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Principal’s Message: Week of Sept. 18-22, 2017

Principal’s Message: Week of Sept. 18-22, 2017
Posted on 01/09/2018

Hello Churchill Families!

Welcome to the start of another great week! Once again, we’re forecasting warm, sunny weather. Hats, sunglasses, sunscreen, and water bottles are key to your child enjoying time outside.

Important note: Date change for Welcome Back Breakfast & Class Meetings.New date is Tuesday, September 26th, beginning at 7:30am, with class meetings beginning at 8:15am. Please refer to previous email sent Monday, September 18th.

If you have not yet had a chance to check out the OCDSB‘s new website, please take some time to do so. Among its many new features are a Parent Portal (no login required), and a Student Portal. One of the features I am most excited about is an upcoming function that makes for easy and direct communication to all families from the school in one spot. Look for this happening over the next few weeks. In the meantime, weekly messages from the school will be coming out to all families to your email, going over upcoming events, and sharing reminders about clubs and other school initiatives.

Please also take some time to read about the OCDSB Exit Outcomes. These characteristics and skills are those we strive to instill and equip our students with when they leave our system, and they align well with the alternative tenets. We will be embedding the Exit Outcomes and alternative tenets into our School Learning Plan work, our Well-Being plan, as well as classroom instruction this year.

Cross-country running practice for grades 3-6 has started at Dovercourt. Under Shannon’s guidance and coaching, interested students are to meet on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at 7:15am to practice. Parents are welcome to stay (and even run!), and we are grateful to those who can volunteer to help with supervision when it comes time to walk back to the school for 8:00am. If you haven’t received a permission form yet, they can be signed at the park where Shannon will have extra copies.

Other clubs have started as well. Owen has started with ukulele club, and guitar club is also happening. Makerspace Club with is almost ready to launch on Mondays at second break. Back to Nature Club is up and running at first recess on Tuesday and Wednesday this week. This is a chance for students from every grade to explore Churchill’s very own native forest habitat. If any parents would like to help with this, please be in touch with Caroline caroline.sparling@ocdsb.ca. Eco-club will be Wednesdays at 1:00pm. Guylaine will be rotating Grade 1 and 2 one week and 3, 4, 5, and 6 the second week. We will post a schedule for families and students to keep track of all the amazing extra-curricular opportunities our staff creates for students.

Some other important dates coming up: Thursday, September 28th is our annual Terry Fox Walk/Run. More information will be coming home shortly. Friday, September 29th we will be acknowledging Orange Shirt Day. Orange Shirt Day is an influential movement sweeping across Canada and the world that is helping to educate our students and communities on the history and legacy of the Indian Residential School system. We are inviting and encouraging students, staff, and families to wear orange on that day. 

Some more staffing news: Erin Koltai has joined our team as an Educational Assistant for the time-being. Erin has been with us since late last spring and has already made a very positive impact on the students she supports, and she quickly became a key member of our school team.

On a more bittersweet note, our amazing Office Assistant Anna has accepted a job as a Guidance Technician at a high school in our board. While we are sad to be losing such a phenomenal member of our team, we wish her well as she takes on this new challenge. Anna will share her time with us and her new school for the next couple of weeks while we staff and train her replacement. On behalf of our entire Churchill community, our deepest thanks to Anna for her care, her dedication, and her joy. You will be dearly missed.

Our first CASC meeting is being held next Tuesday evening, September 26th, at 7pm. The first meeting is critical as it is the time where parents may wish to join our council, and be elected as an officer. There are two Co-Chair positions, a Treasurer, and a Secretary that are elected by the council to serve in those roles, and there are representative roles (for example, Special Education Advisory Committee, Alternative Schools Advisory Committee, Ottawa-Carleton Association of School Councils) and committee positions as well. I appreciate the advisory role of CASC, and the dedication of the parents who volunteer their time to support the school and its students. If you wish to put yourself forward for a position on CASC, please email me at erin.paynter@ocdsb.ca, or call the school at 613-722-4474. Whether you wish be a part of the official council or not, parents and guardians are always welcome to attend CASC meetings.

For those wishing an empty seat, the responsibility for the application process lies with the Ottawa School Transportation Authority. Families looking for an empty seat must apply with them, and seats will be assigned after October 1, 2017. Please see www.ocdsb.ca for more information.

Please ensure your contact information is all up-to-date with our office, including emails and emergency phone numbers. Please remind your emergency contacts that an expectation of the school is that they are able to pick up students in case parents are not able to.

We thank everyone for setting smooth routines for their children in these first couple of weeks. We have had very few lates in the morning, and this helps children transition easily into their instructional day, where they can connect with peers, hear about what is happening over the day with their teacher, and maximize their learning time.

Please stay connected to the school! We have a temporary website/blog until the new site is live (www.churchillalternativeschool.com), a Twitter account (@churchillalt) and a Facebook page.

Our deepest thanks for all that you do! As always I am here should you have questions, concerns, or feedback for us.

Take good care,

Erin

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