June is Here! 

Riding the Coaster of 2023-2024 …

In some ways, it’s hard to believe that June is here, and yet it also feels like September was a lifetime ago. I don’t know about you, but since then, I feel like I was on a roller coaster or two … or make that one hundred! As this school year comes to a wrap, instead of focusing on the lows, I want to think about the high points – those times I was at the top of the roller coaster! 

As a part of the SSC Team, I am excited to share that this year we have supported over 220 students with over 2000 visits; we also added to the mix over 10 workshops for students and parents! 

We have joyfully helped students (in their own words): “complete more courses than last year,” “get set up well and caught up around big trips,” “meet deadlines,” “create amazing projects,” “learn new strategies to tackle Math questions,” “get motivated to do the work,” and “cross the finish line - even when it didn’t seem possible."

How about you?

We would love to hear what you’ve appreciated most about the SSC Team this year and any suggestions you have on how we can enable more “top of the roller coaster” moments next year. Share your Feedback 

List of Workshops: 

June Workshops

Though no new workshops will run in the month of June, students and parents can revisit past workshops using one of these three options:   

Final Round of Provincial Assessments

From June 3rd -14th, students will have one final opportunity to write their BC Provincial Assessments. If this happens to be you, here are three options that could help you get the results you’re looking for:   

NEW For the Summer of 2024 …

The SSC will be OPEN for most of the summer – woohoo! Though availability will be reduced, students and parents will have an opportunity to connect with Taryn McPherson through email and booked sessions. Squeezing a little school into the summer months is a great way to tie up some loose ends or get a head start on next year’s courses!  

Please also take advantage of the Resources we have available …. Recorded Workshops with Slide Decks and Goal Setting and Planning Samples & Templates! These resources can help set you/your child up well for the Fall of 2024!  

From the entire SSC Team, we pray your summer is a time of reconnection, refreshment, and lots of joy and laughter! And if we don’t see you in the summer, we look forward to reconnecting in the Fall! ❤️

Let’s Kick off the Summer with a Little Fun …

More “New” Around the Corner! 

First and foremost: Welcome, Calise Stankoven!

For most of May, we’ll have a new SCC team member: Calise Stankoven! As a Bachelor of Education student, Calise was inspired by her passion for writing and her belief that having teachers who deeply care about what they teach makes a huge difference for students. She is excited to wear many hats as a teacher - writing, performing, exploring, doing experiments, you name it! She joins our team willing and able to provide students with literacy and executive functioning support! 

Fun Facts: When Calise isn’t deep into her studies, she loves cooking - spicy curries and homemade ramen. And recently, she has had fun learning about science and fermentation in the kitchen by making sourdough and kombucha! Outside of school and the kitchen, Calise loves going for hikes and bicycle rides as she explores the amazing Okanagan Valley landscape.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Calise to the SSC Team!

Hi Everybody! My name is Calise.


As a new month is about to start, be on the lookout for another lineup of workshops … including a couple of new ones. 

Visit our Upcoming Events page to get all the details! 

Take Time for Mental Health Awareness 

Every day, but especially in May, we need to make mental health a priority. 

If you are a youth struggling with your mental health …. You are not alone! Please be courageous and share your thoughts and feelings.

If you are a parent of a child who is struggling with their mental health … You are not alone! Please be observant, ask questions, listen wholeheartedly, and seek support.

Here are some excellent sources of information to get your started:

SOPHIE: Anxiety and Mental Health Resources for Families 

Here to Help:

Children and teens can also call the Kids Help Phone to speak to a counselor at 1-800-668-6868 or visit Kids Help Phone for information on the resources and support available. For more places to get help, visit Crisis Centre – Get Help. If you are in an emergency, call 9-1-1

Like me, you might be excited that a month that has a two-week-long break and acts as a reset button for the rest of the school year - and a stepping stone to next year - is almost here!

In my excitement, I can almost hear the robins chirping and see the buds on the trees. Each Spring, we witness new beginnings and fresh starts … which is what you might need as you prepare for the final quarter of the school year. If that’s you, let me provide a few tips to help get you through this final leg of the race

be deliberate about fitting school in. 

Who doesn’t like a break!? 

March Break (March 16-31) might be the perfect opportunity for you to slow down and enjoy time with friends, family, and the things you love. Or maybe it’s a chance to get outside and take in the sights, sounds, and smells of the start of Spring. If your coursework has piled up, you might want to block off some time to catch up. 

The SSC will be closed during the first week of the break;

 it’ll reopen on Monday, March 25.

