February 2019 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Our school system is getting better and better at recognizing differences in students in order to do a better job educating students. This month I am going to share a few simple things we do in order to improve learning for students with varied needs.

Some students and adults have a real need to move. At administrators meetings I recognize these people because although they are sitting, they are constantly tapping their pen in their hand or moving their leg back and forth under the desk. For students who need to move, we have special stools that allow children to sit safely but it also gives them the ability to move quietly. Meeting a child’s need for movement helps them concentrate and focus. Naturally we also try to keep children very active with gym, recess and in classroom activities that give them a break (e.g. exercise moments, dance break). For some students, the child and teacher have an agreement in place to take a brief walk to the other end of the school and back to stretch their legs and then resume in class learning.

Some students feel relaxed and ready to learn when they receive deep pressure. For some students we use what is called a weighted lap pad or a weighted vest. These vests, most frequently suggested by an Occupational Therapist, provide the pressure that students seek and helps some children get to a place where they are ready to learn. We always trial such things and if it does not work, we simply do not use it. I heard on the radio an adult sharing her use of such a weighted blanket as a means to help her combat insomnia.

Another tool we use to help people who learn differently is Speech to Text technology with either an iPad, a computer or a Chromebook. Many students have great ideas but have great difficulty getting their ideas to paper. Speech to Text technology has advanced enough that it is truly user friendly and quite accurate. This has opened doors for many students who have great ideas but who somehow struggle with traditional paper and pencil writing. We normally begin using this strategy in the junior grades after children have had a considerable amount of time to develop printing and handwriting skills.

Our schools and our world are much better because we have so many different people. As schools get better at helping people figure out what they need to be their best learner, our children learn more.

As always, please contact me if you have any questions about learning at Sprucedale PS.

Mr. Rauser

Student Safety

Please keep cars OUT of bus loading and unloading zone.

Please do not bring vehicles into the main driveway out front of the school from 8:35 to 8:50 and from 3:10 until all buses have departed. It is unsafe for our students to have cars moving in that area while loading buses. Please remember, children are beautifully unpredictable, they run in places in which we might not expect. Please pick up children at the back near the Ball Diamond or park on the side street and walk in to meet your child.

School Crossing Guard Hours

The school crossing guard is available to help children cross the road from 8:30 to 9:00 in the morning and at 3:15 to 3:45 in the afternoon.

School Council

Our Elmira Poultry fundraiser order forms have been sent home. All orders are due back to the school by Thursday, February 7. Orders can be placed through SchoolCash Online as well by February 7. The delivery and pickup date is Tuesday, February 26 between 3:00 and 5:45. We do not have freezer space to keep any orders not picked up so please ensure you arrange to have your orders picked up on Feb 26.

The funds raised by students in grades JK to 7, will go towards school council initiatives such as ice cream and bussing for the year end swimming trip, year-end awards, snack program, etc.  Funds raised by grade 8 students will go directly towards the cost of his/her grade 8 trip to Camp Celtic.

Our next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 12 at 7:00 in the school library. Everyone is welcome to join us.  If anyone has any questions or concerns surrounding school council, life at Sprucedale or the learning done within Sprucedale, please let me know and I will do what I can to get you an answer. That is part of my function as School Council Chair.

Heather Johnston

Kindergarten Registration for September 2019

If you missed our Kindergarten Registration Day in November, please call the school and we can help you with online registration. Please tell any neighbours or friends that have a child who will be attending Kindergarten
next September.

Nutrition Program at Sprucedale

At this time, we would like to recognize and appreciate all the families who have accessed the Donation to Sprucedale Nutrition Program on the SchoolCash Online system and those who have donated items.  These donations are very helpful. Thank you!

A reminder that if you would like a tax receipt for donations $20 and over please notify the office so we can process this for you.

Food Days on Snow Days

In the event of an inclement weather day resulting in bus cancellations or school closure on a Wednesday Food Day, the pizza or hot dogs or grilled cheese day will be moved to the next day possible for our Parent Volunteers. You will be notified through Messenger and the new date will be added to our school website calendar. Please be sure to check for these notifications.

Lost and Found

Our bin is filling up in the front entrance of the school. There are a lot of really nice pieces of clothing in there that need to be found by your child so they can enjoy them. As spring is approaching, the hoodies and sweaters that are layered in the bin will come in handy! Mittens, lefts or rights would love to be reunited to make a pair. We even have footwear. Please ask your child to take a look for their belongings. If you are able to pop in to take a look, this would be helpful as well. At the end of June anything left here will be donated as extra clothing for school use or put to another use for someone in need of the items.

