September Newsletter (September 2019)
September Newsletter – Maryborough PS
A PDF copy of this newsletter is also available: Newsletter Maryborough PS September 2019
Please note: For the month of September, a paper copy of this newsletter was sent home with every oldest or only student today. After September, all information will be sent out using electronic means in “real time.” See the newsletter for additional information.
Welcome back! The summer has flown by and we are ready to start the 2019-2020 school year. It is so exciting to see everyone back at school. A warm welcome goes out to those who are joining our school community. We encourage you to become actively involved in our school. Our School Council Association is always looking for new members. A huge “Thank You” goes out to our custodial and teaching staff who worked hard to get the school ready for the upcoming year. The school looks spectacular!
Open and ongoing communication between home and school is very important for student success. The Maryborough PS 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. If you have any questions regarding policies or programs, please feel free to contact your child’s teacher, Mrs. Eberhardt, or myself. We are looking forward to working with you. There are many ways to get information about the things happening at Maryborough PS:
- Download the UGConnect app (more information later in this newsletter)
- Website: https://www.ugdsb.ca/maryborough/
- Twitter: @MaryboroughPS
Over the summer, there have been a few additional changes to the Maryborough staff. Please join me in welcoming: Trish Kieswetter (LTO Early Childhood Educator in KA for Becca Behling), Tiffany Weber (Educational Assistant), and Shaye Robertson (LTO Grade 1/2 on Days 1, 2, 4, 5 for Sarah Nichol and LTO Grade 2 on Day 3 for Valorie Giles). A warm welcome also goes out to Connie Eberhardt, who will be our new Office Coordinator.
This is a reminder that classes are temporary until the district staffing committee finalizes our numbers and ensures we meet the Ministry of Education’s class size goals (by the third week of September). If changes are necessary, staff will work hard to make sure that students feel comfortable in their new classroom. Please understand that teachers and staff consider your child’s class placement very carefully. Many things are taken into account (i.e., learning styles, learning needs, teacher fit, peer groupings, etc.). Please do not phone the school and ask us to make class changes.
We look forward to seeing you at our Open House on Tuesday, September 17th between 5:30 and 6:30 pm. More information will be coming home shortly. Our SCA will have food and beverages available that evening by donation.
We are looking forward to a great year at Maryborough PS!
Sincerely yours – Tim Dickieson
Important Note re. Printed Newsletters
Although you did receive a hard copy of this newsletter, we will once again be sharing information on our website, electronic calendar, and the UGConnect app in “real-time” throughout the year, and will not be compiling a monthly newsletter. All information will be posted to our website and calendar as it is available. A hard copy of information can be obtained by request from the office. This is just one step that we are taking to help our environment!
Parent/Guardian Signature Package
Please sign and return all Parent/Guardian Signature Pages as well as the Student Verification Form as soon as possible. Check the information and update if necessary. We need a local emergency contact in the event we cannot reach you.
School Times & Supervision of Students
Our school day begins at 8:50 am and ends at 3:30 pm. Staff members are outside to supervise students before our day begins and after the dismissal bell. Morning supervision begins at 8:30 am. Please do not drop students off at school before this time. After school supervision ends at 3:45 pm. All students who are not accompanied by a parent or adult guardian are required to head straight home. Thanks for your help in keeping all of our students safe.
- 8:30 – Buses Arrive & School Building Open
- 8:50 – School Entry; Start of our School Day
- 8:50-9:40 – Period 1
- 9:40-10:30 – Period 2
- 10:25 – Announcements
- 10:30-11:20 – First Nutrition Break (Eating 10:30 to 10:50; Recess 10:50 to 11:20)
- 11:20-12:10 – Period 3
- 12:10-1:00 – Period 4
- 1:00-1:50 – Second Nutrition Break (Eating 1:00 to 1:20; Recess 1:20 to 1:50)
- 1:50-2:40 – Period 5
- 2:40-3:30 – Period 6
- 3:30 – Dismissal
- 3:40 – Buses Depart
Staff Assignments for 2019-2020
- KA – Becky Brunet & Mary Wigglesworth
- KB – Jodi Abra & Trish Kieswetter (LTO for Becca Behling)
- 1A – Jodi Adams
- 1/2B – Shaye Robertson (LTO for Sarah Nichol on Days 1, 2, 4, 5) & Kerin Harwood (on Day 3s)
- 2A – Valorie Giles & Shaye Robertson (LTO on Day 3s)
- 3B – Karen Shantz (AMs) & Susanne Thomson (PMs)
- 3/4A – Mark White
- 4/5B – Dave Wood
- 5/6A – Lori Albrecht
- Resource Teacher & Planning Time – Susanne Thomson
- Core French & Planning Time – Ryan Ferguson
- Learning Commons & Planning Time – Kerin Harwood
- Planning Time – Wendy Hallman
- Educational Assistant – Tiffany Weber
- Custodian – Tammy Metzger
- Office Coordinator – Connie Eberhardt
- Principal – Tim Dickieson
We welcome visitors at our school! Just a reminder to enter the school through the doors near the main office, sign in using the Visitor’s Book in the office, and pick up a visitor’s badge. All other doors will be kept locked during the school day. We want to ensure that we keep everyone safe and keep track of everyone entering the school.
