April 2019 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Spring has officially arrived on the calendar. It is hard to believe that we are approaching the last few months of school. We have many different and exciting new initiatives and events that staff and students will undertake, both academically and socially.

One of the ways we actively show peace in our lives is by living lives of integrity. We encourage students and staff to choose to act, play and work with integrity. Integrity means doing what is right, even when no one is watching and, acting justly, not because we are going to receive an award or recognition, or out of the fear of a consequence, but because it is the right and just thing to do. We are challenging all students, staff and members of our school community to act justly and with integrity.

“Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching.” C. S. Lewis

We are also continuing to create a positive and inclusive learning environment at Stephen through living out the “The Bucket fill-osophy”. We all have an invisible bucket. People can be bucket fillers or bucket dippers. When someone compliments you or helps you, they are bucket fillers. Little drops of kindness fill your bucket and you feel great! When someone hurts you or puts you down, they are bucket dippers. The drops spill out of your bucket and you feel hurt or sad. At Stephen Central we are working very hard to be bucket fillers. If you want to work on this bucket fill-osophy at home, here are some books you can purchase, or borrow from the library.

Have You Filled a Bucket Today?  How Full is Your Bucket?

Here are some ways to fill someone’s bucket:

  • help a friend with their books
  • spend time with your grandparents
  • wave hello or good-bye
  • clean up your toys
  • set the table
  • play with your brother or sister
  • give a hug
  • say please and thank you
  • share with a friend
  • do a kind deed to help someone else
  • say nice things to people such as…

Appreciation Statements:

  • Great effort. It was easy to see you were working very hard.
  • I appreciate it when you clean up your toys.
  • I really appreciate when you set the table.
  • You are a super star when you…..
  • I told you, you could do it! Keep up the good work!
  • I admired you for listening so well and following through with what I asked you to do.
  • I appreciate you taking the garbage out.
  • I am proud of you for telling the truth.
  • I admired your courage when you told me about what you did wrong.
  • You should feel proud of yourself for….
  • Wow! I am impressed with the way you listened to my instructions.
  • It was nice of you to….

By working together as a school community, both at school and at home, we can help to model and teach the importance of treating others with kindness, dignity and respect, creating a community of peace that we all can be proud to be a part of.

Our school is starting the process of planning for next year. I am inviting staff, parents and the community to take time to reflect on this year and make recommendations to me on how to improve our school. I would invite you to provide any feedback that you believe would make our school an even better place. We all have an important stake in the success of our school and I hope you feel comfortable in sharing your thoughts with me. Thank you for your continued support.

Enjoy the month of April!

Donna Gregus, Principal

School Council

With the school year end fast approaching I wanted to say thanks to everyone who has supported parent council. We may be small in numbers but we always get done what needs to be done. It’s not too late to be part of our small but mighty group. Feel free to join us at our next meeting on May 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the library. Hope everyone is enjoying their Jerry Radar’s meat pies!

Tammy Wharram, Chair

Thank You To

…Godfathers Pizza, Exeter for providing the school with a free pizza coupon for our March newsletter winner
…the Huron County Foodbank Distribution Centre for their generous donation to our snack program
…the Foundation for Education Perth Huron and to those who donate to the Foundation for your support
…the Exeter Lakeshore Times-Advance for coming to our school and taking pictures of our winter carnival and other activities that we do at the school. Also, thanks for providing us with newspapers so that all our stars can have a picture of themselves.

Staff Changes at Stephen Central

There will be some staffing changes over the course of the next few weeks at Stephen Central Public School. Mr. Matt Chaput, our grade 5 teacher, will be leaving us at the end of March and we will be warmly welcoming Ms. Ashley Hagan back to Stephen Central beginning Monday, April 1st. Ms. Hagan will take over as teacher in the grade 5 classroom for the remainder of the school year. Our secretary, Mrs. Patty Case, will be leaving us sometime in April for a new challenge at another school. We warmly welcome Ms. Shelley Bender who will be taking over as secretary. We thank both Mrs. Case and Mr. Chaput for their outstanding service and we wish them well in the future.

