Southwood School

September 1, 2023

In This Edition...

  1. Welcome Back to School -- Quick Look
  2. Southwood School Hours and Schedule
  3. Parent Portal
  4. Meet The Teacher Nite - Info
  5. 2022 - 2023 Staff List
  6. School Routines - Link to Student and Family Handbook
  7. Strong Connections
  8. Absences
  9. Student Insurance
  10. Allergy Awareness
  11. Terry Fox Run
  12. Orange Shirt Day
  13. Calendars
  14. Nutrition Bits and Bites - Southern Health Newsletter
  15. Southwood Map
  16. Steinbach Arts Council
  17. Southwood School Website Info
  18. Dates to Remember

Back to School 2023 -- Quick Notes

All student School Supplies will be supplied by Southwood School for a $55 fee. (This includes some field trips throughout the year). Fees can be paid through your Parent Portal account or directly at the office by cash or cheque. Students should come to school with a pair of runners, a set of earphones or headphones, and a backpack.

First Day Back – September 6 -

Arrival to school 8:50 for walkers or drop offs.

Dismissal for Walkers and Pick-ups 3:45 p.m

Bus students line up to leave.

Meet the Teacher Night – September 5 – 4:30 - 6:00. Families are invited to come any time during the hour and a half to visit their child's classroom and meet the teacher.

School Hours and Schedule for 2023 - 2024

Southwood Office Hours - 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Daily Schedule

8:50 a.m. - Bell for students to go to their classrooms.

9:08 a.m. - Announcements & O Canada / Start of Morning Classes

11:05 - 11:30 a.m. - Gr. 2 - 4 Morning Activity Break / Gr. K - 1 Morning Nutrition Break

11:30 - 11:55 a.m. - Gr. 2 - 4 Morning Nutrition Break / Gr. K - 1 Morning Activity Break

1:10 - 1:35 p.m. - Gr. 2 - 4 Afternoon Activity Break / K - 1 Afternoon Nutrition Break

1:35 - 2:00 p.m. - Gr. 2 - 4 Afternoon Nutrition Break / K - 1 Afternoon Activity Break

3:45 p.m. - Dismissal of Walkers and Pick ups (Including the first day back - Sept. 6th)

(Bus Students begin lining up between 3:35 and 3:45 as required. Students will not be retrieved from bus lines for parent pick-ups unless in an emergency. Disrupting bus dismissal puts all students at risk for missing buses or boarding the wrong bus as staff is distracted looking for the requested child)

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Stay Connected and Informed! The HSD Parent Portal is a communications tool designed to increase parent/guardian involvement in the education of their children. The portal provides parents/guardians with secure online access to our Student Information System.

With a single username and password, parents/guardians can access the following information for each of their children attending an HSD school:

· Student Information (can update current address & phone numbers)

· Attendance Information (can advise the office of any absences for the day)

· School Fees Account ( can be paid online)

· Permissions & Consent Forms (can give consent for learning trips for the school year)

· Report Cards (access to previous and current report cards)

· School Information

· Grad/Credit Summary

· Change of Contact Form

If you haven't already done so, please set up your account today to make communication with you as easy as possible. Please ensure you have an email address on file and that it is current. If you have any questions regarding set up please contact Mrs. Froese or Ms. Friesen in the office at 204-326-3518.

Meet Your Teacher -- September 5 - 4:30 - 6:00 p.m

We are all really looking forward to meeting our students for the 2023 - 2024 school year! Please come at any convenient time between 4:30 and 6:00 p.m to visit the classrooms and your child's new teacher. No appointment necessary.
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Southwood Teaching Staff -- 2023 - 2024

Principal - Marge Thiessen

Vice Principal - Chantal Johnson

School Counselor - Courtney Baudry

Learning Support - Melissa Heinrichs, Megan Goncalves

Literacy Support - Donna Neufeldt, Lisa Coulter

EAL Support -- Holly Gushulak

Kindergarten - Helga Vogt, Christine Gudmundson, Corliss Friesen, Holly Gushulak

Grade 1 - Lindsay Hrehirchuk, Catrina McKay, Tabitha Cavanaugh, Jordan Hurton

Grade 2 - Sandi Kauenhofen, Kayla Mehling, Shania Neyron, Laurie Cox, Trudy Smeltz

