February 2019 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Well, wasn’t that a wintry month! First it seemed like every Wednesday was a no rural bus day and then in the last week, Wednesday was the only day the rural buses ran. To clarify the process, the bus companies and our transportation department monitor the radar, are in touch with the MTO, and drive the back roads to make informed transportation decisions. Decisions are always made with student safety as the number one priority, including avoiding the situation where students are stranded at school. Parents can always decide whether to send their children or not, if the school is open. It would be a rare occurrence for UTES to be closed. Whenever possible, on an inclement weather day, we run classes as usual. However, this is impeded when some staff are unable to arrive, or when there are only a few students in a class. Still, even if regular classes aren’t feasible, the focus is on literacy, and math skills, with physical activity, arts and independent projects added to the timetable.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact me at 519-348-8472, or


Paula Robinson,

Math Initiatives

This year, we have had the assistance of a math coach, Mr. Kalen Carroll, to guide our Grade 3 students and teachers with operational sense. Our goal is automaticity through a variety of strategies. For example, when adding, Grade 3 students may use the strategy of up and over 10 to add 8 and 6, which then can be applied to double digit problems. Deep understanding of strategies like make 10, up and over 10, doubles, near doubles, and add from and by a decade leads to competency with computations. These skills are combined with and added to prior knowledge of numbers, using strategies like part, part, whole. This work is continuing with grade 3s as we get into multiplication and division, and the work is starting with grade 2 teachers and students.

For the Love of Reading

For those of us who love it, it is a wonderful skill that leads us to knowledge, understanding and worlds unknown! For those of us who struggle with it, it can be a constant source of frustration. I am talking about reading. Teaching reading is the prime goal of education.

Beginning in FDK, and continuing throughout the grades, we immerse the children in developmentally appropriate literacy activities. Most children respond to our strategies. However, some students struggle, and for them in particular, we have a few interventions from which some students benefit. Besides the regular instruction from the classroom teacher, and attention from the Special Education resource Teacher (SERT), we have:

  • a subscription to Raz-Kids, for many of our primary and struggling readers. Read more at the Reading A-Z website.
  • a program called LLI (Levelled Literacy Intervention) from Fountas and Pinnell, experts in the field. Read about it at the Fountas & Pinnell Literacy website.
  • Reading Rescue, a program developed by a former AMDSB principal, requiring one to one instruction. Read more at the Reading Rescue Ontario website.
  • Empower, a program delivered to a small group of students and developed at the Sick Kids Hospital. Read more at the Sick Kids Empower website.
  • Lexia, a computer program that targets skilled needed by the learner.

Currently, we offer Reading Rescue daily to 15 students, LLI daily to 12 students, Empower to 7 students, for one hour daily; Lexia to 10 students.

Reading Volunteers Needed!

We are in need of two volunteers to read on a regular basis with some of our young readers. If you can spare an hour and a half once a week, we would love to hear from you.

We’re having a Book Fair!

  • Tuesday, February 12th
    8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, February 13th
    8:30 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.
  • Thursday, February 14th
    8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.


We are looking for milk bags for an electives activity, as well as for a local group who weave the bags into mats.

We are also looking for slipper or croc donations. Have some child sized slippers or crocs in good condition that your child has outgrown? We would love to have them on hand for students who forget their shoes. Thanks!

School Council wants you to join a playground committee. We already know that our old playground structure will need replacing within a couple of years, so we would like to get ahead of this and start thinking of fundraising over the next two years for a new structure.

See you April

Food Orders

For those who wish, we will now be offering food orders for three months at a time (On Line Only). The option of only paying for one month at time, either on line or by paper copy, will remain. If you have not yet signed up to pay electronically, feel free to call the school and get registered for school cash.

Tech Day for Grade 6 Students

We did have about 45 of our Grade 6 students participate in the Tech Day, sponsored by the AMDSB, on Thursday, January 31st. Unfortunately, the weather did not cooperate, but the program was able to go ahead. Students had a great time discovering their cosmetology, culinary, woodworking, robotics, and artistic skills!

Electives Day

On February 28th, students in grades 1 – 6 will participate in electives, free choice workshops in areas outside of the curriculum. Offerings include: skating, Live Well for Life, Gymnastics at Mitchell Gymnastics Club, shuffleboard, various arts and crafts, bowling, making bath bombs, coding and more!

Upcoming Events for February

February 4th
Sub Day – rescheduled from January

February 8th
KA and KC to Wildwood (am)
PJ Day

February 12th (am)
KB and KE to Wildwood

February 12th – 14th
Book Fair

February 14th
Valentine’s Day –
Wear Pink/Red/White

February 18th
Family Day – no school

February 19th
Term One report cards go home

February 26th
Mindfulness in the Classrooms
-presentations to K to Grade 2 classes
(Rescheduled from January)

River Safety for Grade 2 classes

February 28th

Students in Grade 1 – 6 Electives Day!

Plant and Pizza Fundraiser

Plants are once again for sale in time for Mother’s Day! Orders are due March 25th, with delivery May 6th. Information about Little Caesar’s Pizza fundraiser will follow soon that delivery can be the same day.

Community News

Attached are flyers about: