Walnut Grove PS

February 2019 Newsletter

Walnut Grove PS

Principal: P. Lone

Vice Principals: S. Rofaiel, T. Maharaj

Superintedant: Patrika Daws

Trustee: Carrie Andrews

About Us

Walnut Grove’s Daily Schedule

Entry Bell 9:15

Period 1 9:15 - 9:55

Period 2 9:55 - 10:35

Period 3 10:35 - 11:15

Nutrition Break A 11:15 - 11:35

Nutrition Break B 11:35 - 11:55

Period 4 11:55 - 12:35

Period 5 12:35 - 1:15

D.P.A. 1:15 - 1:35

Nutrition Break C 1:35 - 1:55

Nutrition Break D 1:55 - 2:15

Period 6 2:15 - 2:55

Period 7 2:55 - 3:35

Dismissal 3:35


School Security

All parents and visitors entering the school during school hours must be buzzed in through the front doors and sign in and out at the office.


You are also reminded to wear a visitor’s badge while you are in the school. For safety reasons, it is important that we know who is in the school at all times.


Student Absences


Your child’s safety is very important to us, for this reason please make sure to call the automated attendance line at 1-855-209-6155 for each day that your child is going to be absent from school or will be coming in late.


An attendance call can be made at anytime however you need to call before 9 a.m. for the current school day. Safe arrival calls will be made each day for students that have an unexplained absence.


Late Arrivals

If a student arrives late to school, after the 9:15 a.m. entry bell, they must report to the office to sign in and receive a late slip before going to their class. Please help your child arrive to school on time up establishing and encouraging morning routines


Medication

If your child will require to take or have any medication (eg. Epi-pens, inhalers) while at school due to asthma, allergies or other medical conditions please inform the office. You will be given a medical form that will need to be completed by your family doctor and returned to school with the medication. No medication can be administered at the school without having a current medical form completed and on file at the school.


Birthdays

There are several students and staff who have severe food allergies in our school. For that reason, we ask to you please do not send any food items as a treat for a birthday or special celebration. If you wish to celebrate, sending materials to support learning in our school such as pencils, crayons, books, etc. would be appropriate. Thank you for your understanding.


Kiss and Ride

We understand that there are a lot of cars in the morning and after school using the Drop Off lane. We are asking for your patience and understanding and to follow the guidance of the teachers on duty.


Please note that children should never exit from the driver's side and even if they are seated behind the driver they should exit from the curbside.


Thank you for helping us in making Walnut Grove a safe school for all of our students


Nutrition Break Routines


We encourage all students to remain at school during both Nutrition Breaks, to participate in the variety of extra-curricular activities offered. However, we recognize that some families want their children to come home for lunch. In order to ensure student safety at all times, we have established some expectations for Nutrition Break Routines:


· parents/guardians will be asked to complete a form indicating their wishes for daily routines for lunch for their children – these will be kept on file to ensure that routines are being followed

·anytime that those routines are changed, parents/guardians will be required to contact the school (by phone or in writing) indicating the change in routine

· if students go home for lunch, they are expected to remain home for the entire break (40 minutes)

· students are expected to return ON TIME for next period



STUDENTS WILLL NOT BE PERMITTED TO LEAVE SCHOOL PROPERTY AT NUTRITION BREAKS EXCEPT TO GO HOME FOR LUNCH WITH PARENT PERMISSION. Students will not be allowed to go to the plaza across the street, nor are they allowed to go to a friend’s house for lunch.


Help protect students with severe allergies by keeping lunches, snacks

peanut-free


Anaphylaxis is a potentially life-threatening allergic reaction that affects some children. We ask that you help us take care of these students by sending lunches and snacks for your child that are free from peanuts or nuts, because these foods are the leading cause of anaphylaxis.


Please read the label of any food you plan to send to school with your child. If the label says, "May contain nuts or peanuts," please do not send it to school.


You can get a complete copy of the Peel board's anaphylaxis guideline from the school office.


Supervision in Yard


Yard supervision for students begins at 9:00 a.m. Students should not be dropped off, or be arriving on school property, prior to 9:00 a.m. When outside, students need to play in their designated area and remain visible to the supervisor in the schoolyard.


Volunteers


Parents play an important role in the development and education of their children and in the success of the school community. At Walnut Grove, we welcome and encourage the participation of parents and community members, and are grateful for the countless hours our volunteers contribute throughout the school year.


