September, 2021 – School Newsletter

Posted September 7, 2021

From the Principal’s Desk

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself as the new principal of Paisley Road PS. I am very excited to be continuing my career in education at Paisley Road PS, as it where I began my teaching career many years ago. I have been an administrator with the Upper Grand District School Board for the past seventeen years, the last seven of which have been at Arbour Vista Public School. Originally from Sudbury, I moved to Guelph in the mid-1990’s. I have lived in the city since my move, where my wife and I have raised two daughters, both of whom attend the University of Guelph.

As I return to the Paisley Road, I eagerly anticipate building relationships with the amazing students and staff at the school and supporting their teaching and learning opportunities. I truly believe that education is a partnership with families, built on trust, mutual respect and open communication. I look forward to working collaboratively with the entire Paisley Road PS community!

Though the start of this school year will be different than any we have previously experienced, a sense of excitement is evident! School staff understand that students have been away from school for a lengthy period of time and as a result, supporting their mental health and social emotional needs will be of paramount importance throughout the school year, particularly at the beginning. Coinciding with the aforementioned support will be the critical nature of teaching and emphasizing the protocols of hand washing and sanitizing, the use of masks, and social distancing measures. Please consider a dinner time discussion with your child, providing an opportunity for him/her to share the protocols he/she is following while in the school. A discussion at home will stress the importance of these measures!

Thank you for helping to make this transition back to school as safe and seamless as possible.

K. Runciman


Bell Times

Start of day bell:           8:45 a.m.


1          8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m.

2          9:45 a.m. – 10:25 a.m.

Recess  &                    10:25 a.m. – 10:55 a.m.

Nutrition Break         10:55 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

3          11:10 a.m. – 12:10 p.m.

4          12:10 p.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Recess                          12:50 p.m. – 1:20 p.m.

Lunch                          1:20 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.

5          1:35 p.m. – 2:35 p.m.

6          2:35 p.m. – 3:15 p.m.

End of the day bell       3:15 p.m.

Yard Duty Times

The following are the times when our playground is supervised by school staff.

8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m.

10:25 a.m. – 11:10 a.m.

12:50 p.m. – 1:35 p.m.

3:15 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.

School Organization

Please note the current school organization for Paisley Road, outlined below. Please be aware that this school organization is still tentative. Should the number of students registered at the school change significantly, a re-organization of classes may be required.


Principal K. Runciman
Vice-Principal S. Grinwis
Office Co-ordinator G. Erskine
Administrative Office Assistant T. McLeod
Kindergarten N. Johnston

A. Sennitt

S. Di Leonardo

K. Thompson

Grade 1A A. Gennings
Grade 1/2B M. Nielsen
Grade F1/2C S. Murphy
Grade 2/3D C. MacDonald
Grade F2/3A E. Woolfrey
Grade 3/4B B. Speers-Barker
Grade F3/4E Z. Miklosy
Grade 4/5A D. Martin
Grade F4/5C D. Christensen
Grade F5C K. Kautz
Grade 5/6D J. Richer
Grade F5/6B B. Higgins



S. Berezek

J. Gareau

N. Foote

K. Stark

Resource E. Elder

N. Foote

S. Grinwis

Library L. Work
Core French L. Work
ECE J. Bower

N. Clark

S. Arak

S. Mackenzie

Educational Assistant B. Horvath

J. Hayston

S. Marchand

K. Casucci

L. Rumph

S. Staniforth

A. Fiorino

J. Arandas


Child Youth Counsellor R. Marshall
ELL D. Pardy
Custodians S. Slipp

C. Beluso

Lunch Hour Supervisors


L. Levar

R. O’Leary

K. Swackhammer

L. Spears

School Organization

The Paisley Road staff has built class lists based on their tentative organizations. Changes may be necessary in order for our Board to remain compliant with Ministry parameters (see below). Any changes would be implemented by Monday, September 17th. 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.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 24.85 students to 1 teacher

School Council

Our first School Council Meeting for the 2021/2022 school year will be held at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday, September 21st. Please note that this will be a virtual meeting. If you are interested in participating in School Council this year, please send an email to our School Council [email protected]. In your email, please note if you plan on attending the September meeting. If you plan on attending, a Google Meet link will be sent to you in-advance of the September 21st meeting. School Council is a great avenue for parents to support the students and staff at Paisley Road PS. It also provides an opportunity to meet new parents from the school. We look forward to meeting you at School Council meeting this year!

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:

Student Verification Forms

Forms went home on the first day of school. Please make any necessary changes to the information provided. Please sign and return the verification form to school by Friday, September 10th.

Peanut Butter and Imitation Peanut Butter     

Please note that peanut butter and imitation peanut butter lunch spreads are not permitted at school. Included in the list of imitation peanut butter is WOW butter, sun butter and cookie butter. Each of these lunch spreads look, smell and taste similar to real peanut butter and as a result, make it difficult to tell the difference between each of them and real peanut butter. As we do have a number of students in the school with life threatening allergies, including but not limited to peanuts, we are asking parents to refrain from sending imitation spreads to school, instead opting for a healthy alternative. Thank you for your understanding as we work together to keep our students safe.


