To:         All parent(s)/Caregivers and students
From:       Nancy Elkins, Principal and Eleanor Morris, Assistant principal
Date:       September 14, 2009

        CURRICULUM NIGHT – Wednesday, September 16th, 2009

                            Vision Statement

       We at St. Mary’s Elementary School believe education is the
process where each student is provided with the best opportunity to
strive for personal and academic excellence in a child-centered setting
which fosters a positive self-image, a desire for lifelong learning and a
respect for others in a global environment.

       Welcome back to another school year at St. Mary’s Elementary. We
hope that everyone had a great summer! A special welcome to those of you
who have children attending school for the first time, it will be a very
exciting year for both you and your child.

       The education of children is a cooperative effort between the home
and the school. As an integral part of the school family at St. Mary’s
Elementary, you are encouraged to visit the school, attend meetings of
parents and teachers and become involved in as many activities as possible.
We look forward to working with you throughout the year in building a
healthy learning community in which the educational needs of each individual
child will be best met.

       Throughout the year, be sure to maintain open communication with
your children’s teachers and the administration at the school. Each child has
an agenda that assists with organizational skills that enables them to list
homework assignments, announcements, as well as providing an excellent
medium for parents and teachers to be able to write back and forth.
Newsletters will be sent home on Thursday of each week explaining the
exciting things that have happened in our school, as well as important
information pertaining to the week ahead. Please take the time to read this
newsletter as it addresses many issues directly affecting you and your child.
These newsletters will also be posted on our website:

      We hope that you find the following information useful as you plan
your school routines. If you have any questions or concerns do not hesitate
to drop by, email, or call the school. We look forward to seeing you
Wednesday night, September 16th @ 7:00.

Staff Members for 2008 – 2009

Principal ----------------------------------------- Nancy Elkins
Assistant Principal ----------------------------- Eleanor Morris
Kindergarten ------------------------------------ Rhodie Anne Woodland
Grade One -------------------------------------- Sherry Ryan, Ann Kennedy
Grade Two--------------------------------------- Penny Pinsent
Grade Three ------------------------------------ Terina Legge
Grade Four -------------------------------------- Leanne Conroy &
                                                    Rhodie Anne Woodland
Grade Five -------------------------------------- Catherine Best
Grade Six --------------------------------------- Eleanor Morris, Leanne Conroy
Special Education ------------------------------- Jennifer Stokes
Special Education ------------------------------- Kerri Lynn Power
Guidance Counselor ----------------------------- Francine Doyle
Learning Resources ----------------------------- Wendy Flood
Physical Education ------------------------------ Collin Power
Music -------------------------------------------- Mark House
Band --------------------------------------------- Derrick Burry
Speech Language Pathologist ------------------ Angela Critchel
ESL ---------------------------------------------- Cathy Anstey
Secretary --------------------------------------- Joyce Davis
Student Assistants ----------------------------- Wanda Doyle, Bernice Ryan,
                                                    Loretta Toope,
                                                    Heather Ballinger
Educational Psychologist ------------------------Sharon Clifford
Custodian ---------------------------------------- Calvin Matchim
Maintenance Custodian--------------------------Margaret Jordan
Public Health Nurse ---------------------------- Lisa O’Neil

School Closeout Days for Professional Development Purposes

      Throughout the school year parents will note that our school is closed
for Teacher Professional Development/Workshops. In the last teacher
contract, the Provincial Government negotiated an extension to the length of
the school year. The result is that school now dismisses for the summer
break one week later. The three extra days added were designed for
teacher professional development. These days, in addition to the two days
already designated for this purpose, allow for a total of five days when
school may be closed to allow staff to receive training, without negatively
impacting the total amount of instruction our students receive.
      During this year our “Close-out Days” may take the form of a full day
or part day school wide closeout when all students remain home. An
alternative may be to identify one grade level for school closeout. The
general rule is that for any given student the total amount of time that they
would be expected to stay home because of teacher in-service is five days.
The three dates that we have organized as of now are: November 10th,
November 12-13th. The other 2 days are yet to be determined, but one will
hopefully take place in October and the other in the spring.

