Weekly Message #5-2

images-2The first week has flown by (as has the weekend!)  I don’t know about you but I was ready for bed when I got home on Friday!  However, I feel that we accomplished a lot last week.  Students have all been placed in classes.  This is always a marathon feat but especially this year since we were approaching the task from scratch.  Thank you to everyone for your thoughtful input and decisions.  I know how difficult it is to decide the fate of the students for whom we care so deeply – particularly when I am there “rushing” you along.  Our plan is to move to classes first thing Monday morning.  Class lists will be in your boxes so you know where to direct your students.  We appreciate any assistance that unassigned staff can provide in moving kids along to their new placements – particularly our primary students.  If there are glitches (and there might be) please refer to the office and we will deal with them.  If parents express concern about placements, please send them my way.

The Resource team has already met a couple of times and we are well on our way to figuring out assignments.  Our next big project once students are in classes is confirming all of our ELL students.  Resource teachers will be heavily involved in this task as it determines district funding for this school year.  We understand the importance of starting up resource service asap and will continue to strive for the earliest date possible. A big thank to our Resource team for their testing of new students during the first week.  The results were very helpful in placing new students.

I know that Karl has been working hard to assist everyone with their supply and furniture needs (thank you Karl!)   Please continue to let him know if you are missing essential items and we’ll do our best to supply them.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Meeting for Resource team with DRPC staff re: 1701 record keeping at 1:00 on Monday in Jen’s room.
  2. Meeting for Gr. 2/3 teachers in Paula’s room at lunch on Tuesday.
  3. Staff committee meeting at lunch on Thursday.  Please post your agenda items to the clipboard in the staffroom by Wednesday at noon.  Agendas will be in your boxes by 3 on Wednesday.
  4. SSSA meeting at 8:00 on Friday morning.  Location TBA

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Message #5-1

images FINALLY!  We are back at work together on the first official day of fall.  Karl and I are so grateful to have our marvellous Moberly staff back in the building as we all work together to support Moberly students!  It is sure to be a busy week and I know that many of you will be feeling the stress of too much to do in too short a time, both now and throughout this first term.  Karl and I are treating you to a pizza lunch on Monday so you can delay that lunch packing for one more day!  Please stay in the staffroom after our staff meeting to chat and enjoy some pizza.

To quote “Hagrid” from Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire – What’s coming is coming and we’ll meet it when it does.  Our most important task this week is to count kids and get them into classes.  All the pink and blue slips were handed out in June.  Please try to fill them out as best you can in preparation for casting times this week.  We will begin with upper intermediate on Monday afternoon.  The tentative schedule is in your “Welcome Back” handout in your green folder.  If you can’t find your pinks and blues – please let us know asap in the office.

I know that many of our supply orders were mixed up or just plain missing.  I apologize for the extra work this causes you.  We will be sure to provide detailed feedback to the VSB purchasing department about the challenges we have faced with the new vendor this year.  Please know that if you are missing supplies, you just need to let Karl know and we’ll take of it.  Also, if there are additional items you need for your class, always check with us before purchasing as we often have a less expensive source and can help you out.

Finally, for the past two years, my mantra has been “It’s all about reading”.  I am encouraged and excited about the growth we have seen in our students’ reading skills.  This year, some of our students / teachers will be fortunate to be part of the Dalai Lama’s visit to John Oliver in October.  In line with this opportunity, I will be focusing on my message for this year which I am hoping will resonate with both students and staff.  It is a quote from the Dalai Lama which says, “Be kinder than necessary“.  During this busy, stressful start up time, please kind to each other and to yourselves.   Looking forward to another wonderful year!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Staff meeting at 1:00 in the lunchroom on Monday.
  2. Class casting starting at approximately 1:15 on Monday afternoon.  Please wait to be called down.  Casting will continue until it’s done between recess and lunch each day.
  3. Staff meeting Thursday at lunch.
  4. Health & Safety meeting Friday (note date change due to postponement of Professional Day) at 8:15 in the staffroom.

Weekly Message #4-34

IMG_0208If anyone is wondering how I spent my Sunday – here’s the evidence.  We made the rounds of the local car dealerships with my Dad and he ended up buying a new Dodge Journey Crossroad.  Pretty cool car huh?   It has heated seats, mirrors and steering wheel and lots of other bells and whistles.  We’re hoping he’ll be safe and happy in his new vehicle and if we get to drive him places in it – that’s a bonus!

Thursday night brought us another wonderful retirement party!  Thanks so much to Harjinder for hosting as the torrential rain would have been a real downer at the beach.  The skit was INCREDIBLY funny.  I just have to think about the “3 Peggys” and I start laughing.  We have such talented people on our staff.

