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April 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

For those of you who are regular newsletter readers and have good memories, you may realize my message is a repeat from 2017. Although simple messages there within, I thought they were important enough to repeat.

When home and school work together, a child’s likelihood of succeeding in school is very high. In this month’s principal’s message, I am going to share with you four simple ideas that I know help children learn both academically and socially.

First, read with your child each and every night at bedtime. This simple concept has been shown time and time again to be one of the biggest predictors of a child’s success in a school environment. Children cherish this time with family, are exposed to valuable readings of books, and develop a love of literature. When children get older (grade six, seven, eight), I might shift to reading alongside them or simply spending the time talking – to stay connected as they move into the teenage years.

Second, work with your child to learn their math facts. By facts I mean mentally adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing small numbers (e.g. 4 + 5, 9 – 6, 4 X 6, 30 divided by 5). I would recommend starting with addition and subtraction facts in grade one, two and the beginning of grade three. After Christmas in grade three, I would help your child practice multiplication facts up to 7 times 7 and 49 divided by 7. By the end of grade four, students should know up to 9 times 9 and 81 divided by 9. By the end of grade five students should know their facts up to 12 times 12 and 144 divided by 12.

Third, show an interest in what your children are learning and emphasize that school is their work. There is no person in the world more important to a child then their parents. If a parent takes interest in school, children learn that school is important and they value learning. If a parent is not interested in school or learning, it is much harder to motivate children to do their best.

Fourth, please assume good will. If a teacher or I call with an issue to address, we do it out of care and concern for the child. As educators we tend to see the best in our students. We also know that if there is either an academic or social issue to be resolved it is our job to try to help. Most of the time parents are open and willing to listen and to collaborate. Occasionally parents will not be ready to hear something an educator shares and will make excuses or minimize issues that are better resolved. If this happens once or twice, it is inconsequential. If making excuses for children happens regularly, students learn not to take responsibility. In my years as an educator, I have not seen a child, even with the toughest issues, who is not able to make progress when home and school collaborate.

Raising children is a lot of work. The reward is also handsome. Similarly teaching is a great responsibility but it is also magnificently rewarding when we see children flourish and grow.
Working together lightens the load and increases the positive rate of growth.
If you wish to access more resources on how to support your child with literacy or numeracy, see “A Parent Guide – Doing Mathematics with Your Child” and “A Parent Guide – Reading and Writing with Your Child“.

YMCA School Age Programs

Happy Spring Sprucedale Parents,
In speaking with Heather Johnston and Mr.Rauser it has come to my attention that some families are inquiring about a Before School Program. In order for us to expand our program we need to hear from all of you who are interested. If you require before schoolcare please contact Terri Kendall, – Manager of Child Care at 519-271-0480 by April 13, 2018.

Healthy School Team

The Healthy School Team has been working alongside the Health Unit, diligently coming up with positive ways to promote awareness for anti-bullying and their slogan “Be A Buddy not a Bully”.

They have had daily announcements encouraging others to help spread the awareness and how the students can prevent bullying in our school community.  Next week the Team has organized special days to help promote our initiative. Each student will also receive their own pink bracelet that has our team slogan “Be A Buddy not a Bully”!

These special days are:

  • Tuesday April 3rd Bracelets are in full swing!
  • Wednesday April 4th Hat Day!
  • Thursday April 5th Beach Day!
  • Friday April 6th PJ Day and Crazy Hair Day!
  • Wednesday April 11th Day of Pink! Wear your pink today!

School Council

The Sprucedale Parent Council is happy to support the upcoming International Day of Pink on April 11. The Day of Pink is the International Day against Bullying, Discrimination, Homophobia, Transphobia and Transmisogyny across the world. We are supporting this initiative by providing students with blank pink stickers, to give students a chance to fill out and express what Day of Pink means to them. Students are encouraged to wear pink April 11 to support this celebration of diversity.

Elizabeth Klockman Memorial Fund

Sprucedale Public School would like to acknowledge the generosity of the late Elizabeth Klockman. Our school has received funding dollars to purchase outdoor toys, specifically for our sand areas. Elizabeth Klockman was a teacher who truly cared about children throughout her teaching career, this bequest in her name is a fine tribute to her love for children with special needs.

Chess Club – Tuesday, April 3/18

Congratulations to all the students who participated in the Chess Club this winter, learning and playing chess! Ultimately, we had 12 top players in the Sprucedale Chess Finals. The following students have been chosen to represent our Sprucedale Team at the Chess Tournament on Tuesday, April 3:
Seniors: Kaylen, Cameron, Blake, Gage, Rhianna, Trinity
Juniors: Justin, Cameron, Dylan, Luke, Damien, Colton

OurSCHOOL Survey

Sprucedale Public School will be participating in an online school survey for students called the OurSCHOOL Student Survey. Please find the details of the survey implementation below.

