Parent Peek at the Week

Week of October 25th, 2021

In case you missed it....

Important Dates

Monday, October 25th - Day 4

  • First day of our recess Cougar SPARK program!

Tuesday, October 26th - Day 5

  • Kawartha Heights Pumpkin Patch morning (thanks to School Council)

Wednesday, October 27th - Day 1

Thursday, October 28th - Day 2

Friday, October 29th - Day 3

  • School Halloween and Wear What you Want Day (see below)
  • No Cougar Courage awards this week due to Halloween

Upcoming days:

  • ??? 1 surprise fire drill left
  • November 1st - School Council Meeting
  • November 19th - Progress Reports sent home

Rewarding Positive Recess Behaviour

This fall we have noticed that many students are struggling with the ability to self-regulate during less structured times such as recess. As a school who takes a proactive rather than reactive approach, we have come up with a new program - Cougar SPARK!

Cougar SPARK stands for Students Promoting Awesome Recess Kindness. During recess time, each adult on duty will have small tickets (see below). We'll be looking to "catch students" being kind, showing good sportsmanship and helping friends when needed. When "caught" students will be told that their name is being written on a ticket to go into the weekly draw.

Each day, these tickets will be collected in a jar outside the office - one for Primary and one for Junior. Each Monday, 10 names will be drawn from each jar and these students will be rewarded with an extra "bonus" recess time outside.

Our hope is that by focusing on the positive and highlighting what students are doing well, they will be role models and motivate others to be kind and caring as well.

We look forward to starting this new positive program on Monday.

Big picture

New Bathroom Routines

This week we were able to change our bathroom routines slightly - much to the delight of students and staff!

For the last year and a half, classes have been going to the bathroom together - all at once at set times during the day. This has ensured that no cross-cohorting has occurred. With the support of the Health Unit, we've been able to change our routines a little - while still ensuring safety for all.

In our primary hallway we have 4 classes that use the bathroom. Mrs. Rutherford's class will continue to go together as a class. The remaining 3 classes will only ever send 1 student at a time, ensuring that there are never more than 3 students in the bathroom at a time. Students are reminded that when in the bathroom their masks must cover their nose and mouths and they must remain distanced from others.

In our junior hallway we have 5 classes that use the bathrooms. This makes it a little more challenging. So - we've come up with a creative way to support (thanks to some inspiration from Edmison Heights P.S.). Just like the primary students, only 3 children can be in the bathroom at one time. We have installed bright light switches outside each bathroom door. When a student enters, they turn the light on, when they leave they turn it off. This ensures that we only ever have 3 at one time. Junior students were wonderful last week as we implemented this new routine.

And the best part - we have so much more time in class with our students, and the continuity of our lessons isn't as choppy. Who knew that changing the routines could be such a relief - but it truly is!

New water bottle filling stations

Thanks to Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB, we have 2 new water bottle filling stations installed at our school. One is located in the primary hallway and the other in the junior hallway.

This has been a huge help in getting the water we need each day.

One reminder - please make sure that you send your child with a water bottle each day. We don't have any extras at school and are unable to use the water fountains. We want everyone to stay hydrated and healthy for their long day of learning!

Kawartha Heights Pumpkin Patch

A huge thank you to our KH School Council who has generously offered to fund our second annual Kawartha Heights Pumpkin Patch! On Tuesday, October 26th, staff will turn our yard (main yard and Kindergarten yard) into a giant pumpkin patch. In the morning, students will have the opportunity to "pick" their pumpkin and then over the course of the week, classes will be using them to create.

Please note that we scheduled the delivery of the Pumpkins with McLean's Berry Farm on Tuesday morning - and at this time the weather is showing rain. Please make sure your child comes to school with a rain coat and boots - we'll be visiting the KH pumpkin patch rain or shine!


Wear What You Want Day

On Friday, October 29th as part of our Halloween celebration, we are having a Wear What You Want Day. Costumes are one option. Students may choose to wear pajamas, a themed shirt or a silly hat. Or students may just want to wear their regular clothes. We are happy with whatever your family is comfortable with.

Please remember, that whatever they wear, students need to be comfortable for a day at school. We also ask that no masks, face make up, blood or props (including weapons) be part of any any costume. Students must also come to school wearing their "want you want" outfit. Please remember not to have your child wear anything precious or expensive and that the regular dress code still applies - be appropriate, be safe & be kind.

