Gator Gab 2018 – Thank You For The Warm Welcome!
Dear Parents and Guardians,
Welcome to the 2018-2019 School year! I am energized to get started on this new and exciting school year and want to take a moment to extend a heartfelt thanks to Mrs. Woodbeck, our wonderful school staff and super students, parents and school council for the warmest of welcomes – thank you! I am extremely proud to serve alongside all members of this vibrant school community and the positive energy, kindness and GREAT School Spirit is palpable – our new school year is almost here!
A warm welcome to those families with children beginning school for the first time, those new to our school and those who are returning. A warm welcome to several new staff members, as stated, we have an awesome staff team and we are blessed to have you sharing your talents also for the benefit of our students and community!
We look forward to a wonderful year with many opportunities for learning and growing. We hope you will feel comfortable and involved with your child’s learning throughout the year. We welcome your presence at school, encourage you to become active partners in the education process, and invite you to volunteer at the school whenever and wherever possible. The Strong Start Program and Volunteering to help supervise on your child’s classroom field trips are just 2 big ways your time is valued to support our GATORS!
Many thanks are extended to the staff who spent countless hours getting the classrooms ready for students on the first day. The Teachers have been working very hard and the classrooms look amazing! As well, a very special thank you is also extended to our Administrative Assistant, Charlene Morey, who went above and beyond to ensure that we are ready in the office to begin this new school year. Also, a BIG thank you to Dave Warmington who worked countless hours over the summer ensuring that our school sparkles and looks beautiful – Thanks!
We look forward to Tuesday morning and may God bless all of us who work, pray and learn together with new friendships, successful learning, good health and happiness.
Mr. J. Dinner,
Prayer for the Beginning of the New School Year
As we begin this new school year, we gather once again as your community of believers.
We thank you for the energy and the spirit that you renewed in us through the summer months. We thank you for the time to enjoy our family and friends and to reflect on what is important in our lives.
Let this year be marked by enthusiasm and love so that, with the inspiration of your Spirit, we may continue to grow in our faith. Help us to fulfill Your hope for us with honest intentions and works of faith.
Let us be gentle with ourselves and bring laughter, joy and love to others.
We ask this in Your name,
Welcome New Gator Staff
With a new school year comes some change. We would like to welcome back and introduce the following new staff members to the Our Lady of Grace School Community:
Teachers: Amanda Miner (Gr. 5/6), Stephanie Gorloff (Kindergarten), Natalie Farrell (Gr. 2/3), Katarina Sammut (Gr. 6), Lisa Feil (FSL), Helen Guerrero (Primary PT), and Urszula Terlecka (ESL)
Educational Assistant: Ashley Schram, Laura Harrington, and Zachary Drakes
Lunch Hour Supervisors: Sue Ventura
CYCW: Chrissy Hrubik
Welcome Back: Elyshia Weinhardt (Library) myth (Gr. 2), Julia Thornton (Gr. 1), Kasia Nguyen (Gr. 5)
Gator Glance: Week #1 – Sept. 3-7, 2018
Monday, Sept. 3rd
- Holiday – Labor Day
Tuesday, Sept. 4th
- First Day of School – Welcome Back Gators!
- JK Orientation and Parent Interview Day
- Our SK’s do NOT attend school today
- Important Student Information and Consent Package goes home – Please complete and return to the school this week – thanks for your prompt attention!
