February 2019 Newsletter

A Message from the Principal

We’ve had some blustery days in January, causing bus cancellations. Please know that we make every effort to keep the school open and if you feel it is safe to do so, you are welcome to send your children to school or drop them off. We do our best to continue to deliver curriculum to the students and ensure quality learning is happening. If you choose to keep your child home on those cold, wintery days, feel free to reach out to the classroom teachers to see how you can support your child’s learning at home or to find out what projects may be coming up. If your child can safely come to school, our school day commences at 8:50 (supervised yard at 8:40) and our day ends at 3:15 p.m. If buses are cancelled in the morning, they do not run in the afternoon. Check the Cancellations and Delays website, our @BCESchool Twitter feed, the local radio stations, and the Husky Hub for updates.

Just a reminder that we have a PA Day on February 1st, so there won’t be any school for students and a Family Day Holiday on February 18th. South Huron has some fun Family Day Winterfest activities available for families to participate in that weekend, so be sure to check it out the Ausable Bayfield Conservation website.

We have our BCES Public Speaking Contest coming up on February 14th (snow date is the 15th). The primary speeches/storytelling will occur at 9:15 a.m. in the library and the junior speeches will be held in the gym at 11:45 a.m. at the school. The Legion Competition is being held at the Hensall Heritage Hall on February 19th at 7:00 p.m. sharp, but registration for student competitors is at 6:30 p.m. at the Hall. Please check for more information about times and rule changes later on in this newsletter. (If your child is chosen to continue on to the Legion Competition please be at the Hensall Heritage Hall no later than 6:30 as speeches begin promptly at 7:00 pm).

Report Cards (Grades 1-6) and Communication of Learning Reports (Kgn) will be coming home on February 19th. Please make sure you read through these with your child, identifying strengths and next steps. If you have questions or concerns about anything in your child’s report, please do not hesitate to contact the classroom teacher and dialogue about how we can work as a team to assist your child(ren). We do ask that you sign the tear-away slip on the 4th page of the report and send it back with your child’s report card envelope.

And on a bittersweet note, we say goodbye at the end of the month to our awesomely fabulous secretary, Mrs. Regier. Mrs. Regier has made the decision to retire and will be leaving us on February 28th. We will miss her greatly and we hope she enjoys more time with her children and grandchildren. She promises to visit and even help out after retirement, but make sure you wish her well when you see her.

Have a fabulous February!

Christina Van Poucke

School Calendar

For upcoming events please see the calendar page on our school website.

Parent Council News

Happy February Husky Families!

Parent Council is starting a new fundraiser to get you feeling warm! Monies raised will be put towards our fundraising goals for new playground equipment. Start thinking about BBQ weather with our Metzger fundraiser! Look for the order forms to go home with the oldest only, on February 4, 2019 and they will be due back on February 20th, 2019. Items will also be available for purchase on-line at School CashOnline.   We are planning on a delivery date of March 7, 2019. We will confirm this once the orders have been placed. Thanks for all your efforts Husky families!

Katrina Robinson
Chair

Term One Report Cards

If you have a child in grades 1-6, on Tuesday, February 19th, your child will be bringing home the first full report card (following a progress report that came home in November). The first term report card gives you an evaluation grade, as well as detailed comments. Here’s what to look for:

  1. The first page is dedicated to in-depth reporting of 6 key Learning Skills and Work Habits, with room comments about Strengths and Next Steps in at least 4 of the areas. This is critical information about your child as a learner.
  2. The second and third pages report the grades and comments for all subject areas. Comments should include the key learning goals (what was studied), a specific example of your child’s strengths (how learning was demonstrated), and clear next steps (how to improve).
  3. The final page contains information to help you interpret what the grades mean, and offers a place for both the student and the parents/guardians to make comments and set goals for improvement. These goals are returned to the school to assist us in helping your child to be even more successful in future.

While grades and marks are important, we strongly encourage you to read and discuss the comments with your child, because this information is critical in helping your child specifically identify what he or she is doing well, and what is needed to improve.

We appreciate your feedback. If you have comments or concerns about the report card information in general, or specific questions about your child’s learning, please contact your child’s teacher or the office. As always, we’re happy to chat by phone or meet with you to discuss your concerns and observations. Thanks for helping us to help your child to improve!

