News & Announcements

Every Day Counts! Student Support Week 2:

We are continuing to share information to help families support their child’s attendance at school. Below are some tips you can try that involve the routines and the environment at home.

  • Practice consistent bedtime and morning routines with your child.
  • Parents can model the same routine at home, as it helps students stick to the routine of coming to school each day.
  • Having a set schedule for sleep and nutrition is key to a good morning and feeling good about coming to school.
  • Preparing for school at night so that the morning is less hectic can be helpful.  Organizing clothing, packing backpacks and including favourite foods can be reassuring.
  • Putting out clothes and making lunch the night before can help get your child out the door in the morning.
  • If your child does refuse to attend school, try having no screens/devices during the time when they are at home. Make staying home as boring as possible! Shutting down the home Internet can be helpful if this is a draw for your child to stay at home.
  • Creating an environment conducive for improved sleep hygiene (e.g. dark room, quiet, sound machine, light in morning, consistent bed and wake times).
  • Ensuring at least 30 minutes of screen-free time before bed and removing all electronics from bedrooms before bed can be helpful.
  • Limiting screen time before bed is key to winding-down and getting a great night’s sleep!

Remember, every day counts. Together, we can make a positive impact on students’ education, well-being and future.For more information, please visit the UGDSB website: https://www.ugdsb.ca/parents/student-attendance-at-school-tips-and-strategies-for-families/

Every Day Counts! Student Support Week 1:

Is your child struggling with attending school? We are here to help! Throughout the month of April we will be sharing tips and strategies with parents/guardians to help encourage regular school attendance – because Every Day Counts!

This week, we are going to focus on strategies around attitudes and beliefs – try some of these tips at home!

  • Keep in mind that attendance issues can quickly escalate.  Parents/guardians need to intervene and reach out for support as early as possible before it becomes the norm.
  • Keep the expectation in your home of attending school and staying all day.  Don’t give up. Even if your child is anxious about school, ensure the expectation of regular attendance doesn’t change.  Work with the issue, not around it.
  • Talk to your child to find out what is behind them not wanting to go to school.  Anxiety can show up in a lot of ways and one of them can be not wanting to go to school. Encourage your child to talk back to their anxiety!  Tell themselves they can do it!
  • Ask questions about your child’s worries about school.  Although you know your child well, try not to assume you know the answers.  Keep an open mind. Validate your child’s concerns.
  • If your child is having difficulty with attendance try setting a goal with them such as if they attend for a certain amount of time, they can have a special treat or do a special activity.

For more information, please visit the UGDSB website: https://www.ugdsb.ca/parents/student-attendance-at-school-tips-and-strategies-for-families/

PA Day

As a reminder, the Upper Grand District School Board made the decision to move the PA Day originally scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2024, to Monday, April 8, 2024.  The school will be closed to students on Monday, April 8, 2024.

This adjustment was made due to the fact that the solar eclipse is set to occur during school dismissal, when students will not have full supervision and will be travelling home.This decision was made by the UGDSB and Wellington Catholic District School Board, and is in line with similar changes announced by other school boards.

Important safety information about the solar eclipse can be found on the Board website.

https://www.ugdsb.ca/blog/your-guide-to-the-2024-solar-eclipse-important-information-for-the-ug-community/

Every Day Counts! Why regular student attendance at school really matters

In the UGDSB, we know how important school attendance and established routines are for students to build knowledge, skills and confidence. Regular attendance is more than just a requirement; it’s a critical building block for academic success, social development, and future opportunities. While we may face challenges that can make school attendance difficult, it’s important to understand the impact of frequent absenteeism and how we can work together to support regular attendance.

The Impact of Frequent Absenteeism

  • Every day a student misses school results in:
    • Lost learning opportunities.
    • Hindered development of social skills.
    • Missed benefits of the school’s sense of community.
  • Chronic absenteeism can lead to:
    • Decreased academic success.
    • Diminished employment prospects in the future.
  • Extended absences often cause:
    • Increased anxiety about:
      • Falling behind in grades.
      • Losing credits.
      • Catching up on missed assignments.
    • Concern over peer interactions and questions about their absences.

Did You Know?

