News & Events

January 7, 2019

Thank you for Joining the Conversation!


Mark Gifford, Chair of our New Westminster Schools Board of Education invited you to join the conversation between Jan.7 and 14. See some of the top thoughts here.


We asked and you answered: Thank you everyone!

It has been an amazing week.  At New Westminster Schools, we started 2019 with an open and interactive conversation with you – parents, students, staff, community members.

Thanks to your participation in our online platform called Thoughtexchange, we saw 1,288 people share more than 1,500 thoughts about the most important things we can do to meaningfully support learning opportunities for all of our students. The conversation ran from Jan. 7 to 14.

Whether you were a student sharing your priorities for more field trips; a parent raising concerns about better support for inclusion; or a community member hoping to see support for student well-being –  you each voiced your priorities while seeing what was important to others. 

Karim Hachlaf, Superintendent of New Westminster Schools, noted this is the first time the school district has embarked on such a broad and inclusive conversation.

“Using this tool is something new that allowed us to reach a huge audience – it’s a much more robust way to have a dynamic conversation than a survey soliciting static feedback.”

“On behalf of the students we serve, thank you for taking the time to support learning in our District,” said Hachlaf.

“We believe that by understanding your experiences and priorities, we will be able to improve our education system and better serve the needs of our students.”

Flexible seating, from Hokki stools to comfortable pillows, gives students options to support their focus and their learning. That’s one of the ideas shared through our online conversation….

We are now ready to take the next steps…

Over the next while, we’ll be digging deeper into the results of the exchange to understand what’s important to our stakeholder groups — parents, staff, students, community members, and school sites.

Thoughtexchange allows us to uncover opposing priorities in the conversation, identify gaps in perception, build on areas of agreement among various groups, and discern key themes to understand what’s important to our whole community.

We have a new Board of Education and a new leadership team ready to chart a course for the coming year. Your thoughts and ideas will guide  us as we determine how to best allocate our 2019-2020 budget resources to meaningfully support learning opportunities for our students.

Please stay tuned for more in-depth results in the coming weeks.  Learn more here.


The conversation last week included calls by some participants for more technology – such as chromebooks and ipads – to support student learning.  Others, including students, wanted to see more library books available to them…