The Rideau Report

January 2020

Principal's Message

"What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year." Vern McLellan

Welcome back Rhinos and families, to a new year and a new decade! We hope that everyone had a restful break, and is ready to get back into the swing of learning.

January is a great month to refocus on routines and learning goals, as we head towards the end of first term. It is a relatively quiet month in terms of extra-curricular activities, which lets everyone get back to the important business of classroom learning. January is a great time for resolutions and goal-setting, and we will work with all children to set meaningful, achievable goals for the new year.

Thank you to everyone involved in the Lion King in December. It was a truly amazing experience for our students, which I know they will not soon forget. A production like that can not happen without a huge amount of support from staff, families, and the community, and we all appreciate everyone's effort to make it such a special event!

We try to make our communications with families as effective as possible. All email communication will be done through School Messenger this year, so please ensure that we have your correct email address on file at school. Our website: also has our newsletters, a school calendar, and other useful information. Twitter is another way to keep up with what's happening at Rideau. Follow us @RideauPS_LDSB . You don't even need a Twitter account to follow us! Just Google @RideauPS_LDSB and you can see our Twitter feed. You can always get in touch with us through email at or by calling the school at 613-546-5901. Thank you for your continued support of the work we do every day!

G. Seiveright, Principal

Labour Update

Elementary teaching staff, who are part of the Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO), continue to engage in a legal withdrawal of certain aspects of their work (work-to-rule), as they negotiate with the Ministry of Education and School Board Associations. Most of the struck work affects Board and Ministry initiatives, and does not directly impact students at this point. Teachers are not collecting money at the moment, or handing out notices from the school, so our lunch program is on hold until further notice. Our milk program will continue through this order cycle, until Feb. 7, but there will not be a new order form sent home unless there is a resolution. We will provide updates to families as we receive new information, and will ensure that our classrooms remain safe, productive learning spaces through this current labour situation.

for the love of reading week

Big picture
We are excited once again to announce our annual For the Love of Reading Week, which this year, will be held Jan. 27 - 30. This week coincides with Family Literacy Day on January 27. This is a day to celebrate reading as a whole family, which is a wonderful way to spend time together and is critically important in the development of our children's literacy skills. You can find more about this day, along with ideas and activities, at . More information about our Literacy Week will follow closer to the date.

Staff update

Mr. Davison is on a leave of absence from January to June this year. We are very excited to have Ms. Vandenassem joining us this term, in Mr. Davison's place. She has already started to meet students and families, and is eager to get to know everyone in the Rideau community. She has a special passion for Music and Kindergarten, and can't wait to get down to all the songs, games, and activities that students love. Ms. Vandenassem has experience abroad and here in Ontario with many different age groups, and hopes to add a great variety of French songs to her repertoire this year. She is sure the students will help her with this goal!

Attendance on Inclement Weather Days

Big picture

In past years when school buses have been cancelled due to inclement weather, parents/guardians of bused students were not required to report their absence. Only parents/guardians of walkers who chose not to come to school were to report absences.

New for 2019-2020: All parents/guardians are asked to report their student’s absence regardless of the reason including during bus cancellations. Often, bused students find alternative ways to school and we want to ensure we know the whereabouts of every student to ensure their safety and well-being. Knowing who is supposed to be at school will allow school office staff to best ensure all students are accounted for.


  • Bus cancellation as the reason for absence if your student is bused
  • Inclement weather as the reason for the absence if your student walks but chooses not to attend

If your student is marked absent and the absence hasn’t been reported in advance, our new SafeArrival system will attempt to reach the student’s priority contact (parents/guardians) by telephone to confirm the absence. If you receive a call regarding your student’s absence, you can enter the reason for the absence (bus cancellation or inclement weather) during that call.

The new SafeArrival system makes it easier for you to report your student’s absence, reduces the time it takes for our school staff to verify student attendance, and responds to unexpected or unplanned student absences. This time savings makes it faster and more efficient to account for all students and their safety.

On inclement weather days, sometimes the daily plan is amended but learning continues as many students can, and do find alternative ways to school (Kingston Transit, family drop off, walking). In schools where there are significant walk-to populations, an inclement weather day doesn’t usually affect the curriculum plan. In others, almost all students might be bused. In these cases, educators make the necessary adjustment to adjust their lesson plans for who is in attendance.

More information is available on the Board website.

We recognize this is a change in practice but one we are making to ensure student safety and well-being. Thank you for your support and understanding.

Be cold-weather ready!

Big picture
Following KFLA Public Health guidelines, students are outside for recess except in cases of extreme cold (-25 temp and/or -28 windchill). Please remember to send students with snowpants, hats and warm mittens. It is a good idea to send extra mittens and socks in case one pair gets wet at first recess. Recess is a great chance for students to get fresh air and move around, and we want everyone to be safe and comfortable outside all winter long!

Grow Project videos

Big picture
Last year, several of our students were involved in making informational videos with the GROW Project and the Loving Spoonful. Those videos are now finished, and can be seen at . Be sure to check out the videos at the bottom of the page - you will see Rideau, our garden, and many of our past and current students. Great job by all involved!

Spirit Days

Lost and found

Our lost and found box is constantly overflowing with sweaters, snowpants, mittens and other wonderful, new, expensive clothing. Please come and take a look to see if you can find anything your children have lost. It will be displayed at the end of the month, and unclaimed items will be donated to a local shelter. Please label all your child's belongings. You can use a sharpie on the tag, or go to . You can order labels and support our school.

Communication with Families

Big picture
The School Messenger tool is a way for parents and families to stay connected with Rideau. Parents must now use the School Messenger system to report absences, and we will use this tool to share newsletters and communicate emergency and other information. You can download the School Messenger app to your Smartphone for free and choose how it is best for us to reach you. Please ensure that your email in School Messenger is the same one on file at the school, in order to receive newsletters and report absences.

School Council News

Big picture

Thank you for your ongoing support of our School Council initiatives. Our School Council meetings for 2020 are all on Wednesdays: Jan. 15, Feb. 12, Mar. 11, Apr. 8, and May 13, from 6:30 - 8:00 in the staff room. Child care is available in the gym. Hope to see you there!

Parent Volunteer list

Our School Council maintains a volunteer list that is called upon to help with various special events throughout the year. Signing up for the list does not commit you to volunteer, but is a way for us to send out requests. If you would like to sign up for the volunteer list, please go to . Thanks!

Safe Arrival

Please remember to report absences through the Safe Arrival Website/App, or by phoning

1-855-257-9349. Even if your child is just going to be late due to an appointment, please report them absent for the day, and we will change it when they arrive. Thanks for your support!

Big picture

Upcoming events

  • January 6 - Welcome Back!
  • January 15 - School Council - 6:30
  • January 17 - Spirit Wear/School Colours Day
  • January 27 - Family Literacy Day
  • January 30 - Dress-as-your-favourite-book-character Day
  • January 31 - PA Day

Check our school calendar on our website for the most current listing of events!