Thunder News Flash – October 19, 2019

October 18, 2019
  • Mountain of Miracles

    We have much to be grateful for, and we are ever mindful that there are many people who are not nearly as fortunate as we are.  In Abbotsford there are many migrant workers who work very hard, usually on farms, to send money to support their families back home in their native country.  This is a hard life and it must be so difficult to be separated from their families.  We would like to help support the migrant workers in Abbotsford by collecting nonperishable food items to donate to them through St. Ann’s Parish.  The more food we collect and give to the migrant workers means less that they will have to spend on groceries, and they will have more money to send home to their families.  What an amazing impact our donations can have on the migrant workers in Abbotsford and their families thousands of kilometres away.  We will continue collecting these nonperishable food items at the school from October 21st – October 24th and hope to collect enough food to create a pile the size of a mountain in our hallway – a Mountain of Miracles!  Right now our donations look a little bit more like the base of a hill, so please, think of those less fortunate and help us build that mountain.

  • Attention Sts. Joachim and Ann Parishioners: We need you!

    The Regional Education Committee (REC) of St. James & St. Ann’s Elementary School has been restructured to include 2 members from each of the four regional parish communities.  We still need 2 parishioners from Sts. Joachim and Ann to represent their parish community and complete our new REC.  If you believe in a Catholic education for our children, please consider taking on this important role.  Any registered parishioner is eligible to serve – you do not need to be a current school family to participate in this committee.  For school families, the REC fulfills your Parent Participation Program requirements.  If you are interested, or know of a family that might be a good fit, please contact Chris by clicking here for more information and eligibility requirements.

    Thank you from the St. James & St. Ann’s Elementary School REC

  • Interim Progress Reports

    Your child will be bringing home their Interim Progress Report, focussed on learning behaviours, on Monday, October 21st.  Please check their backpack for this report if they don’t give it to you when they arrive at home.

  • Professional Development Day

    Please note that Friday, October 25th is a Professional Development Day, and there is no school for students.  There will be no Thunder Club available that day as the staff will be participating in a retreat focussed on the Ascension Press program, Radical Communities.

  • New Door Procedures

    While it has only been four days, the new procedures for the students entering and leaving the school seem to be working very well.  The students are really showing their independence as they say “good bye” at the glass doors, and their responsibility as they carry all of their own belongings to their classroom.  Here are a few reminders regarding this procedure:

    • the students enter through the glass doors each morning independently, but if they arrive after the 8:30 morning bell they need to go to the front door to be buzzed into the school, and will get a late slip from the office before going to their classroom
    • the students exit through the glass doors at the end of the day, and either wait for their parents in front of the school, or walk to their car if they are in Grade 5 or above
    • for this current sports season (soccer and volleyball), students who have games will either remain in their gym strip after their P.E. class or their teacher will allow them to change before the end of the day.  The students would then exit through the glass doors after the dismissal bell to meet the adult who is driving them to the away game.  For home games, the students would line up by the outside gym door and their coach would let them in through that door
    • for sports practices during this current season (soccer and volleyball), students who have practices will line up at the outside gym door and their coach would let them in through that door to change and begin the practice
    • for parents who have meetings, need to speak to a staff member, are at the school to help with a specific task, etc., or have an alternate entry/exit plan for their child which has been developed in consultation with either the Classroom Teacher or the Learning Resources Department, please come to the main school doors to be buzzed in

    Please also remember that we need to be aware of:

    • the parking restrictions on Gardner from the mailboxes to the fire hydrant by St. James Church
    • the direction of traffic flow in the drop off/pick up lane and the parent parking lot
    • the “no passing” rule in our drop off/pick up lane
    • how busy the parking lot can be in the morning, and if you are trying to back into a spot but are having trouble, please consider driving in instead as there is often a line up of cars trying to get into the lot
    • the traffic coming from the drop off/pick up lane has the right of way over the traffic coming through the parent parking lot when exiting the parent parking lot
    • the school zone on Townline Rd. and the park zone on Gardner
    • how busy it is around the school from 8:15 – 8:35am and from 2:15 – 2:45pm each day, and that we need to be courteous to each other on the road
  • Library Books For Sale By Donation

    Mrs. White has worked very hard to reorganize our Library, and part of this included removing some of the books that were duplicates, as well as some of the books that were a little bit older.  Several of these books have been placed in the classroom libraries, but there are still a few boxes full of “gently used” books that have much life left in them.  These books will be for sale, by donation, from October 21st – 24th after school each day, and can be found in the main hallway of the school.  Students are welcome to look through them before they leave each day, and may bring their parents into the school through the front doors to browse as well.  No donation is too big or too small!

  • Uniform Policy

    This is just a reminder that our Uniform Policy states the following:

    • Overall appearance is important.  Students should present themselves in a neat and tidy manner (shirts tucked in)
    • No jewelry is to be worn except for small stud earrings or sleepers, simple chain with cross or religious medal and watches
    • Make up, nail polish or elaborate hair accessories (scarves or bandanas) are not part of the school uniform and may not be worn.  Hair accessories must be in school colours or natural hair colour
    • Extreme hairstyles or dyed hair will not be permitted. Hair should be kept neat and tidy, and out of the eyes for safety reasons
    • In general, any appearance that deviates from the school uniform will not be permitted. The inappropriateness of a uniform will be determined at the discretion of the principal

    There have been a number of deviations from this policy lately and we would ask that parents review these requirements with their children, and contact the office if there are any questions.

