March 2019 Newsletter

From the Office

Had enough Winter yet? Well we have! Please place an order for Spring for us if you have any influence with that! The weather this winter certainly has been a roller-coaster ride, with repeated cycles of thaw, rain, freezing rain, and then snow again. As we enter the month of March, we see the Spring Break on the horizon; this can provide a time for students to rejuvenate as they swing into the last part of the school year. At the school, we are placing emphasis on recognizing and validating for our students, the unique skills, values, and abilities they bring as individuals. At Huron Centennial, that means promoting a school environment where empathy and respect for differences is cultivated. We feel this is a foundation for making our school truly ‘inclusive.’ We thank our parents and community partners who help and support us as a school, in those efforts.

Term 1 Report Cards have just gone home. Parents and students will have had time to read and digest the observed strengths, needs and next steps. It has become an important aspect of our teaching and learning efforts, to encourage students to reflect on the skills they bring to their learning, and to set goals for their continued growth. This is one of the ways we feel we can support our students in acquiring ‘resiliency’ for the demands that the workplace and the world will present to them after they graduate.

Both our senior boys and girls volleyball teams recently competed in the district volleyball tournament on Tuesday, February 26th. We thank Mr. Cassel and Mrs. Knarr for their hard work as coaches to prepare these teams in lead-up to the tournament. While our teams did not come home with the winning pennant this year, we are extremely proud of the way our students competed, and the sportsmanship they showed. If you have been a visitor to our school lately, you will see that our lobby bulletin board speaks to this notion of sportsmanship. It challenges students to think about their reactions to conflicts that arise in sports and competitive play situations, and how we meet those challenges through hard work and continuous self-improvement. Fostering an appreciation for the joy of playing over the need to always ‘win,’ we feel is a better long term strategy for promoting a mindset for a lifetime of healthy and active living. We hope we are cultivating a ‘love for the game’ and an attitude for playing that celebrates and promotes respect for the integrity of the game that will transfer into the other challenges they may face in life.

Now that our senior students have finished their tournaments, we look forward to their junior-grade counter-parts, both boys and girls, competing in their respective tournaments coming up on March 5th. We wish lots of luck to all our players and an advance thank you for being good ambassadors for our school, along with their coaches Mrs. Regier and Mrs. Somerville.

School Council News, Fundraisers & Events

The School Council minutes are available on the Huron Centennial School website. Our next meeting will be on Monday, March 4 at 6:30 in the school staff room. All are welcome.

March Break

A reminder to all that March Break runs from March 11-15 this year.

Bus Safety

Just a reminder to parents that when you are dropping off children in the morning, or picking them up at night, please use the ‘kiss and go’ lane off the parking lot, or park in the parking lot rather drive into the bus loading lanes. This helps us to keep our students safe during the busy bus unloading time, when our children sometimes don’t check carefully for other traffic and may be otherwise ‘distracted’ in many ways.

Keeping Your Child Safe On the Internet

From time to time, there may be either perceived, or real threats to our safety posed through the Internet setting. Even without trying, children can come across materials on the internet that are obscene, disturbing, violent, hate-filled, racist or offensive in other ways. Here are some steps to help you ensure that your children use the Internet as safely as possible:

• make sure your children understand what sites are appropriate for them
• keep the computer in a common area of the home like the kitchen or family room
• discuss the meaning of an ‘unsafe’ site with your children
• explain to your children what they should do if they reach an unsafe site
• make exploring new websites a family activity
• pay attention to the games your children may download or copy
• look into software or online services that filter out offensive materials or sites

It’s important to review safety tips with children regularly. It is possible for children to meet unsafe strangers on the Internet. Ensure your child knows the following rules:

• never give out personal information (including name, address, phone number, age, school name or location)
• never arrange a face-to-face meeting with someone they meet online
• never use bad language or send mean messages
• never respond to e-mail messages that make them feel confused or uncomfortable
• tell an adult immediately if something on the internet makes them feel uncomfortable
At the school we make every effort to ensure your children remain safe from inappropriate web content, while still utilizing the internet and a variety of technologies as tools to leverage their learning. From time to time, you may hear through your own social media use or from other sources, reports about social media postings or websites that give you concern. Please rest assured that as a school, when these kinds of controversies and things come up and we are privy to them, there are some steps that we continue to take to help ensure protection for your child:

• We continue to talk to, and review with our students, the importance of preserving personal privacy, anonymity, and the things they should do in their own online behaviour, that will promote personal internet/cyber safety and make them smart and savvy users of technology as tools for their learning.
• We continue to talk to them about becoming critical consumers of all ‘information’ they obtain from the Internet and other sources. At Huron Centennial school, we believe that the best defense against any malicious or misleading media form, is to create an information and internet savvy generation.
• When students are provided devices as tools for their learning, we continue to ensure that they are supervised in their use of them, and that a device’s use has a clear purpose that is connected to their classroom learning and curriculum-based goals. Our school’s adoption of technology does not support ‘free time use’ or ‘play’ without a learning objective, and as such, we feel we can reduce the risk of exposure to inappropriate content. Students should not be accessing sites that are not assigned or otherwise directly connected to their learning.
• We remain open and approachable to talk to students who come to us with concerns around content they happen upon through innocent web searches, and which they find upsetting, disturbing or inappropriate. We reassure students that they are safe at school if they are using devices appropriately as we have always taught them to do. In addition, students are subject to our school and board’s acceptable use policies relating to the use of technology as it affects their learning. Students who engage in inappropriate uses or use their devices in ways that are to the emotional detriment of fellow students, can be subject to disciplinary measures.
• The school board policy will be enforced as we take such infractions of our policy very seriously.

By working together with our school families and doing our due diligence on both home and school fronts, we feel we can prepare students with 21st century skills to make them productive life-long learners on successful career paths, while maintaining their safety.

Upcoming Dates

Monday, March 4 – School Council Mtg. 6:30 in the school staff room. All welcome.
Tuesday, March 5 – Jr. Volleyball at CHSS
Wednesday, March 6 – Pizza Day – Little Caesar’s Fundraising arrives. Pick up from 3:00-5:30 p.m.
Sunday, March 10 – Daylight Savings – Clocks go ahead one hour
Monday, March 11-15 – March Break Holiday
Monday, March 18 – Classes resume
Wednesday, March 20 – Pizza Day
Thursday, March 21 – Kindergarten Sugar Bush trip
Friday, March 22 – Wacky Hair Day
Wednesday, March 27 – Pizza Day
Monday, April 1 Gr. 8 – trip payment due
Tuesday, April 2 K- Gr. 3 – trip to Blyth Theatre
Wednesday, April  3 – Pizza
Thursday April 4 – Gr. 8 Grad photos
Friday, April 5 – P.D. Day
Friday, April 19 to Easter Holiday Weekend Monday, April 22
Wednesday, April 10 – Pizza Day
Wednesday, April 17 – Pizza Day
Wednesday, April 24 – Pizza Day