The UG Connect App
Stay in the know – on the go! The UGConnect App provides parents with a simple interface to access up-to-date information including: news, calendar, and social media feeds (i.e., Twitter). In addition, “Push Notifications” from the school can be sent to devices that have downloaded this app. It is available today for free at either the Google Play Store or iTunes. Use the search term “UGConnect” to find and download the app to stay connected to Maryborough PS.
In addition to UGConnect, occasionally recorded messages regarding various events happening in the school will be sent out using our School Messenger software. Remember as well, that you can always check out our website for up-to-date information.
Safe Arrival Policy
If your child is going to be absent or will be late arriving to school, please let us know. This precaution is taken in the interest of your child’s safety. You may call and leave a message on the answering machine at any time (519-638-3095 ext. 100) or send a note with a sibling. If we do not hear from you, we will begin making phone calls to determine your child’s whereabouts (home/cell, work, and then emergency contact). Students arriving late are expected to sign in at the office. If your child arrives late at school on a consistent basis, we will let you know.
Signing Students Out or Dropping Off Items
To ensure student safety, if you are taking your child from school during the school day (appointments, etc.), please come to the office to sign your child(ren) out. Please drop off any items for your child at the office.
Volunteers at School
At Maryborough PS, we think that parents and community members are an important part of our school. We encourage parents, grandparents, or members of the community to help in the classroom, on school trips, assist in the library or with extra-curricular activities, and participate with our School Council Association. Being a volunteer is a wonderful way of participating in your child’s education, whether it’s a one-time experience or on a regular basis! Please call the school if you wish to enrich our school community with your help. Volunteers who will be working 1-1 with children or who will be coming into the school regularly will need to get a police record check (this is free with documentation from the school and can be obtained at the police station).
Due to circumstances beyond our control, agendas will not be arriving until the first week of October. Our students in grades 1 to 6 will use an agenda as a daily organization and communication tool. While these are costly, we believe that they are a very useful tool. If you would like to donate $7.00 to help cover the cost, it would be greatly appreciated. This is a voluntary contribution. Please use our online payment website: https://ugdsb.schoolcashonline.com to donate.
School Council Association
Welcome Everyone! Please join us for our first School Council Association meeting on Thursday, September 26th beginning at 7:00 pm in the Staff Room. Elections for all school council positions will take place and we will be planning for the upcoming year at Maryborough PS. We look forward to seeing many new faces, as well as welcoming our past council members.
PA Days for 2019-2020
The PA Days for the up-coming school year are as follows: September 27, 2019; November 1st, 2019; November 29th, 2019; January 31st, 2020; April 24th, 2020; June 5th, 2020; and June 26th, 2020.
Milk, Pizza, and Hot Lunches
The Milk program will start Tuesday, September 3rd. Milk cards from last year will still be honoured, and have been passed along to your child’s new home room teacher. If you would like to purchase a milk card, please log onto your SchoolCash account to purchase.
Pizza will be sold again on Fridays for $1.50 per slice. Pizza is ordered by term, so the first order will cover from September to December. Information will be coming home shortly, and orders will be placed through SchoolCash.
Hot Lunches will be available again this year on Wednesdays. Hot Lunches are ordered by term, so the first order will cover from September to December. Information will be coming home shortly, and orders will be placed through SchoolCash.
Terry Fox Run
Please stay tuned for more information regarding the Terry Fox Run at Maryborough PS on Thursday, September 26th.
A Note Regarding 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, vice-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
- Combined Grades http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/eng/literacynumeracy/combined.pdf
Message from the Human Resources Department Regarding School Organizations
Class lists have been created based on our tentative classroom organization. Changes may be necessary to ensure that our Board remains compliant with Ministry parameters (see parameters below). Any changes would be implemented by Monday, September 16th. Principals do not have the option of changing the school organization that is set by the Board District Staffing Committee. If changes affect your child(ren), you will be informed by the school.