School Calendar 2008-2009

September 8, 2009               Administration Day
September 9, 2009               School reopens for students
September 25, 2009              Photo Day
October 12, 2009                Thanksgiving Day
November 10, 2009               Professional Development Day – No School
November 11, 2009               Armistice Day
November 12 – 13, 2009          Professional Development Day – No School
December 1, 2009                Report Cards released
December 2, 2009                Parent-Teacher Interviews
December 21, 2009               Kindergarten Christmas Concert
December 16, 2009               Primary Christmas Concert
December 22, 2009               Last day prior to Christmas
January 4, 2010                 School reopens
March 16, 2010                  Report Cards go home
March 18, 2010                  Parent Teacher Interview
April 1, 2010                   Last Day prior to Easter Holidays
April 12, 2010                  School reopens
May 24, 2010                    Victoria Day
June 24, 2010                   Last day of school for the students
June 25, 2010                   Administration Day

Daily Schedule

      The school operates on a seven day cycle with 30 minute periods. A
calendar will be sent home each month so that you will know the days for
music and physical education. The schedule is as follows:

8:15                     Doors open for the students
8:25                     First bell - Kindergarten begins
8:30                     The instructional day begins for 1-6
10:30                    Recess break begins
10:45                    Recess break ends
11:10                    School Dismissal for Kindergartens
11:45                    Lunch break begins
12:35                    Instruction begins after lunch
2:35                     Dismissal for all grades
Band                     Day 3, and the morning of Day 6
Music                    Days 1, 4, and the afternoons of Day 6
Physical Education       Days 2, 5 and 7
Guidance Services        This year our Guidance Counselor is here every
                         day, however, she is 50% guidance & 50% teaching
Learning Resource        Days 1, 4, and the afternoon of Day 5

      Supervision of children begins at 8:15 when the doors open. Thus it is
advisable that parents drop off or send their children at or after this time.
Parents are also reminded that there is no supervision provided for students

after regular dismissal time unless they are engaged in after school
activities, e.g. sports, music, which a teacher has arranged. If children are
not engaged in one of the above activities, then supervision ends for them at

       If you intend to pick up your child/ren at the end of the school day,
we ask that you wait outside of the school until the school bell rings. We
ask this of you to ensure the safety of the children should an emergency
arise. The main hallway of our school can become quite congested in the
afternoons before and during dismissal time, especially in the primary
classroom areas. As well, Music and Physical Education classes sometimes
have difficulty returning to their classrooms and our primary teachers find
the activity outside their classrooms can be distracting for their students
during the last period of instruction. If you wish to speak with a teacher,
check your child’s desk, or assist your child in any way, please do so after
the 2:35 bell has rung.

Traffic Flow

Vehicles enter our school via the one-way lane from Waterford Bridge Road
and exit via Germondale Place and Nottingham Drive. Please refrain from
parking in the Fire lane directly along the front of the school. It is
advisable to park on the lot and escort your child to and from your vehicle.
The teachers park at the back of the lot to provide more parking spaces in
an effort to alleviate congestion. The driveway around the back of the
building is used only for delivery vans, wheelchair and emergency
vehicles. We would also remind you to observe and obey the STOP sign
when exiting school property onto Germondale Place.

Physical Education Clothing

       Children are advised to dress appropriately for physical education
classes. Sneakers should be worn by all students and we ask that you please
avoid Crocs, sandals, and slip on sneakers as well as those with wheels.
Shorts and a t-shirt are also recommended for freedom of movement.


       We continue to be a “Nut/Fish Aware School” as we have a
student with a life-threatening allergy to nuts and fish. We need all parents’
cooperation in keeping this child as safe as possible. We are asking that all
parents avoid sending peanut butter/fish sandwiches to school. Also
check the labels of other products and avoid the ones that contain
       We would also like to create a “Scent Aware Environment” at our
school. In this respect, children and parents are asked not to wear scented
products to school. Scents from perfumes and other personal care items
can trigger allergies and asthma attacks in some people. Thank you in
advance for your cooperation in this matter.

Students and Medication

       The administering of medication to students during the school time
has become a major concern of the Eastern School District. Occasionally
children arrive at school with medicine in their possession and instructions
as to dosage and times that the medicine is to be taken. This practice has
led to several concerns being identified. These concerns include the
possibility of young children taking the incorrect dosage, using out-dated or
non-prescription drugs, or sharing the medication with a friend.
       The School District has implemented a required procedure for the
administration of medicine, which we must insist on in order to ensure the
safety of all children.

1. A Medical Release and Indemnity Form must be signed by the
parent/guardian before any medication is administered during school time.
Non-prescription drugs are not permitted to be dispensed in the school, e.g.
Aspirin, cough syrup.

2. VERY IMPORTANT – The medicine must be in a container with a
prescription label attached, which indicates the name of the doctor,
expiry date of the medicine and recommended dosage.

3. The medication must be given by a parent/guardian to the teacher or the
main office where it will be stored until the appropriate dispensing time.

4. For short term drug usage we would suggest that you consider timing
the administering of your child’s medication so it occurs outside of
school time.

If you have any questions or concerns about this procedure please don’t
hesitate to inquire.

Late Arrival / Early Departure

       All students who are late in getting to school, or any student who
finds it necessary to leave the school before regular classes are dismissed,
must check at the school office before entering his/her classroom, or
leaving the school.