Many students suffer daily from allergies. Reactions to allergic substances vary from relatively mild irritations such as: itchy eyes, sneezing, scratchy throat, etc. to potentially fatal conditions where the sufferer experiences breathing problems and/or anaphylactic shock. A student who is allergic to peanuts often falls in this second category. Please be aware that there may be restrictions in your child’s class to protect a student with such an allergy. We ask you to abide by any restriction(s) that may be imposed in these cases and in the case of nuts or nut products we ask that you avoid sending any to school. Parents of students with potentially life threatening allergies are asked to inform the school and complete the required paper work. Thank you for your cooperation.

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 the school when you know if your child(ren) is/are going to be late or absent.

Follow Us On Twitter!

Be sure to follow Paisley Road PS on Twitter @PaisleyRoadPS. Twitter is a great way to stay in-touch with the school.

Guelph Police Reminder

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 choose safety over convenience!

Taking Students from School To Ensure Student Safety

If you are taking your child from school during the school day (appointments, etc.) please call the school in-advance to ensure we have him/her/they ready for your arrival. If you arrive and have not called in advance, please wait outside the front doors of the school where your child will meet you. Students may not sign themselves out of school. 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. Please reinforce this message with your child.

Student Accident Insurance

As a parent or guardian, you are responsible for the expenses related to student injuries on school premises or during school activities. Accidents can and do happen, and the costs involved may 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 to families beginning on Monday, September 13th with respect to Student Accident Insurance offered by the Reliable Life Insurance Company. You should receive the Director’s letter, an acknowledgment to be signed by parents (and returned to school) and a Student Accident Insurance Application Form. The accident form is to be mailed directly to the Reliable Life Insurance Company. The Reliable Life Insurance Company offers a variety of options, including family rates and multiyear plans, at affordable prices. The cost must be paid by parents. Subscription is directly through Reliable Life by mail or online. Questions should be directed to Reliable Life at 1-800-463-KIDS (5347) or 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. You can find additional information on the Board’s website.

Immunization Records

It is important to keep your child’s immunization records up-to-date with Public Health. Students who do not have up-to-date immunization records, may be suspended from school. Please report your child’s immunizations to Public Health by calling 1-800-265-7293 ext.4396.

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.

  1. Take care of your body. Mental and physical health are linked. Make sure to get enough sleep, drink water, and eat well.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. 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!

The Benefits of Making Mistakes

As the new school year begins, there is one quote that educators wish that all students would consider they enter their new classrooms, “making mistakes is part of life—and a really big part of growing up. It’s how you learn who you want to be” ( As adults, we understand that making mistakes is an important part of life, however, students sometimes struggle to see the benefits of their errors.

One of the ways that we, the adults in children’s lives, can support youngsters is to be open about the mistakes that we make and share with students how we take responsibility for our errors. It is important that children see that everyone makes mistakes and that mistakes are a valuable part of our lives due to the fact that they encourage brain development. Researcher, Jo Boaler, states in her book Mathematical Mindsets (p. 12) when the brain is challenged and mistakes are made, that is the time when “the brain grows the most.”

When students are taught about the importance of mistakes, it can have a positive impact on their lives. New York Times author, Peter Sims, identified the following habits of successful people:

  1. They feel comfortable being wrong.
  2. They try new ideas.
  3. They are open to different experiences.
  4. They try out ideas without judging them.
  5. They are willing to go against the crowd.
  6. They do not give up when things get hard.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all of our students followed these ideas?

It would be wonderful if students believed that every time they entered school they were going to a place where they were going to make mistakes that will help them grow and learn. It is vital that we understand that learning means not being afraid to examine the mistakes that we all make. It would be great if children remember this quote from former President of the United States, Bill Clinton, “[everyone] will make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.”

  • Walk with your child to school to remind them of the safety rules and routines. The summer is a long time and this needs to be refreshed from time to time.
  • Spend time each night checking in on how the first few weeks of school have gone. If your child is facing some concerns that do not seem to be ironing out, connect with the school to see if together something can be done to support them to be happy in their new school year.

Adapted from

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: (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.

Life-Threatening Allergies

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.

Monthly Environmental Activities to help celebrate our planet

September 22nd is National Tree Day!

“Let nature be your teacher.” William Wordsworth

Celebrate National Tree Day on September 22, 2021!

“National Tree Day will serve as a celebration for all Canadians to appreciate the great benefits that trees provide us – clean air, wildlife habitat, reducing energy demand and connecting with nature.”

Children today spend less time outdoors than any generation in human history.”

 “For children, studies show that time outdoors, especially unstructured time in more natural settings, can increase curiosity, creativity and problem solving ability. It also improves their physical fitness and coordination and reduces symptoms associated with attention deficit disorder. It can even reduce the likelihood of needing glasses for near-sightedness.”

 Some great activities for your family to do on Tree Day, or any day!

  • Read a book on trees: The Lorax, by Dr. Seuss; The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein; What Good Is a Tree by Larry Dane Brimner; The Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry
  • Learn the names of the trees in your backyard or neighbourhood
  • Do tree art – e.g., a leaf collage, or leaf/bark pencil rubbing art, or tree photography
  • Create a tree book: “adopt” a favourite tree, name it and throughout the year record and examine its characteristics and the changes that it goes through.
  • Organize a Tree Walk game – Look for trees that are: the tallest, oldest, has the widest trunk, has the largest leaf, is the most prickly, etc.
  • Download a bird app and start to help your child learn to identify the colours and songs of birds in your neighbourhood
  • Research all the great forest hiking trails in your area and pick one to try out.
  • Hold a Tree Day birthday party with your family, friends, neighbours or community! Serve tree-shaped foods! (Find lots of ideas on Pinterest.)

 For more ideas:

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