Thunder News Flash – November 30, 2019

November 29, 2019
  • I Can Do All Things Through Christ

    We are about to enter the Advent season.  Similar to Lent, Advent is a time of preparation and a time when prayer, penance and fasting are also appropriate.  The purple colour associated with Advent is the colour of penance and reminds us that this is a good time to receive the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Advent is also the time in the liturgical calendar when we are waiting for Jesus’ coming.  In our “instant world” of smart phones and Google, waiting is something that many people struggle with.  If it takes more than a few minutes for our order to be ready in the drive through, we get annoyed.  If an internet search doesn’t load fast enough, we find ourselves banging on the keyboard in the hopes that this will speed things up.  If we focus on the cross and Jesus’ ultimate sacrifice for all of us, we can turn our thoughts from “I can’t wait” to “I can wait”.  This month at school we will focus on being patient, and hopefully we can all develop a little bit more of this virtue.

  • Early Dismissal Day - December 4th

    Please note that we will have our next Early Dismissal Day on Wednesday, December 4th for our staff meeting.  The students will be dismissed at 12:55pm.  Students should bring a snack and lunch with them to school that day.  The Thunder Club is available for those parents who are unable to pick up their children at 12:55pm, and if your children are picked up by 2:30pm the charge will be the same as the morning drop in rate.

  • Christmas Musical

    You may have already heard your child singing the song that their class is learning for our Christmas Musical, but just in case you haven’t been blessed with this treat yet, we will once again be showcasing the talents of all the students in the school as we present to you “The Boy Child”.  Join us for a creative retelling of Jesus’ birth, which will be presented on Wednesday, December 18th at 1:00pm for the seniors and grandparents, and again at 1:00pm and 7:00pm on December 19th for our school families, friends and relatives.  Students need to be in their classroom, dressed in their musical costume, at 6:30pm, and the doors to the gym will open at 6:30pm as well.  We hope that all of our school families will have the opportunity to attend at least one of our performances!

  • Thunderwear Thursdays

    December is one of those months, like March, when we are not in school for the fourth Thursday of the month.  So, we have decided that our December Thunderwear Thursday will take place on Thursday, December 12th.  Students will be allowed to replace their uniform pieces with Thunderwear that they have, so for example if they have a Thunderwear t-shirt they can wear this instead of their school shirt.  As always, this is not a full dress down day, but a day to wear Thunderwear to show our Thunder Spirit!

    Just a reminder that there is only one Thunderwear Thursday a month – please check the school calendar on our website to find the date for each month.

  • Community Coffee

    Our next Community Coffee will take place on Monday, December 9th in the school gym at 10:00am, following our monthly school Mass.  We hope to see you there!  

  • Child Care in BC

    Childcare BC is conducting a survey of parents regarding child care in the province.  The survey is anonymous and will be open until January 17, 2020.  If you would like to participate in the survey, please click here.  You can also find the answer to many of your questions regarding child care in BC by clicking here.

  • Christmas Giving Tree

    Our Christmas Giving Tree will be up next week and the gift tags will be on the tree by Tuesday, December 3rd.  We will follow a similar routine as last year:

    1. Students are not allowed to take a tag from the tree unless they have permission from their parents.  If you would like to give your child permission to take a tag from the tree, please email the school by clicking here and let Mrs. Dlugan know that this is all right.  Please provide a price range for the gift that you would like to bring in, and Mrs. Dlugan will help your child pick an appropriate gift tag.
    2. Parents are welcome to stop by before or after school, at your convenience, and take a tag from the tree.  We will happily “buzz” you in the front door.
    3. Tags vary in price range and in the items that have been requested – families may take more than one tag if they wish.
    4. A tag may say “canned corn”.  We do not specify how many cans you need to provide – whether it is one can or a case, we will gratefully accept your donation.
    5. All items provided must be new – we cannot accept any used items.
    6. All items must be brought, unwrapped, to the office with the gift tag so that an ornament can then be placed on the tree.

    Donated items will go to support the following charities:  St. Vincent de Paul and NightShift.

    We thank you for any and all donations which we will gratefully accept until December 20th.

  • Gym Bags

    When students change for P.E. class, they are taught to take their gym strip out of their gym bag, quickly get changed, and then put their school uniform in their gym bag where it remains until their P.E. class is finished.  This makes it very easy for the students to locate all pieces of their school uniform for a quick change to return to their classroom.  However, there are a number of students in the school who do not have gym bags, and there have been several incidences of uniform pieces going missing or getting mixed up with another student’s belongings.  If your child does not have a gym bag we strongly encourage you to purchase one to avoid these mix ups.  

  • Parent Parking Lot

    It has been reported that parents are driving quite quickly through the Parent Parking Lot in their rush to get their children to school on time.  While being on time for school is important, please remember that if you enter the Parent Parking Lot after 8:25am there are still a number of parents and children crossing the lot.  Please slow down in the parking lot, as we want everyone to arrive at our school doors safely.

