September 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Welcome back to another school year. We extend an extra special welcome to all the children and families joining us for the first time either in junior kindergarten or in an older grade as families relocate.

Mr. Near has been diligently cleaning and the school is spotless. We are very fortunate to have such an amazing custodian who takes great pride in keeping our building sparkling. Our teachers have also been very busy over the summer preparing lessons and classrooms so that we can welcome our students back to Sprucedale Public School. Many of our staff members have also been busy as students this summer, attending workshops, reading professional materials, and taking courses to refine their teaching practice.

I consider myself extremely fortunate to work at Sprucedale Public School with an amazing group of educators, students and very supportive families. Children learn best when school and home work together. Supporting children at school can be as simple as taking an interest in what is happening at school and by reading with them daily (doesn’t have to be long – but regularly). Reading with your children regularly is one of the top predictors of school success. If at any time, your child is having difficulty learning, please let us know so we can offer more assistance.

I encourage you to catch me out on the yard before or after school, give me a call, shoot me an email or drop by my office if I can help with any matter. Never hesitate to give us a call or make an appointment to talk in person to your child’s teacher so that we can work together to make 2018/2019 the best year possible for your child(ren).

I would also encourage you to consider getting involved in Sprucedale Public School either on School Council or as a volunteer. Please give me call, send a note with your child or drop in if you are able to help out in any way. Looking forward to working with you and your children to make this a great year of learning and growing!

Don Rauser


We would like to welcome Mrs. Antonio (grade 4/5 teacher), Mrs. Bogle (Library half-time) and Mrs. Larder (grade 3 teacher)- new staff joining us this year – and Mrs. Wolf (EA), Ms. Ward (EA), Mrs. Fawcett (Supervision EA), and Mr. Near (custodian) – friendly faces returning to Sprucedale. I would also like to thank Mr. and Mrs. Galvez for their custodial work here at Sprucedale PS and wish them well in future endeavors.

Meet the Teacher – Tuesday September 18th – 6:30 – 8:00 p.m.

We hope everyone is able to come on Tuesday September 18th to meet their children’s teachers and visit classrooms.

Sabrina’s Law

The following is a quotation from Sabrina’s Law. “Employees of a board may be preauthorized to administer medication or supervise a pupil while the pupil takes medication, in response to an anaphylactic reaction, if the school has up-to-date treatment information and the consent of the parent, guardian or pupil. If an employee has reason to believe that a pupil is experiencing an anaphylactic reaction, the employee may administer an epinephrine auto-injector or other medication that is prescribed, even if there is no preauthorization to do so. The Bill provides that no actions for damages shall be instituted respecting any act done in good faith or for any neglect or default in good faith in response to an anaphylactic reaction, unless the damages are the result of an employee’s gross negligence. The Bill preserves common law duties.”

Ryan’s Law – supporting the well-being of students with asthma

As you may be aware, Ryan’s Law, 2015, was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature. This piece of legislation is an important step to support the well-being of students with asthma in Ontario schools. If your child has asthma, we ask that you immediately contact the main office at your school to provide information about your child’s asthma medication. With your permission, your child will be allowed to carry his/her asthma medication while at school. The Ministry of Education website has resources on asthma.  As a best practice and to support your child, please let the school know if your child has a medical condition so that the school is aware and can keep this information on file. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact me directly.

Don Rauser

Water Update – Sprucedale Public School

AMDSB would like to advise staff, students, parents/caregivers of Sprucedale Public School that bottled water will be provided during the week of September 4-7. Water fixtures may be used for hand washing and washing dishes and utensils. New equipment was installed over the summer which, in the short term, has impacted some parameters (e.g. sodium) in the drinking water, which can affect the taste, odour or appearance of the water. AMDSB is performing additional flushing of the system, which will continue the week of September 3-7. Water samples will be taken and tested to ensure these parameters have returned to recommended levels before discontinuing the bottled water procedure.