Who: Students in Grades Four to Eight, Parents, Staff
When: Students April 9th to 20th, Parents April 16th to 27th, Staff April 23rd to May 4.
Where: Online, students complete at school – weblinks will be shared with parents to complete.
Why: In order for Schools in the Avon Maitland District School Board to gather information to make our schools as welcoming and safe an environment as possible

About the OurSCHOOL Student Survey:
● Allows students to share their feedback anonymously on their experiences at school, school environment and school improvement programs.
● Participation in the survey is voluntary, however all students are encouraged to participate.
● The time required to complete the survey may vary, but it is designed to be completed in approximately 35-40 minutes.

Survey measures include such topics as behaviours and attitudes linked to student success, emotional and social well-being and physical health. For more information about the OurSCHOOL Student Survey, please visit The Learning Bar Inc.’s website: www.thelearningbar.com.

If you have questions or would like to request more information about Sprucedale’s upcoming implementation of the OurSCHOOL Student Survey, please contact Don Rauser at 519 625-8722 or pop in to see him.

Stratford Garbage Can Decorating

This year we will be submitting a decorated can. Over the past couple of weeks, students have been working very hard to represent their thoughts around Celebrating Agriculture. They are truly producing an amazing piece of artwork. The competition closes on April 17th and judging begins on April 18th at 11 a.m. and the awards ceremony will be on Thursday, April 19th at 4 p.m. Decorated cans will be on display at this time at the Festival Mall until April 22nd.

Congratulations to Samantha and Kailynn on their remarkable entry.

We Have Authors At Sprucedale!

Congratulations to Grade 4 students, Kensington and Chase, for their outstanding achievement in the 2017/2018 National Poetry Contest presented by Polar Expressions Publishing, from British Columbia. Their Remembrance Day poems will be published in a new collection of poetry written by young Canadians, called “Upon A Star”. The book is to be released this coming June.

Remembrance Day Artwork: Sprucedale Contest Winner

On June 4, 2018, The Stratford Legion will be presenting Grade 6 student, Jade a First Place Award for her Black and White Poster Creation for Remembrance Day 2017. Congratulations Jade. Sprucedale is proud of you. There were 10 schools, submitting 325 works of poetry and art in the 2017/2018 Stratford Legion contest.

Perth District Health Unit – Immunization Clinic for Grade 7

At these clinics, PDHU will be providing the 2nd dose of hepatitis B and human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccines, and will only be given to students who received the first dose in October of 2017.

Shakespeare Opti Mrs.

The Shakespeare Opti Mrs. Annual Easter Egg Hunt at Sprucedale School is on Saturday, March 31 at 11 a.m. sharp. Please be there a bit before so we can get all age groups organized.

Community Brunch

Shakespeare Optimist Hall – Sunday April 22/18
Time: 11:00 a.m.-1 p.m.
Ages: 5 & under – Free –  6-12yrs $6.00 13yrs+ $15.00
For tickets, please contact Jean @ 519-625-8811 (or any Opti-Mrs member)

All You Can Eat Taco Night – Shakespeare Men’s Club

Saturday, April 28th at the Shakespeare Community Centre.
Tickets 519-276-9849.
Limited Tickets at Door.
$20, Children 10 & under eat free with adult ticket purchase

Lost and Found

Please check the lost and found. There are many items in the bin that need to find their homes. Single mittens and pairs, hats, socks, single shoes and boots and pairs! We have well over 25 hoodies, some from sports teams all ranging in size from Toddler to Adult. It is very important you take a look soon. If it is here at the end of June, it will be donated outside the school. Thank-you.

Dates to Remember

April 3 – Annual Chess Tournament – Army Navy 9:15 a.m.- 4 p.m.
April 9, 16 and 23 –Pinch Pot Clay workshops with Gr.3/4 and 4/5
April 9-20 – Our SCHOOLS Climate Survey – Students
April 11 – Health Unit Immunizations for Grade 7 (second set – follow up from October 2017)
April 11 – Day of Pink – Wear your PINK today!
April 12 – Grade 8 Graduation Photos –Sprucedale
April 14 – Red Cross Babysitting Course – Shakespeare Optimist Hall (Back Room) 9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
(pre-register by: April 6, 2018)
April 16-27- Our SCHOOLS Parent/Guardian Survey
May 2 – Graduation Photo RETAKES
May 3 – Grade 8 Trip to Fanshawe College
May 9 – Sprucedale PS Track & Field
May 11 – Grade 7’s JUMP Trip to Wilfrid Laurier University