December 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Dear Stephen Central Families,

December is here and bringing with it all the excitement of the coming Holiday Season. It is a wonderful time for family, friends and giving. This year’s holiday concert theme is “The Holidays at Stephen Central: A Celebration of Our Community”. It is at this time of year that we pause and take the time to appreciate the wonderful community that we live, learn and work in. Please join us at our upcoming holiday concert as we gather together for a celebration of our community.

I would like to sincerely thank the students, staff, and school community for a fantastic 2018. Kindness, compassion, empathy and optimism are truly alive at Stephen Central School. It continues to be my pleasure and privilege to be a part of this very special community.

Students and staff at Stephen Central have continued to strive for excellence in all aspects of school life: academics, the arts and athletics. The commitment and dedication of our students, parents/guardians and staff is sincerely appreciated. The ongoing support our students receive from home contributes significantly to their success. With parents/guardians and staff working in partnership to enhance the educational and social opportunities for our students, we will continue to create a positive and inclusive environment as well as a high quality educational experience for each of our students. Please ensure that you communicate with your child’s teacher any time that you have questions or concerns. I thank all of you for your continued support of our students and staff. We, at Stephen Central, are so fortunate to have such a supportive community.

On behalf of the staff of Stephen Central, we wish you all a joyous, safe, relaxing and memorable holiday season.
Donna Gregus, Principal

School Council

It is hard to believe holiday season is upon us already. Parent Council is very excited to be able to serve our annual holiday meal again this year for the whole school. The meal will be served to all the students and staff on Wednesday, December 12. If you’re interested in helping out we have a meal prep night on Tuesday, December 11 where we will get all the food ready for the next day. We will be at the Crediton hall kitchen around 6:30 p.m. and everyone is welcome. We also need help the day of the meal with transportation of food, serving and other tasks. Please contact Alison Rammeloo @ 519-237-3771 or if you can help. Another Parent Council holiday tradition is the basket fundraiser at the holiday concert. This will be going on again this year with each class picking a theme for their basket. Tickets will be for sale at the holiday concert and will be $2 per ticket. This is usually a great fundraiser for us and we use the money from this to be able to continue providing all the items/experiences we can to the students throughout the school year. We thank all of the families that can contribute to the holiday meal and the basket fundraiser and appreciate all the help. I would like to wish all the students, families and staff a happy and safe holiday and new year.

Tammy Wharram, Chair

Thank You to:

  • the Stephen Central Public School, School Council for organizing our upcoming holiday meal and basket fundraiser
  • the Exeter Legion members for coming to our Remembrance Day Service
  • Will B. and Ryan M. who laid a wreath on behalf of Stephen Central Public School at the Remembrance Day ceremony at the cenotaph in Exeter on November 11
  • to everyone who made our Treaties Recognition Week (week of November 5 to 9) at Stephen Central very special
  • Sarah and Michelle from the Pinery Provincial Park for the outstanding day. We were most fortunate on Thursday, November 15 and Friday, November 16 to have these guests provide no-cost programming to every class in the school about a variety of species of animals in our local area.
  • Denise and Nina from ABCA who helped us learn about soils and biodiversity in our local region. Several classes enjoyed presentations, games and activities on our beautiful school yard! The generosity of the ABCA and the 12-member municipalities of the Ausable and Bayfield watersheds, and the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Foundation for subsidizing Conservation Education programs is much appreciated.
  • Godfathers Pizza, Exeter for providing the school with a free pizza coupon for our November newsletter winner.
  • a huge thank you to those who donated to our “Feed the Tigers” envelope campaign. Your donations toward our snack program are sincerely appreciated.
  • the Ontario Student Nutrition Program for their generous donation to our Eat & Learn program
  • parents and Community Living, Dashwood for assisting us with our Eat & Learn program
  • our very dedicated RAP and classroom volunteers who support student learning on a regular basis
    Foundation for Education Workshops for Grade 6
    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. On Tuesday, November 13, Mrs. Peck’s class had a Creative Stitching Workshop where students had the opportunity to redesign their old t-shirts to generate patterns around hems, cuffs, necks and basic shapes. The students appreciated learning basic sewing skills. We wish to thank the Foundation and those who donate to the Foundation for your support.

