October 2017 Newsletter

Mr. Rauser’s Message

After our first month back and a reorganization of the Junior/Intermediate division, I am happy to report to you that our children and staff are appearing to be settling in nicely. Reorganizing is something that makes children and adults anxious, but in the end having much smaller class sizes will be better for both social and academic learning. We were able to have another teacher, Mr. McEwen, because we had eleven students register over the summer bringing our enrolment to 207 students. I feel fortunate that the board supported us with an additional teacher as even with the previous 8 class organization, we met the terms of our Collective Agreements. I am also appreciative of the students and parents who have been supportive even though they may not have received the class for which they had hoped. Children are incredibly adaptive and when parents are also positive and supportive of change, children settle in very quickly.

On the academic side, our EQAO results have been released. In Primary, we maintained in reading with 60% of our students reaching the provincial standard. In primary writing we had 65% of our students meet the provincial standard. In primary mathematics 60 percent of the students met the provincial standard – a slight increase from the year prior. In junior, we had a very small grade six class of ten students writing the assessment. Consequently we take percentage increases or decreases with a grain of salt as the small sample size can skew results as each child represents 10 percent of the total. With that being said, we saw 80 percent of our students meet the standard in reading and writing. In mathematics we saw only 10% of the students meet standard.

Classroom teachers do many assessments over the course of a year in order to develop a through picture of what students do and do not know. The EQAO assessments are also an excellent way for us as teaching staff to figure out what areas we need to focus on in terms of improvement. In 2017/2018 Sprucedale Public School will be focusing on improving instruction in mathematics in our professional learning.

I encourage you to call, drop in, email me at any time if you have any questions, concerns or comments. If you wish to meet with your child’s teacher, it is better to make an appointment, simply because they have the responsibility for a full class of students each and every day.

Looking forward to a great year of learning.
Proud Principal of Sprucedale Public School

Before and After School Supervision

Before school, we have staff on the playground starting at 8:40 a.m. Students enter the school at 8:50 a.m,m and actually start class at 8:55 a.m. After school, we have staff on the playground until 3:25 p.m. We encourage students to head home and check in with parents or caregivers after school. As long as parents are aware and give consent for children of an appropriate age, students are welcome to play at the school. Whenever children are at the school, our rules and expectations for safety and courtesy remain the same as within the school day. As always, please call Mr. Rauser if you any questions or concerns about this policy.

Before and After School Survey

“As part of an on-going commitment to make the school day as seamless as possible for our families, each family will be receiving an information sheet in mid-October regarding Before and After School care. Families interested in Before and After school programs for their four and five year olds, and possibly older children in the upcoming school year, should complete an on-line survey by December 1, 2017. The link to the survey will be found on the Board website www.yourschools.ca starting mid-October. We appreciate your assistance as we determine the feasibility of offering such programs. Should you require a paper copy, please contact the school after October 10th.

Key Bible Club

We will be starting Tuesday, October, 24th during the first nutritional break. At Key Bible Clubs we share Biblical values that we believe will help give children a solid foundation for making wise choices that will last a lifetime. It’s geared for children from grades 1 to 6. Each family must fill out a permission form granting approval for their child/children to participate. Forms will be available at the school office. Please return completed forms to the office prior to the first week of Key Bible. Looking forward to seeing many old and new faces for a fun year of singing, bible stories and games. For more detailed information please contact Bernice Wijnands at (519) 393-8129.

School Council Report

Here we are, the beginning of October, the start of Fall and one month of the school year behind us already! I hope you and your family have been able to enjoy some of the beautiful weather we have had over the past few weeks! Our fall fundraising packages went home last week. We are once again offering beautiful poinsettias from Warren Greenhouses, QSP, and pepperettes from Nith Valley Butcher and Deli. Please make sure that your child’s name is on all fundraising sheets so we know who the order belongs to. (A spot for name was overlooked on the pepperette order form so please write it on the top of the sheet.) Orders are due back to the school by Thursday, October 26 and the poinsettias and pepperettes will be available for pick up at the school on Thursday, November 30th from 3:00 p.m. to 5:45 p.m.

Everyone is invited to come out to one or all of our meetings. School council is an excellent way to be involved in the school community, meet other Sprucedale parents, and to know about what and why things are happening at Sprucedale. Our meetings will be held the second Wednesday of each month unless indicated otherwise in the newsletter or via email. Our next meeting will be Wednesday, October 11th at 7:00 in the school library. Mark your calendar!

