October 2017 Newsletter

From the Office

September certainly has flown by! Routines have now been established for the year ahead, and the classrooms and halls of Howick Central are busy with lots of interesting activities and the sound of students excited about their learning! Our staff worked diligently as a team on the first PA Day, to develop student achievement plans in the area of math. Thank you to everyone who came out to join us on Meet the Teacher Night and support your children’s transition back to school. If you were unable to make it and you would like to meet with your child’s teacher please contact the school to arrange a meeting time. We are thankful for our caring school community! If at anytime you have concerns or questions, do not hesitate to contact your child’s teacher or myself.

We would like to extend thanks to our Howick parents who helped supervise a very successful field trip to the IPM in Walton. We had a good turnout at our first School Council Meeting and look forward to seeing lots of parents at the next meeting on Tuesday, October 17. We meet at 6:30 in the school library. Working together, we are supporting our students with their learning and growth. We will be working this year on promoting a sense of belonging for students in our school, as well as continuing our efforts on maximizing outcomes for students, and creating positive, inclusive learning environments.

Optimist Club Donation

A very big thank you goes out to our amazing friends in the Optimist Club of Howick who recently donated $5200 in support of our instrumental music program. Your generosity keeps this very valuable program alive for our students. We and the community are most grateful for the opportunity your donations and support continue to provide us!

Character Education

At Howick Central School, we place a high priority on the character development of our students. The attribute for promotion in October is EMPATHY: understanding how someone else feels.

“You can only understand people if you feel them in yourself.”John Steinbeck

Please discuss the monthly attributes with your children to help reinforce these qualities.


Visitors To The School/ Picking Up Students

In the interest of school safety, we ask that everyone use the north doors by the office to enter the school, and inform the office of your visit. The doors to the primary wing are locked after students unload buses, and remain locked for the day. If you are bringing your child to school before bus time, please go to the office.  Please try to avoid driving in the laneway while buses are loading or unloading. This is a particularly vulnerable time for the children as they are distracted by many things. When picking up students, please be sure to come to the office to have students called and to sign your child out. Come to the office and we’ll get your child for you or take your child to class. We thank you for your help in ensuring student safety.

Medically at Risk Students

The school has sent out forms that need to be filled out or updated by parents to insure that we have information pertinent to any medical conditions students have. Parents who have received these forms are urged to return them as soon as possible. The school needs information from parents and the child’s doctor regarding signs and symptoms we need to be watching for, as well as instructions for emergency situations. Please remember to request Medically at Risk forms from the school office to take to doctor’s appointments.

School Council

School Council plays an important role in the life of a school. School Council minutes are posted to the school website. Parents are always invited to join in and become involved! The next meeting of School Council will be held on Tuesday, October 17 at 6:30 p.m. in the library. There are many fundraising initiatives that will be undertaken in the year ahead and your input and involvement is needed. Please consider joining us for these discussions or provide organizational support.  Many hands make light work!

Grade 8 Meat Fundraisers

The Grade 8’s will also be fundraising for their trip to Bark Lake. Grade 8 students will be selling Harriston Meats and Elmira Poultry throughout the school year. They will also be introducing a new local honey product for fundraising. If you are a Howick family we encourage you to seek out your Grade 8 neighbours if interested in ordering these delicious food products. Please watch for order forms to come home in the coming weeks.

EQAO Results

If you have a child at Howick Central School in grades 4 or 7, then on Tuesday October 3, please check for your child’s results for the EQAO provincial test to come home. This report will provide the individual student results for your child from the provincial test they wrote in late May of last school year. A public report of school and board results can also be obtained by visiting the EQAO website at EQAO.com.

Lions Vision and Hearing Screening for JK/SK Students – Fri. Oct. 27

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. Lions volunteers trained through the Lions organization, will visit our school and conduct activities that will screen for acuity (distance), stereo (3D), colour blindness, refraction, and hearing. Lions JK/SK Vision and Hearing Screening is coming to Howick Central on Friday October 27.

Upon completion of the screen, families will receive a report of the screen results. All families will be encouraged to visit an optometrist, as the screen is not a substitute for annual eye exams, but is a starting point for many families who have been unable to get their children to an optometrist prior to starting school.

