February News

Posted February 2, 2020

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Gong Xi Fa Cai/Gong Hey Fat Choy / 恭禧發財

With such drastic weather patterns, we continue to remind students to wear appropriate clothing when coming and going from school, and during recesses. As a suggestion, please send an extra pair of socks to school so your child will have a dry pair if needed.

Labour Updates: Please continue to check the board website for updates at www.ugdsb.ca/labour.

Parent Council Message

Thank you to all the families who supported our Ukulele fundraiser both through donations and the purchase of Cobra Wrap. Mr Cooper has ordered the Ukuleles and they will be arriving very soon! 

Did you know you can still purchase wrapping paper? Cobra Wrap can be used all year round and is fully recyclable. If you would like to purchase more, email us [email protected].  

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Save the Date 

Even though there is still snow on the ground, we have already started preparations for our big end of year celebration: the Ice Cream Social! This year’s Ice Cream Social will be held on Thursday, June 4th from 5 – 8pm. This wonderful celebration of our school and community is only possible through the help of volunteers. We will need volunteers to help in the planning and set-up of the event and on the day. If you are able to help in anyway please email parent council: [email protected]


Library Learning Commons Update     

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The FOREST of READING program has begun! All students have been invited to participate in reading a variety of nominated books; celebrating the best Canadian authors and illustrators. Our school is participating in five programs this year; each program consists of ten books… that’s 50 great new titles for our library! Students who read at least 5 out of the 10 nominated books in a single program will be invited to attend a reading celebration and vote for their favourite book in late April! Votes from our students will then be submitted to the Ontario Library Association, along with those from schools and libraries across Ontario. Forest of Reading winners will be announced in May at the Festival of Trees events in Toronto!

BLUE SPRUCE ~ Kindergarten – Grade 2

All Kindergarten, Grade 1 and Grade 2 students will be visiting the library to listen to ten fantastic picture books written by Canadian authors over the next few weeks. In late March or April, each class will be invited to a Blue Spruce celebration and students will have the opportunity to vote for their favourite book.


Grade 3 and 4 students are invited to read a variety of books… novels, non-fiction books, and picture books. Students need to read a minimum of 5 out of the 10 books to earn the opportunity to vote for the Silver Birch Express Award winner.




Students may choose to read from a set of ten novels or ten non-fiction books. Students may participate in both grade appropriate programs (fiction and non-fiction), but they need to read a minimum of 5 out of 10 books from each program to earn the opportunity to vote for that program.

Students who are participating in the Forest of Reading programs are asked to please return books as soon as they have finished reading them so that other students have access to them too. We have multiple copies of each of the novels, but the program is very popular! The books are also available through the Guelph Public Library and ebooks may be accessed through Overdrive on UG2GO (https://webapps.ugdsb.on.ca/ug2go/). If families wish to read the books together (shared reading or read aloud), that is absolutely encouraged! 

All 50 of the nominated books are written by Canadian authors and have been added to our collection. You can check out our library website to view the nominated books.

Blue Spruce ~ Kindergarten – Grade 2  http://bit.ly/BlueSpruceKHPS

Silver Birch Express ~ Grade 3 & 4  http://bit.ly/SBExpressKHPS

Silver Birch Fiction ~ Grade 5 & 6  http://bit.ly/SBFictionKHPS

Yellow Cedar Non-fiction ~ Grade 5 – 8   http://bit.ly/YCNonfictionKHPS

Red Maple Fiction ~ Grade 7 & 8  http://bit.ly/RMFictionKHPS


Thank you for your continued support of our Library Learning Commons programs,

Sheila Morgan          [email protected]

Teacher Librarian     Library Learning Commons Website: http://bit.ly/KHPSLLC


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Honouring Black History Month


Every year Canadians are invited to take part in the festivities and events that honour the legacy of Black Canadians, past and present, during Black History Month.

Black History Month exists to remind us all of the rich contributions within our society from people of African and Caribbean descent, and of their ongoing struggle for equity and social justice. This is a time to celebrate the many achievements and contributions of Black Canadians who, throughout history, have done so much to make Canada the culturally diverse, compassionate and prosperous nation we know today. It is also an opportunity for the majority of Canadians to learn about the experiences of Black Canadians in our society, and the vital role this community has played throughout our shared history.

