Prairieview Post October 2020

Empowered Minds Building Strong Community

In This Issue:

  • Calendar of Events
  • Important Information
  • Classroom News
  • Information about upcoming events

Principal's Message

Well we have been back to school for one month now and students and staff are settling in to the new rules and procedures. For the most part, we have all figured out how to manage the sanitizing and how and when to don and doff our masks. We have been able to safely cohort our students so that in the event that COVID does enter our building, its impact will be as small as we can feasibly make it.

Now that all of those aspects are settling, we have other challenges we need to tackle. For example, the cohorting of our students, while necessary, has prevented us from having the sense of community we have tried so hard to build within our school. Our students essentially ONLY see the students in their class. There is no opportunity for after school sports and clubs and there is no chance for students to build their leadership capacity through things like our Jr ATB or our assembly leaders. We know that all of these pieces are also important to the physical and mental well-being of our students. Over the next few weeks, we are hoping to find ways of safely connecting students with other classes in a COVID-appropriate way so that students don't feel so isolated and so that they can still see and interact with their friends in other classes and grades.

Last year, we focused on our core value words of the month. These focus words allowed us to use common language throughout our school to instill the values we think are important for students to be successful not only now but throughout their lives. Last year's words were big concepts that were important (such as honesty and kindness) but we found they were sometimes hard for students to see and do. This year, we are once again having focus words for each month but we are hoping that the words this year will be more concrete and give the students something tangible to work on. This month's word is self control. Self control is sometimes thought to just be a word we use when we are trying to control our emotions. For us, it's so much more than that -- it's about being responsible for our actions. Right now in our world, there are so many things we cannot control. We want students to know that there ARE things they can control in these unusual times. Some of the things they can control include: having a positive attitude, looking after their belongings, being on task when it's time to work, and being responsible for their own behaviours. To better understand self-control, check out the video below that Mrs. Dawson's class made. We encourage all of our families to engage in conversation about how students can show self-control and responsibility at home as well.

As we head further in to cold and flu season, it's important that everyone continues to do the daily screening to ensure your child is not sick prior to entering the school. The more diligent we are at keeping ALL viruses out of our building, the less impact all of the viruses will have in infecting everyone.

Have a terrific month. I'm hoping everyone stays healthy and safe and has fun learning and practicing self-control!

How We Show Self Control

Thanks to Chinook Financial!

Way back in March, Chinook Financial was ready to team up with our Vulcan Volunteers to do some good in the community. Plans got changed, but we are so thankful that they are still supporting us and ready to help out once when we can do some more great projects. Thanks so much for the generous donation of $500 and we can't wait to work together soon.
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Terry Fox Run

Staff and students of Vulcan Prairieview Elementary are excited to be participating (safely!) in our Terry Fox School event. We have set a big goal to help carry on Terry Fox's legacy for cancer research and a cure. One lap of VPE is 500m. That means it will take 10 000 laps to match the distance Terry ran. They are currently at just over 4000 laps and are working hard to reach the 10 000 by the end of next week. Keep running hard VPE!

We are so proud to celebrate the 40th Anniversary of the Terry’s Marathon of Hope and hope you will help support us by donating at: #terryfoxschoolrun @terryfoxfoundation

Kindergarten Monkey Business

I can’t tell you how exciting it was the first week of school to see those smiling little faces and hear them giggling in class and on the playground. This year there are 2 kindergarten classes and each has their own monkey themed classroom. The kindergarten classrooms look differently this year, with each child having their own desk and supplies but it is providing the children more opportunities to be responsible for their belongings. It’s quite remarkable how in just a few days at school, the children are quickly picking up the classroom and school wide routines.

Thank you parents and caregivers for all your help so far. Checking the agenda and returning it daily, sending clothes for all weather possibilities, packing healthy lunch and snacks, checking your email and working with your child to help them become more independent is a tremendous and much appreciated support. We are looking forward to working with you this school year. I do have to say some of you seem to be living like famous celebrities: flying to Disneyland for the day, hunting tigers in the Alberta forest, and going camping for 10 190 days are just a few of the stories we have been told. So I will say it again; we will believe half of what the children tell us about home, if you agree to believe half of what they tell you about school. (How do such tiny humans have such enormous imaginations?)

The children are having fun with friends they already knew and new friends they are getting to know. We are working on learning each other’s names. We have been going bananas for: counting forward and backwards 0 - 10, working on colours and shapes , learning the days of the week and other calendar skills, focusing on letter sounds and visual recognition of the letters, but also learning the names of the letters. Keep your eyes peeled on the agenda, emails, and Facebook for information and updates about what’s happening in the kindergarten classrooms and at VPE.

What's New in Grade 1/2

What an exciting start to a new year in Grade 1-2! The students’ excitement was contagious as they explored their new classrooms. They found themselves surrounded by alligators and sea animals!

We have worked hard on settling into our daily routines and school work. Things are a little different than last year but these amazing students were sure able to adapt quickly!

We have worked with new words that are on our word walls and learning tricks to remembering sounds in words. We have been writing about small moments that we have experienced and stretching them into full stories!

Students have been building their stamina when reading to self and have enjoyed choosing books from the “library on wheels” that comes to our classroom.

In math we have explored how we can represent numbers in various ways and are moving into studying patterns. There are patterns everywhere!

We have been studying small crawling and flying animals so you can ask us the difference between an insect and arachnid. We love discovering them all over our playground!

It has been very impressive to watch our students run laps for Terry Fox. They have been very eager to beat their class record from the previous day! Way to go!

We have had a great start and can’t wait to see what October brings!

Grade 3/4 Update

Grade 3’s and 4’s are definitely thrilled and excited to be back in class with their friends.

