Current Newsletter

February 2018 Newsletter

A Message from the Principal

February is upon us! We have a PA Day on Friday, February 2nd and Family Day is Monday, February 19th.

Our BCES Public Speaking Contest is being held at the school on February 14th (snow date is the 16th). The Legion Competition is being held at the Hensall Heritage Hall on February 20th 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 promptly begin at 7:00 p.m).

Report Cards (Grades 1-6) and Communication of Learning Reports (Kgn) will be coming home on February 20th. 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).

I’d also like to make mention that we have been very fortunate at BCES to have been the recipient of some very generous donations to our school community. Firstly, we’d like to thank ABATE of Ontario, Chapter 7 in South Huron and Cooper Standard in Stratford for their generous donation of approximately $4200 for our school. ABATE raised funds for us during a “Ride for a Cause” held in the summer of 2017 and Cooper Standard matched their donation. The money will be put toward STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Math) activities for students. A big Husky Howl to the ABATE Motorcycle Association and to Cooper Standard!

The second donation, which we haven’t formally dedicated yet at our school, came from the Hensall Kinette Club. The Kinette Club donated $500, which we will put toward our school fundraiser for new Playground Equipment. The BCES School Council commenced a Playground Fundraising initiative in the fall of 2017. The majority of our fundraisers over the next three or four years are going to be put towards replacing/enhancing our current playground facilities. As we are just in the beginning stages of this process, more information will be coming out as School Council holds discussions about fundraisers, committees, and next steps. Stay tuned.

Have a fabulous February!

Christina Van Poucke

Our School Calendar can be found at :
http://www.avonmaitlandschools.ca/bluewatercoast/bluewater-coast-events-calendar/

Parent Council News

Happy 2018 Husky families! We wanted to send a quick update from Parent Council to let everyone know that Parent Council has planned a family skate night on Tuesday, March 20th 2018 from 5 – 7 p.m. at the Hensall Arena. We will be providing chili and hot dogs!
So bring the family, skates and your appetite and have a great time. Look for more exciting things from Parent Council soon!

Next Parent Council meeting is Monday, February 12th at 6:30 p.m. in the staff room at BCES. All are welcome!  Katrina Robinson
Parent Council Co-Chair

Term One Report Cards

If you have a child in grades 1-6, on Tuesday, February 20th, 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 20th 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

Although we’ve been spoiled by some more moderate weather lately, it’s still winter. We would like to remind you to check the BCES Twitter message (run by Mrs. Regier and I) or the ourschoolbuses.ca website to see status updates on bus cancellations and school closures. Those are the two spots that 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.

Family Literacy Day – Friday, February 16th

The official Family Literacy Day was January 26th, 2018. As we had a lot on our school calendar during those weeks, we deferred our date. BCES is hosting our school-based Literacy Day on Friday, February 16th. Since it is a PJ Day, our students will be able to wear their PJs and enjoy an hour long literacy blitz! Students will be placed into K-6 groupings and will rotate to different teachers in the school where they will share picture books and discuss the big ideas and make inferences from the books we share. Thank you to Mrs. Miller and Ms. MacDonald for organizing this event for our school!

Note: Should we need the morning and middle blocks of the day for our Public Speaking Snow Date and your child is a finalist participating in the Library or Gym competitions, please send your child in their regular school attire for speeches/storytelling. If they bring their PJs, they can change after the competition, if they wish.

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. Please note: Grades 5 and 6 parents attending JUMP need to have a Vulnerable Sector Check completed before attending this overnight trip. Contact the school if you have any questions.

Grades 5 & 6 Fundraiser

The Grades 5 and 6 students are fundraising for their year-end trip to JUMP at Wilfrid Laurier University. They are selling Elmira Chicken. Deadline for ordering is Wednesday, February 14 and orders can be picked up in the gym on Tuesday, March 6 between 3:15 and 5:30 pm. If you would like to place an order, please fill out the attached form with payment. Cheques can be made payable to Bluewater Coast Elementary School. Orders can also be placed on-line through Schoolcash.net

Thanks for your support!

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 Wednesday, February 14, from 9:00 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 16th). 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 9:00 a.m. Please note that this year, 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 20th at the Hensall Heritage Hall. Registration is at 6:30 p.m., with the competition beginning at 7:00 p.m. sharp. Plan to be part of the Husky support team cheering squad at these events!

Skating

Our next skating event for grades 4-6 students at the arena will be Friday, February 23. Thanks to all the volunteers that transport and help to tie skates. This makes our skating outings such a success. Remember to dress for the weather and that all participants must wear a helmet. We strongly recommend a CSA approved hockey helmet. Please note that we are bringing in some Primary activities and are trying to line up Zumba for our younger students.

Winter Carnival

Carnaval d’hiver at BCES will be held on Friday, February 9th starting at 11:30 a.m. Please remember to wear snowsuits, hats, mitts and warm boots. An extra pair of socks and mitts would be a good idea too as students will be participating in outside activities for an extended period of time. Bring on the snow!

Student Senate

With our Terry Fox Run, our Canned Food Drive and Christmas Bureau gift drive behind us, we have accomplished our National and Local Me to We goals. Now we are set to focus on our final International Me to We goal.  Similar to last year, we will be planning some Spirit Days and Special Event Days too. In February, our first Spirit Day will be on the 9th – “Go Canada Go!” day to celebrate Team Canada in the Olympics!  Students are encouraged to wear red and white and Canada clothing.

On February 14th we will be holding our 5th annual Valentine Candy Gram event.  Pricing for Candy Grams will range from 75 cents for 1 Candy Gram down to 50 cents per Candy Gram if buying 30 or more.

As it is BCES Literacy Day on February 16th, we encourage students to wear their PJs that day. (Should our Public Speaking Contest need to occur due to inclement weather on the 14th, we will still hold PJ Day. If your child is a finalist that day, have them bring their PJs to change into after they perform their speech/story).

Then to finish out the month of February, we will be having our 2nd annual “Summer Dreaming” Spirit Day where everyone is encouraged to dress-up like summer is out the window looking in.  For “Summer Dreaming” we are asking for a $.50 donation for the ‘privilege’ of dressing for summer! We will use this spirit day as one of our ways to fund raise for our International ‘Me to We’ goal.

Thank you from:
Your Husky Student Senate

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 three Silver Birch programs. There are 19 Express students, 9 Nonfiction students and 13 Fiction students. So far the students have read 31 Fiction books, 26 Express books, and 21 Nonfiction books. Bravo!

Congratulations to Sophia B., who is the first student to qualify to vote in 2018! She will be voting in the Fiction category. Awesome work! 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, 2018.

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/Mrs. Shapton’s class read the Blue Spruce books in January. 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.  Miss Wood/Mrs. Shapton’s class voted on January 30, 2018.

Teachers in JK – grade 3/4 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 13th.