September Newsletter 2019-2020

Posted September 9, 2019

*** This Newsletter was sent home originally in hard copy format on the first day of school on Tuesday, September 3rd.


As always, welcome back to everyone. We hope that whether you are a new family to Rockwood Centennial Public School or one returning to us, that you have had a safe and fun-filled summer. We look forward to a great school year.

I am very excited to be starting my second year as Principal of RCPS and I am looking forward to meeting new staff, parents and students and working with each and every one of you. I do hope that if you are in the school that you will drop by to say, “Hello!”. 


I have confidence that this will be a great year as we learn together and get to know each other. From what I have observed and heard, your children are in excellent hands. If you are new to the Rockwood Centennial community, I know that you will come to understand that it is a caring, dedicated school, filled with hard-working students and staff. Your children will be challenged, motivated, and will eventually leave here ready for whatever awaits them.


Looking forward to another great year,

Olivier Cutz (Principal)                                                                                                                                                   

 B.A. (Spec.Hons), BEd, MEd



One important message that the office would like to convey is the importance of making sure arrangements are made for the end of the day with a note in your child’s agenda or a loose paper note instead of a phone call during the day. While we are very happy to help out during emergencies, the office staff is often making between 15-20 calls into classes to let teachers know of after school arrangements. This is very disruptive to both the teacher and the students and takes a lot of time for our office staff. If you send a note in the agenda, the teacher/office will get it and make the necessary arrangements.

We would also like to remind everyone that the bell goes at 8:40 am. It is expected that students will be on time for school. When a child is ten to fifteen minutes late, a teacher has to re-teach a lesson and the child misses important announcements. It is also a very busy time in the office and often busier when there are ten or so students waiting in line for late slips. Please have your child on the tarmac ready to enter the school by 8:35 am. We really do thank you for your help with this.

We would like to remind parents that there will be supervision on the yard beginning at 8:25 am every morning. We ask that you do not drop off your child before that time. If there was ever an accident or a problem, there would be nobody around to help.

Each year we are welcomed back to a spotlessly clean and shining school. Thank you to Mr. Baker and his staff Kathleen Pettit, Darryl Wilfang and Cheryl O’Malley, who spent the summer cleaning chairs and desks, shining floors, polishing windows, moving furniture, unpacking boxes, moving more boxes, and an endless array of other jobs! This was despite having extensive renovations running throughout the school. Mr. Baker and his team’s  flexibility and extra efforts to have our school ready are second to none. I hope you will show your appreciation of his hard work by encouraging your children to do their part to help keep our school and grounds clean and free from garbage, wearing of indoor shoes, and by simply taking the time to say “Thank you.”

I would also like to acknowledge all the extra time and commitment our teachers and staff have put into getting their classrooms and our school ready. Throughout the summer, many staff members have been in and out of the school preparing their lessons, classrooms, as well as meeting with their colleagues. What you wouldn’t have noticed are the workshops and seminars many have attended during the past two months to complement their already excellent teaching skills and strategies. To each of these dedicated professionals, I offer my sincerest thanks. It is your hard work, commitment and dedication that make a difference in the lives of our students.

Thank you for reading this newsletter. For the remainder of the year, you will receive a notification to indicate that the newsletter is available online. You can download the “UGConnect” App to receive notifications about schoool website and newsletter updates.  You can also subscribe to receive an email notification. (Please go to the school website at  and click the box at the very bottom of the page to subscribe to receive email notifications.) We are a Gold-Eco School and are working really hard to reduce our paper consumption. For that reason, we will only send a hard copy of the newsletter to your house if you send a note to the office  indicating that you require such.


For those families who are new to Rockwood Centennial, I’d like to give you a brief overview of how our library runs.  Each class has time to visit the library for book exchange every week. Students may borrow two books at a time and they may keep the books for two weeks, or bring the books back whenever they are done with them.  If your child has an overdue library book, he or she will receive an “Oops” overdue notice to help them remember to return their book. If your child loses or damages a book, you will need to pay a $10 replacement fee.  


Please be sure to stop by the library at our September Open House to see our Green Room, Maker Space Zone, and our beautiful learning area.


If you have any questions about our school library or your child’s library account, please contact me via email at [email protected]   


Val Soper

Teacher-Librarian & Planning Time Teacher



Grade 7s will be sharing lockers and Grade 8s will have their own individual lockers. Lockers will be allocated in the first days of school. We highly recommend that students use combination locks and  they do not keep valuables in their bags or lockers as the school cannot be responsible for lost or stolen items. 



Our open house is scheduled for Thursday, September 26th from 5:30 – 7:00 pm.  Please come and meet your child’s teacher.



Agendas are going home sometime the first week of school  for grade 1-5 classes. They are an excellent means of communication between home and school. Use this tool regularly to stay in touch with your child’s teachers. We appreciate your contribution of $5 which is set up on Cash-Online to offset costs.