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Anti-Bullying at KHPS  

In an equitable and inclusive school climate, all members of the school community feel safe, comfortable, and accepted.  Staff and students value diversity and demonstrate respect for others and a commitment to establishing a just, caring society.  

An equitable, inclusive education system encourages and enables all students to learn and to fulfill their potential.

Staff will:

Provide a safe environment for students who report bullying (protection from retaliation).

Students will:

Treat each other respectfully.

Parents will:

Model positive ways of getting along with others.

Our full Bully Prevention Plan can be found at:


NATIONAL PINK SHIRT DAY – February 27th – 2019

No dogs allowed. Dog prohibition sign, vector illustration.

Dogs on School Property

Please note that there are children who have allergies to animal hair, and who have a fear of dogs.  There is also a possibility of a child being scratched or nipped by a dog (perhaps excited by all the children who enter and leave the school at the beginning and end of the day).  We have also, unfortunately, had dog droppings found on our school property. In order to prevent a potential concern for our students, please do not bring your dog onto school property during school hours. 

Please note that this does not apply to “Service Dogs”.

Safety First written on the road

Reminder about Parking

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. We please ask that you not block anyone’s driveway when picking up your child(ren).

Please choose safety over convenience! ​

Backpack of Experience

Did you know that your child comes to school with 2 backpacks?  One is filled with the physical objects necessary for the school day.  The other is what teachers refer to as the “backpack of experience” that helps the students’ learning. Did you know that literacy is about more than just reading? Literacy actually begins with oral language development. By working on oral language skills at home, you can help your child fill that “backpack of experience.” Your child’s ability to express himself/herself clearly and confidently will help him/her read, write and speak with improved accuracy, fluency and meaning. Talk about anything – fixing dinner, the weather, what happened at school today, what’s planned for the weekend, what did you hear on the news, how do you play that game, what was the story about? Strong oral skills are very important in your child’s learning. What the student brings with him/her to school, in terms of “experience,” will help in many ways.  Parents, help fill that other backpack.

Lockdown Drills

In the interest of student safety, the Upper Grand District School Board has directed all schools to conduct two lockdown drills this school year. A lockdown is used when it is suspected that an intruder has entered the school and poses a threat to the safety of our students and staff. Detailed procedures have been developed in conjunction with our local police services and provided to all schools in the district.

During the upcoming months, we will conduct our two lockdown drills. Please look at our online calendar for those dates. Teachers will explain to students before the drill that a lockdown drill is like any emergency drill, such as a fire drill. After the drill, teachers will de-brief with their students.

When a lockdown drill is announced, students are directed to go into the nearest classroom. All classroom doors are locked and curtains are closed. Please note that during this drill, no one will be allowed to enter or leave the building. In the event of a real lockdown, only emergency responders (police, etc.) would be allowed to enter the building. The end of the drill will be announced over the PA system.

Lockdown drills are just one more way, along with regular fire and tornado drills, of continuing to ensure the safety of our students and staff.


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Make the Earth better by wearing a sweater:

Celebrate National Sweater Day on February 6th!

KHPS has officially registered for this event which means that we will be turning the school’s thermostat down by 2 degrees that day.

National Sweater Day is a way to learn about the importance of saving energy and to inspire you to use less energy all winter. Heating accounts for 80% of residential energy use in Canada. If all Canadians lowered their thermostats by just 2 degrees Celsius this winter, it would reduce greenhouse gas emissions by about 4 megatons – that’s equivalent to taking nearly 700,000 cars off the road!  http://www.wwf.ca/events/sweater_day/

National Sweater Day is about thinking differently about how we use energy, where our energy comes from and how we can play an important role in fighting climate change by using energy wisely. It is designed to help raise awareness about renewable energy and change behaviours around energy consumption in Canada.