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for September 2018 will be taking place here at Howick on Wednesday,  November  22, 2017.

We ask that you pick up a kindergarten registration package at the office or send back the tear off, for registrations to be sent home. Completed forms should be sent back to the School before the registration date. This registration morning is a great opportunity for 3 and 4 year olds and parents to be introduced to school before September. Please call for an appointment.

Calling All Three and Four Year Olds who wish to register for Kindergarten in September 2018. This is for students born in 2013 and 2014 who have never attended Howick School.

Please spread the word in our community to families who don’t yet have a child at Howick Central P.S., and who will not receive this newsletter.  Thank you.

Using Technology Responsibly: Audio/Video Recording  and Photos

  • Common courtesy dictates asking permission to take a person’s photo or make an audio or video recording of them. Students should consult staff prior to recording. Photos or videos of others may not be posted to websites, including FaceBook and other forms of social media without the individual’s expressed consent (and parental consent) and the informed consent of the
  • The iPad is equipped with front and rear facing cameras, which make it an excellent tool for taking pictures and making videos. It is important to remember, however, that you must have someone’s written permission before posting a photo or video to any kind of site (and kids under 18 can’t legally give permission; so it would need to be parental permission.) You should ask their permission before taking their picture or including them in a video, even if you don’t plan to post it online. And, of course, whatever photos or videos you take must be appropriate for school.
  • Students may record audio or use the camera to record still or video photos in a classroom or at a school outing or event only with the prior consent of the teacher, coach or responsible staff
  • At all times, students are responsible for ensuring that all individuals or groups are aware of and agree to the recording or
  • Students must not share any audio, video or photographic likenesses without express consent from all parties
  • No recording in private areas such as bathrooms and change-rooms. Recording or photo equipment is not to be used in these areas at any
  • Use of recording and photo equipment is governed by both school policy and by provincial and federal law. Students are advised that any infractions of this policy may be dealt with as a criminal
  • Teachers are asked to direct students to remove any non-instructional photos of other students from their devices, prior to departing for home each
  • Excerpted from the AMDSB’s Next Generation Learning Take Home Guidelines

*In addition to the above, our Howick Central protocol includes no technology(personal or school) at lunch or recess. As well, if students need to contact home, they are to continue to notify their teacher and the office who will assist them in calling home.

Cell Phones, iPods, Electronic Games

We allow students to bring personal devices, such as iPods, or handheld electronic games, to use while riding the school bus. Use of personal electronic devices in the classroom is left to the discretion of the teacher, and must serve an educational purpose. Personal texting, social media and phone use is never appropriate in the classroom. Students bringing in any electronic equipment to the school do so at their own risk. We cannot guarantee the security of such equipment and the school is not responsible for lost or stolen items.

At Howick our lunches and recesses are technology free. Students are expected to be physically active outside during recesses, and electronic equipment is not allowed on the playground.

Bus Transportation Policy

Elliott Coach Lines/S&K – Phone  519-418-4428 – Bus 1-7
Newry Coach Lines – Phone  519-356-2611 – Bus 9

In the interests of the safety of our students, students are not allowed to change buses. This is a Board Policy that is to be enforced in every school. The only case where students may ride a different bus is for childcare reasons, and this must be a permanent change. Ask the office for the proper form.  If you need your child to get off at a different stop, or ride a different bus (e.g., you are going away on a vacation, or it is an emergency situation), you must contact the school office by written note for permission to make a change. There is no changing of buses for birthday parties or for working on school projects.

