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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




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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 8th – 12th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 8th – 12th

Good morning, I hope your week was full of interesting challenges and meaningful achievement! The pace of the school year always picks up at about this time, and this was certainly the case at EMS. Throughout the week we have been absorbed in thought and conversation and planning for next year, coordinating this year’s various graduation activities, celebrating school spirit through special traditions, and continuing to provide meaningful and engaging educational experiences for our students. Life at EMS is full.

On Wednesday evening the EMS Sr. Rugby team hosted this year’s Junior Prom for our Grade 10 students at the Semiahmoo Fish and Game Club. The evening was a wonderful success. Approximately 140 grade 10 students, all dressed in their finest, enjoyed a delicious Greek dinner and an evening of dancing. The students were excellent ambassadors for our school and appreciated the chance to socialize with their fellow Mariners. I would also like to recognize Mr. Roberts and the boys Rugby team for your role modelling, hard work and leadership in making the event possible.

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On Thursday we had an opportunity to meet with the District’s MyEdBC team to learn more about the configuration of the new Family Portal. Our hope is to launch the family portal by the end of the school year. This will provide parents/guardians with much information on attendance, course requests, timetable, demographic records, report cards and more. Stay tuned for more information as we roll out this new functionality.

This week many of our students have been writing their Advanced Placement exams. The students have demonstrated discipline and academic excellence as they have worked their way through this very rigorous curriculum. We wish all of our AP students the very best on their exams! Good luck Mariners.

Today we begin the Grade 7 parents/guardians “Tea and Tour” meetings. The Tea and tour is a great opportunity for me to meet with incoming Mariner Families in an informal and relaxed forum to talk about the qualities of our school. Parents/guardians have an opportunity to meet the principal and ask questions. This includes a walk through the school for parents to see the Earl Marriott Secondary in action. There will be additional sessions offered over the next three Friday mornings. Please call the office to register in advance.

This week I had the chance to drop by and visit our Power Technology 9 class. Students were constructing hydraulic arms. It is a fascinating project.

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All staff, students, and parents/guardians are invited to join us tomorrow, Saturday May 13th in the school parking lot for the annual EMS Dry Grad Plant Sale. This is an important fundraiser for this year’s Dry Grad celebration. Come out and purchase some plants for your garden and support our graduating class. (We are hoping for a sunny, dry day … keep your fingers crossed!)

I would like to conclude with a special Administrative Announcement and congratulate Vice Principal Ms. Diane Christensen on her reassignment to Vice Principal, North Surrey Secondary as of July 1st.  Diane will be greatly missed at EMS.  Her leadership and support of students and staff over the past 5 years has made such a significant impact on an entire community.  Earl Marriott Secondary will greatly miss her caring, student-centred philosophy, friendship and strength.  We wish her all the best in this exciting time of change and her new learning journey at North Surrey Secondary.

We welcome Mr. Doug Ratzlaff, current Vice Principal at North Surrey Secondary, to Earl Marriott Secondary who will be joining the EMS Administrative team.  We know he will be warmly welcomed into our very special Mariner community.


Enjoy your weekend!




Kudos to:

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Congratulations to Julia and Danika at the recent Concourse D’Art Provincial Competition. Both girls should be very proud of themselves.  Julia placed second out of a tough field of 13 very strong competitors. Well done girls!

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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 1st – 5th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: May 1st – 5th

We are now into the month of May and the final push of the 2016/17 school year. This is always such a busy and exciting time in a Secondary school. We have many special events and activities celebrating our traditions and student accomplishments over the next 8 weeks. We encourage all students to remain focused on your learning, and at the same time, appreciate this special atmosphere and the Mariner pride we all enjoy. Good luck to all students and staff as you make your way through these very important next weeks of learning and celebration.

On Monday at our Department Head meeting we had an opportunity to visit and tour our Technology Department. We learned more about the unique and powerful new Trades Exploration Co-op and reviewed the framing, electrical and plumbing work our students have accomplished. We also learned about our Drafting and Design students’ 3-D printing projects. There are many opportunities for our students in the Trades, and our Technology students at EMS experience hands-on learning projects that will be very beneficial for future post-secondary and apprenticeship placements. Again, the talents of our students and their accomplishments were very impressive.

