June 2017 Newsletter

Mr. Rauser’s Message

As I finish my first full year here, I want to take this opportunity to say what a pleasure it has been to work with all of the students, staff and families of Sprucedale Public School.  There is a great sense of pride in this building and community.  I very much appreciate how supportive parents have been whenever the school has called.  Great education is only possible when educators and parents work together.

I also want to let you know that you have a great team of educators working for your children.  I have worked in many different schools across the province and this group is second to none.  Teachers teach because they love working with children but they also teach because they love to learn.  Our staff is continually improving their teaching practice.  We go to professional development regularly and are always looking for the right learning activities and strategies to match with various children.  Each and every child is different and learns in a different way.  It is extremely helpful when we meet with parents to talk specifically about how your child learns.  We encourage you to contact your child’s teacher or Mr. Rauser in the office at any time if you have questions about learning.

We have a tentative school organization in place for next year.  A school’s organization can change as students come and go out of a building.   Schools sometimes reorganize in September based on changes in the number of students over the summer.  Students and families will learn their class placement on September 5, 2017.  We will begin our first day back by having an assembly in the gym.

Our tentative organization for 2017/2018 has eight classes organized in this way

If you have any questions about anything that happens at Sprucedale PS, please do not hesitate to give me a call or to pop in and see me.
Mr. Rauser

Planning for Next Year – Written requests only please

In late May or early June, the principal, in consultation with the staff, considers the most effective groupings of students (class placements) for instruction, for all students, for the upcoming school year. Principals and staff consider a range of factors, including, but not limited to, the academic, emotional and potential social benefits or concerns when placing a child in a given class. Please send written requests for class placements to Don Rauser in the office. Requests will be considered but we cannot guarantee that we will be able to accommodate all wishes. We do not share who is teaching what class until the fall as staffing will sometimes change over the summer.

Good Byes & Welcome Back

Congratulations to Mrs. Taylor who will be retiring at the end of June. Pat is cheerful and positive, has an amazing memory for names and has a genuine manner that makes people feel at ease. No matter how many interruptions in her day, Mrs. Taylor always has time for the children – reading, listening to their tales, or giving a huge smile as the kindergartens playfully try to sneak by her door without being noticed. Pat is a very hard worker but also adds a great sense of humour and fun loving spirit to the school. She shares that not a day goes by that she does not have a warm moment. Pat, you will be greatly missed by students, parents and staff.

At the end of June, we are also saying goodbye to two excellent teachers. Mrs. Reinecker, a contract teacher, will be moving to another school within Avon Maitland because we have reduced to eight classes at Sprucedale. We are also saying goodbye to Ms. Eicher who has been with us in the grade 5/6 class while Ms. Maddock was off on maternity leave. Both of these educators have done a tremendous job with their respective classes and will be a strong addition to whatever schools are lucky enough to receive them.

In terms of our Educational Assistants, Mrs. Ward, Ms. Wilker and Ms. Deweerd, we hope to see all of them back next year but at this time the staffing process for Educational Assistants has not yet been completed.

On the custodial front, we are very happy to report that Mr. Near and Mr. Wakelin will be with us until the end of June and potentially into the summer. The company that won the tender to clean Sprucedale Public School is still working to meet all necessary requirements before starting their work. I will share a full staff list in our first newsletter in September.

We welcome Mrs. Maddock back to the Sprucedale Teaching Staff in September. She has been off on maternity leave this year but will be returning to the classroom in the fall.

June Playground Fundraising Update

We did it! As a school community, we have surpassed our fundraising goal of 100,000 dollars.

Kyle Smith of Steve Smith Construction Limited excavated for the Playground on the weekend and the installation crew from Active Playground Equipment arrived on Monday May 29th. After Active Playground is done installing the Playground structure itself, Paul Bender from MTH Contracting & Consulting along with 5 Star Custom Concrete, Jim Sebben and community members will come in to do a concrete path that will surround the playground. Our thanks go out to Dufferin Concrete for donating a large portion of this concrete. This path will make the playground inclusive for young and old as they both play and watch play. Another feature to add to the accessibility is a very large rubberized path that will run across the width of the playground and make it easier to walk, wheel, dash or dive on the playground surface. Ure-Tech Surfaces Inc., experts in rubberized surfacing for playgrounds, will complete this path. Adding Engineered Wood Fibre (fancy mulch) to the balance of the playground is the next step. At some point along the way, benches and a recognition board will be added to the site. The recognition board, a beautiful sign honouring everyone who helped bring this playground to fruition, is being created by both the work and generosity of Heather and Kent Johnston of Kyjo Steel Inc. The Shakespeare Men’s Club and Kyjo Steel have donated benches so parents and grandparents can be comfortable while watching their children play. The next step is to have the Playground inspected to give it the safety seal before precious little ones begin years of fun. We hope to have children on the playground by Thursday, June 22nd but as with any construction project this is contingent on weather and each group meeting deadlines.

