May 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Dear Stephen Central School Families,

It’s hard to believe it’s May already. Leaves are appearing on the trees, tulips and other spring flowers are blooming; after school I can hear the clink of the bat as baseball and softball players practice. Our local parks are full of action with people walking, biking, and getting out and enjoying the beautiful weather. I want to congratulate all of the students who have continued to work hard and made good choices this school year. However, it remains important for students to continue making their best effort and to remain focused on their school work. Maintaining good study habits, including completing assignments and homework on time, seeking and accepting extra help, coming to school and class prepared and on time and prepared to learn, effectively managing time, and getting a good night’s sleep, remains important. Parents can help with all of these activities and by continuing to monitor your child’s progress and communicating with teachers when a concern arises.

Each year the month of May also brings with it the celebration of Education Week in the province of Ontario. Education Week and Children’s Mental Health Week will be May 7-13, 2018. With one in five children and youth facing various mental health concerns, these celebrations provide an opportunity for schools to promote positive mental health and wellness as a foundation for student learning. AMDSB works to create positive and inclusive learning environments that promote Mentally Healthy Schools and maximize learning outcomes.

We will be recognizing Education Week and Children’s Mental Health Week at Stephen Central by the creation of a Positive Affirmations Wall and focusing on Random Acts of Kindness in our school. Students and staff are asked to wear Green, the colour of support for mental health in Ontario, on Monday, May 7th. We will also be creating and colouring mandala ribbons for mental health and encouraging artistic expression opportunities that focus on coping, self-care or supporting others. In addition, CMHA Middlesex, Exeter & Huron Perth Center for Children and Youth will be setting up a table with resources in the foyer at Stephen Central School. Families can access flyers and information and call the numbers listed with any questions in regards to services. Also we will be having a Character Education and Anti- bullying Assembly featuring the NED Show (NED = Never Give up, Encourage Other & Do your Best), in the gym on the afternoon of May 3rd as a lead up to Education Week and Mental Health week.

Unfortunately I must share with you that I will need to be away from Stephen Central for approximately 8 weeks for health reasons, beginning Monday May 7th. From May 7th to 15th Eleanor Salmon will be the acting principal at Stephen and from May 16th until my return, Deb Gill will be acting principal. I know our school community will be in excellent hands during my absence and I thank you all for making Ms. Salmon and Ms. Gill feel as welcome as you have made me feel. I truly am grateful to be principal of Stephen Central and I feel so privileged to be part of such a wonderful school community.

Our school is starting the process of planning for next year. We are 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 a 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.

Sincerely, Donna Gregus

From the Parent Council

Parent Council is excited to announce we will be having our family movie night at Shipka Drive-In again this year. It will be Thursday, June 7th, with the movie still to be determined at this time. It will be a family friendly movie with no admission cost to any Stephen Central family. Can’t wait to see you there! If you’ve ever wondered what happens at a meeting, come on out to our last meeting of the year and see what it’s all about on May 28th at 6:30 p.m.

Tammy Wharram, Chair

Thank You To

… Mr. Maas who was with us at Stephen Central as a student teacher working with Grade 3, Grade 6, and Ms. Laye in the Special Education Department
…the Foundation for Education Perth Huron. When donations are received through the Foundation, the Foundation is able to provide a number of learning enhancements for our students. We wish to thank the Foundation and those who donate to the Foundation for your support.
…a huge thank you to those who donated to our “Feed the Tigers” envelope campaign. Your donations toward our snack program are sincerely appreciated.
…South Huron District High School Junior and Senior Band members, Mrs. Haines, Ms. Milner and Mrs. Regier for their gift of music to our school. They unpacked their gear, tuned their musical instruments and performed many songs for the staff and students at Stephen Central to sit back and enjoy. Actually there were many toes stomping, swaying to the music and even singing to the songs. A great time was had by all!!
…the “Take Tech” presenters for showing our students about skilled trades. This was an awesome assembly with hands on activities for our students to introduce them to careers available in the apprenticeship pathway.