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I attended the Parent Advisory Council meeting on Monday evening. The PAC is finalizing the new version of their Constitution and Bylaws. You can see a draft copy on our website. All parents/guardians are invited to join us on the last Monday of each month for school updates and interesting conversation.

The PAC sponsored Financial Literacy Workshop concluded on Tuesday evening. We received very positive feedback from the student participants. The information they reviewed was highly informative and engaging and will be very helpful for their future years. Again, my thanks to the PAC for your assistance in making this possible.

On Tuesday our EMS Student Government was busy with their Courtyard Clean-up Project. Our students did a fantastic job weeding and cleaning the garden beds. The garden and courtyard looks great… and is now ready for use this Spring for special events and celebrations.  Thank you Student Government!

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This year EMS again participated in “Student Vote”. This was a simulation of a British Columbian polling station and a very informative exercise for our students. I would like to thank Mr. Ewacha and Mr. Ethier for all of your work in coordinating this event. The activity directly supports the social responsibility and citizenship of our students.

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Friday is a Professional Development Day across the Surrey School District. The school will be hosting several conferences/workshops for teachers from across the District. It will be a very busy place on Friday. Best wishes to all staff for a day of interesting conversations and innovative thinking!

We will return on Monday for another very interesting week :-)

Kudos to:

Congratulations to EMS student Nicole Hague for the selection of her poetry for publication in this year’s Young Writer’s of Canada Creative Writing Anthology. Well done Nicole!

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All the best,




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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 24th – April 28th


This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 24th  – April 28th

Happy Friday morning to all EMS students, parents/guardians, staff and community members. We are now in Term 3 and the semester continues to roll past us. Our time at Earl Marriott Secondary is enriched with deep and meaningful learning and special celebrations of community and success.

On Monday we invited the “REACH OUT” – Psychosis Education troupe to EMS to speak to all of our Grade 8-9 PE students. The group again provided our students an excellent balance of music entertainment, personal messages of inspiration, and information on mental health. Thank you to Mr. Johnson and our PE Dept for coordinating this initiative.

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On Monday, the Administrative team enjoyed the opportunity to visit all of our Grade 12 classes. We were able to share important information on our various upcoming Graduation Celebration activities: Commencement, Family Celebration, Grad Dinner/Dance, Dry Grad and the Grad Breakfast. Please note that the ticket purchase form for Commencement, Family Celebration and Dry Grad is to be submitted by May 1st. We shared several messages with our graduating students: our pride in their accomplishments, a need for them to continue to focus on their studies, our excitement about a wonderful series of celebratory Graduation events and our high expectations for their behavior and citizenship as graduates. Thank you to all Grade 12 teachers who welcomed us into your classrooms.

On Monday afternoon we held our monthly Staff meeting and initiated a very important conversation about the school, and a review of several current initiatives. We would like to thank all staff who have volunteered to sit on our Steering Committee and/or provide your feedback. We look forward to a fulsome discussion and review.

The midterm report card was issued to students on Tuesday. Congratulations to all students for your diligence and hard work in achieving your goals. We wish you great success for the 2nd semester, and we know that you will continue to achieve and grow. We send special thanks to all teachers for your reflection and professionalism that you devoted to this important summative feedback.

On Tuesday afternoon, we had the opportunity to send an EMS team to attend the District’s French Immersion Advisory Committee meeting. We learned about the many professional development opportunities for our FRIM teachers, the many exciting initiatives, and the status of the French Immersion Program in Surrey. Thank you to Ms. English and parent representative Ms. Diether for joining me.

This week we are completing the Round 1 Teacher Transfer process. This is a very important time for all schools.   It is an opportunity for the Administrative team to meet with our professional colleagues and engage in powerful conversations about instructional practice. It is always a busy, but enjoyable and interesting process.

Wednesday was Administrative Professionals Day. This was a chance for us to recognize our 7 very hard-working and dependable clerical staff and the huge difference they make in the life of the school. On behalf of the staff I would like to thank Melody, Janene, Tracy, Kathy, Elaine, Nicole and Melody for all you do and for all your support!

I am pleased to announce that planning for the EMS tradition “Duke of Earl” is underway. This week I had a chance to sit down with the organizing committee to learn about their plans. It will be another very entertaining evening on May 16th.

Today, April 28th 2017 is the National Day of Mourning for Workers Killed and Injured on the Job. With flags at half-mast and a special announcement in the morning, we remembered all those who have died or have been hurt while working. Young people are the most likely group to be injured on the job, and we remind all of our students to remain conscious of your safety at both the jobs you hold today or will hold in the future.