Grade 3 - Tara Bairos, Julia Hiebert, Michelle Wiebe, Vally Bergman

Grade 3/4 -- Brad Peters, Kristjana Peterson, Michaela Dueck

Grade 4 - Marianne Neufeld, Cassie Healey, Holly Janke

Physical Education - Cheryl Chernos, Kendra Friesen

Music/Band - Karla Brown

Administrative Secretary - Cindy Froese

Secretary - Amber Friesen

Library Support Specialist - Sarah Locke

EA's - Kathy Bergen, Amber Friesen, Hilda Hildebrand, Karen Hoffman-Peters, Kristy Klassen, Charlene Kratavicius, Erica Nickel, Sharon Osiowy, Abel Schinke, Jennifer Schroeder, Elizabeth Ikhine, Christy Bolisay, Lorie Chipilski, Kristina Schelenberg, Sarah Borkowsky, Yvette Fisher, Tanisha Thakar

Custodian - Russ Sobering

Custodial Assistants - Joshua Prymych, Lolita Catalan

Southwood Student And Family Handbook

Please review the Southwood Handbook for all our policies, practices and routines.

Pick Up and Drop Off Arrangements - Walking and Pick-up Students will be Dismissed Daily at 3:45 p.m -- (including Sept. 6)

Parking near and around our school:

Obey the “loading zone only” areas of our streets that are marked out by yellow paint on the curbs. Parking is available behind the cross walk on 3rd street and past Barkman Ave. It is best to park on 3rd and 2nd streets, further down Barkman Avenue, or in the overflow parking available to us from the Grace Church. It is not safe or legal to drop off or pick up your student in the in the middle of the intersections, the crosswalk or by the stop signs.

DO NOT park, pick up or drop off your students in the bus lane or in the staff parking lot.

Double parking on Barkman Ave. or on 3rd Street poses a serious risk for everyone.

There are many students that are walking along these sidewalks and streets at the end of the day. We appreciate the extra time and care parents take as they drive their children to and from school.

End of Day Arrangements - Leaving Messages

Please make every effort to create a consistent end of day routine for your child. Many of the mix-ups, missing busses or problems occur when changes to regular routines are made.

If a change needs to be made to the end of day plans, you must call or email the school as early as possible to leave a message by prior to 3:00 p.m. Any messages after this time are not guaranteed to make it to the student as it is extremely busy in the office.

Keep the message simple.

It is very helpful for the office and teachers if special arrangments are communicated ahead of time. If at all possible, send an email to the office at the day before. All email addresses for staff can be found on the Southwood School website under the staff tab.

Custodial arrangements:

If you have a situation where parenting arrangements are unique and specific you need to inform the office and classroom teacher about these arrangements. Schools are required to follow legal documents that describe Custodial arrangements.

Shop for Southwood School Clothing Items here!

Awesome clothing options with our Southwood School Logo

Southwood Strong Connection Days -- September 15th and 18th

Your child's Strong Connection Date was listed in the June Report Card. Students new to Southwood will receive this information early in September. All students will receive a reminder in the week prior to the event.

Strong Connections is a program where only half of the students in each class attend on either Monday, September 15th or Friday, September 18th. It is an opportunity for teachers to “get-to-know” their students as a learner when there are fewer students to attend to. This is designed to enhance the beginning-of-the-year assessment of each student. Strong Connections activities are not tests, but rather tasks to help teachers get to know their students in order to best plan for instruction that will effectively address unique learning needs early in the school year.

Your child has been scheduled for either one September 15th or September 18th. This information is available on Parent Portal and you will receive and email confirming the date for your child during the week of September 11th. Every attempt will be made for siblings to attend on the same date.

CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES - Special Events - Bringing Treats

Teachers are in charge of planning activities for the classroom. Timely communication from teacher to parents and parents to teacher is crucial for these events to run smoothly.

Requests to bring special treats for birthdays or other events need to be made well in advance. We encourage parents to restrict special event treats for classes to snack type foods rather than larger meals. This is to avoid over supplying young students with more food than is appropriate during the day, as students all bring lunches to school. For special "Show & Tell" type events, parents should make sure that these will fit into the teacher’s plans. Teachers are also aware of allergies and phobias and may restrict treats or visits from pets due to these considerations.


