Bel Ayr Elementary School

October 2021 Newsletter


Dear families,

We thank you for your contiinued support at home. As we begin the month of October we will be thinking about Treaty Education and how we can continue to learn more about this important topic. Many of our students are engaged in conversations about who the Mi'kmaq people were before colonization and who they are right now. By discussing these concepts we can uncover the factors that led to Residential Schools, reserves, cultural oppression, and the lack of education & human rights for Indigenous peoples.

We want to thank the members of our SAC for asking us to reach out to families to share the knowledge we are learning together in the school. We will continue to do this throughout the year in different ways and we welcome any questions or suggestions from home. We are all Treaty People!


Mr. Marsh and Ms. Rossi


  • October 1 - Treaty Day

  • October 5 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Reading and Writing)

  • October 6 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Reading and Writing)

  • October 7 - Picture Day (morning)

  • October 11 - Thanksgiving Day (No classes)

  • October 13 - Home and School Meeting - 6PM (virtual)

  • October 13 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Math)

  • October 14 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Math)

  • October 18 - Picture retakes (morning)

  • October 20 - SAC Meeting 6PM

  • October 22 - Provincial Conference Day PP-12 (No classes)

  • October 29 - Wear Orange and Black!

Important News, Events, and Reminders

Terry Fox - Thank you to Mr. Stiner who took our students on Terry Fox runs outside this week. You can still donate to the Terry Fox Foundation under our school name here. Thank you for your support!

Paper Newsletters - If you wish to receive paper copies of our newsletter please fill out this form or send in a note to your homeroom teacher.

Lunch Monitors - We need lunch monitors! If this interests you please phone the school or send an email to Mr. Marsh ( Lunch monitors work 1-3 hours per day supervising students outside and in their classrooms. The wages are $13.41 per hour.

Water Bottles - Please make sure your child brings a refillable water bottle to school. Our water refill stations are open but the fountain faucets have been closed off to limit the spread of germs.

Milk Orders - Some families signed up for our milk program using the new online payment system in School Cash. We are going to send home notices on paper to families not currently signed up for the milk program just in case we missed you. These orders will be collected manually with cash being brought back to your homeroom teacher with the order form.

Breakfast Program - We recently reinstated our School Breakfast Program. Students have access to cereal bars, apples, and yogurt tubes in a "Grab-n-Go" style system. Breakfast items are open to all students.

P-2 Reading Focus

This year, all elementary schools in the HRCE are focussing on helping students reach reading benchmarks in grades P-2. Many of our students have lost instructional time due to the pandemic causing delays to their reading development. We know that with enough explicit instruction, time, and practice we can help students gain ground with this initiative. Our Teacher Support Team has met several times to discuss how we can realign school services and supports to help our P-2 classroom teachers. We are analyzing reading data on a monthly basis so we can respond to student progress and inform our instruction.

Reading development is also a focus in the upper elementary as our collaborative teams meet twice per week to respond to their classroom assessment data. When we know where students are we can problem solve together to help them meet higher benchmarks.

You can help us at home by scheduling nightly blocks of reading time, talking to your children about their books, and modeling a passion for reading at home.

School Advisory Counsel Vacancies (P-6 only)

Our SAC has one vacant seat for a parent/guardian member and two vacant seats for community members. Please note that community SAC members cannot be parents/guardians or grandparents of children in our school. You can find information about our SAC on our website. If you are interested in the open parent/guardian seat or know of community members who may be interested in the other seats please contact Mr. Marsh at the school (

Home and School Commitee (P-6 Only)

This year we are re-launching our Home and School Committee. The role of these very important volunteers is to help raise money on behalf of the school for special projects or initiatives. Our first meeting will be on Wednesday, October 13th at 6PM. If this group interests you please contact Mr. Marsh ( A virtual link will be sent to anyone who is interested.

Fundrasing will be limited to COVID safe activities as we still work through our health protocols and consider safety for our students and staff.

Grade 6 Assessments

This week our grade 6 students will complete the reading and writing components of their RWM6 Provincial assessment. It is important for students to be present on October 5th and 6th this week and also on October 13th and 14th of next week for the mathematics sections of the assesment. Students will write these assessments in their homeroom classes for 90 minutes on each of the days mentioned above. It will be important for them to get lots of sleep and a balanced breakfast! We would like to thank Ms. Wallin for being our Assessment Coordinator this year.

