of the School Act and Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (FOIPPA).   If you have any questions or concerns please contact the school.

Instructions for registering and accessing the portal are also located on the school website: Parents/Parent Resources.


Mr. K. Hignell



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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 29th – June 2nd

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 29th – June 2nd 

Happy Friday morning everyone,

We are now in June and in the midst of year-end activities and planning for next school year. The school is “humming “ with activity. Earl Marriott Secondary is an exciting and interesting place to work and learn!

As communicated on our website last week, we are excited to share that Earl Marriott Secondary will be returning to a four-block bell schedule for the 2017-2018 school year. Thank you to everyone who provided feedback and questions as we went through the Bell schedule review process. Please see the Bell Schedule Announcement letter for more details.

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On Monday at our Professional Development Day our staff learned more about International Education and the learning needs of our students. Thank you to Ms. Bakgaard for your years of Pro-D leadership. Also, thank you to Ms. Garbe, Ms. Pineda-Klenk and Ms. Liang for taking on this important work for next year.

On Monday evening, the Parent Advisory Council (PAC) held their final meeting of the year. Thank you to PAC President Ms. Stacey MacDonald for your leadership and support. The PAC is an important component of the EMS community. Meetings are held on the last Monday of each month, and all parent/ guardians are welcome to attend.

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This week we have welcomed all of our incoming Mariners into the school for the “Grade 7 Tours”. Ms. Amyotte and our Leadership students have been wonderful hosts and tour guides.

The Grade 7’s have had the chance to visit and participate in several classes, tour the school and meet new friends. Thank you to all staff who have participated in the tours. We have provided a warm and reassuring welcome to our new students. I would also like to thank Ms. Radcliffe and the TV and Film students for producing our excellent EMS promotional video. Great work everyone!

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We’ve had a busy week hosting Grade 7 students this week!  Grade 7 students were toured by amazing mariner volunteers, who guided the Grade 7s through a variety of stations at the school.  Thank you so much to our volunteers and to all of the staff who opened their doors to help our future mariners feel welcomed and excited for the start of a new school year!

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The Administration team has been very busy this week with interviews for the Round 2 Transfer process. We have 6 posted positions, and will be able to introduce our newest Mariner staff soon.

On Tuesday afternoon we had the opportunity to meet incoming Principal Ms. Claudine Davies and incoming Vice Principal Mr. Doug Ratzlaff at our Staff Meeting. I know that both Claudine and Doug are very excited to be joining the EMS family and that they will be warmly welcomed.

On Thursday at lunch our Yearbook class was in action! They are very busy promoting this year’s Yearbook. Yearbook distribution day is on June 21st and all students are reminded that now is the time to purchase your book. Each year our students work so hard to produce a beautiful book of memories of the school year. It is a very important tradition for the school. Thank you to Ms. Van Weerden and all of our Yearbook students for your months of hard work, creativity and dedication.

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Today was the final “Tea and Tour” for Grade 7 parents. We were able to show a “behind the scenes” glimpse of the school in action. As I have toured through the building, showing Earl Marriott Secondary to new parents over the past month, I have been so impressed with the smiles and warmth conveyed to our groups. We have communicated to parents that their children are very fortunate and are coming to a very special place. Our tours have clearly demonstrated this! Thank you everyone.

Today in the library is our Grade 10 Mock Interview presentations. Students in Planning 10 are given the opportunity to practice their interview skills with members of our community. This is an excellent chance to learn new skills. Thank you Ms. Garrett and our Career Education and Planning Departments for coordinating the event. Thanks also goes to all of our community of volunteers who are assisting with the day.

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Enjoy your weekend everyone, although the last few days have been wet and overcast (perfect weather for the geese :-), we have some sunshine in the forecast.

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All the best,




Kudos to:

Surrey Students Win Top Awards At Provincial French Public Speaking Competition

Vancouver — 10,000 students from across British Columbia competed, 264 made the provincial finals, and 6 students took home top awards in this year’s pan-provincial French public speaking competition, Concours d’art oratoire.

“Through participation in Concours, students develop confidence and improve their French but as well their skills in time management, listening and critical thinking. Ultimately they become more effective as communicators, capable of inspiring others,” said Diane Tijman, President of Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon.