To volunteer at our school, you must complete a short interview and a criminal record check. This Criminal Record Check must have been completed within the last 6 months, must include a Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) and must be an original copy. A police background check is required for all school volunteers in Ontario. Even if you want to accompany your child on a field trip, you need this background check.


Once you have completed the process, you are on file with the Peel District School Board as being a school volunteer. All returning volunteers will be mailed an Offence Declaration Form that must be filled out and returned to the board office each year. You will not be able to volunteer with the Peel board until you have returned this form.


If you have any questions about criminal record checks or the offence declaration form, please call the board office at 905-890-1010 ext. 2832.


Bring Your Own Device (B.Y.O.D.)


Walnut Grove students are welcome, with the permission of their parent/guardian, to bring a device from home to use at school for educational related purposes only. Students are expected to demonstrate good digital citizenship through the appropriate, responsible, legal and ethical use of technology. Parents are asked to sign a BYOD contract around the safe use of technology at school as outlined in the school’s code of conduct. Parents please look for this contract in your child’s agenda within the first few weeks of September.


If a student does not have access to a personal device, a school device (e.g., Net book, Chrome book, I Pad), may be made available for their use while on school property.

Principals' Message

February is one of my most favourite months! It is the halfway point of the school year, we celebrate Valentine’s Day, and we also celebrate Family Day. Valentine’s Day is a day that we show appreciation to those who hold a special place in our hearts: family members, friends, teachers, students, colleagues – we are all special, and on this day, I hope we all take a few moments to let our loved ones know how much we care. Family Day is also very special! It is my hope that all Walnut Grove families find time to take a break and enjoy quality “family time” together.

This month, students also receive their first term Report Cards (February 7). There are no scheduled parent-teacher interviews at this time, however, if you would like to speak to your child’s teacher, please feel free to contact them at school.

Thank you to all students and families who supported Bell Let’s Talk Day, As you know, mental health has been an important focus at Walnut Grove. Our main focus has been on “Wellness” and providing opportunities for students and staff to practice mindfulness, and taking care of our own personal wellness. We strive to raise awareness and understanding of the challenges that mental health can create, and the many ways that we can support individuals and families.

Happy Lunar New Year to all who celebrate – may the year of the PIG bring happiness to all!

School Council News

The School Council hosted a very successful "Family Movie Night," on Thursday, January 24. The Gym was full of our Walnut Grove families as we all watched "Coco." It was such a fun, and relaxing evening for all who attended.

Next Scheduled School Council Meeting:

Date: Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Time: 6:00 - 7:00 pm

Location: Staff Room

HIRING - Lunchroom Supervisors

We are now hiring Lunchroom Supervisors - occasional that may turn into full-time positions.

If you are interested, please call the school at (905) 796-4572.

Character at Walnut Grove

February’s focus is on Self Esteem and Black History Month

Self-esteem is a way of thinking and feeling about yourself. Kids with high self-esteem:


· feel good about themselves

· feel proud of what they can do

· believe in themselves, even when they don't succeed at first

· see their own good qualities, such as being kind or capable

· feel liked, loved, and respected, accept themselves, even when they make mistakes


Black History Month is an opportunity for our school community to recognize the past and present contributions that African Canadians make to the life of others in such areas as education, medicine, art, culture, public service, economic development, politics and human rights. This month,

January Character Trait Winners

Kindergarten: Sukhraj, Nimrit, Anshdeep, Mia-Rose, Sahib, Adam, Ameera, harjot, Miran, Ava, Kiaan, Harshleen, Dasmesh, Mehar, Aaradhya


Grade 1: Riana, Ekjot, Hamza, Eshaan, Twisha, Prince, Guneet, Fateh, Adam, Harsimrat, Aarav, Samarbir, Avnoor, Avi, Abdurrehman, Dilan, Krish, Saanvi


Grade 2: Ishika, Ojas, Jayson, Anjali, Amaira, Makayla, Niko, David, Eshveer, Ishan, Anna, Pooja, Kabishan


Grade 3: Niko, Kulnoor, Navaya, Sekinah, Kevin, Ekam, Raza Parleen Yamuna, Anaik, Rithika, Roshan, Dipesh, Arshveer, Manmeet


Grade 4: Aarya, Dilman, Jasraj, Armaan, Hersh, deepal, Harnick, Jayden, Zoiya, Gina, Gaurav, Jiya, Joshdeep, Sahib


