October 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

We have had an exciting start to our new school year. I’d like to thank all the parents and students who were able to come out to our Open House on September 27th. I’d also like to thank the Parent Council for organizing and running the food booth for families. The staff and I enjoy speaking to families about the new school year, the curriculum, and some of the new programs we are going to get on the go. It’s always a pleasure to meet and greet everyone. Remember, if you have concerns about your child’s progress, homework questions, or just general inquiries, please feel free to reach out to your child’s teacher through Class Messenger or call the school at 519-262-2833.

I also want to say a very special thank you to all the parent/caregiver and family volunteers who were out for our Terry Fox walk, helping us honour Terry’s contributions to cancer research awareness while also honouring family members, whom many of us have lost ourselves, to cancer. Volunteer help is tremendously appreciated by myself, the staff, and all the students. There will be many more opportunities to volunteer on trips, as part of Parent Council, as part of the Snack Program, and through the Reading Assistance Program (RAP) this year, so if you’d like to assist us, please make sure you have completed an OPP Vulnerable Sector Check. We can provide forms through the school that you take to the local OPP station. There is absolutely no charge to you, but you do need at least 3-4 weeks turnaround time to get them back.

In this newsletter we are sharing the fundraisers that will be taking place at BCES over the school year. We would like to let you know the plans for the year so that you too can make plans for what your family can support this year. We don’t expect families to support everything, but we like to provide a variety of fundraisers for people to choose from. Most of the funds raised by Parent Council this year will go toward purchasing new playground equipment. This fundraising goal will continue to flow over the next few years.

Hallowe’en: Always at the top of our list is the safety of children in our school. While we appreciate that parents/caregivers wish to share treats with our students around Hallowe’en, we kindly remind you that no edible treats (such as candy, home-baking, etc.) will be shared or distributed to students at school due to allergy concerns. (See our note about Hallowe’en below).

Thanks to all our families for their dedicated efforts to pack nut safe lunches. We know this can be a challenge and we appreciate your efforts. With Hallowe’en, we ask you to be vigilant when packing celebration treats for school lunches once your child has been trick-or-treating. While many manufacturers include nut-free symbols, others do not. Thanks for understanding that some Hallowe’en treats will need to be enjoyed at home! Also just a reminder that soy-nut products, while peanut free, look and smell like peanut butter. We ask that soy-nut butters or substitutes that look/smell like peanut butter NOT come in student lunches.

Have a wonderful month with your family and friends and please remember that October 8th is the Thanksgiving holiday. Progress Reports and Initial Observation Reports for Kindergarten will be coming home on October 29th. Parent interviews will be the evening of November 1st and the morning of November 2nd. Please be on the lookout for interview sign up forms coming home in the next week.

Parent Council Corner

A reminder that Parent Council is open to all parents! Listed below are the future Parent Council meeting dates. All are welcome to join us at any time!

If you are interested in seeing the minutes from our meetings, please go to our Bluewater Coast homepage .

Or, for an abbreviated version of the meetings, visit the Husky Hub on Facebook.

*Please note that should you have school-based concerns, questions, or confidential matters you need assistance with (e.g., school registration), please forward those directly to the school by phone or email the Principal, rather than posting to the Hub. The Hub is an excellent information tool, but it is not run by or moderated by the school administration.

Future Parent Council Meeting Dates:

  • Monday, October 15 at 6:30 p.m. – Bring a Friend
  • Thursday, November 8, 2018 (Lions Bingo – tentative) *We would love help!
  • Monday, November 12 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, December 12, 2018 (prep for Christmas dinner)
  • Monday, February 11 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, April 8 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, May 6 at 6:30 p.m.
  • Monday, June 10 at 6:30 p.m.

Tentative Fundraising Plans for 2018-19

  • September QSP Magazines and Tasty Batters Cookie Dough (School fundraiser – technology)
  • October Epicure (Playground)
  • November Lions Bingo (Playground)
  • January Metzger Meats (Playground)
  • March Elmira Chicken (Grade 6 Year-End trip Fundraiser)
  • March/April Chocolate Fundraiser (Playground)
  • May Book Fair (to replenish books in our school library)
  • June Kin Ball Tournament (Council – this is a donation of our time working the food booth)
  • Ongoing Milk, Pizza (School/Council); Me to We events (Student Senate)

Parent Council proceeds will be put toward the purchase of new playground equipment over the next few years. School-based proceeds (magazines/cookie dough/Book Fair) will be used to support outfitting our library with new books and upgrading our technology needs. Grade 6 fundraisers are used for the year-end trip.

QSP Magazine Fundraiser and Tasty Batters Cookie Dough

September 17 through October 12

Once again we are holding our annual QSP Magazine Fundraiser. There are a lot of new and exciting options for your reading pleasure. Get great deals on new magazines, or continue your subscription at great prices. Magazine packages were sent home on September 17. To order, fill out an order form contained in the information package, or visit the QSP website and use our group id for online ordering #3746641. If paying by cheque, please make payable to Bluewater Coast Elementary School.

