Walnut Grove PS

October Newlsetter

Walnut Grove PS

Principal: P. Lone

Vice Principals: S. Bineesari, C. Dell

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.

Principal’s Message

September was a very busy month at Walnut Grove, as our community has grown! We have welcomed many new families, and consequently, 5 new teachers. As you know, we went through a large Re-Organization of classrooms, but I am happy to say that all students are finally settled into their new classes. Thanks to our very dedicated and talented staff, numerous extracurricular activities and sports are well underway. We encourage all students to participate in activities beyond the classroom, to make new friends and develop new interests.

We will be holding our annual “Open House” on Thursday, October 6, from 6:30 – 7:30 pm. Please try to come out that night to meet your child’s teacher and see the classroom and the school. This date is also the date of our School Council Elections. You can vote during the school day, or you can cast your vote during our Open House in the evening.

Our hot lunch days are starting after Thanksgiving; Wednesdays will alternate between Mr. Sub and Swiss Chalet, and every Friday will remain Pizza Days – please read the newsletter for specific details regarding ordering.

In September, our Grade 1 students were busy painting their Mural with our artist, Judy Willemsma. Grade 2 classes will begin this month, followed by Grade 3’s in November.

The end of October will include various festivities such as Diwali, Character Assemblies and Halloween. We are looking forward to seeing you in the school throughout the month. On behalf of the Vice Principals, Mrs. Bineesari and Ms. Dell, I would like to wish you a very Happy Thanksgiving and joyous and Happy Diwali.


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Walnut Grove's EQAO Results

Last spring, our Grade 3 and 6 students participated in the EQAO Provincial assessments. We are very proud of our students’ performance, as we know they are also very proud of themselves. The numeric results indicate the percentage of students who are achieving at or above the Provincial standard, which is Level 3 or 70%. Walnut Grove school results are as follows:


Grade 3

Reading - 78% ( Peel Board 73%; Province 70%)

Writing - 69% ( Peel Board 76%; Province 78%)

Mathematics 67% ( Peel Board 61%; Province 67%)


Grade 6

Reading - 87% ( Peel Board 81%; Province 79%)

Writing - 91 % ( Peel Board 82%; Province 78%)

Mathematics - 55% ( Peel Board 50%; Province 54%)


Numeracy continues to be a major focus for the Peel District School Board and for Walnut Grove P.S. In our upcoming monthly newsletters, you will find helpful tips and strategies related to Numeracy, for families to do at home. Math and numeracy can be found everywhere in our world; it is important to help our children make real life connections to math and to further develop a positive, growth mindset toward numeracy.

School Success Focus at Walnut Grove

Walnut Grove School Success Focus

Student success and achievement is at the heart of everything that we do at Walnut Grove. We set high expectations for staff and for students. We continue to refine our goals and set achievable expectations for our entire school community.

  • Our academic focus continues to be on further developing and deepening Numeracy skills. Students will continue to be engaged in problem solving, making meaningful connections and applications to the world around them, and to communicate their mathematical thinking and reasoning. Literacy skills also continue to be a focus and are integrated in meaningful ways throughout all areas of the curriculum.

  • 21st Century Teaching and Learning at Walnut Grove incorporates Inquiry-based learning, collaboration and the responsible and effective use of technology, to help further develop critical thinking skills in our students.

  • We continue to focus on and build upon our Bullying Prevention and Intervention plan, with student-led committees and activities, aimed at raising awareness and reducing/eliminating any instances of bullying at Walnut Grove. We have numerous extracurricular activities and programs aimed at developing positive student behaviour and effective problem solving skills. We work toward ensuring that our school is a safe, positive healthy place to learn and work.

