my . artist run website  

forwarded from Jennifer Mascall  2016

I think Nina Jane Patel, Jennifer Mascall and Amy Donnelly are preparing a wonderful experience for kids, and I wish my daughter were still in the age group (4-9).  I made two posters.  Which do you prefer, I wonder?


Our family spent three wonderful years at Kenneth Gordon Maplewood School.  If your child learns differently, you might like to check this learning environment out HERE


For an opportunity to think through a Learning Differently kid's transition into high school or from a specialized learning environment to mainstream school, or if you are or were  a KG parent, please join us at the event below. 

Transitioning from KGMS to a Mainstream School
Thursday, March 6
7 pm
Room 9
Refreshments on hand.



Is your child ready to leave KGMS?  How do you know?  It's not as simple as registering him or her in your neighbourhood school.  What can you do to help your child make the transition successfully?  The panelists listed below will do their best to answer these questions and any others you want answered.



Rosita Tam - Rosita's served students with learning differences in various capacities for 30 years, including 7 years as the Director of Instruction at KGMS.  Rosita's the point person for assisting you in your search for a suitable school.  In her presentation on the topic in February, she gave parents some ideas on how to build our children's resilience to the stresses they will more than likely face transitioning from KGMS to a mainstream school.  Handouts from that presentation will be available.

Marianne McKee - Marianne has taught for 18 years and is currently teaching students with learning disabilities at Burnaby North Secondary.  As a child she was diagnosed with a learning disability and was told she would not be successful at university.  Marianne writes that while "having a disability can make school a challenge, it does not need to be a constant battle."  Having said that, Marianne's become "increasingly negative and discouraged" with the public system.  "If I had a choice to keep my child in a school like KGMS or transition them into the public system there would be no doubt in my mind - don't move them."  Copies of the recommendations she worked on with the Learning Disabilities Association of British Columbia regarding the ruling of the Supreme Court in Moore vs British Columbia will be on hand.

Susan McKenzie - Susan's been on "the frontline, interfacing with educators, a range of Go To experts and that crucial resource, other parents."  Willingly, with a sense of humour, and without a lot of sleep, Susan's "bounced along the road" with her daughter, Tien, through the public school system, homeschooling and at KGMS.  Now that her daughter has returned to a public secondary school, Susan will pass on her thoughts and Tien's advice.

Barb Desjardins - Barb's son is graduating this year and heading off to university.  After attending KGMS for Grades 4 and 5, her son returned to KGMS in Grade 7.  The transition from KGMS to secondary school was much smoother.  There, she "found more support and understanding."  However, she continues to advocate for her son and teach him the skills to advocate for himself.  An Educational Assistant, Barb works with special needs students in the public education system.

Janice Beecroft - Alerted to the possibility of a learning disability by her son's Grade 2 teacher, Janice fought unsuccessfully "year after year for testing."  In Grade 6, she submitted the bill for private testing to the school board and successfully fought for reimbursement.  Having done her research, Janice believes she's found the public secondary school that will meet the needs of her gifted, dyslexic and diabetic son.

Jacqueline Thornley-Hall - Jacqueline thought her son, James, was ready to leave KGMS after completing Grade 7 to attend a local public secondary school.  After a few months, James returned to KGMS and is much happier and doing well.  Jacqueline is happy to share her insights into his experience.

Lisa Chao - Each of Lisa's four children has unique learning differences.  After attending KGMS for three years, the change in Bram "was staggering, both emotionally and academically."  Indeed, Lisa "sees a confidence in Bram that has been missing since he was 4."  In addition to advocating for her own children "for 13 years in 6 schools over 3 districts," she's done so for others via her involvement in the Parent Advisory Council at the local, district and provincial levels.  Recently, she and the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Councils organized a symposium on special needs.


Thursday March 6th 2014 informal, very low key group session, gradually moving through a series of Itcush Technique exercises, repeating the series and building on it in each time.  

At the Remembering Amelia Exhibition, (brought to The Dance Centre by New Dance Horizons last September)  a few people were inspired to start a work group to practise the Itcush work together.  Elaine Hanson has generously offered to informally facilitate the group.  Anyone can join – with no experience, minimal or lots. 


Elaine Hanson (facilitator):   

“The work sessions focus on bringing the head, neck and spine into balance through the interplay of forces.  Between the weight falling and the force rising is found a dynamic balance which assists in bringing head, neck and spine into healthier relationship. The result is an expansion and lifting of the chest which re-balances the head and neck.  A sense of release, buoyancy and expansion follows.”


The workgroup emerged from the Remembering Amelia Exhibition at the Vancouver Dance Centre last September, where workshops and discussion were held about the work of master teacher Amelia Itcush.  The project is a Western Canadian travelling gathering in memory of Amelia, and offered exciting exchange about her work, led by Robin Poitras (artistic director of New Dance Horizons), Kana Nemoto, Ashley Johnson, and Jennifer Mascall. 

For more info, or to check out the next gathering, coming up in Saskatoon in April 2014

bg_25371385328900.jpg julie poskitt keeps this on her wall.



Loie Fuller dancing with her veil, 1897

Photograph by Isaiah West Taber (1830-1912)

(C) RMN (Musée d’Orsay) / Michèle Bellot