Bel Ayr Elementary School
March 2023 Newsletter
This year we are thinking differently about the teaching of reading in our school. As part of our School Improvement Plan, we have strategies that see our teachers implementing word study blocks in their instruction every day. In the lower elementary, teachers are using new phonological awareness and phonics instruction resources to help students who struggle with the decoding of words. In the upper elementary, teachers are using a combination of phonics and word study to build vocabulary and understand word origins and English language rules. We also have a daily intervention for all P-2 classes with volunteers and staff who read to children and help them practise new strategies.
When you read with your children at home, please remind them to look at every letter in a word and to sound them out before using pictures or other cues to guess. Research in reading shows that word decoding using the knowledge of letter sounds and the parts of words is a superior strategy to using pictures or skipping over unknown words and looking for context. Give your children time to look through an unknown word before reading it to them. This processing time is critical for the brain's ability to store knowledge about letter sounds and other language rules.
We are excited by the progress of our students in this area and appreciate your support from home.
March 13-17 - March Break - No Classes
March 20 - Assessment and Evaluation Day (no classes)
March 29 - Term 2 Report Cards Sent Home
March 30 - 1/2 Day Morning PD & Parent/Teacher Interviews (1-3 PM and 6-8 PM) - No Classes
April 7 - Good Friday (No School)
April 10 - Easter Monday (No School)
May 22 - Victoria Day (No School)
May 27 - Spring Fair
Keonte Beals Concert and Story Telling
Keonte Beals won three of eight nominations at the Music Nova Scotia Awards for his album, King in 2020. In 2021, his song, King won R&B/Soul Recording of the Year at the ECMA awards. Since 2015, he has won many awards including Nova Scotia Artist of the Year (African Nova Scotian Music Awards) and African Nova Scotian Artist of the Year in 2019 (Nova Scotia Music Awards). He is the author of two children's Books, I am Perfectly Me (2021) and I am a King (2023). He read his new book to us and showed our students how he illustrated the pictures on each page with his nephew. We're sure this will inspire a lot of authors and artists in our school!
Effective February 1, 2023, we will be accepting registrations for the 2023-2024 school year through our new online portal, PowerSchool Enrollment!
Tip: Before you begin, make sure you have the following documents in electronic form (image, PDF or Word document):
- Proof of identity/age with one of the following: birth certificate, passport, immigration papers, or legal adoption papers) if you are new to the HRCE;
- Proof of home address (a recently dated official government or utility document with your current address that includes your name and date, such as water bill, power bill, internet bill, home fuel bill, a tax receipt, property assessment or a mortgage contract); and
- Nova Scotia Health Card or Canadian Province Health Card or, for non-citizens while in Canada, proof of Medical Insurance Information.
Visit the HRCE website for more information and to enrol your child today!
Don’t have a child to register? Maybe you know someone who does! Please help us spread the word and pass this information on to friends, neighbours or relatives who will be looking to register for the fall.
Out of Area Update
We are trying to rebuild our volunteer list which has declined since the pandemic. We currently do not have enough volunteers to consider schoolwide trips. The process of obtaining volunteer checks (below) can take anywhere from two weeks to three months depending on the waiting list for the Child Abuse Registry check. This makes it difficult for us to plan class trips in the future. To be able to approve a class trip, we need a ratio of five students for every one volunteer in the lower elementary and eight students for each volunteer in the upper elementary. Having one or two family volunteers from each homeroom with their completed volunteer checks would allow us to restart whole-school class outings at our school again. If you are interested in being a volunteer for your child's class or for our P-2 reading intervention, please contact the main office at 902-435-8353. We have a limited fund to help cover the costs associated with criminal records checks.
After submitting both of these documents to our main office, you will be cleared for volunteering in our school for three full years from the date of issue indicated on your paperwork. Thank you for your interest and your time!
Grade 6 Home Alone & Babysitter’s Course
A Message from SchoolsPlus
You can also reach out to Megan using the contact information below:
Megan Tobin, BSW, RSWC (she/her)
SchoolsPlus Facilitator | Halifax Regional Centre for Education
Rocky Lake Junior High | Rocky Lake Elementary | Sunnyside Elementary | Bedford South Elementary
Covering: Woodlawn High | Eric Graves | Bel Ayr
Thank you to our Home and School Committee for organizing a fun night of BINGO on February 9th. Thank you to all who attended and supported this family event.
Spring Fair - Save the Date
Winter is Here: Guidelines for Inclement Weather
Making the decision to alter the regular operations of school and/or school buses due to inclement weather is never an easy task. To learn more about how the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE) makes this call, visit www.hrce.ca/weather.
When is the decision made?
HRCE’s goal is to make the decision as close to 6 a.m. as possible.
A 6 a.m. announcement could be:
- All schools are delayed in opening by two hours and all bus pickups are delayed by two hours; or
- All schools are open, but some or all buses are not operating for the day; or
- Some schools (either individually or by family) are closed for the day; or
- All schools are closed for the day.
If the weather deteriorates through the school day, the HRCE can decide to dismiss early. In the event of an early dismissal, the decision will be communicated as close to 11 a.m. as possible.
An 11 a.m. dismissal means:
- Bused students will be picked up two hours earlier than their regular dismissal time; and
- Walking students will be dismissed at their regularly-scheduled lunch hour.
Please Note: students in Grades Primary to 6 will not be released from school until parents/guardians or designates have been notified by the school.
How will families be notified?
- Families will receive an email and text message (opt-in is required: text Y to 978338)*
- Check our website at www.hrce.ca
- Follow us on Twitter at @HRCE_NS
- Call the HRCE information line at 902-464-INFO (4636)
- All local radio stations are informed
Click here for a printable PDF of our guidelines.
*If you know someone who is NOT a parent/guardian who would like to receive an email and/or text message, let them know they can sign up here: www.hrce.ca/notifications
Did you know? Halifax Regional Arts
Did you know that Halifax Regional Arts (HRA) gives opportunities to all HRCE students to have enhanced fine arts experiences?
Did you know that all programming, including all instruments, supplies, and materials are FREE?
HRA provides fine arts experiences, including music, drama, dance and visual arts. Each family of schools has at least one HRA Fine Arts Specialist (Visual Arts, Drama, Dance) that have reached nearly 53,000 students since September!
Curious to learn more? Visit https://hra.hrce.ca/
Joint Accessibility Plan
The Nova Scotia Accessibility Act recognizes accessibility as a human right and sets a goal of an accessible Nova Scotia by 2030. You can learn more about how the province will achieve this goal here.
Nova Scotia’s seven regional centres for education and the Conseil scolaire acadien provincial are responsible for developing a multi-year plan to ensure accessibility in public education. Together, we created a Draft Joint Accessibility Plan, outlining how we will provide accessible learning and teaching experiences for all, in every aspect of education. We’re now looking for feedback from Nova Scotian families and staff in our organizations.
This is a reminder that we are inviting you to review our draft plan and provide input through ThoughtExchange. Tell us what works, what needs improvement and what we might be missing. It’s quick, easy and anonymous. You can read and rate the thoughts of others – and contribute as often as you like.
How to get started
- Click here to review the Draft Joint Accessibility Plan in English. Click here for French.
- Click here to share your feedback using ThoughtExchange.
- If you prefer to share your feedback by email, click here.
This consultation will run until March 8, 2023.