Walnut Grove School Council

School Council News

We have received 14 Nominations for School Council this year! We are so pleased that so many parents are interested in helping to support our School community. By now, you should have received the Biographies of all 14 nominees, which were sent home with your child. Voting will take place throughout the day and evening on Thursday, October 6, 2016. During the day, voting will take place in the Office, and during the evening, we will have a booth set up in the main hallway. Only parents of students in the school may vote, and there will be one vote per family. Results of the election will be posted on the school website by Tuesday, October 11, 2016. The first School Council meeting will take place on Wednesday, October 12, 6:30 – 7:30 pm, to determine positions within the Council.

Character at Walnut Grove

At Walnut Grove Public School we value healthy relationships where all staff, students and community members are welcomed and respected. Our monthly theme for October will be Inclusiveness and Sharing our Lives.

Inclusiveness means treating everyone fairly and equitably.

You show inclusiveness when you:

· Welcome and engage others.

· Treat everyone with respect and dignity.

· Approach situations free of prejudice.

· Reach out to others in a fair and equitable manner.

· Respect differences.


Sharing our Lives involves looking at:

How are our lives different? How are they the same? Start simply, for example, with our number of siblings, the city/town/ community we live in, or our position in the family as the oldest/ youngest/middle child. Then move deeper perhaps to what cultures we are from, or what religions or beliefs we follow (or don’t!). What do we think of as normal in our lives that might be different from someone else’s? How could we learn about each other’s lives this year?



Ask your child to share this information with you as well as what they have learned about themselves and others in school!

Monthly Character Trait Winners

The following students were awarded a Caring Award for the month of September:

Kindergarten: Pari P., Avleen N., Hamid S., Samia S., Riquan J., Nihilan C., Shaan G., Amrit S., Surnoor T., Avneet A., Delonte H., Eva T., Batima B.


Grade 1: Dhairya G., Seerat G., Govin D., Zurie M., Avit A., Seerit B., Asmeen J., Parmansh S., Anwar A., Krista G., Kapiison N., Sarina S.


Grade 2: Arvil M., Deepal C., Arya P., Chamkaur G., Yuvraj G., Sahej B., Rishan G., Sahib S., Angel B., Noah R., Ruwanthi P.


Grade 3: Sukhmeet C., Jasmine D., Pranavi, Gurman, Balreet K., Sachin V., Abhir S., Giya B., Nikhil T., Zara G., Anaya P., Johnjeet H.


Grade 4: Jagjot D., Aanya P., Sehaj K., Shivesh P., Bhawneet P., Shaan S., Aryan S.,


Grade 5: Aria C., Itee G., Ria R., Kayden C., Sarah A., Sia A. Harman J., Tegbir J., Jasmeen S., Sarina D., Luvisha M., Elyana N., Julian V.


Grade 6: Parneet G., Richey V., Tegbir D., Avneet S., Kavvisai, Navpreet C., Sarah P., Nitish J., Balraj B., Aliza M., Terrel O., Genesis D.


Grade 7: Simmar B., Jashan S., Neil P, Loveleen S., Prabhjot S., Harroop D., Krisalee C., Lackshan M., Anika O.


Grade 8: Eshwer S., Cyrus O., Aksh D., Samhitha B., Tahirah L., Gunjan S., Sarah O.

What's Happening at Walnut Grove

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School Year Calendar

First day of school for students - Tuesday, Sept. 6, 2017

Last day of school for students - Thursday, June 30, 2017


School holidays:


Labour Day - Monday, Sept. 5, 2016

Thanksgiving Day - Monday, Oct. 10

Winter Break (inclusive) - Monday, Dec. 26, 2016 to Friday, Jan. 6, 2017

Family Day - Monday, Feb. 20, 2017

Spring Break (inclusive) - Monday, March 13 to Friday, March 17, 2017

Good Friday - Friday, April 14, 2017

Easter Monday - Monday, April 17, 2017

Victoria Day - Monday, May 22, 2017


Professional activity days (students do not attend school)

Ministry Professional Learning and In-School Professional Learning - Sept. 27, 2016, Oct. 7, 2016, Feb. 17, 2017 and June 30, 2017

Reporting to parents - Friday, Nov. 18, 2016

Report card writing/assessment day - Monday, Jan. 23, 2017 and Monday, June 12, 2017

New Staff at Walnut Grove

We are pleased to welcome our new staff to Walnut Grove!


