December 2018 Newsletter

Posted December 3, 2018

Happy December!

A Message from the Office:

It has been another exciting and busy month here at SIB. Some of the many exciting things to happen this month included visits from Guelph Police Services and many field trips. We also had a fantastic Vendor Night, Pink Shirt Day, BookShelf Fundraising event, Indigo Night out, and a successful Toy Drive during November.

Our Remembrance Day Assembly was once again amazingly well done. Thank-you to all the Scouts, Cubs, Brownies, Guides, Beavers, and Sparks who participated in our Remembrance Day Assembly, you wore your uniforms proudly.

To recognize Anti-Bullying week, classrooms created “Mottos”. A motto is a short sentence or phrase chosen to encompass the beliefs or ideals guiding an individual, family, or institution. A good motto can replace destructive thinking with healthy self-talk. A motto can help you change a habit. A personal motto can remind you of who you are and what you stand for. A motto can jog your conscience, remind you of your values, and even teach character strengths. The mottos created by classes were fantastic. Some of our classroom mottos are: “Stand up and say something when you hear unkind words.” “Live the kind life. Live the good life.” “Stop and think. Idolize good role models. Be there for others.” “Be a buddy not a bully””Be kind to others by smiling or saying kind words.” “If you include others it shows you care.” “Kindness is the Key!”

During the month of December we have many exciting events planned. During the last week prior to the holidays there will be an assembly on each of the days. Various classes will perform throughout the week; information will be shared from each classroom teacher as to the date and time of the performance if the class is performing.  We will also have special theme days.

Monday – Holiday Socks

Tuesday – Holiday Hats

Wednesday – Holiday Sweaters

Thursday – Holiday Colours – Red, Green, Blue, Silver, Gold

Friday  – PJ Day

As we head into December, we wish you all the best for the holiday season, best wishes to you and your families for the New Year to come.  

Natasha Skerritt and Gerard Walker



Happy Holidays everyone!  Whether you observe Eid, Hanukkah, Christmas, Ramadan, Bodhi, Kwanzaa, Diwali or other days of significance we wish you health, happiness and peace. To live, work and play in peace is something we can all celebrate regardless of our beliefs and customs. Respect, care of self and others, and healthy choices know no boundaries.  As a staff, we are proud of all our students and all the work they do each and every day to learn and grow as responsible, respectful citizens. We wish you a peaceful and healthy 2019. See you on January 7th.


Thank you to all the parents and the community volunteers who have worked to support children’s learning during our first term at school. On a typical day at S.I.B., parents help to organize fundraising, volunteer in classrooms, attend trips, and work behind the scenes doing School Council work.  We so appreciate all that you do to support students and their learning at S.I.B.


Lost & Found

Our two lost & found bins were brimming full of unclaimed clothing such as mittens, hats and shoes. So we have spread these items out on tables in our front foyer. We ask all students to have a look through the tables for items they might be missing. If you are in the school to see a Holiday Concert or to pick up your child for an appointment, please have a look for items that belong to your child.

All unclaimed items will be donated to charity on December 21.



If at all possible, parents of bus students are encouraged to drive their children to school if the buses are not running and they can safely do so.  Classes proceed as normal on no bus days, and although your child is not marked as absent, they may be missing important school work. In many classes, there are only a few students who do not attend on no bus days. The only time your child should not attend is if the school is closed. Please listen to your local radio station or check the transportation website for additional information. (

Me to We!

With the holidays approaching, our grade 7 and 8 Me To We team wanted to share some information with everyone.  Did you know that we use enough wrapping paper each December to go around the Earth 9 times at the Equator and most of this wrapping paper can not be recycled due to the plastics/chemicals added to it to make it shiny!  More than 50 000 trees are cut down each year to make wrapping paper and Canadians throw out 540 000 tonnes of this decorative wrap. The Me To We team asks you to think about this before purchasing any more wrapping paper and instead has some alternative suggestions.  Our first choice would be reusable cloth bags. Many of them are already brightly decorated and are easy to store away and use over and over again. As a fun, family activity, try decorating your own wrapping paper from old craft paper, shoe boxes, jars and tin cans. You can also wrap gifts in pillowcases, scarves and even socks (although the kids recommend using new socks!)  Another option is to use old maps, calendars, newspapers, magazines and the student’s favourite, their homework! Any of these options combined with the use of string or ribbon (as tape is not very environmentally friendly) helps out the planet. Finally, if you are putting up a tree, real trees are much better for the environment than fake ones!

Thanks and have a great holiday season. The Me to We team!


We are continuing our Annual Junior/Intermediate Skate. We have just confirmed December 20th (from 1:00 –  Students from Grade 4-8 will be bussed to Victoria Road to skate.  If your child is a junior or intermediate student, please note that it is mandatory that everyone skating wear a CSA approved helmet to keep them safe on the ice. Permission forms for the Junior/Intermediate Skate will be sent home shortly.

