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You’re invited to a presentation at John Stubbs Middle School.

Dr. Paul Mohapel: September 18th at 6:00-7:00 in the John Stubbs Middle School gym. All parents/guardians (no matter what grade their children are in!) are invited to this amazing opportunity to learn about the research on the effects of cell phone use and over dependence. Mohapel holds a PhD in psychology from the University of Victoria and a Master’s in Leadership and Training from Royal Roads University. He also holds a masters of science and a bachelor of science in psychology from Carleton University.  All parents/guardians (no matter what grade their children are in!) are welcome. The effects of cell phones on very young children will also be discussed. Please note: the subject matter is mature, we are not able to provide child care.


“People Run to Be Here” and we were excited to see our returning students and staff, arrive this week ready for a happy new year. Students and staff are settling in and as you can see below there are already lots of events happening. We encourage students to join at least one team or club this year. Most of our classes are full to capacity which may, or may not, result in a new classroom being formed. We would have to reconfigure several classes if this was to occur. We will keep you updated.

Personal Electronic Devices – Most students have done a good job staying off personal devices during our first week. Students are reminded to turn off their device and store it in a safe place from 8:40 a.m. – 2:58 p.m. each day. If a staff member needs to remove a device, it will be stored safely in the office and the student can pick it up afterschool. If it needs to be removed again, it will be stored safely in the office and a parent/guardian will need to pick it up afterschool. There are phones available for students to call home, if needed, in classrooms and in the office with staff permission. Arrangements to play at a friend’s house should be made before coming to school.

Meet the Journey Family (previously known as Meet the Teacher) is Thursday, September 19 from 6-7:30 pm. It will look a little different this year and we will be sending home invitations to our Journey Families this week.

Monday – Our first Monday and first full week for the year. All school supplies and PE attire should be at school. All students have been assigned a locker and hopefully have memorized their new combinations!

Band rotation begins and students should bring their instruments if they have them

Basketball Team Sign Up sheets will be posted outside of the gym for all grades. All students who sign up will be on a team.

Cross Country will practice Monday, Wednesdays and Fridays at lunch. Students should be ready to run and dress for the weather. We will meet in the foyer at the blue tables. First week, practices will be in the field by the baseball diamond. Cross Country Meets are on September 19, October 3 and October 10. Times and Locations – TBA


Lunchtime Skatepark waivers are in the office for students to bring home and have filled out and returned so that they can join Mr. Donegani and Mr. van Hooydonk at lunch on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and sometimes Fridays in the Skatepark for some fun-filled shred.

Ultimate disc practices have started and will run on Tuesdays and Thursdays at lunch after eating block. Students who have already signed up or are interested in playing will meet Mr. Donegani, Mrs. Johnston and/or Mr. Sulzen at the bike racks in the front of the school after their eating block. Please be sure to bring proper clothing for running. We will have permission forms ready to go home next week.


Pizza Lunch – Pepperoni, Hawaiian, and Cheese Pizza slices $3.50 each. Chips $1 and juice boxes $.50 will also be available for sale. Line up in the foyer at lunch with your money or your munch card ready!

Lunchtime Skatepark – must have waiver and equipment to participate


Fire Drill – 9 a.m. Students and Staff

Freezie Sales $1 @ lunch at the back of the school near the kitchen door

Ultimate disc practice at lunch break

Friday – It’s our lucky day!

Welcome Assembly 10:30-11:30 a.m. in the gym

PAC BBQ lunch – 12:00-12:50 Enjoy a complimentary hotdog and juice box from our generious PAC volunteers!

Fall Sports Pep Rally 1 – 1:45 p.m.

Dismissal 1:58 p.m. – Please remind your child that as much as they are loved by their elementary schools, they need to wait until they are dismissed before going on their school grounds or in their schools. Students are welcome to stay at the blue tables in the foyer or on our school grounds while they wait.


Saturday Morning Band Camp for all grade 6 band students on Saturday, September 14 –bus leaves Journey at 8:00 and returns at 12:45.  The camp is at Dunsmuir Middle School. Mrs. Bjorklund reminds all Grade 6 Band students that it is essential that all grade 6 students attend.  Volunteers are needed to supervise.





Happy Friday – a reminder that students are dismissed at 1:58 p.m. today and every Friday.  Buses schedules will run on this early dismissal time.  Have a great weekend.


Welcome/Welcome Back to Journey for our 2019-20 school year. 

