February 2019 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Dear Families,

I am writing this on Wednesday, January 30th. The school is closed today, something that is quite rare. It is quiet in here. I am getting a lot done as the storm continues outside! It is hard to imagine spring will ever happen!

Welcome to the exciting and productive month of February. There are a few special activities that I would like to highlight for you. Our Little Caesar’s fundraiser will begin. Our annual primary storytelling and speeches take place this month; please join us on Monday, February 11th beginning at 9:15 for our school competition. Our junior students will have the opportunity to enjoy a production, Shrek The Musical Jr, by Studio 410 at Blyth Community Memorial Hall. There will be Valentine’s Day fun. Report cards will be sent home on February 19th. Please check our calendar and watch for additional information about any of these events.

Our students will take part in school bus safety presentations on February 25th. These exciting, dynamic programs are provided by our transportation consortium, the AMDSB, and the Ministry of Education. The primary aged program is for students in K-grade 3 and focuses on basic bus safety. It utilizes Buster the robotic school bus and the students receive an activity book. The junior program for students in grades 4-8 focuses on safety and behaviour. It utilizes a game show format.

This month, we are beginning our work to update our now fairly out-dated social media practices. We are now on Instagram (maitlandriverelementary); we are still on Facebook and Twitter. Too, with the encouragement of the Avon Maitland District School Board, like many other schools in our district, we will now be posting student photos to these social networking sites. We will be very careful to ensure we never include student names. If you have any concerns about this please be sure to contact me. We are looking so forward to sharing, in a much more engaging way, happenings at Maitland River Elementary School. For example, the great things that students do, the wonderful opportunities they have, our staff’s contributions, and funny incidental things that take place, to name just a few.

Looking ahead to March, I have identified a few things that you might really appreciate knowing.

We have made plans to go tubing again this year. We have planned two dates in order to allow all of our classes to go without being over crowded at River Valley Golf Course and Tube Slide in St. Mary, based on what works for them too;

Tuesday March 5: Tubing for Grade 4B, 4C, 5A, 5B, 5C6A, 6B
Wednesday March 6: Tubing for Grade 1A, 1B, 1C2A, 2B, 2C, 3B, 3C, 3D4A

We would so appreciate volunteers for this fun day. Will you consider helping us out while being able to enjoy a memorable day with your child(ren)? Please also know that pizza for the classes gone on Wednesday, March 6th will be provided on Thursday, March 7th.

Please take note, in the School Council section of this newsletter, that there is a valuable presentation for you! Maitland River in collaboration with F.E. Madill shares that Sara Westbrook will be presenting, 3 Habits of Resilient Families, to parents on March 4th at F.E. Madill. Earlier that day she will be presenting to our students in grades 4-6 Healthy, Resilient Minds Matter. Please consider joining us for the presentation just for parents!

And finally, one more thing! Do you feel like you have little to no idea what your students are doing on Google? Are you wondering how they can access some assignments anywhere? What is Google Drive? What is Google Read and Write and how does it work anyway? We thought you might be asking these questions. Mark this date on your calendar: Thursday, March 21 at 6:30 p.m. at Maitland River Elementary School. All your questions about your child’s use of Google Suite for Education will be answered. This presentation is suitable to parents with students in grades 1-6.

As always thank you for all that you do at home to ensure your children are calm, alert, and ready to learn.


Angela Cowley
Maitland River Elementary School

Virtue for February: Perseverance

Perseverance is sticking with something and being committed, no matter how long it takes or what obstacles appear in your way. Without perseverance, people give up on things easily. They don’t keep their promises. When we persevere, people can depend on us to finish what we start and to keep our commitments.

House Team News

The focus for February’s house team work will be perseverance. Our house team gathering this month will be on February 28th. Students are invited to bring in a favourite board game to share during this old fashioned family fun time.

We always encourage students to spread peace and give house points when we see students doing this. For this month we will also be giving lots of them for showing perseverance. Students can also earn points by participating in this month’s spirit days. Dress up and earn points!

