South Oaks School

A Great Place to Learn! Sept 2019

Pathways and Partnerships

Another school year is about to begin! When I returned to school recently, I couldn't help but notice all the amazing sidewalks that have been installed in town. What a wonderful addition to the community, which will support safe walking routes and help people to remain active all year round.

Thanks to the partnerships with our parents/Parent Council and the Grunthal LUD team, we have also been able to install a new path by the school to increase safety for students/parents/residents as they walk or bike to school. This has taken about a year to develop, so we are glad to see this change become a reality.

With all these new paths, parents can now consider something called, "Walk-a-Block". This simply means that if you are driving your kids to school, you could drop them off a block away from the school so they could walk the short distance to school. The exercise is only beneficial to the students and the reduction in traffic is beneficial to the school. I will leave it to you to decide where you could drop your child off, as it depends on where you live. However, a short walk to school is a great way to start the day.

The idea of "Pathways and Partnerships" is a powerful concept to me. What other pathways will we be able to develop this year as we partner? Who else do we need to partner with to make these pathways possible? I look forward to exploring new pathways and partnerships with you this year.

One new path that we will begin to "forge" this year is the weaving of the "6C's" of Deeper Learning into our class programs. So, teachers will meet regularly, along with our Learning Coach, to explore how our classes teach the academics but also other skills such as Critical Thinking, Collaboration, Citizenship, etc. As the year progresses, you should begin hearing about these other "soft" skills that are important for all of us to learn about as we work together more effectively and learn more deeply.

I don't know about you, but for me, one of the greatest thrills in life is taking a new path and discovering what I will find. That is how I feel at the beginning of this year. Let's explore new paths together and see where they take us!

See you soon,

Dale Martens


Dates to Remember:

Sept 3 - Meet the Teacher/Meet the Parent - 4:00 - 5:30 pm

Sept. 4 & 5 - Kindergarten interviews

Sept. 6, 9, 10, 11 - Kindergarten Staggered Entry

Sept. 12 - Regular K class routines begin - full classes

Sept. 13,16 - "Strong Connections"

Sept. 17 - Hot lunch order forms go home

Sept. 19 & 20 - Picture Days

Sept. 23 - Hot lunch orders due for October

Sept.26 - Terry Fox Run @ 11:30 am

Sept. 27 - Assembly @ 9:15 am

*Pizza Days starting October 4th - The Pizza Schedule will be posted on the website.*

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The HSD Parent Portal Information page is now available at

Stay connected and informed. The HSD Parent Portal continues to be a communication tool designed to enhance and increase parent/guardian involvement in the education of their children, by providing secure online access to their child’s student information.

The HSD Parent Portal Information page is available at You can also see our website for further details.

Please contact our school office to request account setup assistance.

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!

Strong Connections at South Oaks School

On Friday, September 13th and Monday, September 16th South Oaks will be implementing the Hanover School Division Strong Connections program with our grade 1-4 students. Strong Connections is designed to enhance the beginning of the year with each student. Strong Connections activities are not tests, but rather tasks to help teachers get to better know our students and how they learn in order to best plan for instruction early in the school year that will effectively address unique learning needs. The format for Strong Connections also provides an opportunity for teachers to extend and consolidate their understanding of each child through the one-on-one interview/assessment times, and help build a strong foundation for a positive relationship between the child and the teacher. For further information please see the blue or orange notes that were sent home earlier in this regard.

From the Health Nurse

Head Lice - As mentioned in the Parent Handbook, it is requested that children's heads be checked periodically. If at all suspicious, call the school immediately, so we can take necessary precautions to prevent the lice from spreading. If live lice are found, children must be kept out of school until treated and are gone. Remember that lice are not a cleanliness issue. Anyone can be in contact with lice, either at school, at a sports complex, or even trying on headgear in a store. If you have any questions or concerns, call the Public Health Nurse at 204-346-7013.

Terry Fox Run

The South Oaks 2018 Terry Fox Run will take place on Thursday, September 26th at 11:30 am. Children in Grades 1-4 will join with the Green Valley students in a run around town. The route will be clearly marked and supervised. Our students will do a shorter run than the Green Valley students, and end on the South Oaks playground. If students want to contribute to the South Oaks Terry Fox Run Fund, they may bring a loonie or toonie to school before then. Cheques made out to the Terry Fox Foundation will be receipted by the Foundation.

Visiting the School

At South Oaks we value the presence of parents in our school, and want people to feel comfortable when they volunteer, or meet with a teacher. It is important, though, that adults report to the office when arriving at school. Visitors and Volunteers will be given their respective badges to wear around their necks. If picking up a child for an appointment, please again report to the office, and the secretary will inform the classroom teacher via the intercom. We want to keep our school safe for everyone, and reporting to the office both reduces classroom interruptions as well as enables staff members to be confident that an adult they may not recognize does, in fact, belong in the school. Similarly, please don't take offence if you are asked if we can be of help when meeting you in the hall - we just want to ensure everyone's safety.

