South Oaks School

Merry Christmas ~ December 2019

Silent Night, Holy Night, All is Calm . . .

What do you love about the Christmas season? Is it the busy schedule? Perhaps the running around from store to store in a mild panic, trying to get your shopping done? Or, maybe the stress involved in decorating, family gatherings and other special events? That sounds ridiculous, I realize. There may be no better example of Christmas "madness" than during World War I. After all, war must be the ultimate chaos. However, it was in 1914, when British and German troops orchestrated a ceasefire, in order to celebrate Christmas, that a beautiful example of peace emerges.

"At the first light of dawn on Christmas Day, some German soldiers emerged from their trenches and approached the Allied lines across no-man’s-land, calling out “Merry Christmas” in their enemies’ native tongues. At first, the Allied soldiers feared it was a trick, but seeing the Germans unarmed they climbed out of their trenches and shook hands with the enemy soldiers. The men exchanged presents of cigarettes and plum puddings and sang carols and songs. There was even a documented case of soldiers from opposing sides playing a friendly game of soccer" ( This historic event became know as The Christmas Truce of 1914.

The truce is a very powerful metaphor for what goes on in our own brain during stressful times. At times in life, we may be in fight/flight/freeze (our survival brain) as we carry stressful loads and face difficult circumstances. This can be OK for a short time, but it harms us in the long term. I think that is why the song Silent Night suggests that when "All is Calm" it is a "Holy Night".

My favourite memories of Christmas are those quite times with family around the tree, sharing gifts with much love, as time seems to stand still for a few moments. It is the joy of eating an amazing meal together, while feeling a collective sigh that all is well with your loved ones. These are such holy moments and very important times in family life. This Christmas season, I wish you and your family many holy moments and memories. I hope that you can feel, if even for a few moments, that all is right and all is calm.

Merry Christmas,

Dale Martens


Dates to Remember:

Dec 2 - Last day to order South Oaks gear

Dec 19 - Christmas Concerts, Grades K-2 @ 9:30 am & 7 pm

Dec 20 - Christmas Caroling Assembly @ 9:15 am

Dec 20 - Last day before winter break

Jan 6 - First day back after winter break

Christmas Concert Reminders

For the Christmas concert week, here are a couple of reminders;

- All Kindergarten students should come to school for the mornings only on Dec. 18 and 19. They can come to school as usual (via bus, walk, car, etc). Dec. 18 is the day of the dress rehearsal. The students will participate in Wednesday's morning dress rehearsal and Thursday's morning concert and then be picked up by parents afterwards. K teachers will send more detailed information about these days as they approach. Note that the dress rehearsal is not a public performance.

- On concert day, Dec. 19, we have two concerts (9:30 am and 7:00 pm). Doors will be open to the public at 9:15 am for the morning concert and 6:30 pm for the evening concert. In the evening, students should be sent to their classrooms at 6:45 pm, when teachers will be available to supervise.

We look forward to a great Christmas concert season. Hope to see you there!

South Oaks School Store!

South Oaks is happy to work together with Creative PrintAll to provide an opportunity for the community to purchase school gear. See the link below for options. The store will be open until December 2. Proceeds from your clothing purchases will go to support a project in the school. We would like to install a lovely aquarium for students to enjoy in our learning commons area. Aquariums can provide a calming effect for students and also teach students to care for living things.

Online Kindergarten Registration

Kindergarten registration for the 2020-21 school year will open on January 6, 2020. To be eligible, children must be five years of age on or before December 31, 2020. The registration process will take place online at If you do not have access to the Internet, please visit the school office and we can assist you in completing the registration on a school computer. Parents/Guardians are encouraged to register their children soon after registration opens in January. Early registration will assist us in preparation and planning for the upcoming school year. Registering before March 1, 2020, will ensure there is sufficient time for school appointments and provide parents/guardians with the opportunity to participate in Kindergarten orientation activities. Visit for registration instructions.

Hometime Arrangements

Sometimes parents need to make alternate end of day arrangements for their children. If you need to pick up your child during the school day or change the home time arrangements, please call the school office at 204-434-6165 or login to Parent Portal. While emergencies do sometimes happen, typically phone calls should be made no later than 2:30 pm. This gives us adequate time to get information to the correct classroom. Thanks for your help in this matter!

School Reminders:

* When students are being dropped off in the morning, please make sure they head to the playground until the buzzer sounds. If students are late coming to school they are asked to first go to the office and report to the school secretary before heading to their classrooms. She is then able to change their attendance record for that morning or afternoon from "absent" to "tardy."

* No parents should be accompanying their children to class unless specific arrangements have been made with the teacher. If your child needs assistance getting to class, please stop at the office and a staff member will help them.

* If your child is normally a bus student or walker, but you will be picking him/her up in a vehicle on a certain day, please send a note or call before 2:30 pm., so s/he can be brought by the classroom teacher to the "pick-up exit." It is necessary that adequate time is given in order for the messages to get to the various classrooms in the building.

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