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Newsletter - May 31, 2013

Internal School Telephones

We are currently experiencing problems with our in-house phone system which means the office cannot communicate with the classrooms, or the classrooms with the office. In view of this, please make all arrangements for early pick-up, pick-up by other persons, etc., by a note to the teacher in the morning.  As well, punctuality in the morning would be of great assistance.


Integrity

Room 15 was proud to lead the assembly on the topic of integrity.  In class we discussed and wrote poems about Integrity.  Some of the examples that the students from room 15 gave about integrity include it meaning defending someone,  being honest, being fair, sharing, showing respect to one another, working hard at school, helping others and standing up to bullies.  During the assembly room 15 read a poem about integrity and sang our favourite song "Extraordinaire".  You may continue talking at home with your child about how they can make a difference on a daily basis by showing integrity in all that they do. 

Mme. Neicov et les élèves de la Salle 15


Music Monday

Music Monday was an all day celebration held on Monday, May 6th. It is an initiative begun by the Coalition for Music which is an association promoting the benefit of music in the learning of students. Thank you to over 100 students from Regal Road who all auditioned and practiced for a month before the event. We had 3 concerts in room 5 and then mini-concerts at the recesses outside and also in room 5. It was a wonderful and extra exciting day because Chris Hadfield performed a song he co-wrote with a singer from the Bare Naked Ladies. It was a great day and thank you to our performers and wonderful audiences. Bravo! Mrs. A.C.


Café and Open Stage  – June 6

Everyone is invited to come out on June 6th at 6:00 to hear the strings and other Regal Road talents.  As part of the evening we are raising money for Deborah Ellis's charity to buy books for Students in Afghanistan. Drinks and treats will be available for purchase and a suggested $6.00 donation would be appreciated.

Mrs. A.C., Ms. Michelle, and Pina (room 25)


Summer Music Camps

There is still space in TDSB’s summer music camps!

Enroll today and enrich your child’s vacation through one of our three unique programs – Summer Sounds, DownTown Strings and Toronto Summer Music Camps. TDSB offers these band, strings and orchestral experiences for students from grades 3-9.

Register today at www.tdsbsummercamps.ca.

 

Spring Fair

On Thursday May 23, Regal Road hosted its annual spring fair. The weather was reasonably cooperative, although a little cool, and everyone had a great time.  We raised a great deal of money which will further support various initiatives to enrich the school experience for our students.  Thanks to everyone who volunteered and gave so generously of their time, both in preparation for the fair and for being there.

 

Learning Advantage Workbook

We recently sent home the Order Form for the Learning Advantage Program of support materials for students. If you didn’t receive it, please check the bottom of your child’s knapsack. If you come up empty, please contact the school for a replacement.

 

Head lice

We have had numerous cases in several classrooms recently. Our public health nurse is monitoring this situation but, in the meantime, please keep checking your children’s hair frequently for any evidence of lice.

 

Entry routines


Please remember when arriving at school in the morning, students walk around the outside of the school to get to the appropriate entry door.  They should not be coming through the school to get to their door.  Also when parents are picking up at the end of the day, please go around the outside of the building to get to the appropriate door to meet your child.

 

Pedestrian Safety - Safety Tips for Parents

Children under nine should be accompanied by adults or older children when crossing the street. At this age, their judgment and perceptual skills are still immature, yet they often eagerly try to cross streets on their own in order to demonstrate some independence. Teach your children the rules of the road - start when they're young. Think of it as gradually training your children about safety until all the connections are in place. By the time your child reaches age nine and can act independently, the road safety rules will be second nature.

 

- Teach children how to cross the street safely. Teach them to stop (before stepping onto the road), look left, right and left again, and listen for traffic before stepping out into the street. Teach children to wait until the street is clear and to keep looking until they have crossed the street. They should also look the driver in the eye before crossing.

 

- Teach children to recognize pedestrian crossing signals but not rely on them. Before crossing, children should also be sure the traffic has stopped. Remind them to continue across if the light changes to "Don't Walk" while they are in the crosswalk.

 

- Teach children to be extra alert when crossing at a corner with no traffic lights.

 

- Teach your children to stop at driveways, alleys and areas without curbs and to never run out onto the street.

 

- Teach children about the dangers of crossing the street between parked cars or when not at a corner. Children should cross only at corners and pedestrian crosswalks, not diagonally or between parked cars.

 

- Teach children to respect the role of the crossing guard and to understand his/her signals.

 

- Teach children that wherever possible they should walk on the sidewalk. In areas without sidewalks, teach children to walk as far away from the road as possible, facing approaching traffic (when there is no choice but to walk on the road).

 

- Teach children that playing games at railway crossings or around trains can be deadly. Teach children that the only way to cross railway tracks is to use designated railway crossings.

 

Follow the same rules that you want your child to follow. You may want to cut across the street in the middle of the block, but you want your child to learn to cross at the intersection. Be a good role model.

 

Reprinted with the permission of Safe Kids Canada. Visit www.safekidscanada.ca for more safety tips on keeping children safe.

 

Summer Programs for International Languages -Elementary

Do something different this summer. Open your child’s horizons with a new language and culture through our International Languages Elementary summer program. For students from SK-Grade 8, International Languages combine language learning with engaging cultural activities like games, songs, dance, storytelling and crafts.

