April 12th – Weekly

Posted April 12, 2024

Hello Harris Mill Families, 

As a community, we continue to work on educating our students on racism and its impacts.

Harris Mill staff are continuously engaging students in conversations and learning about issues of race, especially, anti-Black racism. Our staff are participating in a book study to further their learning. The book is titled Stop the Hate for Goodness Sake and it is written by Andrew B. Campbell and Larry Swartz. The work staff are doing together is transferring to lessons and learning in the classroom to support students.

We know that learning doesn’t stop at school. As partners in education, we encourage all families to have meaningful discussions on this topic at home with your children about how we treat each other. Please see the attached Board resource list to support your conversations:



Please read the important reminders below and have a great weekend!

#1 YEARBOOKS ARE AVAILABLE NOW: Purchasing this year’s yearbook couldn’t be easier! Yearbooks can be purchased online using SchoolCashOnline from April 8th to May 3rd. Each yearbook is only $25. NOTE: School Council has decided to kindly purchase every Grade 5 Student a yearbook as a Harris Mill keepsake. Thank you School Council!

#2 Our Dance-A-Thon DJ is booked!! April 26th is sure to be one of THE most fun school days ever!! This is Harris Mill’s biggest fundraiser, and to make this event a success, Children’s PRIZE donations are needed. School Council are collecting any unopened and giftable items such as games, crafts, new stuffies, fidget toys, Pokémon packs etc. will all be gratefully received! Students will be given tickets to have the chance to “bid” on items they wish to win. Items can be dropped off at the school office, or contact Charlotte Kerby or (647) 295 7212 to arrange collection/ drop off. Thanks so much for your support!  Last year we received 100 fantastic prize donations from parents! All profits will go back to our school. 

#3 Every Day Counts! Student Support Week 1Is your child struggling with attending school? We are here to help! Throughout the month of April we will be sharing tips and strategies with parents/guardians to help encourage regular school attendance – because Every Day Counts!

This week, we are going to focus on strategies around attitudes and beliefs – try some of these tips at home!

  • Keep in mind that attendance issues can quickly escalate.  Parents/guardians need to intervene and reach out for support as early as possible before it becomes the norm.
  • Keep the expectation in your home of attending school and staying all day.  Don’t give up. Even if your child is anxious about school, ensure the expectation of regular attendance doesn’t change.  Work with the issue, not around it.
  • Talk to your child to find out what is behind them not wanting to go to school.  Anxiety can show up in a lot of ways and one of them can be not wanting to go to school. Encourage your child to talk back to their anxiety!  Tell themselves they can do it!
  • Ask questions about your child’s worries about school.  Although you know your child well, try not to assume you know the answers.  Keep an open mind. Validate your child’s concerns.
  • If your child is having difficulty with attendance try setting a goal with them such as if they attend for a certain amount of time, they can have a special treat or do a special activity.

For more information, please visit the UGDSB website: https://www.ugdsb.ca/parents/student-attendance-at-school-tips-and-strategies-for-families/ 

#4 Looking for Pots and Pans! The Kindergarten team is looking for donations of pots and pans to enhance our outdoor classroom. If you have anything you would like to donate, please drop them off at the office. We would be grateful!

#5 UGDSB April Communications Newsletter: The April Communications Newsletter is out! This is the monthly public-facing newsletter from the communications department, so please feel free to share with your communities. In this month’s issue we have information about:

  • Every Day Counts! Student attendance 
  • Student career fairs
  • Mental health literacy for students
  • And more!

Download the newsletter here: https://www.ugdsb.ca/community/communications/communications-newsletter/ 

#6 Parent Digital Resources – Parents Matter: Every week we will try to share a resource that parents/families can access to support their child(ren)’s development and learning. This week we explore a very important topic – Parents Matter! When you get a chance please take a look at the information. https://www.ugdsb.ca/pic/wp-content/uploads/sites/89/2018/05/ParentsMatterEN.pdf 

#7 TICK SEASON IS HERE: The memo attached here and links from Public Health may be helpful as we head back into tick season.

Blacklegged Tick and Lyme Disease


#8 A Guide to Harris Mill Food Orders: To help make things easier, please refer to this quick chart to help with food orders. It will be updated as needed. 

Type of Food How to order Available Days
The Lunch Lady www.lunchlady.ca

Note:   Orders must be placed/cancelled by 7am on the day of delivery. 

Mondays – 2nd Break
Purple Pig Pizza  Orders are now finalized for the remainder of the year.  Wednesdays– 2nd break from April 3rd through June 19th
Booster Juice www.boostyourlunch.com

Note: Navigate to the Elementary tab along the top, pick Harris Mill PS, enter your students name and then select their teacher.  Orders must be placed/cancelled by Wednesdays the same week at 8pm

Fridays – 1st Break
Subway/Pita Pit Fridays  School Cash Online to order

Note: Place your order by Sunday at noon each week, or order in advance for several weeks at a time.

Fridays – 2nd Break


#9 Please Call The School: To ensure that all of our students are safe every morning we kindly ask that all parents call the school office (519-856-0309) to let us know if their child will be absent or late. When the office does not have confirmation of where the child is then we must call all available numbers until we have confirmation that the child is safe. Thank you for helping us out with this!  

#10 Morning Drop Off: Just a reminder that students should not be dropped off at the school before 8:15 as there is no supervision happening before this time. Also an ongoing reminder that parents are asked to stay on the edge of the tarmac close to the yellow posts when dropping off their grade 1-5 child(ren) before school starts. If parents are dropping their child off late (Kindergarten to Gr.5) Please go to the front office doors and connect with the Office staff. Thank you for your help with this to ensure all our students are safe.

#11 Inclement Weather? Get Updates! UGDSB is sharing information on websites and social media, reminding families of where to get updates/alerts about bus cancellations and delays (i.e. STWDSTS) and where info gets posted about school closures due to inclement weather (i.e. UGDSB websites and social). Please check out the link to learn more: https://www.ugdsb.ca/blog/its-that-time-of-year-again-everything-you-need-to-know-about-ug-inclement-weather-procedures/ 

#12 Wanting to Volunteer at Harris Mill?: We really appreciate and value all our parent and guardian volunteers who give up some of their time to help us out, whether that be in the school or on a field trip. To get started volunteering this year there are a couple of actions to take. 

  1. Anyone who is new to the volunteer role at Harris Mill must first contact Ms. Evans, our Office Coordinator, for full information on how to submit a vulnerable sector check. 
  2. Those volunteers who have already submitted a vulnerable sector check to the school previously must also see Ms. Evans to complete a quick annual offence declaration. Please note: Following the UGDSB Policy 205: School Volunteers, your vulnerable sector check remains valid for 5 years, as long as you sign a yearly Volunteer Agreement with Annual Offence Declaration.

#13 ACCESSIBILITY & EQUITY: There may be times throughout the year when we ask parents to send in money to cover the cost of field trips, pizza, special events, etc. We understand that for some families, these funds may cause financial hardship. We never want a child to miss out due to financial hardship. If you are ever in this situation, please contact the school, and we will arrange to have the school cover the cost.

#14 DOGS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY: We kindly ask that all families who walk their dogs to the school refrain from taking their dog into busy areas around the school (ie Kindergarten drop off and pick up areas, the back tarmac and sidewalk of the school area during drop off and pick up times). We have many students who for various reasons are uncomfortable around dogs and to help these students transition easier to and from school we ask that all dogs be kept well away from these areas around the school. Thank you for your help and understanding. 

Harris Mill Important Upcoming Dates:

Friday April 26th – Harris Mill Dance-A-Thon

Wednesday May 8th – Spring Concert (1:30pm)

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