June Newsletter

Posted May 31, 2018

Message from the office:
What an exciting and busy month of May we have had at SIB. The month began with our Jump Rope For Heart & Hoops For Heart kickoff assembly. We raised over $ 4000 this year for Heart & Stroke. Thanks to everyone who donated to this important cause. Our whole school had the opportunity to plant over 250 native trees, shrubs and wildflowers in our new school yard “forest”. Many of our classes also went outside to plant a new forest area in our adjacent city park. Students were eager to learn about nature and are excited to watch these trees and shrubs grow. Our Junior/ Intermediate students had the opportunity to participate in various educational experiences such as Skills Canada, Empowerment Day, Emergency Day of Preparedness and Rainbow Coalition. Our Intermediate band performed at Canada’s Wonderland. Our Intermediate students enjoyed the opportunity to participate in Café Ecole. Many of our students had the opportunity to head off on some very exciting field trips during May, including Kindergarten visit to Butterfly Conservatory, Grade 3 and 5 swimming, Grade 3 to Nature Centre and Special Olympics, Grade 5s to ECO Stars, Grade 2s to Mountsberg. June will also be a busy month with students taking part in Track and Field, Grade 6 students off to camp and various other field trips. Our Grade 8 students are also getting excited about their trip to Quebec City and their upcoming graduation.

Throughout the year there have been many extra-curricular events available to our students at SIB. The hard work and dedication of the staff is what makes these possible. Thanks to all our staff for supporting all our students at SIB. Their commitment to the students is commendable.

Students will learn about next year’s class placement in the fall. On the first day of school, staff will be outside, with grade signs, and will find each of the students in their classes. They will ensure everyone is where they need to be before they head into the school to begin the new year. Each year there is always the chance that changes will need to occur. Our school often needs to reorganize as a result of the changing student population that occurs over the summer. This fluctuation can cause changes to occur to student placements during the second or third week of September.

Over the last month and during the next month, staff will put a great deal of time, energy and thought into developing class placements for the fall. Below are more details as to everything involved in class placements. We appreciate the professional judgment and decision making you entrust in us to make these decisions in the best interest of all our students.

We have three retiring staff members this year. We will say goodbye to Mrs. Nethery, our amazing Grade 8 teacher, Mrs. Tyszka who has been the welcoming face in our school office for many years and to Mrs. Soule our supportive Vice Principal.

We welcome Mr. Gerard Walker who will be our new Vice Principal in September.

As we head into our final month of this year, we would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for an amazingly successful year at Sir Isaac Brock. We are both so very proud to be the administrators of SIB. We have an amazing community and we are thrilled to be a part of it. Hope to see you all at this year’s Family Fun Night on June 15th!
Natasha Skerritt & Kathy Soule

Student Placements

Who is teaching Grade ____? This is a popular question directed to staff and administration at this time of year. The planning process that will result in a school organization for the 2018-2019 school year began in April. The student placement task is complex, time consuming and because it is consensus seeking, can be the subject of many revisions. Our primary goal at Sir Isaac Brock is to develop balanced classes.

A balanced class allows the variety of interests and talents of our learners to emerge and be appreciated. Like your family, the class unit provides a balance of opportunities for a range of learners to succeed through appropriate challenges. The learner develops the feeling of belonging and the feeling that in a variety of ways, he/she makes a noticed contribution. Listed below are the criteria we use to build classes.

Balance of Ability, Interests and Talents

Balanced According to Gender

Learning Styles
How does the learner go about the process of learning? What kind of environment best allows that style to be utilized effectively?

Teacher’s Style
How does a teacher go about the teaching/learning process? What kind of learners might flourish best with this teacher?

Social Blending
What is the best cluster of individuals to effectively and efficiently learn? This should not always be viewed as a grouping of friends.