Kindergarten Communication of Learning Report

Kindergarten reports were redesigned by the Ministry of Education (MOE) last year. Your Kindergarten child(ren)’s reports will be coming home on February 19th and will contain four areas of assessment:

  1. Belonging and Contributing
  2. Self-Regulation and Well-Being
  3. Demonstrating Literacy and Mathematics Behaviours
  4. Problem Solving and Innovating

Each of these four areas will focus on key learning, growth in learning, and next steps in learning. You will notice the language of “we”, which is recommended by the MOE, and it represents the home and school partnership. There is also a goal-setting/parent feedback form that should be signed and sent back to the school by parents.

If you have any questions or concerns with your child’s report, progress, or questions about their programming, please feel free to write in the feedback form or contact your child’s teacher or principal.

Inclement Weather

We would like to remind you to check the BCES Twitter message  or the Cancellations and Delays website to see status updates on bus cancellations and school closures. These are the two spots where up-to-date information will be posted about cancellations and closures.

At BCES, we make every effort to keep our school open on days when the weather is challenging and buses are not running. We value our learning time with children, and every staff member who can arrive safely to school is ready and prepared to teach your child, if he or she is able to get here. If your child is a walker and is going to be absent, please give Mrs. Regier a call at 519-262-2833 to let her know your plans; this is part of our Safe Arrival protocol and is meant to keep track of all of our students’ safety needs. Feel free to leave a message, as our phone lines often are busy on inclement weather days.

Just a note also: On snow days that fall on a special lunch day (e.g., pizza, soup, subs, etc.), we move the lunch to another day, in hopes that all students will be present. For example, our soup day from January is now being moved to Wednesday, January 6th. If it is a snow day and buses do not run, we will tweet out a new date. Please make sure you send extra lunch those days and pay attention to our Twitter feed, the Husky Hub (our Parent Council-run Facebook Page), and School Messenger. As always, our Snack Program is there to assist us on those days when special lunches get cancelled and we are happy to feed hungry tummies!

Snow Hill

This year, for safety reasons, we have asked to have the snow hill moved closer to the school building and away from the baseball diamond area and high traffic area where it was in previous years. Fortunately, this has made the snow hill useable this year, as long as basic safety rules (not sliding toward the road or the building, not sliding when the hill is too icy, etc.) are followed. We have purchased crazy carpets for the students to use by grade levels at recess times (e.g., each Kindergarten class has a recess, the grade 1/2 has a recess, grade 2/3 has a separate recess, etc.). The area is directly supervised by an adult so that the students can play safely. We ask that students use only the crazy carpets provided and not bring items from home to use on the hill.

At the end of the school day, students are very attracted to the snow hill. Children are allowed to play there IF directly supervised by their adult guardian. Please note: school spaces are used at your own risk. If a guardian isn’t present, children are expected to go home, being crossed by the crossing guard in front of the school (Ms. Van Poucke).

Family Literacy Day – Tuesday, January 29th

The official Family Literacy Day was held January 27th, 2019. As Family Literacy Day always falls on a weekend, we decided to host our BCES family event on the 29th. We celebrated by wearing our PJs and inviting some guests to read to us. As it was a snow day, we had different “guests” than we expected, but we were delighted by those who were able to share some of their favourite stories. Thank you to Constable Stanley, Ms. Bell, Mrs. Rader, Ms. Cornish, Ms. Clark, and Mrs. Wondergem for reading to us!

Police Checks

We appreciate parent/guardian involvement in our on-site and off-site school activities. Individuals who are volunteering in our school or on school trips will need to have a Police Vulnerable Sector Check completed at the local police station and on file in the school office. You will be required to drop off and pick up your police check in person and with identification; police will not release this to anyone other than you. If you have had a check completed for coaching sports, etc., please bring us in a copy. If not, forms are available in the school office that you will need to take to the police station. If we have a recent police check on file (done within the past three years), please make sure that you have updated your record with an Offence Declaration form. If you are considering accompanying a class on a year-end school trip, please ensure the paperwork is up to date. Thanks!

Grades 5 & 6 Fundraiser

The Grades 5 and 6 students will be fundraising for their year-end trip in June to Camp Kintail. They will be selling Elmira Chicken in March/April. More information will follow in the March Newsletter.

