December 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

It’s hard to believe that the holiday season is upon us. Many cultures are celebrating at this time of year; in Judaism, it’s Hanukkah from December 3-10th, which is the celebration of lights. On December 19th, Maunajiyaras is a day of fasting, silence, and meditation on the five holy beings in Jainism. On December 21st, the Japanese faith of Shinto celebrates the Grand Ceremony of the Winter Solstice. The Ojibwe celebrate the twelfth moon of Creation, called the Little Spirit Moon, and the thirteenth moon of Creation, the Big Spirit Moon, this month. These moons represent a time of healing and purity, their purpose is to promote us to share positive energy with our families and friends. And of course, many people are celebrating Christmas in the Christian faith on December 25th. While there are differences in our faiths and beliefs, we are all united in celebrating time with our children during the winter break. Enjoy your time together, live in the moment, and have fun with your children.

We kicked off our month of celebrations with the annual Tree Lighting Ceremony on Friday, November 30th. A number of children from Grades 1-6 were in attendance and sang beautifully. Thank you to Mrs. DeBlock for accompanying the students. Ms. Wondergem and the Student Leadership Team have been collecting new and unwrapped gifts and personal hygiene items to be donated to the Huron County Christmas Bureau. We are collecting items until Wednesday, December 5th. The bureau is in particular need of gifts for teen-aged students. We want to thank everyone upfront for their generosity in helping those in need at this time of year.

Our Parent Council and school families are busy preparing for our Annual Christmas Dinner being held at the school on Thursday, December 13th (our Weather Date is the 14th). The staff and students are eagerly anticipating sitting down together as a whole school to celebrate with a delicious ham and turkey dinner. We thank families for their generous donations of food, cash, and volunteer time, which all help make this a special event for every child in the school.

The students and staff have been working diligently on our Christmas Concert. Skits, songs and artwork are being prepared for our annual production and, as always, it promises to be entertaining! Please plan on joining us in the BCES gymnasium for the concert at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, December 19th or for the dress rehearsal on Tuesday, December 18th at 11:45 a.m.

The Student Leadership Team also has some fun activities planned for us in the month of December. See the full list of activities listed later in the newsletter. Members of the public are welcome to attend our carol sings. See times/dates below. Each song session will be approximately 30 minutes. Thank you to the Leadership Team for organizing. Special thanks to our guest musicians, Kathryn Desjardine and Adam Cyr, who will join us for our Wednesday and Friday carol sings, respectively.

At this time it is so important to thank and recognize the staff, students and parents who help with all of the “extras” that make the school day the wonderful experience that it is for every student at BCES. Thank you for helping with the milk and pizza programs, fundraising, school and community events, Student Nutrition Program, assisting with sporting events, organizing school outreach programs, reading with students, volunteering in classrooms, as well as taking time to attend Parent Council meetings. As well, thanks to parents who take the time to read the school newsletter, follow our Twitter account, check out the Parent Council’s Husky Hub, and for reading your child’s planners and classroom communications. We want to have the best educational experience available to your children, and we can’t do it without you! We truly appreciate each and every one of you.

I hope you all have a safe and happy holiday season and a prosperous 2019.
Ms. Christina Van Poucke
Principal

Identity Based Data Collection

In early December students and families from across the Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) will be participating in a new opportunity focused on the collection of Student Identity Based Data. This project is part of a provincial pilot offered by the Ministry of Education’s Equity Secretariat. Its purpose is to enhance understanding of Ontario students in order to create positive learning environments where student achievement, well-being and equity are prioritized. The specific goals of the AMDSB are to:

  • Better understand and respond to diverse student populations and communities
  • Identify and respond to barriers to student success
  • Enhance the creation and distribution of programs and services

AMDSB will survey students from December 3-7, 2018. The survey will be administered via a secure online survey system owned by the board. The survey includes multiple choice questions related to data about the characteristics of the student population, such as ethnicity, gender identification, religion, sexual orientation and race. The K-6 student survey does not include questions about sexual orientation.

Students enrolled in grades 7-12 will complete the survey independently in class. Parents or guardians of students enrolled in kindergarten to grade six will be requested to complete the survey on their children’s behalf. Families will receive a survey link from their school on December 3 and are asked to submit their answers by December 7. A link to the survey will also be posted on the Board website. Families who do not have access to Wi-Fi or electronic devices may request a paper copy of the survey at their child’s school.
The survey is confidential but not anonymous. All data will be collected and housed by the Avon Maitland District School Board and accessed only under the direction of the Director of Education. Collated data will be shared at the system and school level; however, school staff will not have access to individual student results. The Board will present the base results of the survey in the form of infographics which will be shared on the AMDSB website. A report will also be submitted to the Ministry of Education as part of the provincial project, including anonymous student data.

All parents of K-6 students and students in grades 7 -12 are encouraged to participate in this important initiative. Parents and guardians will receive additional information later in November with further details on the survey and its implementation.

Parent Council

Christmas Dinner – Thursday, December 13 at 11:45 in the school gym. Please dress ‘festively’!

A huge “thank you” to everyone who signed up for set up, serving or clean up, and also to those who made a monetary donation. The response has been overwhelming! Parent Council is having a “working” council meeting on December 12 at 6:30 p.m. to prep for Thursday’s meal.

The Parent Council wishes all of our Husky families a safe and happy holiday. We are looking forward to the New Year ahead.

