SK - February 2 /2018

Dear Junior School Parents,

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Thank you to the more than 60 families who recently participated in our 3 parent coffee mornings. We hope they provided an opportunity for you to share feedback as we, together, move forward to improve the Junior School experience for your children and our community.

Below is a summary of the feedback from the 3 meetings through the lens of our Compass Points learning engagement. As well, we will be scheduling 2 parent meetings (after conferences) where we will do our very best to answer questions, respond to concerns, offer next steps and celebrate our partnership in your children’s learning journey. Stay tuned for the meeting dates.

Sincerely,

Valerie and Struan

NORTH: What info do you Need to know?

  • Parents have expressed the desire to know more about personal/human resources issues (eg. extended absences, departing faculty)
  • The plan for the current Junior School Leadership team and direction of the school
  • What are students learning on a daily basis?
  • Want to know more about the Athletics, PSE (Personal Social Education) and PYP programs in the Junior School
  • Discipline Policy and Code of Conduct

SOUTH: What Support do you need? From whom?

  • Desire for workshops on bullying, the discipline policy/practices, social media and other relevant topics to schools and parenting
  • Desire for more social worker support in the Junior School and clarification about the role of the counselor/PSE teacher
  • Clear, consistent communication and a clarification of the role of the FLASH, weekly emails from teachers and class parents

EAST: What Excites you about the Junior School?

  • Overwhelmingly, parents are very excited about the amazing teachers and staff
  • Kids love the school and feel very “at home”
  • Excellent support/resources for learning
  • International, multicultural and inclusive community
  • A very engaged parent community
  • Lots of extracurricular activities and athletics

WEST: What are you Worried about?

  • Student behaviour - lack of clarity regarding discipline policy, confusion about the role of Think Sheets, inconsistent parent communication, fair and equitable application, are there incidents of bullying in the Junior School?
  • Communication - too much or not enough, timely, many sources?
  • Parent feedback - would like more opportunities for face time with leadership team
  • Are we celebrating our international cultures and traditions? eg. Harmony Concert
  • Class size - is the formula meeting the learning needs of students?
  • The transition from Junior School to Middle School - are the students ready?

Highlights

The children enjoyed learning about Dr. Seuss this week. We read a story about his early childhood, and how he came to be known as Dr. Seuss. They enjoyed looking at a selection of his stories and watching a video about him. We read a less familiar story with the cover hidden, and they used their imagination to create what they thought the cover would look like.

SK is continuing to learn sights words by building them using hands on activities. We completed a journal entry and shared ways in which we think we are creative.

The children have been very imaginative at centres, using play dough in creative ways, many mixed materials at production, and a variety of building materials at construction.

We are introducing a new unit in Math - geometry and spatial sense. The children had an opportunity to explore 3D solids, and we discussed the words - stack, slide and roll. We will be learning the correct names and characteristics of shapes and solids.

This week in Art, the SKs read the story ‘Niko Draws a Feeling’ and had an active discussion about how abstract art can convey emotion. Also this week, the SKs practised adding detail to their art by drawing and painting winter clothing and accessories.

In French, the students have practising the play, Boucles d’or et les trois ours, in class. They are starting to become very familiar with the vocabulary of the story. They have even been practising to say some of the words with the marionnettes of the characters of the play.
 

Looking Ahead

As Mrs. Morgan goes on maternity leave, please ensure any emails or communications are sent to Mr. Pascal at pou@yorkschool.com to ensure any questions or concerns can be addressed promptly.

Parent-teacher interviews are just around the corner -  February 7th and February 13th. Please note that you can select the length of the interview based on the number of blocks you pick. Standard length is 15 minutes (3 blocks) with homeroom teachers and 5 minutes (one block) with a specialist. On both Wednesday, February 7th and Tuesday, February 13th there will be an early dismissal. JK/SK students will be dismissed at 1:45 PM.

Valentine's Day is also quickly approaching! If your child shows an interest in making Valentine’s Day cards, we ask that you make cards for the entire class. We want to ensure that all the children feel included and cared for. Also, in keeping with our food policy, please do not send in treats. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to talk to Miss Julie or Mr. Pacal.

We are looking for parent support for our Great Canadian Outdoor Day. Please email either Julie or Pascal if you are able to help out on the afternoon of February 15. We will be going skating and would love for you to join us on the ice if possible to help your child skate. The teachers and children will be going to the rink by school bus and then returning to school to enjoy hot chocolate and a treat in the cafeteria. Please note that in order to go on the ice, skates and a helmet are mandatory. Let us know if you will be able to join us, so that we can properly plan for this outing. If your child does not have skates or a helmet, they will still attend and watch from the side of the rink.

Mindful Morning

Next Friday, February 9th,  the Junior School will participate in our 3rd annual Mindful Morning. JK and SK students will participate in a modified Mindful Morning during their Community Time.

Reminders

With the ever changing weather it is a great idea to pack extra socks for wet feet!

Circulation Policy for Junior School Students

India - Global Pathways School Donation Drive

This week we will be kick starting our India donation drive (clothes and toys). Bins will be placed by fire place in the Gathering Place for donation drop off. Please take a look at our "wish list" link below. This list will also be posted in each classroom and communicated in the FLASH for the next few weeks.

https://bbk12e1-cdn.myschoolcdn.com/ftpimages/353/misc/misc_158794.pdf

Great Canadian Skating Afternoon

The JK- grade 2 classes will be going on a trip to Ramsden Park on Thursday, February 15th for our annual skating afternoon. We will be departing from school at 1:00 pm and returning at approximately 3:00 pm. You have been sent the VO form that can be accessed on YorkNet. Please be sure to sign into your YorkNet account to submit the permission form no later than Monday, February 5th. Students are to come to school that day dressed in their grey York School sweatpants and sweatshirt. As well, your child must have the appropriate winter clothing,  such as snow pants, hats and mittens. Please note,  there are no skate rentals available at the rink and that a hockey or a ski helmet are mandated by the City of Toronto. If you would like to volunteer please let your child’s homeroom teacher know.

Junior School Pancake Breakfast - REGISTER NOW!

We are thrilled to host a Pancake Breakfast, hosted by The York School Parents’ Association (YPA) on February 22nd and 23rd.

Students are invited to bring a family member or friend to join them for a pancake breakfast at the school. Please RSVP to one of the four seatings below.

February 22 - 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.
February 23 - 7:30 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. or 8:00 a.m. - 8:30 a.m.

RSVP here!  

Important Dates

Please make sure to check The York School’s full school calendar regularly for updates, locations and times.

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