As we did last year, we are also selling “Tasty Batters” cookie dough as an option for families to purchase. Due date is also Friday, October 12.

Please remind your children – no door-to-door sales to strangers. As always, thank you for your support.

EQAO Results

Our EQAO results became available in the past few weeks. For a closer look at the results, you can visit www.eqao.com. The number of students achieving level 3 or 4 in Grade 6 was 93% in reading; 93% in writing; and 53% in math. All reading, writing, and math scores are trending slightly above those of the Board and the Province. 15 students wrote the test this year. In Grade three, the number of students achieving level 3 or 4 was 67% in reading; 67% in writing; and 58% in math. Our primary reading, writing, and math scores are slightly below the Board and Provincial averages this year. Our overall trend in primary has been above the provincial and board average. 12 students wrote the test this year.

As a staff, we participate in school-based Professional Learning Communities; these PLCs focus on improving student achievement. The staff is committed to continuing to deepen their knowledge and investigate areas to work on to improve student achievement. This year’s focus will be on Operational Sense.

Smile – It’s School Photo Day!

School and class pictures will be taken on Friday, October 26, 2018. If you want a sibling group photo, a signed note from a parent/guardian is required. These group photos will be taken at lunch or recess so as to not interrupt class time. Thanks for your co-operation.

Mathletics

You may have heard your child(ren) talking about Mathletics when they come home from school. Mathletics is a curriculum-based math skill-building program designed by teachers to enhance the mathematics experience for students. There are many fun and engaging activities that students can participate in from home or at school, and best of all, there is no cost to you. In fact, Mathletics can be used on your home computer or your iPad (the App is free in the App store). All your child has to do is enter their personal code. If you need a copy of their password, the classroom teacher can provide this to you. Students will have access to Mathletics all year long, including over the summer months of 2019! This is our second year running this program and we’d love to have your feedback as a parent. All content can be accessed from home, so feel free to have your child work on this in their free time.

Mathletics has teacher-assigned lessons, instructional videos, how-to’s for math problems, and a timed gaming component that enables children to compete with themselves or with others from around the world. Work is designed to be at the “just right level” for each student. Students are able to accumulate points when playing the timed sessions and when doing the teacher-assigned work. Points are then used to change each child’s personally created avatar and to earn certificates of achievement.

Each student from K-6 has been given a Mathletics account to help improve their math fluency and provide practice and skill-building in math. We recommend you spend some time looking at the program with your child so that you can gain the greatest understanding of how Mathletics will benefit your child(ren)’s learning. To see what Mathletics is all about, visit the Mathletics website.

Before and After School Program

As part of our on-going commitment to make the school day as seamless as possible for our families, we ask parents/guardians to share their tentative childcare needs for September of the next school year (2019) by completing an online survey. The survey will be available October 1, 2018 and can be found on the AMDSB website.

Families that are interested in Before and After school programs for their Junior/Senior Kindergarten children and/or grade 1 – 6 children are asked to complete the survey by December 1, 2018.

We appreciate your assistance as we determine the feasibility of offering such programs.

If you require a paper copy, please contact the school.

Student Leadership

We are proud to announce the 2018-2019 Husky Student Leadership team:
Grade 6 – Isabelle, Jaden, Sophia, Kadance, Rayven, Natalie, Sara, Cloey, Aiden
Grade 5 – Kamryn, Adele, Abbie, Verity, Owen, Kiefer

The Husky Student Leadership team is comprised of students who provide leadership by organizing activities to promote school pride and encourage positive citizenship by giving back within their school community and “paying forward” to other communities or groups in need.

The Terry Fox Walk and Run

The BCES student body took part in the annual Terry Fox Walk & Run event on Thursday, September 27. We will continue to accept donations for the Terry Fox Foundation until Wednesday, October 3. We would like to thank everyone for their support towards our school’s National Fundraising Goal and we are already looking forward to coming up with more fun things to do to support our Local and International Goals. Also, as mentioned previously, a huge Husky Howl goes out to the many volunteers who assisted with this event.

Hallowe’en Plans

The Student Leadership team, staff and classes will be planning special activities for Wednesday, October 31. More details will come home closer to the date.

Please note that BCES is a nut-safe school due to severe allergies. Homemade and packaged treats cannot be served in classrooms because we cannot ensure that these products are nut-safe. We don’t expect families to provide treats, but we certainly do appreciate your generosity and willingness to share with your child’s class. If you do decide as a family to make a gesture, some alternative suggestions are: a book or game or ball for the class, pencils, stickers, or other non-edible items. Thanks for keeping all kids safe at school!

Library News

Students check out library books for a two week period. They may return the books before the two weeks are over. If your son/daughter brings home an overdue notice for library book(s), please return the library book(s) on the next school day. If the books are lost, please write a note to Ms. Wondergem on the overdue notice, explaining that the book is lost. Students can not check out another library book until their overdue library book(s) has/have been returned.