Please note that restrictions on food sharing continue to be in place. At this time, the direction from the Health Unit is that there is no communal sharing of food by students or adults.

Better Things Moment - Desjardins Insurance

We are so fortunate to work in a community that supports us so kindly!

This past week we were contacted by Desjardins Insurance (they have an office in the mall on the corner) about a program they run called Better Things Moment. This is a program where they give back to the community each month and this month they would like to support our students and school.

This week they will be dropping off Halloween goodie bags for each student (candy will not have any nuts). Then on Friday (after quarantining the bags), each child will be bringing home one "goodie" bag - thanks to this kind gesture. We ask that all students wait until they get home to open up their special treat.

From the KPR Board Office

To All KPR Families,

Thank you to more than 640 parents and caregivers who took time out of their busy weekend to join us at our 20th Annual Parent Conference October 16! We all left with a wealth of practical tips from child and youth psychiatrist Dr. David Templeman on supporting our children’s and teens’ mental health.

If you missed his presentation – titled You’ve Got This! Mental Health After COVID: Getting Back to Normal - no worries! This engaging presentation is posted on our website.

We know students benefit when their families are engaged in their children’s and teens’ learning. I extend to all families our great thanks for your role in being our most important educational partners! You are students’ first, life-long teachers, and by being actively involved in their education, you make their success possible. Please stay committed and support us as we work to inspire all students to excel in learning, succeed in life and enrich our communities.

On Wednesday, October 27, Ontario’s child welfare societies will mark Dress Purple Day to raise awareness about the important role we all play in supporting vulnerable children, youth and families. It also celebrates the people who care for families, and shows children and youth they are not alone. We hope you will join us in “going purple” to focus on the right of all children and youth to safety and well-being, and to reassure them that help is available.

For information, please visit The Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services website also offers vital information about the legal requirement for everyone in Ontario, including members of the public and professionals who work with children, to report suspected child abuse or neglect.

There is nothing more precious than our children and teens. Thank you for entrusting us with the critical responsibility of educating your children.

Enjoy your weekend!

Rita Russo
Director of Education


Self-screening and Masking for Parents at School
We thank families for continuing to protect the safety of students and staff by:

  • self-screening every child and teen in your family, every day, using the provincial self-screening site
  • keeping sick children and teens at home
  • wearing masks, distancing and washing hands or using hand sanitizer often at schools, workplaces and in the community.

Because of increased traffic flow and difficulty maintaining physical distancing during student pick-up and drop-off times, we continue to ask family members to wear masks while on school property during these busy periods.

Virtual Post-Secondary Pathways Night
There’s still time to register for KPR’s Virtual Post-Secondary Pathways Night, taking place October 27 at 6:30 p.m. The event will explore the exciting pathways open to students after high school, and the high school programs that will help them access those pathways. Register here by October 25.

Website Survey
As we review our website, we remind families, staff and students of the opportunity to improve our online services and ensure our website better meets their needs. Please complete our website survey to help us identify ways to make needed information easier for you to find online. Thank you for your participation.

Take Our Kids to Work Day
Every November, Grade 9 students participate in Take Our Kids To Work Day (TOKTWD), spending time at their parents’ or other workplaces to experience the world of work. The Learning Partnership, which sponsors TOKTWD, has announced TOKTWD will take place virtually November 3. KPR students will attend school as normal, where they will participate in a variety of virtual career exploration activities. The Learning Partnership also has a Family Guide with resources for families on exploring careers.

Community Members Wanted
KPR’s Board-wide Parent Involvement Committee provides invaluable advice on engaging families and communities in education. In addition to its nine parent representatives, that committee is now seeking three community representatives who do not have children in KPR schools. Applications are welcome until 4 p.m. November 4.

One more thing....

Did you know that Tuesday, October 26th (the day we turn our yard into a Pumpkin Patch) is National Pumpkin Day! National Pumpkin Day seeks to promote all things pumpkin. Pumpkins are a large yellow-orange fruit popular during the fall in Canada. Besides being a popular Halloween ornament they are tasty and nutritious. Pumpkins are loaded with fiber, Vitamin A, potassium, and antioxidants. And of course, they are so much fun to carve!

If you are spending some time with your family carving your Halloween pumpkin, we'd love to see your photos - feel free to send them along!

Big picture