Parent Peek at the Week
November 8th, 2021
In case you missed it....
We were thrilled to recognize our first Cougar SPARK winners this past week - keep showing awesome recess kindness!
The week after Halloween
…and how do we survive? Just like the kids - with chocolate!
Thanks to Mr. Rodrigues, Games Club for our Junior students is up and running!
NOVEMBER - INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AWARENESS MONTH
Monday, November 8th - Day 4
- NATIONAL ABORIGINAL VETERANS DAY
- Please join me in welcoming Supt. Duncan to our Kawartha Heights family
Tuesday, November 9th - Day 5
- Subway Hot Lunch Day
Wednesday, November 10th - Day 1
Thursday, November 11th - Day 2
- REMEMBRANCE DAY
- 10:15am - in school Remembrance Day Ceremony (YouTube Live)
- Please consider sending in a donation to the Legion for the poppies that they are providing to each child.
- Boston Pizza Hot Lunch Day
Friday, November 12th - Day 3
- Cougar Courage awards
- November 12th - 19th: Opt in portal open for the Virtual Elementary School
- November 19th - Progress Reports are sent home
- end of November/ beginning December - Parent/Teacher Interviews
- November 26th - PA Day
Welcome to Superintendent Duncan!
This past week, we received some information regarding a change to our Superintendent of Schools.
Director Russo shared that these first few months of the school year have provided Senior Admin with an opportunity to review family of school and system responsibilities, with a view to providing efficient support and leadership, and balancing their shared work-load.
To that end, they decided to make some slight adjustments to existing superintendent portfolios. Specifically, Anne Marie Duncan, Superintendent of Education, will add leadership of Crestwood Secondary School to her family of school group, along with Norwood District High School and system responsibilities for Special Education Program and Student and Staff Wellness.
Drew McNaughton, Superintendent of Education, will retain Bowmanville High School, Clarke High School, Port Hope High School and Virtual High School within his family of school group, and assume system responsibilities for Safe and Caring Schools and Continuing Education.
I have had the pleasure of working briefly with Supt. Duncan while supporting at King George P.S. a few years ago. She is extremely passionate about supporting students in their learning and more specifically supporting students with special needs. She brings with her a wealth of experience and creativity that I know will complement and support the successes and challenges that we experience at Kawartha Heights.
Please join me in sincerely thanking Supt. McNaughton for his help and guidance through our start up - and welcome Supt. Duncan to our Kawartha Heights family. We hope to be able to see her in person very soon.
It's that time of year again....Progress Reports! Teachers are currently working hard at writing a "snap shot" of learning that you will receive on November 19th.
As has been the case over the past few years, Progress Reports will be sent home electronically on November 19th. Following Progress Report distribution, teachers will also be contacting you about fall Parent/Teacher interviews.
I recognize that for some parents, accessing Progress Reports electronically can be very challenging. If you prefer a paper copy, please contact Mrs. E. in the office at your earliest convenience and we will support.
We look forward to celebrating the learning your child(ren) has experienced to date, as well as identifying key learning next steps.
Parent Teacher Interviews
Due to ongoing Covid restrictions, once again this year we will be offering each family an interview option through the use of WebEx or a phone call.
Classroom teachers will be getting in touch over the next two weeks to find out the best date and time to meet with you. When prompted to do so, please let them know at your earliest convenience so that we can set up our interview schedules to meet everyone's needs the best we can.
We look forward to sharing successes and next steps with you!
This year our school will be engaging in a Remembrance Day ceremony together virtually. The assembly will take place at 10:15am on Thursday. The assembly will focus on some important information, the sharing of a story, a minute of silence and the Reveille.
Given the timetable restrictions of our school, please be aware the we will be participating in a moment of silence, however, it will be closer to 10:30am than 11am.
We look forward to sharing our Remembrance Day art and a few other surprises with you on Twitter and Instagram. Keep your eye out for these special acknowledgements.
Once again this year, the Legion has provided poppies (stickers for the younger students and pins for the older) for each of our students. Donations for the poppies would be greatly appreciated. Please feel free to send in your cash donation any time this week. All donations will be collected in the office and returned to the Legion.
Please take a look at the School Council minutes below. If you have any questions about their fundraising plan (including what initiatives they are supporting this year), please see the minutes and the Fundraising Plan posted below.
Our next meeting will take place on Monday, January 10th. We hope to see as many parents as possible at our next meeting!
Special Education Corner
LLI Reading Intervention
This past Friday we completed the first round of reading intervention support for some selected Junior students.
This week we'll be completing post-assessments and considering students for our next round. If you have a child in the Junior grades and you are concerned about their reading development, please feel free to get in touch with your child's teacher to see if this support might be of benefit.
Did you know - that each classroom at Kawartha Heights has a fidget box?! What we know is that while fidgets have been deemed necessary (through OT referrals for example) for some, they can also be an effective learning tool for all. In every class there are some students who have not had the recommendation, but benefit greatly from this support.