Spirit Days:

  • February 7: Cozy Sweater Day
  • February 14: Red, White & Pink Day
  • February 22: Twin Day
  • February 27: Pink Shirt Day – Stand up to Bullying
  • February 28: Wear Your House Colour

Valentine’s Day – February 14th

On February 14th we will be celebrating Valentine’s Day. It will be wear Red, White or Pink Day. Also, we will allocate February 14th as one of our 10 food days. Treats will be allowed to be brought to school as discussed with your child’s teacher. Discussing what you would like to send in with your child’s teacher will ensure that the class is not overloaded with too many treats. We want children to understand that it is a special day, but that this does not mean gorging. Too, speaking to your child’s teacher will ensure that all food allergies and special dietary needs are taken carefully into consideration.

Register Online today!

Please consider registering online today at SchoolCashOnline. Easy to make payments, emails about what is going on, reminder emails! It is easy as one, two, three.

Information from the Health Unit

Stress reduction strategy: Deep breathing

Stress is caused by numerous different triggers. The body’s response to stress is also different from person to person. There are a wide variety of healthy strategies to help address stress. It is important to try different techniques and see what works for you.

Deep breathing is one of the simplest and easy stress reducing tools. It helps to give the whole body a break and allows you to focus better.
Give the “flower-candle” breath a try:

  • Breathe in through the nose (approx. 3 seconds) as if you are smelling flowers.
  • Hold for 3 to 5 seconds.
  • Breathe out through the mouth (approx. 3 seconds) as if blowing out birthday candles.
  • Repeat 5 or more times.
    The starfish breath is another easy to use technique:
  • Use the flower-candle breath to start breathing deeply.
  • Make a starfish with one hand (fingers spread out wide).
  • Use the pointer finder from the other hand, gently trace the outline of the starfish hand, slowly going up and down each finger.

Give deep breathing a try and keep an eye out for next month’s stress reducing strategy.

Story-Telling and Public Speaking

For many years, public speaking has been a valued tradition and an event that has been positively anticipated by many students, teachers, and parents alike. Oral communication skills are a very important component of today’s curriculum, and as a result, we are happy to continue with the tradition of public speaking.

As teachers, we know that different students learn in different ways, and that delivering a prepared speech is not for everyone. In order to fulfill our goals of meeting the needs of every learner, we feel that it is important to offer options other than the traditional speech that still meet curriculum expectations for oral communication.

As a result, staff has decided to continue with our public speaking competition for those who wish to prepare and deliver a speech. Students who wish to participate are encouraged to do so, and staff will be sure to encourage these students to take this option. A variety of other options will also be offered which may include (but are not limited to) the following:

  • A book talk or retell in front of the class
  • A power point presentation on a specific topic
  • A retell of a memorable trip or event

With the above options, it is the hope of the staff that their students will see an opportunity to demonstrate their oral communication skills in a different way. Having said this, we encourage students to continue to take the traditional route and deliver a speech with the hopes of competing in competitions at the school, Legion and Lions levels.

It is the hope of staff that this way of approaching public speaking will allow children to meet their potential in their areas of strength, and that the needs of all of our learners will be met. Please feel free to contact the school if you have any questions or concerns.

The in-school speaking competition for all students will be held on Monday, February 11th starting at 9:15 a.m. for primary students and for junior students at 11:45. The snow date is Tuesday, February 12th.

The top three winners in each division will have the opportunity to move onto the Royal Canadian Legion competition which will be held at The Royal Canadian Legion Branch 180, in Wingham, on February 16th (snow date February 23rd).

Next Term Pizza Orders

Please note that next term pizza orders will be available from February 12th to March 5th. Online ordering available online at SchoolCashOnline (preferred way) or paper copy will be available in the office or print off from the email that will be sent. This gives our families 3 weeks to get your order in, therefore no late orders will be accepted.

