January 2024 Newsletter

January Newsletter


[email protected]

byr.scdsb.on.ca @boyne_river

Boyne River P.S 117 John W. Taylor Avenue Alliston, Ontario, L9R 0E7 Inclement Weather Zone: SOUTH


Administrative & Office Staff Principal: Stephanie Jacklin                Vice Principal: Sarah Reilly Senior Office Support: Elanna Grimes Superintendent: Matthew Webbe Office Support: Talya Groisman Trustee: Sarah Beitz Lead Custodian: Angela Lidster

New Safe Arrival system for SCDSB schools call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has a new Safe Arrival system at elementary schools. This system will support us in continuing to improve our home-to-school communication process and streamline absence reporting. To report a student absence, call 1-888-885-8065. Callers will be prompted to identify the school before leaving a message. Parents should include the student’s name, teachers’ name, dates, and reason for the absence. When schools do not hear from a parent/guardian, and a student is absent, the school will call home to find out the reason for the absence. If you have questions about the new system, please contact the school office.


School bus transportation information available from the SCSTC In order to receive delay and cancellation notifications, families can check the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC) website at the moment www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca or download the‘BusPlanner Delays’ app from the Apple or Android app stores to receive delay notifications to their devices. Users would need to select Simcoe County STC nas the transportation authority. The app will need to be forced closed, but you will be able to select your student(s) routes or school to receive delays. The app will send a general notice for any cancellation in Simcoe County. You only need to know which ‘zone’ you’re in, so you would know which one to look out for in the app. You can find your student’s zone by visiting the School Bus Status page at www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca and clicking the dropdown for the area you live in.


We have made it easy for parents to make their school purchases from the convenience of their own home. Whether it’s lunch days, field trips or school wear, we have it online for you! Follow these three steps to get started: 1. Go to simcoecounty.schoolcashonline.com or visit our school website and click on ‘Pay Fees’ 2. Register and add your child to the newly created account 3. View and purchase items through bank transfer or credit card It’s safe, fast and convenient! Contact the office with any questions at [email protected] https://schoolcashonline.com


Keep connected with our school and with the SCDSB It’s important to get accurate information about what’s going on at your school and at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB). Here are some ways to do that: Subscribe to our school’s website by visiting the ‘What's New’ section at https://byr.scdsb.on.ca/ Follow Boyne River on Twitter @boyne_river


ENTRY & DISMISSAL TIMES “Keeping our students safe!” 9:10 Supervision Begins 9:25 Entry Bell 3:45 Dismissal The size of our school requires we have strict procedures in place to ensure the safety of our students at all times. The staff greatly appreciates your partnership and support as together, we implement routines that will assist with congestion and assist students to both get to their classrooms, buses and their parents. For everyone’s safety, we ask that parents and students please walk on the sidewalks and not cut through the parking lot. We ask that our students do not board the buses until directed by an educator on duty and wait for the bus safely in an orderly fashion, back from the roadway. We are deeply committed to the safety of your child.


Boyne River Is a Nut Aware, Shell Fish Aware & Scent Free school. Please refrain from bringing any products containing nuts and/or shell fish to the school and from wearing any scents. We have staff and students that are greatly affected and may have anaphylaxis reactions. Thank you.


Inclement weather and bus cancellation information reminder All information regarding cancelled buses in Simcoe County is posted on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC)’s bus information website at www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca. Our school is in the SOUTH zone. When buses are cancelled, schools remain open for student learning, unless otherwise noted. School staff are expected to plan for such emergencies in order to transition students who are unable to attend due to inclement weather, to their online platforms (Google Classroom and/or SCDSBhub [Brightspace by D2L]) and continue with academic programming. It is always a family decision whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions. The Consortium and bus operators try to make the decision to cancel school buses before 6 a.m. and make every effort to post announcements before 7 a.m. Inclement weather cancellations are effective for the whole day and buses cancelled in the morning will not run at the end of the day. You can follow the Consortium on Twitter @SCSTC_SchoolBus for bus cancellations and other information. You can also subscribe to receive bus delay notifications here: https://scstc.ca/Subscriptions/Login.aspx. 