Grade 5: Riya, Jonathan, Simar, Japnam, Bibek, Tsana, Asmeet, Sahib, Ishawn, Yashvini, Amaia, Dewaan, Ahana, Abhir, Jaya, Giya


Grade 6: Salma, Gurnoor, Komlica, Arnav, Gurleen, Nimrat, Zaara, Divjot, Gunwaris, Bilal, Giya P., Ashley


Grade 7: Aden, Krish, Sarah, Abheet, Dhruv S., Mikayla, Jiya, Afshan, Kelvin, Harjot, Aseelah, Paulina, Sohaali, Julia, Julian, Akhotam,


Grade 8: Malhaar, Vidhi, Shloak, Shivani, Rasika, Simone, Jasmine, Saiyam, Mehar, Harman, Sahib, Jasnam, Bethanai, Sinthujan, Nadia, Rajesh


All Stars in the Gym: Hisham, Asvath, Johjeet, Sahil, Sayana, Aarya, Raghav, Trinity.

What's Happening at Walnut Grove PS

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Empowering Modern Learners at Walnut Grove

This month our EML focus is on "INFORMATIVE ASSESSMENT." Our EML leads met with the PDSB's Assessment Coordinator Kristen Clarke, and planned out PD activities for our staff to delve deeper into our assessment practices. The team is preparing a carousel for learning groups to explore during our February Staff Meeting. Some of these Information Assessment subtopics include: Assessment Tools for STEAM, Descriptive Feedback, Self- and Peer-Assessment, Tech for Assessment, among others. Teachers will have the opportunity to choose their area of interest as they prepare for our PD meeting in February. Staff are engaged and critical in their learning about Empowering our Modern Learners through this element of Informative Assessment.
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Indigenous Education at Walnut Grove

In alignment with the Peel Board’s initiative to integrate Indigenous knowledge and beliefs within the curriculum, our school community has taken up many opportunities to create awareness amongst our school staff and students. Our students actively participated in Treaties Recognition Week in November by participating in a school wide Book Relay. Grade level books were selected and read in the classrooms on specific days with class discussions and lessons that followed. Slides explaining treaties and their role in the Canadian government were also shared during Walnut Grove’s morning announcements. Back in September, we also observed Orange Shirt Day along with other Peel Schools. Our students proudly displayed their orange shirts and many classes created artwork to highlight the message behind Orange Shirt Day. Looking forward, we are excited for our upcoming Indigenous Student Committee which will give our students leadership opportunities to plan activities and initiatives aimed at continuing to build greater awareness about the Indigenous cultures and practices. We appreciate our parent communities support in all our school learning initiatives.

In February, we are looking forward to a whole school presentation from Red Sky Performance entitled, Mistitim. This is a story about friendship and the importance of reconciliation. We will have two presentations and all students, Kindergarten to Grade 8 will attend. The Indigenous Education committee will be preparing curriculum links and activities for before and after the presentation so that students will have opportunities to make greater connections to their learning about Indigenous ways of knowing.

Black History Month at Walnut Grove

February is Black Heritage Month. In keeping with our commitment to educate and empower students and members of our school community, we will continue to celebrate and honour the contributions of Black Canadians through various experiences including videos, readings and guest performances. On Thursday, February 28, we invite parents, guardians, & the community to our Black Heritage Month assemblies to enjoy highlights from the month’s activities. We will be featuring and celebrating Black History and culture through the Arts with performances from Walnut Grove's Dance Pak, Glee Club, Rising Black Stars, and primary and intermediate classes. ​

Eco School Team at Walnut Grove

Staff and students in our Eco Schools Team have been working diligently on various initiatives this year to build awareness and inspire Environmental Stewardship amongst members of our community of learners. Here are some of the great things we have done and are continuing to work on:

  • Eco Team weekly meetings: students are involved in various activities including gardening (indoor growing projects in hydroponic planters and caja boxes); composting; planning school wide initiatives
  • Earthworm Clinics in January in our Library Learning Commons
  • Golden Bin Recycling Awards
  • Litterless Lunch Awareness Campaign and Competition Day
  • City of Brampton Presentations/Guest speakers about waste management
  • TomatoSphere Project where students plant tomato seeds that have been to outer space. Data will be collected and logged for further study.
  • The Great Gulp
  • Earth Day Activities
  • Gr. 8 Action Project submissions earning funding for reusable water bottles


There is so much work being by many staff members around the theme of Environmental Stewardship to bring awareness and teach our children to care for our planet.