Message from School Council

Subway Day

Our special lunch day for this month is Subway day on February 22. Forms will be sent home February 4th and are due back February 11th.

Little Caesars

It’s the most wonderful time of the year! Little Caesars forms go home February 4th and are due February 19th. Delivery will be on March 6th. If you are free to help that day, please contact Marian (marmkj78@gmail.com) or Michelle (address below).

Community Clothes Closet

Cold weather is here. We are looking for snow pants, mittens, and winter jackets to keep our closet replenished. We especially need warm mittens. We have plenty of hats from previous years. Thank you to everyone who has and continues to donate to this program – all of the support is always appreciated.

Head Lice

A product called NYDA – available in the drug store is covered by the new Ontario Drug Benefit Plan. A prescription can be requested by your family doctor.

QSP Fundraiser

QSP is on-going.
Now you can order Online anytime! It is quick and easy!
1. Just log on to www.qsp.ca
2. Click on “supporters”
3. Enter group ID # 3657483
4. Click “Next” and enter your details
5. Support your school. Thank You!

Call for Volunteers

Looking to help and not sure how to start? Have an hour here or there that you would like to spend helping the students of MRES? Well, look no further! Council is in need of help with many activities, fundraisers, and special lunch days. There are always opportunities no matter how much time you have to offer. For more information please contact an Executive council member, attend our next meeting or send an email to mresparentcouncil@gmail.com.

Meeting Agenda Item Request

If you have a topic, question or concern you feel would benefit by being discussed at a council meeting please forward your information to the council secretary at: mresparentcouncil@gmail.com for review.

Mark Your Calendars

Our next meeting is Monday, March 4, 2019 at 6:30 p.m., but it is a special one! Please join us for a valuable presentation for parents from Sara Westbrook, motivational speaker, 3 Habits of Resilient Families. Maitland River has worked collaboratively with F.E. Madill to provide this opportunity. This presentation will be taking place at F.E. Madill Secondary School. To learn more about Sara Westbrook visit Sara’s website.

Then mark Monday April 1st 7:00 p.m. on your calendars too. We added this meeting, to the ones already planned for this year, so that we can stay in touch and in tune, because of the change in our agenda/purpose for the March 4th meeting.

A place for open minded, positive conversation and solutions!
Visit our Facebook page.

Bus Contacts

Questions or concerns about the bus? Please contact:
Montgomery Bus Lines: 519-357-9191 – Newry Bus Lines: (519) 356-2611

Milk Program

Milk tickets are available at the office; $20.00 for 20 milks. A purple sheet of milk tickets will be sent home with your child upon purchase. Available to purchase online!

Absent from School?

Please call 519-357-3551 ext 1, leave a message or e-mail mreoffice@ed.amdsb.ca if your child(ren) are going to be absent from school. Thanks!

Medication At School

If medications are sent to school with your child there are required forms that need to be filled out for both prescription and non prescription medications. They can be filled out at the office when medication is brought to the office by the parent.

Gluten Free Snacks

Gluten Free snacks are always available. If your child requires gluten free items please inform the office of this request.

MRES is Nut Safe

Maitland River Elementary School has adopted a school-wide ban on nuts and will work with all parents to provide the safest possible learning environment for all students.

Late Students

When students arrive late they are interrupting class instruction by the teacher and the learning of the other students. School starts at 9:00 am – please ensure your child/ren are here on time. Thank you.

Milk Bags Please

We are collecting milk bags! They are then donated to a local group that weaves the plastic into sleep mats.

Visitors To MRES

Visitors are always welcome at Maitland River Elementary School. We would ask, however, for the safety of all, that you use the front door and report to the office upon arrival. We would also ask that if you need to speak with a teacher for any reason that you make an appointment at the office. We will have the teacher call you to set a time up with you that is convenient for both parties. Please sign in as soon as you enter the building. Thank you in advance for this courtesy.