September 2017 Newsletter

From the Office

Welcome back to another exciting school year! The anticipation of students seeing friends, making new ones, moving to a new grade and meeting a new teacher, adds to the joy and nervousness of the new school year. These new beginnings provide us with the opportunity to start off on a positive note in order to experience a successful year. It is a pleasure to see the familiar faces of our returning staff, students and families, and it is exciting to grow our Howick Central School community by welcoming new families and staff members. Parent involvement in, and support for students’ activities and education is clearly valued in our school community. The energy and commitment of our staff to create positive, inclusive learning environments and maximize student outcomes at our school, is also very impressive. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions or concerns as we settle into another successful year!

Safety Matters

Save Arrival

To ensure the safety of everybody in our building, we want to remind parents and students that all exits will be locked after entry, except the main entry door by the school office. All visitors must enter through the main hall doors marked ‘office.’ If you are visiting the school for an extended stay for something such as volunteer work, we ask that you please sign in at the office. To help us monitor attendance, please call the school, leave a message, or send a note if your child is going to be absent. In accordance with the Board’s Safe Arrival Policy, attendance will be taken in each classroom every morning. Parents of students not accounted for, will be called to ensure student safety. We don’t like bothering parents at work or while driving, but we must persevere until we have reached you or one of your emergency contacts. Please make sure that we have your correct contact information by updating and returning the Emergency Contact Form as soon as possible. Students arriving late must also check in at the office. We appreciate your cooperation.

Green Tag Program

Again this year we will be implementing Avon Maitland District School Board’s ‘Green Tag’ Identification Program. This program is intended to help alleviate potentially confusing travel experiences and improve safety for our Junior and Senior Kindergarten students. Every student in JK or SK will receive a green tag indicating the appropriate bus number for transportation to and from school. Please assist us with the implementation of this program by ensuring that your son or daughter has the green tag securely and visibly attached to their backpack or school bag each day. The tag will help both drivers and our bus monitors at the school, ensure that children are getting on the correct bus for safe return home.

Administration of Prescription and Non-Prescription Medication

If children need to take medication at school, a form must be completed and signed by the parent or guardian. Medications must be stored in the office and administered by adults whether they are prescription or non-prescription (Tylenol, etc.). The exceptions to this rule are asthma inhalers and epi-pens, for which different rules apply.

Medically at Risk Students

As a ‘best practice’ and to support your child, please let the school know if your child has a medical condition, so we are aware and can have important safety procedures in place. The school will need information from 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.

Peanut/Nut Allergies

Just a reminder that we have students with severe peanut/nut allergies, in our building. Please do not send any foods containing these products to school.

Volunteers and Police Record Checks/Declaration

We believe that Howick Central School should be the heart of our community, and would like to see lots of community involvement. If you have any time, special talents or interests you would like to share, please let us know. ANYONE who wishes to volunteer with students will have to have a Police Check completed. If you already had a Police Check on file with the school last year, you will be required to sign a simple Declaration Form to update us. We will work with the OPP and facilitate this process through the school. You will need to have your Police Check or a Declaration Form (update) complete before participation in any school trips or in-school activities. Safety is our number one priority for our students. Forms for this process are available from the office. Please contact us to obtain them.


Even though the weather is nice, our students still need to have their INDOOR ONLY running shoes available for physical education classes in the gym. Students are also participating in ball games, track and field, and other outdoor activities during some physical education classes. So, students need Outdoor Only running shoes as well. Flip-flops and sandals are better used for beachwear and weekend wear. Thanks for your cooperation.

Sabrina’s Law and Anaphylaxis

In January 2006, Sabrina’s Law came into effect. This Law requires school boards to have emergency procedures in place to deal with incidents of anaphylaxis and to provide training for all staff. With support from the Perth District Health Unit and the Huron County Health Unit, school principals provide to their staff, annual training in the administration of EPI-Pens to treat anaphylactic reactions. In cases where a student is anaphylactic, parents/guardians are expected to provide an EPI-Pen(s) for their child to carry with them at all times during the school day. Parents/Guardians must also work with the school to develop an Individual Medical Management Plan that outlines emergency procedures for their child. In accordance with Sabrina’s Law, all schools have been provided with two generic EPI-Pens. These EPI-Pens are being provided to support schools in responding to a medical emergency for an anaphylactic student for whom the school has an Individual Medical Management Plan and Emergency Procedure in place. Also, in accordance with Sabrina’s Law, schools must administer an EPI-Pen when a student is suspected of suffering an anaphylactic reaction even if no Individual Medical Management Plan exists. If you are aware that your child is allergic to epinephrine or if you have any concerns, it is suggested that you contact the school principal.