Requests were to be received, via a letter with reasons to the office as of May 1st. Remember that your preference for a particular teacher or setting must be weighted against all other considerations. We have considered your feelings and wishes but can make no guarantees. The teaching staff is a dedicated group of professionals. Years of meeting the learning needs of children give them the unique qualifications to make these decisions. It takes hours of discussions, reflection, revision and consideration of alternatives to arrive at the best organization for our school. The best may not be perfect, but represents what we believe are the best chances for success.
Combined Grade Classes – Answering Parents’ Questions
Information below is an excerpt from an Ontario Ministry of Education document titled “Combined Grades”. Additional Information can be found at http://www.edu.gov.on.ca/

Parents often have questions about the placement of their children in classes. The following are some frequently asked questions about classes of combined grades.

Why do you have classes of combined grades?
Most classes of combined grades are created to accommodate students in a school where it is not possible to create only single-grade classes. For example, if there are thirty Grade 2 students, thirty Grade 3 students, and three teachers, the only way to organize the children into smaller classes is to combine some students from both grades in one class. Some schools, however, choose to create classes of combined grades, so that their students have the opportunity to gain the academic and socio-emotional benefits associated with such classes.

What are the benefits of placement in a class of combined grades?
There are many socio-emotional benefits for students who are in classes with students of various ages. For example, in such classes, peer interactions have been shown to be very positive; students have opportunities for greater development of social skills and cooperation skills; and students often develop a feeling of comfort and security, a positive self-concept, and a sense of satisfaction with their achievements. There are also significant opportunities for development of leadership skills and for learning from peers. In studies measuring academic achievement, students in classes of combined grades were found to perform as well as students in single grade classes.

Why was my child chosen to be in a class of combined grades?
When placing students in all classes, educators consider a variety of factors, including number of students, number of boys and girls, and students’ interests, strengths, needs, learning styles, motivation, work habits, emotional development, and linguistic, cultural, and social backgrounds.

Will the teacher have as much time for each child in a class of combined grades?
The amount of time for an individual student is not determined by the organization of classrooms by grade. In all classrooms, teachers employ a number of instructional strategies to address the needs of all students. On a daily basis, teachers work with large groups, small groups, and individual students.

How do teachers prepare for teaching classes of combined grades?
Teachers develop the knowledge and skills to effectively manage any classroom, including knowledge of curriculum resources and flexibility in planning. Teachers also learn about which instructional strategies work well with the students in their class while they teach, whether it is a single-grade class or a class of combined grades. As well, the Ministry of Education and the local district school board provide many professional learning opportunities for teachers on planning and instruction.

Will the child in the higher grade be sufficiently challenged?
Research has shown that there are no negative effects on academic achievement. Teachers design programs to challenge children at their appropriate academic level. In any given classroom, students have diverse needs and interests, and teachers spend a great deal of time planning a program so that it addresses this range. Along with the academic studies, students also learn to work with a cross-section of other students, reinforcing social and leadership skills. Research suggests that this is an advantage.

Might the child in the lower grade be overwhelmed?
Teachers and principals are careful in selecting students who will be compatible in all classes. In any class, children show a range of development physically, emotionally, and academically. It is an advantage for younger children in a class of combined grades to have many people they can ask for help – both the teacher and older students. They may also benefit from being able to learn from older children who can model leadership and academic skills.

The school office will be closed from July 1 to August 28th. Ms Skerritt and Mr. Walker will be working during the week of August 27th – 31st. Staff will be in the office from August, 28th to August, 31st if you have questions going into the school year.

Installation of Video Cameras
The Upper Grand District School Board is expanding the use of Video Surveillance into all of our elementary schools. At Sir Isaac Brock cameras will be installed over the next month or so and will be operational by fall of 2018 at the latest. Video cameras will be installed around the exterior of the building as well as in the hallways within the building.

Thank you for your assistance in helping to keep our kiss and ride drop off/pick up area running smoothly and safely.

If you are walking your child to school and onto the yard in the morning, we have staff on the yard at 8:25 to provide supervision. We appreciate it when parents leave the school yard by the 8:40 bell as our kindergarten students are involved in outdoor learning at the start of their day. While it is tempting to want to stay and observe, it allows students to quickly adjust to their school day when adults have left. During school hours community members on the yard will be asked to go to the office to obtain a visitors badge if they are remaining on the yard and to follow our school visitor procedures. .