Interested in learning more about the ways that the SCDSB supports students with special education needs and their families? Join us for a virtual special education information series During the 2023-24 school year, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is hosting virtual special education outreach sessions to assist parents/guardians in learning more about programs, supports, and ways that we work together to support students with special education needs. Transition planning Feb. 13 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Reading strategies March 19 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) April 16 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Every day mental health strategies May 14 - 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Participants are asked to register in advance. Information to access the sessions will be shared via email with individuals who have pre-registered. Learn more about each session and how to register on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/special_education/ special_education_outreach_sessions. 


SCDSB launches updated character education program for 2023-24 school year This year the SCDSB will begin implementation of the updated character education program. Rather than focus on one attribute each month, the program has been changed to reflect that character is a fluid concept that includes a variety of attributes. The updated character attributes are:  Bravery Empathy Listening Responsibility Courage  Caring Helpfulness Love Trustworthy Kindness  Compassion Honesty Loyalty Truth Respect  Cooperation Humility Optimism Sharing  Inclusiveness Integrity Perseverance Wisdom For more information on the updated character education program, visit the character education page on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/about/character_education.


Parents’ Guide to Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting Learn to navigate the world of assessment, evaluation, and reporting with this new guide for parents/guardians. Created to support parents’/guardians’ understanding of assessment, this guide was designed to effectively empower you to actively engage in your child's educational journey. The guide has been posted to the Simcoe County District School Board’s website and can be accessed at https://cdnsm 5ss14.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server _210898/File/Secondary/Parents-Guide-toAssessment.pdf.


Subscribe to Community Connects! The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is excited to launch Community Connects, a new bimonthly newsletter for the SCDSB community. Our shared goal with this new tool is to keep our community partners and stakeholders informed while nurturing relationships that are built on accountability, trust, and transparency. To learn more and subscribe, visit the Community Connects page on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/community/community_co nnects 


EarlyON Child and Family Centres The foundation for lifelong learning and health is built in the early years. EarlyON Child and Family Centres across Simcoe County offer programs for children prenatal to six years of age and their parents/guardians and caregivers. They offer access to play- and inquiry-based learning supported by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years, information on child development and developmental screening including Early Referral Identification Kits (ERIKs), parent/guardian education, referrals to community resources, nutrition information, and post-natal resources. Check with your local EarlyON provider: https://linktr.ee/earlyonsimcoe


Kindergarten registration for September 2024 is open! Kindergarten is the beginning of a wonderful journey of learning, and we want your child to begin their journey in a SCDSB school! Do you have a child who is turning four in 2024? If so, we invite you to register your child for Kindergarten. To register online or for more information visit: www.scdsb.on.ca/ kindergarten. 


Subscribe to Kindergarten Connections! Will your child be turning four in 2024? If so, the SCDSB invites you to Kindergarten Connections! This is a monthly enewsletter informing families of everything they need to know about preparing their child for school, as well as registering them for Kindergarten in the SCDSB. To learn more and subscribe, visit the Kindergarten page on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/planning_for_s chool/kindergarten.


How is your infant, toddler, or preschool child developing? Is your child meeting their milestones? Age-appropriate speech and language skills are critical to your child’s ability to read, write, and be successful in school as well as to their ability to engage with their peers. Free services are available to support you with your child’s development. Preschool speech and language programs are located across the County of Simcoe. Call 705-739-5696 or 1-800-675-1979 to complete a developmental screen. The earlier we work together the better!


Licensed Winter Break school-age child care programs Child care programs for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided by independent, third-party child care operators in some SCDSB schools. To support your child care needs, some operators offer child care on PA days and holidays including over the Winter Break and March Break. Registration in advance is required. Please contact the child care operator directly to discuss fees and to register. More information and contact numbers can be found by visiting: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/planning_for_ school/childcare_before_after.


