September Newsletter 2019
Message from the Office
Another school year has started. The staff here at Kortright Hills Public School hopes that everyone had a pleasant and relaxing summer. We are looking forward to a rewarding year of learning and hope that you are as well.
If you are new to our school family, we extend a warm welcome and encourage you to become actively involved in the activities that are available. We invite all parents to become involved in the education of your children. School Council welcomes new members, and volunteering in the classroom and/or library is encouraged.
Open and ongoing communication between home and school is very important for student success. I value an “open door” approach and heartily welcome your input and suggestions. Together, we can provide the children with the best education possible. The Kortright Hills Community is extremely fortunate to have such committed and caring individuals working together to provide quality programs and activities to meet the educational needs of all students.
We are always open to new ideas and welcome your input and your suggestions. If you have any questions or concerns please feel free to contact the school. We anticipate a rewarding school year and look forward to developing a strong community partnership.
Principal / Vice Principal
Farhan Hussain / Jackie Irwin
Monday September 16th – School Council Meeting 6:30-7:30pm
Thursday September 26th – School Open House “Meet and Greet” from 5:00pm- 6:00pm.
School council has arranged food trucks from 5:30pm – 6:30pm at the Open House.
Bookmark our school calendar @ https://www.ugdsb.ca/kortright/calendar/monthly-view/
School Year Calendar
Terry Fox Run
Please stay tuned for more information on the Terry Fox Run.
Throughout the school year, School Council runs ongoing school-based programs, hosts events and raises funds to enhance learning for all KHPS students.
The first School Council meeting will be held on Monday, September 16th between 6:30-7:30 p.m. in the school library. We welcome all members of the school community, new and old to come and see what council is about. The night will consist of a Meet and Greet, elections and planning for the upcoming year. Childcare is available for the duration of the meeting.
If you wish to nominate yourself or someone else for a position on the School Council Executive Committee please follow the link below to complete the online nomination form prior to the first meeting https://forms.gle/hbw1tePgAT95Lakt9.
If you are unable to make the meeting but are still interested in volunteering, please email us at KortrightPC@gmail.com as there are many ways to support our school.
School Council will once again be running the Milk and Pizza Programs! More details and signup forms will be provided in the coming weeks.
Save the Date – Family Fun Day will be held on Saturday December 7th
Library Learning Commons Update
Welcome back to school! I hope everyone had a relaxing summer and was able to relax and read a good book or two. Please drop by to let me know about your new favourites! I have many new books to share with you too.
To begin the school year, all classes will be invited to attend a library orientation session and then students may begin to check out books. Information about library helpers, book clubs, and other exciting activities will be announced later this month. I’m looking forward to another fantastic year of reading, learning, and exploring with the students of Kortright Hills!
Sheila Morgan, Teacher Librarian
Message from the Human Resources Department
Re: School Organizations
Schools have built class lists based on their tentative organizations. Changes may be necessary at your child(ren)’s school in order that our Board remain compliant with Ministry parameters (see below). Principals do not have the option of changing the school organization that is set by the District Staffing Committee of the Board. If changes affect your child(ren), you will be informed by the school.
Kortright Hills will be following a balanced day schedule as follows:
8:50 a.m. School Starts
8:50 – 9:40 a.m. Instructional Time
9:40 – 10:30 a.m. Instructional Time
10:30 – 11:15 Nutritional Break/Recess
11:15 –12:05 p.m. Instructional Time
12:05–12:55 p.m. Instructional Time
12:55-1:40 p.m. Nutritional Break/Recess
1:40 – 2:30 p.m. Instructional Time
2:30 – 3:20 p.m. Instructional Time
3:20 p.m. Dismissal
Safety at the Front of the School
The front of the school is a very busy place between 8:30 a.m. and 8:50 a.m. and 3:15 p.m. and 3:35 p.m. Buses, cars and students are prominent during these times and parents are reminded to respect the safety measures that are in place. The parking lots of the school are not to be used as drop off points for our students. Parking is available in designated areas along Ptarmigan Drive, Merganser Drive and Mallard Court. Parents are also reminded to have their children cross at the cross-walk at the front of the school, if they should be picking up on the other side of the street. During the first few days and weeks of school, we tend to not pay attention to the traffic and have had a couple close calls with students crossing Ptarmigan, not at the cross-walk, being encouraged by parents on the other side of the road.