Welcome back to a brand new school year – a time for new ideas and new beginnings! Here’s a great opportunity for you to have a voice and to help shape your child’s learning environment. School Council will have its first meeting of the new school year on Tuesday, September 10th at 6 pm in the school library.  Everyone is welcome. Council is looking forward to another great year of supporting learning experiences at Rockwood Centennial P.S.. We are hoping to see lots of new faces. If you are interested in holding an executive position (e.g. Chair, Co-Chair, Treasurer, Secretary) then please come out to this first meeting as elections will be held.



PLEASE NOTE IF YOU ARE NEW! We have recess before lunch. Research studies have shown that students who play before eating benefit in the following ways. 1) Playing before eating encourages students to eat all their food. 2) Students are not feeling rushed to get outside and play. 3) Students can transition more calmly to academics after eating rather than playing outside. 


8:40 am Entry
8:40 – 9:30 am Period 1
9:30 – 10:20 am Period 2
10:20 – 10:45 am Recess
10:45 – 11:05 am Lunch
11:05 – 11:55 am Period 3
11:55 am – 12:45 pm Period 4
12:45 – 1:10 pm Recess
1:10 – 1:30 pm Lunch
1:30 – 2:20 pm Period 5
2:20 – 3:10 pm Period 6
3:10 pm Dismissal




Staff List RCPS 2019-2020

Assignment Name Room #
KA Tracey Darling 24
1/2A Leanne Ross Urwin 17
1/2B Laurie Caverly 20
3A Deborah McDougal 19
4A Janeen Meagher 4
5A Jacob Ladner 8
6A Paula Armstrong-Cameron 5
6B Leigh Anne Benstead 9
7/8A  Brennen Drumm (Core) 2
7B  Anneke McCabe (LA + Gr 6-8 Music/Drama) 1
7B TBD (Gr 7 Math) 1
7C  Cameron Brubacher 3
7D  Virginia Kirkpatrick (Gr 7-8 Science & Tech) 11
8B Gina Betts (Core) 14
8C Carmen Chaves (Gr 7-8 FSL) 12
8D Karen Noel (Core) 10
MID/Primary Planning Amanda Wells 23
SERT/Pr Planning Jill Clyde 21/Seminar 50
SERT/8D Math/Gr 8 PE Darin Collier 21
Core French Lisa McColeman 18
Library/Gr 7 PE/ Pr planning Valerie Soper library/gym
Gr 7 H&G Emily Loewen 1
ECE Kathleen Lush 24
EA Kim Goetz Hub
EA Robyn Whiteside Hub
EA Julie Zuccala Hub
EA (0.5)   Lisa Weber Hub
Child Youth Counsellor Mark Lyons VP Office
Office Coordinator Melinda Rice Office
Principal Olivier Cutz P Office




The school has built class lists based on tentative organizations. As always, it is possible that changes may be necessary in order that our Board remain compliant with Ministry parameters. Any changes would be implemented as quickly as possible. 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 via letter by the school. We know that children are adaptable and while there may be some discomfort with class changes, this rarely lasts longer than a day or two. We ask that you please do not call asking for a specific class or requesting that your child not be moved. If we all work together and encourage our children to have a positive attitude it will go smoothly and everyone will be happy.


Ministry parameters for all Boards in Ontario: Full Day Kindergarten classes (with a teacher and an ECE) have a cap of 30 students, 90% of Gr. 1-3 classes: 20 or fewer students, 10% of Gr. 1-3 classes: 21-23 students, Grade 3/4 splits have a cap of 23 students and Junior/Intermediate classes will have a Board average class size of 25.



Please check out the transportation website at for up-to-date information about bus routes for the school year.  You will need your child’s OEN number which is found on your student’s report card.


When school begins, traffic moving south on Pasmore Street will be able to use the Kiss and Ride drop off in front of the school.  The drop off zone begins at the corner of Mary and Pasmore Sts., inside the white lines. Please use the angled parking spots if you wish to walk your child onto the school grounds. The yellow diagonal lines that have been added are now a fire route and must be kept clear.  Similarly, please be aware of the No Parking signs on Mary Street at the side of the school. This is our bus lane. We ask that you not stop here at all, even to drop students off, as it is a very busy area at bus times. Please use the front of the school for drop-off.


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.



All parents and visitors entering the school must do so through the front doors and sign in at the office. You are also reminded to wear a visitor’s badge. For safety reasons, it is important that we know who is in the school at all times. Security cameras are installed and operating.



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 staff’s ability to carry out other duties. Please assist us in speeding this process up and calling when you know if your child(ren) is going to be late or absent. Messages can be left by phoning the school at 519-856-9556 and choosing extension 100. Please send any notes or information about absences to the office as well as the classroom teacher.



The curriculum is so packed now that teachers need to use every period they have to complete it. Lessons need to start on time. Late students disturb the lesson flow, because teachers have to re-teach to ensure the late student is brought up-to-date. The consequence to the class increases when students are repeatedly late for class. The policy for students arriving late for class is that the student must report to the office for a late slip.



