PRINCIPAL’S May 2022 MESSAGE & UPDATES
It’s hard to believe summer like weather is already here and year-end planning is already underway. Students have been enjoying school even more now that clubs and teams are back and especially that recess is no longer dampened by cohorted zones. This joy is translating into fun and excitement inside and outside of the classroom as well layers of stress coming off everyone’s shoulders as we slowly but surely re-adapt to an eventual post pandemic life.
On May 6th our Grade 5\6 to Grade 8 classes had the privilege of engaging in learning and activities that build understanding of the harmful impact of racial slurs and other hateful, racist and discriminatory actions. The lessons were facilitated by expert anti-racism advocates, Charlene Grant and Xavier Mclaughlin, from the organization, Parents of Black Children. We are so pleased and grateful to have been able to bring in these special presenters. You may also want to take the opportunity to discuss with your child how communities can work together to create safe and inclusive environments.
It is hard to believe but we are already starting to plan our organization for the 2022-2023 school year. If you are planning a move to another school this summer, or know of someone moving into our school area for the 2022-2023 school year, please notify the office as soon as possible. Moreover, I wanted to comment that in the past, we have received a number of class placement requests for the coming school year. This can make class building very difficult and sometimes hinder the process significantly. Due to our ever changing school population and the fact that our grade 7 and 8 students are on rotary, we will not be taking any class placement requests for September 2023. If your child has some exceptional circumstances that require consideration when doing class placements, please email me directly at [email protected] Please know that when placing your child in a class, we consider their ability, personality, productive and supportive learning friendships, learning style, and behaviour. Class building is a lengthy process that is given a great deal of thought by the staff. Thank you for recognizing that we do our very best for each and every student.
As a courtesy, I wanted to share with you the tentative general school organization for the 2022-2023 school year. As new students come in and move, our organization could change again by mid September when the board’s yearly reorganization occurs.
One class of FDK; One class of a Grade 1: One class of Grade 2\3 split; One class of a Grade 4; One class of a Grade 5 split; Two classes of Grade 6; One class of a French Immersion Grade 6/7 split; One class of a French Immersion Grade 7/8 split; Two classes of Grade 7; Two classes of Grade 8; One class of Grade 7\8 split; One self-contained MID Special Education class.
Lastly, I want to express my gratitude to our team of parents and teachers working on the upcoming graduation ceremony and yearbook. They have risen to the occasion of producing memories and mementos that will last a lifetime. Please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] should you have any questions or concerns.
Take care and keep safe,
Olivier Cutz (Principal)
B.A. (Spec.Hons), BEd, MEd
Below are some key information pieces to keep you updated:
Kiss & Ride and traffic in front of the school
For parents who are driving their children into school, please exercise caution, patience and reduce your speed at the Kiss & Ride in the mornings and at the end of the day. OPP will be monitoring the situation from time to time as staff, students and parents have reported some concerning driving habits on our surrounding streets. Also, please remind your children to follow pedestrian safety rules when walking to and from school. Many parents and school staff have expressed concerns about the continued illegal parking on Balaclava Street. This creates a situation where students need to walk around cars and be on the road at a time when cars from the Kiss & Ride turn on to Balaclava St. thus creating congestion of cars and pedestrians on a street which has no sidewalks. The school will work regularly in the coming months to educate students to use sidewalks and/or walk to far sides of Balaclava and to refrain from or exercise great caution when crossing streets and intersections. If you find that the Kiss & Ride, and legal parking nearby is unavailable, we suggest parking at the nearby Llyod Dyer Park and then walk to meet your child at the school sidewalk or have them walk to the park to meet you. Lastly, we also encourage students who can walk to school to do so as much as possible as this ultimately reduces traffic congestion. We have a committee of school staff and parents working to improve traffic safety. Please reach out to us or join a school council meeting should you wish to learn more or get involved. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter.
The Pride Flag will be flying on our mast for the month of June for a fourth year in a row now! The UGDSB believes that our schools are safe and inclusive spaces for everyone. Everyone has the right to be treated with dignity and respect. Additionally, regardless of your personal values and beliefs, we all must follow the Ontario Human Rights Code that protects marginalized group from discrimination and harassment. We support the 2SLGBTQIA+ community. Flying the Pride flag is just one of many ways to show our support.