Character Corner

The character attribute of focus for May is ‘Fairness’ – treating everyone in a just and accepting manner. Fairness makes the world go around. Being fair is one of the most important ingredients of being a good person. It is also key to making the world a peaceful place. What does fairness mean to you? Fairness is…
• sharing and taking turns
• playing fair and by the rules
• being honest
• caring and including others
• is open-minded and listens to others
• does not take advantage of others or look to blame others
• knows how to share
• treats others fairly and does not discriminate
• making decisions in a fair way
• admitting when you are wrong

Author Frank Glew Visit

Students and staff enjoyed learning about nature and books from author Frank Glew. He shared about various animals and the importance of taking care of Mother Earth. We learned lots of interesting nature facts, including how to distinguish between male and female monarch butterflies (look for the 2 dots!). He talked to us about the importance of going outside, connecting with nature and developing our brains and skills by using all 5 senses. Kids who are connected to nature have more friends, do better academically and feel more calm and at peace. Plus, being out in nature is fun! Mr. Glew encouraged us all to spread the “chickadee feeling” which is similar to spreading kindness and joy, and to follow our dreams since we all have beauty inside us. All students had the chance to learn outside today in our beautiful forest. This author visit was made possible thanks to the Watershed Champions grant, funded by the generosity of the Ausable Bayfield Conservation Authority and NextEra.

Grade 5

The Grade 5 class would like to thank Gayle Fawcett for visiting us on Tuesday, April 17. She shared with us a very creative way to make beautiful art pieces using broken glass. Each student used a variety of colours to design and complete their own sun catcher. Gayle supplied all the materials and will fire each student’s piece in her glass kiln. Thank you Gayle.

Foundation for Education Workshops for Grade 3, 4, 5, and 6’s

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 Monday, May 14, Ms. Visser, Ms. Miller, Ms. Ryckman/Robinson, Ms. Gale and Mrs. Peck’s classes will be provided with the “Element Based Yoga” workshop with Shannon Rose Scott. We wish to thank the Foundation and those who donate to the Foundation for your support.


Our Stephen Central Public School Yearbook is in its final stages of production! Orders are being taken now. Cost per book is $10.00 and can be ordered online at the AMDSB School Cash Online website. Cheque or cash accepted if necessary – made payable to Stephen Central Public School.

What a terrific way to keep the memories alive! Order forms went home a week or so ago. Please return the order form to the school by Wednesday, May 9, 2018 to reserve your copy. The company we have contracted to produce our yearbook will only be printing enough copies for orders received by this date.

Education Quality and Accountability Office (EQAO) for Grades 3 & 6

This month our EQAO testing begins Wednesday, May 23 and continues to Monday, June 4. Teachers and students of both grades have been preparing for these assessments by working on practice reading, writing and mathematics tests. As parents, you could help your child(ren) in the following ways:

Before – Avoid scheduling medical appointments during the testing sessions. Access many informative materials found on the EQAO website. Plan to discuss the assessments with your child to help reduce any anxieties and encourage them to try their best.

During- When the testing begins, ensure that children are rested and well-nourished each day. Try to avoid attendance interruptions and please have them here on time. Check the letter that will be arriving home to see when the scheduled days are and understand that some children will need additional time to complete the assessments. Support your child(ren) by discussing the daily assessment activities. Finally, always keep in mind that this is only one form of assessment that gives us a provincial snap shot of what your child has learned and is able to demonstrate on those days.

In closing, we certainly hope that our children are well prepared to write the spring EQAO assessments in reading, writing and mathematics and are able to demonstrate their learning in this form as well as they do during regular classroom assessments.

Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities

The Ball Hockey Team played four amazing games at the Zurich arena on Wednesday, April 25. Great job, amazing sportsmanship and memories to last a lifetime! Thanks to all the students who represented our school. Thanks to Ms. Laye, Mrs. Peck and Mr. Maas for coaching and being there for the team.

YMCA Before & After School and Summer Camp at Stephen Central
For many parents and guardians, their children’s school day is often shorter than their work day, so the YMCA Before & After School Programs make sure your children are well looked after when they are not in school. Whether you need early morning programs or after school supervision, YMCA Child Care ensures your child enjoys a safe, secure and fun environment.

We offer care from the ages of 4 years -12 years from 7 a.m. to school start and from school dismissal until 6pm. Spaces are available on a first come, first served basis, so call today to book your spot!

Also, it’s time to register for YMCA Summer Camp – July 3rd to August 31st, 2018.

For more information and to register, please call Debbie Wingrove at 226-932-0541

Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Students Have Spoken!

