Newsletter - Nov 26, 2010

Regal Road Newsletter - Friday November 26, 2010

Regal Road P.S.                                                   Trustee:  Maria Rodrigues
95 Regal Road                                Superintendent of Education:  Ian Allison
Toronto, ON                                                           Principal:  Douglas Mintz
M6H 2J6                                                     Vice-Principal:  Carmelo Nanfara
416 393-1390                                      Toronto District School Board Website:
Email: regal@tdsb.on.ca                                           http://www.tdsb.on.ca

Other Phone Numbers
Ascot Daycare – 416 653-7760 
Dufferin/St. Clair Nursery Coop (Bears) – 416 653-6233
Parenting and Family Literacy Centre – 416 393-1387

Important Dates

Wednesday December 2 – 9 – Hanukkah (Judaism)
Tuesday December 7 – Festival of Lights
Thursday December 16 – Ashura (Islam)
Monday December 20 – Holiday begins (no school)
Saturday December 25 – Christmas (Christian)
Sunday December 26 – Kwanzaa begins 
Friday December 31 – New Year’s Eve
Monday January 3 – School Resumes

Please note:  School is closed for the holidays from December 20 – 31 inclusive.


Grade 4 Junior Extended French
Grade 3 applications for the Grade 4 Junior Extended French at Rawlinson CS are due Friday December 17, 2010.  There will be an information meeting at Rawlinson CS about the junior extended French program on Tuesday Nov 30, 7:00 pm.

Music
The grade six students from rooms 29, 27 and 31 attended a Baroque choir and organ concert on November 8, 2010 at Roy Thomson Hall.  Many thanks to the students and staff for a great day of listening.  This was part of free noon hour concerts that happen every month.

Volunteer choir will be starting up day 3 at lunch to sing at Wychwood Open Door in December.  We will collect mittens/hats to donate - send along any donations to us.

Early in November all our grades 4, 5 and 6 students enjoyed a drumming workshop with Rodrigo Chavez.  On Friday November 12, the students put on a concert.  Many parents attended.  We were able to have the workshop here due to a grant from the Ontario Arts Council and with support from the school council.  Special thanks to Rosemary Sutherland for finding and booking this artist.

Green Club
Green Club is in full swing.  We meet Day 4 at lunch in room 5.  Green Club ran a very successful gently used clothing and toy sale.  Each item sold for 50 cents.  We raised $187.00.  Thank you to everyone who contributed items or purchased treasures.  Half the money collected will go to UNICEF, serving children in Haiti, and the other half to Wychwood Open Door which serves our community at St. Matthew’s United Church.

Fire Drills and Threats to School Safety
Over the past three months we have rehearsed a number of emergency response procedures.  All schools are required by Board policy to practise these procedures throughout the year.  We have these rehearsals for precautionary purposes only, so that in the event of an actual emergency, students will be prepared to respond in a safe and responsible manner.


Parent Volunteer Literacy Program Update
We would like to thank all the parents for their time and commitment to help make the Parent Volunteer Literacy Program a success once again this year. We have noticed the many benefits of this program and the students have expressed their enjoyment in meeting with their volunteers.  When adults read with students, they help them to increase their vocabulary and learn skills needed for literacy success.  As a result of this support, children who enjoy the benefits of reading with adults also become better writers.  Research has shown that reading with children one-on-one sets the stage for future academic achievements.  So far this year, we have ten volunteers reading with twenty eight students one-on-one!  If you are interested in supporting this initiative, please contact Mr. Nanfara at 416 393-1390.  Thank you for helping to make Regal Road an exciting place to learn!

Storytelling
During our QSP campaign, we had a parent read a story during an afternoon recess to all interested children.  We had a large turnout.  We are considering having a storytelling or story reading session once a week during the afternoon recess – in any language.  If you would be interested in being on the roster of readers, please leave your name with the office.

Kids Help Phone
During the month of November, two student ambassadors from Oakwood Collegiate presented information on Kids Help Phone for students from Grades three to six.  Kids Help Phone is Canada’s only toll-free, 24 hour, bilingual and anonymous phone and online counselling, referral and information service for children and youth.  Every day, professional counsellors provide immediate, caring support to young people living in urban, rural and remote locations right across the country.  Children and youth contact Kids Help Phone for various reasons, from family issues to bullying.  Students can access Kids Help Phone by calling 1 800 668-6868 or by visiting www.kidshelpphone.ca.