“We are so proud of all our Concours participants. Bravo à vous tous et toutes pour votre belle participation!” she added.

This year marked the 34th anniversary of the Canadian Parents for French BC & Yukon sponsored Concours d’art oratoire. The provincial finals were hosted Saturday, May 6th at SFU Surrey.

 Julia Albert received silver with her presentation “La consommation nous consomme”





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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 23rd – 26th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 23rd – 26th

The summer weather has arrived! It is a glorious Friday morning at Earl Marriott Secondary and our students and staff are enjoying all of the excitement of the season.

During the past week we have been absorbed in planning and conversation regarding next year’s structures for the school. The Bell Schedule Review process has been an important discussion across our entire school community.

On Tuesday evening we hosted our ‘Bell Schedule Review’ Parent Forum. I would like to thank all participants for taking the time to join us and provide your feedback. The discussion was valuable with many questions surfaced and reviewed. We hope that everyone found the evening to be informative. I would also like to thank the staff for your significant engagement in this process and for your helpful feedback. The District will be communicating the decision regarding next year’s Bell Schedule today, and this will be distributed under separate letter to the community and posted on our website.

Schedule image

Tuesday afternoon was very exciting for the graduating class as we held our Commencement ceremony rehearsal. It was a very real reminder that their time as an EMS student is coming to a conclusion and their lives as adults is about to begin. All students practiced their part of the ceremony, received their graduation gowns, and staff had the opportunity to review important reminders about the upcoming graduation events.

On Wednesday evening we held our 2017 Commencement Ceremony at Chandos Pattison Auditorium. This was a beautiful venue for our graduates and their families. I would like to thank organizing teacher Ms. Bakgaard for all of your work and leadership, and the many staff volunteers on the organizing committee for your dedication to this important evening. For me, Commencement is a highlight of the year. It symbolizes all that we do as educators, as families, as a community. It is so gratifying to see the successful results of our work together. I am always very optimistic when I see the EMS graduating class at the end of the year, and consider the influence they will have in our future world. It was a powerful celebration for public education.

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On Thursday we held our Fire Drill. The weather was very cooperative, and the students and staff were all accounted. Thank you to all staff and students for your assistance with this drill.

On Thursday I had the chance to participate in the final Code Blue Club workout of the year. This was another highlight for me as I did my best to keep up with our Code Blue students. I would like to thank Constable Derrick, Special Constable Caley, Ms. Gregerson and Mr. Lee for your participation and support of this special group. To all the Code Blue students – your efforts over the past year have inspired me. We can accomplish amazing things when we work together. Thank you for your commitment and encouragement. Good luck at the finale today!

This morning we hosted our Tea and Tour for Grade 7 parents. Next Friday at 10:00am will be our final tour. Parents/guardians of Grade 7 students are reminded to contact the office to pre-register if you would like to join us.

Monday will be a Professional Development Day. We will see students on Tuesday morning.

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Kudos to:

Congratulations to Mr. Roberts and our Senior Boy’s Rugby team on winning the Triple A Fraser Valley Rugby Championship against arch rivals Yale Secondary. Well done team and all the very best in the quad-A Provincials!

In the News:

South Surrey grad writes a winner

Peace Arch News

Posted May 25, 2017

Earl Marriott Secondary’s Cindy Zhang earns top spot in national writing contest.

Earl Marriott Mariners edge Lions for Fraser Valley rugby crown

Peace Arch News

Posted May 23, 2017

South Surrey senior boys move to quad-A level, set to face Shawnigan Lake in provincials.





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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 15th – 19th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 15th – 19th

Hello to all Mariners!

The past week at the Earl Marriott Secondary has brought us the usual ‘end-of-May’ flurry of activities and special events. We have all been absorbed in school life and all of the excitement and challenges that makes our time at EMS so rich.

On Monday our Articulation teams of LST teachers and Counsellors began their visits to each of our Associate schools. This year we were able to provide additional time for these important conversations to occur. I am certain that the additional information obtained through more open dialogue with our Elementary school colleagues will help us support our incoming Grade 8’s. Thank you to all of our Articulation team for your work on this important initiative.

Tuesday was a busy day at the school. Students and staff practiced our “Lock Out” drill.  We also enjoyed the crepes provided by “the Crepe Truck” brought to the school through our French Immersion Department and this cultural initiative.