Ms. K. Sidhu -Grade 2

Ms. J. Sunberg- Grade 4

Ms. L. Santos- 3/4 French

Ms. R. Tilling- Gr. 6 French

Ms. S. Chatooah- Core French

Lunch Box Orders

Coming soon to Walnut Grove Public School:

LUNCHBOX ORDERS!

Lunchbox Orders is a convenient, online ordering platform featuring local restaurants.

For the coming school year, an on-line ordering calendar will be coordinated for our school featuring the following options:


Wednesday – Rotating Menu

Mr. Sub OR Swiss Chalet


Friday

241 Pizza


Delivery will begin Wednesday October 12, 2016.

Why Lunchbox Orders?

  • Lunchbox Orders is paperless and cashless. Ordering online is fast and easy!

  • With every meal purchased, a donation will be made to the school’s fundraising program.

  • Orders may be placed weekly or for any number of weeks in advance during the course of the program.

  • All restaurants featured offer menu items that are compliant with the Ontario Ministry of Education’s Food and Beverage Policy, PPM 150.


Stay tuned for more details….!!


If you have any questions, please contact the Lunchbox Orders customer service team at 1.877.426.6860 or by email at info@lunchboxorders.com.

Easy to order lunches are one click away!!

www.lunchboxorders.com

Pizza Days at Walnut Grove

Pizza Days will begin on Friday, October 14, 2016.


This year we are encouraging families to preorder their pizza online through the Lunch Box Program. However, we will continue to accept weekly orders in the office. The cost of a pizza slice is $2.00.


If you are planning to pay weekly, pizza money is due in the office by the Wednesday of that week. After Wednesday, NO orders will be taken.

Courtesy Seating

Courtesy Seating


Courtesy Seating for bussing will occur in the middle of October. Courtesy seating will be given based on youngest to oldest and dependent on spots available on the bus.


If you would like to submit your child’s name to be considered for courtesy seating, please come to the school office to complete the request form. Parents will be notified by Mrs. Bineesari if a space is available.

Traffic Safety at Walnut Grove

Safety is a top priority at our school. Here is a list of traffic tips to keep students, staff and parents safe while commuting to and from school.

· Respect traffic signs and road markers around the school.

· Drive slowly and with caution on and near school property. Adhere to the posted speed limits on any surrounding streets used by students on their way to and from school.

· Always yield to pedestrian traffic. Wait for students, staff members and parents to cross before driving past them.

· When dropping your child off at the school, use the Kiss'n'Ride area. This is a supervised area that is designed to keep students safe.

· Do not double park or do anything else to block traffic or draw your child off the curb and into traffic. Do not take shortcuts over curbs.

· Have your child ready to exit the car when you reach the curb. Say goodbye to your child before you park at the curb to let your child out of your car.

· During regular drop-off times, students are to remain in the car until it is safe for them to exit the car onto the curb.

· Follow the directions of staff or volunteers on duty in the school parking lot and treat staff, students, volunteers, passengers and other drivers with respect.

· Consider parking off site and walking a short distance to school. This will give you time to talk to your children about their day, review new vocabulary words, math concepts, etc.

· Remind your child to only cross the street at an intersection or crosswalk. They should never “jaywalk” by crossing in the middle of the street.

· Students who bike to school should always wear a helmet, and follow all traffic laws. They should only cross the street at a crosswalk or intersection—never in the middle of the road.

Open House 2016

We will be having our Open House on Thursday, October 6, 2016 from 6:30 to 7:30 pm.

We are excited to have our families come out to this event to meet their child's teacher, visit the classrooms, meet administration and see all of the exciting things that will be happening at Walnut Grove this year!


We will also be having a Thanksgiving food drive which will be organized by the Walnut Grove RAK committee. We would appreciate if you could donate a boxed or canned good so we can help others in need.