  •         Turn down your thermostat and wear a sweater on Feb 6th – and every day this winter!
  •         Ask your children to brainstorm with you about ways to save energy at home. Make a pledge to implement as many as you can. For extra ideas go to:  https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-use-less-electricity-home


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Our students and staff have been performing random acts of shovelling all around the neighbourhood during the recesses. Perhaps your driveway will be next! The students have also put together two applications for enough grant money to build an incredible outdoor classroom in our school yard. Fingers crossed! Our two grade five classes have once again started participating in the CN TOWER CLUB twice a week which involves a lot of stair climbing and raising funds for the World Wildlife Fund.   

Last month, several of our junior classes participated in the annual Habitat for Humanity “Meaning of Home” writing contest. Our local Habitat will receive $10 for every contest entry from students in grades 4-6 across the schools in Guelph. If any of our students are the national contest winner, then $30,000 will be donated to the Guelph Habitat!

On January 22nd, a team from BEE CITY CANADA came to Kortright to interview grade 8 students, Sara, Jessie, Julia, and Emily, and Mrs. D. about some of the neat pollinator activities they have organized over the last four years at Kortright and at various conferences and workshops. They will be putting sections of the interview on their new website to promote their new pollinator classroom programs across Canada!  Learning about the importance of pollinators and working with inspiring student leaders is BEEutiful!

Since the Fall, several groups of KHPS students have been researching the UN Sustainable Goals and what sustainability looks like in our homes and schools. Some of their work is displayed on the front hall bulletin board. Recently, some of the students have been sharing their sustainability ideas and innovations with the Mayor and members from Guelph City Council, a school board Trustee, a Guelph Outdoor School teacher, several sustainability experts from both the University of Guelph and University of Waterloo, and members of the local company Our Energy Guelph. Sharing ideas and getting feedback from various adults in the community adds extra excitement and value to the students’ learning!  We are extremely excited about where these ideas are going to lead to next.


(Thanks for sending your child with reusable bottles and reusable lunch containers every day!) 


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From January 13-31, we had the exciting opportunity to borrow a HUGE map of Canada from Canadian Geographic. In fact, it was so big that students and staff could only use it in the gym. Made of laminated canvas, students had the neat chance to walk all over different parts of Canada (in their socks!) as they participated in a variety of math, social studies, geography, and gym activities. So much fun! A short article and photos can be found on the school board website.

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Engaging Your Child in Science at Home!

As parents we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility for nurturing our children’s growth.  Parents play a key role in the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of their child. As parents we can usually find time to read a story to our children, thereby instilling a love of literature, but we are often at a loss as to how to instill a love and appreciation for Science. Science encourages problem solving skills, curiosity and questioning, creative and critical thinking, observational skills and reinforces both literacy and math skills….and it’s FUN! Here are some ideas for fostering Scientific skills in your children.

6 Tips to foster Scientific Thinking at Home

1-See science everywhere. Parents can take opportunities to ask “What would happen if …?” questions or present brainteasers to encourage children to be curious and seek out answers. Children need to know that science isn’t just a subject, but it is a way of understanding the world around us.

2-Lead family discussions on science-related topics. Dinnertime might be an ideal time for your family to have discussions about news stories that are science based, like space shuttle missions, severe weather conditions, or new medical breakthroughs. Over time, children will develop a better understanding of science and how it affects many facets of our lives. Movies and TV shows with science-related storylines are also great topics for discussion.

3-Encourage girls and boys equally. Many girls are left out of challenging activities simply because of their gender. Be aware that both girls and boys need to be encouraged and exposed to a variety of subjects at a very early age.

4-Do science together. Children, especially elementary-age children, learn better by investigating and experimenting. Simple investigations done together in the home can bolster what your child is learning in the classroom. Check with your child’s teacher on what your child is currently learning in class and what activities you can explore at home.

5-Connect science with a family vacation. Family vacations are a great way to explore science. It could be a hiking trip where you explore nature or a discussion on tides during a beach vacation.

6-Show excitement for Science!


“NSTA Science Matters: Tips for Busy Parents – National Science ….” http://www.nsta.org/sciencematters/tips.aspx.

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Information from Public Health 

In Ontario, the Immunization of School Pupils Act requires that all students attending school be fully immunized or have a valid exemption on file. Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health (WDGPH) has recently mailed immunization notices to elementary students with incomplete vaccine records. To avoid suspension, please update your child’s immunization record by March 6, 2020.