As part of the drinking water testing over the summer months, AMDSB received laboratory results that indicated arsenic levels were above the current Ontario Drinking Water Standards. The maximum allowable concentration (MAC) was changed by the Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks from 0.025mg/L to 0.010mg/L earlier this year to align with the limits set by Health Canada and the World Health Organization based on the latest worldwide science, research and information on long-term arsenic exposure and health. The level of arsenic measured at Sprucedale Public School was 0.012mg/L, exceeding this newly legislated limit. This exceedance did not represent a change from previous readings, but in order to align with current legislation, precautions have been taken. AMDSB responded immediately to install additional water treatment equipment to reduce traces of arsenic in the drinking water. The equipment is now operational and water testing results have confirmed that arsenic has been reduced below the 0.010mg/L limit. The additional flushing noted above is due to the installation of the equipment, which affected the parameters mentioned (e.g. sodium).

AMDSB would like to thank the staff at the Perth District Health Unit and Ministry of the Environment, Conservation and Parks for their assistance at Sprucedale Public School. If anyone requires more information about drinking water, please contact PDHU Health Line at 519-271-7600 ext. 267.”

Gardener Extraordinaire and Great Human Being

A huge shout out to Jean Roth, a proud Sprucedale grandmother and good neighbour, for her work cleaning up the front flower beds at Sprucedale PS. Your kindness, work ethic and green thumb are all greatly appreciated Jean.

School Cash Online

Register for School Cash Online today! Visit:
This is our preferred way of managing payments for all school activities. This system offers you extended due dates for all activities and provides you with a method of tracking your payments, ensuring loose change and cheques are not lost in transit.

School Council

Our first meeting will be held at the school Wednesday September 12th at 7:00pm. All are welcome to attend. This is an important meeting to attend as we will be doing position nominations and placements for our upcoming school year, Council Executive.

School Messenger, Newsletters and Communications

Newsletters are produced monthly. We will post newsletters and send other important school information on School Messenger.

Please if you have not done so, provide your email address to the school for this purpose.
Also text YES to 978338 to be included in Text Messaging for important updates. As an added bonus, this allows us to share information that comes up during the day. If we ever have an emergency at the school and had to close or go to an alternate location, I can effectively contact all parents quickly. As an added bonus, I will continue to send out emails on snow days as well!

When you update the Emergency Contact information sheet (being sent home first day of school), there is an opportunity for you to provide your email address(es). Unless you indicate otherwise, we will use this to send newsletters electronically. Most communication is only sent to Emergency Contact #1. If you need it to be sent to multiple contacts, please forward your request to the office. Occasionally we will sent to all Contact #1 and #2 but if you need this done regularly, please let us know so we can set it up for you.

Please be sure to keep your email address current. If it changes during the year and we send newsletters out to “lapsed” addresses then other people with the same providers sometimes don’t get theirs as we get blocked as spam.

We start fresh each year and rebuild our mailing list so you must provide us with an up to date email address to ensure you receive our emails.

If your family needs multiple copies of any communications (newsletters, report cards, notices etc.) please inform the office of this request. We need this updated EACH year to ensure we are functioning accurately. Thank you.

Nutrition Program and Lunches

Please be sure to pack and send all items required for your child to enjoy their lunch. We are not equipped with cups, forks, spoons or knives to hand out to the children. Through both donations and Health Unit Funding, we have funding to provide snacks for our Snack Program and appreciate not spending these funds on disposable items that are required from time to time for children to eat their lunches.

Volunteers Needed

Sprucedale is in need of parent volunteer(s) to purchase snack items on a regular basis for the Student Nutrition Program. The volunteer(s) would purchase food items (fruit, vegetables, breakfast bars, crackers, etc.) every few weeks for students who require extra food during the day. Receipts are handed in to the office and you will be reimbursed by a school cheque. Please call the school office if you are willing to help out.

We would also like to ask for Hot Food Day helpers. Every other Wednesday we provide Grilled Cheese or Hot Dogs for the students. Tara Witzel, Judy Yearwood and Tessa Trachsel work very hard to prepare these by purchasing the groceries or cooking on the day of the event. We need more volunteers to make this work. Please contact the office if you are able to help on a few Wednesdays this year to ensure our program continues to be available for your children.