We are looking forward to seeing you on October 6th!

Halloween at Walnut Grove

Halloween has long been a fun children’s tradition of dressing up in costumes and going “trick-or-treating.” At Walnut Grove, we respect the fact that, while some students/families celebrate and participate in Halloween activities, there are some that do not. We encourage all students/families to make personal decisions regarding Halloween. Students are welcome to dress in costumes, or they can dress in fall/Halloween colours (orange, black). Students may also choose NOT to wear a costume or special colours at all. All choices and decisions are equally respected. If students do wear costumes, we ask that no masks or face/eye coverings be worn, and no accessories should be brought to school (wands, replicas of weapons etc.). We also ask that costumes be respectful and not violent in any way. Due to severe allergies, we also ask that no treats be sent to school to be shared with classmates.

News from the Music Department

The month of September was a busy one in the music department!

Clubs – The tech club started to work. The tech club is made of students who look after lighting, sound, morning announcements, assembly MCs, slideshows and event photography.

The ukulele club started meeting! This drop-in activity is open to students from Grades 3-8 and meets on Days 2 and 5, during NB1. Students bring their own ukuleles or borrow from the school.

Units – This term Mrs. Locke’s grades 3-7 will be playing recorders. The grade 8s are experimenting at the mixing table with non-conventional instruments on their devices.

This term, Mlle Li’s grade 2-6 students have been playing a variety of engaging singing games.

This term, Ms. Leaton’s grade 1 students have been learning about loud and quiet sounds and what is a beat.

October Events – Look for our young musicians playing the recorder and the ukulele around the school at the Open House.

October Assembly – We look forward to seeing the classes of Ms. Ferris, Ms. Makiewicz and Mrs. Dubey in celebration of Diwali. All are welcome to attend!

September Assembly – We witnessed wonderful dancing and drumming performances from the classes of Ms. Jackson, Ms. Johal, Mrs. Blackmore and Mrs. Shergill.

Twitter – Follow Mrs. Locke @musicatthegrove and Mlle Li @mlle_li_musique

Beautifying our School!

News from the Peel District School Board

Regional Learning Choices Program

Regional Learning Choices Programs offered by the Peel District School Board empower students by providing them with opportunities to develop and explore skills in a particular area of interest. Regional programs are open to all students who meet the criteria for acceptance. Students and their families are encouraged to attend the information night for the program of their choice to receive more information about the program and application details.

Transportation is not provided for students in regional programs. If students have been accepted into a regional program and they live within the school boundary, they are eligible for busing only if they meet the distance criteria outlined in the board’s Transportation Policy #39.

All regional programs include annual fees, including an $40 application fee for all regional programs. The application process for secondary regional programs opens Nov. 9, 2016. Application dates for middle school programs vary from school to school.


Actively in Motion (AIM) – Royal Orchard MS


Advanced Placement – Central Peel SS, John Fraser SS


Arts – Earnscliffe Sr. PS (starts in grade 6), Queen Elizabeth Sr. PS (starts in grade 7), Cawthra Park SS, Mayfield SS


Arts and Technology – Morning Star MS


Graphic Design Management​ – Gordon Graydon Memorial SS


International Baccalaureate – Bristol Rd. MS, WG Davis Sr. PS, Erindale SS, Glenforest SS, Harold M. Brathwaite SS, Turner Fenton SS


International Business and Technology – Allan A. Martin Sr. PS, Lisgar MS, Williams Pkwy Sr. PS, Gordon Graydon Memorial SS, Meadowvale SS, North Park SS


International and Executive Leadership Academy – TL Kennedy SS


SciTech – Centennial Sr. PS, Macville PS, Tomken Rd. MS, Chinguacousy SS, Port Credit SS


Sports – Applewood Heights SS


Strings – Central Peel SS, Port Credit SS


Truck and Coach Engineering and Technology – Bramalea Secondary School


A number of other specialized programs that extend beyond the regular curriculum are available to Peel high school students. Learn more:


· Co-operative Education Program

· Dual Credit Programs

· Explore High Skills​

· Extended French/French Immersion

· Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program

· Peel Region High Performers Program

· Regional Co-operative Education Programs

· Specialist High Skills Major (SHSM) Programs

For more information about program information nights, busing, fees and the application process/dates, contact the school or visit www.peelschools.org/RegionalPrograms.​ ​​ ​

Get involved in your child’s education

Research shows parent involvement positively affects student success. Becoming more involved brings many benefits. You will get to know teachers, the principal and other parents better. You will be able to share your talents, experiences and ideas. You will inspire youth—and be inspired by them. You will show your child how much you value education. You will gain insights that can help you to boost your child's learning. And you could develop skills and knowledge that can help you in your own career.

There are many ways to be involved. Attending the Peel District School Board's annual parent conference on Saturday, April 1, 2016, volunteering at your child's school, talking to your teen about their school day and reading with your child at night are all forms of parent involvement. Visit www.peelschools.org/parents/involved to learn more.

New Programs From Peel

Train More. Rehearse More. Learn More.

New Peel District School Board program offers flexible school options for student athletes, artists

Does your child/teen have an intense sports or arts training and competition schedule that makes it difficult to attend school regularly? The Peel District School Board’s new Peel Region High Performers Program will offer flexible timetabling to accommodate student athletes and artists with demanding practice, competition, rehearsal and/or performance schedules.

Peel Region High Performers Program will open in September 2017, and will be offered at:

  • Britannia Public School (grades 4 to 5)

  • Dolphin Sr. Public School (grades 6 to 8)

  • Mississauga Secondary School (grades 9 to 12)

For more information and a program flyer, visit www.peelschools.org/HighPerformers

Registration open – Continuing Education International Languages program for K-12 students

The opportunity to study a language in addition to English and French can benefit all students, society in general and an increasingly independent world, including:

  • students with no prior knowledge of a particular language

  • students whose first language is English or French and who wish to study their home languages as a second or third language

  • students whose first language is their home language

The International Languages program is based on oral communications, reading and writing in languages other than English or French. Grammar and language knowledge are incorporated into each of the three skill areas.

Any student who is currently enrolled in a Peel District School Board elementary or secondary school is eligible to attend.

Classes operate each Saturday from September 17, 2016 to June 10, 2016, except for holiday weekends and school vacations. Credit classes are 3.5 hours per day and run from 9:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Elementary classes are 2.5 hours per day and run from 10:00 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Registration is currently open. In partnership with School-day, Continuing Education offers an online, cashless registration process. Please visit www.peelschools.org/conted/il for further information.

Celebrate World Teachers’ Day

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Since 1994, parents and students from around the world have celebrated World Teachers’ Day to commemorate the work of teachers and their contributions to society. On Oct. 5, take the time to let your child's teacher know he or she is truly appreciated. Thank your child's teacher and let them know they are making a difference.

Oct. 19 opportunity to say 'thanks' to bus drivers

Peel schools will pay tribute to bus drivers on Bus Driver Appreciation Day on Oct. 19, 2016. The day will be celebrated with special activities and events that provide teachers, students and parents an opportunity to thank the people who safely transport over 36,000 students to and from school each day.

If your child rides the bus to school, take this opportunity to thank the bus driver for his or her contribution and ask your child to do so too. The Peel board appreciates the important job bus drivers do each school day and Oct. 19 provides an opportunity to give these individuals the recognition they deserve.

Oct. 26 – Celebrate Peel Teaching Assistant and Early Childhood Educators’ Appreciation Day

In 2014, the board of trustees declared the last Wednesday in October as the Peel Teaching Assistant and Early Childhood Educators’ (ECE) Appreciation Day. This year, the recognition day falls on October 26, 2016. The Peel board appreciates the important work of teaching assistants and ECEs, and the contributions that they make in the lives of children, families and community members.