Kiss n’ Drive Thank you!

Thank you to the many families who have been following the Kiss and Drive procedures.  If you need to accompany your child into the school, please park on one of the many available side streets and carefully cross onto the school grounds at the cross walk where the crossing guards are located. For all other kiss and drive families, door service will be provided by our very dedicated staff and student patrols! Thanks again for your efforts to keep all of our children safe!


A reminder for the New Year that our school day begins at 8:40 am.  Classroom activities begin before the announcements and teachers need to have everyone in class promptly. Thank you for your help in having your children arrive on time. This one small detail makes a great deal of difference to starting the day off right!

Talking About Mental Health December 2018GIVE THE GIFT OF RESILIENCY

As we head through December and towards the holidays, it is important to be aware that this can be a very exciting time of year, but for some it is also a difficult time of year.  


  • eat well
  • get good sleep
  • don’t over schedule
  • stay connected to family and friends
  • keep daily routines going
  • avoid overuse of technology
  • get outside and enjoy the crisp, fresh air


23 Days of Giving

Every day in December have everyone put something that they don’t use or need into a basket.  Later in the month you can go as a family and donate to a shelter or community center

Reflection Wall

Have a wall in the house where everyone can add sticky notes of what they are grateful about from the year.  Focus on lessons learned, new skills and strategies used throughout the year

Rose, Bud, Thorn

Have everyone identify one or two things that they feel were successes from the year (rose), something that was a struggle (thorn) and what they did to overcome the struggle, and something they are looking forward to in the new year (bud).


Signs to look for that someone is struggling Sometimes it’s hard to tell that someone is suffering. Here are some signs that someone is struggling.

  • not coming to school or work
  • not engaging with friends or family
  • not participating in activities that they used to enjoy
  • withdrawing
  • feeling hopeless
  • increase use of drugs or alcohol
  • changes in behaviour
  • anger/irritability

Getting help

If you, your child/youth or someone you know is struggling, it is important to know where to reach out for help.

Who would you talk to if you were distressed, overwhelmed or struggling?  Take a moment to make a list of at least 3 people or resources you would reach out to.

Who would your child/youth talk to if they were upset, overwhelmed or struggling?  Take a moment to sit down with your child/youth and ask them who they would talk to. Put the kidshelpphone and HERE247 or DCAFS number in their phones (see below).

All children and youth need caring adults in their lives to talk to about their feelings. Parents/guardians can be some of those caring adults, but it is important for the children/youth to have other caring adults in their lives such as:

Family members, friends of the family

School staff (teachers, guidance counsellors, principals, child and youth counsellors, social workers, librarian, custodial staff)

Coaches, instructors

Spiritual or religious community

Community members (police, family doctors, librarians, etc.)

Who you can call for mental health support:

  • Here 24/7 (for crisis and support with mental health or addiction concerns in Guelph/Wellington) 1.844.437.3247
  • Dufferin Child and Family Services (DCAFS) (for crisis and mental health supports for children/youth in Dufferin) 519 941 1530
  • Kids Help Phone 1 800 668 6868
  • Your family physician or family health team

Have a mentally healthy holiday season!

Jenny Marino is the Mental Health Lead for Upper Grand District School Board

Follow me on instagram #ugdsb_mental_health

December 10th is HUMAN RIGHTS Day!

““You cannot get through a single day without having an impact on the world around you. What you do makes a difference, and you have to decide what kind of difference you want to make.” —Jane Goodall


Celebrate Human Rights Day on December 10th!

Human Rights Day calls on everyone to stand up for someone’s rights. It starts with each of us. Step forward and defend the rights of someone whose voice is not being heard. Recognize that human rights include the right for everyone to have access to clean water, unpolluted air and healthy food.

Simple yet meaningful ways for your family to celebrate the rights and responsibilities that we all share as human beings!

  •   Learn about how children live in other parts of the world. Find out about their schools or traditional food and language.
  •   Read the book: We Are All Born Free: The Universal Declaration of Human Rights in Pictures by Amnesty International.
  •   Read the Ontario Environmental Bill of Rights. Decide if there is a cause your family wants to support, or an Ecojustice action you want to take on.
  •  Make a World Wishes Dove with your family.  Cut feathers from white paper. Have everyone in the family write their wish for the world on a feather. Cut out the body of a dove and glue all of the feathers on it.  
  •   Start a tradition of doing a family service project on Human Rights Day. Find an opportunity to volunteer in your local community and make a difference.

For the bigger picture we can (and should) do what we can to fight injustice. But on a smaller scale, in the day-to-day, practicing kindness can help knit a web of compassion to give humanity a boost of resilience” by Melissa Breyer


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