February 8 - SCHOOL CLOSED Professional Learning Day Equity and Health & Safety Training

Please be advised that school is closed on Friday, February 8th for our system wide PL Day.

All staff, including Office and Custodial staff, will be engaged in the professional learning day at school. As a result, we will not be taking calls or visits into the office on Friday, February 8th.

The office is closed.

Kiss and Ride

Reminder to all parents/guardians that if you are dropping off or picking up your child please obey all the rules of the Kiss N Ride lane. Children are required to always exit or enter from the side facing the curb and never from the side facing the lane for traffic. Please do not leave your vehicle in the Kiss N Ride lane.
At the end of the day we continue to have parents park in the Drive Thru lane. Children are running unsafely into the Drive Thru lane to get in the cars. Also, if you are in the kiss and ride lane, and there is an empty spot, we ask that you pull ahead so that cars behind you can get into the kiss and ride lane.


Parents please know that children can only get in or out of the cars in the Kiss N Ride lane.

We are asking for your cooperation in making our students safe at Walnut Grove Public School. Thank you for your continued support.

TERM 1 REPORT CARDS - Kindergarten to Grade 8

Kindergarten Report Cards and all Grades 1-8 Report Cards will be sent home on Friday, February 7th. There are no school-wide parent interviews during this reporting period. However, teachers or parents may request an interview or phone conversation if they feel it is important to discuss student progress at this time. Forms will be sent with the Report Cards, indicating whether or not the teacher is requesting an interview. Parents may request an interview at this time as well.

News from the Music Department - February 2019

Units:

Mrs. Locke continues her exciting KEYBOARDING unit grades 4-8. This is the first time to have keyboarding at Walnut Grove. Students are reminded to bring non-bluetooth headphones to class for a more focussed learning time.



Grades 3-5 students will continue their boomwhacker Composition Unit.


Miss Leaton:

  • Grade 1-2 students are continuing to work on rhythms and soon we will start to learn about how to create our own rhythms. Stay tuned for our first compositions!

  • Grade 3-8 students are continuing to play the recorder, stay tuned for some of our awesome tunes!

  • JR. CHOIR has started! We are having a great time singing together. Stay tuned for our upcoming performances


Ms. Gianarakos:

-Grade 1 and 2 students are continuing to learn and develop their skills in the First Steps of Music Program, Semester 2

-Within this program, students are learning call and response echo songs, simple rhythms, story songs, and are getting opportunities to compose their very own songs

- Grade 3 and 4 students are continuing to learn and develop their skills in the First Steps of Music Program, Semester 2

-All Grade 1-4 students, will begin to explore the wonderful world of Orff instruments and Bucket drumming during the months of January-March

-Grade 1 Choir has begun!

- This is a special opportunity where all Grade 1 students come to Ms. Gianarakos room on Day 1s during First Nutrition Break to sing!! Woo hoo!




Save the dates:

Brampton Battalion Hockey Game

Drumline performance:

March 6, 7:15

Tickets available here.

Shake It Up Shakespeare presents MacBeth

at The Rose Theatre:

Final Date TBD - May 6-9

Tickets available here.


Character Assemblies: Link to the Assembly Schedule for the year


Next assembly:

Thursday, February 28 - Please feel free to join us!

9:30 - Grades 2,4,6,8, FDK

10:20 - Grades 1,3.5,7, Splits


Please follow us on Twitter:

@musicatthegrove

@missleaton

@MsGianarakos

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News from the Wolf Den

February 2019 Newsletter
Written: By Saleena , Madison, Julia, Mehar


In the Gym


Over the course of this month we have been busy working on our badminton skills and students have received the opportunity to improve and develop their skills, over hand, back hand, proper serves and much more. In the gym student participated in 2 vs. 2 tournaments while learning the fundamentals of badminton! All classes enjoy playing a variety of games and also learned something new.


Another sport the students played in physical education was basketball. Students had chance to work on shooting, dribbling, passing and more fundamental skills used in the following sport. The students participated in multiple games which helped them further develop their skills and corporation. For this unit, students learn how to work as a team while scrimmaging, they learn the importance of communication on both the defensive and offensive sides of the game.