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Enjoy your weekend!


It was Environment Week at EMS! Thank you to our Green Team for helping to raise awareness.

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Mr. Lin’s Technology class testing their catapaults!

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In the News:

Elgin Park Orcas, Earl Marriott Mariners building toward rugby playoff run

Peace Arch News

Posted April 28, 2017

When the Elgin Park Orcas and Earl Marriott Mariners lined up across the pitch from each other in a senior boys rugby tilt at Elgin Park Secondary Wednesday afternoon, the game was more than just two rivals squaring off.


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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 18th – April 21st

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 18th – April 21st

Good morning Mariners!

On Tuesday morning we started the week with our staff meeting and shared the School Board’s Administrative Assignments Announcement for the 2017/18 school year. I have now shared with the staff and the PAC Executive that I will be assigned to Fleetwood Park Secondary for next year. Ms. Claudine Davies, currently principal at Semiahmoo Secondary has been assigned to Earl Marriott Secondary. I would like to take this opportunity to share with the entire Mariner community that it has been an honour and a privilege to be part of the Earl Marriott family over the past three years as principal. I would like to thank all staff, students and parents for your support and for all you do to contribute to our sense of Mariner pride. Your commitments and contributions have made Earl Marriott Secondary a very special place! The last months of the 16/17 school year will have extra special significance for me! I look forward to this next learning opportunity with new beginnings and new challenges, and will carry forward the many lessons of strength and inspiration from EMS.

Tuesday was a very full day at the school. In the afternoon we participated in the Great Peninsula Relay Race. This is a very worthy charitable event for A.C.C.E.S.S.; a local group fundraising for scholarships for Kenyan students. Great congratulations go to the Earl Marriott students who ran for the school and brought the trophy home to EMS! Also, congratulations to the Earl Marriott staff who participated – well done everyone! It was a great afternoon.

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On Tuesday evening our PAC hosted a Financial Literacy workshop for our students. This is now the 2nd year this opportunity has been made available for our students; very worthwhile. Thank you to PAC member Ms. Gosselin for your leadership in making this possible.

Throughout the week our teachers have been preparing the midterm report cards. Much time and energy and careful reflection have been devoted to this important process. Thank you to all teachers for your professionalism. We will be distributing the report cards next Tuesday in homeroom.

I had an opportunity to meet again with our school’s Core Competency Committee this week. We are pleased with our progress and have now created a draft plan for supporting Core Competency development of our Grade 8 and 9 students over the coming weeks. We have also created a draft self-assessment template that will be distributed to Grade 8-9 students in June. We will be communicating our draft implementation recommendations to staff next week. This week we have attached a Social Responsibility Core Competency instructional resource to the Friday Compass.

It is a beautiful day out there. Spring has finally arrived ! Enjoy your weekend!

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Kudos to:

Thanks again to everyone who came out on Tuesday for the Great Peninsula Relay Race.   We are proud to announce that, as a school, we met our fundraising goal of $1200, which will provide two scholarships for students in Kenya through A.C.C.E.S.

In the News:

‘Great’ relay race returns to South Surrey for second year

By Nick Greenizan – Peace Arch News

Posted April 13, 2017

The fundraising relay run – which took root last year as a collaboration between high schools and the local chapter of ACCES – is set to be held Tuesday, April 18 at the South Surrey Athletic Park track. The hour-long event will see 10-runner teams – five boys, five girls – from Semiahmoo, Earl Marriott and Elgin Park secondaries run laps to see which team can log the most kilometres.



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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 10th – April 14th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 10th – April 14th

It has been a shortened week with Good Friday tomorrow and Easter Monday on Monday. We wish all Mariners a Happy Easter.

On Monday I had a chance to attend our first Student Survey Working Group meeting with the District’s Research and Evaluation Department. We began the process of developing a survey for our community that will gather important information about our strengths, challenges and future direction for the school. Thank you to all members of our working group. I enjoyed our rich discussion and am looking forward to our work together. EMS teachers are invited to see me if you are interested in joining our committee.