If you have medication for your child at school, please stop in before the end of June to take it home for the summer. Forms will need to be filled out to have medication administered at school. This year there are new forms required to be filled in. It is our hope to send these home by the end of the year so that you can make an appointment with your doctor over the summer and return the forms on the first day of school. Thanks for your assistance.

Please make a special effort to check at home for any school books, library books or patrol equipment. If you find anything hiding under the bed or behind the door, please return it to school so that we may complete our year-end inventory.

The last day of school for the 2017-2018 school year is Thursday, June 28th, 2018. Students will be dismissed at their regular time on this day.

Please remember to check out our Lost and Found items before leaving at the end of June. Any unclaimed items will be donated to a local charity at the end of the last day of school. Parents please remind your children to also bring home their indoor shoes. Indoor shoes left on racks at the end of the year are also donated to a local charity.

All of us here at SIB would like to thank our dedicated volunteers for all that they do to support our staff and students. Thanks so much for all that you do each and every day to make our school amazing.

During the second last week of school (June 18th – 22nd) we will be having morning assemblies/ talent shows starting at 9:00am. Students will be informed if they are performing on a certain day and information will come home so that you may come and watch if you are able. We will hold graduation for our second graduating class of grade 8 students on June 26th. On June 28th at 9:00am we will have our end of the year celebration. A few year-end awards will be given out at this time and we will celebrate the ending of another great school year. As always, parents are invited and welcome to attend our celebrations.

Special Olympics
Special Olympics athlete oath: “Let me win – but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt.”
On Wednesday, May 16th staff and students from across the school district came together for a day to celebrate diversity and perseverance. More than 600 athletes from the Upper Grand and Wellington Catholic District School Boards were at St. James Catholic High School in Guelph for the annual Special Olympics Track and Field Day.
Now in its 17th year, the track meet has grown to one of its largest and most successful in the area. In addition to the 616 athletes from 67 schools in attendance, this year’s track meet was also attended by 555 peer coaches, 448 staff members and more than 100 volunteers. Students and their peer coaches spent the day in the sun, enjoying companionship and friendly competition in events including standing long jump, running long jump, softball throw, seated softball throw and the 25, 50 and 100m dash.
The annual track and field day is made possible by the hard work of the organizing committee, Special Olympics Ontario, the City of Guelph, Community Living Guelph/Wellington, the Guelph Police Service and many volunteers.

Transition Plans for Students with Special Needs
Spring has sprung and it’s a great time to be reviewing your child’s transition plans. Students who have an Individual Education Plan (IEP) must have a transition plan, whether or not they have been identified as an exceptional student. A transition plan includes goals for ensuring successful transitions, and the actions for meeting those goals. It is required if a student may need support making any transition, which may include entering, during, or leaving school. A plan to support the student must be developed as part of the student’s IEP.
Some transition goals may help with changes throughout the day, such as moving from recess to the classroom, while other goals may assist with larger transitions, such as moving from one school to another or changing grades/teachers within the same school setting.
For many students, the supports provided to the whole class are all they need to have a successful transition, which means they may not need an individualized transition plan on their IEP at this time.
When planning for any transition, the student’s strengths and needs are considered, as well as their physical, emotional, and learning needs.
Please communicate with your child’s teacher if you feel additional transition supports are required on his/her IEP.
Monthly Environmental Activities to help celebrate our planet
June 5th is World Environment Day!
It is vital to teach our children to respect and take care of the environment.
Celebrate World Environment Day on June 5th 2018!

A Platform for Action- World Environment Day is the United Nations’ most important day for encouraging worldwide awareness and action for the protection of our environment and is widely celebrated in over 100 countries.

This year’s theme – Take action to #BeatPlasticPollution
On 5 June, spread the message:” If you can’t reuse it, refuse it!” Download the informative poster: “9 Tips for Living with Less Plastic” Make sure you are up-to-date on what can be recycled your local community’s blue bin. Better yet, don’t use single-use plastics!