Drop-off Times

Please note that the drop-off time in the morning for preprimary students is 8:50 am. Preprimary staff are not available until this time. The drop-off time for all grade primary to grade 6 students is 8:30 am. Staff will not be on duty until 8:30 am so it is important for students not to be on school grounds or dropped off before this time.

School Pictures

The school photographer has scheduled our school for Thursday, October 7th. Background selection cards will be sent home with students on Monday. Families are asked to have their son/daughter return the background selection card to their teacher showing their name & grade and the selection of one of the six background options by Wednesday, October 6th. Our picture retake date will be Monday, October 18h in the morning. Students should bring their previous picture proofs with them if they were present on the first picture day.

COVID Screening/Health Measures

Mandatory Vaccination (new)

All staff and outside service providers will be required ro show proof of vaccination by November 30, 2021.

Rapid Test Kits (new)

Within the next two weeks we will be distributing rapid test kits to all students in PP-6. You will also recieve insturctions on how to use these kits.

COVID Screening

We use the Daily COVID Checklist in the link below to screen students or staff who have symptoms at school.

** Students who have a cough or two or more of the other symptoms on the list will be sent home and office staff will ask families to book a COVID test for their child. A student can return to school after being symptom free and receiving a negative test.

Health Measures

We are following the 2021-22 Back to School Plan ( All students are required to wear masks on the bus and inside the building. Exceptions to mask wearing occur when students eat, drink, and engage in physical activity in the gymnasium. Students sanitize their hands after crossing thresholds, before and after using devices, and before having snacks or lunch. On September 29th, Public Health made a decision to continue mask wearing in schools for the foreseeable future.

Allergy Alert

Please be reminded that we have students who have life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, and eggs (ingestion only). We would ask that you do not send food items in lunch bags containing peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds as these can contaminate surfaces.

School Cash

Our school will post items for purchase and assign school fees relevant to your child (eg. milk orders). You can make all purchases and payments from your phone, tablet or computer.

We would like families to register as soon as possible.

To get started, please register for SchoolCash Online. It’s free and takes less than two minutes. You will receive an email once items are posted for purchase.

Visit and click Register to get started.

Need support? Connect with the SchoolCash Online help desk at

We hope that SchoolCash Online makes paying school-related fees more convenient!

Electronic Devices

Please remind your children that electronic devices such as phones, ipods, ipads,

Nintendos, etc are not permitted at school unless a teacher sends home a note to bring them on a particular day for educational purposes. Students who have chrome books or laptops can bring these devices to school for educational purposes with the permission of a classroom teacher. The school will not be responsible for any theft or damages to devices brought from home.

Head Lice Prevention

Not only can colds and flu bugs be spread at school, so can head lice. Head lice are tiny insects that live on the head. They lay eggs (called nits) close to the scalp. Head lice spread through direct contact among children (head-to-head), or indirectly on items such as hats, combs, hair brushes, headbands, helmets or toques. Head lice do not jump, fly or hop but they crawl very quickly. We encourage you to remind your children not to share anything that could cause a transfer of head lice. Check your child’s head regularly for either live lice or nits (eggs); once a week as part of your routine and after every sleepover. Keep long hair tied back or braided. Head lice spread easily, so if one person in the household has lice, others may have it too. Check everyone in the household on the same day.

If your child has contracted head lice, we ask that you contact the school and treat your child with a medicated lice treatment such as Nix. Once your child has been treated, he/she may return to school as long as there are no live lice. It is important to carefully follow the directions on the treatment package so that re-infestation does not occur. All family members should be checked and treated as required. For more information, please click the link below to read the pamphlet “How to Prevent, Find & Treat Head Lice”. This pamphlet was written and reviewed by Public Health Services, Nova Scotia Health Authority

Community News

Looking for something fun to keep you active this winter??! United DFC is so excited to announce that winter registration is NOW OPEN

You can register by going to or if you need more information contact Gloria via email

Sunday, October 3 from 10am-2pm at Bel Ayr Elementary

Community Walk & Fundraiser for the CIBC Run for the Cure

Family friendly event with a silent auction, BBQ, face painting & games!

For more event details and our COVID-19 plan please visit