September 2018 Newsletter

Principal’s Message

Welcome back! We have lots of new faces joining us, both as staff and new students. I think you’ll find North Perth to be a wonderful, welcoming community and Westfield is the best example of that spirit.

We owe a special thank you to the custodial staff, especially Mr. Bowers, who worked, often short-handed, to get our school ready for us.

In the coming months you’ll be hearing more about our Kindness Project, our work with the North Perth Community of Character, house teams, HOAP and Social Responsibility. Our staff professional development will be focused on math (particularly number sense) and on reading skills. Our hope is that as we teachers become more knowledgeable and skilled in teaching math and reading, our students will also grow in understanding and achievement. While school is a place of academics, I also believe it should be a place of fun and of learning how to be a good neighbour. It’s that balance of academics and character that will be our focus in the coming year. We are, after all, not building students but growing citizens, and it is a privilege to do so.

I’m so glad to have you as partners for our upcoming school year.

K

Vice-Principal’s Message

Happy September everyone!
It’s great to be back and starting another year at Westfield.

I always consider the start of the school year in September to be just like ‘New Year’s Day.’ We get back into routine, we adjust to a different schedule, and we set goals for the future. The first day of school brings a lot of excitement for both teachers and students alike. Students find out what teacher they will have and who will be in their class, while teachers marvel at how much students have grown over the summer, while beginning a year’s plan of building strong learners and positive citizens.

As Mrs. Boyd has stated, we strive each day to grow strong citizens who care for themselves and for each other. I am confident in the abilities of our staff to work towards this common goal, and I can’t think of a more qualified and caring group to do this than the staff at Westfield. Your children are in very good hands!

Please drop by the office to say hello or to introduce yourself if we have not yet. Thanks to all for your welcoming and positive words when I started this new position in February, and as I approach a new school year.

Jim McCutcheon

Westfield Staff

N. Petrie and S. Blake—Kindergarten A
G. Nelson and J. Scott — Kindergarten B
J. Monteith and T. Oliver— Kindergarten C
B. Pierce and J. Belfour – Kindergarten D
A. Ehgoetz — Gr. 1
S. Pinkse—Gr. 1
E. Matheson — Gr. 1/2
K. Brown—Gr. 2/3
H. Schein—Gr. 2
J. Haugh—Gr. 3
A. Blagrave—Gr. 3
C. Monteith — Gr. 3/4
A. Weber – Gr. 4
S. Arnold — Gr. 4/5
H. Cameron—Gr. 5
A. Schoonderwoerd—Gr. 5/6
S. McArthur — Gr. 6
G. Vader — Gr. 6
T. Schaefer – Gr. 7
K. Hollinger – Gr. 7
L. Shepherd — Gr. 7
L. Scott – Gr. 8
S. Reaman—Gr. 8
R. Petrie—Gr. 8
J. Alexander—P.E.
M. Bateman – Primary Prep
S. Bullock — SERT
C. McKee—SERT
N. Fletcher – SERT/ Gr. 1
L. Umbrico — Music
K. Coghlin – French
V. Gregoriadis—French
S. Scott — office manager
K. Greydanus — secretary
S. Dick — EA
B. Elliott — EA
D. Galbraith — EA
R. Galbraith— EA
B. Metzger — EA
J. Meulensteen — EA
M. Schmidt — EA
C. Walters — EA
L. Shaw — STRIVE program EA
D. Bender- STRIVE Program EA
J. Bailey-Creagan — TRA
W. Bowers—custodian
J. McCutcheon — VP
K. Boyd — Principal

Please see our Parent/Student Handbook for a full list of information items.

Class Sizes

Some of our classes are very close to their maximum size. It may be necessary in the first few weeks of school to rearrange some of the classes. Although we realize this can be difficult for families, please rest assured that if this happens you will be informed before it occurs and that much thought will go into the changes and many variables will be considered in the process.

Open House

Our open house will be Thursday September 20, 4:30-6:30. Come and see the school and your child’s classroom.

Lunch Routines

All students will stay for lunch and eat in their classrooms. Primary and Intermediate students will have nutrition break/eating time for the first 20 minutes, followed by outdoor recess. Junior and kindergarten students will have recess first, followed by nutrition break.

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.

PA Day

Note that Friday, September 28 is a PA day. Staff will be involved in professional learning throughout the day. There is no school for students on that day.

Custody and Access Documents

It may happen that school authorities are asked by a parent to enforce certain clauses in custody and access documents. In order for school personnel to do this, we must have a copy of the most recent legal document received from the courts containing this specific information. We will gladly make copies of this information and store it in students’ Ontario Student Record folders for future reference

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.

Planners

School Planners are used by students in grade 1- grade 6 for recording homework, reminders, upcoming events, etc. and provide an important vehicle for communication between you and your child’s classroom. We request that families send $6.00 to help cover the cost of these planners. Our preference is that you pay online, however if needed cash can be sent in. Remember to check your child’s planner daily for information.

