December 2018 Newsletter

As the length of daylight hours we experience continues to get shorter each day, the list of things happening around the school seems to be doing the opposite as we move into December. It s an exciting time here, as we prepare for our holiday concert, participate in intramural and interschool sports, extend many of the learning opportunities that had begun earlier in the school year, and look forward to the holiday break and all that it brings. It is also busy for families away from school, with lots of activities and obligations, gatherings with family and friends, and the like. We hope that everyone has a safe and enjoyable December, and that the Christmas holiday brings joy to all.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please try to connect first with your child’s teacher, as they spend the most time with them, and often have the best perspective on their strengths and needs as learners. Additionally, if you require support from the office, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

Thanks very much,

Mr. J Brock

Christmas Concert

Our Kindergarten to Grade 5 students have been working hard over the past several weeks to prepare holiday themed skits and songs, in order to share with our students and the greater school community. The dress rehearsal for the concert will take place at 11:45 on Tuesday, December 11th. All are welcome to attend this performance, as well as our evening performance, which will be at 6:30 p.m. on the 11th. The snow date for both performances will be Wednesday, December 12th with only one performance at 11:45 a.m. We look forward to sharing our holiday performances with you!

Fundraising/Collection at the Christmas Concert

In years past, we have had a basket raffle at the Christmas concert, where we had raffled off baskets filled with donated items. This year, we will be doing the basket raffle during our spring barbecue, where all proceeds will go to support outdoor projects such as the proposed electronic sign. When families attend our concert this year, we are asking that donations of non-perishable food items, personal hygiene items, new mitts/gloves or winter hats be brought instead, so the we might share with those in our community who need these items this winter. All donations are greatly appreciated, and will be forwarded to the Loaves and Fishes group for distribution.

Office Reminders

Just a friendly reminder to all parents who may be picking up early or dropping off late, that all students must be signed in and out of the office when they are not following the regular entry/exit times. It is important that we have all students accounted for, in the event of an emergency.

Also, we would ask that no parents accompany students to their classrooms in the morning or other times during the day, without expressed permission from the office. It is can be disruptive for classes to have additional adults in the hallways or classrooms at times when students and staff are transitioning between spaces or engaged in learning.

Finally, please ensure that all absences are reported directly through the office via telephone call or message. Many classrooms use a learning management system (SeeSaw, Schoology), but these are not directly linked to the office and messages often do not reach us until after we have already begun the Safe Arrival process for the day. Also, emails or texts to teachers don’t always reach the office, as staff are sometimes away at workshops or may not access their messages early in the day. Again, this will help us to ensure we know that all students are safe and accounted for during the school day.

Me to We Rafikis

The school Me to We group has been selling rafikis, long beaded bracelets, with proceeds going back to the We organization to support their efforts in a variety of different areas. The group has had a great response, with nearly all of the first 100 strands of beads sold, and a number more currently on order for those who have prepaid. The group will be selling additional single-strand beaded bracelets at the Christmas concert (and during lunch hours after the concert if there are any bracelets left) for a cost of $5, with all proceeds going to the We Water fund. Thanks to everyone in our school community for supporting this important cause.

Identity Based Data Collection

Parents/guardians of children enrolled in kindergarten to grade 6 are requested to complete the survey online on their child’s behalf. Students in Grade 7 & 8 will complete the survey themselves during time provided in class. If you would like to have your child excused from completing the survey, please remit the opt-out form at the bottom of the information sent home earlier in November.

For all parents with children in Kindergarten to Grade 6, the IAMme Identity Survey can be accessed through the Board’s website.

The survey will be open from December 3, 2018 to December 7, 2018. Parents/guardians are requested to log into the survey using their child’s Active Directory login which includes the first four letters of their child’s given name, first four letters of their surname and first three numbers of their Ontario Education Number (OEN) which is printed at the top of their progress report. Your child regularly uses their Active Directory login at school, so it is possible that he/she will be able to type in his/her login for you. Younger children may not be able to do this. Paper copies of the survey will be provided to K-6 parents/guardians upon request, if that is the preferred method of completion of the survey.

The survey results are confidential but not anonymous. Only approved board staff will have access to the raw data. The survey results will be used along with other types of data (e.g. demographic, school program, services and achievement) to: better understand and respond to diverse student populations and communities; identify and respond to barriers to student success; enhance the creation and distribution of programs and services. For example, it is our aim to use the data to examine areas within our board to implement culturally responsive teaching practices, which in turn improves student engagement. Furthermore, we can use the data when working with our community partners to examine student support resources both in the community and at school. System staff will share the anonymous base results of the survey in the form of infographic posters, which will also be shared on the board’s website.

To ensure that this student survey will reflect the voices of all students, it is important to have as many parents/guardians complete the survey as possible. Thank you very much for your support of this initiative.

French Immersion

There is a French Immersion Information Night and registration taking place for the upcoming school year on Tuesday, December 4th, at 6:00 p.m. at Bedford Public School in Stratford. Parents interested in obtaining information regarding the Grade 1 French Immersion (FI) program for September 2019 are encouraged to attend the session. Grade 1 is the only entry point for students into FI, unless they have previously participated in FI programming elsewhere. More information about the session or about French Immersion programming in general can be obtained by calling Bedford PS (519-273-1190) or Anne Hathaway PS (519-271-8576) or the Board website.

Perth Pathways Career and Information Fair

The Pathways Career and Information Fair will be taking place at the Stratford Rotary Complex on December 5th, from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m. Everyone is welcome! The program will provide all participants exposure to post-secondary options related to Apprenticeships, College, University, the Workplace. The Avon Maitland District School Board Pathways team is joining partners from apprenticeship programs, post-secondary institutions, the local workforce and community agencies to showcase options available for students. Students and families will hear about specialty programs such as cooperative education, Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program, Specialist High Skills Majors and Dual Credits through the School-College Work Initiative. There will be interactive booths as well as the Lambton College trailer with simulation welders.

December Calendar

December 4 – Junior Mixed TripleBall tournament – Milverton PS
December 4 – French Immersion information session – Bedford PS, Stratford – 6:00 p.m.
December 5 – Pathways Career and Information Fair – 3-7 p.m., Stratford Rotary Complex
December 7 – PA Day – Staff training at the school, no classes for students
December 11 – Christmas Concert – Dress rehearsal 11:45 a.m. – Full performance – 6:30 p.m.
December 11 – Intermediate Volleyball Tournament – North Perth Westfield
December 12 – Grade 8 visit to Listowel District SS
December 13 – Intermediate Electives
December 17 – Primary/Junior Choir Carolling in the community
December 17/19/21 – Carolling in the Gym – all students
December 19 – Funky Sweater Spirit Day
December 21 – Last day of classes before the Christmas holiday break
January 7 – First Day back after the Christmas holiday break