We ask that you not block anyone’s driveway when picking up your child(ren). Please be respectful of our neighbours.
Please choose safety over convenience!
BYOD – Bring your own device
Parents/students please make a cooperative decision about their child bringing technology to school. Laptops, tablets and hand-held devices are allowed within classrooms, for educational use only. They are not to be used without teacher permission. These electronic devices are not allowed in areas that are not directly supervised, such as the hallway, school yard, washrooms and the lunchroom. Please review the school Code of Conduct, Use of Technology section for more information. The school is not responsible for damages that might occur to devices.
Video Surveillance Cameras
As an added security measure, please note that video surveillance cameras have been installed in several areas in our school. These areas are clearly marked with signage and video cameras are not being used in areas where students, staff and authorized visitors have a high expectation of privacy including change rooms, washrooms and staff rooms. Information obtained through video surveillance provides us with an additional way to enhance the protection of students, staff, the public and property. Should you have any questions please refer to the Upper Grand School Board’s Video Surveillance Policy #203.
Guelph Police Reminder
Parents/guardians are reminded that the Guelph Police Service will be patrolling all school zones in the City of Guelph on a consistent basis and will levy fines to motorists not obeying traffic rules. Please note that there are reduced speed limits in the school zone.
Notifying the School of a Student Absence – Safe Arrival
The rules of the Safe Arrival program state that the school must know why a student is not present on any particular day. This means that school office staff will continue to try to contact parents until one is reached; we sometimes make four or five calls for one child. This takes an inordinate amount of time and often stretches the office staffs’ ability to carry out other duties. Please assist us in speeding this process up and calling when you know if your child(ren) is/are going to be late or absent. Messages can be left by phoning the school (519 827-1601) and choosing extension 200. Please send any notes or information about absences to the office as well as the teacher.
If you child is late then a late slip is required to enter class. This late slip is given at the office. If your child is late frequently, we will notify you.
Dropping Off Items for your Child
Students are expected to come to school with their materials for the day. If you are dropping off something your child has forgotten, please leave it at the office, and we will ensure that your child receives this item during the next break.
Taking Students from School
To ensure student safety, if you are taking your child from school during the school day (appointments, etc.) parents are asked to come to the office and sign your child(ren) out. If you would like your child to leave school on their own and travel to an appointment, please call the school in advance to let us know or leave a message in the morning on the attendance line.
Students will not be allowed to leave school property for lunch unless they are heading home or being picked up by a parent. This means that students will not be able to sign out with friends and go to buy Pizza or go to the Hasty Market over the nutrition breaks. Having students who do not regularly go home for lunch and stay at school enables us to be able to supervise them at school as well as ensure their safety during the school day.
After being dismissed from class, either at lunch or at the end of the day, students are requested to go directly home or to a caregiver before proceeding to other activities. This includes playing after school on the playground. Please reinforce this message with your child.
Students are expected to follow the rules of the bus, listen to the driver, remain in their seats, refrain from eating or drinking anything while on the bus, and follow the directions of the bus patrols when entering or exiting the bus.
Bus transportation is provided to students based on the distance their home is from the school. Such students are placed on a regularly scheduled bus route and must travel on this route and no other. Bus students may not switch buses for any reason. In addition, students who walk to school may not travel on a regularly scheduled bus route.
Student Verification forms will be going home this week. Please review any changes, sign and return them to school by Friday, September 13th, 2019.
To offset the cost of the agendas this year students are asked to contribute $7. Please pay online at https://ugdsb.schoolcashonline.com/. The link can also be found on our school website.
Order Forms will be going home on the first week of school. Don’t miss out; make sure you have your forms back before September 22.
Benefits of online payments through School Cash Online
Convenient: Make payments anytime…Online!
Easy to Use: Fill a shopping cart and check out.
Safe: No need to send cash or cheques to school.
Secure: Our website is protected and PCI compliant.
Saves Time: It takes less than 5 minutes to register.
For safety and efficiency reasons, we want to reduce the amount of cash and cheques coming into our school. School related expenses such as pizza days, field trips, spirit wear, yearbooks, etc. will be available for online purchase. More information will be available soon.
|Our board has a wonderful resource for all of our students that can be accessed 24/7 from school or from home. It’s called UG2GO and includes Learn360 (educational video streaming), Student Link (a site children use at school that gives them access to websites that are kid friendly and relate directly to their current units of study), Tumblebooks (a site that has hundreds of books children can click on and have read to them), Overdrive (eBooks and audiobooks), and much more.