New this year – Cell Phones and other personal electronic devices 

After feedback from our staff, PAC, and the recent research on young brains, we have implemented a new rule for the use of all personal electronic devices at Journey. All devices need to be put away from 8:40 a.m. (first bell) until 2:58 p.m. (last bell) Monday – Thursday and 8:40 a.m. – 1:58 p.m. on Friday. Devices may not be visible or used during this time. More detailed information regarding consequences and also how we will continue to support digital literacy and the technology curriculum in the school will be sent home during the first week of school.

Opening Day Procedures

We are looking forward to welcoming all Journey Middle School students. Students are asked to arrive at school before the warning bell at 8:40 am on Tuesday, September 3th. Names of students and their teachers will be posted hers will be posted on the windows on each side of the front door of the school. All students will be dismissed at 11:58 a.m.  Buses will run on these alternate hours. Regular school hours are 8:40-2:58 Monday – Thursday and Friday 8:40-1:58 a.m.

All grade 6 students will be meeting in the gym. They will be asked to find the name of their Advisory Teacher posted on the gym wall and your teacher will meet you there. The teachers will introduce themselves to their students and our principal, Mrs. Szadkowski and Vice-Principal Mrs. Abell will also be there to welcome them. Teachers will then walk to their classrooms with their students and spend the rest of the morning providing information needed to begin a successful year at Journey.

Students new to Journey this year will find their name will be on a list on the windows as well. Please come to the office and our Vice-Principal, Mrs. Abell and our Counsellor, Ms. Yarchuk, will help you find your neighbourhood and classroom. If you know where your classroom is you can also go directly to the room.

All Grade 7 and 8 students should find their name under their Advisory Teacher’s name which will be posted hers will be posted on the windows beside the front door of the school. Students should make their way to their new classrooms when the bell rings.

School Supplies

School supply lists are posted on our website under the Tab About à Forms. These lists are for English and French. Students should not bring their school supplies on the first day, but something to write with would be recommended. Your teacher will let you know when to bring your supplies. All students will be issued a locker for this school year hopefully by Friday, September 6.


All bus information can be found on our School District 62 Website including scheduled times and pick up and drop off locations.

Information Envelope – watch for it coming home! 

We are getting closer to becoming paperless; however, we will be sending home an Information Envelope with all students. This will provide you with the information regarding the online forms and the explanation of additional fees/costs. If your child chooses to participate on a school team, purchase a yearbook or munch card please make your cheque payable to “SCHOOL DISTRICT 62”. Payment is also available online.   Other costs may also come up throughout the year such as Exploratories, Field trips, Band Instrument Rental etc.  Please return the forms to the classroom teacher.

Classroom Placement

It’s exciting for students to find out who their new teacher will be and which friends are in their class. Our staff has worked very hard to balance classes and ensure start-up runs as smoothly as possible for all students. Currently all our classes are full which may, or may not, involve reconfiguration in September. Please help your child build on their resiliency skills by talking with them should they not get their first choice of teachers and/or friends in their class.


We update our official website at least once per week. Please become familiar with our website and visit it regularly throughout the school year. Our Journey App will alert you each time the website is updated and we encourage you to sign up for it. Communication is very important and several teachers also have class websites/wikis as well. If you need further information, have questions, concerns or ideas, please call the school or drop by the office. Our front office staff will be happy to assist you. The office is open 8:00 a.m. – 4 p.m. Monday to Friday. You can reach us at 250-642-5881. We are always open to feedback regarding communication between school, home and the community. Please contact the principal, Laurie Szadkowski at lszadkowski@sd62.bc.ca or call her at 250-642-5881.






Another school year comes to a close and the staff of Journey want to thank you for sharing your children with us. We have enjoyed teaching them and learning from them. This week we say goodbye to our grade 8 students as they leave to attend the final leg of their public school education. We wish them well and know they are ready for this next adventure – high school! To all our students who will be returning next year, and those who will travel to other schools in other parts of the country, we hope you have a wonderful summer. Remember to celebrate Canada Day and enjoy living in one of the absolute best countries in the world.


Field Trips: Divisions 1, 2 & 4 are going to Thetis Lake for the day

All library books, textbooks and class novels need to be handed in by today. Invoices for lost or damaged books will be processed and sent home for any items not returned and/or damaged. Look in all those favourite hiding places and save $$$.


Athletic/Club Recognition Assembly 10:30-12

All school supplies, clothing, personal items should go home today – bring extra bags for hauling it all bag home if needed! Look in Lost and Found for any missing items as well.