If your child misses… That equals…Which is…Over 13 years of schooling this is…. 
1 day every 2 weeks20 days per year4 weeks per year Nearly 1 ½ years of schooling 
1 day each week40 days per year8 week per yearOver 2 ½ years of schooling 
2 days per week80 days per year16 weeks per yearOver 5 years of schooling 
3 days per week120 days per year24 weeks per yearNearly 5 years of schooling 

Tips for Families to Encourage Regular Attendance

Understanding the challenges, here are some strategies families can implement to promote regular attendance:

  • Establish a Reliable Routine: Consistent bedtimes and morning routines can help make school mornings predictable and less stressful. Preparing the night before—laying out clothes, packing backpacks, and discussing breakfast—can also smooth the way.
  • Communicate the Value of Education: Talk with your child about how going to school every day can help them achieve their dreams and goals. Make the connection between attendance, learning, and future opportunities.
  • Engage with Teachers and School Staff: Stay in close contact with your child’s teachers and school staff. They can offer insights into how your child is doing and suggest ways to support their learning and attendance.
  • Set Attendance Goals: Create positive reinforcement around attendance. Celebrate milestones like a week or a month of perfect attendance with simple, meaningful rewards.
  • Plan for Absences: Understand the school’s attendance policy and communicate any expected absences in advance. For unavoidable absences, work with teachers to make sure your child can catch up.
  • Address Challenges Early: If you notice patterns of reluctance to attend school or frequent illnesses, talk to your child and seek support from school counsellors. Often, early intervention can resolve underlying issues.

Our Commitment to Support

For students struggling with attendance, the UGDSB offers many supports including access to Attendance Counsellors, Social Workers, referrals to community agencies and support staff in schools, in addition to many ways to ensure students keep connected and on top of their learning for periods when they have to be absent from school. 

Remember, every day counts. Together, we can make a positive impact on students’ education, well-being and future.

For more resources and support around student attendance, please visit the UGDSB website. 

April Workshops

April 2024 Workshops

April Newsletter

April Communications Newsletter:

In this month’s issue we have information about:

  • Every Day Counts! Student attendance
  • Student career fairs
  • Mental health literacy for students
  • And more!

Download the newsletter here: https://www.ugdsb.ca/community/communications/communications-newsletter/

Dufferin-County Black Parent Advisory Council

We invite you to attend the Dufferin-County Black Parent Advisory Council.

When:  March 28, 2024

Where: Orangeville District Secondary School

Time:  7 pm – 9 pm

Dufferin County Black Parent Advisory Council   March 28 2024 (003)

WSS Commencement !

Red Graduation Hats Graduation Announcement

Weapons Awareness and Reduction: What you need to know. Gr. 9 & 10

Dear Parents/Guardians:

This is to inform you that members of the OPP Police service will be doing a virtual presentation on Community Safety as part of a Safe Communities Presentation for all students in Grade 9 and 10 at our  school on Tuesday March 26, 2024.

The focus of this presentation will be on reducing the prevalence of weapons in the community and reviewing reporting protocols and procedures.  

If you have any questions or concerns, please call Kevin Taylor at  519-938-9355 ext 223.

Thank you,

Kevin Taylor

Principal

Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP) Final Report

GUELPH, ON – At the March 19, 2024, Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, Upper Grand District School BoardTrustees received the “Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP) Final Report.”

The report will now be taken to the Board Meeting on April 9, 2024, for approval by Trustees, where there will be an opportunity to delegate (procedure) to speak on the report.

For more information on the LTAP and the LTAP Final Report, please visit the UGDSB website

2023-2024 Yearbook for sale!

Hello Parents/Guardians,

Don’t wait to reserve your student’s copy of the 2023-2024 Westside Yearbook! Purchases are available through School Cash Online for $29 each!

These are the days that students will want to remember forever, reserve a yearbook now!

Yearbooks will be distributed in June.

Thank you,

Westside Yearbook Committee

Professional Activity Day Description – April 8, 2024

Information for Elementary Parents/Guardians

Date: April 8, 2024

Length: Full Day

Topics:

  • Elementary Topic AM: Mathematics
  • Elementary Topic PM: Mental Health and Well-Being
  • Secondary Topic AM: Mathematics or Artificial Intelligence
  • Secondary Topic PM: Mental Health and Well-Being

Entity Hosting: Upper Grand DSB 

Description: 

Elementary

  • Morning (150 mins) – Mathematics
    • A choice of math topics and strategies to focus on with staff, related to resources available in the Grade 3 Essentials, Let’s Go! UGDSB Let’s Learn.
  • Afternoon (150 mins) – Mental Health and Well-being
    • A curated session to support learning for teams around trauma and trauma informed practices. 