To ensure student safety, if you are taking your child from school during the school day for appointments, etc., you must come to the office and sign your child(ren) out after talking to a secretary. Students may not sign themselves out of school. This is true for all students, including Intermediate students.  Students will remain in their classroom until the parent arrives at the school. To make arrangements for early pick up please send a note in your child’s agenda or in a loose paper note and have them show it to their teacher and/or the office.




After being dismissed from class, 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. Please note that there is no yard supervision after 3:25 pm. Students who are expecting to be taken home by an adult or older student will be instructed to come to the office after 3:25 pm if their parent or caregiver has not showed up and the office will make phone calls to ensure the child will be picked up promptly. 



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.  You can download applicable plans care to be filled out by you and your health professional from this link  Please send the completed form to the office. 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. 



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.



It is strongly suggested that parents and students make a cooperative decision about your child(ren) bringing items of value (iPods, cell phones, MP3 players, Nintendo DS, sentimental items, etc.) to school. These items are attractive and the school will not accept responsibility for their safety.


Cell phones are not permitted to be used unless with teacher or principal permission and supervision. Students who are found to be using their device without permission on school property will have their device confiscated by the office. The second and subsequent times a device is confiscated parents will be contacted. 



Welcome to another exciting year of Colour House!  Students in Grades K-6 participate in Colour House activities throughout the school year to get to know their school family in a fun way.


If your child is new to the school, please note that he/she will be assigned a Colour House Team.  Teams are randomly selected so that students will make new friends. We ask that students wear their team colour each time we meet in order to identify their Colour House Team, with ease.


Colour House activities in September will occur during the first week of school and we encourage everyone to participate and try to learn some new names, too.


Be sure to ask your son or daughter what their Colour House Team is up to and get involved in this contagious spirit!


Stay true to your Colours!

Colour House Committee:

LeighAnne Benstead & Val Soper


Intermediate Quest 

Our Grade 7 and 8 students won’t be excluded from all of the fun at RCPS!  Instead of Colour House, our Intermediates get to take part in team building tasks and challenges a few times throughout the year.  We are looking forward to our 2nd year of Intermediate Quest.



We will participate in our annual school Terry Fox walk on Thursday, September 26th. Please send in a toonie for Terry!



Staff will be participating in a full day PA Day session on September, 27th! There will be no school for students on this day. 



Many forms will be sent home during the first week of school.  On the first day of school the package will contain information for you to keep at home. On the second day of school we will send a package of material that requires signatures and fillable information on every sheet and is to be returned in the order you received it by not removing the staple. This package of information needs to be handed to the teacher no later than Friday, September 6th. Please read over all forms and send signed forms back with your child as soon as possible.  Student Verification forms will also be sent home and it is very important that we have them sent back.  Please make any changes, sign and return them to school by Friday, September 6, 2019.



We are very fortunate at Rockwood Centennial to have a large number of volunteers. We consider our volunteers a special resource and we always welcome the additional help. Parents and community members assist us in the following ways: classroom support, library, parent grade reps, School Council, field trips, nutrition program, computer lab, extra-curricular activities, and yard supervision. There are many different ways to lend your support to the school. Your support of the school and your encouragement of your child to value education is one of the best gifts you can give your child. If you wish to volunteer at Rockwood Centennial please fill in the form sent home on the first day of school or contact the school office. A valid Police Check is required. We would love to have you!



If students wish to bring scooters to school, they are to be placed neatly against the wall at the front of the school each morning.  If students are riding their bike to school, please make sure bikes are securely locked at the appropriate bike racks. Students should remember to get off their bike, scooter or skateboard once they are on the front sidewalk and walk onto school property.



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:

  1.       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.
  2.       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


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.



Monthly school newsletters and special notices will be posted on our school website. Our newsletters will be posted at the beginning of each month.



Mrs. Kirkpatrick is  collecting Canadian Tire money to help support the school’s science program.  The money is used to purchase glue guns, sanding disks, saw blades and much more. If you have any money lying around in drawers and you don’t use it, please feel free to bring it to the office.



Our Food and Friends student nutrition program will serve all our students who need a boost to their lunch this school year.  Please know that this is a supplemental program that does not replace a healthy lunch but enhances a student’s ability to acquire enough nutrition to help them learn throughout the school day. The program is universally accessible for all to enjoy.  Please contact the school if you have any questions about the program or if you’d like to contribute in some way. Your information will be passed along to our Nutrition Coordinator and they will be in touch with you. Thank you for your part in bringing healthy food to hungry minds




Information from Public Health 


Children that 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. 

  • Vegetables  
  • Fruit  
  • 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) 


Additional tips: 

  • Send a reusable 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 for school lunch tips and recipes. 


Watch our new YouTube video for recipe inspiration and tips (Visit: For more information visit www.wdgpublichealth


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:



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.

  1. 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. 

  1. 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.

  1. 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.

  1. 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

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