Library helpers will be starting in October. Students in grades 3 – 6 can sign up to be a library. Grade 2 students can be library helpers after Christmas. Library helpers commit to help in the library during 2 or 3 morning recesses per month. Library helpers show great leadership skills.

Please Bring Your Milk Bags to School

Ms. Wondergem is collecting milk bags again this year for our school. Have you ever wondered what happens to all the donated milk bags? She takes the milk bags to a local church group. These ladies cut the bags into strips and crochet the strips into sleeping mats. The mats are sent to third world countries.

Please continue to send your clean, folded milk bags to our school. There is a collection box outside our school office for the milk bags. If you have further questions, please contact Ms. Wondergem. Thank you to all, who have donated milk bags to our school.

Lion’s Vision and Hearing Screening for JK/SK Students

In partnership with local Lions Club organizations, we are pleased to offer hearing and vision screening for JK and SK students. We understand the impact of having healthy eyes and good hearing on your child’s overall health, well-being, and education. JK/SK Vision and Hearing Screening is coming to Bluewater Coast Elementary School on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

Progress Reports

November Progress Reports will go home to Grades 1-6 students and Initial Observations Reports to Kindergarten students on Monday, October 29, 2018. Interviews will be held on the evening of Thursday, November 1, 2018 and the morning of Friday, November 2, 2018.

Parents/Guardians will be able to book appointments to meet with your child(ren)’s teacher(s) and sign-up slips will be sent home to you within the next week or two. You will be given the option to choose your time slots to meet and a confirmation time/day will be sent home with your child(ren). While we do our best to accommodate parent/guardian work schedules, it is sometimes difficult to accommodate everyone. If neither of the dates given work for your schedule, please contact your child’s teacher directly to set up an alternate appointment time/date.

School Messenger

BCES uses School Messenger to convey information to our families. Through School Messenger, we will be able to quickly communicate with parents in the event of a school closure or other emergency situation. It will also be the preferred method of communication for newsletters and other non-urgent communication. As always, you will still be able to access the school newsletter and calendar from the Bluewater Coast Elementary School website. If you have not yet subscribed to School Messenger, simply text Yes to 978338.

Kindergarten Registration…(CATYO: Calling All Three Year Olds)

Registration is for students starting school September 2019 and is being held at Bluewater Coast on Tuesday, November 27, 2018 during the morning hours. If your child turns three years old by December 31, 2018 they are eligible for Junior Kindergarten beginning September 2019. Call the office at 519-262-2833 to book your registration time. If you know of a family in our school community with young children, pass this information along to them.

Nut Free and Scent Safe School

Bluewater Coast is a Nut Free and Scent Safe School. Please do not wear cologne or scented products when you will be visiting the school. Products change all the time. If it is not labeled peanut/nut free they are not safe. Statements such as: may contain traces of nuts or peanuts, or, manufactured in a facility that process nuts or peanuts, are not safe.

Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical Conditions

Schools in Avon Maitland District School Board strive to ensure the safest environment for students who have a prevalent medical condition (i.e., epilepsy, diabetes, anaphylaxis, or asthma) or other conditions placing the student Medically-at-Risk. As the parent(s)/guardian(s) of a student within our school system deemed to have a prevalent medical condition or other health condition, you are required to be active participants in supporting the management of your child’s medical condition while at school. More information can be found in AP 314 regarding ‘SUPPORTING STUDENTS WITH PREVALENT MEDICAL CONDITIONS IN SCHOOLS‘.

Upon initial registration, all parents are required to file a registration form including medical information. This information is kept on file and updated annually, usually at the beginning of each school year or as information changes. Once a student has been identified with a prevalent medical condition or other health condition, the principal or designate will clearly communicate the roles and responsibilities, and the relevant AMDSB procedures that are in place to support students with prevalent medical/health conditions.

We expect that, as the parent/guardian, you will provide the school with the information required to co-create an Individual Medical Management Plan of Care for your child. This may include one or more of the following:
● Information identifying your child’s condition
● Medical documentation from Health Care Professional, as available, to aid in the development of your child’s condition Individual Medical Management Plan of Care
● An up-to-date Medic Alert bracelet for your child (where appropriate)
● Instructions from a physician regarding medication administration (where appropriate)
● Ongoing medication in quantity (where appropriate)
● Appropriate support materials suitable for school staff’s understanding and support
● Additional support from local health agencies as appropriate
● Consent for the sharing of the Individual Medical Management Plan of Care
Encouragement for your child to:
● Recognize first symptoms of the condition
● Know the school location for medication and who can get it
● How to communicate the onset of a reaction
● Carry own medication (e.g., EpiPen) in a fanny pack or other device
● Take responsibility for routine self-management of their medical condition & personal safety as appropriate

The above mentioned are part of the parent/guardian responsibilities regarding the Individual Medical Management Plan of Care. Your response to the required information and readiness to provide it to the school administration is very much appreciated and supports risk reduction when ensuring your child’s safety needs in our school.

Kim Black – Superintendent of Education – Learning Services