Ideas for your family to celebrate World Environment Day!
• Create an event for family, friends and neighbours -There is no end of ideas that you could take forward for World Environment Day. Surprise yourself! Think about ideas that we can do to help the planet like fixing a problem in your community.
• Get out into nature – World Environment Day is all about appreciating the beautiful planet we inhabit. Why not spend a day in a park, hiking a trail or appreciating a forest on the weekend before World Environment Day.
• Inspire others – A great idea will naturally attract others who can take a small idea and make it extraordinary. So, with your powers of persuasion, bring on board the people you think can make your idea awesome. Or ask everyone to make their own personal pledge to change one wasteful or harmful habit for the better. Share what you’re doing using the hashtag: #WorldEnvironmentDay
• Have fun: Make your event for World Environment Day fun, inspiring and interesting. For example, Google events happening locally that you can attend, or check out Pinterest for fun, recycled crafts ideas.

Talking About Mental Health June 2018– Successfully Shifting from School to Summer
The weather is getting warmer, days are getting longer and summer is just around the corner. It is an exciting time of the year but it can also be a struggle. There is often an increasing restlessness, distractability and anticipation as the end of the school year approaches. School is wrapping up and it is time to think about how to have a good transition from school routines to summer vacation.
The shift from school year to summer break is easy for some, but more challenging for others, particularly those children and youth who experience anxiety or have difficulty with transitions.
A good transition to summer is important and can lead to a more positive, fun summer experience.
Here are some practical tips to make a smooth transition from school to summer:
Post the summer schedule. Have your child or youth contribute to a family calendar. Be sure to note blocks of unscheduled time as well.
Make a list of places and people to visit when time permits and the mood strikes. Summer is a good time to stop by the library, bike trail, or concert-in-the-park that you can’t seem to get to during the school year.
Prepare your child for their scheduled activities. If possible, visit the locations where they will be during day camp or day care in advance. Have your child talk to counselors, caregivers, as well as other kids who have enjoyed those same situations and settings.
Get outside and enjoy the summer. Try to limit the amount of time online, watching TV, or playing video games. Be active and get plenty of sleep and exercise. Being outside, such as going for a walk or playing in the park elevates our mood and makes us feel less anxious.
Looking for Activities To Do:

Programs and activities


Hope you have a wonderful, relaxing, fun summer. However, if you find mental health challenges to be increasing or causing more difficulties over the summer, seek out mental health or addiction supports for your child/youth, you and your family.
Summer resources for Mental Health and Addiction supports:
Your family physician and family health teams in Guelph, Wellington, and Dufferin are excellent resources.
Canadian Mental Health Association WWD (CMHAWWD):
Tuesday Walk In – 1:30-7:00, 485 Silvercreek Parkway, Guelph.
To access services for Children, Youth and Adults in Guelph/Wellington: : 1 844 HERE 247
(1 844 437 3247)

Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS):
Tuesday Talk In – 1:00-7:00 pm, 655 Riddell Road, Orangeville.
To access services for Children and Youth in Dufferin: 519 941 1530.

Family Counselling and Support Services:
Walk-in, Wednesday, 1-7, sliding scale, based on ability to pay, but will not turn anyone away. 109 Surrey St E, 519 824-2431.


KidsHelpPhone 1 800 668 6868. http://www.kidshelpphone.ca/
Jenny Marino is the Mental Health and Addiction Lead for Upper Grand District School Board
Follow me on Instagram @ UGDSB_Mental_Health

—————————————————————————————————————————————–Information from Public Health

On Saturday, June 16th, the Balanced Technology Management committee of Wellington, Dufferin and Guelph will be hosting a Power Off and Play event for families of children aged 0-12. Come out to Centennial CVI from 10 am – 2 pm to learn about different ways that you can Power Off and Play as a family! Less screen time means that you and your family can have more time to be active, read, and be creative! This is a FREE event and there will be lots of giveaways and fun activities run by various organizations for children ages 0-12.

For a full list of organizations that will be at the event, please visit: energize.guelph.ca.

Thanks for taking the time to read the school newsletter. You can also receive the newsletter directly to your inbox by signing up for email on our school website.

Categories: NewsNewsletter