October 2018 Newsletter

Mr. Rauser’s Message

After our first month back and a reorganization of some primary and junior classrooms, 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. We sometimes reorganize in the initial weeks after we see what students have come and what students have gone over the summer. The reason we wait until September rather than June, is that in those two months changes often occur. The Education Centre looks at all of our schools and our class sizes and works to meet the class size terms set out in the respective Collective Agreements. I am 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. We have a very strong teaching staff and I would be happy to have my own children in any of our classrooms.

On the academic side, our EQAO results have been released. In Primary, we had 90% of our students reaching the provincial standard in reading, 62% reach the provincial standard in writing and 81% achieve Level 3 or 4 in mathematics. In grade six – a compilation of all the work students have done from kindergarten to grade 6 – 76% of our students achieved standard in reading, 57% of our students met the mark in writing and 43% of our students achieved level 3 or 4 in mathematics. Individual student results will be sent home this week (i.e. the week of October 1st to 5th). 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 2018/2019 Sprucedale Public School primary staff will be focusing on improving instruction in mathematics in our professional learning by working with Dr. Alex Lawson, a professor with great knowledge in the area of how children learn mathematics. Our junior teachers will continue to work with Erika Scheerer, our Teaching and Learning Coach, and our Intermediate teacher will be part of a Literacy Learning Group for Intermediate Teachers. .

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

Chickenpox – Communication Request

One of our children at our school has a compromised immune system because of treatment for a serious medical condition. We request that you please let the office know immediately if your child breaks out with chickenpox or measles. Please let us know when the spots appeared. As always we ask that you keep your child home from school when they are unwell with any contagious illness. This will help keep our school community healthy.

Thank you for your understanding and cooperation.

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. 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 our on-going commitment to make the school day as seamless as possible for our families, we ask parents/guardians to share their tentative childcare needs for September of the next school year (2019) by completing an online survey. The survey will be available October 1, 2018 and can be found on the AMDSB website.

Families that are interested in Before and After school programs for their Junior/Senior Kindergarten children and/or grade 1 – 6 children are asked to complete the survey by December 1, 2018.

We appreciate your assistance as we determine the feasibility of offering such programs.

If you require a paper copy, please contact the school.

School Council Report

Here we are the beginning of October, the start of fall and one month of the school year behind us already!

Our fall fundraising packages will be sent home this week. We are once again offering beautiful poinsettias from Warren Greenhouses, QSP, and this year we are offering tasty pizza kits from Little Caesars Pizza. Please make sure that your child’s name is on all fundraising sheets so we know who the order belongs to. Orders are due back to the school by Thursday, October 25. Poinsettias and pizza kits will be available for pick up at the school on Wednesday, November 28th 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 next meeting will be Wednesday, November 14th 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. As a staff we are going to be comparing student attendance to learning demonstrated on Report Cards and EQAO. 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 and Schedule Changes

Please report any absences or changes to your child’s schedule prior to 8:55 a.m.
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.

Lions Club Vision and Hearing Screening for JK/SK

In partnership with local Lions Club organizations, we are pleased to offer hearing and vision screening for JK and SK students. We understand the impact of having healthy eyes and good hearing on your child’s overall health, well-being and education. JK/SK Vision and Hearing Screening coming to Sprucedale on October 11, 2018.

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 at the SchoolCashOnline website.

We had some September kinks getting some families up and going, but the system should be all set for you to click on the link above and get started.  All you need is your child’s OEN to register. This can be found on your child’s report cards or by calling the school.

Weather Reminder

Questionable weather patterns are upon us as we continue to settle into the fall season. Please make sure your child comes to school prepared to participate indoors and outdoors. Safe indoor footwear and layers for outdoors including mittens and a hat are items to keep in their backpacks or ready to pack each day. Please label as much as you can.

If you have winter wear that you would like to donate to the school, please call us to make arrangements. Extra mittens and snow pants are nice to have on hand at the school for when the need arises.

Now is a great time to get your student in the habit of checking the lost and found.

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:

  • Read with children – 1 hour per week or as available
  • Water and weed the garden in the summer
  • Maintain the front flower beds
  • Share ideas as member of the School Council
  • Complete head checks of students
  • Tabulate the Food and Milk Orders into our Distribution and Ordering Charts
  • We are so grateful to have our volunteers this year to support the Hot Food Program. Without volunteers to cook and arrange these meals, we cannot offer them to the children.

Thank you to Tara Witzel, Tessa Trachsel, Andrea Sproule and Melissa Hodgson for volunteering to prepare our Wednesday Hot Dogs and Grilled Cheese and gather supplies for these days.

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 work directly with students require a police check. We provide a letter that you take to the police station.

Ontario Student Nutrition Program

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. Melissa Hodgson will be shopping for our Student Snack Program.

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.

Donations of food for use in the program will be accepted as well. Please discuss your donation in advance as we are required to follow Nutrition Program Guidelines in determining what we can serve.