Thank you to Mlle Fang and the yearbook club who have put the school yearbook together this year.The order due date was May 6th. Thank you for following the ordering instructions in the robocall, website and on our social media. The project is off to print! We look forward to sharing a yearbook unlike any other with you in late June. IF YOU MISSED THE DEADLINE PLEASE EMAIL Mlle FANG at [email protected] to arrange for a late order.
Year-End Events at the School
The following is guidance from our board which aims to continue to help stop the spread of COVID 19. “Schools may consider and plan for year end events at the school, but we would ask that you please plan for outdoor events as much as possible (Picnics / bbq’s / Grads / Proms)”
Grade 8 Graduation
The staff and parent graduation committees are currently working behind the scenes to come up with a creative and memorable graduation ceremony. The ceremony will be held outside on our tarmac and activities for the students will follow in the Gym and inside the school. We have a committee of students who are giving input into how they’d like to celebrate their graduation. Our Graduation Day will be on Tuesday, June 28th.
At this time we are investigating and evaluating which trips are possible through an equity lens and a system threshold lens. In the past, occasional teacher and bus driver availability were not a concern. In the current pandemic struggles, occasional teacher and bus driver availability ARE a concern. As such, trips are limited to not requiring supply teachers to relieve staff and to not interfere with needs on daily bus routes. Additionally, the cost of gas and bussing has risen significantly which has caused trip costs to skyrocket. We are doing our best to arrange a Grade 8 trip and possibly other smaller class trips that are affordable and equitable. More details to follow!
Many extracurriculars are up and running from intramural sports, to music practices, Yearbook club, GSA, and more. Thank you to those teachers giving up lunches and breaks to offer memorable experiences for our students!
May in the Music Room
Congratulations to our Intermediate Choir (with some special Junior guests) on a job well done at the Guelph Storm Game, on Good Friday. It was nice to be out in the community making music again and so nice to see everyone! What a treat to be able to sing the National Anthem at a Guelph Storm Game.
Intermediate Music News
In Grade 8, we have accomplished the first 5 notes of the B Flat concert scale already! Bravo Grade 8 Wind Players! It has been nice to play concert band instruments again. Junior and Grade 7 Classes continue to play ukulele and guitar, and bucket drumming will be making a return with the warmer weather.
Primary and Junior News
We are exploring the “Water Box” in Primary and Junior Music Classes. Primary Music classes are exploring songwriting right now, and we have started to write our water songs. We have also written some other funny songs in class. As the weather warms up we will bring our music to the Rockwood Conservation area, and see how nature and water responds to what we have gifted in music!
Good luck next week, Intermediate Choir, as we perform at John F. Ross Secondary School’s Music Night on Thursday May 12, at 7pm. Congratulations to our solo musicians: Hayden Dennry, Ewan William and Heidi Smitts, and Jack Webster, Kylah Saunders, Keith Hilson, and Sierra Thompson who also play in our rhythm section.
Extra Curricular Clubs Continue to rehearse this spring!
Primary Junior Choir – 1x per week
Intermediate Choir – 3x per week
Grade 8 Concert Band – 2x per week
Junior Rock Club – 1x per week
Thank you school council for supporting music at Rockwood Public School!
Food n Friends
If you have any questions or interest in joining the team next year, please reach out to [email protected]
All Meetings are held on the second Tuesday of specific months (if rescheduled then advance notice will be given) via Google Meet beginning at 6 pm and ending at 7:30 pm. Please email our School Council Chair, Bianca Chambers at [email protected] to be added to the meeting attendance and to be sent the Google Meet link. Our final meetings for the school year will be on Tuesday, May 10th and Tuesday, June 14th. We would love for you to join us!. Please visit the School Council webpage for more information and to access agendas and minutes. https://www.ugdsb.ca/rockwood/school-council/
We are so glad to see the kids enjoying food programs once again! Remember that you can order anytime for the week ahead, just click the green box in your school cash online to access the food programs.
Thank you to all who have supported our fundraising efforts throughout the year!
We are looking for parents interested in joining council committees such as Fundraising, Fund Allocation and Food Programs. Please email [email protected] if you are interested in helping out.