We have been working on ‘get to know you activities’ to learn about our classmates, both new and old. As well as building relationships, we have been learning procedures and expectations. We have shown flexibility, adaptability, and problem solving skills and our teachers are proud of us.

One new activity for us is having the library come to visit our classes. Our school librarian, Mrs. Eisler, brings bins of books to our classrooms that she knows we will love. We are able to sign out books using a program online called Destiny. This program can be used at home; we have bookmarked the website to show up when we sign into google. Destiny also allows us to put books on hold. Mrs. Eisler can then bring us more of our favourite books. We have been working on building our reading stamina in class. Our families can help support our reading progress by encouraging us to read at home.

Besides using the computers for library, each Grade 3 / 4 class has a Tech Day each week. We look forward to this day as we are learning internet safety, keyboarding and working on assignments.

In writing we are working on narrative writing; writing true stories from our lives. In math we have been working on our understanding of number concepts by skip counting and identifying the place values of numbers. Have us skip count at home to demonstrate our skills.

Our class is working with the rest of the classes at VPE to run laps for our school Terry Fox Run. Working together on completing laps has helped us recognize that when each person does a little bit, together our actions add up to a lot. To quote Terry Fox, “Anything’s possible if you try; dreams are made possible if you try."

Grade 5/6 News

Grade 5/6 Science

Students in Grade 5/6 have been learning about trees and forests. They have learned why trees are so important to the environment. They have also learned about food webs, the layers of the forest and are currently examining different leave types. In the Vulcan Prairieview Elementary school yard, there are lots of coniferous and deciduous trees and even tamarack which are classified as a deciduous conifer, meaning that it sheds its needles every fall. Luckily fall hasn’t claimed all of the leaves yet so there is still time to enjoy all the fall colours when we look around.

Grade 5/6 Math

Students of VPE started the year by exploring big numbers in math. We have even explored numbers above the millions, thinking about what a billion or even a trillion might mean. These numbers can be hard to imagine, but we have been coming across them not only in math, but in science and when learning about Terry Fox as well. Did you know there are about 3 trillion trees on Earth? Terry Fox has been an inspiration to raise millions of dollars. Big numbers are all around.

When studying big numbers, students can write them in expanded form, write them in words and explain the place value of each digit. Having a solid understanding of these concepts, will help us with our future math skills.

Exciting Things Happening in the VPE Garden

Our garden has come back to life! You may have seen the giant sunflowers that took over the corner garden at VPES this summer and fall, and there are still potatoes in the ground there. Many people are helping in this new adventure - some students will help with the potato harvest, some will help with planting fall bulbs, and others will be there in spring to plant new things. We are also learning about composting and how it can help the soil be more productive. Special thanks to the Vulcan County Waste Authority, who bought 2 composters for us, and a big THANK YOU to Gage M, who put the composters together for us (he is awesome with a ratchet and screwdriver now!)

If our potato harvest is bountiful, we will be offering them for sale at 10 pounds for $5. Watch for details on the VPES Facebook page!

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Welcome New Staff Members

Mr Dyck

Hello. I am Mr. Dyck. I am so excited to be teaching in Grade 5/6 this year. I am a new teacher and was thrilled to be hired here at VPE for my very first teaching position. I can’t wait to get to know everyone this year

Ms Giesbrecht

Greetings! I am Ms. Giesbrecht. I will be teaching Grade 3/4 this year. I am a new teacher and so happy to be part of a new community. I am excited to get this year started. I know it will be a great one!.

Miss Taylor

Hello! I am Miss Taylor, or Breanna. I am the new Making Connections Worker. I grew up in Vulcan and attended both the schools here so I am very excited to be back and working at VPE! I will be at the school on Mondays and Thursdays to help students and families with a variety of things from connection to resources, to classroom presentations, to small group work and wellness advocacy! I am always ready to listen and help you however I can. I can’t wait to meet you!

Mrs Beagle

I am Mrs. Beagle. I am not a new face, but am returning after maternity leave. I am happy to be teaching Grade 5/6 in the afternoons and sharing a classroom with Mrs. Helland. I also teach wellness (health) in Grade 3/4. I am so excited to be back and look forward to a great year.


Hi everyone. I am Mac Burnay, the new head custodian here at VPE. I grew up here in Vulcan and can be found here during the day keeping things all spiffy and sanitized! I am excited to be here at VPE this year. It's been great getting to see and know all of the students and cheering them on as they do their Terry Fox laps!


Hello! My name is Seth Koskela and I am the night time custodian. While Mac works during the day keeping things all sanitized, I come in at night to do the deep daily cleaning. You may see me around at the end of the day so feel free to say hi to me if you see me!


Picture Day is coming Monday, October 19 .

After Picture Day, order pictures on using your Portrait ID and Access Code which can be found on your Picture Day order form.

Click here to see the safety protocols Lifetouch has in place for picture day.

Pajama Day

On Friday, September 25th staff and students of VPE got to be a little extra comfortable thanks to Pajama Day. Each month the school has a spirit day and for September Mrs. Bianchini’s class decided to go with a favorite-PJ day. Brynn, a Grade 1/2 student stated that they picked the day “Because Pajama day is fun!”. Ryan, another student in Mrs. Bianchini’s class mentioned, “I had new pajamas and wanted to show them off.” Be sure to stay informed about all the great things happening at VPE so you don’t miss out on any fun!

Reminder of School Hours

Remember that school starts each morning at 8:25. Please plan to arrive at the school between 8:15 and 8:25 and go to your assigned entrance. Monday to Thursday school ends at 3:25 and Fridays we are done at 12:25.

Other Important Information

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Looking for more information?

Be sure to check out our school website at Or follow us on Facebook or Twitter for even more updates, photos and more.