March 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

The world our children are growing up in has changed immensely over the last ten years – with the click of a mouse or a touch of the finger they can access information on almost any topic instantaneously. Have the Avon Maitland District School Board and Sprucedale Public School changed to keep up with the new reality?

Technology is one tool educators and teachers use to help children learn. In our school, children use technology to read, write, investigate, research, make videos, share their thinking and organize their learning.  In older classes (grades 6, 7, 8) teachers distribute and collect learning materials electronically.   Technology isn’t the outcome – it is the learning tool to reach the outcomes.  The outcomes defined in the Avon Maitland District School Board are: collaboration, creativity, critical thinking, communication and problem solving.

To put these outcomes into context, I will give you an example from a mathematics classroom.  In today’s world children still need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide but they also need to be able to solve problems while working with others.  Real life problems do not involve simply “choosing the right mathematical operation”, but rather they require students to read, interpret and think critically about what information is important and what information is irrelevant.  In today’s mathematics classrooms we are focusing increasingly on learning mathematics within the context of authentic problems.  Today as I was observing a lesson in which children were exploring surface area needed to wrap a block of cheese in wax paper,  a student immediately googled images for blocks of cheese to help his group members understand what exactly they were trying to figure out.  Later the teacher took pictures of the manipulatives students were using to build the model and was able to project those images on the Smartboard so the students could explain their solution and the strategies used to the class.

Technology has changed our world forever.  It is one of many tools that we use in schools to help your children learn.  As a person who grew up on a farm in a very “hands on” environment, I recognize it is not the only way to learn, however, it certainly a powerful tool that has deepened learning.

As always, please never hesitate to call me about anything you read in this newsletter or any questions, concerns or comments you have related to your child’s education.


School Council

Next meeting is Wednesday March 7 at 7pm – All are welcome!

Shout Out to Egg Farmers

As a school community we would like to thank the Egg Farmers of Ontario for supporting our school nutrition program.  These hard boiled eggs are an absolutely wonderful food to have as part of our snack program.  The students enjoy them and they are nutritious.  A special shout out to Gary and the rest of the West family for making this program happen for Sprucedale and many schools in the region.

Pink Day – “Be a Buddy, not a Bully!”

On February 28th our Healthy School Committee organized a Pink Day.  Wearing pink on Pink Day is one way that students have chosen to show their support for a positive inclusive learning space in which all children and adults are welcome.  The original event was organized by David Shepherd and Travis Price of Berwick, Nova Scotia, who in 2007,  bought and distributed 50 pink shirts after male ninth grade student Charles McNeil was bullied for wearing a pink shirt during the first day of school.  If your children do not have any pink in their wardrobe, you may wish to pick something up as the Day of Pink is most likely to carry on as an annual event.  Day of Pink has also been celebrated in April.

Basketball Teams Hit the Courts

Our junior and intermediate basketball teams have been busy getting ready to compete in the upcoming basketball tournaments.  The junior mixed team will compete on Thursday March 1st at the Stratford Agriplex.  Thank you to Mr. McEwin for coaching the junior team.  Our intermediate teams will take to the courts on Thursday March 8th at the Agriplex.  Mrs. Knechtel is coaching the ladies and Mr. Hernden is coaching the young men.  We wish all our Sabrecats good luck and trust they will represent their school well.

Chess Club

On the third of April Mrs. Green will be taking students to Stratford to compete at the annual Chess Tournament.  This event takes place at the Army Navy and has proven to be a very fun day of competition amongst young Avon Maitland Chess enthusiasts.  Our thanks go out to Mrs. Green for leading our team.

Dates to Remember

March 1 – Junior Mixed Basketball – AgriPlex 1 – 5 p.m.

March 7 – School Council Meeting – 7 p.m.

March 8 – Intermediate Mixed Basketball – AgriPlex 1 -5 p.m.

March 11 to 17 – March Break

March 30 – Good Friday – School Closed

April 2 – Easter Monday – School Closed

April 3 – Annual Chess Tournament – Army Navy – 9:15 a.m. – 4 p.m.

April 12 – Grade 8 Graduation Photos – Sprucedale

Red Cross Babysitting Course

This course is sponsored by the Shakespeare Opti-Mrs

Topics include:

  • How to find clients and make money babysitting
  • Caring for children of all ages
  • Creating safe environments and preventing accidents
  • Fire safety and prevention
  • What to do in an emergency
  • Good decision-making and leadership skills
  • Basic First Aid skills

When:  Saturday April 14, 2018

Where: Optimist Hall Back Room

Time: 9:00 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Your Cost:  only $30.00 Registration Fee

For Ages: those born 2004- 2007

Pre-registration required by Friday April 6, 2018.  Bring your own healthy lunch.  Bring a life-size doll/stuffed animal along.  Snacks and drinks will be provided. A minimum of 12 participants are needed to run the course.  If unable to fill, registration will be reimbursed.

Call Jean at 519-625-8466 or email to register by April 6.

Payment can be made by e-transfer to above email or by cheque written out to Shakespeare Opti-Mrs.