  • Screenagers

    On Thursday, October 24th, St. James & St. Ann’s School, St. John Brebeuf High School and St. Ann’s Family Group will be jointly hosting a very special screening of the movie Screenagers.  The parents whose children are in the intermediate grades at our school received a letter regarding this movie, as their attendance at this screening is mandatory to fulfill their obligation to attend a Parent Support Meeting.  However, since this is such a well done movie and it is important for all of us to see, we are opening up this screening to all school parents, grandparents and teenagers as well.  Screenagers is an award-winning film that probes into the vulnerable corners of family life and depicts messy struggles over social media, video games and academics.  Screenagers reveals how tech time impacts kids’ development and offers solutions on how adults can empower kids to best navigate the digital world and find balance.  

    The movie will be shown in the gymnasium at St. John Brebeuf High School starting at 7:00pm and a facilitated discussion will follow the movie.  Light refreshments will be served and babysitting is available for children ages 5 and up.  If you require babysitting, please email St. Ann’s Family group by clicking here so that arrangements can be made.  If you plan to attend this screening, please RSVP to help us plan for this event by clicking here.  If you do not RSVP you may still attend the event.  Please note that while it is free to attend the screening of the movie Screenagers, your donations at the door will be greatly appreciated to help us cover the costs of this presentation.

  • The Importance of Being Outside

    In a recent story on Global News it was reported that kids are spending far too much time inside.  Some of this happens because as parents we often feel that there are many dangers that our children face when they go outside.  According to Dr. Mark Tremblay, a senior scientist from the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario Research Institute, our belief that children are safer inside is “the biggest myth going, because from a health perspective almost nothing good happens indoors.”  As educators we also believe that being outside is important for our students – there is much to learn outside, which connects to our curriculum, and spending time in physical play outside actually improves learning when they do come back into the classroom.  Therefore, we are happy to share three things with you:

    • last year we applied for a Wild BC grant to become a Wild School, and we were accepted into this program for a three year period starting this school year.  With the support of our Wild BC facilitator, all classes will now be spending time outside, just like our Kindergarten class, learning in the natural environment.  This may take the form of a lesson planned for outside to support a unit of study, an additional field trip that is completely outdoors, an outside buddy activity or a multi-grade outdoors celebration.  Due to our amazing location, the possibilities are endless!
    • our morning recess is an excellent opportunity for your children to engage with their peers and help to prepare their brains to learn.  No, I’m not talking about the morning recess at 10:30, but the morning recess that occurs when your children arrive at 8:10am each morning.   We provide the supervision, and all you need to do is start your morning routine a few minutes earlier so that all children can benefit from our first morning recess!
    • since we know how important being outside is to student learning, we will be going outside for our recess breaks each day, rain or shine.  Of course if the weather is very inclement, or our field is in rough shape, we may keep the students inside, but that will be the exception rather than the rule
    • please ensure that your children come to school dressed to be outside including boots, mitts, scarves if necessary and good jackets with hoods – no umbrellas please!  If your child doesn’t want to bring these outdoor clothes, particularly a jacket, please let them know it is a new school rule and blame the principal!
  • Work Bee - October 19th

    Our next Work Bee is taking place today, Saturday, October 19th from 9:00am – 2:00pm.  If you are signed up to attend this Work Bee, or are coming to make up some hours, please bring a rake, cordless blower or any other small gardening tools that you have to help with some outside work.  We appreciate all that you do to make our school look good on the inside and the outside!

  • Parent Participation Information

    Most Parent Participation (PP) Task Groups are in full swing by now, and each school family should be well on their way to accumulating at least 10 of their 20 PP task group hours before the end of January (not including their fundraiser commitment).

    Please remember it is up to each family to log these hours as soon as they are done on the school’s PP portal to receive credit.  No hours recorded = no hours credited = PP cheques cashed.  The link to the PP portal can be found at the end of this newsletter or on the school’s website.  If you are unsure of your login/password information, please email Marilyn by clicking here.

    The Regional Education Committee would just like to remind all school families that parent participation task group and fundraiser helpers must be at least 16 years of age to be able to earn hours for the purposes of Parent Participation.  Children who are under the age of 16 are not eligible to earn hours for Parent Participation.

    If you are still unsure of which task group you are with or have any questions, please contact the Parent Participation Administrator by clicking here as soon as possible.

  • Halloween and All Saints Day

    On October 31st the Leadership Team is encouraging students to come to school dressed for Halloween.  Please note that costumes may not include masks, weapons or blood/gore, and should not be too scary.  We encourage the students to come dressed in costumes that reflect heroes, careers, a positive character from a book or movie, or their favourite saint, etc.  There will be costume judging and prizes, sock hops at recess for the primary students and at lunch for the intermediate students, and we will be watching the movie Nanny McPhee after lunch.  After Halloween, students are encouraged to sort through the candy that they have collected, and donate the extras to NightShift.  We will be collecting this extra candy at the school from November 4th – 6th in each classroom.  More information will follow in the News Flash in the future.

    On November 1st we will be celebrating All Saints Day, and will attend Mass at St. James Church at 9:00am led by the Grade 4 class.  The students are encouraged to come to school dressed as their patron or favourite saint.  It would be very helpful if the students could wear a badge or sticker identifying the saint they are dressed as.  It will be wonderful for the Church to be filled with a visual reminder of what we all aspire to be one day – a saint!

  • Thank You For Coming Out to Movie Night

    Thank you to everyone who came out and supported our school at our Fall Movie Night last night!  Everyone had a great time watching “Toy Story 4”.

    A huge Thank You to our sponsor, Westlynn Meats & Seafood, and our anonymous donors!

    A big thank you also goes out to all the families who attended as well as the staff, parents and students who shared their time to help make Movie Night a success.

    Working together as a community, using our gifts of time, talent and treasure, we can reach our fundraising goal for this year.  Every dollar adds up and it all benefits the students of St. James & St. Ann’s.  Thank you for your support of our great school!

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