On Tuesday, I attended another first group meeting for another key initiative. The Core Competency Working Group gathered to review the new reporting requirements for Grade 8-9 students and to develop an implementation strategy for the school. Thanks go to Ms. Kidwell, Ms. Mcclenahan, Ms. Gaumont, Ms. Rogers and Mr. Clift for your feedback and work on this important initiative. We will soon be communicating our implementation plan to the community. Again, all EMS teachers interested in supporting this initiative are welcome to join us. Please contact me if you would like to participate.

On Wednesday afternoon the Social Studies Department hosted guest speaker Mr. Gwyn Dyer to Earl Marriott Secondary. Mr. Dyer spoke about current international politics to our theater full of Social Studies students and guests. Thank you to Mr. Figueira for organizing this learning event for our students.

Today I had the privilege of visiting several classes. I started with Ms. Bensley’s Home Economics’ Foods Lab and watched the students work on their Easter cookie decoration/icing skills. I was very impressed with their talents… the cookies looked delicious!

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I then dropped by the Band room and listened to Mr. Rutley’s Junior Band students play “Nights of Aladdin”. This was clearly a favourite! The band is currently learning new pieces for the upcoming concert in May; including a very creative and musical application of paper. You will be impressed!

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I then walked across the hall and said “hello” to Mr. Martens’ BASES students. My timing was perfect as the students were in the process of decorating Easter eggs.   I saw some very creative Easter eggs including “Super Hero” eggs and many smiles! Great work everyone.

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I concluded my tour with a visit to the Woodwork class. Students in Mr. Misiak/Mr. Eddy’s class have been making stools, spatulas and spoons and whirlybirds. They are very proud of their work and have demonstrated excellent talents. It was very gratifying to see the students appreciating the opportunities they have as Mariners and learning new skills.

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 Kudos to:

Congratulations to our Robotics Club in completing their first year of competition! The club did very well and learned a great deal over the year. They were awarded the “Judge’s Choice” Award at their first competition, and are looking forward to next year and the next robotics challenge.

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Next week we will begin term 3. I am reminded that this is such an important time of year as we enter into the heart of the second semester. Much learning is happening across the entire curriculum everyday. I encourage all students to share your learning experiences with your parents/guardians. This dialogue will benefit everyone!

All the best for the long weekend. Enjoy your time with family and friends; we will see you again on Tuesday morning.




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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 3rd – April 7th

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: April 3rd – April 7th

Last weekend was a very special time for our school and community with the annual Semiahmoo – Earl Marriott Secondary Pow Wow. This year the Pow Wow was bigger than ever, with thousands of visitors and dancers. The dancers and their regalia were spectacular and provided a unique opportunity to share and celebrate the First Nation culture. As a school, we are very privileged to be part of this tradition. Our partnership with the Semiahmoo First Nation is a great strength of our school. Congratulations to the organizing committee on another very successful Pow Wow.

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On Monday afternoon Department Heads met to review current initiatives and school programs. We spent considerable time discussing the new Core Competency curriculum and reporting requirements. Thanks to everyone for this rich conversation. Our first planning meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 11th at Jr./Sr. lunches in the office. All teachers are invited to join us as we formulate an implementation plan for Grade 8-9 self-assessment of Core Competencies. Thanks go to Ms. Liang and Ms. Manning for hosting the meetings and providing an overview of your department’s current initiatives.

On Wednesday evening I was privileged to attend the Canada – Japan Cultural Exchange Sayonara party. This was the concluding celebration for our visiting Japanese students and their Earl Marriott Secondary student hosts. We enjoyed entertainment from both Canadian and Japanese students, good food and friendship. Earl Marriott Secondary students visited Japan last summer, and this week we had the opportunity to host our Japanese friends. Thank you to Mr. Dawson for your leadership in coordinating this exchange. I would also like to thank all of our EMS host families for opening your homes to our guests. Thanks also to all teachers who helped with hosting a guest in your class and/or helped provide supervision for the visit. Our students and school have been given a valuable opportunity to engage with the world, act as ambassadors, learn about another culture and meet new friends. We look forward to future exchange trips to Japan, and to continue a tradition that has been fostering friendship and understanding between South Surrey students and Japanese students for close to 50 years.

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This week the Admin team has been very busy as we begin to build next year’s timetable. We were able to share process and current status at both Department Head and Staff Committee meetings. We will continue to liaise with staff as we build the timetable. Department Heads are welcome to drop by if you have particular questions. We will be sharing the draft Department ‘10 block grids’ with Dept Heads over the next week.   All teachers will then have an opportunity for review and input.