Character Corner

The character attribute for the month of December is “Compassion – being reliable and accountable.”
“We may never know all the good a simple smile can do. May no one ever come to you without going away better and happier. May everyone see kindness in your face, in your eyes, in your smile.” – Mother Teresa

Holiday Concert – “The Holidays at Stephen Central: A Celebration of Our Community”

Our students are very excited to perform for you on Tuesday, December 18. The daytime performance will be at 11:30 a.m. and the evening performance will take place at 7:00 p.m. – snow date is Thursday, December 20, 2018, daytime performance will be at 11:30 a.m. and the evening performance will take place at 7:00 p.m. Please remember to refrain from wearing scented products such as perfume and cologne when you visit our school.

A Reminder that Stephen Central Is A Scent Free Learning Place

At Stephen Central Public School, we have a number of students and staff with allergies and asthma. Smelling strong perfumes and scents make these conditions worse.

What does this mean for you?

  1. All staff, students and visitors to the school are asked to not wear perfumes, colognes or strongly scented products at school.
  2. When purchasing products such as shampoo, body wash, soap and hairspray, choose ones that have soft scents or are fragrance free.
  3. Read and respect the Scent Safe signs at entrances of the school.

Please remember to be ‘scent safe’ when attending our upcoming holiday concert, and other special events. Thank you for your support in keeping our school safe for everyone.

Random Act of Kindness Week at Stephen

As part of our recognition of the joy of the holiday season the first week in December 3 to 7, 2018 will be Random Act of Kindness Week at Stephen Central.

Teach Your Children About Making Kindness a Priority on December 3 to 7 (and always)!

The message is simple: Do something nice for someone and ask nothing in return, other than that they do something nice for someone else. Part of the beauty of this initiative is that it doesn’t have to cost a cent.

Since 2008, Random Act of Kindness Day has brought communities together by engaging citizens in small acts of kindness and generosity.

This year we want to reach students and families in our community and help them to learn how they can make a difference in their community through kindness.

Think of it as the ultimate anti-bullying strategy…To teach our community to be kind.
“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.” — Aesop

Talk to your children about the positive power of kindness and help us engage them in Random Act of Kindness Day/Week, December 3 to 7.

Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities

Jr. Basketball Tournament – Monday, December 3 at Huron Centennial. Snow date is Tuesday, December 4. Leaving Stephen Central by 10:00. Returning to Stephen Central by 2:15.

AMDSB SchoolMessenger

The Avon Maitland District School Board has launched a service that will enhance communication to our families in a timely fashion via phone, email and/or text messaging. General information will come to you via email, such as the school newsletter, but emergency information will come to you via phone or text message. SchoolMessenger is intended to enhance our existing methods of communication – not replace them. If you would like us to text you, please text yes to 978338. More SchoolMessenger is attached with this newsletter.

Identity Based Data Collection

The Avon Maitland District School Board (AMDSB) will be participating in a new opportunity focused on the collection of Student Identity Based Data. The survey is available online from Monday, December 3 to Friday, December 7.

Huron County Christmas Bureau

Thank you to all families that donated a gift for the Huron County Christmas Bureau. Gifts can still be donated at our school through December 6, 2018. Your generosity will brighten a child’s Christmas. Thank you to our leadership team, who have been very active in promoting the Christmas Bureau in our school. Thank you Ms. Wondergem for organizing this event.

Silver Birch

We had our big Silver Birch kick-off on Friday, November 30th in the school library. It is always thrilling to see the excitement the students have for the books on our kick-off day.

We are participating in three Silver Birch reading programs this year. The Express section contains ten books that are a combination of six fiction and four nonfiction books. This program is available for students in grades 3 – 6. Silver Birch Nonfiction has ten nonfiction books and is available for students in grades 4 – 6. The Fiction section has ten fiction books and is available for students in grades 5 -6. All of the books from these programs are written by Canadian authors. The Silver Birch programs are for independent reading. However, they can be read with an adult and/or an older sibling. These reading programs allow students to have a voice in an Ontario wide vote to choose the best book in their section. The vote will take place in April 2019. It is important for your child to return their Silver Birch book on time (or early if they have finished reading it). There is only one copy of each book in the three programs. The books are shared amongst students in grades 3 – 6.