Dates to Remember

  • Oct. 3 – Individual results of June 2017 Grade 3 & 6 EQAO tests sent home
  • Oct. 4 – Bus Evacuation Practice at the school – children dress for outdoors
  • Oct. 5 – North Regional Cross Country – North Woods PS – rain date Oct 6
  • Oct. 9 – Thanksgiving Monday – no school
  • Oct. 12 – District Cross Country – Benmiller – rain date Oct. 16
  • Oct. 16 – Huron Perth Centre Presents – A Parent Night with Dr. Ungar
  • Oct. 17 – School Council at 6:30 p.m. in Library
  • Oct. 27 – Lions’ Vision and Hearing Screening – JK & SK
  • Oct. 18 – Intermediate Soccer at Elma Public School – Rain Date Oct. 20
  • Oct. 18 – Junior Mixed Soccer at Mornington Central – Rain Date Oct. 20
  • Oct. 19 – Picture Retake Day
  • Oct. 31 – Orange and Black Spirit Day
  • Oct. 30 – Student Progress Reports go home
  • Nov. 2 – Parent Interviews 4:30-7:30 p.m.
  • Nov. 3 – Parent Interviews 8:30-12 p.m.
  • Nov. 10 – Remembrance Day assembly
  • , Nov.22 – Calling All 3 Year Olds – Kindergarten Registration

Survey – Before and After School Care

Each year the Board does a survey of families to determine whether there is sufficient interest to have a before and after school care program for our schools with full day kindergarten. Please make sure you do this survey if you would like our school to have a program.

As part of an on-going commitment to make the school day as seamless as possible for our families, each family will be receiving an information sheet in mid-October regarding Before and After School care. Families interested in Before and After school programs for their four and five year old’s, and possibly order children in the upcoming school year, should complete an on-line survey by December 1, 2017. The link to the survey will be found on the Board website www.yourschools.ca starting in mid-October. We appreciate your assistance as we determine the feasibility of offering such programs.

Should your require a paper copy, please contact the school after October 10th.

Follow us on Twitter…

You can follow the school on Twitter. Current and upcoming school activities, and short messages will be sent periodically as will bus reports on stormy days.


The Avon Maitland District School Board has contracted with West Corporation, provider of SchoolMessenger, formerly known as Synervoice for parental outreach, emergency broadcasts, student attendance alerts and other communications.

SchoolMessenger is designed to automatically notify parents for reasons that affect the safety and academic performance of students. SchoolMessenger will extend AMDSB’s existing community outreach efforts and emergency preparedness procedures, as well as inform parents of upcoming school events such as EQAO provincial testing, school council meetings, parent- teacher interviews, 40 hour community involvement opportunities, and more!.

SchoolMessenger will not replace current school communication methods. Principals will still be accessible for live visits and will continue to communicate via current methods. The district’s implementation of the SchoolMessenger system is intended to extend its commitment to remain personally connected with parents by offering additional and timely communications.

The use of SchoolMessenger will begin throughout the month of September in all AMDSB schools.

October is Child Abuse Prevention Month

It is a basic human right to be free of harm and this especially applies to children. It is our job as adults to step up and protect all of the children in our community. Thanks to a grant from Ontario Trillium Foundation, we will be distributing a new handbook about how everyone can work together to create a caring community that protects all Huron County children from harm. This book is designed to help parents and primary caregivers learn about your role in preventing child abuse and neglect in Huron County. Readers will gain an understanding of the types of abuse, warning signs, how to listen to children, how to respond and why it is so important to take an active role in our community to keep children safe.

If you do not receive a printed copy, please call our office. The handbook will also be available for download at www.rrhc.on.ca

How Parents Can Educate Their Children to Keep Them Safe

 Teach children about their body parts and privacy. It is important that children understand the term “private parts” are comprised of parts of the body that have proper names. Using proper names, such as breasts, vagina, testicles and penis, is the best way to educate your children.

Equip children with strategies and tools. Let them know, it is OK to say NO. It is OK if they feel they are in danger to yell, scream, kick and run to a safe place that you and your child have both agreed upon.

Explain the concept of consent. Emphasize with your children that their body parts belong to them and them alone. Explain that no one should touch any part of their body without their permission and at any time during a consented hug or cuddle a child can change their mind.

Clearly outline what constitutes as safe and unsafe touch. Talk with your children about the difference between safe and unsafe touch. Combining the consent discussion with safe and unsafe touch discussions are helpful.

For example, when visiting a trusted doctor for a check-up, even though a parent is in the exam room and it is a known doctor, the child has every right to refuse a touch. The doctor has an opportunity to explain why they are touching body parts and ask consent of the child if it is ok to do.