Bel Ayr Elementary School

October 2022 Newsletter


Dear families,

During the month of October our students will be engaged in learning experiences that teach about Indigenous ways of knowing and believing. Teachers include these experiences in their lessons all year long but October is a time that we focus on it together as a school. The theme for Mi'Kmaq History Month this year is Mi'Kmaw Beading and the Art of Beading. This is an interesting topic for students who love art and storytelling! You can help us consolidate the learning that takes place during the school day by asking your child(ren) questions about their learning at home.


Shawn Marsh



    • October 7 - Terry Fox Run (10:45)

    • October 10 - Thanksgiving Day (No classes)

    • October 11 - RWM6 - Gr 6 Reading and Writing Assessment (NEW)

    • October 13 - RWM6 - Gr 6 Reading and Writing Assessment (NEW)

    • October 18 - RWM6 - Gr. 6 Math Assessment (NEW)

    • October 20 - RWM6 - Gr 6 Math Assessment (NEW)

    • October 19 - SAC/H&S Meetings

    • October 21 - Picture Day (NEW)
    • October 27 - Family Halloween Dance (7-8 pm)

    • October 28 - Provincial Conference Day PP-12 (No classes)

    • November 3- Picture Retakes (NEW)

    • November 11 - Remembrance Day (No classes)

    • November 21 - Assessment & Evaluation Day - Elementary/Junior High (No classes)

New Diversity/Equity Committee

We are looking for two volunteers who are interested in working with a small group of teachers on our school equity and diversity initiatives. We are most interested in hearing about the needs and perspectives from our African Nova Scotian and Indigenous families. Please contact Mr. Marsh if this interests you. or 902-435-8353/1

No Parking - Drop-off Zone

We ask that families not park in our drop-off zone in front of the school. If you want to walk your child to the playground, please park a little further away on Garnett Street or Swanton Drive so our buses can access the school and our neighbors do not have their driveways blocked. We will be having a random police presence to ensure safety and smooth drop-offs are taking place. Thank you for your help.

Lunch Monitors

We are looking to hire new lunch monitors. If this interests you please phone the main office at 902-435-8353

Mi'Kmaq History Month

October in Mi'Kmaq History Month! The theme for this year is Mi'Kmaq Beadwork and the Art of Beading. Our students are excited to learn new things about the history of beading in various Indigenous cultures. Please check out the links below to see the new 2022 poster and the Mi'Kmaq History Month website.

Link to Poster (PDF - large for LCD)

Mi'kmaq History Month

Collective Health

We encourage all families to seek out vaccines and boosters as they become available. We will continue to teach students about hand hygiene and how to properly cover their faces when coughing or sneezing. We will phone home to let you know if your child exhibits new or worsening symptoms during the school day. We will also be receiving COVID-19 test kits this week. If your family needs access to a test kit please phone the main office at 902-435-8353. Please do not request tests if you are not experiencing symptoms.

Our staff and students continue to follow the guidelines outlined in the 2022 Back to School Plan for regular hygiene practices.

  • Maintaining good hygiene helps prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other illnesses. This includes washing your hands often, coughing and sneezing into your elbow and cleaning surfaces.
  • Encourage hand hygiene before and after use of shared objects.
  • Hand sanitizers will continue to be available at no cost to schools.
  • Discourage sharing food, drinks and personal items such as water bottles and lip gloss.

Important News and Events

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.

Terry Fox Run - On Friday, October 7th, at 10:45 am, our students and staff will participate in a Terry Fox run/walk on the soccer field. The weather is expected to be a little cooler so we would ask that students dress in layers and have sneakers. If you are interested in making a donation on behalf of our school please click on the link below:

School Insurance Program (SIP) - Your child is automatically covered for accidents and injuries that happen during the school day. If you want to have 24/7 coverage including the summer months it only costs $14.00/year for a gold plan.

Halloween Family Dance

Our Home and School committee is busy planning for the first Halloween Family Dance in three years at our school! The doors will open at 6:50 pm with the dance running between 7 and 8 pm. All students should be accompanied and supervised by an adult from home. If students choose to dress up for the event we would ask that costumes not have sharp items such as plastic swords or knives.

Pizza Orders

Our Home and School Committee is working on setting up our first 'Pizza Thursday" order. If this appeals to you and your child, please sign up for School Cash below. You will receive notifications through the School Cash system when ordering periods are open. If you have technical difficulties, please phone the main office and Ms. MacLeod will walk you through it. The cost per slice this year will be $3.50. We will be delivering our orders in seven-week blocks over a total of twenty-eight Thursdays between now and the end of the school year. In other words, there will be 4 periods when School Cash will send out notifications for new ordering periods. Our first Pizza Day will be Thursday, October 27th and last until Thursday, January 5th. School Cash will open a window for this ordering on Friday, October 7th.

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!

Monitoring Technology at Home

Technology is everywhere in our society and with this comes a lot of responsibility for families. As parents and guardians, we should be limiting the amount of time our children spend on technology, especially if we can't always monitor it. There are many smartphone apps that can inadvertently give people with bad intentions access to your children. The following apps are some that are in circulation right now:

1. Calculator% - A fake calculator app. Users can hide harmful images within this app.

2. Snapchat - One of the most popular social media apps being used by children. Users can take pictures that supposedly disappear after 24 hours. New features allow the images to stay longer in addition to the app broadcasting your child's location to other users even when the app is not open.

3. Tiktok - An app used all over the world for posting short videos. It has limited security features and thus can been used to orchestrate cyberbullying or dangerous criminal acts.

4. Whatsapp/Messenger/Messages - All three of these apps allow users to share texts, images and videos. If not monitored closely, children can be drawn into cases of cyberbullying and could be exploited by strangers.

5. Playstation, Nintendo, or Xbox Consoles - Many of the games on these consoles give children the ability to chat in real time with people from all over the world. Game culture, especially within the Fortnite game, encourages children to use chatting features to put down and tease other players.

6. Huggy Wuggy- There are many "Huggy Wuggy" games and videos on the Internet. The name sounds cute and innocent but that actual "Huggy Wuggy" character is scary and extremely inappropriate for children.

7. Kik - Allows anyone in the world to send messages directly to a child. It has no security features. Children often use this app to circumvent rules at home limiting access to other apps as it is not very well known.

8. - Encourages users to receive anonymous messages from all over the world. It is often linked to cyberbullying.

9. Various Dating Apps - Children can easily create fake accounts on Bumble, Meetme, Holla, Badoo, and Grindr. These apps do not have the proper identity checks to prevent younger users from signing up.

10. Instagram - This popular social media app can put children in danger of cyberbullying and exposure to strangers. It has some security features if parents and guardians know how to activate them in the settings tab. This is the most popular app for children and it is their main source of communication. If not monitored closely your children could be at risk.

We don't recommend allowing elementary-aged children access to social media or their own private devices. This can lead to serious trouble down the road that may be hard to reverse or overcome. If you are allowing these technologies in your household, we recommend that you ask your children to share their usernames and passwords for each app being used. Have them log in regularly with you, disable location software, limit their time to one hour per night, supervise them at all times, and check their conversational histories.

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 Pictures

The school photographer has scheduled our school for Friday, October 21st. Background selection cards will be sent home with students. 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 November 10th. Our picture retake day will be Thursday, November 3rd in the morning. Students should bring their previous picture proofs with them if they were present on the first picture day.

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, hairbrushes, 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 if 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

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