The participating students will be given the opportunity, one recess a week, to read their Silver Birch book in the library. This opportunity is optional for each student. Starting in January, Ms. Wondergem will start reading a Silver Birch Express book at one recess per week. All Silver Birch students are welcome to come to the library to listen to the book being read.

Happy Reading!

Hawks Night – Friday, January 11, 2019

Stephen Central Public School Hawks Night is on Friday, January 11, 2019. We would like to invite all students, staff and community to join our school at the Hawks game to cheer on our local players and celebrate our community. Mr. Chaput and Miss Overholt and a few student representatives will be greeting Stephen Central families at the game and running a “Count The Candy” contest. Proceeds will go to new sports equipment at our school. All students will receive a free admission ticket to the game. Stay tuned for more information. Hope to see you all at the game!

Winter Break

The last day of school for this year is Friday, December 21, 2018. We look forward to seeing everyone back at school on Monday, January 7, 2019. Happy Holidays and Happy New Year!

Safe Welcome

To ensure the continued safety of all students and staff, all doors to our school will now be locked during the school day. When you arrive at the school you will see a new buzzer and camera system to monitor access to our building. As you arrive to the school, please press the button by the accessible entrance and you will be let into the building. Please make sure to stop at the office to let us know of your arrival and reason for your visit.

Parent/Visitor/Volunteer Sign In

All parents/visitors/volunteers to the school must sign in at the school office and get an identification lanyard before proceeding down the hall. There are many people coming in and out of our school and this will identify them as having checked into the office. We want to make sure our students, staff, parents, visitors and volunteers are safe. If you are dropping off or picking up your child(ren), dropping off items for your child(ren) or for the classroom during school hours, please come to the office and we will gladly assist you with this. Thank you.

Inclement Weather

When inclement weather occurs, student safety is our main priority. While we know there will be circumstances when buses are cancelled, we want to assure you that we will do our very best to keep our school open. To see if a school bus is cancelled or delayed or whether your school is open, please visit the Huron Perth School Transportation Services website. When schools are open to students during inclement weather, school pick up time at the end of the day remains the regular dismissal time.

Upcoming Events

– Saturday, December 1 – Before & After School Program Survey due date online
– Saturday, December 1 to Saturday, December 15 – January milk & food orders available online
– Monday, December 3 – Junior Basketball Tournament (snow date – Tuesday, December 4)
– Monday, December 3 to Friday, December 7 – Random Acts of Kindness Week
– Monday, December 3 to Friday, December 7 – Identify Based Data Collection
– Monday, November 26 to Thursday, December 6 – Huron County Christmas Bureau donations accepted
– Friday, December 7 – P.A. Day – no school for students
– Monday, November 19 to Friday, December 7 – Register for the Huron County Christmas Bureau
– Tuesday, December 11 – pm Parent Council prep for Holiday meal tomorrow at Crediton Hall
– Tuesday, December 11 – pm Parent Council set up for Holiday meal tomorrow at school
– Wednesday, December 12 – Holiday meal for students and staff
– Thursday, December 13 – deadline for Basket fundraiser donations for classroom
– Tuesday, December 18 – Holiday Concert – daytime at 11:30 and evening at 7:00
– Thursday, December 20 – Snow date for Holiday Concert – daytime at 11:30 and evening at 7:00
– Friday, December 21 – Red & Green Day – Spirit Day
– Monday, December 24, 2018 to Friday, January 4, 2019 – Winter Break
– Monday, January 7, 2019 – Classes resume
– Friday, January 11, 2019 – Hawks game at South Huron Rec. Centre

Happy Holidays and Happy New Year


Congratulations to the family winners of the November newsletter draw. They received a free pizza coupon compliments from Godfathers Pizza, Exeter.

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

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