Ryan’s Law

As you may be aware, Ryan’s law, 2015, was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature. This piece of legislation is an important step to support the well-being of students in Ontario schools who live with asthma. If your child has asthma, we ask that you immediately contact the main office at to provide the school with information about your child’s asthma medication. With your permission, your child will be allowed to carry his/her asthma medication while at school. The Ministry of Education website has a link to OPHEA parent resources on asthma that can be found at: As a best practice and to support your child, please let the school know if your child has a medical condition so that the school is aware and can keep this information on file. If you have any questions, please contact the school.

Labeling of Personal Items

Please be sure to label your child’s clothing and equipment that is brought to school. That way, it is not difficult to return the item to its owner and this prevents ownership disputes as well. Please note that students who bring personal items to school do so at their own risk.

Bus Providers

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

Bus Safety

Just a reminder to parents that when you are dropping off children in the morning, or picking them up at night, please park in the parking lot and make sure that you and your children walk behind the row of buses and not between buses. Thanks for helping keep our students safe.

Changing Buses Policy

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 (ie: you are going away on a vacation, or it is an emergency situation), you must contact the principal by written note for permission to make a change. There is no changing of buses for birthday parties or for working on school projects.

Bus Patrol Program

In September, we will be asking more students to join this team. The duties are very specific, and a training manual is provided. We select students on the basis of good character, positive attitude, leadership qualities and focus on safety. Students, if you think you want to get involved, talk to Mr. Bishop or Mrs. Mitchell and let them know that you are interested.

School Council 2017-2018

School Council plays an important role in the life of a school. You are invited to join in and become involved! The first meeting of School Council will be held on Tuesday, September 19 at 7pm in the library. Please consider attending this meeting to find out how you can get involved in our school!

Character Education

At Howick Central PS, we place a high priority on the character development of our students. The attributes chosen by our Board are listed on the poster. The character attribute for September is RESPECT: Valuing self, others and our world. Please discuss the monthly attributes with your child(ren), to help reinforce these qualities.

New Student Achievement Awards

This year students in grade 4-8 will be working towards our NEW Student Achievement Awards. These will be very similar to the Winit system that we used to run here at Howick. Students will be striving to Gold, Silver, or Bronze, based on the amount of involvement they want to have within the school. Students will also see that there are a number of other achievements for which they can receive points, in addition to sports (e.g., Reading Award, Citizenship, and many others). Students will gain accountability and strive to reach whatever level they choose. As always, student involvement in activities throughout the school makes Howick Central a fun and engaging place for everyone!

School Organization

We have welcomed many new students to Howick, but other families have moved. Our total Howick Central enrollment stands at 335 currently. We are pleased to welcome new (and returning) staff members Mrs. Ciavarella, Ms. Houston, Mrs. Kuepfer, Miss Morton, Mr. Rae, Mr. Town, Ms. Winger, Mrs. VanCamp, and Mr. Kenney.

  • KA – Mrs. Schiestel, Mrs. Perkin
  • KB – Mrs. Doyon, Mrs. Kuepfer
  • Gr.1 – Ms. Houston
  • Gr.1/2 – Mrs. Ciavarella
  • Gr. 2 – Mrs. Teves-Gaul
  • Gr. 2/3 – Mrs. Wright
  • Gr. 3 – Mrs. Gottfried
  • Gr. 3/4 – Miss Morton
  • Gr. 4/5 – Mr. Rae
  • Gr. 5 – Mrs. Eckert
  • Gr. 6 – Mrs. Reynen
  • Gr. 6/7 – Mrs. Dunnell
  • Gr. 7/8 – Mr. Herrfort
  • Gr. 7/8 – Miss Kaufman
  • SERT – Mrs. Fisk
  • FSL – Mrs. Stewardson
  • Prep – Mrs. Inglis, Mrs. Fischer Mrs. Mitchell
  • EAs – Mr. Beauregard, Mrs. Hammond, Mrs. Harris, Mr. Town, Ms. Winger, Mrs. VanCamp, and Mrs. Hamilton
  • TRA – Mrs. Pruden
  • Strive EA – Mrs. Bolander
  • Secretary – Mrs. Kaufman-Binkley
  • Custodian – Mr. Forrester/Mr. Kenney
  • Principal – Mr. Bishop
  • VP – Mrs. Mitchell