No Child Without

South Oaks School is involved in the Canadian MedicAlert Foundation's No Child Without, a program that identifies personal medical conditions, allergies or special needs that emergency medical personnel should be aware of in crisis situations. There is no cost for students who attend South Oaks. If a child has a medical condition, allergy or is required to take medication on a regular basis, then s/he should be considered for this program. A child's MedicAlert identification can alert school staff, friends, coaches and others about the child's medical condition should an emergency occur.

MedicAlert membership:

* Gives emergency first responders immediate access to your child's medical information on their MedicAlert bracelet or necklet.

* Enables first responders to quickly obtain up to date medical information by means of the child's Electronic Health Record through the 24 Hour Emergency Hotline.

* Communicates with the parent or emergency contact upon activation of the Hotline.

* Allows free updates of the child's medical record as needed.

For further information, brochures are available in the office, or parents can go to To register a child parents will need a No Child Without brochure from the office. If a child is already part of the No Child Without program and there have been changes to their medical condition, medications or emergency contact information, call MedicAlert at 1-800-668-1507 to update the child's file.

Hanover Parent and Child Community Program

South Oaks School and The Hanover Parent and Child Community Program would like to invite you to bring your preschool children to attend a weekly parent and child program. Come with your children to have fun, learn, play, create and sing. This program is free and provides a snack. No registration is needed, just drop in when you can.

Children enjoy playing with and learning from other children. It is important for children to be exposed to playing with other children so they learn how to share, participate in cooperative play and express themselves. Children will have the opportunity to play with a variety of toys, sing, complete crafts and learn new games.

This program is being provided for preschool children to promote the development of school readiness skills.

Come join Miss Lil:

When: Tuesday mornings from 9:30 - 11:30

Thursday afternoons from 1:15 - 3:15.

(This program starts Tuesday September 17, 2019 and runs until Thursday June 4, 2020.)

Families can attend weekly or just drop in when you can.

Where: Family Hut # 1 at South Oaks School

* We will follow the same schedule as the division school calendar in regards to school closure days.

Stars of the Future for Fall 2019

Children born between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2016 and their parents, are invited to attend a Fall 2019 Stars of the Future clinic. Stars of the Future is a FREE screening program for children that live in South East Manitoba. It is a onetime appointment, designed to find out how your child is doing in the areas of speech & language, hearing, growth and development. The appointment is one hour long. Appointments can be made by calling 204-346-6136. For more information on Stars of the Future go to Appointment times fill up quickly, so book your appointment early. Clinics will be held in St. Pierre on October 10, and in Steinbach on September 17&18 and October 16&17.
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Picture Days are Coming!

Thursday, September 20th and Friday, September 21st are Picture Days at South Oaks:

Sept. 19 - Picture Day - KDR-2, KLW-2, Grades 1-2

Sept. 20 - Picture Day - KR-1, KLW-1, Grade 3-4

This year Lifetouch is continuing with their photography program that has online ordering capabilities. There are various looks and backgrounds to choose from. For this prepay program, each student will receive a flyer, and parents have the ability to view and order from all of these different looks, online at Parents may order up to 48 hours after their child's picture day online, but the online site will open and be available to accept orders 2 weeks prior to the photo day. Orders can also be placed using the paper flyer on photo day. To do that, either exact cash payment or a cheque (payable to Lifetouch) must be inserted into the envelope portion of the flyer and given to the school photographer on the child's appropriate Picture Day.

For Tips on preparing for photo day visit if you have questions, please call Lifetouch at 1-866-457-8212.

School Notes:

* During Strong Connections, parents are reminded that only half of the grade 1-4 students will be at school each day. Because some parents make arrangements for their child(ren) to regularly walk/bike to or from school with friends, alternate measures may need to be taken on those days; the students regularly accompanying the children may not be in school for Strong Connections on the same day.

* 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."

* The Accident Insurance brochures, that will be sent home soon, are for around the clock insurance coverage. Hanover School Division has student insurance coverage for accidents that occur at school during school hours or at school sponsored events. If interested, parents should deal directly with the company. Money is not to be sent to the school.

* Due to allergies and other eating issues which are carefully monitored, food is only eaten in classrooms at South Oaks. Further, food is not traded or shared with students in other classrooms.

* 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.

Religious Exercises and Instruction at South Oaks

The following outlines the practice of Religious Exercises and Religious Instruction at South Oaks for the 2019-2020 school year. Please see also the website for further information.

Religious Exercises, which consist of a reading from the Bible or a Bible Story book and the saying of the Lord's Prayer, will take place prior to the start of the school day in common areas for those students who parents have indicated they wish their children to attend. Students who opt out will be provided with character education.

Religious Instruction, which is called Discovery Time, will continue to take place in classrooms from October to November and January to March for those students whose parents have indicated they wish their children to attend.

Religious Exercises and Religious Instructions are distinct activities, and if parents wish their children to participate in one or both, they need to indicate their wishes by means of a signed note or notes indicating the child's name and grade level. Participation in both activities would require two signatures.