Empathy – room 25
In room 25 we have been talking about what it means to have empathy and to be empathetic. We have discussed that if you have empathy you have the ability to “put yourself in someone else’s shoes”. If you have empathy you have the ability to feel what someone else is feeling, whether it be happiness or sadness. We discussed that if you have empathy for others, then perhaps that will prevent you from teasing, or making someone feel bad about him/herself; it may even prevent bullying, for if we can feel what someone else will feel as a result of our negative behaviour towards them, then perhaps we will think twice about acting on our negative thoughts. 
Through activities such as reading the poem “Don’t Tease” and reading the book The Faithful Elephant we have discussed the impact that empathy can have. The Grade 3’s of Room 25 have paired up with the Grade 5’s of Room 24 to sing the song “Heal the World” by Michael Jackson. Through this song, we talked about the bigger or global impact that empathy can have. We discussed and acted out little situations that showed what being empathetic looks like. It was nice for the two grades to get together to perform at each other’s assemblies. Hopefully this discussion will have a positive impact throughout the rest of the school year.

Empathy – room 24
Room 24 has been exploring the meaning of empathy this month.  We have talked about empathy as the ability to feel what another person or animal is feeling, whether they be happy or sad feelings, and to be able to put oneself in another person’s place.  Also, when we empathize with each other, it makes us want to do kind and supportive things for each other.  When someone is sad or hurt, and we have empathy and we want to help them feel better.  

Through our reading of The Faithful Elephants and our novel The Crazy Man, we have been identifying and discussing examples of how the characters showed empathy or a lack of empathy.   In working with The Crazy Man, the students have made the connection between acts of prejudice and a lack of empathy.  The book deals with issues of disability.  One of the students remarked when he was outraged by how one of the characters was being treated, “We are all different, but we are all really the same!”  We have also talked about how the writer makes the reader feel empathy for the characters; we want fairness and justice for those characters.  As Ms. Wells has stated, rooms 24 and 25 are working together to sing “Heal the World” for the school.  Room 24 has also been putting together a presentation that includes drama, percussion, dance, and reader’s theatre based on The Crazy Man.  It represents the students of room 24’s understanding of what empathy is, and is not.  In art we are working on gesture drawing in which the body and posture create emotion, mood, and empathy. 
We would like to give very special thanks to Ms. A.C. for all of her support and guidance with the musical element of our drama presentation. 

The Festival of Lights: December 7, 6 – 8pm  
This annual potluck dinner brings the school community together to celebrate all our winter holidays. Please bring food to share. Main courses, sides, salads and desserts are all welcome, and label the ingredients to assist people with food restrictions. We are also trying to make Regal events “greener,” so please bring plates and cutlery for your family. 
 
We will need parent volunteers to help the event run smoothly. A volunteer sign up sheet will be circulated via Parent Link or Contact Colleen Burke at colleen.burke@sympatico.ca 416-535-6586  
Please let us know if you can help!

For the week of December 6-10, you can contribute non-perishable foods to the Daily Bread Food Bank. A collection box will be in the front hall.

Visitors to the School
Our first priority for all students is their safety.  Board and Provincial guidelines clearly outline the process that all visitors must follow upon their arrival on school property, which begins with reporting to the Main Office.   You will be issued a Visitor Badge, which must be worn visibly during your stay and sign in and sign out.

Attendance and Punctuality
All students are expected to attend school regularly and punctually.  In the event that your child will be late or absent, please call the school and follow the prompts to leave a message.  This can be done 24 hours a day.  For students who are absent and for whom a call is not received, we will attempt to contact you.

All students who arrive after 8:40 a.m. or 12:30 p.m. 
must obtain a Late Slip from the office.

Lunch Policy
Please be reminded that the lunch hour is from 11:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.   When children stay for lunch, they will eat with their classmates and remain on school property.  If ever there is a need to leave the school during lunch hour, a written request from the parent, signed and dated, is required for each occurrence.  

If you are bringing a lunch for your child to pick up from the office, please ensure that it is labelled with your child’s name, room number and teacher.  Please instruct your child to come to the office at 11:30 a.m. for pickup.  In order to avoid classroom disruptions, students will not be called from class before 11:30 a.m.  Your cooperation is appreciated!