This week Ms. Manning, Ms. Van Weerden and Mr. Ferguson of our Fine Arts Department installed our Earl Marriott Secondary Art Show at the Semiahmoo Library. Thank you to our Art teachers for your excellent work in showcasing the talents of our students and congratulations to all of our student artists. I encourage everyone to visit the library and view their work.

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Kudos to:

Congratulations to Wesley Chang who received the gold medal at the Provincial Skills Canada Competition in web design yesterday. Wesley will now represent BC at the National competition in June. Way to go Wesley! Congratulations also to Ryan Watkins who competed yesterday after winning gold at the Regionals.

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I would also like to congratulate students Julia Albert, Sofie Levy and Danika Unger. At the recent Surrey District Concours d’art oratoire on April 4, 2017. Earl Marriott had a very good night. Julia Albert came first for Grade 11 French Immersion. Sofie Levy placed second and Danika Unger came first for Grade 12. Congratulations and good luck at the Provincial Concours competition!


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Enjoy your weekend.

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This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: March 27th – March 31st

This Week at EMS – Principal’s Message: March 27th – March 31st

Happy Spring time everyone! Welcome back to Earl Marriott Secondary and the final terms of the 2016-17 school year. We are looking forward to the many new learning experiences, celebrations and traditions that this time of year brings. It is good to be back surrounded by our EMS Mariner community. School life will be a special and significant time for all of us over the next three months.

We returned on Monday and began to orient ourselves back into our school routines. It was wonderful to feel the excitement in the air as both students and staff greeted and welcomed each other as members of the EMS family. On Monday evening our Parent Advisory Council also met to learn about the happenings of the school, district and educational community. I should note that over the Spring Break, a new concrete picnic table was installed at the front of the school. Funding for this project was provided by the Dry Grad Committee. Great thanks to Ms. Zimmerman and all of our Dry Grad volunteers for your years of work in organizing and fundraising for EMS Dry Grad. Your work has made such a significant difference in the lives of our students, and your legacy gift will be a positive influence at the school for years to come!

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Throughout the week students and staff have shifted back into “school-mode” and the routines of classroom and extracurricular life. Our Rugby teams have been playing/practicing through rain and shine as their season ramps up.

This week we have also emphasized increased awareness of the new curriculum with specifically reference to the Core Competencies. Communication, Thinking and Personal and Social Responsibility are the three competencies now embedded across our curriculum. Teachers are exploring ways to reinforce these important life skills at all levels and subject areas. This June across BC, and as part of the reporting process, all students in grades K-9 will be required to complete a self-assessment of their development of their core competencies. We are currently building a model to provide our Grade 8’s and 9’s with a structured process for a reflective review of their progress in these areas. Please see the Principal’s Blog at for a detailed description of each competency and some sample reflective questions to help guide our students.

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This morning our annual Semiahmoo First Nation – Earl Marriott Secondary Pow Wow started! The Pow Wow runs today and throughout the weekend. Again, there was an air of excitement in the building this morning as we welcomed many guests from our Associate schools. This year we have continued to provide an opportunity for both elementary and secondary students to witness the Pow Wow with special school-based sessions running throughout the day. The morning session provided us such a unique and powerful learning experience and celebration of culture. I would like to thank all of our performers for your gift of sharing. I would also like to thank Mr. McKay-Dunn and the Aboriginal Leadership club for your leadership and work in hosting the event. This Pow Wow is a rich tradition for our school and community. It reinforces the value of partnership and the celebration of culture and is something that we are very proud to be a part of. I wish all participants of the Pow Wow a weekend of pride, joy and community.

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Kudos to:

Congratulations to student Cindy Zhang on being recognized as a 2017 Scholastic Art and Writing Award. Cindy is a “Silver Key” recipient in the Writing category. In 2017 more than 330,000 works were submitted to the Scholastic Art and Writing Competition.

In the News:

 Earl Marriott rugby coach to lead BC U18 team

By Nick Greenizan – Peace Arch News

Posted March 24, 2017

Earl Marriott Secondary’s senior boys rugby coach, Adam Roberts, is headed to Ireland this summer. The longtime high-school coach – and former player at Semiahmoo Secondary – was announced as the head coach of BC Rugby’s under-18 boys team in a news release issued earlier this month.

Enjoy your weekend.




Principal's Blog | Ken Hignell