Shakespeare Firefighters – Free Skate

On February 1st, you and all your family are invited to the Tavistock Arena for a free Skate. From 10:30 a.m. until 12 noon, the Shakespeare Firefighters are hosting this event and will also be serving up Hot Dogs and Hot Chocolate.  See you there!

School News

Anyone who wishes to know more about the Legion Public Speaking contest in Stratford, please see Mrs. Green about the opportunity. It takes place in February at the Stratford Legion.
Contact Dale Bast for more information.

Also big Congrats to some of our students for their Snowman Stroll Creation – Super Hero “Global Girl!” She helps stop global warming and aims to save Winterfest! These girls placed First Prize on the weekend at Stratford Winterfest (January 19-20, 2019). A plaque will be delivered to the girls, to display at the school for the year! Super job ladies! Sprucedale Sabre Cats are proud of you!

This year, Mrs. Green is teaching how to play ukuleles to the grade 3-8 classes. Thanks to a wonderful Grant from Libro Credit Union last year and another donation from Parent Council this year, we have 11 ukuleles for class learning. Mrs. Green is hoping to buy 4 more in order to have enough for half a class to be practising while the other half does another activity.

Students are learning basic technique and starting to learn a few chords in order to sing and play a simple song. If the children enjoy this musical instrument and want to continue by buying their own, you can find ukuleles at the Long and McQuade website.

The best place in this area to buy a Ukulele is at Long and McQuade. They have a variety to choose from and various prices. The ones we use at school in music class are the soprano Denver Ukuleles, as they are priced reasonable and durable – they do need a bit more tuning so I suggest buying a tuner as well. They have them on site and can also order within 2 days. This is the best place to order a UKE for the best price. Their new location is at the Erie Street plaza, with Joe’s Diner, in Stratford. Kitchener also has a Long and McQuade store. It is a rewarding hobby and boosts children’s confidence for playing and singing. There are a multitude of Youtube video tutorials and teachers online.

What an easy and wonderful way to get your child building those right brain, creative connections. Music helps build strong brains!

Tavistock Tornadoes Soccer Registration Dates

Who: Players turning 4 in 2019 ( Birth Year 2015 )
up to players turning 21 in 2019 (Birth Year 1998 )
What: Co-Ed Soccer Registration for:
House League teams (ages 4-7)
Travel teams (ages 8-21)
Where: Tavistock District Recreation Centre Arena – Upper Hall
When: Thursday, Feruary 21, 7 p.m. -to 8:30 p.m.
Saturday, February 23, 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

For further information contact:

Marlow Gingerich
Tavistock Tornadoes Soccer Convenor
Phone = 519-655-3237
Email = marlowjanice@rogers.com

Stratford Secondary Schools Open House

You’re invited to Stratford Secondary Schools Open House, February 5, 2019 from 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. This event is taking place at Stratford Northwestern.  Snow date is February 6, 2019. Current grade 6,7,8 students are invited to meet in the gym at 6:15. Current grade 9,10, 11 students are invited to meet in the gym at 7:30.  Come see all the amazing programs we will be offering for the 2019 – 2020 school year!

Dates to Remember

February 1st – PA DAY – Shakespeare Firefighters – Free Ice Time at Tavistock Arena 10:30 a.m.  to 12 p.m.
February 5th – Stratford Secondary School Open House – 6:15 to 8:30 p.m. at NorthWestern
February 7th – Elmira Chicken Fundraiser Orders are due
February 11th – Author Mike Wade with Grades 4/5 and 5/6
February 12th – Paper March and April Milk and Food Orders are due
February 12th – School Council – 7 p.m. in the School Library
February 18th – Family Day – No School
February 19th – Report Cards come home
February 21st – Online March and April Milk and Food Orders are due
February 21st – Graduation Photos
February 22nd – Hydro One Safety Presentations – 3/4, 4/5, 5/6 classes
February 22nd – River Safety – Grade 2
February 22nd – Grade 3-8 Exploration Day – Registrations are due – limited spaces, register early
February 26th – Elmira Chicken Fundraiser Order Pick Up – 3 to 5:45 p.m
February 27th – Junior Basketball – Agriplex, Stratford 1-5pm
March 2 – Exploration Day – 9am-4pm Saint Joseph’s Parish Hall, Stratford
March 6th – Intermediate Basketball – Agriplex, Stratford 1 to 5 p.m.

2018-2019 School Calendars are now available:

2018/19 PA Days

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
March/April due February 1st
May/June due April 21st

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.

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