Our Beautiful Yard and Trails

We welcome neighbours and families to use our trails after school and on weekends. Right now, we can see all the changes of spring happening…grass is turning green, robins and red-winged blackbirds are flying around and singing. Unfortunately, again, we’ve noticed ruts from ATVs on our trails, and small trees that have been killed by being run over by wheels. Please don’t bring motorized vehicles onto our yard or trails. It kills the grass and trees, leads to more mud and the risk of twisted ankles, trips, etc. for our young naturalists. As well, please remember to stoop and scoop. Thanks for helping to preserve the nature we love so much and are so fortunate to have to learn and play in!

Foundation for Education Workshops for Grade 3/4 and Grade 2/3

When donations are received through The Foundation for Education Perth Huron, the Foundation is able to provide a number of learning enhancements for our students. Grade 3/4 and Grade 2/3 students are eagerly awaiting the “Prepare for Surprises – Mindfulness through Drama and Improvisation” workshop with Stacy Smith, scheduled for April 1. We are grateful to the Foundation for Education and their generous donors who made this opportunity possible. We wish to thank the Foundation and those who donate to the Foundation for your support.

Our Water World

A huge thank you to Denise from ABCA who came to present “Our Water World” to several of the primary classes. The kids were surprised to learn how little water there really is on earth that we can drink. We are truly grateful for all the support our school receives from the ABCA. So much learning and fun takes place!

Be Your Own Boss: Change the World

Stephen Central is proud to congratulate Gracie on winning the “Be Your Own Boss: Change the World” competition. Students from Grades 4 to 8 were invited to submit a business idea, which Gracie worked very hard on. Gracie’s business, called “Gracious Garden,” is where she will be planting and growing a garden with vegetables and fruit, and have a produce stand set up in her front yard to sell the fresh produce. Gracie has decided to give 25% of the proceeds to our school snack program. Gracie went to the “Genius Hour” at the beginning of March to work with business advisers on her idea, which in turn led her to the top 10, out of approximately 50 others. On March 21st, she presented a one-minute live pitch to an audience of local leaders, entrepreneurs, and community members, and won! Congratulations Gracie! We are all so proud of you!

Knights of Columbus Free Throw

Congratulations again to Tysaya and Avery who represented our school so well in Knights of Columbus Free Throw at three different levels of competition. They both did well at the event in London, competing against winners from all over southern Ontario. Congratulations girls for your hard work and perseverance! Thank you to their families as well for their support. Organizers at the event in Exeter commented on our students’ positive attitudes and how impressed they were to hear the girls encouraging their competitors as well. We’re proud of you! Go Tigers!

Michael Wade, Author Visit

Stephen Central staff and students were honoured to have Michael Wade, author of the “And Then It Happened” series, come to our school on March 28. He taught our students about the importance and power of simple words. Students and staff laughed and learned about how they too can become writers and that reading can be a hilarious and fun way to exercise their brains. If students did not get a chance to purchase one of Michael Wade’s books, they can check out a copy from our school library, as our school is proud to own copies of the complete “And Then It Happened” series.

Character Corner

The character attribute of focus for April is ‘Honesty’ – Choosing to be honest.

At school honesty could look like:

• always telling the truth
• admitting your own mistakes which takes real courage

Quotes About Honesty

“Being honest shows others your good character. When others see you as honest, they respect you more as a person.”-Donna B., Forrest

Medicine Wheel Mosaic

On Friday, March 29 many students had the opportunity to work with Brenda Collins, Metis artist, on creating a Medicine Wheel mosaic. Small groups of students worked together in the development of the piece by placing glass tiles in the wheel to create our own beautiful mosaic for display in our school.

Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities

Grade 4 to 6 Ball Hockey team tournament in Zurich on Thursday, April 18, 2019 (weather date is Wednesday, April 24, 2019). Thanks to Mr. Chaput for coaching the team.


Now that we only have a few months of school left, it is important that students attend every day, unless, of course, there is illness or other circumstances that affect this. The entry bell rings at 8:45 a.m. each morning, and attendance is taken at that time. Immediately following attendance, there are morning announcements for the school, then each class begins its day, usually by organizing and introducing the day’s activities. This is important learning time for your child, and sets the tone for success. When your child is absent or arrives late, he/she misses out on important routines and information. We appreciate your efforts in teaching, encouraging and setting an expectation for promptness in your child’s daily routine. In the event that your child is late (arriving after 8:45 a.m.), a phone call is required from home and he/she is expected to enter the school by the front door, report to the office for safe arrival and get an Admit Slip so the teacher knows that the student has checked in at the office. Thanks for your assistance in making learning run smoothly.