Storytelling and Public Speaking

During January our junior students have been preparing speeches, and our primary students have been preparing for storytelling and/or speeches. Please join us at the school on Thursday, February 14, from 9:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m. in the library to listen to our classroom competitor finalists from grades 1-3 and from 11:45 a.m. – 1:00 p.m. in the gymnasium to hear our junior finalists (grades 4-6). (The snow date for speeches is Friday, February 15th). As always, we thank the judges who step up and help us out with this event.

Storytelling/Speeches (for grades 1 through 3) will be in the library beginning at 9:15 a.m. Please note that students in the primary division who wish to be considered to move beyond the Regional level to District must prepare speeches.

Speeches (for grades 4 through 6) will be held the same day in the gym beginning at approximately 11:45 a.m.

The Hensall Legion Public Speaking Competition will be on Tuesday, February 19th at the Hensall Heritage Hall. Registration is at 6:30 p.m., with the competition beginning at 7:00 p.m. Snow date will be Wednesday, February 20th. Plan to be part of the Husky support team cheering squad at these events!

Student Leadership

February 4th-8th: In support of the ME to WE Campaign our school will be selling candy grams. Students will be able to purchase candy grams for friends starting at 75 cents each. You may purchase one, a few, or even more! Please try to bring exact change as we may not have change available to give. They will be delivered on February 14th. All proceeds from the candy grams will be donated to a local charity – the “Tanner Steffler Foundation” which raises awareness for youth mental health.

Thank you for your help and support!
BCES Leadership Team

February 12th: Julia Jacobs is coming to teach Zumba and Pound classes/activities. Students are encouraged to wear bright activewear! (And find those awesome ‘80s legwarmers!)

February 14th: Red, White and Pink Day

February 27th: Canada recognizes Pink Shirt Day in support of the Anti-Bullying Campaign.

Thank you from:
Your Husky Student Leadership Team

A Nut-Safe Valentine’s Day at BCES

As you know, BCES continues to be a nut-safe school, and no foods containing nuts, nut oils or traces of nuts are permitted in our school. We thank you for your vigilance as you purchase foods and pack lunches that are nutritious and safe.

With Valentine’s Day approaching, some families may be thinking about special treats for their child’s classroom. Please help your child to understand that we want to honour the caring message of the day, but we cannot accept food/edible treats in our classrooms that are not Nut Safe, including home-baked goods. We offer the following suggestions to make Valentine’s Day special for all the children:

  1. Watch for a note home from your child’s teacher about this year’s plans for Valentine’s Day.
  2. If your family wishes to send in something special, choose non-edible treats such as erasers, interesting pencils, stickers or stamps.
  3. Donate a book to the classroom library (with a message from your child inside the cover) as your child’s treat to his or her classmates. This is a gift that will keep on giving!
  4. Consider giving a donation to our Eat & Learn Program. This supports children who need some extra nutrition to boost their school day, and is available to all children each morning.
  5. Make homemade valentines for classmates, and choose to donate the money you would spend on treats or valentine cards to a charity in your child’s name.

Thanks for showing compassion and caring for our school community this Valentine’s Day.

Silver Birch News

The Silver Birch Students have enthusiastically been reading the books from the two Silver Birch programs. So far the students have read 40 Fiction books, and 53 Express books. Bravo!

Congratulations to Mason T., Wes C., Raymond F. and Adam M., who have qualified to vote for Silver Birch! Awesome work! Mason will be voting in the Fiction category. The other three students will be voting in the Express category. Silver Birch students please continue reading and make sure you see Ms. Wondergem to mark the books that you have read on the Silver Birch charts in the library. Voting takes place April 23, 2019.

Talk to your child about the book(s) that he/she has read from these programs. Does your child have a favourite book so far?

Blue Spruce News

Miss Wood’s and Mrs. Shapton’s class have started reading the Blue Spruce books. There are ten books written by Canadian authors in this program. Once all ten books have been read to a class, the students from the class will be voting individually. Please be aware that the students in each class are encouraged not to share their votes with their siblings and friends until all classes in our school have had an opportunity to vote. They may share their votes with their parents/guardians, if their siblings are not present. When voting for their favourite book, we want each student to make their own choice without the influence of family and friends.

Teachers in JK – grade 2/3 will be reading the Blue Spruce books to their class between now and April. Ms. Wondergem totals all students’ votes for our school and submits them to the Ontario Library Association in Toronto in April. All classes will have completed their voting by April 4th.