Wednesday -Last Day of School

Divs. 17 & 19 at Thetis Lake all day

Grade 8 Activities/Leaving Ceremony:

Block 1 – rehearsal

Blocks 2/3 – outside front field + food trucks

Blocks – 4/5 – Ceremony in gym – families welcome to attend


Report Card Day – your child’s final report card will be available online. This is the first time we are offering report cards this way and an email was sent out by the School District about report cards being available through the Parent Portal on MyEd. The office staff is available to assist you should you need it. Other updates are still only available on paper. These will be available for pick up today. A hard copy of the report card is available upon request.


All lost and found items donated to charity at the end of today

The office is open from 8-4 p.m. and next week Tuesday-Friday

Happy Canada Day – July 1






Today yearbooks were given out to students who purchased one this year. Students have been reminded to only write words that a parent would be happy to read and to only ask friends to write in their yearbooks. We have approximately 30 that can be purchased for $45 in the office.  Thanks to Ms. Wiens and her team of creative students for producing this memory for us!


The following message is from our superintendent, Mr. Scott Stinson:

You may be hearing of an incident in Otter Point involving students.  I want you to know that the incident does not involve students from a Sooke School District school.  At this point we are not able to share any more details about the incident, but thought you might want to know that it does not involve our students.



Staffing Update for 2019-2020 School year continued . . . Welcome back to Mr. Vine working Monday-Wednesday in grade 6 sharing with Ms. Johnston and on Fridays sharing with Mrs. Barnes. Welcome Back to Ms. Troke who will be moving from her role as ESD teacher to sharing a class with Mr. Donegani Monday-Wednesday. Ms. Macgregor will return as our Aboriginal Classroom Program Assistant working with Ms. Young. We welcome Ms. Wallace who will be job sharing with Mrs. Fader in the Learning Commons on Fridays.  Goodbye and best wishes to Ms. Schnarr who will be teaching grade 6 at Dunsmuir next year.


Today we welcome Peer Helper from Poirier to our fire pit


Field Trips:

Div. 12 Kemp Lake

Div. 16 & 19 Observatory

Grade 8 classes – Playland in Vancouver

Tea @ recess in foyer – bring your own cup


Lunch – we are finished for the year, but remember your munch card is good to use next year too. Remember to bring something to eat and drink!

Litter clean up – whole school helps keep Journey clean!

Joro Begins – whole school soccer tournament begins with a Complimentary Pancake Breakfast – @ 9 am sponsored by Sooke Lions Club. All classes will play today (info about your class colours etc. has been sent home separately). Bring money for the dunk tank, freezies etc.


Joro Finals

Freezies on sale by Div. 14

Friday – National Indigenous Peoples’ Day

Ms., Wiens, Ms. Schnarr, Mrs. Federici, and Mrs. Maragh’s classes off to National Indigenous Peoples’ Day celebrations at Royal Roads

Last Friday of the School year!







Staffing Update for 2019-2020 School year continued . . . We welcome Ms. Danica Robirtis who will be teaching grade 7 with Ms. Gitzel next year and say farewell Mr. Chris Pelley who will be heading to EMCS along with Mr. Hart next year.  Ms. Millen has had to extend her medical leave and Mrs. Katrina Abell will officially take on the role of Vice-Principal a little earlier than first announced.  She will begin on Tuesday, June 11.

Congratulations to all our amazing students who blew audiences away with their performances of Mama Mia this past week. Hollywood is calling! Thanks to Mrs. Fader for producing the show and making this opportunity possible!


Used Book Fair – 12-1 pm & 2:45-3:30 Come check out great books for summer reading at fantastic prices

Concert – Band & Drumline 7:30pm Gym Everyone welcome to hear our award winning Band!

Book Fair also open before & after Concert

Div. 17 Sour Key and Moo Water Balloon Face Fundraiser @ lunch Bring your loonies and twoonies!


Tea @ recess in foyer – bring your own cup

Field Trip – Camp Barnard Divs. 10,12,15

Used Book Fair Continues – 12-1 pm & 2:45-3:30

Concert – 7:30pm Strings, District 62 Orchestra, and Harmony Project.   Book Fair before & after Concert


Lunch – we are finished for the year, but remember your munch card is good to use next year too. Remember to bring something to eat and drink!

Garbage Divs. 19 & 20 help keep Journey clean!

Div. 8 Smoking Candied Salmon today

Div. 7 Broomhill Park with Poirier Little Buddies Recess-End of day

Overnight Field Trip – Horne Lake Caves Divs. 9,11, 14


“Students from Ms. Nadeau and Ms. Birtwistle have been working very hard over the past 7-weeks on their Personal Passion Projects. They will have an open house showcasing their creative projects on today during block 2 & 3 (10:30-12) in Utopia. Stop by to be inspired and educated by these great students. Hear musical presentations, see mountain biking videos, learn about sports like soccer, ballet and hockey, touch handmade clothing creations, sample homemade goodies and so much more!”