This month the games being played and taught in the gym not only taught the participating students how to play, but it also helped develop character and could inspire students to follow their dreams if they wish to go down an athletic pathway.


Teams at the Grove


During the beginning of this month not to long after the break the students were able to participate in a tryout for the Sr. Badminton team. This team included 6 boys and 6 girls, these students will be participating in a tournament and play to their best of their ability. The students who’ve made this team are very competitive and will try their best when they go to their tournament near the end of this month!


The Sr. Basketball teams have been made as well, a lot of students came to try out and it was a very difficult for the coaches to choose only 12 for each team. The Jr. teams tryouts will be held next week


Intramurals


The grade ⅞ basketball intramural continues on day 3 and 4 each week and the competition is really heating up! So far the LA Clippers are in the lead!


The grade ⅚ basketball intramural also continues on day 2 each week. OKC Thunder is in the lead with 30 points and the Washington Wizards is the top team in the Eastern Conference with 26 points. Wolfpack refs have demonstrated excellent leadership while helping to ref each game and reinforce the basketball rules. Looking forward to the semi-final and championship games.


Starting in February the grade one students will be invited to participate in grade 1 sports club on day 4 at nutrition break 1. Here students will practice their sportsmanship and team- work while playing sports and cooperative games!


January All Stars in the Gym


Congratulations to the following students for their dedication to sport, athleticism and sportsmanship!


Hisham (1FB)

Sayana (2FA)

Asvath (3B)

Aarya (4A)

Johnjeet (5C)

Raghav (6A)

Sahil (7FA)

Trinity (8FA)

News from the Peel District School Board

Bus cancellation and closing schools due to bad weather

During the winter months, we may need to cancel buses or close schools because of inclement weather.

Information regarding details of cancellations or closures will be available on Twitter @Peelschools, Facebook at www.facebook.com/peelschools, www.peelschools.org and www.stopr.ca or by calling 905-890-1010 or 1-800-668-1146. It is usually also announced on the radio and television stations listed below

VIRGIN RADIOFM99.9 BREAKFAST TELEVISION NEWS AM680

CFNY FM102.1/AM640 CJCL AM590 CHFI FM98.1

NEWSTALK1010 AM EZ ROCK FM97.3 CJBC (FR) AM860

FM Z103.5 FM93.1 FM Q107

CHIN FM100.7/AM1540 CBC99.1 CITYPULSE

GLOBAL NEWS CITY NEWS CTV

CFRB – (Bell Media)

One of the following messages will be announced:

Peel District School Board buses are cancelled

This means that schools remain open for students and staff, but buses are cancelled. Bus cancellations could occur in all or parts of municipalities. Buses will remain cancelled all day. All activities that require busing will also be cancelled. Permits, night school classes, child care and other activities in schools will operate as usual.

All Peel District School Board schools and board offices are closed

This means that all schools and Peel board offices are closed to students and staff. All activities in schools and board offices are also cancelled, including child care, night school and permits.

All evening programs and permits at the Peel District School Board are cancelled

This means that all activities in schools and Peel board offices are cancelled, including continuing education courses and events. The buildings will be closed.

All weekend programs and permits at the Peel District School Board are cancelled

This means that all activities in schools and Peel board offices are cancelled, including continuing education courses and events. The buildings will be closed.

What if my child does not go to school due to a bus cancellation or inclement weather?

If your child will be absent as a result of a bus cancellation or you choose to keep your child home due to inclement weather, parents/guardians must report the absence using one of the following methods:

  • For elementary K-8 students: report it through SafeArrival by calling 1-855-209-6155 or visiting go.schoolmessenger.ca

  • For secondary students: call the school office directly

Peel Learning Foundation aims to create hopeful tomorrows for Peel board students

Peel Learning Foundation, a community-based, charitable organization, will officially introduce itself to the Peel community at a launch event on Friday, Feb. 22, 2019. In partnership with the Peel District School Board, the foundation was created to enable Peel board students to achieve personal excellence by providing resources to help them overcome barriers.

In its first year, the foundation will support Peel board students through:

  • Student Emergency Needs program

    Depending on the need, the foundation will support individual students with food and clothing, medical supplies, eyeglasses and transportation costs, or where there is an emergency situation that requires a compassionate response.

  • Student Backpack program

    The foundation will provide backpacks filled with school supplies that students need to fully participate in regular classroom work. The backpacks will be provided to students in need in a respectful and confidential manner. They are tailored for students in kindergarten to grade 3, grades 4 to 8, and grades 9 to 12.

