September 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Welcome to a new school year! We are so excited to start the 2018-19 school year. I am so thrilled to be back home at Stephen Central Public School again this year.

September continues to be my favourite time of the year! I love the excitement that the start of a new school year brings.

It is with pleasure and excitement that I welcome all families to Stephen Central Public School. The staff of Stephen Central are extremely excited about the opportunity to work together to continue to build a unique, positive and inclusive school, where high standards and a deep feeling of belonging is felt by all.

A very heartfelt thank you is extended to all those involved in the preparation for the new school year. For those of you who are new to the community it is a wonderful place with inviting caring people. I hope that you will take the time to introduce yourself to me over the next few weeks. Please feel welcome to contact me at any time regarding your child(ren)’s education. I also encourage you to regularly stay in contact your child’s teacher and remember to check their planner for important dates and information from their teachers and to follow our school website, Twitter and Facebook pages, to keep up to date on what is happening at Stephen Central.

Strong communication builds strong relationships and working together we can continue to create a positive, inclusive school community. Who knows what fantastic adventures the new school year will bring, but together we can make it another outstanding year at Stephen Central School. I am looking forward to meeting many of you at our first School Council gathering on Monday, September 10 and at our Open House on Thursday, September 27 at 5:30 to 7:00 p.m.

Have a great school year!

Donna Gregus, Principal

The Bucket Fill-osophy

At Stephen Central Public School we are working together as a school family to ensure that all students, staff and community members feel that they belong and are an important part of our school community. One of the ways we are doing this is by adopting 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.

Here are some ways to fill someone’s bucket:

  • help a friend with their books
  • spend time with your grandparents
  • wave hello or goodbye
  • clean up your toys
  • play with you 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 character and caring that we all can continue to be proud to be a part of.

School Council

At Stephen Central, we believe that education is a shared responsibility between the home, the school and the community. Supportive parents, caring educators and active community members are partners in education working together for the benefit of children. We welcome and encourage the participation of our partners in education in our schools and on our School Council.

School Councils are an important part of school. They provide a forum through which members can contribute to improving student achievement and school performance. School Councils are unique to each school and are made up of elected parents, the Principal or Vice-principal of the school, school staff, and appointed community members.

Participating on School Council is a rewarding experience for those who value the opportunity to improve student success and enhance school communities. Whether you are a parent, educator, student or a member of the community at large, joining a School Council will benefit you immensely.

By becoming a School Council member, you will:

  • Be an important partner in education
  • Be a valued member of the school and school Board community
  • Be a good role model
  • Contribute to the shared goal of ensuring continued excellence in education and
  • the effective operation of schools
  • Have the opportunity to provide your input on school related issues
  • Have greater influence in education at the school, Board and provincial levels
  • Make a difference in the education of your child and other children in your community.

Working in an advisory capacity, School Councils provide input and make recommendations to the school Principal and the Board on a wide range of topics. Examples of areas that may require consultation with School Councils include school budgets, school renovation plans, provincial test results, student code of conduct and parental involvement. If you are interested in joining or finding out what a meeting is all about please feel free to join us at our first meeting of the year on Monday, September 10 at 6:30.

Tammy Wharram, School Council President

Student Planners

All parents are asked to read their child(ren) Student Planner which contains valuable information about school policies and practices. Please have your child(ren) and parent/guardian sign on page 6 of the planner after discussing the contents of the planner with their child(ren). Please have this completed by Wednesday, September 12.

Nuts and Strong Scents

Stephen Central Public School is fully accessible and nut free. Please show consideration for those with allergies and refrain from bringing nut products into the school or wearing strong scented products. This does not impact the use of low scent products such as deodorants. If any other considerations are required, please contact our office at 519 234-6302 or the Principal by email at We appreciate your help in creating a welcoming, barrier-free environment for everyone at Stephen Central.

School Cash Online Registration Reminder

Character Corner

The character attribute of focus for September is ‘respect’

  •  valuing self, others and our world
  •  doing what is right and honourable

Quotes About Integrity

“The time is always right to do what is right.”
– Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.
“Values are like fingerprints. Nobody’s are the same, but you leave them all over everything you do.”
– Elvis Presley

School Open House

Please save the date of our Open House which will be on Thursday, September 27. More information to follow.

Animals at School or on the School Yard

In the interest of your pet’s safety, parents, guardians and caregivers are reminded that pets will sometimes react differently if strangers approach them. Children are often excited to see new animals and sometimes forget that their sudden moves can cause a pet to react in unknown ways. Please be sure to plan ahead so that no undue concerns arise for you or your pet. It is best to leave pets at home.