Epicure Fundraiser – Epicure items will be available for pick up in the BCES gym on Monday, December 3 from 3:15-5:00 p.m. Please pick up orders on behalf of those you sold to and inform the office if someone is picking up on your behalf. Thank you for supporting our playground fundraiser! We raised approximately $1305!

Text “yes” to 978338

We regularly send school messages out via School Messenger. These messages are short texts designed to inform our school community of school activities and events. School Messenger can also be used to quickly notify our families of any school or community emergency impacting our families. To opt in to School Messenger, text Yes to 978338 from your mobile device.

Magazine & Cookie Dough Fundraisers

Once again, thank you to all the families who participated in our recent cookie dough and magazine fundraising campaign. By now all families will have received their cookie dough, and magazine subscriptions should start to arrive in the mail over the coming weeks depending on the number of issues per year. Funds raised will be put toward replacing outdated technology and also to supplement the cost of field trips.

The Bluewater Coast E.S. Christmas Concert

The sound of music is wafting through the halls as students begin practising for our annual holiday Christmas Concert. Dress Rehearsal will be on Tuesday, December 18 starting at 11:45 a.m. The Holiday Concert Performance will be on Wednesday, December 19 beginning at 7:00 p.m. with the snow date on Thursday, December 20 at 7:00 p.m. We ask students to arrive at 6:45 p.m. and go to their classroom, while family members take their seat in the gymnasium.

Student Leadership Events

Students have planned the following activities for December:

  • Wednesday, December 19 Carol Sing at 9:00 a.m.
    Festive hats/headwear (antlers, snowperson, Santa/Elf hats, etc.)
  • Thursday, December 20 Carol Sing at 2:00 p.m.
    Seasonal Colours day (red, green, gold, silver) and/or Ugly Sweater/Christmas Sweater Day
  • Friday, December 21 Carol Sing at 2:00 p.m.
    PJ Day

Huron County Christmas Bureau

Thank you to all families that donated a gift for the Huron County Christmas Bureau. Gifts can still be donated at our school through December 5, 2018. Your generosity will brighten a child’s Christmas. Thank you to our leadership team, who have been very active in promoting the Christmas Bureau in our school.

Silver Birch

We had our big Silver Birch kick off on Thursday, November 29th in the school library. It is always exciting to see the excitement the students have for the books on our kickoff day.

We are participating in two Silver Birch reading programs this year. The Express section contains ten books that are a combination of 6 fiction and 4 nonfiction books. This program is available for students in grades 3 – 6. The Fiction section has ten fiction books and is available for students in grade 5 -6. All of the books from these programs are written by Canadian authors. The Silver Birch programs are for independent reading. However, they can be read with an adult and/or an older sibling. These reading programs allow students to have a voice in an Ontario wide vote to choose the best book in their section. The vote will take place in April 2019. It is important for your child to return their Silver Birch book on time (or early if they have finished reading it). There is only one copy of each book in the two programs. The books are shared amongst students in grades 3 – 6. The participating students will be given the opportunity, one recess a week, to read their Silver Birch book in the library. This opportunity is optional for each student. Happy Reading!

Getting Ready for Winter!

How do I know when buses are cancelled and/or my school is closed?
We all know that winter is just around the corner and with it comes the occasional winter storm. Once again, Huron-Perth Student Transportation Services (HPSTS) makes it easy to get your school bus delay and cancellation information. You can follow the announcements by going to our website: ourschoolbuses.ca or by following our school’s twitter account. You don’t need to have a twitter account to get this information, as the latest Tweet appears on the main page of our school’s website.

As in the past, you can also monitor local radio stations during inclement weather for the latest announcements on cancellations or delays. For further information please see the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services website or call 1-888-871-7722.

As always, you as a parent/guardian make the final decision about your child attending school when the weather outside is frightful. Please call the school to let us know that your child(ren) are not attending if they are students that typically walk or are driven by you to school. If a bus run is cancelled you do not need to call the school for safe arrival.

Fall/Winter Dressing

As cooler weather approaches, students and parents are reminded of appropriate clothing for active outdoor activities. All students participate in two 20 minute physical activity breaks during the course of the school day. Please remember to send your children to school with appropriate clothing for the cooler weather. Coats, mitts, and hats (snow pants and boots for winter) are recommended for all students. Students need snow pants to be able to go onto the snow hills on the yard. We also recommend labelling these items with your child’s name.

You can find our School Events Calendar on the school website.

Huron County Health Unit

The Huron County Health Unit will be visiting your school and offers the following dental programs:

  • Students in JK/SK, grade 2, and 4 classes will be included in a dental screening. Children who have been previously identified by our program will also be seen. Any parent who wishes their child to be screened at school, other than those listed above, should notify the school before the scheduled screening date.
  • As a preventive service, topical fluoride applications, dental sealants and dental scaling will be offered to eligible children who have been screened at the school.
  • Financial help is available through the HSO-EESS program for children in urgent need of care were the cost of treatment would be a financial hardship.
  • A dental program called Healthy Smiles Ontario is available to help children 17 and under see dentists regularly. It is available for families living with low incomes that have no dental coverage.
  • Do you need more information? Call the Dental Department at the Huron County Health Unit at 1.877.837.6143 or visit the Huron County Health Unit website and search Dental Health.