Students and staff home from Horne Lake Adventure Divs. 9,11, 14










I wanted to follow up with our school community regarding concerns expressed about staffing for Journey Middle School, specifically the band program. District staff have spent time investigating further into the issue and have determined that it would be appropriate to fund the additional staffing for the next school year in order to allow time for a more fulsome dialogue with the school community.

The District will be providing one-time staffing for the next school as we determine the best way for programming to occur in the future and ensure that parents have ample notice of any potential changes for the following year. We love our band program and the support the students, parents and staff have for it.

The Band Program at Journey will continue as it has this year, which allows students to partake in the FAST Rotation and Band classes. We are thankful to the District for their commitment and time in finding this additional funding for the 2019/2020 school year.

Thank you,

Laurie Szadkowski
Journey Middle School


Staffing Update for 2019-2020 School year continued . . . We welcome Michaeline Yarchuk to our counselling staff and say thank you and goodbye to Ms. Campbell who will be staying in the community of Sooke in some of our local elementary schools. Also new to our school will be Mr. Nathan Gates who will be teaching grade 7.

Congratulations to all our families who proudly watched their child(ren) cross the stage at the EMCS graduation ceremony on Saturday. We too our proud of our former students and wish them well as they move on to their next adventure!

“Momma Mia” EMCS and Journey Musical Theater present “Momma Mia” June 5, 6, and 7 at 7 pm and June 8 at 2 pm. All shows are at EMCS. The $12 Tickets are available at Journey, EMCS and Shopper’s.


Floor Hockey – 5th Place (Flames) vs. 6th Place (Maple Leafs) @ lunch

Div. 8 $2 Creamsicle sale at lunch outside Kitchen

Track & Field practice after school (3:15 – 4:45), students will be jogging over to the Sooke Soccer field and back

Mamma Mia dress rehearsal Monday at EMCS till 7 pm.

Tuesday – Twonie Tuesday (please bring a twonie for the Food Bank)

Tea @ recess in foyer – bring your own cup

Floor Hockey – Bronze Game (3rd vs. 4th) @ lunch

Div. 17 @ firepit 1 p.m.

EMCS Grad Walk Through 2-2:15 (Journey Students line the neighbourhood centres and clap and cheer on our former students

PAC Meeting – 6:30 p.m. Everyone welcome


Lunch – Subway $3.50 per sandwich (munch cards $20 in office – good for next year too)

Garbage Divs. 17 & 18 help keep Journey clean!

SK8 Park @ lunch for students with permission forms

Floor Hockey – Bronze Game (3rd vs. 4th) @ lunch

Div. 17 @ Firepit 1 p.m.

EMCS Grad Walk Through 2-2:15 (Journey Students line the neighbourhood centres and clap and cheer on our former students


Last Exploratory for the year!

Freeze Sales Div. 14 @ lunch $1 each

Mama Mia School Performance- pre-registered classes are off to watch the EMCS/Journey production today! Hoping all of our performers, “Break a Leg”!


Grade 8 permission forms for Playland due today

Floor Hockey – Championship Game (1st vs. 2nd) @ lunch

Floor Hockey- 4th block: Golden Ticket Game: Grade 8 All Stars vs. Journey Staff Stars

EMCS Class Visits: Barnes & Abell

8:45 am Meet in foyer, paper attendance and load for a 9:00 am arrival at EMCS

12:00 Noon load bus for return to Journey

School Info:

Band – There has been a change in how the District is staffing our Band Program next year. Band students will now be part of the FAST rotation fulltime. For the last six years we have had the Band come out for one block of FAST and a mutually agreed upon block at another time. Next year, students will have the opportunity to go to Band three times per week; however, they will NOT be able to schedule: Foods; Wood; Music; Drama; Technology or Art. This is a significant change in scheduling and students/families need to know that they will be required to stay in Band for the school year if they choose Band. To recap – Band will continue at Journey, but students in Band will not be in the FAST rotation as it was scheduled this year.

Social Media – please remind your child to be respectful and safe when using their electronic devices. We have had a surge in students reporting mean and bullying behaviour and we need your support to help young minds navigate this form of communication. Several classes have “no phone policies” in place and the topic of a “no phone/electronic devices for the school” is on the agenda for the next PAC meeting.





Community Info:

One of the local Scout groups is having a paint night fundraiser at the Community Hall and would love you to attend. Please see the link below to this fun event.