High school information events for Grade 8 students Is your child starting Grade 9 next year? High school information events will take place in person this winter! Student leaders and staff at the school will give an overview of what’s new and what to expect. Learn about courses offered, as well as information about teams and clubs. Please visit the SCDSB website at www.scdsb.on.ca/secondary/planning_for_ high_school to find details on your high school’s info night, and contact the school directly for more information.


School playground structures are closed for the winter Every winter, school playground structures are closed. Students are made aware of this during school hours through announcements and staff reminders during breaks. This may not be well known throughout the community, despite signs indicating that playground structures are a winter hazard and are closed. The Canadian Standards Association regulations make recommendations for the depth of ground cover required to minimize injuries (e.g., sand, pea gravel, or wood chips). These surfaces cannot be maintained when the ground freezes. Injuries from falling would be more significant on frozen ground. We strongly recommend that you do not allow your children to play on any structures while the ground is frozen. 


Exploring the new SCDSB family math resources Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m. This session is for parents and caregivers. Join members of the SCDSB math team for a guided exploration of the new SCDSB family math resources. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the resources that are available to support their child’s math learning at home. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length. During the final 15 minutes, the math team will be available to answer questions about the resources available . 


Tips for engaging in math conversations with your child @Home Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m. This session is for parents and caregivers and will explore opportunities to discuss math with their child(ren) at home. Participants will learn about how events such as shopping, preparing food, engaging in a building project, or going for a walk can be used as a starting point for math conversations, and will receive prompts to get the discussion rolling. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length. During the final 15 minutes, the math team will be available to answer questions about the session.


Games to support your child’s math learning @Home Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m. This session is for parents, caregivers, and their children. Playing games at home is a great way to support child(ren)’s math development. In this session, several games will be explored, and participants will have the opportunity to try the games with their children during the session. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length followed by 15 additional minutes for further game play or to ask questions of our math facilitators. Bring your child(ren) and your math kit to this session! Participants must pre-register for the sessions they wish to attend. Registered participants will receive a kit of hands-on resources that will be sent to the school indicated on the registration form. Use this link to register: https://bit.ly/24MathAtHome.


Math @Home parent and caregiver series It’s back! The SCDSB math team is pleased to offer three virtual sessions for parents and caregivers of SCDSB students. These sessions will focus on practical and fun ways to support children with their mathematics learning and engagement at home. The first 200 registrants will receive a Math @Home kit of resources to use at home. Participants must pre-register for each of the sessions. 


Standards of behaviour and consequences for student action related to racism, bias or hate At the SCDSB, we are committed to maintaining safe, inviting, and supportive school environments, and recognize that all students have the right to be safe, and feel safe, in our schools. With this right comes the responsibility to contribute to a positive school climate. We want you to know that any incident of racism, bias, or hate will not be tolerated. Any such incident is treated very seriously with immediate action and consequences in accordance with the requirements of the Education Act, and consistent with our values and obligations under the Ontario Human Rights Code. Students who engage in acts of racism, bias, or hate will face severe consequences as a - result of their actions. Please take a moment to review the SCDSB Code of Conduct with your child(ren). The Code of Conduct sets clear standards of behaviour and specifies consequences for student actions that do not comply with these standards. Visit www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/safe_schools to learn more. The SCDSB’s Human Rights and Equity Office (HREO) has an advisory titled Prohibiting the Use of the N-word. Please take a moment to review this advisory with your child(ren) by visiting the HREO page on the SCDSB website https://tinyurl.com/3jsvhan6. We are dedicated to educating our students and staff about the injustice and impact of systemic racism. We continue to work with students, staff, parents/guardians and community partners to ensure that our schools are the safe places they are intended to be for all students.