SPC Cards

Student Price Cards are on sale now for $10. Receive awesome discounts at many stores. This is a fundraiser for our Grade 8 Camp Celtic Trip. See Mrs. Bailey in the Library.

Technology

Technology is to be used primarily for learning purposes and only inside the classroom.

Students are requested to leave all personal devices at home (games, tablets, etc) unless permission is given by the classroom teacher to use the device for a specific learning purpose. Students are responsible for the care and safekeeping of their own devices. Students up to grade 6 will not use tech during nutrition breaks. Grade 7 or 8 students, should keep personal tech devices (e.g., cell phones) in lockers. Senior students may use the device during nutrition breaks in an appropriate manner. Classroom teachers will determine whether or not classroom technology will be used during indoor recesses.

Emergency Contact Form and Permission Forms

Two important forms will be sent home with each child on the first day of school.
Every child will receive an Emergency Contact Form for 2018-2019. Please check the information carefully, including emergency contact information, and “permissions” (at the bottom or the form). Make any changes directly on the form before returning it to your child’s teacher. In addition, each child will receive an Parent/Guardian Information and Consent for Ongoing Curricular and Co-Instructional Field Trips form to enable students to walk to Kin Park for physical education classes. Please make an effort to return these important forms to the school by Friday, Sept. 7. Thank you!

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.

Parking and Drop Off

If you are driving your children to school, please use the designated drop off area on Binning Street to “kiss and go”. This is a strict no parking area. You will not be able to leave your vehicle in the drop off zone. We will greet your children at the drop off zone, and ensure that they get safely into the school yard at the fence opening. Kin Park may be used as an alternate drop off location. Please do not park or pull up to the front doors of the school in the circular driveway, since this is a bus loading zone.

Parents may park in the parking lot on the west side of the drive, but please have your children walk around to the sidewalk on the Binning Street side as students should never be walking through the parking lot. The Daycare parking lot is strictly for the use of families with preschool children attending that facility. We appreciate everyone’s cooperation in helping to keep our students safe throughout the day.

Dismissal

Buses

When students arrive at school, they will go directly onto the playground using the paved pathway at the north end of the school. Kindergarten students will have senior students to assist them to go directly to their entry door each day. At the end of the day, students will prepare to go to their buses just before the 3:35 bell. There will be one “last call” for buses at 3:35. Students who miss their bus will need to call home for a ride from the office.
Safe and respectful conduct is expected for students who have the privilege of riding the bus in order to ensure the safety of everyone on the bus. Students are expected to:

  • Remain seated at all times
  • Sit facing forward without blocking the centre aisle
  • Keep hands and feet to themselves
  • Use quiet voices
  • Refrain from eating or using technology while on the bus

Walkers

Students who walk will be dismissed onto the playground side of the school at 3:35. They may exit the yard via the Binning Street fence or take the path through Kin Park. Students meeting younger brothers and sisters should designate a meeting spot outside (e.g, at the playground). Please note that the yard must be cleared by 3:45 p.m.

Kindergarten Walkers

At the end of the day, please pick up your child at the kindergarten exit doors on the parking lot (west) side. Older siblings may pick up kindergarten siblings at the exit door on the playground (east side).

Before and After School students

Students attending before and after programs will go directly from their homeroom class to their respective program (either in a Kinder room, the multipurpose room or the library).

Meeting your child off the Bus

Please ensure there is someone to meet your child off the bus. The bus driver will not let a Kindergarten or Grade 1 student disembark unless they see an adult or older sibling present.
For further transportation information, use this link: http://ourschoolbuses.ca

Yard Supervision

Before school our yard is supervised from 9 – 9:15 a.m. Students should not be on the yard before the 9am bell. After school there is supervision from 3:35 – 3:45 PM. 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.

Medical/Health Conditions

AMDSB Schools are committed to supporting students with medical conditions such as asthma, anaphylaxis, diabetes, and epilepsy, etc. to fully access school in a safe, accepting, and healthy learning environment. As these conditions have the potential to result in a life-threatening medical emergency, we need you to be active participants in supporting your child’s medical condition at school. As the new school year begins, please inform us about your child’s medical condition at school. As the new school year begins, please inform us about your child’s medical/health condition and help us create, review and/or update their Individual Medical Management Plan of Care. Please call our school office to book an appointment to create a Plan of Care. For those who have a previous plan in place, you will receive a copy to approve and update as needed.

Food/Drink Orders

If you are not signed up online for food orders please send a note to your teacher requesting food/drink order forms be sent home with your child. We will again offer pizza on Thursdays, milk daily and pitas by weekly on Wednesdays. Please see the food order information sheet in this newsletter. Please be sure to mark down due dates, or for ease sign up school cash online to receive email notifications of due dates.

School Cash Online

If you have not registered your student(s) for schoolcash online please do so today. Those who are not comfortable paying online, please still register. You will not be required to submit a payment online but by registering you will be notified when an item has been posted for your student(s), ensuring you don’t miss any food orders or other school payments. This year anyone not using online food ordering will be required to request paper food orders from the office.