Importance of Regular Attendance

It is expected that students will attend school each day. Please be aware that missing even a few days of school each month can have a great impact on your child’s learning. However, please do not send students who are ill to school. If a student becomes ill during the day parents/guardians will be notified. Depending on the severity of the situation, parents may be asked to pick up their child. However, if your child begins to resist coming to school and feels nervous or "ill" often, please let the school know and we can make a plan to assist you in helping your child feel good about school attendance.


When students are absent and the school has not heard from the parent, our office contacts the parent as a safety measure. This system is used to ensure the whereabouts of our children. The process involves three important steps.

  1. The parent/guardian of a child who will be absent from school must notify the school. This can be done by contacting office by phone (Phone: 204-326-3518) or email ( between 8:00-9:00. Or you can use your Parent Portal access to directly excuse your child, selecting one of the reasons in the drop down menu.

  2. Shortly after 9:10 am, 12:00 pm, and 2:00 pm teachers will notify the office of unexcused absences.

  3. When a child is unexcused, office staff will call the home using our contact information to confirm with the parent that the child is under the parent's supervision. Again this is a safety measure. If we cannot reach a parent or guardian, an automated phone message will be left for the parent's information. Thank you for your diligent communication with the school in order to ensure your child's safety.

Terry Fox Run -- September 22, 2023

On Friday, September 22, Southwood School is proud to be taking part in this year’s Terry Fox School Event. (Rain/alternate date: September TBA). Please help us to continue the legacy of one of Canada’s greatest heroes, by donating and supporting our school’s fundraising efforts. More information on this event will be provided shortly!

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Orange Shirt Day -- September 29th

Southwood School will hold an assembly on September 29th for our Grade 1's and 2's at 12:05 to recognize National Truth and Reconciliation Day. The students will learn the meaning of the word Reconciliation and look into the past through pictures, readings and videos.

Our Grades 3's and 4's will be attending a special event at the KR Barkman park along with their teachers and students from other school. We want to recognize the unfair treatment of the Indigenous People of Canada and learn from this so it never happens again.

Students and staff are also encouraged to wear Orange on Friday, September 29th to show our recognition and respect for National Truth and Reconciliation Day which is held Nationally on Saturday, September 30th.
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Picture Day -- October 4 and 5

Picture Day will be held on October 4th & 5th. Details will be sent home in the near future about ordering and scheduling. Stay tuned...

Allergy Awareness -- Please note...

In common with most other schools, we have a number of children with significant life threatening allergies. The allergens include peanuts, nuts and other food items.

If your child has a serious allergy, please contact the school and your child's teacher and we will set you up with a URIS plan which helps the school take care of your child.

If your child is in a class where one of the students has a significant allergy, you will be asked not to send foods containing that allergen in your child's lunches. You will receive communication from your child's teacher about appropriate lunch items or items you are asked not to send. Please be respectful and help keep all of our students safe.

We do not describe the school as being ‘Nut Free’ or free of any other allergen because we can’t guarantee that students or adults have not brought nuts, traces of nuts, or other allergens into the building.

Southwood School staff receive training and information related to many life threatening conditions common in our community. These conditions include anaphylaxis, seizure disorders, and diabetes. Students with life threatening conditions have URIS (health care) plans outlining their condition and the safety procedures required of school staff members in the event of an emergency.

If you have any questions, please feel free to contact the school.

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Southwood School Website -- Info at your fingertips

Please check our website for updated information about school events, Parent Council Information, Teacher contact info, etc.

Dates to Remember...

September 5 - Meet the Teacher Night - 4:30 - 6:00 pm. – Come at any time during this window

September 6 - First day of classes – walking/pick up students dismissed at 3:45 p.m

September 15 and 18 - Strong Connection days - students to attend one of either day

September 22 - Terry Fox Run - school wide event

September 29 - Orange Shirt Day - a Truth and Reconciliation event

October 3 -- No School/Classes for Students -- Teacher PD Day

October 4 and 5 - Picture Day

October 9 - No Classes - Thanksgiving Holiday

October 2) - No Classes - PD Day for Teachers