Book Your Next Session Here: 

Academic Stepping Stones …. 

The 2024 Orientation Week (March 4-8) is a stepping stone for grades 8 and 9 students, in preparation for grade 10. There is so much valuable information that is shared to help students prepare early for their next race!

And just like that … It’s out with February and in with March! 🎉

Welcome, Gohar Zakaryan!

There’s a new, smiling face on our SCC team: Gohar Zakaryan! As a fourth-year McMaster University student from Ontario, Gohar joins us as a Math & Science EA. (Math was her favourite subject in high school, and she lives and breathes science every day through her university courses.) 

Gohar also has a variety of tutoring experience, is a StudyForgecurriculum development intern, and loves trying new things. Fun Fact: She volunteered as a curling coach for the Special Olympics in Hamilton, Ontario. When Gohar’s not deep into her studies, she loves rock climbing, hiking, and watching movies.

Please join us in warmly welcoming Gohar to the SSC Team!

How to Wrap up 2023 and Kick-Start 2024

The Christmas break is just days away .... There are only a handful of Xs to place on the calendar before December 25th!

As it approaches, I’m guessing you’re feeling a mix of excitement for all the fun ahead (and the opportunity to sleep in!), but also heaviness and exhaustion as the journey has been tough and you haven’t crossed the finish line yet.

Here are My Top 6 Tips for You:

1) Push Through. I know you’re already SO ready to sign off for the holidays, but these next few days are a great opportunity to get closer to your goals and finish a unit, assignment, or project. These wins will help put you in a better position for January, and help you tie up loose ends that won’t distract you over the break.

2) Make a List – and Check it Twice. ;) With all the Christmas hype, it’ll be even harder to stay organized, so create a to-do list to help keep you on track.

3) Plan for Distraction. It’s only natural to be distracted (and a bit less productive) right before Christmas break. Just make sure to create space in your calendar for those tough and not-so-fun assignments beforehand.

4) Reward Yourself. With all the excitement, giving yourself some incentives or rewards might be helpful to keep you motivated and on task. Maybe it’s a few more breaks, an extra Christmas cookie, or a Christmas movie with a friend.

5) See the Future. January might seem far away, but it’ll be here before you know it! Spend a little time creating a snapshot of what January will hold, as it’ll help with the transition back. With this in mind, also do some reflecting on the past few months to see what pieces you need to add to ensure you have a great start to 2024.

6) Make it Fun. Lastly, don’t forget to sprinkle in some holiday fun! Plus, use the break to refuel, recharge, and fill up your tank with all the things and people you love most.

From the SSC Team, we wish you a holiday filled with God’s love and joy as you celebrate the birth of Jesus, our Saviour, with those closest to you.

October'23 Highlights

When asked to share their start-of-the-year highlights and what they are most looking forward to in November, here’s what the SSC Team said … 

Photo: My wife and I all decked out for the wedding. 

Benjamin: My September highlight was moving into a new house and beginning reno’s. In October, I attended my brother-in-law's wedding in Michigan. Something I'm looking forward to in November is continuing to meet new students and helping them with math!”

Photo: I am stopping to ask some friendly strangers for directions in Oregon.

Carlee: “My September highlight was meeting so many new students and working with them on so many interesting problems and assignments! In October, I went road-tripping to Portland with my best friend Amanda! Something I'm looking forward to in November is my mom coming to Victoria to visit for a week!” 

Taryn: In September, I was excited to dive back into work and reconnect with past students and meet new ones! I also enjoyed a couple of weekend trips with my sisters; my favourite was visiting the small town of Blue Mountain. Celebrating Thanksgiving with nearly my entire family – for the first time in many years! – was my October highlight. As for November, I am most looking forward to doing everything Christmas with my mom!”  

Photo: Here I am with my sister and niece, on the Blue Mountain coaster! 

Photo: Me and my niece on her second birthday.

Chelsea: “My September highlight was attending my brother-in-law's wedding and celebrating my niece's second birthday. In October, I enjoyed some baseball in the beautiful fall weather, and I am looking forward to some great HCOS team-building opportunities in November.”

Photo: My daughter Olivia and I at Coastal Black Pumpkin Fest, in Black Creek, BC.

Allison: In September, I enjoyed meeting new HCOS students/families and getting back to routine. Celebrating and supporting our new HCOS Student Council and gathering for Thanksgiving with my family were two October highlights. As for November, I am looking forward to volunteering at the local food bank with the international students who live with us.”