Teachers take time to teach all students how to use fidgets to support their learning. By offering fidgets in class to all students who require them, this also ensures that no additional items are being brought back and forth to school.
If you are interested in learning more about fidgets, please contact your child's teacher or our Special Education Resource Teacher - Teresa Rossen.
Body Break Wall
Great news - given where we are with Covid protocols, the Body Break Wall can now return! You may remember this popular support that was put in place two years ago...before Covid. There have been LOTS of requests by students and staff to reinstate this resource and now we are able to do so!
The reason for installing the Body Break Wall (outside the main office in the Junior hallway) is to give students who need a movement break during class time, the opportunity to go to a structured, supervised area to “get their wiggles out” before returning to class. This year, students must be accompanied by a support staff member to use the Body Break Wall.
The Body Break Wall can be used by an individual student who needs a movement break (supervised), or as a whole class for Daily Physical Activity. Students are always trained on how to use this support and are always supervised when using the wall.
Upon arrival, the student spins the spinner. Based on the colour that the spinner lands on (move = yellow, mood = purple, recharge = blue, free choice = green), the student selects on activity and completes it in front of the wall. They then return to class. In total, this is about a 5 minute break for an individual student.
We look forward to getting this great resource up and running again!
Oral Language Supports
Bits and Pieces!
2. Survival Band….a new item has been circulating in our school! Please be aware of the survival band that some students are wearing to school (see photo below). The purpose of a survival band is primarily to start fires. When the clasp is open there is a sharp metal piece along with flint, that when rubbed together give a spark to start a fire. These are NOT allowed to be worn at school, given the fire starting danger. If we notice a student wearing one at school, we will hold on to it for the day (returning it at home time) and remind you through a message that it should not be returned to school. Thanks so much for helping us to keep our students safe!
3. Items from home: Just a reminder that all students need when coming to school is their lunch and a water bottle. Everything else they need we have at school! Please do not send sports equipment, toys or fidgets to school. Not only does this support our Covid protocols it also ensures that there are no distractions to learning. We so appreciate your support.
Notes from our KPR Board Office
To All KPR Families,
On November 11, all KPR schools will be recognizing an exceptionally important event: Remembrance Day.
Every year, all schools and departments join in honouring the sacrifices made by Canadian men and women to protect the rights and freedoms we cherish today. We believe it is vital that we lead young Canadians – most of whom have never experienced war – in paying their respects to the people who stepped forward so that current and future generations could live in peace and freedom. I know our schools do wonderful work in helping to maintain the significance of these connections with our children, youth and community.
We also join in recognizing Veterans’ Week November 5-11 , and Indigenous Veterans Day November 8. These remembrances become increasingly vital as we lose, from year to year, so many voices of those who personally experienced these wars.
We also remain mindful of students and families who have come to us after fleeing war and conflict around the world. We never know how those around us may be affected by the observances we share.
This week, we also join in recognizing Treaties Week, and in acknowledging we all are treaty people. The treaties reached by Indigenous peoples and European settlers who stayed on this shared land are key to reconciliation. They are just as relevant today as they ever were.
As noted by Karine Duhamel of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights: “These agreements are not old, obsolete, or pointless. First Nations’ own histories and accounts of Treaty processes uphold important principles of reciprocity, respect and renewal rooted in thousands of years of experience and presence on these lands…The Treaties hold the keys to a new path forward as living agreements.”
One of many excellent sources of information on treaties is https://facingcanada.facinghistory.org/ Please join us as we continue our learning.
We also bring good wishes to those of you who observed All Saints Day earlier this week, and to those who continue to celebrate the five days of Diwali, the festival of lights celebrating the triumph of light over darkness.
Finally, I wanted to share some good news: enrolment is up significantly at KPR.
As of this week, we have about 1,100 more elementary students than we were expecting and 30 more secondary students. Since provincial funding is tied directly to enrolment, this is a positive development. Thank you for choosing KPR!
Have a wonderful weekend!
Director of Education
Reminder: here are the dates to keep in mind if you are considering moving your child or teen into or out of virtual learning:
Virtual Elementary School (VES)
- The opt-in portal to move your child from in-person classes to VES opens Friday, November 12 at https://optin.kprdsb.ca/ . It will remain open until noon November 19.
- Students new to VES will start virtual classes November 29.
- If you wish to move your child back to in-person classes, please contact your home school principal.
Virtual High School (VHS)
- If you’d like to move your teen into or out of Virtual High School, please contact your home school’s Guidance staff now.
Women in Trades
On November 18 at 6:30 p.m., join us in discussions with inspiring women who work in skilled trades. They include a welder, auto technician, electrician, truck and coach technician, carpenter, millwright and mason. To register, visit https://www.tradeswomen.ca/
One more thing....
This is a good time to remember to take each day one step at a time. Try to take time each day with your children to identify one success or happy thing that happened each day. It's so easy to get caught up in the negative - sometimes we have to work at remembering there is also lots of positive to focus on! As we're reminded below....take it one step at a time.