Identity Based Data Collection

The Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) is re-engaging K-6 parents to complete the Student Identification Survey that were sent home in March, a few days ago. We want to enhance our knowledge of the self-identified composition of this student group. Learn more from the article on the Board website. Complete and return by April 4 to Stephen Central Public School.

Silver Birch

Voting Day is fast approaching! Silver Birch voting day will be Wednesday, April 24, 2019. Many students have read at least three books so far. They must read five or more in one category in order to vote. From the three Silver Birch categories, the students have read 41 Nonfiction books, 109 Express books, and 35 Fiction books. Congratulations to Tayton B., Hayden H., Ginger S., Payten P. and Charlotte M., who have qualified to vote in Silver Birch Express! Great work! Also congratulations to Alyssa S. and Avery D., who have qualified to vote in Silver Birch Nonfiction! Way to Go! Charlotte M. and Rachel G. have qualified to vote in Silver Birch Fiction. Awesome! Charlotte can now vote in all three categories! What a shining example of never giving up on a goal! A High Five to all of those students, who have qualified, for their perseverance! That makes 15 students, who are now eligible to cast a vote. Fantastic! There are several other students that have read three or four books thus far. With about three weeks left until voting, I am sure there will be more that will be voting on April 24th. Please actively encourage your child(ren) to keep reading to obtain their goal(s) to vote. Discussing the books attentively with your son or daughter is great encouragement for them to continue reading in these programs.

On Monday, April 29, 2019, there will be a celebration with the voting students at second break in the library. The voting students will bring home a note on April 24th with regard to our celebration. Ms. Wondergem has organized the treats, so we will have a variety of healthy treats.

The winning authors are honoured at a ceremony in May. In next month’s newsletter, I will post the results of our school wide vote. In June’s newsletter, I will post the results of the winning books and authors that were honoured in Toronto.

Blue Spruce News

Miss Overholt’s class completed reading the Blue Spruce books and voted in March. Students have cast their votes individually. A reminder that the students are not sharing their votes with their friends and siblings until all classes in our school have voted. Mrs. Rempel and Miss Visser’s classes will be voting in April. The students’ votes will be totalled and submitted to the Ontario Library Association in Toronto in late April. Look for our school wide results in May’s newsletter.

Q.S.P. Fundraising Campaign

Again, this year we are running our annual QSP magazine and cookie dough campaign to raise funds to provide support and extra-curricular activities for our students. Our kick-off assembly will be held on Monday, April 15.. Your child should be bringing home 2 different order forms for this fundraiser (cookie dough order form and magazine order form). Pick up for the cookie dough is Wednesday, May 29th – time to be announced at a later date. There are 3 ways to purchase items – 1. QSP, 2. School Cash Online, or 3. paper order forms and cheques, payable to “Stephen Central Public School”. Deadline to order is Friday, May 3, 2019. Any questions/concerns please call the school. Our school will receive approximately 30% of sales. In advance, thank you for your support! Happy reading, baking and planting!

Upcoming Events

– Monday, April 1 – Backwards Day for April Fools’ Day – Spirit Day
– Monday, April 1 to Monday, April 15 – order Milk & Meals for May
– Tuesday, April 2 – World Autism Awareness Day – Spirit Day
– Friday, April 5 – P.A. Day – no school for students
– Friday, April 12 – last day for Blue Spruce voting
– Monday, April 15 – QSP Spring Fundraiser Assembly @ 2:00 p.m.
– Monday, April 15 to Friday, May 3 – QSP Spring Fundraiser
– Thursday, April 18 – Spirit Wear home with students
– Friday, April 19 – Good Friday – no school
– Sunday, April 21 – Easter Sunday
– Monday, April 22 – Easter Monday – no school
– Monday, April 22 – Earth Day
– Tuesday, April 23 – Earth Day – dress up as your favourite animal – Spirit Day
– Wednesday, April 24 – Silver Birch voting
– Wednesday, May 3 – QSP Spring Fundraiser deadline date


Congratulations to: Breeanna, Kayden and family who were the winners of the March newsletter draw. They received a free pizza coupon from Godfather’s Pizza, Exeter.

April Newsletter – If you received and read this newsletter, please return this tear-off section for a draw. The students from the winning family will receive a prize.

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