Posted: September 8, 2019
Families of Shortreed,
We had another awesome first week this past week as students and families were welcomed back to the school by all our staff. Because the number of our divisions was not confirmed until Thursday afternoon (when we gained one more division), we had all our students with grade groups and last year’s classrooms. As was sent out last year, I will be writing a “Good Things and the Week Ahead” on Sunday nights so you can read Monday morning (or late Sunday… for a little bedtime read?) about all the great stuff happening at our school as well as some updates and reminders for the week and month ahead.
Tomorrow is an important day for our staff and students as we move into our new classrooms. Grade 1-5 students are to start in the same homeroom as they did last week and by about 9:30, will be walked to their new classrooms. A few things to remember about the process of class assignments:
- Teachers and staff have spent HOURS collaborating, reflecting, and discussing with students about the best possible placement for ALL our students. As a staff, we must look at the best placement for ALL students; although we place each individual student carefully, we also have to ensure that classes are equitable based on academic, social, and emotional strengths and struggles.
- Although we work to place each child with a friend in their class, we do not always place them with their closest friend. Often times, placement with a close friend for a few years in a row can hinder growth and independence so there are times when we purposefully place friends in different classrooms because we look at what is best for their education. If your child comes home and is sad because their closest friend is not in their class, please view this as an opportunity to grow and thrive in a new setting. (On a personal note, my twin daughters will be placed in different classes this year so if there is anybody who understands this struggle as a parent, it is me. 🙂 ).
- If you have some concerns about your child’s placement, please do not ask for them to be moved. After spending hours and hours looking at each child’s needs, one move can create a domino effect and cause a variety of other challenges. We encourage you to meet with your child’s teacher and share any questions you may have. In my 11 years as an administrator, what I have seen every year is that if a child is upset about a placement, by the following week, they have settled in with new friends and are loving the classroom. Again, this is an opportunity for us to support our children through a temporarily challenging time… and then, in a few weeks, celebrate by looking back on the courage and strength they showed in a new situation.
- If you ordered school supplies online, they will be distributed early this week. For those who did not order online, please bring the supplies on Tuesday.
- Students can be picked up at the homerooms (same place they were dropped off) on Monday.
- Because we had a new division added, we will have a temporary teacher in there until about September 19. Over the next few weeks, we will work hard to hire a new teacher while also supporting the students until a teacher is hired for the duration of the year. This will be a grade 4 classroom. I understand this is not easy for parents and students so please know we will be doing everything we can as a team to ensure this transition goes as smoothly as possible.
- If you have any questions about combined grade classes, please check out a blog post I wrote a few years ago with some info about how combined classes are created.
- At Shortreed, we pride ourselves on working to create strong connections, caring classrooms and school, effective instruction, and a true sense of belonging. No matter which classroom your child has been placed, we know that if the school and family work together, we can help them to truly flourish.
Good Things to Talk About
You BELONG Here Our mantra this year is all about BELONGING. We want EVERY child, staff member, and family member to feel like they belong at Shortreed. We have this written on our staff shirts and we want to make sure we live this every day at our school.
A Positive Experience At our staff meeting on Tuesday, after the students had been dismissed, we discussed what we wanted our students to EXPERIENCE in their first week of 2019-2020 at Shortreed. Staff shared words like a sense of belonging, fun, engagement, interesting, care, safety, and happiness. We hope that your child(ren) felt some or all of these in their first week!
Challenging Those Creative Brains Many teachers designed lessons to encourage collaboration and creative thinking. From design challenges (make a pencil holder out of this piece of paper, design a hat that can carry an apple, etc) to creative challenges (draw anything based on a line that looks like half of a heart (but it can’t be a heart!), build something with only these items, fold this paper to make a specific time of animal, etc), students brains were put to work and there was much pride with all the success that was attained.
Basketball is Back! As a principal, I could not have been happier to get another all-weather area back to our school for our kids to use… and as a basketball coach, knowing this was a basketball court made me ecstatic! When a portable was added last year, we lost our basketball court but over the summer, we gained not one court… but two awesome courts! The hoops are a set at 9 feet which is the height at which the grade 5s play for their season. It was great to see the courts packed with kids last week.
