South Oaks School

June 2020

A Whole New World?

As I write the message for this newsletter, I am listening to the song, "A Whole New World", from the Disney movie, Aladdin. We have some great music in the office these days! This beautiful soaring piece of music was never intended to address the changes in our lives due to COVID-19, but it seems fitting nonetheless.

We are currently wrestling with what does school look like in this new world? What we know for sure is that safety is paramount. What we also know is that there is a lot of fear and anxiety for people, for good reason. The challenge with fear and anxiety is that it can trigger our brain to prepare for Fight/Flight/Freeze, instead of learning. Somehow we will need to move carefully and slowly so that students, parents and staff feel safe coming to school again, so that learning can take place.

Our goal for June is to find ways to stay safe, but to provide some closure for our students and perhaps a bit of assessment, although that is not the highest priority right now. We also want to have a little fun and give some special treats to the kids. I don't want to ruin any surprises, but every student will receive a special gift pack at the end of the year. Shhhh. That is between us, ok? For the grade 4 students, we are planning the first ever South Oaks/GVS "Reverse Parade" on June 26 at 10:00 am. Please mark the date on your calendars and more details will follow.

Beginning June 8, students can come for a one on one visit with their teacher. These visits will last for about an hour and are for the child only. This is primarily an opportunity to connect/check-in and to provide some sense of closure for the students. Some assessment may be done depending on what the teacher deems appropriate and necessary for the final report card. They will be in touch as needed and some may have already begun communicating.

We also have some good news for Kindergarten students! In June, the current K students and their parents will have the opportunity for a final meeting with their teacher. Since the March parent meetings were cancelled, this is a chance to have that face to face conversation that was missed. Also, for the K students coming next year, we have been told by the province that we can have up to 3 students and their parents into the school for the Pre-K initial meeting. This meeting enables parents and school staff to meet and for us to then be able to learn about your child and then to make up the new K classes for next year. We are thrilled to be able to offer this in June, instead of waiting until the fall. We will still postpone the "Kick into Kindergarten" orientation evening until September. Of course we will screen everyone coming in using the screening tool below. We will also be following all provincial guidelines for social distancing, proper cleaning, etc.

In many ways, this is a whole new world, but even in this new world we want to encourage safety for all, much kindness, and focus as best we can on student learning.

Take care,



June 1 - June work packages available for pick-up (please drop off drawings for the mosaic as well).

June 1 - Library books to be returned to school when packages are picked up.

June 8 - Student visits begin (by appointment only).

June 12 - Last day for teachers to support Learning at Home.

June 15 - 19 - Final Collection Week. Please return any books, iPads, etc to the school this week.

June 15 - Pre-K appointments begin.

June 26 at 10:00 am - Grade 4 Farewell "Reverse Parade" with GVS. Details to follow.

June 26 afternoon - K-3 Gift Package Pickup.

June 29 all day - K-3 Gift Package Pick-up.

June 29 & 30 - Admin days

June 30 - Report Cards available on Parent Portal.

Teaching Staff 2020-2021

Here is the most current teaching staff list for 2020-21. Hope this is helpful to you!

K Gwen Guenther

K Gwen Guenther

K Bev Rogers

K Deniece Reimer

1 Glenys Robinson

1 Jodi Davies

1 Bev Olfert

1 Melanie Ciavaglia

2 Carrie Enns

2 Craig Froese

2 Lindsey Friesen

3 Bonnie Taylor

3/4 Alicia French

3/4 Kelsey Berkowski

4 Alvera Peters

4 Joelle Heier - half time, Cheryl Froese - half time term until Christmas

Report Cards

This year final student report cards will be posted on Parent Portal on Tuesday, June 30th in the late afternoon. We encourage you to sign up for your Parent Portal account if you haven't already done so.

Library Books

Our library book return box will be set up in the school lobby when you pick up your June packages. Please return your books at this time as we'll be following up with emails later in the month to those with books still outstanding.

Jake Epp Library Summer Reading Program

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Are you moving?

If you are planning to move, please remember to call the school and provide details of your move. If these changes happen over the summer, please call the HSD transportation department at 204-320-2347 so they can plan for September bus routes.

Thanks to our Grade 4 helpers!

We just want to say a huge "Thank-you" to our grade 4 students for helping with lunch monitoring and bus captain duties this year. Your leadership in our school is much appreciated! We have usually held a special pizza luncheon to say "Thank-you". However, since we cannot do it this year, we plan on inviting you back next year for a pizza lunch whenever GVS says it is OK. Thanks again for all your work this year! We have a special surprise for you all at the Farewell Parade on June 26. See you there!

School Supplies for 2020-21

Last year, South Oaks piloted a new way of providing school supplies for your kids. Parents provided the backpack, lunch kit and shoes along with a $30.00 fee for supplies. The teachers then went to do the shopping and were able to buy quality materials in bulk sizes.

For 2020-21, parents should plan to send a backpack, shoes, lunch kit and headphones for their child(ren). The headphones are needed to reduce the sharing of items in school. In light of COVID-19 realities, we have reviewed the cost of switching to individualized student supplies, rather than shared supplies. The very minimum costs that we can achieve is $35.00. So we will need to increase the supply fee to $35.00 for 2020-21. Thanks for your understanding in this matter.

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