Raise Awareness for Child Abuse Prevention in October

Did you know that October is Child Abuse Prevention Month? Peel’s Children’s Aid Society (CAS) works with schools, health care providers, police and the community to keep children safe. CAS has invited parents, caregivers and families to take part in GO PURPLE DAY to raise awareness of this important month.

October 19 is GO PURPLE DAY at our school. Children’s Aid Societies across Ontario will be working within their communities to wear purple and break the silence that surrounds child abuse. On this day, we encourage your child to take part by wearing something purple. You and your family can wear purple too!

October is International Walk to School Month

According to the 2015 Active Healthy Kids Canada Report Card, about 91 per cent of 5-to-17-year-olds are not meeting Canadian Physical Activity Guidelines to get at least 60 minutes of daily moderate-to vigorous-intensity physical activity. These declining activity levels are linked to obesity, illness and chronic diseases (i.e., cardiovascular disease, diabetes, and cancer).

Using active transportation for the school journey is one of the easiest ways for students to get regular daily physical activity. Managing time to allow for the walk or bike ride to school will become a positive habit that leads to children arriving on time, refreshed and energized for the school day. In fact, University of Illinois research has found that just 20 minutes of easy walking boosts performance in the areas of the brain that support math and reading achievement.

Walking to school also helps out the environment. Eliminating just four short trips per week can reduce emissions by up to 100 kg of carbon dioxide per year. Families that participate in active travel to school can prevent almost 1,000 kg of carbon dioxide per year and save money in fuel costs as well. Also, when more children walk to school and fewer parents drive their children, the areas near school zones become safer for pedestrians.

That is why our school will be participating in International Walk to School Day on Wednesday, October 5. On that day—and throughout the month, if you can—walk, bike, blade, scooter, skip or hop to school….but don’t drive!

International Walk to School month is part of the Active & Safe Routes to School program. Visit www.saferoutestoschool.ca/ for more information.

Give what you can on United Way Giving Day – Oct. 26, 2016

At the Peel District School Board, our mission is to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student – each and every day. Yet we know that there are many needs in our community that we can’t address on our own, like providing food for families that may go without or supporting communities after a crisis. That’s why we are holding a board-wide giving day in support of United Way of Peel Region, a key partner and supporter of Peel families.

This year, the Peel board has declared Oct. 26 as United Way Giving Day to raise much needed funds for United Way of Peel Region and the network of social service agencies it supports. Whether it’s providing shelter for a mother and her children in Brampton, matching a child who is at risk with a mentor in Caledon, or funding a breakfast program in Mississauga for youth that would otherwise go hungry, United Way of Peel Region offers hope and possibility to thousands in our community.

A donation of:

  • $2 may go towards a warm winter coat for a child.

  • $10 supports a child with interactive, recreational outings for one year, including healthy snacks and transportation, to help them build their social skills and self-esteem.

  • $25 matches a teen with a caring adult mentor who will meet with him or her several times each month for fun activities.

    This is a completely voluntary campaign and any contributions are welcome. Whether you send a loonie, toonie or cheque made out to your child’s school, your contribution will make a difference. Pledges of $25 or more will automatically receive a tax receipt from United Way of Peel Region. To receive a receipt, you must fill out the pledge form on the back and send it to school with your donation by Dec. 16, 2016.

    Thank you for lending a helping hand to those who need it most. Together, we can Inspire Possibility!

Prevent the flu. It’s in your hands.

Hand washing is the most important way to prevent the spread of infection. Always wash your hands with soap and water when they are dirty.

Clean your hands before:

  • touching your eyes, nose or mouth
  • touching/preparing food or drinks
  • eating or drinking
  • caring for someone in your home who can easily get sick

(baby, elderly or someone who has an unhealthy immune system)

  • first aid

Clean your hands after:

  • touching pets or other animals
  • touching raw meat, particularly chicken
  • touching surfaces such as a railing or grocery cart
  • touching money
  • touching objects sick people have touched
  • touching blood or body fluids such as urine, vomit or feces
  • contact with those who have a cold, the flu, diarrhea or virus of any kind
  • changing diapers
  • wiping your own or a child’s nose
  • sneezing or coughing
  • using a facial tissue
  • using the washroom
  • removing gloves
  • cleaning
  • gardening

What to do when you cough or sneeze:

  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve
  • put used tissues in the wastebasket
  • clean your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer

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

How to prevent litter at school

Did you know that litter is a safety hazard, discourages development, lowers property values and costs money? According to the Region of Peel, litter can attract animals and insects, harm pets and serve as a breeding ground for disease.

