March 2019 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

I’m not sure Wiarton Willy told the truth on Groundhog Day. It seems that this February winter has been a little harder on us than usual. Such rainy, then freezing, then snowy, then windy winter means that much of our school yard is covered in ice. There are times when the wind has blown the yard clear and we have to remain on the blacktop as there is too much ice to play safely on the yard area. We keep an eye on the windchill and sometimes have to stay indoors at recess if it is too cold to be outside for long. I also know that snow days are such a disruption to routine and cause much anxiety in the mornings. The decision to cancel buses, or only some buses, or to close down completely is not mine to make. I do however, usually do the posting on the Bus website, Facebook, Twitter and School Messenger. Sometimes I get some posts out and then receive a call that changes things in the middle of typing or posting. Everyone making decisions is doing the best they can with the information they have on hand at the time, and sometimes that changes within the hour. If you can, please check back to see if there is an update before you send your kiddos to school. I’ll do my best to post the most up to date info before I head out into the storm myself.

This past Wednesday was Pink Shirt day. Pink Shirt day began in Nova Scotia when 2 boys overheard another boy being teased about wearing a pink shirt on the first day of school. They emailed all of their friends and encouraged them to wear pink shirts to school. The pink shirt movement has become a symbol of the anti-bullying movement. In our house teams this week we talked about the origins of Pink Shirt day and about being kind. But the truth is every day should be a pink-shirt-kind-of-day at Westfield. The Kindness project was born because we knew that if kindness was our ultimate goal in building school climate and community we would be able to end bullying, reach all of the character attributes and make Westfield a safe, caring and peaceful place for everyone. Everyday we end the morning announcements with something to think about (a quote about kindness) and then we say “take care of each other.” If we are kind and take care of each other, then we end bullying. Period.

If you are interested, here is the link to the video we watched at our house team about Pink Shirt day.

And here is the story we watched called “Be Kind” by Pat Zietlow Miller and Jen Hill.

School Council

The next meeting will be Tuesday, March 5 at 6:30 p.m. in the multi-purpose room. New members are always welcome and childcare is provided.

Next Westfield Food Orders

April Pita, Pizza & Milk:
Posted online/forms in office: Monday, March 18
Orders due: Tuesday, March 26

Fundraisers

Loyalty Funding

Please consider supporting Westfield by purchasing gift cards. More information about this program can be found at the LoyaltyFunding website.

Magazines

QSP (Magazine) orders can be done anytime throughout the year online at qsp.ca using code 4721718.

Jr. Musical

Save the date! Our Jr. Musical will be on April 16th at 6:30 p.m. This will be for students in grades 4-6, including Mr. Monteith’s entire grade 3/4 class.

Communication

Most information will be posted on the school website. ; Facebook page at North Perth Westfield Elementary School and through our Twitter account @NPWestfield. Newsletters will be sent in electronic format (by email) but we are happy to provide a paper copy if you wish. Many teachers use blogs, email, and websites to enhance home-school communication as well. Check with your child’s teacher.

Nut Free

Your child’s school is “nut-safe” for a very important reason. Even tiny amounts of nut residue on desks or books can cause someone with a nut allergy to have a strong reaction. “Nut-Safe” schools can only be achieved when everyone is committed. That’s why your help and cooperation are very important. The most important thing you can do is avoid sending any foods from home that may contain even traces of nuts or peanut products.

Community Closet

The Community Closet is just inside the front door, please help yourself to any items that you can use. We are always in need of gently used mittens that are waterproof. For more info contact Sandra at: darceylou@hotmail.com

Weather Days

Notification of bus changes, closures and cancellations can be found:
– On the North Perth Westfield Elementary School Facebook page
– through the Twitter feed
– on the school website (see right side where the Twitter feed pops up)
– on the radio
– on the Huron Perth School Transportation Services website

In general the goal is to have the posting out by 6:30, but depending on conditions they may be subject to change, please check back or listen for radio updates. We will send out a text and email via school messenger to everyone who subscribed.

Please read the following to know how each weather situation will affect you and your family.

Buses Cancelled, School is open

All bus students will automatically be marked out for weather, so no phone call needs to be made for their absence. Bus students are still welcome to attend school if parents wish to drive them.

Parents/guardians who choose to keep their walking students home, must call the school by 9:15 for safe arrival.

Buses Canceled, School is closed

The school will be locked and no students can attend.

Out-of-Town Buses canceled, in-town buses running

All bus students outside of the town limits will be automatically marked out for weather, no phone call needs to be made for safe arrival. Out-of-town bus students may attend school if parents wish to drive them. In-town buses will run at their regularly scheduled times. In town bus students and walking students are expected to attend, if you choose to keep them home a phone call needs to be made to the school by 9:15 for safe arrival. “In town buses” are students who usually catch the bus at a stop in Listowel.

2 Hour Fog Delay

The school schedule will not be changed. Listen/read the delay notice carefully to know if this will affect all bus students or only out-of-town bus students. Any bus students affected should adjust their pick-up times by 2 hours. Walking students will be expected for 9:15, if you are keeping your child home please call the school before then for safe arrival.

Yard Supervision

Before school our yard is supervised from 9 – 9:15 a.m. Students should not be on the yard before the 9 a.m. bell. After school there is supervision from 3:35 – 3:45 p.m. All students are to go directly home when they are dismissed at the end of the day and the yard should be cleared by 3:45. In rain and extremely cold weather, students remain inside and are supervised in their classrooms. All students who are well enough to attend school are expected to participate in outdoor play breaks.

Attendance/Safe Arrival Program

We operate a ministry mandated “Safe Arrival” program to assist the school in checking daily attendance. If your son or daughter will be absent on a given day, please phone the school before 9am (519-291-6147). Our answering machine receives information outside of regular school hours. Please leave a brief factual message including your name, your child’s name, teacher and reason for absence.

When your child is…

Absent from school – notify the office as soon as possible. Leave a message on our answering machine. The automated message will direct your call.

Late for school – please bring your child into the office to sign in before the child goes to your classroom. Parents can not accompany their child to the classroom.

Leaving for an appointment – send a note to your child’s teacher or record information in your child’s planner agenda. The note should be dated and signed by the parent. When you come to pick up your child you must come directly into the office so that we can call your child to the office and the child can be signed out. To ensure everyone’s safety, we ask that you wait at the office for your child. Parents are asked not to go directly to your child’s classroom.

AMDSB SchoolMessenger

The Avon Maitland District School Board uses School Messenger for communication to allow us to deliver important information to you via e-mail, phone and text messaging.

SchoolMessenger is intended to enhance our existing methods of communication – not replace them.

To receive text messages you must opt in by texting
Yes to 978338 from your mobile device
Please note – although AMDSB does not charge you for this service, it does not pay for text message charges that may be incurred by you for sending or receiving text messages. Check with your wireless carrier for possible charges.

Types of messages you may receive –
General
• School activities and events
• School Council and other school-related groups/agencies messages
Emergency
• School/District related emergency impacting school district
• Weather-related school delays and closures
• Power outage or other issues during the school day which causes school to end early
• Community emergency impacting families

If you have any questions please contact the school office.