Howick Central School Newsletters & Correspondence

Please ensure that the school has your current e-mail address, as most communication will be electronic. School newsletters will be e-mailed, as well as posted on the school website as close to the first day of the month as possible. Only families who request a paper copy will receive one. In the case where the student goes between two homes and communication should be sent to both homes, please let us know so we can tailor our communication to the needs of your family. When we need to send home paper copies of school notes, they will be sent home with the youngest or only child. If you would prefer to have this sent home with an older child, please let Mrs. Kaufman-Binkley know.


Most Howick Central students will be receiving a school planner. The planner is an important tool for communication between home and school and helps students learn good organizational skills. All planners can be paid for using School Cash Online.

  • Students in Grade 1, 1/2, 2, 2/3, 3 & 3/4 will be using a Primary planner which costs – $8.00
  • Students in Grades 4/5, 5, 6, 6/7, 7/8 &7/8 will be using a “bullet” planner which costs – $2.00

Upcoming Events

School Council 2017-2018 – Tuesday, September 19 at 7pm

School Council plays an important role in the life of a school. Interested parents and community members are invited to our first meeting on Tuesday, September 19 at 7pm in the School Library.

2017 International Plowing Match in Walton – September 21, 2017

This year, Huron County is hosting the IPM at Walton! Grade 3/4, 4/5, 5, 6, 6/7 and 7/8A&B are planning on attending the International Plowing Match on September 21 in Walton. The International Plowing Match has much to offer our Howick students. The Knights of Valour, a jousting company, will be performing live jousting shows each day, providing a direct connection to the Grade 4 Social Studies curriculum. The tractor companies will have many large equipment for students to explore. Students can observe modern and antique ways of farming. We will be looking for volunteers and request that volunteers travel with students on the buses. All volunteers will need a police record check. We will be taking volunteers whose police check is already on file with the school.

Unfortunately, there will be insufficient time to process new police checks prior to this trip. Projected cost for this trip for students and chaperones is projected to be approximately $10. Once this has been confirmed, we will let you know, and we ask that you register for School Cash Online to pay for the field trip there. Trip permission forms are forthcoming. Please speak with office staff if your family needs help with the cost of the trip.

Meet the Teacher – September 21, 2017

Mark your calendars! Our September Meet the Teacher Night is scheduled for September 21 from 6-7:30 p.m.

Professional Activity Day – No school for students – Friday, September 29, 2017

School Casho Online

Pizza Days

Pizza from New Orleans Pizza will be available starting November 2. The cost will be $1.50 per slice. The first pizza order is due by October 16. Pizza orders are online already. Paper copies of the order form are available upon request. If any pizza Fridays are missed due to absence, please consider deferring this as a donation to the Students’ Council. Subs and pitas will be kept in the fridge.


We will be selling Milk Coupons through School Cash Online. They will be $9.00 for a package of 10. Once payment is received through School Cash Online, milk coupons will be delivered to students in classrooms. Milk will begin on Wed. Sept. 14th.

Healthy Eating Makes a Difference

Studies show that well-nourished children concentrate longer and perform better at school. Prepare your child for success by packing healthy foods for meals and snacks.

What to Pack

Whether it’s a traditional lunch or two nutrition breaks in the Balanced School Day, each meal should include:

  • At least one vegetable or fruit
  • Foods from at least 2 of the other 3 food groups – Grain products, Milk & Alternatives and Meat & Alternatives.
  • Water instead of juice. Although a small amount of 100% fruit juice is nutritious, too much juice can ruin a small child’s appetite.

Food for Little Folks

While at school, your child only gets 20 minutes to eat. Here are some tips to ensure the food you send is eaten:

  • Finger foods are popular, quick and easy to eat. Pack mini pitas, baby carrots, grapes, strawberries, cubed or string cheese, or bite-size crackers.
  • Keep portions reasonable. A half sandwich, a mini bagel or mini muffin, ½ orange or banana, and ½ cup/125mL of milk may be enough for a 4 or 5 year old.
  • Peel and section whole fruit, such as oranges and kiwis. Nick the end of a banana to make peeling easier.
  • Make your own lunch kits using containers with divided sections so you can pack veggies and dip, fruit and yogurt or cheese and crackers.