  • Cold Weather Reminder

    The recent snap of cold weather is a good reminder that your children need to come to school dressed appropriately for the weather.  We do send the children outside to get fresh air and have some much needed time to burn off some energy, even when it is cold.  Children should come to school ready for the weather with a good jacket with a hood, boots, gloves, scarves, etc.  

    Please also remember that our Uniform Policy states that the students may not wear skorts or shorts from December through to the end of February.

  • Seniors'/Grandparents' Luncheon and Musical

    We will once again be hosting a special luncheon for the seniors of the various parishes that support St. James & St. Ann’s School, as well as the grandparents of school students.  This will take place on Wednesday, December 18th – doors will open at 12:00pm, lunch will be served at 12:15pm and they will be treated to a special 1:00pm performance of our Christmas Musical.  Please invite your child’s grandparents and the seniors of the parishes to attend this lunch and show, but please have them call the school at 604-852-1788 to R.S.V.P. by Monday, December 16th so that we know how many people to set up for.  Admission is by donation.

    We look forward to seeing many people attend and serving the senior members of our community.  The Grade 6 class will be taking care of serving the seniors, and the Baking/Cooking Group will be providing the desserts, along with some donations from the Grade 6 class.

  • Sibling Applications for 2020-2021

    The Application Package for siblings of students currently registered in the school will be available for pick up at the school office beginning on Tuesday, December 3rd.  If you have children in the school, and have a younger child who will be entering Kindergarten in September 2020, please come to the school office to pick up an Application Package.  If you have children in the school, and have other children who will be entering Grades 1 – 7 in September 2020, and you are hoping that they can attend the school, please come to the school office to pick up an Application Package.  These applications must be filled out and returned to the school with all supporting documents no later than December 19th as we will begin to take applications for new families to the school on January 27th.  We need to know how many spaces we have available, especially in Kindergarten, as the spaces fill up each year very quickly.  

  • Personal Electronic Devices - Students

    As Christmas approaches and wish lists are created, electronic devices are definitely on the list of many of the students at the school.  Please be reminded that you and your children signed a contract which states that students may not have Personal Electronic Devices (PEDs) on them while they are at school.  If you allow your child to bring a PED to school, it must be turned off and stored in their backpack while they are on school property.  As technology is developing so quickly it is difficult to list every PED that a child may want to bring to school, but anything that has the ability to access the internet, take pictures or communicate with others would be considered a PED.  Things like hand-held gaming devices, cell phones or smart phones, Apple watches, tablets or iPads, etc., may not be used while on school property.  If you need further clarification regarding this, please contact the school by clicking here

  • Big Book and Basket Raffle

    The Grade 1 and 6 classes have put together a beautiful Christmas book and basket of treats which will be raffled at the Christmas Musical on December 19th at the 7:00pm show.  Tickets will be on sale starting on Monday, December 9th at lunchtime, and will be sold for 25 cents each.  The money will go to help cover the cost of the Christmas Musical, and a donation will be made to Chalice.  We appreciate your support.

  • An Update From Your REC

    There have been many changes in a short period of time for the Regional Education Committee (REC) of St. James and St. Ann’s Elementary.  At the end of last school year, the Board of Directors for the CISVA informed the REC at the time that St. Joseph’s, Mission, and Sts. Joachim and Ann, Aldergrove, would officially become part of the regional representation of our elementary school.

    The structure of the REC changed from 4 members from each representative parish (St. James and St. Ann’s), to 2 members from each parish (St. James, St. Ann’s, Sts. Joachim and Ann, and St. Joseph’s).  The REC for 2018-2019 was dissolved at the October 23rd meeting, and the new REC assumed its role on the same day.

    For many families in the school – mine included prior to serving on the REC – the role of the REC may seem a mysterious and confusing one.  My goal with this note is to bring some clarity to what we are tasked with, and how we conduct our business.

    The role of the REC is to “[p]romote Catholic education, its values, and benefits to the community.”  (CISVA Policy 110, 1.5).  We endeavour to do this by taking on specific portfolios that assist the administration in ensuring the safe and orderly operation of the school.  Specifically, members of the REC are tasked with serving in the areas of Maintenance, Fundraising, Parent Participation, Community Relations, Finances, Hiring, and Uniforms to name a few.

    We are also entrusted with seeing that the policies and decisions of the CISVA are followed at the local level.  When appropriate, we work with the Principal and Pastor to develop local policies that are suitable for our school community.

    We meet once a month (except for this December), and our general meetings are open for any families that may want to attend.  As a member of the school community, you do have a right to present to the REC, but are required to submit your request in writing at least 7 days in advance of the REC meeting.

    While not an exhaustive list of our roles and responsibilities, it is my hope that this at least brings the role of the REC into focus.  I would invite any members of the school community to reach out to me with any questions to help further clarify the role that the REC plays in supporting the school community by clicking here.

    For a list of the names of the REC members, please see the following page by clicking here.

    For the entire CISVA Policy Manual, click here.

    For the Pastoral Letter on Catholic Schools, click here.

    On behalf of St. James and St. Ann’s Elementary,


    Chris McKinnon


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