Use of School Telephone
All students are reminded to have sports equipment and after school arrangements made prior to coming to school each day.  The school phone is to be used for emergency purposes only. 

Remembrance Day
On Thursday November 11, we had two very meaningful assemblies for our students.  In conjunction with this day, thank you for your contributions for poppies.  We collected $343.29 for the Royal Canadian Legion.

Golf Day
This past month Jim Beddome a certified golf instructor came to Regal Road. Rooms 29, 21 and 28, were the lucky classes to benefit from Mr. Beddome's instruction. The sessions involved students swinging real golf clubs and hitting plastic golf balls off mats, while on the field. Based on the students’ enthusiasm, the lessons were well received. Primary students will benefit from their own indoor lessons from Mr. Rea and Mr. Leverty this winter, with special indoor equipment the school has purchased through a subsidized Golf Canada program
  
Street Proofing Tips 
The safety of your child is an important priority. Remember to keep your school staff up to date with your current address, phone number, childcare arrangements, to whom your child may be released, etc. We also need you to let us know about any changes of routine and to sign your child in if they are arriving late or leaving early for any reason. 

The Toronto Police street proofing program encourages you to teach your child: 
- to know his/her name, address, phone number 
- to Dial 9-1-1 in an emergency 
- to communicate with you when they feel unsafe or afraid 
- to keep you informed as to his/her whereabouts at all times 
- never to admit to being alone in the home when answering the telephone 
- never to invite strangers into the house or answer the door when alone 
- never to approach or enter a stranger's car or hitchhike 
- never to travel or play alone -- always be with friends 
- to trust their feelings and say "NO" to an adult if that adult wants them to do something that is wrong 
- not to accept gifts from strangers 
- to tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you 
- that no one has the right to touch any part of his/ her body that a bathing suit would cover 
- that if he/she is being followed, or approached too closely, to run home or go to the nearest public place and yell for help 
- to report to your school authorities or a police officer, anyone who act suspiciously towards him/her 
- never to play in deserted buildings or isolated areas 
- never to enter anyone's home without your permission 
- to avoid taking shortcuts through parks and fields 
- never to show his/her money and if attacked to give it up rather than risk injury. 
- that a police officer is a friend who can always be relied upon when he/she is lost or needs assistance. 

Together, we can keep our school and community a safe environment for our children.

Canadian Parents for French (CPF) Update
Canadian Parents For French is a national network of volunteers dedicated to the promotion and creation of French Second Language (FSL) learning opportunities for young Canadians.  Our local CPF Chapter - Toronto Midtown West was founded in 2008.  We are pleased to let you know of some of our upcoming programs for families with children in French Immersion.  If you would like to find out more about our Chapter or would like to volunteer please contact Rosemary Sutherland at sutherland.yates@sympatico.ca

After School Club for FRENCH IMMERSION  STUDENTS 
Need to motivate your children to move away from the TV and socialize in FRENCH?
Warm up this winter with Le Club CPF – an after school program for French Immersion students in Grades 3 to 5.  No homework or tests – just cool activities with friends, en français.  Immersion teacher Heather Misner will lead, assisted by French-speaking counsellors who are studying to be immersion teachers.

Topics include:  World of Space  ▪  Music  ▪  Art  ▪  Planes, Trains and Automobiles

The club is an opportunity for kids to  live, laugh and have fun in FRENCH.   

Club Dates: Wednesdays: January 12, 19 & 26, February 2, 9 & 16 
Club Hours: 3:30 pm to 5:00 pm
Club House: Regal Road P.S. (Room 30)
Price:  CPF Member $60; Non-member $85.00 (includes membership)   

Adult French Course - Level 1
When: Thursday, January 6 – February 24 (8 weeks)
6:30PM – 8:30PM 
Where: Palmerston Public School (Bathurst & Dupont)
734 Palmerston Avenue 
Why: * A great way to help support your child’s French education
* An easy way to brush up forgotten skills

Cost: $100 for CPF Members; $125 for non-members (includes Canadian

Parents for French membership fee and course manual)
If you have any questions or require more information please contact Palmerston parent, Dawn Vrablic at dawn_vrablic@yahoo.co.uk  

French Family Story time Program at Dufferin St. Clair Library
Thursday Evenings from 6:30 pm - 7:15 pm for children 6-8 years old
Oct. 14 - Dec. 2nd (8 weeks)

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