A launch event will be held at the HJA Brown Education Centre, located at 5650 Hurontario St. in Mississauga, from 9 to 10 a.m. on Feb. 22. The foundation’s inaugural board of directors will be present as well as other guests. The event includes a performance by Mayfield Secondary School students and information booths. To RSVP for the launch event, visit www.PeelLearningFoundation.org/launch.

Individuals or organizations who are interested in learning more about and supporting the foundation can visit www.PeelLearningFoundation.org. They can also follow the foundation on Twitter and Facebook and use the hashtag #CreateHope to join the conversation.

Wellness Peel

Your relationship with your child will evolve throughout the various stages of their development. Having a strong relationship and bond with your child is key to their social and emotional health and well-being. Focusing on your relationship with your child throughout the years can help your child face times of stress and those inevitable challenging times during their lives. With Valentine’s Day on February 14th and Family Day on the 18th, February is a great time to reflect on ways to bond with your child. Here are some tips that can help your family stay connected over time:

Family Meals:

  • Catching up during family dinners is a great way to keep connected. During the early years family meals may be a chance to share “one happy thing about your day” however, as your child grows it is a chance to hear about their accomplishments and their struggles. It is a great time to disconnect from technology and give them your undivided attention.

  • Family Rituals and Routines:

Family traditions, routines and rituals can be helpful in ensuring that quality family time will happen. For example, you may want to consider having a family movie night or a game night. Family traditions and rituals are a way to have consistent quality time where there is mutual enjoyment and there is a shared sense of belonging.

  • Family Outings:
    Setting some time for outings could be another great way to enjoy your child. Outings don’t need to be expensive. A family walk in the trails or a bike ride to your family’s favourite coffee shop or a drive to a new ice cream shop are all great outings that can continue over the years.

  • Individual Time:
    Spending one on one quality time with your child will keep you connected and in the loop. Individual date nights with your child will make your young one feel special and they will appreciate your undivided attention. As they get older, it is a good way for your child to share their feelings about various topics and what is happening in their social life, especially in the teen years.

  • Celebrating your Child’s Achievements:
    Your child will feel appreciated and important when their achievements are acknowledged, and their hobbies are supported. This can be as simple as a pat on the back or a verbal expression of their hard work and dedication. Watching them play a sport or play a musical instrument at a school concert can make your child feel valued and cared for, at any age.

Annual Report to the Community

Peel board’s 2017-18 Annual Report captures our commitment to #WeInspire

At the Peel District School Board, our mission is to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student – each and every day. This year's Annual Report captures the incredible work that took place in Peel schools and work sites during the 2017-18 school year, and that continues to happen every day.

View the annual report at www.peelschools.org/aboutus/annualreport

Offence Declaration required for returning volunteers

Parents play an important role in the development and education of their children and in the success of the school community. At Walnut Grove PS we welcome and encourage the participation of parents and community members, and are grateful for the countless hours our volunteers contribute throughout the school year.

To volunteer at our school, you must complete a short interview and a criminal record check. A criminal record check is required for all school volunteers in Ontario. Even if you want to accompany your child on a field trip, you need this record check.

Once you have completed the process, you are on file with the Peel District School Board as being a school volunteer. All returning volunteers will receive an Offence Declaration form that must be filled out and returned to the board office each year. Completing the Offence Declaration will ensure that you can continue volunteering in the next school year. Forms will be mailed home in February.

Peel Public Health tips to prevent and beat the flu

During the winter season, it’s important to take precautions to avoid and help prevent the spread of germs and illnesses such as influenza or “the flu.” Influenza is a disease that affects the airways and the lungs. The flu can spread from person to person and can sometimes cause severe illnesses.

Peel Public Health has provided these tips to help reduce the risk of becoming ill or spreading the flu:

Get your annual flu shot: It’s not too late to get your annual flu shot. Visit your physician, a walk-in clinic, a pharmacy or find another location near you that is offering the free influenza vaccine.

Stay home when you're sick: If your child develops flu-like signs and symptoms, (fever, cough, sore throat, body aches, headache, chills and fatigue), keep them home from school. Contact your health care provider if symptoms are severe.