School Structure 2018/2019

JK/SK Mrs.Vassiliou and Ms. Wood French Mr. Stevenson
SK/Gr.1 Mrs. Williams Music/SERT Mrs. Green
Gr.1/2 Mrs. Maddock Phys. Ed Mrs. Goebel
Gr. 2/3 Mrs. Wray EA Mrs. Ward
Gr. 3 Mrs. Larder/Mr. Stevenson EA Mrs. Wolf
Gr. 4/5 Mrs. Antonio Librarian/TRA Mrs. Bogle
Gr. 5/6 Mr. McEwin Principal Mr. Rauser
Gr. 7/8 Mr. Hernden Secretary Ms. Darling

A reminder that early in September the Education Centre reviews our class sizes after student have both moved in and other students have moved out and we sometime reorganize to ensure we have the best learning structure for the entire year.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance

Our school board is offering you the opportunity to voluntarily purchase student accident insurance through the Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance program, underwritten by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (iA Financial Group).

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance provides protection against unexpected costs arising from accidental injuries. The program is especially valuable for families who:

  • do not have medical or dental plans,
  • have limited plans, as it may help supplement health and dental benefits, or
  • have active children who enjoy sports and outdoor activities.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance has a selection of plans to suit most budgets. Benefits include coverage for:

  • The full school year (September to September), 24 hours a day, while at home and in school;
  • Expenses that are often limited or not covered by private or group insurance plans, or Provincial Health Insurance Plans, such as ambulance, physiotherapy, private tutoring, counselling, and much more;
  • Injury-related dental treatment (including future dental treatment up to age 26);
  • Out-of-province or country emergency medical expenses.
  • If your address changes during the school year, your Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance plan is transferable from school to school, anywhere in Canada.

Insurance premiums for children are $14.50 or $33.50 per year, depending on the plan selected. A discount is available for families with 3 or more children. Adults age 20 to 64 can also be insured for $32.00 per year.

For more information or to apply online, please visit, or speak with a Kids Plus™ Client Service Administrator at 1-800-556-7411.

iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of the Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Dates to Remember

Wednesday September 12 – First School Council Meeting – All Welcome
Tuesday September 18 – Meet the Teacher Night
Thursday October 25 – School Portrait Day

2018-2019 School Calendars are now available.

2018 PA Days

September 28/18
November 2/18
December 7/18
December 24-January 4/19 (Winter Break)
February 1/19
March 11-15/19 (March Break)
April 5/19
June 7/19
June 28/19

Milk and Food Order – Due Dates 2018/2019

  • For the month of October, the due date is September 16.
  • For the months of November and December, the due date is October 21.
  • For the months of January and February, the due date is December 16.
  • For the months of March and April, the due date is February 21.
  • For the months of May and June, the due date is April 21.

Please note: all online orders will be available at the beginning of September for the entire year. Each month will have a due date and closing date (listed above). AFTER this date you will not be able to order for that particular month. You can however order each month as early as September 4th.

Please be aware of pricing this year:

  • Hot Food Items: $1.75
    White or Chocolate Milk: $0.75

Huron Perth Student Transportation Services


This is just a reminder to all Parents/Guardians. If your child (ren) is (are) eligible for transportation you are responsible for looking up your child (ren)’s busing information for the 2018/2019 school year. The busing information for the 2018/2019 school year will be available on the Huron Perth Student Transportation website mid-August. (Any child(ren) that are new to the board or are in JK without older siblings at the same residence will receive a phone call mid-late August from the bus company with their bus information.) Please check the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services website frequently in the last week leading up to the first day of school as routes and times change daily during the last week.

To look up your child’s bus information:

• Go to the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services – Bus Planner Web website.

Once you have entered the website:

• Select the “Busplanner Web” icon
• Then select “Student Login” (Make sure you have selected the correct school year from the drop down arrow box in the top left hand corner of the page before you make any selections)

You will need the following information to login:

  • Ontario Education Number (OEN)
  • This can be found on your child’s latest report card and should have 9 numbers
  • Only include the numbers – do not include hyphens
  • If the report card only has 8 numbers, then include a zero 0 before the 8 numbers
  • Date of Birth (Year/Month/Day) (birthdate order format may be different on each computer)
  • House Address Number or 9-1-1 Address- i.e. for a home address of 4602 Line 32 use only 4602
  • School Name – The School that the child will be attending in September 2018. This can be selected from the pull-down list

When you gain access to the portal, you will be able to see such information as your child’s eligibility for bus transportation, the Bus Route Number, approximate morning pick-up time and location, approximate afternoon drop-off time and location, transfer bus information (if required), School Bus Company and more.

Upcoming Events

For upcoming events, please see the school website calendar.