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Staff also met for a Special Staff Meeting with  Superintendent of Schools, Dr. Jordan Tinney and Assistant Superintendent Ms. Lynda Reeve. This was an opportunity for staff to discuss the Bell schedule review process and to share opinion with our District’s Senior Management team on the benefits and challenges of 4 and 5 block schedules.

On Tuesday evening, our Dry Grad Committee and Student Grad Council hosted the 34th annual “Duke of Earl” variety show. It was another evening of humor, satire, music and laughter. The evening was a great success raising money for this year’s Graduating Class and their Dry Grad. Great thanks to Grad Council teacher sponsor Ms. Canino, Dry Grad Chair Ms. Zimmerman and the many, many people behind the scenes who made the event such a success. I would also like to congratulate this year’s “Duke of Earl” student Austin Linder. Well done everyone!

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On Wednesday, students and staff practiced our “Lock Down” drill. The administrative team would like to thank the entire school community for your participation. This was an important drill, and we were pleased to observe the focus of students and staff.

Our Staff Committee met this week to continue an important conversation regarding possible future bell schedule options. On a related note, letters from the District and the school were sent to our community with an invitation for feedback through and/or through participation at a parent forum on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00pm at the school.  We look forward to your input on this important review.

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On Thursday our Student Survey Working Group met with the District’s Research Department to continue with our visioning process in the construction of a school-wide student survey. We made excellent progress. Our plan is to have a draft survey completed for initial proof-reading and a small pilot project for this June. The survey would then be adjusted as necessary for a possible October school-wide implementation. Our time yesterday was very interesting. If you are interested in joining our working group, please let me know.

On Thursday evening I was privileged to attend the Spring Earl Marriott Secondary Jazz Band Concert. Our students’ talents awed a full house of proud parents and family members. It was a wonderful tribute to the hard work and dedication of Mr. Owens, Mr. Rutley and all of our student musicians. Congratulations all!

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This morning, Ms. Davies and I hosted our next Tea and Tour group. Our thanks to all the classes we visited as we toured the school.

Commencement is next Wednesday! It will be another very full week. Enjoy the time we have together as our school year moves very fast.

All the best,


In the News:

EMS staff urge end to dual-bell system at South Surrey high school

Peace Arch News

Posted May 19, 2017

A three-year decline in enrolment at South Surrey’s Earl Marriott Secondary has prompted officials to consider a return to “the norm” for students and staff: a four-block schedule.

Young Minds: Understanding your teens true thoughts

Peace Arch News

Posted May 16, 2017

Youths to share voices to parents at Elgin, Earl Marriott and Semiahmoo Secondary schools.

Earl Marriott Mariners prepare for Fraser Valley rugby rematch

Peace Arch News

Posted May 15, 2017

It’s rare that a rugby team that has played in eight consecutive Fraser Valley championship games would enter a ninth as an underdog, but that’s the situation the Earl Marriott Mariners senior boys team finds itself in as it gets set for a gold-medal tilt this week.

Kudos to:

Four EMS students received top honours for their writing in a national writing contest in Quebec. The 150 Words for 150 Years contest, put on by Atwater Library, Westmount (a Montreal suburb), was sponsored by Heritage Canada as part of Canada’s 150th anniversary celebrations.

Cindy Zhang, grade 12 has won the Youth (20 and under) category for her short piece entitled “O Maple Leaf”. Also in the top 5 were Claudine Paed (grade 12), Jared Schellenberg (grade 11) and Adia Sove (grade 12). All four students have been invited to attend the awards ceremony in Montreal to take part in the festivities and to read their winning entries.

The students of Mrs. Manning’s ceramics 9-12 class are happy to see the completion of their ceramic mural installation “International Foods”.

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EMS Bell Schedule Review: Letter to Parents/Guardians

May 17, 2017

Dear Parents/Guardians,

Re: Bell Schedule

Earl Marriott first implemented an extended day schedule in 2011 as a temporary measure. This was done to help address the over capacity at the school and to accommodate projections of increased enrolment in the future. Adding a block and extending the day by starting earlier and ending later, effectively increased the school’s capacity. After implementation, the school continued to grow in enrolment for a few years. However, over the past three years the school’s enrolment has declined. After a comprehensive review of enrolment projections and school capacity, we are currently exploring the possibility of returning to a four-block, rotating schedule at Earl Marriott Secondary.