If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact me at heather@kyjosteel.com.
Happy Thanksgiving!
Heather Johnston
School Council Chair


Good attendance really helps with social and academic success. When children come to school on time and regularly, they usually do well. We want to help your child do as well as possible. Please keep absences for any reason other than illness to an absolute minimum.

Reporting Attendance

Please report any absences or changes to your child’s schedule prior to 8:55am.
This includes any adjustment to your child’s day. The classes are very busy and involved in daily learning. We would like to avoid disruptions to deliver and receive messages during learning time.

When leaving a message, please speak clearly and provide:
– Your name
– Your child’s name
– Your child’s teacher
– Reason for absence or adjustment to attendance

Thank you for your support in keeping our learning environments protected from disruptions.

Volunteers Needed

To make a school run well we often need volunteer help of all kinds. We are compiling a list of adults who might be willing to give any amount of time to help. We need people to:

  • Help prepare food for our Hot lunch days. (See information in School Nutrition Section of this newletter)
  • Read with children – 1 hour per week or as available
  • Water and weed the garden in the summer –
  • Maintain the front flower beds
  • Secure our benches around the playground.
  • Share ideas as member of the School Council.
  • Complete head checks of students.

Volunteering in a school is incredibly rewarding. Children keep you young and always make you smile.

If you are interested in helping out, please contact Ms. Darling or Mr. Rauser. Volunteer roles that workdirectly with students require a police check. We provide a letter that you take to the police station.

Kindergarten Registration for September 2018

Sprucedale’s Kindergarten Registration date is Tuesday, November 28.

School Cash Online

School Cash Online is up and running for all of your school purchases. This system makes purchasing items for your child’s participation quick and easy and can be done from the comfort of your home when you have time to do it. You won’t need a paper form or to tape cash or cheques that can be lost to order forms or permission forms.
Register today! www.avonmaitland.schoolcashonline.com All you need is your child’s OEN to register. This can be found on your child’s report cards or accessed by calling the school or email Ms.Darling at: Lori.Darling@ed.amdsb.ca

Ontario Student Nutrition Program – Volunteers Urgently Needed

We are seeking additional Sprucedale Community volunteers to support the Hot Food Program. Without volunteers to cook and arrange these meals, we cannot offer them to the children. We are in need of a minimum of 2 more volunteers to make this program viable for our school.

Your commitment could be 1-4 Wednesdays a month and it’s only 9 – 11 a.m. each time. You won’t work alone as many hands make light work. This is a significant contributor to our School FundRaising and we look forward to ensuring we can maintain its frequency and value to all the children.

If you could consider giving 2 or more hours per week to the school community, please contact the office via phone or email: Lori.Darling@ed.amdsb.ca

The Student Nutrition Program is possible through Grant Funding and personal donations. Every day at second break, there are a variety of options available to children in need of supplements to their lunches. The food provided is purchased by Parent Volunteers and is set out by Student Volunteers supporting their school community.
You have an opportunity with each Milk/Food Order done online to support this program with a generous donation to the program. We truly appreciate your kindness and giving to this program. If you make a donation of $20 or more, please ensure you print your receipt and submit it to the office. Donations of $20 or more are eligible for a Tax Receipt through the Foundation for Education.


Please do not bring dogs into the school or onto the school yard. Although your dog may be very well trained, children are often unpredictable and can tug and pull on dogs in ways that cause a dog to react. At times we will have a dog come into the school, either through the Humane Society program or a dog deep into training for service, but these dogs have been specifically trained for work with children. You are welcome to bring your dog and wait on the sidewalk off of school property away from the flow of children.

Professional Activity Days

Friday, November 3, 2017
Friday, December 1, 2017
Thursday, February 2, 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018
Friday, June 8, 2018
Friday, June 29, 2018

Our school calendar is found at the link below:

If you require a paper copy, please request this at the office.

The AMDSB Parent Involvement Committee (PIC) is hosting a School Council Orientation
Date: October 18, 2017
Time: Refreshments at 6:15, Meeting from 6:30-8pm
Location: Maitland Room, AMDSB Education Centre at 62 Chalk Street North, Seaforth

1. Welcome from Trustee
2. Message from Lisa Walsh, Director of Education
3. Websites for AMDSB parents
4. SchoolMessenger for Parental Outreach
5. School Council Finances
6. Where Do We Begin?

These are small group sessions, facilitated by members of PIC, that will last 10 minutes each. We will then rotate so that everyone has a chance to visit each group.
Group 1 – Recruitment
Group 2 – Running Effective Meetings
Group 3 – Sharing Ideas & Celebrating Successes
Group 4 – Council Communication
7. Open Discussion