Here are some tips for reducing waste at school:

  • Provide your child with a litter-less lunch which could contain:

    • refillable water bottle

    • returnable, reusable or refillable drink containers instead of plastic bottles and cans

    • snacks and sandwiches stored in plastic containers

    • fruit that requires no wrap such as bananas, apples, oranges

  • Put trash in the appropriate container. If a recycling bin isn't available, ask where you can find one and hold on to garbage until you can dispose of it properly.

  • Reduce and reuse as much as you can before you recycle. Reuse plastic bags, the other side of a sheet of paper etc.

  • If you see litter, pick it up!

  • Set a good example. Don't be a litterbug.

  • Take part in neighbourhood cleanups - litter prevention requires the community to work together.

Tips for being a smart trick-or-treater

Halloween is a fun and exciting time, but safety should be the number one concern. Here are some safety tips for children:

  1. Wear a properly fitted costume that is bright and non-flammable. Use reflective tape on your costume so you can be seen in the dark.

  2. Use face makeup or enlarge the eyes on your mask so you can see well. When wearing a mask, push it up on your head while walking.

  3. Teach children to visit the front door of well-lit homes and never go inside.

  4. Help your child plan a route and a time to be home.

  5. Remind children to always walk on the sidewalk, and obey traffic and pedestrian signals.

  6. Have an adult check treats at home before allowing children to eat them.

  7. Younger children should go trick-or-treating with an adult. Older children are reminded to trick-or-treat in groups.

  8. Teach children their home phone number and how to call 9-1-1 if they have an emergency or become lost.

Peel board launches new Plan for Student Success 2016-21

In August 2016, the Peel District School Board launched its new Plan for Student Success, a set of four goals that will guide decision-making during 2016-21 to help us achieve our mission to inspire success, confidence and hope in each student.

Each goal, listed in no particular order, is key to student success.

High Expectations for Achievement: Set high expectations for staff and students to ensure all students achieve personal excellence.

Parent, Community and Staff Engagement: Engage staff, parents and communities to support student success.

Equity and Inclusion: Achieve inclusion for all through our continuous progress on equity.

Safe, Positive Healthy Climate/Well-Being: Build safe, positive, healthy climates for learning and working to nurture student and staff well-being.

More information about the Plan for Student Success will soon be available at http://www.peelschools.org/aboutus/ourgoals/

Time for school - A parent’s guide to regular school attendance

Elementary school is a wonderful time in the life of a child, a time of great strides in learning and in social and emotional development. Many things affect your child’s success, from the quality of his or her teachers, to the makeup of the class. One of the most important factors is your child’s regular and timely attendance.

Getting to class on time, and avoiding absences, are critical if your child is to get the most out of school. It seems obvious. But the fact is that elementary students tend to miss and average of eight or more school days during the year. What can you as a parent do to help ensure your child’s proper attendance?

Is your child missing more? Why does attendance matter?

First, understand that getting to school–every day and on time–matters at every level, perhaps even more so in elementary school. That’s because important learning occurs daily, right from the start of class. And because you establish patterns early on. By being punctual and responsible, children are acquiring positive habits about school attendance. Some other things to consider:

  • By being late, children miss important social time with their peers before school begins.

  • Students who are late often feel embarrassed or self-conscious.

  • Late arrivals can disrupt the routine of the classroom.

  • A last-minute rush can be stressful for the child, and get her to school in the wrong frame of mind.