Ministry of Education Parameters:
- Full Day Kindergarten class size average for the Board is 26 students
- 90% of Full Day Kindergarten classes with 29 or fewer students
- 10% of Full Day Kindergarten classes up to a maximum of 32 students under certain circumstances
- 90% of the Board’s Primary classes with 20 or fewer students
- 10% of the Board’s Primary classes up to a maximum of 23 students
- Grade 3/4 classes have a cap of 23 students
- Junior/Intermediate Class Size Average for the Board is 24.5 students to 1 teacher
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 ASAP. 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.
Medication at School
If your child requires medication while at school, the following applies: all medication (both prescription and non-prescription drugs) must be kept in a secure place in the office. We must have a completed form with a parent signature before school personnel can administer any medication at school. If your child requires any medication, including an EpiPen or asthma inhaler, forms need to be filled out and a plan completed. Please don’t hesitate to ask questions.
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.
School Emergency Response Training and 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. 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.
The following 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
Reminder for Parents/Guardians: Accidents Happen – Be Prepared with Student Accident Insurance
Parents/guardians are responsible for expenses related to student injuries on and off 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.
- 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.
Information from Public Health
Children who eat well, learn well. A variety of food provides the energy and nutrients needed to pay attention, learn, grow and be active! Try to include at least one food item from each of these 4 categories in your child’s lunch every day.
- Protein-rich Foods (beans, lentils, chickpeas, cheese, eggs, meat, fish, plain yogurt, plain milk)
- Whole Grains & Starchy Vegetables (whole grain pasta or bread, potatoes, corn)
- Send a re-usable water bottle with water every day.
- Involve your kids in planning and preparing – it takes two to mango! Kids are more likely to eat food that they were involved in making.
- Be a positive role model. Kids are smart and always watching, so if you’re eating the veggies, they’ll likely eat them too!
- Check out http://UnlockFood.ca for school lunch tips and recipes.
Bus students are reminded:
- To follow the directions of their driver.
- To be at their stop 5 minutes before pick-up time.
- To stay seated while the bus is in motion.
- No smoking, eating, drinking, chewing gum or swearing.
- To keep books, lunch boxes, and other bulky items on their lap.
- Students are responsible for any deliberate damage done to the bus.
- Whenever possible, leave the last row of seats vacant.
- Personal radios and recorders may be used with headphones. Radios with speakers are not permitted.
Bus Transportation is provided to students based on the distance their home is from the school. Students who are placed on a regularly scheduled route must travel his 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.
School Cash Online Payments
For purchases like: pizza, pitas, and hot lunches (more information to follow).
Video Surveillance Cameras
As an added security measure, please note that video surveillance cameras have been installed in several areas of our school. These areas are clearly marked with signage and video cameras are not being used in areas where students, staff, or 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 UGDSB Video Surveillance Policy 203.
A Note from the UGDSB Regarding Parking
Welcome back to school! September 3, 2019
We continue to see challenges with parking around some schools throughout the board. We would like to remind all new and returning parents on the rules about parking to make the back-to-school experience safe and easy for everyone.
If you need to drive, one way to ensure that your children make it to school safely is to park a distance away from all the traffic and walk your students to the school.
Together, parents, school councils and our municipalities put time and consideration into parking areas and enforcement around schools. No parking and no stopping zones are used to relieve traffic and encourage parking and drop offs in areas that are safe to do so.
A “No Parking” sign means just that – no parking. Parents are encouraged to find an area near the school where they can park if they need to leave their vehicles to drop off students. You may use these areas to pull over and let a student out safely, however, you should not exit your vehicle at any time. Be mindful that you can still receive a ticket if you’re near your car or in your car waiting; blocking other parents from using a quick drop off space still means you’re parked.
“No Stopping” signs means you may not use that space to stop and drop off a student, no matter how quick you are. When you stop in a “No Stopping” zone, you impact the safety of others. Instead, find a place where you can park safely, or use designated Kiss and Ride zones for quick drop offs.
Be a Good Neighbour
Please be mindful of other neighbours in the area. Be courteous and don’t block driveways. The convenience to park closely for you, no matter how quick you are, is not worth the inconvenience of someone else not being able to leave their home.
If you have to drive a student to school and park, ask around to see if other parents would allow you to park in a driveway nearby to walk.