What Not to Pack

Stay away from foods that offer little nutrition, such as sugary snacks.

For more tips on packing healthy lunches, contact your local Health Unit. In Huron, call 519-482-3416 or toll free at 1-877-837-6143. In Perth, call Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext 267. Listowel area residents call 1-877-271-7348 ext 267.

Piano Lessons at School

Experience piano lessons during school hours and save your evenings for family, sports, and extra time. Email Julie at or call 519-291-8000.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance

Our school board is offering you the opportunity to voluntarily purchase student accident insurance through the Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance program, underwritten by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance provides protection against unexpected costs arising from accidental injuries. The program is especially valuable for families who:

  • do not have medical or dental plans,
  • have limited plans, as it may help supplement health and dental benefits, or
  • have active children who enjoy sports and outdoor activities.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance has a selection of plans to suit most budgets. Benefits include coverage for:

  • The full school year (September to September), 24 hours a day, while at home and in school;
  • Expenses that are often limited or not covered by private or group insurance plans, or Provincial Health Insurance Plans, such as ambulance, physiotherapy, private tutoring, counselling, and much more;
  • Injury-related dental treatment (including future dental treatment up to age 26);
  • Out-of-province or country emergency medical expenses.

If your address changes during the school year, your Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance plan is transferable from school to school, anywhere in Canada.

Insurance premiums for children are $14.50 or $33.50 per year, depending on the plan selected. A discount is available for families with 3 or more children. Adults age 20 to 64 can also be insured for $32.00 per year.

For more information or to apply online, please visit, or speak with a Kids Plus™ Client Service Administrator at 1-800-556-7411.

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Head Lice: A Nit Pickin’ Nuisance!

Head lice pose no health risk. They are only a common nuisance.

What are Head Lice?

Head lice are tiny brown insects that live on the scalp and do not fly, jump or hop. They do not live on pets. Nits, or head lice eggs, look like a knot in thread. They are firmly attached to the hair close to the scalp, often on the hair behind the ears, at the back of the neck and above the forehead.

Who can get head lice? Anyone, even adults! Head lice have nothing to do with how clean a person is. Head lice are common in children in preschool or elementary school because they spread by close head-to-head contact.

How will I know if my child has head lice?

  • Child may complain of tickling or itching on their scalp – but not always.
  • Some children may be irritable, or have sores on their head from scratching.
  • You find live lice or nits in his/her hair.

What should I do if my child gets head lice?

  • Take a deep breath. Many parents have experience with head lice. Ask for help if needed.
  • Treat head lice right away. Ask your pharmacist for an effective treatment product. Do not use home remedies, flea control products, paint thinner etc. Follow product instructions very carefully.
  • Remove all nits. This is the key to getting rid of head lice. If your child is sent home from school with head lice and you don’t know what they look like – ask someone to show you before you take your child home. Picking nits can be frustrating and time consuming. Be patient and take frequent breaks.
  • Wash combs, brushes, hats, and pillow cases in hot water. No extra household cleaning such as vacuuming or insecticides are needed.
  • Check all family members for head lice and treat only if lice or nits are found. Check your children on a regular basis
  • Tell your child’s school or child care centre right away. Children will not be allowed to return to school until they are treated and all nits have been removed.

For more information contact your local Health Unit. In Huron call 519-482-3416 or toll free at 1-877-837-6143. In Perth call Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext 267. Listowel residents call 1-877-271-7348 ext 267.

Student Use of Technology

Technology: Responsible Use (Code of Conduct for Students)
The Avon Maitland District School Board will provide students with access to digital technology, access to networks and the Internet. Each student must ensure that they maintain a safe, secure technology footprint and practise good digital citizenship. The purpose of this Code of Conduct for Students is to outline the Boards expectations for technology access for students of the Avon Maitland District School Board.

  1. Students must never give out personal information about themselves or others (such as address, phone number, pictures of themselves) and to strangers met through the Internet.
  2. Web pages should not contain personal information about students (address, phone numbers, pictures unless parents have given consent).
  3. Students must report to a teacher or other school staff member any technology or Internet related activity (e.g., threats, abusive language) that gives them concern or appears to threaten the safety of people or places.

