February 2020 Newsletter

Posted January 31, 2020

Principal’s Message

Hi Everyone!

We are definitely having one strange winter!! It is amazing to see how the playground transforms into a building zone when we have snow. Play is such an important part of development for a child. It helps teach them problem-solving skills as well as pro-social skills – ways to interact appropriately with their peers! Encourage your children to #getoutside with their friends and enjoy the winter weather! Arrange play dates and outings!

I have decided to revive the Principal’s Blog (https://www.ugdsb.ca/tevans/category/principal-blog/). In an effort to communicate what happens at school, I have committed to blogging once a week about math. This is to share things that your children are learning in the classroom. I will also share things you can do at home!  If you are looking for ideas to help support your child (in any grade) with activities that will help them develop the skills necessary for academic and life success, take time to play a game before bed, read with them, or play some math games. For more ideas for math, check out this website for ideas on “Math before bed”: https://mathbeforebed.com/

Ken Keesmaat         Alan Gouk

Principal                   Vice Principal


National Sweater Day

Since 2010, over a million Canadians have participated in National Sweater Day at their schools, workplaces and homes. It is a day to help raise awareness about climate change and modify behaviours around energy consumption​.  Taylor Evans will be participating this year.  On Thursday, Feb. 6th our thermostat at school will be lowered by 2 degrees Celsius.  So Taylor Evans Eagles, get out your warmest sweater and start talking about improving our Earth! 

See ideas you can do as a family below!


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

Engaging Your Child in Science at Home!

As parents, we have the wonderful opportunity and responsibility for nurturing our children’s growth.  Parents play a key role in the physical, emotional, and intellectual development of their child. As parents, we can usually find time to read a story to our children, thereby instilling a love of literature, but we are often at a loss as to how to instill a love and appreciation for Science. Science encourages problem-solving skills, curiosity and questioning, creative and critical thinking, observational skills and reinforces both literacy and math skills…and it’s FUN! Here are some ideas for fostering Scientific skills in your children.

 6 Tips to foster Scientific Thinking at Home

1-See science everywhere. Parents can take opportunities to ask “What would happen if …?” questions or present brainteasers to encourage children to be curious and seek out answers. Children need to know that science isn’t just a subject, but it is a way of understanding the world around us.

2-Lead family discussions on science-related topics. Dinnertime might be an ideal time for your family to have discussions about news stories that are science-based, like space shuttle missions, severe weather conditions, or new medical breakthroughs. Over time, children will develop a better understanding of science and how it affects many facets of our lives. Movies and TV shows with science-related storylines are also great topics for discussion.

3-Encourage girls and boys equally. Many girls are left out of challenging activities simply because of their gender. Be aware that both girls and boys need to be encouraged and exposed to a variety of subjects at a very early age.

4-Do science together. Children, especially elementary-age children, learn better by investigating and experimenting. Simple investigations done together in the home can bolster what your child is learning in the classroom. Check with your child’s teacher on what your child is currently learning in class and what activities you can explore at home.

5-Connect science with a family vacation. Family vacations are a great way to explore science. It could be a hiking trip where you explore nature or a discussion on tides during a beach vacation.

6-Show excitement for Science!


 “NSTA Science Matters: Tips for Busy Parents – National Science ….” http://www.nsta.org/sciencematters/tips.aspx.

Ideas for your family to celebrate Sweater Day

  •       Turn down your thermostat and wear a sweater on Feb 6th – and every day this winter!
  •       Ask your children to brainstorm with you about ways to save energy at home. Make a pledge to implement as many as you can. For extra ideas go to https://www.ontario.ca/page/how-use-less-electricity-home
  •       Read a children’s book on conservation such as:  Why Should I Save Energy? by Jen Green. Encourage lots of questions and find the answers together.
  •       Learn about Green Energy sources. What types of renewable energy are available in Ontario –  Wind? Solar? Geothermal?
  •       Valentine’s Day is just around the corner – use recycled materials to create your cards this year! To learn more about how recycling saves energy go to Alliant Energy Kids: www.alliantenergykids.com/UsingEnergyWisely/SavingEnergyAtHome


Information from Public Health:

 Sexual and Reproductive Health Awareness week is February 10-14.

Learning about sexual and reproductive health can play a key role in shaping a child’s views about life, relationships, and healthy development. The Ontario Health and Physical Education curriculum supports healthy growth and development for all children through age-appropriate up-to-date, and accurate education. Dialogue about these important topics is encouraged between parents and children to support a healthy understanding and build the skills necessary to adapt to the physical and emotional changes that occur during puberty. This knowledge helps children develop a positive self-concept and improve their mental health and well-being.

 The goal is for children to be able to develop healthy relationships and make informed decisions as they transition into adulthood.

For questions about human development, healthy relationships or sexual health services, visit www.wdgpublichealth.ca/clinical

Information from Public Health:

Fun facts about vaccines!

  •         You are 4 times more likely to get hit by a meteorite than to have a serious reaction to a vaccine.
  •         You have a 0.00013 percent chance of having a serious reaction to a vaccine!
  •         Vaccination is among the most successful and cost-effective health initiatives; routine immunization is the foundation of the health care system and universal health coverage.
  •         Vaccines save millions of lives each year.
  •         Vaccines are for people of all ages; vaccinations are for a lifetime.
  •         We all have a part to play as advocates, individuals, parents, health care workers and innovators; individuals must drive the vaccine process.
  •         Health Care Workers have a critical role to play to counteract vaccine hesitancy.

 PARENT TIP – Check out this link for tips to help your child cope during immunizations!



 Talking About Mental Health – February 2020  Tests and Stress

Taking tests is stressful for most students. However, there are lots of ways that your child and youth (and you!) can decrease the stress related to tests.

 Anticipate stress and be ready for it.           

ü  Practice relaxing activities every day so during stressful times you already know how to cope.

Eat well

ü  Learning and remembering takes a lot of energy. Keep healthy snacks close by so you can refuel easily with what your body needs to feel good and think clearly.


ü  During sleep, our brains make connections and consolidate our learning. Research has shown that during sleep, our brain cleans out toxins to allow for more learning to occur the next day.

Drink lots of water

ü  Hydration is very important for good brain function. Cut down on caffeine, which contributes to the stress response and to poor sleep.


ü  Activity increases energy, stimulates brain growth and increases mood. Take regular active breaks; even 5 minutes of walking outdoors can make a difference.

Pause and relax

ü  Take time to relax. Do some deep breathing. Listen to music. Meditate.  Go outside. Write in a journal. Do some stretches. Go for a walk. Draw or doodle. http://youth.anxietybc.com/relaxation has some great examples of how to relax.


ü  Talk to your friends.

ü  Talk to your parent or a caring adult about how you are feeling.

ü  At school, you can talk to your teacher, principal or CYC for support.


ü  Laughter is a great release and allows our brains to recharge and reset.

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




Categories: NewsNewsletters