Wednesday, Sept. 5th
- First Day of School for our SK students – and they are now full time from this day forward
- Last Year’s School Parent Council 2017-18 Meeting to Close Pending Items before we start a NEW School Year
Thursday, September 6th
- Half of our NEW JK’s attend for their first Full Day – they will join our SK’s today
Friday, Sept. 7th
- The other half of our NEW JK’s attend for their first FULL Day and will get to meet their new SK friends
LOOKING AHEAD – Beyond this week…
- ALL of our JK’s and SK’s are in FULL attendance today and going forward (September 10)
- Meet the Teacher Night (September 18, 2018)
- Book Fair (Week of Sept. 17-21)
- WE DAY in Toronto (September 20)
- PD Day (September 21)
- Fire Drill Week (September 24-28)
- Opening School Year Mass (Sept. 25 @ 10:45 AM in the GYM)
- Terry Fox Walk/Run Cancer Event (September 27)
- NFL – Nutrition For Learning Morning Breakfast Starts soon – stay tuned for our official start date
- PIZZA Days – will continue again this year – the first day will be announced soon – be sure to register via SCHOOL CASH-ONLINE – sign up today to be ready for our first Pizza Day
- Gr. 2 First Communion Parent Meeting 7:00 PM @ Blessed Sacrament Church (October 2)
- Grade 7 Sacrament of Confirmation Parent Meeting 7:00 PM @ Blessed Sacrament Church (October 3)
- School Picture Day (October 24)
Do You Want to Know What’s Happening at Our Lady of Grace?
JOIN TODAY – GET PLUGGED IN TO OUR GATOR COMMUNICATIONS TO PARENTS
We want you to stay connected and up to date with all of the important information that comes from our school! There are several ways that you can stay connected …
1. Sign up for Newswire at our School Website – the link is https://newswire.wcdsb.ca/OurLadyGrace.html and allows you to receive monthly newsletters, updates from Council, reminders about what is happening at the school (e.g., hot lunch days, pizza days, spirit wear deadlines, etc.). Signing up is EASY! Enter your email and you will receive a confirmation that you are connected!
2. Register for School Cash Online at http://wcdsb.schoolcashonline.com. There are many updates, permissions forms and opportunities for you to pay online securely with a credit card or an e-cheque. If you are hesitant about paying online, we would ask that you register to receive the updates and information. We are shooting for 100% participation! CASH is also accepted for any school events.
3. Follow us on Twitter! @OLOGGators
We often post pictures or news items “in the moment” or as soon as possible – to keep you up to date with what is happening in and around our school community! We have an AWESOME COMMUNITY and we want to share great moments as they happen.
To continue to build strong communication within our community, we would like to know that you are signed up, registered for, and following all of the great moments at Our Lady of Grace Catholic School. A Parent Note will come home in your child’s School Start-up Package, please sign up for all 3 key communication forms as noted above and sign/return the form to your child’s teacher. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the office.
Note: You are always able to “unsubscribe” to any of these sites at any time.
Important BACK TO SCHOOL Information:
- TRANSPORTATION: Check the Student Transportation website at: www.stswr.ca/ (you can subscribe right on their website & receive emails directly!) OR check the board’s website at www.wcdsb.ca and click on Delays/Cancellations.
- VERY IMPORTANT – “STUDENT SCHOOL FORMS PACKAGE”: The first weeks of school are both busy and exciting. Please look for your child’s School Forms Package – this envelope will be sent home and is to be returned during this first week of school. We ask that you please pay close attention to this request and be prompt in completing the required information and return it to school as soon as possible. We need to have current information on each student, so that it will facilitate matters in keeping the lines of communication open between school and home and when trying to contact parents in cases of emergency. Thanks for your cooperation!
- STUDENT ABSENCES: It is very important that we know where your children are for their safety. If your child is going to be absent or late, please call the office at 519-745-3961 and leave a message on the attendance line. If we have not heard from you, we will call you at home and/or at work. We will also make every effort to make contact via the list of contacts you provided. As SAFETY is shared priority, and we are unable to locate anyone in regard to the whereabouts of your child, our next step may be to phone the police.
- DOGS ON SCHOOL PROPERTY: Dogs are NOT permitted on school property. If you need to bring your dog to pick up or drop off a child, please ensure you do this OFF school property. Dogs must always be on leashes and kept under control. Please consider the safety of our children always.
- BIKES: If your children are bringing their bikes to school, they MUST have and use their BIKE HELMET and a LOCK to ensure their safety. The school is not responsible for lost or stolen bicycles. Bicycles must be walked on school property.