Our thanks go out to……

Julie & Kyle Wynette
The Tavistock Hop Company

Our thanks go out to Julie and Kyle Wynette for their generous donation to the Playground Fundraiser. The Wynette boys will see lots of years on the playground as Nash is currently in junior kindergarten and little brother Reid will become a Sabrecat in September 2018. Julie and Kyle are the proud proprietors of The Tavistock Hop Company – a local company growing high quality hops for the Craft Beer market. For more information about The Tavistock Hop Company and the family who run it, please go to https://thetavistockhopcompany.ca/

Heather & Kent Johnston
Kyjo Steel Inc.

We greatly appreciate the immense amount of work Heather Johnston, School Council Chair, has put into making this playground a reality. Heather is calm, always has a smile on her face, and has tremendous work ethic. Her steady hand has led the School Council in the fundraising drive, grant proposal writing and the design of a playground that all children will enjoy. Her own children, Lana and Wade, are also to be commended as they are often asked to act as the courier for paper correspondence or to pitch in on whatever project School Council has on the go. Both Lana and Wade share their parent’s positive dispositions. Kyjo Steel Inc. will receive permanent recognition on the playground site as a gold supporter.

Paul Bender MTH Contracting & Consulting
Jim Sebben
Jon Willsey & the team at Five Star Custom Concrete
Dufferin Concrete

Our thanks go out to these men and businesses for the work they are about to do to make our playground neat, clean and accessible to all. The concrete path they are going to form and pour will surround our playground and will not only make for an attractive walkway, it will help keep the various materials where they need to be. The path will also serve as a “trike path” for our youngest students during the school day. All of these individuals and firms will be on our permanent recognition board.

School Council

A special thank you to all of the members of the Sprucedale School council for their work this year. We have a wonderfully fun group of parents who have served our students and parents well. This group has been instrumental every step of the way in planning, designing and raising funds for the playground. In addition, they provide input on school matters at meetings and make suggestions for improving our school. I encourage other parents to join the School Council – it is a great way to get involved in your school. Our next meeting is being held on Wednesday, June 14 at 7:00 p.m. in the Sprucedale Library.

Members of our school council include:
Heather Johnston – Chair and Treasurer
April Ische
Deanna Jacobs
Kim Leis
Jen McKone
Heather Peters – Secretary
Hilary Reinecker – Staff Representative
Erin Roth
Erin Schlegel
Angela Schyff
Tracey Segeren
Amy Simons
Amy Taylor
Cailin Vince – Secretary

Last Day of School & First Day of School

Thursday June 29th is the students’ last day of school for the 2016-2017 school year.
Tuesday September 5th is the first day back for students in grade 1 to 8. Senior Kindergarten students’ first day is Wednesday, September 6th as Tuesday is set aside for interviews with the new JK students.

Report Cards

Report Cards will be going home on Monday June 26th. Please sign and return page 3 for us prior to the last day of school.


Our thanks go out to Dianne Harris for her work in the Sprucedale gardens. Plants and gardening are remarkably good learning for children and the gardens are loved by young and old alike at Sprucedale. Dianne, thank you for continuing to lead this initiative.
Food Days, Milk and snack program.

A huge thank you to Tara Weitzel, Angela Allen, Krista Sebben, Suzanne Mitchell, Heather Johnston and Mrs. Taylor for their work with food days and milk this year. Food days give kids and staff something to look forward to each week. Tara and Angela have been in the kitchen preparing and serving food while Krista, Heather, Suzanne and Mrs. Taylor have helped out with counting money and organizing orders.

We would also like to thank Jen McKone, Pam Miller, Gary West and Mrs. Taylor for their work with the snack program and fresh fruit days. Jen has purchased, prepared and delivered fresh fruit and veggie trays to our classrooms on many occasions this year. Offering students healthy food options and being encouraged to try fruit and veggies with peers has been a huge hit. Pam Miller has been a great shopper and customized snack preparer for our Snack Program. The kids have loved the delicious and healthy treats presented. Our thanks also go out to Gary West and the local Egg producers for providing our snack program with healthy hard boiled eggs. These are an excellent source of nutrition and are enjoyed by the students. Finally our thanks go out to Mrs. Taylor who as an extra to an already full workload has been kind enough to organize snacks and student volunteers each and every day. Mrs. Taylor takes care of the reporting to the Ontario Student Nutrition program (a program administered by the VON) for the snack program.

Lost and Found

We have a lot of sweaters and hoodies in our Lost and Found box that will be given to charity at the end of June if not claimed. We have some devices here as well that can be claimed upon description.

School Year Calendar 2017/2018

The school year calendar has been prepared for the 2017/2018 School Year. It can be found at http://yourschools.ca/wp-content/uploads/2016/08/2017-2018-SchoolCalendar.pdf.

In the new school year, the professional development days fall on September 29th, November 3rd, December 1st, February 2nd, April 27th, June 8th and June 29th.