February 2019 Newsletter
I regularly have parents share with me their concerns about traffic congestion and safety around Bedford.
We are excited to announce that we have begun an in-depth process called School Travel Planning that will help us understand the barriers that exist and get more students walking or cycling to/from school (which will reduce traffic). School Travel Planning has had much success at other schools across the country – helping to improve children’s physical and mental health and reduce traffic congestion and emissions.
This program asks that we share our concerns about why children are not walking or cycling so that we can determine the barriers preventing children from walking or cycling to Bedford. Our concerns will then be shared with people like city planners, school planners and police so that we can benefit from their support and advice if we need big-picture changes to our streets and enforcement. We will also be working with Public Health and the city School Travel Planning committee on education and encouragement activities.
The first step in this process has already taken place:
- students were surveyed over a week’s period in November. Results indicate the majority of our students come to school by car, followed by a large number of walkers and then those on our buses.
- Winter Walk Day is held across the province on the first Wednesday in February and this year Bedford will be participating. We are encouraging each class to go for a walk during the school day. We are also going to celebrate all the students who walked to school or took their school bus to school that day by entering their names in a draw for prizes. (While the weather looks promising at the moment, in the event of extreme cold or very rainy weather, we will postpone and set a new date.)
- Healthy Schools team, led by Mrs. Simons, is starting an advertising campaign at school.
- Family Surveys are now available online. This is your chance to have your voice heard. We want to hear your concerns about safety for your children getting back and forth to Bedford. We know there are very valid concerns, but also very valid reasons why some children cannot walk. The parent link closes February 15.
- If you would like to complete a paper copy of need help with the online survey please call the office and we can help.
- Neighbourhood walk-about is planned for one morning before school, which will include representatives from the city engineering department, Council, board Facilities, Public Health Unit, Police, parents, staff.
There is more information about the whole process in the School Travel Planning attachment. More exciting events will be coming in the spring too (keep your eyes open for the Bike Rodeo!)
Friday we bid a fond farewell to Mrs. Halliday who has started her next adventure in retirement. (Check out our Facebook page for the song that the whole sang to her at the farewell assembly. Hard to keep back the tears!)
We are excited to welcome new staff to our school. Ms. Montgomery is joining the KB class in the afternoons. Mrs. Poole will be teaching Grade 5/6 in the afternoons. I know they will feel the Bulldog welcome! Mr. Melton and Mrs. Bell (afternoons) will be moving into the SERT role.
Huge THANK YOU to our Bedford community for making our January skating day such a success! To our families who donated skates and to Dunny’s Source for Sports for sharpening for free over 30 pairs of skates for our students. Merci!
Next Skating day will be February 22nd.
Also, our first ever Family Skate, sponsored by School Council, and paid for from funds raised at last year’s Family Fun Night, was a huge success! It was great to see so many Bedford families out. A huge thank you goes out to the Stratford Warriors who made a surprise guest appearance and to Mr. Sealey for arranging this. The Bedford Bulldog was a big hit on skates too!
We are so excited to have Barbara Coloroso coming to speak right here in Stratford on February 11. Last spring five area schools (including Bedford) wrote a PRO grant to fund this so the event is completely free of charge. We ask that those who want to attend sign up online, only so that we know how many seats we need (and how many halls to book), and so that the hand outs can be emailed to you. If you have copies of any of her books, bring them along to be autographed.
Barbara Coloroso is an international bestselling author and for the past 45 years an internationally recognized speaker and consultant on parenting, teaching, school discipline, positive school climate, bullying, grieving, nonviolent conflict resolution and restorative justice. She has appeared on Oprah, CBS, NBC, ABC, CNN and NPR and has been featured in the New York Times, Time, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek, and other national and international publications. Her uniquely effective parenting and teaching strategies were developed through her years of training in sociology, special education, and philosophy, as well as field-tested through her experiences as a classroom teacher, laboratory school instructor, university instructor, seminar leader, volunteer in Rwanda, and mother of three grown children. She is the author of four international bestsellers: kids are worth it! Giving Your Child the Gift of Inner Discipline; Parenting Through Crisis—Helping Kids in Times of Loss, Grief and Change; The Bully, the Bullied, and the Not-So-Innocent Bystander—Breaking The Cycle of Violence and Creating More Deeply Caring Communities; and Just Because It’s Not Wrong Doesn’t Make It Right—From Toddlers to Teens, Teaching Kids to Think and Act Ethically. Barbara’s latest book is Extraordinary Evil: A Brief History of Genocide… and Why it Matters. She also has two critically acclaimed video programs Winning at Parenting…without beating your kids and Winning at Teaching…without beating your kids.
Dates to Remember
Please note that all dates and details of trips etc. are posted on the Bedford PS website on our Calendar. We work hard to keep this up to date as the month progresses.
Thank you to all the parents who made donations through our milk/pizza and pita orders online. This month $174 was donated!
Caribou Math Contest
Congratulations to all who wrote our 3rd Caribou Math Contest this year. Everyone worked hard and did very well! For the Grade 3/4 contest Piers from Mme Hillier and Mrs. McKee’s class placed first. Julia, also from Mme Hillier and Mrs. McKee’s class, placed second. Evan from Mme Hillier and Bell’s class placed third. For the Grade 5/6 contest Saleh from Mlle Young’s class placed first. Ellis, also from Mlle Young’s class placed second. Ben from Mme Quinn’s class placed third. Our fourth contest will take place on Wednesday, February 13th.
If you have not already done so, please join our Bedford Public School Facebook group. We share many events, reminders and information there.
We, along with many other places, seem to have been hit especially hard with seasonal illnesses. As you can imagine, with over 450 youngsters in one building can easily spread things from one to another! In order to minimize catching and spreading illness it is important to go over good handwashing habits (soap and water and long enough to sing the ABC song). If your child has a fever, throws up or has diarrhea, please keep them home for 24 hours afterwards.
Fundraising for NGOs
During the week of February 11th to February 15th, Mme Quinn’s grade 6’s are raising money in order to make a donation for 2 NGOs. Although we learned about many, we voted and together we chose WWF and APOPO.
If you didn’t know, WWF is an organization that helps protect wildlife and their habitats all around the world. With your help, our donation could allow us to adopt an animal (”symbolic adoption” to help save some of the world’s most endangered animals from extinction and support WWF conservation efforts).
APOPO is a non-profit organization that trains African giant pouched rats to save lives! HeroRats detect old landmines that can harm children who play in nearby fields and stop people from farming. The rats are also trained to sniff out tuberculosis that threatens the lives of the people in over 50 countries.
- Monday – Bake Sale/ Used Book Sale (Mme Quinn’s class at recess)
- Tuesday – Escape Room (Mme Quinn’s class at recess)
- Wednesday – Dress-up like your favourite animal day!
- Thursday – Game Show *informational (Mme Quinn’s class at recess)
- Friday – Bring a toonie day! (If you haven’t made a donation yet, and you would like to…)
If you wish to send your child with a donation (we are asking for a loonie or a toonie minimum for each activity), your child can choose an activity to participate in during the week or a couple activities, if you wish.
Thank you for the support!
Mme Quinn & the grade 6 class