When students are at home they can go to this URL: https://www.ugdsb.on.ca/ug2go
They will be prompted to enter the same Windows username and password that they use at school to get onto the school network. Once they enter their Windows username/password they will enter the site and they can then click on any of the resources and be taken directly to the individual resource without the need for any additional passwords.
STAFF ASSIGNMENTS 2019-2020
|1||KA||Amy Williams, Tracy Kelly|
|2||KB||Rachel Cameron, Amanda Pettitt|
|3||KC||Susan Fulton, Tracy McMeekin|
|4||KD||Pam Moreau, Abbie Hirst|
|11||3/4C||Mike Keunen, Scott Hemsley|
|15||6A||Leanne Snell, Scott Hemsley|
|VP – Jackie Irwin|
|Resource – Victoria Smith|
|Int.Core French/ Planning||Zsuzsanna Miklosy|
|Jr.Core French||Lise McLeod|
|Teacher Librarian||Sheila Morgan|
|Music, History Geo Planning||Matty Cooper|
|Phys. Education/ Planning||Steacy Petersen|
|Planning and classroom||Scott Hemsley, Roslyn Conti|
|Child and Youth Councillor||Linda Beddard|
|Office Coordinator||Della Broderick|
|Office Assistant||Linda Peyton|
|Vice Principal||Jackie Irwin|
Interested in Volunteering?
There are many volunteer opportunities within the school…helping in the library, reading with students, preparing materials, helping in many ways in the classroom. If you would like to volunteer, please contact your child’s teacher or call the office.
Also, if you are available to assist as a volunteer on a school field trip, your help as a supervisor would be greatly appreciated. Occasionally, when a class trip is planned, an insufficient number of parent volunteers are available to help supervise the trip. If you would be interested in offering your services as a volunteer on a class trip, beyond your child’s class, should the need arise, please contact the office and let them know your availability.
Reminder for parents/guardians: Accidents happen – be prepared with Student Accident Insurance
Parents/guardians are responsible for expenses related to student injuries on school premises during school activities. Accidents can and do happen and the costs involved might not be fully covered by Provincial Health Care or employer group insurance plans.
The Upper Grand District School Board is empowered under The Education Act to offer Accident and Life Insurance for students.
Information will be sent home with respect to Student Accident Insurance offered by Old Republic Insurance Company of Canada. You should receive:
- The Director’s letter and an Acknowledgment to be signed by parents/guardians and returned to school. Attached to the Director’s letter is a translation sheet for your reference.
- An InsureMyKids application form
Old Republic offers a variety of options, including family rates and multi-year plans, at affordable prices. The cost must be paid by parents/guardians.
Subscription is directly through Old Republic by mail or online. Questions should be directed to Old Republic at 1-800-463-5437 or www.insuremykids.com.
For today’s active children, especially those who participate in field trips, co-curricular and other school activities outside the school day, Student Accident Insurance is valuable.
Asthma Friendly Schools Policy
Asthma is a very common chronic lung disease that can make it hard to breathe. The Upper Grand District School Board has a policy to provide support for students with Asthma. If your child has asthma, the policy requires an Asthma Management Plan (AMP) to be completed by parents, a child’s doctor and the principal of the school. A copy of this plan is available on the Board’s website under Policy 516. Parents are requested to complete the AMP and return it to the school as soon as possible at the beginning of the school year.
Smoke and Vape-Free Environment
The Upper Grand DSB provides a smoke and vape-free environment for its students, staff and others while on Board property, in accordance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act and Board policy 208. This policy refers to all forms of tobacco, and any processed form of tobacco that may be smoked, inhaled or chewed, including e-cigarettes.
Smudging is the tradition of using sacred smoke from sacred medicines (e.g., tobacco and sage) that forms part of the indigenous culture and spirituality. Smudging is allowed in schools under the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. Parents will be informed using the school’s usual forms of communication when smudging is going to occur in our school. Participation by staff and students is optional in a smudging ceremony. If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the principal.