  • Missing even five or 10 minutes of the day can make it harder for the student to understand the material being taught.

  • Frequent absenteeism leads to gaps in a child’s skills and knowledge base, cause the child to fall behind his peers and hurt his self-esteem.

  • Too many missed school days can increase isolation, as the child stands out from her classmates and misses opportunities to develop socially.

  • Absenteeism makes it tougher for the child to develop a good rapport with the teachers.

When Time is Ticking

Few homes run like clockwork. The morning routine, especially, can be a mad scramble. But there are effective strategies for getting your little one up and out the door on time.

  • Get your child to bed at a reasonable hour.

  • Set realistic and consistent schedules and rules at home. Getting ready for school should be part of the child’s overall routine, something that’s expected of him every day.

  • The night before school, do whatever is necessary to shave time in the morning, such as setting out clothes, packing lunch, and setting schoolbags at the door.

  • Have a set morning routine that the child can easily follow, i.e. washing hands and face, going to the bathroom, dressing, making the bed, brushing teeth, and eating a healthy breakfast.

  • Avoid any distractions that can slow the child down, like TV or games.

  • If you’re running late regularly, set your alarm to get up earlier.

Is it a sick day?

Children do get sick sometimes – they are still developing natural resistance to certain infections, their hygiene behaviours are still developing and germs spread more easily in a classroom. So some missed school is unavoidable, for the child’s own well-being, and the protection of her classmates. But there are ways to cut down on sick days.

  • Teach your child about proper handwashing, after going to the bathroom, playing outside or wiping his nose.

  • Follow other healthy habits, from eating nutritious food to getting enough sleep.

  • Some symptoms make school attendance uncomfortable, like a fever, vomiting, or diarrhea. But if you’re unsure whether your child is sick enough to miss school, talk to your doctor.

  • Some children pretend to be sick to avoid school. Ask yourself is the child’s symptoms are vague, (i.e. a headache, upset stomach, fatigue), if your child tends to miraculously recover just after school starts or ends, or if the illness is happening during stressful times at school or at home. Allowing your child to remain home when there’s no real illness sets a bad pattern.

  • If you decide to keep your child home, please report your child’s absence via the SafeArrival system quickly and conveniently in one of the three ways:

    • Call an automated, interactive toll free number – 1-855-209-6155

    • Report absences online by accessing the SafeArrival parent portal on pdsb.schoolconnects.com

    • Download the SafeArrival mobile application for Apple and Android devices

  • Once you have reported your child’s absence, keep the child in bed or doing quiet, low-key activities. A day off from school shouldn’t be a holiday, it should be a time to recuperate from illness, so the child can return as soon as possible.

Set the right example

Children follow the lead of their parents. If you place an importance on regular and prompt school attendance, so will your child.

  • Show interest in your child’s education by asking about the school day, celebrating school successes, attending school events and parent-teacher interviews, volunteering at school, and communicating with your child’s teacher. The more you value school, the more your child will.

  • Provide a home environment that encourages learning and curiosity.

  • Treat the school hours with respect. If you have to make an appointment for your child, arrange it before or after school or, if that’s not possible, at the very beginning or end of the day.

  • When it comes to planning family trips, some parents will factor in the schedule in the higher grades, but think little of pulling their child out of school. If anything, younger students can be affected more when they miss an extended period, finding it tough to relearn classroom routines and rejoin their peer group. Learning is cumulative, building on the skills and concepts that were introduced before. And this process is ongoing. Family trips can be wonderful learning experiences themselves. But if they must occur during the school year, please save them for scheduled breaks.

  • If your child resists going to school, for no apparent reason, talk to him or her about any possible problems with the school, teacher or other kids. However, don’t give in to coaxing, pleading or threatening and keep the child at home. That creates a bad precedent.

Need more information?

If you have any questions regarding any of the issues raised here about lateness or attendance, or if you’re looking for other tips on getting your child to school, please talk to us. By working together, we can help support a more successful school experience for your child. Visit our website at www.peelschools.org.