January Newsletter 2020

Posted December 17, 2019

January 2020

Principal’s Message

Wow!  Our two cents for 2020 – don’t make a resolution – create a new habit!

We cannot believe that when we return it will be 2020!

The staff wishes everyone a safe and enjoyable Winter Break. We are looking forward to working with you in 2020 as we continue making Taylor Evans Public School a wonderful learning environment for all. We hope you have some time to spend as a family!

Every year we get questions on when it is too cold for the students to be outside. There is no real concrete answer. Decisions depend on the amount of wind, sunlight, length of time out, etc.

We do expect students to come dressed for the weather and to be outside. Generally, we do not send the students out if the temperature is below -20. We also provide a “warming station” inside the intermediate doors when needed. 

When it is cold outside we use our judgment and be aware of weather and wind conditions, the length of time spent outside, the way children are dressed (we do have extra stuff in the storeroom), and that younger children can be more at risk of frostbite.

Hopefully, this is helpful so that we can enjoy the outdoors and our Canadian winter. Please visit the Environment Canada website at https://www.canada.ca/en/environment-climate-change/services/weather-health/uv-index-heat-wind-chill-products.html#toc7  for more information.

Remember to engage your child when they come home and ask “What did you learn today?”

Ken Keesmaat        Alan Gouk

Principal                 Vice Principal

Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten Registration for the 2020/21 school year will take place January 7-17, 2020. Students who will be four years old by Dec. 31st, 2020 are eligible to register for Junior Kindergarten and students who will be five years old by Dec. 31st, 2020 are eligible to register for Senior Kindergarten. Students who are already attending Taylor Evans Public School for the Junior Kindergarten program are not required to register again. 

If you know of anyone with a child who will be four or five years old by Dec. 31st, please encourage them to register online at www.ugdsb.on.ca/kregistration and bring their paperwork into the school. People can also come in and register online in the office using our chrome book. You will need to bring the following documents:

  • Proof of birth date (Birth Certificate)
  • Proof of address (Hydro/telephone bill, etc.) 
  • Immunization record (Yellow card)


Back to School – Monday, January 6th, 2020.

Please see the calendar on the website for upcoming events:  https://www.ugdsb.ca/tevans/calendar/monthly

Starting the Year Mindfully

Starting a new year, coming off of a two week school break, new resolutions and on-going challenges are a few of the things we have on our plates in January.  There is a lot of research that has shown the power of mindfulness in reducing stress and anxiety, increasing mental well-being, helping with sleep patterns, and also overall emotional regulation.


Mindfulness is a way to turn off auto-pilot and bring awareness to the present.  It may seem easy but in a world full of schedules, appointments, deadlines and other daily stressors it can be a challenge to disconnect ourselves from auto pilot.  Daniel J. Siegel defines mindfulness:

“Mindfulness in its most general sense is about waking up from a life on automatic, and being sensitive to novelty in our everyday experiences…Instead of being on automatic and mindless, mindfulness helps us to awaken, and by reflecting on the mind we are enabled to make choices and thus change becomes possible”

Mindfulness is not only turning off auto pilot and staying aware but doing so non-judgmentally – of yourself, of others, of your experience.  In that age of social media likes, followers, and commentaries this non-judgmental stance is something we could all benefit from doing. Jon Katat-Zinn writes:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”


Research in the area of mindfulness shows benefits in the following areas:

  •         Improved working memory
  •         Lowered anxiety levels
  •         Reduced emotional reactivity
  •         Reduced stress
  •         Regulating emotions
  •         Less distractible
  •         Enhancing sleep


There are many ways to bring mindfulness into your life from a regular time every day to finding opportunities for mindfulness skills in daily life.

  •         Bring mindfulness to a walk by focusing on what you see, hear, feel. Listen to the sound of your steps, notice the feeling of you legs, notice what you smell.
  •         Try listening to someone mindfully by not crafting what you are going to respond and thinking ahead but rather listen fully to what the other person is saying – sounds easy but you will be surprised!
  •         When you or your child are having a difficult time take a moment and focus just on breathing, in and out. Notice what your body feels like. Notice thoughts that pop into your head – AND LET THEM GO.  Just “be” for even 2 minutes. It can be very powerful to take even just one or two minutes! And a great example to set for your children.

 So perhaps you can find some time in your day, your week, your month to turn off auto pilot and practice a little mindfulness! 

 Jenny Marino, Mental Health Lead, Upper Grand District School Board


Monthly environmental activities to help celebrate our planet

JANUARY is the time to carry out your Eco Resolutions!                                                    

“There will be more plastic waste in the sea than fish by 2050,” – Dame Ellen MacArthur

It’s a brand new year and the perfect time for positive change.  For example, let’s end plastic pollution.

Based on the daily news, it’s never been more critical to increase your environmental efforts.  The Earth Day Network is calling to end plastic pollution. Imagine a future free from harmful plastic garbage! Single-use plastics are especially wasteful and many plastics are also not properly recycled and take up precious landfill space or pollute our oceans, killing marine life and washing up on pristine beaches. Plastic garbage ‘islands’ are appearing in seas and oceans all over the world. https://www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/great-pacific-garbage-patch/ 

Tips on how to reduce single-use plastics:



  • Extend your use of cloth shopping bags beyond the grocery store. Use them at all other retail stores too. 


  • Avoid buying over-packaged food. The choice is yours. Do you need to buy the carrots that are shrink-wrapped on a Styrofoam tray? 
  • Let the restaurants you frequent know that you would like them to join the growing movement to ban the use of straws. Many have implemented a ‘serve-straws-upon-request’ policy.
  • Tap water is best. Bottled water can deplete our precious groundwater resources and produce unnecessary greenhouse gas emissions through the production and transport of plastic bottles. Carry a reusable water bottle instead.
  • Lug a travel mug to your local coffee shop. (The plastic lining makes coffee cups unrecyclable, and they all end up in the garbage and in our overflowing landfills.) 
  • Write letters to the government asking them to fix a problem that you are concerned about such as: mandating the reduction of plastic packaging, banning Styrofoam, or promoting research for recyclable coffee cups or coffee pods, etc.  


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