If the student has already received the immunization(s), report them using one of these methods:

  • Online: View and report immunizations at immunizewdg.ca. Sign-in using your Ontario Health Card Number or the Ontario Immunization ID (provided on your Immunization Notice if received by mail from WDGPH).
  • Email: Send a copy of the record to [email protected]
  • Call: 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4396

If the student needs the immunization(s) do one of the following:

  • Make an appointment with student’s health care provider, bring the notice from WDGPH with you, and follow up by reporting the immunization(s) to WDGPH.
  • Call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4134 to make an immunization appointment at WDGPH.

If the student is not being immunized for medical or conscience/religious reasons:

For the Statement of Conscience or Religious Belief Exemptions a parent/guardian must also complete an immunization education session at WDGPH. For an appointment call 1-800-265-7293 ext. 4134.


Protect you and your family from cold and flu viruses:

  •       Wash hands often with soap and water. Carry an alcohol-based hand rub in your purse and car to use if soap and water are not available.
  •         Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth. Germs spread this way.
  •         Avoid close contact with sick people.
  •         If you are sick, limit contact with others as much as possible to keep from infecting them.
  •         Cover your nose and mouth with a tissue when you cough or sneeze and throw it out after use. If a tissue is unavailable, cough or sneeze into your elbow -never into your hands.
  •         Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces and objects that may be contaminated with germs like the flu.
  •         Get a flu shot. People at high risk of serious flu complications include young children and infants, pregnant women, people with certain chronic health conditions like asthma, diabetes or heart and lung disease and people 65 years and older. Children younger than 6 months are too young to be vaccinated so people who care for infants should be vaccinated instead.

Source: https://www.cdc.gov/flu/prevent/actions-prevent-flu.htm


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How we talk about food matters

How many times has your child heard “candy is bad for you”. Labelling foods as bad can cause children to feel guilt or shame after eating and enjoying these foods. Instead, help your child understand that all food can fit into a healthy eating pattern. There are foods we eat everyday at meals and snacks such as vegetables and fruit, whole grains and protein foods. Call these “growing foods”, foods that help children grow, learn and play. There are also “treat” or “play” foods. These foods have little nutritional value but are pleasurable to eat such as donuts, chips, candy, cake, cookies, French fries and sugar sweetened beverages. These foods we eat less often than growing foods. I like the 80/20 rule. Eighty percent or more of what we eat are growing foods and 20% or less are treat foods. Be aware that children who are forbidden from eating treat foods may overeat them when they get the opportunity. 

You can help your child develop a healthy eating pattern by role modeling:

  •         choosing, preparing and eating growing foods at meals and snacks everyday
  •         enjoy treat or play foods at meals or snacks less often without guilt

 For more information about a healthy eating pattern check out Canada’s Food Guide.



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Talking About Mental Health – February 2020  Tests and Stress 

Taking tests is stressful for most students. However, there are lots of ways that your child and youth (and you!) can decrease the stress related to tests. 

Anticipate stress and be ready for it.

  •   Practice relaxing activities every day so during stressful times you already know how to cope.

Eat well

  •  Learning and remembering takes a lot of energy. Keep healthy snacks close by so you can refuel easily with what your body needs to feel good and think clearly.


  • During sleep, our brains make connections and consolidate our learning. Research has shown that during sleep, our brain cleans out toxins to allow for more learning to occur the next day.

Drink lots of water

  • Hydration is very important for good brain function. Cut down on caffeine, which contributes to the stress response and to poor sleep.


  •  Activity increases energy, stimulates brain growth and increases mood. Take regular active breaks; even 5 minutes of walking outdoors can make a difference.

Pause and relax

  • Take time to relax. Do some deep breathing. Listen to music. Meditate.  Go outside. Write in a journal. Do some stretches. Go for a walk. Draw or doodle. http://youth.anxietybc.com/relaxation has some great examples of how to relax.


  • Talk to your friends.
  • Talk to your parent or a caring adult about how you are feeling.
  • At school, you can talk to your teacher, principal or CYC for support.


  • Laughter is a great release and allows our brains to recharge and reset.

 Jenny Marino is the Mental Health Lead for the Upper Grand District School Board. 

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