Staffing for 2018-2019 School Year

Mrs. Melanie Jeffrey JK/SK A
Ms. Jacy Anderson Early Childhood Educator
Ms. Maggie Miller JK/SK B
Mrs. Heather Rempel Grade 1
Mrs. Cheryl MacLeod Grade 1/2(AM)
Ms. Jenna Cook Grade 1/2(PM)
Ms. Cindy Visser Grade 2/3
Ms. Amber Overholt Grade 3/4
Ms. Erin Robinson Grade 4
Mr. Matthew Chaput Grade 5
Mrs. Skye Peck Grade 6
Ms. Jennifer Reed French
Mrs. Cheryl MacLeod Music
Mrs. Vanessa Laye Special Education Resource Teacher
Mrs. Angela Desjardine Educational Assistant
Mrs. Jenn Ramer Educational Assistant
Ms. Hannah Gingerich Educational Assistant
Mrs. Pam Powell Strive Educational Assistant
Ms. Sandy Wondergem Technical Resource Assistant
Mr. Mark Laye Custodian
Mrs. Sharon Laye Custodian
Mrs. Patty Case Secretary
Mrs. Donna Gregus Principal

The School Day

8:45-10:45 Opening Exercises/Classes Begin
10:45–11:05 Recess
11:05–11:25 Nutrition Break
11:25-1:15 Classes Resume
1:15–1:35 Recess
1:35–1:55 Nutrition Break
1:55-3:05 Classes Resume
3:05 Dismissal

Emergency Contact Information Sheet & Freedom Of Information Letter

Please carefully read the “Confirmation of Emergency Contact Information Form” your child is bringing home. Make any necessary changes and sign the appropriate sections. The forms should be returned to the school by Wednesday, September 12. Please be sure to read and sign in the appropriate places (There will be three areas to review for signatures).

It is also very important that you read the Freedom of Information letter and that you respond to the principal in writing if you have any objections to the use and disclosure of your child’s personal information in any or all of the activities listed in the letter.

Meal/Milk Orders

To our School Council, thank you for supporting this fundraising program. We will be offering daily milk and weekly meal ordering again this year. We will continue to follow the healthy “provincial mandated school food & beverage policy” and the Food and Beverages and Nutrition Outlines. We will continue to offer an Online ordering through the school boards CASH ONLINE system.

Each month separate milk and meal orders will open on the 1st of every month for the next month’s orders. These orders will close on the 15th of each month. Payment must be made online when the order is placed, or the website will not save and submit your students order. Please remember, if you are using the “My wallet” option, load wallet first, and then make sure payment is processed.

Please keep our students safe by using “Cash Online”, so they are not transporting funds to school.

Parents/Visitors Coming To the School

All parents/visitors are requested to report to the office to sign in upon arrival at school. All visitors to the school are to wear a visitor’s name tag to tell staff that you have properly signed in at the office. We make this request to protect your child’s safety. Please do not interrupt classes during the end of the day. If you are picking your child up at school prior to dismissal, please send a note in the morning advising your child’s teacher of the time of departure. We will be happy to call your child to the office upon your arrival.

Safe Arrival Program

Please notify the school before 9:00 a.m. if your child will be late or absent from school. Our answering machine is in place to assist parents/guardians who need to call early. If we do not receive a call or note and your child is absent, we will attempt to contact you. A call will be placed to your home, your work and/or your emergency number(s). Given that the time required calling home for all students could be considerable, your co-operation is essential. Thank you for your support. If contact information changes throughout the year, please be sure to contact the school office as accurate records must be kept at all times. You can call the school at 519-234-6302.

Emergency School Closing

If schools are to be closed for the entire day and/or if buses are not operating or operating on a two hour bus delay due to fog or snow, the information will be broadcast as early as possible. You can find out about bus delays or school closures on local radio stations. You can also check the Avon Maitland D.S.B. website , the Transportation Department , the school Twitter account @ stephenps, or Facebook page and, of course, our school website for up to date information about weather related delays or cancellations.

Bus Notes

It is Board policy that students are not allowed to ride on other buses unless a Request for Transportation to/from an Alternate Residence form is completed and approved by the Principal and the Huron Perth Student Transportation Services. This applies particularly due to child care reasons. Please contact the office to obtain this form, fill out and return as soon as possible.

Custody Arrangement and Access to Legal Documents

On occasion, school authorities are asked to enforce certain clauses in Custody and Access Documents. In order for the school personnel to do this, we must have a copy of the legal document, which you received, from the Courts containing this specific information. We will gladly make copies of this information for you and store it in your child(ren’s) files.

Supporting Students with Prevalent Medical/Health Conditions at School

The safety of students with a prevalent medical/health condition such as asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes and epilepsy is a shared responsibility of the board, school, family and health care providers. An updated procedure from the Board will be implemented. Please contact the school to ask if an Individual Medical Management Plan of Care needs to be created for your child.

Sabrina’s Law And Anaphylaxis

In January 2006, Sabrina’s Law came into effect. This Law requires school boards to have emergency procedures in place to deal with incidents of anaphylaxis and to provide training for all staff. With support from the Perth District Health Unit and the Huron County Health Unit, school principals provide to their staff, annual training in the administration of EPI-Pens to treat anaphylactic reactions. In cases where a student is anaphylactic, parents/guardians are expected to provide an EPI-Pen(s) for their child to carry with them at all times during the school day. Parents/Guardians must also work with the school to develop an Individual Medical Management Plan that outlines emergency procedures for their child.