Register today on the SchoolCash Online website.
Please note: you will need your students OEN number from any Ontario report card, if you need this information please call the school.

JK students can not be registered until the second week in September. A package will be sent home with each student containing registration information and the OEN number.

School Messenger

Our school board uses the application School Messenger to communicate with families. We use this to send out email and text communications. In an attempt to reduce paper consumption we send our out monthly newsletters and other important information by email. We also text out any bus delays, cancelations or other important emergency information.

To receive emails:

To ensure you don’t miss any information please carefully check the email address we have on file for you (on your child’s emergency contact form.

To receive texts:

This is a 2 step process. 1) We must have your correct mobile number on file at the school (ensure your number is written in the cell phone field on your child’s emergency contact form, if it is only listed in the telephone field you will not receive texts) . 2) You must ‘opt in’ by texting YES to 978338.

Newsletters Go Green:

All newsletters and communication for the remainder of the year will be emailed to you. If you prefer a paper copies instead please send a notice to your child’s teacher.

If you have any questions about either application, please ask Mrs Greydanus anytime by calling the school or by email:
kara.greydanus@ed.amdsb.ca

Music “Notes”

Welcome to another year of music at Westfield! The in-class program involves singing, moving, playing various instruments, listening and creating. We also prepare music for various assemblies and performances, both at the school and around town. Opportunities to join choir, band, ukulele club, recorder club, bell choir, dance team, drum lessons and violin class will be presented at various times throughout the year. Students should stay tuned to announcements, and the monthly school newsletter will keep parents informed of the various musical performances coming up. Please encourage your child to participate in musical activities, as this can be a joyful and enriching experience. Here’s to a great year!

Fresh from the Farm Fundraiser

We will again be running our fresh from the farm fundraiser this September. Stay tuned for more information.

Volunteers Needed

Volunteers are always welcome and appreciated. Many of you have talents to share and we would appreciate your help! If you would like to volunteer to help in the school, please contact the teacher or complete the form below. Upon entering the school, please sign in at the office and wear one of the “Westfield Volunteer” badges provided.

Nutrition Program

The Warrior Snack program ensures that nutritious snacks are available each morning for students. Food bins are delivered to classrooms each morning and they contain two food groups. This program depends on volunteers, and will only run if we have sufficient assistance to prepare and deliver snacks. This program usually begins in October. If you would like to volunteer for this program please submit the form below!

Book Fair

Our annual book fair is September 17-20.

School Supplies

It is helpful if students have these supplies to begin the school year.

Primary Students:

• Pencils
• Erasers
• Pencil Crayons
• Markers—optional
• Glue Sticks
• Pencil Case
• Closed pencil sharpener
• Headphones, in a labeled plastic bag (if not already at the school, dollarstore variety works well)
• Indoor Running shoes (which meet OPHEA guidelines) “Appropriate athletic footwear must be a minimum uniform requirement. Appropriate athletic footwear is defined as a running shoe with a flat rubber treaded sole that is secured to the foot. Running shoes with higher heels, wheels, rubber, plastic or metal cleats, open toes, open heels are not appropriate.”
• Waterbottle, labelled–optional
• Backpack
• Whiteboard markers

Please do NOT bring to school
• Binders
• Compass/protractor sets
• Liquid paper/white out
• Duotangs

Junior Students:

Added to the list above:
• Calculator (not Scientific)

Intermediate Students

• Pencils
• Erasers
• Pencil Crayons
• Ruler
• Pencil Case
• Highlighters (at least two different colours)
• Glue Sticks
• Headphones in a labeled plastic bag -Can be dollar store variety.
• Indoor Running Shoes (see description to left)
• Lock for Locker
• Calculator (scientific)
• Backpack
• Binders-2 that are 2” clean basic binders, don’t need to be fancy
• Three ring lined paper
• Dividers
• Gym clothes—shorts and T– Shirt

Please don’t bring:
Correction fluid (Liquid Paper, Whiteout, etc)
Large zippered and/or velcro binders
Pencil sharpeners
Miniature staplers

General classroom donations always welcome
• Box of Kleenex for Classroom
• Crayola Markers
• Large ‘Ziploc’ Freezer Bags
• Glue Sticks
• White Board Markers

School Emergency Procedures

School emergency procedures follow the Administrative Procedures that can be found on the board’s website; these are adapted to fit the layout and needs of the school. Emergency Plans are posted in each room of the school, and shared with the Daycare area as well. These plans include instructions for evacuation, what to do in case of fire, chemical spill, medical emergencies, bomb threats, hold and secure, and weather watches and warnings. Drills are conducted throughout the year to prepare staff, students, and volunteers for emergency situations. Plans are also in place to assist students with special needs in these situations.

Should we need to evacuate Westfield in an emergency, our evacuation site will be the Steve Kerr Memorial Complex. Parents and guardians would be notified by radio, website, Twitter, Facebook, and if possible, School Messenger.

If you have questions regarding specific procedures and safety, please contact Mr. McCutcheon or Mrs. Boyd at the school.