Office Check-In

      We ask those parents who visit the school for any reason during
school hours, including volunteer work, to check in at the office.

School Textbooks, Library Books, and Supplies

       Non-consumable textbooks issued by the Department of Education
are free for the students to use on a loan basis; therefore it is important
that all books be kept in good condition. Textbooks lost or willfully damaged
must be purchased at full market price as supplied to us by the Department

of Education. This policy will also be followed if library books are lost or

Recess / Lunch Items

The following items are usually available at the school:

      White/chocolate milk……………………………………………………. $ 0.55
      Juice (apple/orange)……………………………………………………… $ 1.00

             We have designated each day as Healthy Snack Day. We
encourage all children to bring items of raw vegetables, fruits and/or fruit
juice for recess. Junk food should not be brought to school (i.e. potato
chips, soft drinks, chocolate bars, candy, gum, cheezies).


      We will continue with the “Litterless Lunch” again this year. Please do
your best in preparing your child’s lunches to make them as ‘litterless’ as
possible, e.g. reusable sandwich containers, reusable/recyclable drink
containers, cloth napkins, etc. We also encourage children to bring
homemade lunches that are nutritious and healthy, thereby putting into
practice what we teach and learn about a healthy environment and a
healthy body.

We will be continuing with the pizza at lunchtime each Friday. Beginning on
September 18, 2009 we will be serving pizza (cheese and/or pepperoni and
chesse) at a cost of $1.25 per slice. Orders will be taken early in the
morning each Friday and this year pizza will be supplied by Domino’s.

School Council

      As outlined in the handbook for School Councils from the Department
of Education,

“A School Council is established for the purpose of enhancing the quality of
school programs and improving the levels of student achievement in the
school. It meets once a month to receive and disseminate information, and
to review policy on school issues. The School Council is responsible for
working with parents, teachers, students and the community to review the
direction of the school, identify education priorities, recommend strategies
for achieving goals, and assess and report progress. It is a formal
mechanism whereby parents, students, school staff and concerned
community representatives can pool their knowledge, talents and resources
in order to improve the teaching and learning at the school level.”

St. Mary’s Elementary has an active School Council that consists of elected
and appointed representatives from the school community. There are 8
members – 2 teacher representatives from among our teachers at the
school, 3 parent/guardian representatives, and 2 community representatives

appointed by elected council members. The principal is an ex-officio

This year nominations are being sought to fill one vacancy, a parent
representative. More information will be sent home later in the week
regarding this position.


        We will continue with swimming lessons at the Aquarena again this
year. Students from grades one to six partake in lessons that run for eight
consecutive weeks. The cost is $45.00 per student ($27 .00 for instruction
and $18.00 for transportation). This year all lessons will be held during the
morning. The schedule is as follows:
Fall – grades 2 & 5
Winter – grades 3 & 6
Spring – 1 & 4

Volunteers Needed

       In past years parents volunteered to come to the Resource Center
each week to check in/out books, read to the children, and performed other
related duties. This year we will continue to request this assistance,
however, we will first need help in rebuilding a new Resource Center which
will be located where the former grade 4 class was located. The District will
hopefully have the shelving in place by the end of September, and it will be
then that we can begin to restock our shelves. We look forward to having
our new Center located in the middle of our school! We will be calling upon
many of you to help with this project!
       In order to adhere to School Board Policy, all volunteers are
requested to complete a Volunteer Information and Contract Form.
Volunteers will need to obtain a Certificate of Conduct from the Royal
Newfoundland Constabulary. These forms are available at the office and the
group fee will be paid by the school.

Student Data Form

      Student Data forms were sent home this past Friday. Please complete
and return it to your child’s teacher as soon as possible. We realize that you
are asked to do this each year, but it is important that school records and
student information is updated each year.


      In cooperation with Evergreen, a local recycling company, we are
continuing with our school-recycling program. Please remember that all
bottles must have the caps off and no straws are to be left in the
containers. The Recycling Blitz Schedule is as follows:

September 23, 2009              February 17, 2010
October 21, 2009                March 17, 2010
November 18, 2009               April 21, 2010
December 16, 2009               May 19, 2010
January 20, 2010                June 23, 2010

Thank you for your contributions!


       We will be having another Auction again this year! It is our aim to
hold an event such as this every second year, and since we did not have a
fundraiser in the 2008-2009 school year; it’s time to do it again! More
information will be sent home regarding this event as soon as the committee
has it’s first meeting (within the next 2 weeks)

Curriculum Night

       There will be a curriculum night on Wednesday, September 16th
beginning at 7:00 p.m. Please reserve this date to come and meet the
staff and hear your child’s teacher discuss the curriculum, classroom
procedures and grade level expectations. The specialist teachers will also be
available to answer any questions you might have about their program. We
look forward to seeing you there!


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