In accordance with Sabrina’s Law, all schools have been provided with two generic EPI-Pens. These EPI-Pens are being provided to support schools in responding to a medical emergency for an anaphylactic student for whom the school has an Individual Medical Management Plan and Emergency Procedure in place.

Also, in accordance with Sabrina’s Law, schools must administer an EPI-Pen when a student is suspected of suffering an anaphylactic reaction even if no Individual Medical Management Plan exists. If you are aware that your child is allergic to epinephrine or if you have any concerns, it is suggested that you contact the principal.

Ryan’s Law

As you may be aware, Ryan’s Law, 2015, was recently passed by the Ontario Legislature. This piece of legislation is an important step to support the well-being of students with asthma in Ontario schools. If your child has asthma, we ask that you immediately contact the main office at your school to provide information about your child’s asthma medication. With your permission, your child will be allowed to carry his/her asthma medication while at school.

As a best practice and to support your child, please let the school know if your child has a medical condition so that the school is aware and can keep this information on file. If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the principal directly.

Medication At School

If students require prescription and/or non-prescription medication while at the school, it will be necessary for parents to complete the appropriate administration form which is maintained in the office along with the medication. The original prescription/non-prescription container will be put in a locked cabinet and administered by school personnel as directed. Contact the school if forms are required for your child.

Volunteer Offence Declaration Forms And New Background Checks

An active volunteer program operates at Stephen Central. It is coordinated by individual teachers and the principal. Parents and other adults are encouraged to contact the school to offer their support and services for the 2018-2019 school year. As per past practice and Board Policy, (AP495 re: Volunteer Programs in the Schools) all volunteers to the school must have approved paperwork on file and hence will complete a Volunteer Offence Declaration form for continued service. This includes volunteering for your child(ren)’s field trips. We encourage you to request and complete a Criminal Reference Check and Vulnerable Sector Screening Form if at all interested in any volunteer opportunities during the academic career of your child. Just contact the school for more information.

Sports and Extra-Curricular Activities

Regional Cross Country – Tuesday, October 2 – rain date Wednesday, October 3 at Huron Centennial

District Cross Country on Wednesday, October 10 – rain date Friday, October 12 or Monday, October 15 at Benmiller.

Terry Fox Run- Thursday, September 27
Our school will be participating in the Terry Fox School Run again this year! We will be joined by over 3 million students across Canada in supporting Terry’s Marathon of Hope. To support our run/walk, students are encouraged to bring in a ‘toonie for Terry’ on the day of the run (Thursday, September 27). All money collected will go towards supporting cancer research.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance
Our school board is offering you the opportunity to voluntarily purchase student accident insurance through the Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance program, underwritten by Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc. (iA Financial Group).

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance provides protection against unexpected costs arising from accidental injuries. The program is especially valuable for families who:
• do not have medical or dental plans,
• have limited plans, as it may help supplement health and dental benefits, or
• have active children who enjoy sports and outdoor activities.

Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance has a selection of plans to suit most budgets. Benefits include coverage for:
• The full school year (September to September), 24 hours a day, while at home and in school;
• Expenses that are often limited or not covered by private or group insurance plans, or Provincial Health Insurance Plans, such as ambulance, physiotherapy, private tutoring, counselling, and much more;
• Injury-related dental treatment (including future dental treatment up to age 26);
• Out-of-province or country emergency medical expenses.

If your address changes during the school year, your Kids Plus™ Accident Insurance plan is transferable from school to school, anywhere in Canada.

Insurance premiums for children are $14.50 or $33.50 per year, depending on the plan selected. A discount is available for families with 3 or more children. Adults age 20 to 64 can also be insured for $32.00 per year.

For more information or to apply online, please visit, or speak with a Kids Plus™ Client Service Administrator at 1-800-556-7411. iA Financial Group is a business name and trademark of Industrial Alliance Insurance and Financial Services Inc.

Upcoming Events

  • Saturday, September 1 to Saturday, September 15 – October milk & food orders available online
  • Monday, September 3 – Labour Day Holiday
  • Tuesday, September 4 – First day of School for Grade 1 to 6 students
  • Tuesday, September 4 – JK interviews (no SK students)
  • Wednesday, September 5 – all SK start date
  • Thursday & Friday, September 7 & 8 – staggered entry for JK
  • Monday, September 10 – School Council Meeting at 6:30 in the Library
  • Wednesday, September 12 – return filled Confirmation of Emergency Contact Information Form
  • Saturday, September 15 – October milk & food orders due online
  • Thursday, September 27 – Open House
  • Thursday, September 27 – Terry Fox Run
  • Friday, September 28 – P.A. Day – no school for students
  • Tuesday, October 2 (raindate – Wednesday, October 3 – Regional Cross Country
  • Thursday, October 4 – School Photos
  • Monday, October 8 – Thanksgiving Holiday
  • Wednesday, October 10 (raindate – Friday, October 12 or Monday, October 15) District Cross Country

We value your feedback!

September 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!.

Parent/Guardian Signature:

How are we doing? Please provide us with some feedback as we value your comments.