This year we are offering half-day programs in many languages and two full-day Mandarin camps. For program and registration information visit www.ileprograms.ca.

 

Sun Safe Behaviour

Getting students outside and active is good for their health but too much sun can have serious side-effects, including burns, eye damage, premature aging of the skin and skin cancer. We encourage all students to practice “sun safety.”

 

What exactly does sun safe behaviour look like?

 

• Cover up: Even on days with a moderate UV index students should wear a hat and sunglasses, especially if they'll be outside for over 30 minutes.

 

• Stay cool: Students should stay in shady areas, particularly at midday when the sun is strongest.

 

• Use sunscreen: Choose sunscreens with SPF 15 or higher that include protection from both UVA and UVB rays.

 

Children’s’ Mental Health Week:  Teaching Kids to Love to Learn

It might not seem obvious what each of us can do to support children’s mental health in our community. Research however, is clarifying for us the role we all play.  Each individual can impact the well-being of our children by modeling an appreciation of life. It’s the attitude to the simple everyday events of their lives that teaches them about caring and kindness.  It’s the listening and understanding that primes them for loving who they are and what they do.  We know that teachers have a key role in educating children but we also know that each of us lays the foundation for learning by raising children with open hearts and minds.  

 

As research now shows, every adult in a child’s life models, teaches, and fosters a child’s well-being through relationship. This is the foundation for a love of learning, and a love or optimism for life.  As a school social worker, I am aware that many parents feel that curriculum and its delivery key to their child’s academic success.  However, current research on mindfulness has shown that raising emotionally intelligent children is truly the key to success.  For example, the Hawn Foundation in their MindUp program has shown that emotional intelligence scores of 3rd graders were a better predictor of academic success than cognitive test scores! 

 

Emotional intelligence is founded on attention.   Our attunement as caregivers and teachers to the emotional well-being of our children is critical.   Parenting mindfully, can create a child who is receptive to learning and open to life.  Attentiveness, engagement, and achievements are possible when receptive or calm and alert brain states are present.  These are habits, trained skills that change the brain.  Finding a balance between reasonable expectations and still attending to disappointments builds resilience.  Modeling goal setting, responsibility, tolerance, and non-judgmental acceptance of what is helps kids manage their feelings.  Kids must experience disappointment in order to develop compassion for themselves and others.  Mindful teaching and parenting both can share a lens of kindness and compassion when raising emotionally intelligent children.

 

Briefly, science has clarified for us the dynamic and complex systems influencing brain development.  On a biological level, there are many neurotransmitters involved in brain functioning.  As chemical messengers, they are impacted by the direct experiences of life.  A child’s perceptions or interpretations of experience then influence their feelings and ultimately impacts their behaviors. Research again has shown the intricate connections between experience and brain functioning.  So for example, cortisol, the stress neurotransmitter, will shut down the hippocampus where memory is held.  A ‘turned on’ amygdala is in a state of fight or flight and shuts down transmission to the prefrontal cortex where good decisions, planning, and organized behavior are housed.  We have all had the experience of blanking out on a test or making a bad decision under stress.  Teachers communicate often their sense that a child is not performing at their most efficient level but we don’t always recognize the stress factor.  There is so much to raising a willing learner and we take it for granted when our kids do well. A teacher is blessed when he/she welcomes an optimistic and curious child into the classroom, no matter what their skill level may be.

 

There are so many stressors for children today.  Simple activities like sports and the arts, often sacrificed for academic tutoring or curriculum enrichment, allow for neurotransmitters which increase our feelings of well-being and reduce stress while activating emotional responses that foster executive function.  Lack of free time, overexposure to technology, developmentally inappropriate internet material, cultural expectations for perfect bodies and unrealistic demands for excellence are just some of the stressors. 

 

The good news is that we are hard wired to feel good about doing good.  Dopamine, the pleasure neurotransmitter, is increased through acts of altruism. It follows that helping kids focus and interpret life in a compassionate way will train the brain.  Dan Seigel (2011) coined the phrase, ‘wire to inspire’.   So for mental health week, let’s be mindful of fostering mental health in children by giving them the foundation to love their lives. Let’s all wear the lenses of kindness and compassion to contribute to the mental health of children and youth in our communities.

 

Susan Stern, MSW., RSW., Dip CS.,

School Social Worker

647 229 1702

 

A Youth Group in our Neighbourhood!

Would your grade 5-8’er like to have a place to gather with their peers outside of school? We meet every other Friday evening, from 6:30-8:30 for youth to play indoor sports, bake cookies, play board games and more. The group is a safe place for kids aged between 10- 14 to hang out and learn new skills, and interactive abilities. We recognize that it is a win-win for all, when community gets involved in the way we raise our children.

This is a free, non-faith based youth group, open to all regardless of faith background. It is founded by parents from our school and is generously hosted by St Chad’s Anglican Church, Dufferin just north of St Clair.

If you would like to find out more, or become involved in some way – email Jenni King (Regal Road’s story teller) @ royalstories@gmail.com - or call 416 200 8091. Next date is: June 7th. See your kids there!

 

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