Students with Life-Threatening Medical Conditions
UGDSB Policy 518: Students with Life-Threatening Medical Conditions, outlines the roles and responsibilities for all in the educational community to support students with possible life-threatening medical conditions. The prevalent medical conditions covered under this policy are Asthma, Anaphylaxis, Diabetes and Epilepsy/Seizure Disorders. If your child has one of these, or any other life-threatening medical condition, please visit: www.ugdsb.ca/board/policy (and look for Policy 518) or contact the school as soon as possible. We will work with you to develop a Plan of Care to support your child.
We have children in our school with potential life-threatening allergies (called anaphylaxis) to various foods and other materials. Anaphylaxis is a medical condition that can cause death within minutes. In recent years, anaphylaxis has increased dramatically among students. Although this may not affect your child’s class directly, we are letting you know so that you are aware that we aim to create an allergy safe environment at our school. If your child is in a classroom with an anaphylactic child, or your child has anaphylaxis, you will be informed by the classroom teacher. Our school has procedures in place for the prevention and management of anaphylactic reactions. If your child has health concerns of any kind, please tell your child’s teacher or the office and we will take the necessary health protection steps. Thank you for your understanding in ensuring an allergy-safe environment for all of our students.
School Emergency Response Training and Annual Drills
The safety and well-being of our students is our highest priority. Although we hope that an incident that requires response from emergency personnel will never occur in our school, we must be prepared to respond quickly and effectively in case it does.
Each year our school must conduct drills to ensure staff and students are prepared in the event of a real emergency.
The following number of drills are required each school year:
- Three (3) fire drills in the fall and three (3) fire drills in the spring
- Two (2) lockdown drills
- One (1) tornado drill
- One (1) bomb threat drill
For each of these drills, there is an education component to explain why they are necessary. All drills are conducted in a manner that is sensitive to the needs of our students.
Combined Grade (Split Grade) Classrooms
Combined classes group children from two or more consecutive grades into one classroom. Schools combine classes for a variety of reasons to meet the learning needs of students and to balance class sizes. All classrooms are created with students who have a range of skills and abilities. As in same-grade classrooms, teachers, in combined grades, use a variety of strategies to ensure that the grade appropriate curriculum expectations are covered.
Combined classrooms are very common in schools today and they are neither better nor worse than single-grade classes. Studies have proven that students in combined grades do just as well academically as students in single-grade classrooms. The academic research on combined classrooms has outlined the benefits that students gain while in combined classes. These benefits include learning to work individually and as part of a team, development of leadership skills, development of decision-making skills, self-motivation, and responsibility.
Student placement is carefully considered by school staff every year. Individual student needs, as well as class dynamics, are balanced to create school classrooms. When placing students in classrooms, the principal and all teachers take into consideration many different factors which include: the number of students, the number of boys and girls, student learning styles, academic strengths and needs, learning skills, work habits, and social and emotional strengths and needs. Whether the students are in an older or younger grade in a combined classroom, they will be challenged at their own academic level.
For further information about combined classrooms, please consult the following information that has been developed by the Ministry of Education:
- An Introduction to Combined Grades http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/parents/combinedClassrooms/combinedClassrooms.pdf
- Combine Grades http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/combined.pdf
Talking About Mental Health – Heading Back to School
Hope that you had a wonderful summer! Transitioning back into school as summer ends can be exciting but also can be stressful for some children and families. As the children and youth head back to school, here are a few suggestions on how to make this a mentally healthy school year for all.
Take care of your body
Mental and physical health are linked. Make sure to get enough sleep, drink water, and eat well.
Talk to your child/ren
What did they like and enjoy about last year? What are they looking forward to this year? Have children name one thing they are looking forward to and one thing they are not looking forward to as much.
Identify strengths and challenges
Have them name 2 things they are good at in school and two things that they think might be more difficult. Strategize some ways to deal with challenges. At the end of the day reflect any strategies used and encourage them to try new strategies to build their coping tool kit.
Problem solve with your child/ren
Provide your child opportunities to make their own decisions and to come up with solutions for their concerns. Remember to keep your expectations realistic and age appropriate.
Remain calm, and show your child trust, support and love when they are feeling stressed, anxious and worried.
Have a wonderful and mentally healthy school year!
Jenny Marino, UGDSB Mental Health and Addictions Lead