Practise good hygiene: Help your child get into the habit of covering their nose and mouth with a tissue when they cough or sneeze, and throw the tissue in the trash after it’s used. If they don’t have a tissue, they should cough or sneeze into their sleeve or elbow. They should also avoid touching their eyes, nose or mouth. Germs are spread this way.

Wash your hands: Encourage your child to wash their hands often with soap and water or an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, especially after they cough or sneeze.

There are many locations across Peel where you can get your flu shots:

  • Peel flu clinics

  • Family Doctors’ offices

  • Walk-in clinics

  • Pharmacies

For more information, call Peel Health at 905-799-7700 or visit www.peelregion.ca/flu.

Winter bus safety

The following winter school bus safety tips will help to keep your child safe throughout the winter months.

  • Allow extra time to get to your bus stop.

  • Wear bright clothing so the bus can see you in the early morning and late evening.

  • Stand away from where the bus stops. Buses need extra room to stop when there is snow and ice.

  • Use the handrail when boarding or exiting the bus to prevent slipping on wet or icy steps or road surfaces.

  • Dress appropriately—winter clothing, hats, and boots will keep you warm.

  • Don't throw snowballs at the bus or other children waiting for the bus.

  • Don't slide on the snow or ice patches in driveways or on the street.

  • Don't push or shove around the bus. Someone could fall down on the ice and get hurt.

    Talk to your child about what to do if the bus is late. Here are some suggestions:

  • When possible, wait with your child for the bus.

  • Make sure your child knows a phone number where he can reach you or another trusted adult.

  • Teach your child how and where to get help. Talk to your child about what a "safe" stranger is.

  • Help your child set up a bus stop buddy system so your child has someone to wait with for the bus.

What you need to know about head lice

What is head lice?

Head lice are tiny insects that live on the scalp where they lay their eggs. They have three stages: the egg (nit), the nymph and the adult. Head lice do not spread diseases and cannot be spread between animals or pets and humans, only through direct contact between people.

Head lice spread easily, especially where people are in close contact. They are common among school-aged children or children attending child care, where they spread through direct hair-to-hair contact or directly by sharing things like hats, combs, hairbrushes or headphones.

One of the first signs of head lice is an itchy scalp. However, children can have head lice for several weeks with no symptoms. If you think your child has head lice, check their hair for nits right away, then again after one week and after two weeks.

What to do if your child has lice

If you discover your child has lice, notify the school immediately so that classmates can be checked. Parents must keep their child at home until they have been treated for lice and are nit-free. Students may only return to school if they are “nit-free” and will be checked by a school administrator before being re-admitted to class. If your child has live lice, ensure they avoid head-to-head contact with other children until the lice are gone. Children should not share combs, hairbrushes, caps, hats or hair ornaments. You should also check all family members for head lice. Be sensitive to your child’s feelings and let them know that having head lice does not mean they are not clean.

Head lice can be treated with the following approved insecticides:

  • pyrethrin (found in R&C Shampoo + Conditioner)
  • permethrin (Nix Creme Rinse or Kwellada-P Creme Rinse)
  • lindane (Hexit Shampoo or PMS-Lindane Shampoo)

Although head lice does not pose a significant health risk, it is highly contagious and very uncomfortable for children, therefore schools take precautions to prevent the spread. Your cooperation in controlling the spread of lice by keeping your child at home until they have been treated and are nit-free is much appreciated.

Help your family stay warm this winter

Peel Public Health recommends the following cold weather guidelines for preventing cold-weather injuries:

  1. Reduce amount of time children (grade 8 and under) spend outdoors when the temperature is –20 degrees Celsius or colder, with or without the wind chill.

  2. Keep children indoors when the temperature is -25 degrees Celsius or colder, with or without wind chill. Some medical conditions may increase sensitivity to cold. Parents should consult their physician (Source: Environment Canada).

  3. Allow indoor breaks if children say they are feeling cold or during extreme temperatures.

  4. Ensure children are dressed warmly, covering exposed skin: insulated boots, winter weight coats, mittens, hats, neck warmers.

  5. Change wet clothing or footwear immediately.

  6. Although these conditions are unlikely to occur during the school day, ensure that all staff are able to recognize and treat symptoms of frostbite and hypothermia. Given plenty of warm fluids to prevent dehydration.

  7. When children are outside, be watchful for shivering or signs of numbness in faces, ears, hands or feet.

  8. Educate children in dealing with cold weather: drinking plenty of fluids, dressing warmly, and recognizing signs of cold injury.
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