Use of Equipment, Software and Networks

  1. All technology, including cables and network drops, must not be damaged.
  2. Use of digital technology including the Internet must respect the safety and rights of others. Information must not be accessed, downloaded, stored or distributed that is illegal, abusive, threatening, obscene, harassing or otherwise inappropriate.
  3. Students must not share passwords or use the passwords of others nor should they try to hack into computer systems.
  4. Digital data must not be deleted, modified, moved or copied unless permission has been given to do so by a school staff member.
  5. Creating and transmitting computer viruses, hoaxes, e-mail worms, sending junk mail or similar nuisance behaviour or related threats to network security is not permitted.
  6. Software used must be properly licensed. Licensed software must not be copied illegally.
  7. E-mail, conferencing, on-line chat and content of web pages must respect the safety and rights of others.
  8. Students must report to a teacher or other school staff member any inappropriate use of digital technology, software or networks, including the Internet.
  9. Students must not attempt in any way to log on using another person’s identity.
  10. Students should not intentionally access Internet sites with inappropriate content of no educational value.
  11. If using the work of others, credit must be given and permission obtained if copyright materials are used.
  12. Students will only use USB storage devices for transferring school related documents from school to home and vice versa.
  13. Students will make every attempt to ensure that the files contained on the USB portable drive are free of viruses, spy ware, and ad ware by having appropriate safe guarding programs on their home computer.
  14. Students must not access VPNs or proxy sites that circumvent the security measures put in place by the Avon Maitland District School Board.


Students who do not follow this procedure may be subject to disciplinary action such as loss of computer privileges, disciplinary action, and police involvement.

Protocol for the Use of USB Portable Storage Devices

USB portable storage devices, also know as Thumb Drives, Jump Drives and Memory Sticks, are a convenient and reliable means of storing and transporting electronic data and files. As such, they have a role to play in the education of our students. These devices do, however, have the potential to house information or programs that could be harmful to the Board’s information systems. As such, staff and students are asked to follow the protocol outlined below to ensure that we protect this valuable education resource from accidental or malicious misuse.

Students are permitted to use USB storage devices for school related work under the following conditions:

  • Students will only use USB storage devices for transferring school related documents from school to home and vice versa.
  • Students will make every attempt to ensure that the files contained on the USB portable drive are free of viruses, spy ware, and adware by having appropriate safe guarding programs on their home computer.
  • Students will present the USB storage device to a teacher, TRA, or EA to have the files transferred to their working space on the school network. Conversely, if students wish to have files loaded to their USB storage device, they will present the device to a staff member and instruct the staff member on which files need to be moved or copied.
  • Executable files will not be transferred to the student’s working space on the network without prior consultation with a member of the Information Technology team. In exceptional cases, students with SEA equipment may be permitted to use USB storage devices independent of staff assistance. Decisions around which students might qualify for this type of access will be made after consultation involving the school team and Information Technology staff. Students who do not follow this protocol for the use of USB storage devices may be subject to disciplinary action as outlined in this Board’s Administrative Procedure 140 Acceptable Computer Use, and the school’s Code of Conduct.

Board-owned Devices on Loan from Howick Central School

‘Our School’s Approach’

From time to time, teachers may provide their students with access to mobile devices such as iPads or Chrome Books, to assist them in their learning objectives. While we feel that competence with such devices is an important aspect of student learning and 21st century skills development, their use is not, in itself, a goal. It will be our expectation at Howick Central School this year that a highly integrated approach will be taken in the utilization of technology. Students may be asked to use them as a tool to access information pertinent to their classroom learning and assignments, to practise learned skills in the classroom, to communicate for the purposes of collaboration with others, and other learning tasks as deemed appropriate by their teacher. This may mean students will bring the device home to use in the completion of homework. This will happen on an as-needed basis, related to the classroom teachers’ agenda.

Devices will remain in storage at the school, and students will not necessarily be bringing them home on a nightly basis, unless there are assigned, learning-related purposes connected with classroom subject matter.

Howick Skating Club Registration

The Howick Skating Club will be having a registration day on Saturday, September 16th at the Howick Community Centre from 10am to 12pm. Families are also welcome to register their skaters on Meet the Teacher Night at the school on Thursday, September 21 from 6:00-7:30 p.m. We are also looking for fresh faces on our executive! If you can spare just a little bit of your time, we would love to have you join us. For more information or to register please call, text or email Angela Meyer at 519-291-7113 or