Secondary

  • Morning (150 mins) – Mathematics or Artificial Intelligence
    • Math Departments will focus on math topics and strategies.  
    • Other Departments, through the principal, will be given resources and information to explore AI.
  • Afternoon (150 mins) – Mental Health and Well-being
    • A curated session to support learning for teams around trauma and trauma informed practices. 

Entity Hosting: Upper Grand DSB 

Presenter(s)/Facilitator(s): Independent / Individual 

Parent’s Guide to Ontario’s Education System

The Ministry of Education is pleased to inform you that the Parent’s Guide to Ontario’s Education System was launched last week.

This new resource will provide parents with helpful information that supports them to have a stronger role and actively participate in their children’s education. The guide covers a number of subjects such as knowing how their child is doing in school, learning about suspension and expulsion processes, attending a school council meeting or parent involvement committee meeting, and knowing about specialized supports to help all children succeed.

This initiative is part of the government’s recent efforts to increase transparency and accountability in our school system.

The full guide can be found at www.Ontario.ca/educationguide.

March UGDSB Newsletter

Please see link below :

March 2024

Every Day Counts! Student Support Week 2:

Posted April 11, 2024

We are continuing to share information to help families support their child’s attendance at school. Below are some tips you can try that involve the routines and the environment at home.

Practice consistent bedtime and morning routines with your …

Ticks & Lyme Disease Info Links

Posted April 11, 2024

https://wdgpublichealth.ca/your-community/ticks-lyme-disease https://docs.google.com/document/d/1UfzAVsnymwuiP5yPkMFMc2KEkwtOI4EJu6Rtsr5qqoo/edit

Every Day Counts! Student Support Week 1:

Posted April 9, 2024

Is your child struggling with attending school? We are here to help! Throughout the month of April we will be sharing tips and strategies with parents/guardians to help encourage regular school attendance – because Every Day Counts!

This week, we …

PA Day

Posted April 5, 2024

As a reminder, the Upper Grand District School Board made the decision to move the PA Day originally scheduled for Friday, April 19, 2024, to Monday, April 8, 2024.  The school will be closed to students on Monday, April …

Every Day Counts! Why regular student attendance at school really matters

Posted April 5, 2024

In the UGDSB, we know how important school attendance and established routines are for students to build knowledge, skills and confidence. Regular attendance is more than just a requirement; it’s a critical building block for academic success, …

April Workshops

Posted April 4, 2024

April 2024 Workshops

April Newsletter

Posted April 4, 2024

April Communications Newsletter: In this month's issue we have information about:

  • Every Day Counts! Student attendance
  • Student career fairs
  • Mental health literacy for students
  • And more!
Download the newsletter here: https://www.ugdsb.ca/community/communications/communications-newsletter/

Dufferin-County Black Parent Advisory Council

Posted March 26, 2024

We invite you to attend the Dufferin-County Black Parent Advisory Council.

When:  March 28, 2024

Where: Orangeville District Secondary School

Time:  7 pm – 9 pm

WSS Commencement !

Posted March 25, 2024

Red Graduation Hats Graduation Announcement

Weapons Awareness and Reduction: What you need to know. Gr. 9 & 10

Posted March 22, 2024

Dear Parents/Guardians:

This is to inform you that members of the OPP Police service will be doing a virtual presentation on Community Safety as part of a Safe Communities Presentation for all students in Grade 9 …

Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP) Final Report

Posted March 20, 2024

GUELPH, ON – At the March 19, 2024, Finance and Facilities Committee Meeting, Upper Grand District School BoardTrustees received the “Long Term Accommodation Plan (LTAP) Final Report.”

The report will now be taken to …

2023-2024 Yearbook for sale!

Posted March 19, 2024

Hello Parents/Guardians,

Don’t wait to reserve your student’s copy of the 2023-2024 Westside Yearbook! Purchases are available through School Cash Online for $29 each!

These are the days that students will want to remember forever, reserve a yearbook now!

Yearbooks will be …

Professional Activity Day Description – April 8, 2024

Posted March 18, 2024

Information for Elementary Parents/Guardians

Date: April 8, 2024

Length: Full Day

Topics:

Elementary Topic AM: Mathematics

Elementary Topic PM: Mental Health and Well-Being

Parent’s Guide to Ontario’s Education System

Posted March 18, 2024

The Ministry of Education is pleased to inform you that the Parent’s Guide to Ontario’s Education System was launched last week.

This new resource will provide parents with helpful information that supports them to have a stronger role and actively …

March UGDSB Newsletter

Posted March 5, 2024

Please see link below : March 2024

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