First, Let Me Take a Selfie For our first day, we once again had our selfie frames out for students and families to capture the memory of the first day of school. Even our school liaison officers Cst Moe and Cst Cormier had to stop for a pic! :- )
Treating the Staff Our amazing breakfast program crew, featuring the amazing Bella Howat and her crew, cooked our staff breakfast on Friday as they prepare for the start of the Breakfast Program on Tuesday. We will email out the forms on Monday but they are also available in the office. This important program is short on volunteers this year; what was once a team of 5 each day is down to 3 each day. if you are able to help out once a week or more, please email me (C. Wejr) or call the school and we can get you in contact with Bella. Thank you to all those who have already committed and to the Church in the Valley for all their support.
Welcome to a New Wall! Our library is home to a new wall… a LEGO WALL! Thank you to Ms McKay and to Will from SD35 maintenance for their collaboration and efforts for getting this done. Students can now create some very cool 3D designs with Lego in our library.
Looking Back on the First Week We met as a school on Friday to connect, review some important school guidelines, welcome new staff and students, and celebrate the first week with a slideshow. You can view the slideshow here.
The Week Ahead
- Monday, Sept 9 – As stated above, students will start the day in their homerooms once again (the same as last week). They will then be moved to new permanent classes for the year. At the end of the day, they will go back to their homerooms one final time so you know where to pick them up. They will also have a slip of paper stating their teacher’s name and their classroom.
- Tuesday, Sept 10 – Breakfast Program starts! Forms will be emailed out but can also be obtained in the office.
Updates, Reminders, and Info
- Parking – Our parking lot is closed from 8:15-8:45 and from 2:15-2:45. We only have enough space for our staff and drivers with a disability. The parking area is only open for staff, school district buses, and daycare transportation during these times. Please park along 28th Ave or in the Catholic Church across the street who have once again graciously donated their lot to us.
- Pick Up and Drop Off – To ensure our students have appropriate supervision and are safe, please do not drop off your students before 8:20. Also, unless there are extenuating circumstances, please do not pick up your child before the bell nor after 2:45 (as we do not have supervision past 2:45).
- Nut Aware – A reminder that we are a “nut aware” school and have some students with life-threatening allergies to nuts. Please avoid packing snacks or lunches with nuts as the oil from a student’s hands can be enough to create a significant medical incident.
- West Coast Recess – As we have done over the past few years, every day is an outside day at Shortreed. Unless there is a severe rainstorm (or snowstorm), we will be heading outside. As the forecast this week calls for rain, please make sure your child has a coat to wear outside.
- Juice Boxes – We all know kids love juice boxes… but these are often extremely high in sugar and can cause a sticky mess in classrooms. Please opt for water as much as you can.
- School Calendar – Do you use a digital calendar on your device(s)? Good news! You can add the Shortreed School Calendar to your device by clicking here while using your device. You can also view the calendar here. Please note that it only goes 6 months ahead right now but the district is working on a solution to this.
- Shortreed Spirit Day – Every Friday, we are encouraging students to wear some Shortreed Wear or something blue to show our Shortreed school spirit! We will be providing students and families the chance to order more clothing over the next month or so.
- Click here to read a letter from BC’s Minister of Education.
- Your child’s classroom can be in the great outdoors! Join us on Sept. 26 at 6:30 p.m. at Fort Langley Elementary for our Langley Environmental Awareness Program Info Session. To learn more about this choice program: https://bit.ly/2T2os8r
- If you are interested in the Family Accident Reimbursement Plan Voluntary Insurance plan, click here for more info. (Note: this plan replaces Kids Plus Insurance that was offered in years’ past)
The Month at a Glance
- Friday, September 20 – School Improvement Day and Design and Assessment Day – No school for students
- Tuesday, September 24 – PAC Meeting, 7:00pm
- Thursday, September 26 – Terry Fox Run, 1:00pm
- Thursday, September 26 – Welcome Back BBQ and Meet the Teacher, 5:00-7:00pm
- Friday, September 27 – School Photo Day!
- Monday, September 30 – Orange Shirt Day
- Friday, October 4 – Hot Lunch (order info will come out next week)
Click here to view a variety of awesome opportunities for kids and families in our community.
I will email a list of events happening at our local library as well.