Earl Marriott Secondary’s enrolment is now at approximately the same level as it was in 2011. We are projected for 1865 students in September and continued stability through 2020. With this enrolment stability, we believe we now have the capacity to remove the additional fifth period from our timetable, and transition back to a traditional bell schedule. This type of bell schedule would have all students starting and ending their day at the same times and sharing a common lunch break. Students would attend four classes per day. The block order would rotate every day with classes occurring across all four periods each week. The start time would be later than our current junior start time (8:00am). End of school day would be earlier than our current senior end time (3:33pm). Note: Most four-block schedules in Surrey secondary schools begin at approximately 8:30am and end at approximately 2:40pm.

At this point no decision has been made, however, we have clearly heard from our staff that they are supportive of this review for many reasons. Although there are advantages to our current extended day schedule as a result of the divided junior/senior schedules, and we have worked very hard over the past seven years to build strong and positive programming for our students, there are many advantages of a unified four-block, rotating bell schedule.



  • Senior students would not have holes in the middle of their day with extended down times.
  • The school day would not be required to start at such an early start time (8:00am) for our junior students.
  • Increased focus and attendance with positive impact on learning in first period for junior students due to their later start.
  • The school day would not be required to end at a late finish time (3:34pm) for our senior students.
  • Increased focus with positive influence on learning in last period for senior students due to their earlier start.
  • Junior and senior siblings would be on the same schedule.
  • Student athletic practices and games would be aligned with end of school day.
  • Student athletes would be able to attend practices and games without missing class time during last period of the day.
  • Improved attendance of senior students due to decreased conflicts with last period of the day and other commitments (i.e., part-time work, extra-curricular activities).
  • Lunch break would be separated from class time resulting in fewer distractions and greater focus for student learning.
  • Students would have much better opportunities to meet with teachers outside of classroom time (before school, lunch, after school) for increased communication and tutorial support.
  • Student clubs would be able to form with multi-aged groupings of students, with seniors providing mentorship for juniors.
  • After school programming of curricular and extracurricular activities would be possible for art studio, theatre, computer lab, and technology rooms.
  • Increased access to elective classrooms after school would support learning.
  • Rotating schedule would support increased focus, better attendance and improved learning across the periods (i.e., equivalent attendance, punctuality across all classes).


  • Staff would have the opportunity to form a unified team, with all staff on the same schedule. They would be able to meet to share resources, collaborate and support colleagues.
  • Teachers would be able to attend unified staff meetings and department head meetings with all their colleagues, and benefit from a consistent and unified team structure, communication and planning of coordinated departmental initiatives.


  • A strong, positive, united culture of caring and learning would be supported with all members of the community working together.
  • The school as a whole would benefit from a greater sense of calm and order throughout the day, with students in class at the same times, with reduced unstructured distractions in the hallways and common areas.

There would also be challenges to a four-block, rotating bell schedule that would need to be considered.

  • At a school-wide level, with 1865 students in the building, the lunch break would be very busy. There would not be enough room in our cafeteria to accommodate all of our students. Students would be required to eat their lunch across the school in hallways, classrooms and courtyards. This is already occurring at EMS.
  • Students would not have the option of requesting a 9th class as one of their elective choices. All courses would be within the regular timetable (eight blocks over two semesters) and require students to be more selective in their elective choices. This would impact a small number of students.
  • Increased challenges of scheduling for Hockey Academy off-campus activities and part-time student/staff schedules due to rotating structure of the timetable.
  • Senior students would be required to adjust to an earlier start to their school day and junior students would be required to adjust to a later finish to their school day.
  • Increased traffic volume for pick-up and drop-off at beginning and end of school day.
  • Adjustment to bussing schedules in order to align with a single start time.

This is a significant decision for the school, our students, families and staff. The bell schedule review process has directly involved the EMS administration and staff and has our common support. We now seek your feedback. We invite your participation at a parent forum on Tuesday, May 23rd at 7:00pm at the school. You may also contact us via email at We look forward to your input.




Mr. Ken Hignell                                                                     Mr. ChrisTrevelyan

Principal                                                                                  Staff Committee Chair




Principal's Blog | Ken Hignell