- VOLUNTEERS IN THE SCHOOL: We welcome and encourage volunteers in our school. As a Catholic school system, we value the additional expertise and the positive school/community partnerships fostered by volunteers. Our school requires a police record check every year for regular volunteers. See the office for a letter to assist with the cost. Currently we need STRONG START VOLUNTEERS – Please call the office 519-745-3961 if you are able to share some of your time and talents – Thanks!
- SCHOOL AGENDAS: All students from Grades 1-8 have received a Student Agenda. The cost of the agendas is $5.00 per student. The student agenda enables the student to learn valuable organizational skills and it is often used as an important communication tool between parents and teacher. It also contains our School Handbook, Dress Code, Code of Conduct and other important information. Please review the school handbook pages at the front of you child’s student agenda so that we can work together to promote a positive and safe school environment for all. Parents are asked to sign the first section in the planner to indicate they have read this book with their child(ren).
- PICKING UP STUDENTS EARLY: If you are picking up your child early from school, please ensure there is a note in your child’s agenda. Your child will then meet you at the office. Remember, adults picking up children MUST sign them out of the office. The same process must occur if you bring them to school after the start of our day – please sign them in.
- SAFE AND SECURE SCHOOLS: To ensure the safety and wellbeing of all students, visitors, parents, guardians and others MUST report to the main office and obtain a Visitor’s ID badge if you wish to proceed beyond the main office. A pass can be obtained by signing in at the office. Remember, parents and visitors, etc. are NOT permitted to be on the school yard during recess and lunch breaks. We make every effort to keep our students safe and appreciate your understanding of these safety protocols. You are always welcome to be at the school if needed, simply report to the office first thing.
- PEANUT AND NUT FREE ENVIRONMENT: We have students and staff who suffer from anaphylaxis. We ask that you DO NOT send any food items that contain peanuts or nut products to school OR any peanut butter substitute. While there are products that look like peanut butter, smell and taste like peanut butter but are not made of peanuts or nuts, we ask that you DO NOT send these products to school. We are not able to differentiate between real and “fake” peanut butter therefore are not allowed at school.
- LUNCHES: Please ensure your child is packed with two nutritious snacks and one nutritious lunch each day. Also, pack a reusable water bottle that is labelled with the student’s name on it.
- SHOES: Please ensure your child comes to the first day of school with well labeled, indoor and outdoor shoes. The indoor shoes will always remain at the school.
- YARD SUPERVISION: We will continue to have supervision on the yard at 8:40 am. Please have your children arrive at the school AFTER supervision begins in the morning. The safety of your children is our prime concern.
GATOR SAFETY ZONE UPDATE – Gracefield Cres. Directly in Front of the School
Busing, Parking and Safe Access to School Property for our Students and Families – Please DO NOT drop off or pick-up in the school bus loading zone directly in front of the school at the start or end of the day.
The SAFETY of our STUDENTS is always our TOP PRIORITY! Our parking lot and BUS Drop-off and Pick-up Zone – directly in front of the school on Gracefield Crescent continues to be a busy hub for our school at the beginning and end of each day. Like most schools, our parking lot will remained closed in the morning and at the end of the day. We currently have 3 large buses that access the school LOADING ZONE, directly in front of the school, daily both at the start and end of each day. We also have booked a number of specialty buses that are needed daily to drop off students who require alternative or wheel chair transportation. NOTE: All students who live a distance from the school are provided with bus transportation. All other students live within walking distance and this is a healthy and safe way to come to school. If there are days you must drive, please park a short distance from teh school and walk up to ensure safety as the buses line up on Gracefield Crescent. Thanks for making safety a top priority over convenience!
Throughout the school year, the WCDSB Health and Safety Departments, the City of Kitchener, School Council, and our Staff Team will continue to be included in our analysis and decision making as we maintain the safe arrival and departure of our students. Again, thanks for your patience and the steps you take to ensure the safety of our students each day!
THANK YOU FOR HELPING US MAKE THE SAFETY OF OUR STUDENTS OUR COLLECTIVE PRIORITY!
This is how we ROLL in the SWAMP!
Have a great first week Gators!