Keeping your information private As parents/guardians, we work to support our children’s well-being and to protect them from harm. At a time when internet use can pose risk to our children, how can we support them in keeping their information private and secure when using social media, games, and/or other digital apps? Each month we will highlight one cyber awareness topic to support parents/ guardians with the information and tools they need to navigate these topics with their children. January's theme is Keeping your information private. For helpful tips related to managing your child’s privacy and security settings on mobile devices, read through the info sheet from the Educational Collaborative Network of Ontario (ECNO) by visiting https://ecno.org/wpcontent/uploads/2023/09/ECNO-CAM-Calendar-23-Aug3023_KeepInformationPrivate.pdf. For additional activities and information, please refer to the Digital Citizenship resources for parents/guardians that are available on the SCDSB website https://www.scdsb.on.ca/ elementary/safe_schools (see button for Mental Health & Well-being in Online Environments).


Join us! A learning series for parents/guardians with Pine River Institute Mental health and well-being continues to be a key strategic priority within the SCDSB. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Centre for Family Initiatives at Pine River Institute (CFI@PRI) to provide several curated learning sessions focused on student mental health and well-being to SCDSB families. These webinars are specifically planned for parents/guardians and other caregivers during this school year. Jan. 11, 2024 Sleep hygiene Feb. 8, 2024 Self regulation for kids Feb. 22, 2024 Self regulation for teens March 28, 2024 Building parents' resiliency April 18, 2024 Vaping, weed, and alcohol We hope you save these dates in your calendar and join us for these learning opportunities. For more information and to register, please visit the SCDSB website: https://bit.ly/3jGaC74. Pine River Institute is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. CFI@PRI extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence-informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions. Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at www.pineriverinstitute.com. 


Reporting achievement in language Student achievement in language will be reported as one overall grade or mark on the term one report card. The mark will reflect a student’s integrated learning across the four strands: • Strand A - Literacy Connections and Applications • Strand B - Foundations of Language • Strand C - Comprehension; Understanding and Responding to Texts Strand D - Composition; Expressing Ideas and Creating Texts The grade will be accompanied by supporting comments that will indicate the student’s strengths, describe growth in learning, and identify next steps for improvement. For more information regarding the revised Language curriculum, visit www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/key-changes-language to view a guide for parents/guardians on the Ministry of Education website.


Mental health promotion strategy of the month - 2 x 10 Connecting Well-being is a strategic priority in the Simcoe County District School Board, and our mental health and well-being department provides monthly strategies to support student and family well-being. This month’s strategy is 2 x 10 Connecting. This practice helps to build rapport and the relationship between a caring adult and student, and to let the student see they are genuinely cared about as a person. To practice 2x10 Connecting at home, find a consistent time each day to spend two minutes talking to your child about anything they would like to talk about for a period of 10 days. If you have more than one child, switch who spends that time talking with you every 10 days or find different times in the day to spend 2 minutes with each child. Find more information to support your child's mental health here: https://smho-smso.ca/ parents-and-caregivers/. 2x10 Connecting resources: Elementary - https://smho-smso.ca/emhc/self-awareness-and-sense-of-identity/mattering/2-x-10/ Secondary - https://smho-smso.ca/emhcsecondary/healthy-relationship-skills/being-a-goodfriend/connecting/ 


Stay healthy this school year COVID and other respiratory infections can spread easily from person to person. These germs can spread quickly when someone coughs or sneezes directly on another person, or when germs land on hard surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and keyboards and then are touched by someone else. These germs can then enter the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth. The most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick and stop the spread of germs is wash your hands. Wash with soap and warm running water for at least 15 seconds (or try singing Happy Birthday twice). If your hands are not visibly dirty you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer for 15 seconds. Also, make sure you are up to date with your immunizations, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick. Teach your kids to do the same! For more tips to keep you and your family healthy this school year, contact Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 or visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org. Information provided by The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.