If you are interested in volunteering at the school or making a donation, please contact the office.

YMCA School Age Program

My name is Maggie Curtis I am the supervisor of the Before and After School program. The program is currently full at this time. If you would like to place your child on the wait list please visit the Stratford Child Care Registry and Waitlist website. If you are looking for a fun family event visit our haunted house on October 30, 2018 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Downie YMCA.


Terry Fox Event – September 27th

Sprucedale students and staff put on their walking shoes Thursday, September 27 to celebrate the life of Terry Fox and raise funds for the Terry Fox Foundation. To start the walk, each class tied a different coloured ribbon on a tree in front of the school, to recognize the many kinds or cancer research taking place currently.

A total of $411.17 in loonies and toonies was collected the week leading up to the walk. Thank you to everyone who generously donated and supported the walk. Haley Schwartz was the winner of the Terry Fox T-shirt draw! It was special to have family members join our walk with the students on a beautiful sunny morning. Well done Sprucedale Community!

Kindergarten Registration for September 2019

Sign up your child for Kindergarten during November 2018.  Calling All Three-Year-Old events will be offered in AMDSB schools.  This is for children eligible for Junior or Senior Kindergarten in September 2019.  Please contact your local school for more information.

Sprucedale’s Kindergarten Registration date is Friday, November 30.  Contact the office for your package today. Please share this with anyone you know who has a child preparing for September 2019 school entry.


“School Messenger” was introduced last year as our newest tool to ensure parents are receiving school communication using the most up to date parent contact data pulled directly from the registration database.

Newsletters, reminders and emergency communication go out directly to the Contact #1 you have provided on the Emergency Contact Sheet updated in September.  Occasionally, we will use both Contact #1 and Contact #2 for time sensitive and critical communications.

Communication goes out to your email address provided automatically. If you wish to receive text messages we send out you need to complete the set up for your cell number to be added to our list. Due to privacy and communication laws, you are required to text Yes to 978338 before the system will send you any SMS messages.

There is also an option to use home phone numbers for messaging as well.

These three pieces of data are very important in ensuring you are able to receive information pertaining to Sprucedale. Please be sure to keep us up to date if any of your information changes. If you prefer both Contact #1 and Contact #2 to be used regularly, please inform us at the office.


Congratulations to the JK/KA Classroom on winning a brand new Mud Kitchen provided by APE (Active Playground Equipment)

Shakespeare Fire Department

Attention all kids! The Shakespeare Fire Department is hosting a birthday for Sparky on Saturday October 13 at the Shakespeare Pavilion from 11 a.m. – 1 p.m.

  • jumping castle
  • spraying water at targets with the fire trucks!
  • selfie station
  • birthday cake
  • birthday loot bags for the 1st 100 kids

Sparky will be there!
Free hot dogs and drinks

A great opportunity to see all of our trucks and some of them in action!

Drive Slowly and Orderly – Let’s keep our students safe

When driving in and around the school and the village, please keep your speed very low and expect the unexpected. One of the many wonderful things about children is they are highly spontaneous. That often means they do things freely and without thinking about the consequences. For example, they might step or run out onto the road without looking even though parents and school staff have instructed them not to do so. Please leave yourself enough time in the morning and the afternoon so you are able to drop off and pick up on time. We are currently talking with the Township of Perth East about some ways to improve pedestrian safety in and around the school.

Buses and Cars Do Not Mix

Please do not enter the lane when our buses are loading or unloading. We have many students walking to or from the bus and they are not expecting vehicles to be in that same space.

Dates to Remember

Friday, October 4th – Cross Country @ Wildwood
Tuesday, October 9th – Fire Prevention Presentation – Mrs. Larder and Mr. McEwin classes
Saturday, October 13th 11am-1pm – Shakespeare Fire Hall – Open House and Activities for Children
Wednesday, October 17th – School Portrait Day
Thursday,October 25th – Fundraising Orders Due
October 29th – Report Cards go home
November 1st – Parent/Teacher Interviews 3:30-7:00pm
November 2nd – Parent/Teacher Interviews AM only
November 14th 7pm – School Council
November 28th 3-545pm – Pizza & Poinsettia Pick Up
Friday, November 30th – Calling All Three Year Olds (CATYO) – Kindergarten 2019 Registration

2018-2019 School Calendars are now available.

2018/19 PA Days
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

Please note: all online orders were available at the beginning of September for the entire year. Each month has 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 you like.

Due Dates are:

  • November/December – due October 1st.
  • January/February – due December 16th
  • March/April – due February 21st
  • May/June – due April 21st

Please be aware of pricing this year:
Hot Food Items: $1.75
White or Chocolate Milk: $0.75

At this time, parents who have asked for paper copies have received complete packages for the entire school year. Please send them all back in as a package with postdated payments or hold onto them and return them one at a time. Please pay close attention to the due dates.

Thank you to the Milk Board for supplying us with prizes. We will draw one lucky winner for a Milk prize each week!