Our Silver Birch students read a total of 26 Fiction books, 54 Nonfiction Books, 191 Express books.

Congratulations to all our voting students! Great job Mackenzie in Grade 6 and Maverick in Grade 5, who qualified to vote in all three categories and Charlotte in grade 5, who qualified to vote in two categories. Wow! Hayden and Maverick read all ten books in the Express and the Nonfiction categories, respectively. Way to go! Awesome show of perseverance by all the voting students!

The results of our votes are as follows:
Silver Birch Express
1st Place: Smiley:Journey of Love
2nd Place: Wolf Island
3rd Place: I Am Not a Number

Silver Birch Fiction
There is a three way tie for first place:
From Ant to Eagle
The Stone Heart

Silver Birch Nonfiction
1st Place: Monster Science: Could Monsters Survive (and Thrive!) in the Real World
2nd Place: Stormy Seas: Stories of Young Boat Refugees

The results for our Blue Spruce voting are:
1st Place: The Little Boy Who Lived Down the Drain
2nd Place: Shark Lady
3rd Place: The Owl and the Lemming

The Silver Birch votes and the Blue Spruce votes were sent to the OLA in Toronto. Their votes will be included in the Ontario-wide voting for Silver Birch and Blue Spruce.

Thank you to all the students who participated in the Blue Spruce and Silver Birch programs. In celebration of our Silver Birch voters, we are planning a party on Wednesday, May 2, 2018. The Blue Spruce and Silver Birch books are now available for all students to check them out. Please watch your June newsletter to view a list of Blue Spruce and Silver Birch Ontario winners.

Community News

A new event is coming to the area! The Jessica’s House Music Weekend will be held for the first time in Exeter at the Rodeo Grounds rain or shine on Friday, June 22nd to Sunday, June 24th. On Saturday, June 23rd of the Music Weekend, Splash ‘n Boots is coming to perform. As well, we are hosting the Rise2Fame Youth Talent Show. Winners will advance to the Western Fair. We have lots of other activities for families and kids as well on the Saturday afternoon, from button making to face painting to animal demonstrations, etc. The afternoon of Family Fun will run from 1:00 to 5:00 p.m. You can learn more about the weekend’s lineup of activities and purchase your tickets at the Jessica’s House website. All funds raised through the weekend will be used to fund the operation of Jessica’s House, a local residential hospice for end of life care.

Huron County Progressive Safety Day

This event takes place on Friday, June 8th, 2018 at the Seaforth Agriplex. Please contact the Seaforth Agricultural Society if you or your child(ren) want to participate, volunteer – watch children, volunteer – teach children or sponsor. This Safety Day includes lunch, snacks, a t-shirt and take-home “goody” bag and information for everyone. The mission of the Progressive Agriculture Safety Day is simple – to provide education, training and resources to make farm, ranch and rural life safer and healthier for children and their communities. For more information please email

Upcoming Events

Monday, May 1 to Monday, May 15 – order Milk & Meals for June
Tuesday, May 1 – Spirit Day – Sports Team Day
Wednesday, May 2 – Godfather’s Meal Day
Wednesday, May 2 – Silver Birch voters party
Monday, May 7 – Wear green for Children’s Mental Health awareness
Monday, May 7 to Sunday, May 13 – Education Week & Children’s Mental Health Week
Wednesday, May 9 – Cookie dough delivery (time to be announced closer to date)
Wednesday, May 9 – Pita Pit Meal Day
Wednesday, May 9 – Yearbook orders are due today
Friday, May 11 – Spirit Day – Hat Day
Sunday, May 13 – Mother’s Day
Wednesday, May 16 – Dairy Queen Meal Day
Monday, May 21 – Victoria Day – no school
Wednesday, May 23 – New Orleans Meal Day
Wednesday, May 23 to Monday, June 4 – EQAO
Monday, May 28 – Parent Council Meeting @ 6:30 in the library
Wednesday, May 30 – Hansen’s Meal Day
Friday, June 1 – Spirit Day – Pool Party Day
Thursday, June 7 – Parent Council Drive-in Movie Night
Friday, June 8 – P.A. Day No school for students


Luke, Jade and family were the winners of the April newsletter draw. They received a free pizza coupon from Godfather’s Pizza, Exeter.
May 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 free prize.

Parent/Guardian Signature

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