Bel Ayr Elementary School

March 2022 Newsletter

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Dear families,

Thank you for your continued support at home. With absences reaching record highs in our school during the month of February, it will be important for students to work extra hard to catch up at school and at home this spring. Reading with your children each night is the best support you can provide to our teachers. Educational research has shown that children need over 3000 book experiences before they enter grade primary in order to be developmentally ready for school. Some children require even more than 3000 if they experience additional barriers. A plethora of book experiences, reading instruction, reading aloud, and daily practice from grade primary to grade three are also known to be essential for future academic success and reading independence. If children do not reach reading benchmarks by the end of grade three it becomes even more difficult for them to catch up as many brain pathways have already developed.

Reading at home can:

  • help your child get to know sounds, words and language, and develop early literacy skills
  • help your child learn to value books and stories
  • spark your child’s imagination and stimulate curiosity
  • help develop your child’s brain, ability to focus, concentration, social skills and communication skills
  • help your child learn the difference between ‘real’ and ‘make-believe’
  • help your child understand new or frightening events, and the strong emotions that come with them
  • help your child learn about the world, their own culture and other cultures.

If your child is already reading and enjoying books independently, the support should transition into scheduled reading time at home. Family support for this can look like the following:

  • a quiet place to read with no distractions
  • scheduled reading time before play time
  • asking your child questions about what they are reading
  • asking your child to retell the events of a story or details of a text
  • asking your child to predict and ask questions about things that are not written within the text
  • reading and discussing books with your child
  • ask them to relate their own experiences to a text
  • reading a higher level text or chapter book to your child for interest and discussion


Mr. Marsh and Ms. Rossi


  • March 11 - Tropical Day - Wear tropical colors and shades!

  • March 14-18 - March Break

  • March 21st - Third Term Begins

  • March 23 - Assessment and Evaluation Day - no classes

  • March 31 - Report cards emailed to families

2022-23 Registration

Registering for School

Do you have a child who is eligible to start Pre-Primary or Grade Primary this fall? It’s time to register for school!

HRCE begins the registration process in February so that schools are ready to welcome your child in September. You can find everything you need to get started here:

Children who are enrolled in Pre-Primary do not need to re-register for primary unless they intend to register at a different school. Please let us know in the main office.

Please share this information with your friends and neighbours with children who will be 4 or 5 years old by December 31.

To limit non-essential visitors to schools, families are required to register online.

Need help with online registration? Our Parent Navigators are ready to support you!

· Missy Searl: or 902-464-2000 x4362

· Zachary Garcia: or 902-464-2000 x4361

What’s Pre-Primary all about?

Check out our Welcome to Pre-Primary site.

What does Grade Primary look like?
Visit our Welcome to Primary site.

Out of Area Applications

A link will appear on the HRCE website on the morning of April 1st. Applications for out of area students will be accepted beginning at 8 am that same morning. Admission will be based on available spots and families will not be notified about a decision until at least mid-June. Some decisions are not made until the first week of school if enrolments numbers are high. Families who apply for out of area transfers to our school give up their spots in their catchment area schools and are responsible for their own transportation to and from school at Bel Ayr Elementary.

African Heritage Month Highlights

Our students learned a lot about the voices and lived experiences of important African Canadians and Nova Scotians last month. This learning takes place all year long but February is a month when the entire school learns together around a central topic relating to African Heritage. Homerooms enjoyed our daily facts highlighting the achievements of notable African Nova Scotians from the past and present. Students in every homeroom also joined a nationwide virtual presentation by D.O. Gibson, an inspirational speaker, rapper, and spoken word poet. This presentation was called Black Canada 365 - Stay Driven.

We would like to thank P1 McGrath/Whynot and 45Lesperance/Banks for creating bulletin boards including large images of Viola Desmond and Dr. Martin Luther King Junior.

Free T-shirts

Last month every students in our school was given a free t-shirt. Ms. Rossi and Mr. Marsh did a visit in every classroom and noticed that all students were following health measures and were working hard for their teachers. Congratulations, students!
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Health Measures and Rapid Testing

We still have many of our health measures in place until at least March 21st. We are awaiting further direction from NS Public Health on how to proceed after March Break. Today we lifted our outside zone and cohort layers. Students will be able to go outside and play with students from other classes for the first time since December.

All students took home two more packages of rapid antigen tests last week. The recommendation is to test at least twice per week. If someone in your family tests positive for COVID-19 please reach out to us to gain access to additional rapid test kits.

Inclement Weather

Click here to view the HRCE's inclement weather procedures.

Food Services

In the coming weeks we will be sending home information about the continuation of our milk and pizza programs. Milk orders will be completed using paper order forms/cash while we will continue to use School Cash Online to manage orders for our pizza orders. Stay tuned!

Important Reminders

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.

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.

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.

Allergies - 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.