I think that Grade 7 grad was a big hit with our families on Friday afternoon.  We had all but about 7 grads there and lots of family members and food.  Students mingled around for the first hour, enjoying all the delicious food and then we had a short formal program at about 3:10 where we handed out certificates and pictures.  The kids were so happy to have a chance to dress up in their “grad clothes” and boy did they look great!  Henry took lots of pictures and the link will be on the Moberly website if you want to check it out.  Henry will send out the password to everyone.

It sounds like there will be a lovely “goodbye” for Henry on Wednesday night.  I wish I could be there but it is Adam’s convocation at the Chan Centre so that’s where we’ll be. (I won’t be in the school on Wednesday so Henry will be “in charge” of the emptiness.

On the staffing front, we have filled two of our 5 vacant positions.  We welcome Arwyn King as Mira’s new partner in Grade 1 AND drum roll please… Shannon Woron will be returning to be Resource and Alison’s partner (Hurrah!)

On a sadder note, David and I and many Moberly staff members attended the  Celebration of Life service for Barb’s Dad on Saturday afternoon.  It was a beautiful and moving afternoon where we were all lucky to hear the story of Bud Winteringham’s life and the amazing legacy he has left in his wife, children and 13 grandchildren.  We are all sending our love to Barb and her family as they deal with the grief of losing a beloved parent / grandparent.

I still have my fingers crossed that you will be back for this final week of school but if not, please accept my sincere wishes for a wonderful summer break.  After such a difficult year end, you all deserve it!  In case you are wondering what Henry and I will be doing – well – Henry will be invigilating exams and marking provincial exams for much of the week while I will be pulling, purging, preparing and delivering Grade 7 files to the high schools.

Weekly Message #4-33

DSC_0449Happy Father’s Day to all of you.  Hoping that all the fathers out there are being treated well on their special day.  We have taken advantage of the 2 for 1 coupon at Blenz today and I will be taking Dad and David (and the rest of our family) to the Charthouse for dinner tonight.  I am thankful to have my Dad with us to celebrate today.

What a wonderful party for Gwen on Friday night! Congratulations to all of the organizers for their hard work and effort.  Great food, great music and great fun.  I know I speak for all of us when I wish Gwen a happy and healthy retirement.  We look forward to another fun get together on Thursday when we celebrate Peggy’s retirement.  We are hoping for a sunny day so that we can go ahead with a “beach party”.  If it rains and teachers are still on strike, you are welcome to join us at my house to celebrate Peggy.

I continue to cling to optimism and hope that all of our staff will be at work some time this week.  Hopefully there will be a positive announcement at the teachers’ study session on Monday!  Obviously, everything else on the calendar is on hold this week.  Henry and I are sending you our best from a very empty Moberly!

Weekly Message #4-32

images-1Uncertainty is the word of the week / month.  As teachers vote this week on the possibility of a full strike, we will be carrying on knowing that Wednesday will be another job action day.  This Friday is scheduled for Sports Day and we will be going ahead with our “hot dog” day thanks to the parent volunteers from Div. 18 who will be running the show.  The shape and size of Sports Day is yet to be determined but I am hopeful that we can work something out for the kids that is doable yet respects the restrictions placed on our teachers.

We all await final instructions on the expectations for report cards – we will see what unfolds.

This Thursday is our last day for Books for Me.  It will be a great chance for students to get one more book to read over the summer break.  This has been an excellent program which has paired well with our concentrated efforts to improve reading this year.  Unfortunately, they will be moving on to other schools next year.

Finally, we are all looking forward to Gwen’s retirement party on Friday – a chance to relax and enjoy each others’ company as we celebrate our wonderful teacher librarian and friend.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Student Council year end party at lunch on Tuesday in Room 110.
  2. Roots of Empathy Reception on Wednesday afterschool at the Planetarium.  Richard and Rishima will be attending (along with Patti).
  3. Books for Me on Thursday.
  4. Hot Dog lunch / Sports Day on Friday
  5. Gwen’s retirement on Friday.

Weekly Message #4-31

Unknown-1Can you believe that June is here?  The year has gone so quickly.  The word which most captures our usual feeling in June is anticipation – of work completion and summer break.  Sadly, this year I think that anticipation has been replaced by trepidation.  My compliments to all of you who are doing your best to respect the expectations placed on you during job action.  The loss of time to work on preparation, to work with kids and to meet with colleagues is being felt by all – most especially our teachers.  Right now things are uncertain on many fronts, so my best advice to you is to hold on to your relationships with each other as a way of “making it through”.  Moberly has long been a school community where we have been able to rely on each other in good times and bad.  We are fortunate to work together even in these circumstances.

Job postings for Moberly will be coming out this week.  I will be checking with Dan to see what, if any, involvement teachers can have in interview committees.  We have a number of key positions to fill so I am hopeful to have your input.

The library and the resource centres will soon be closing for the year – perhaps a bit earlier than usual.  Gwen is doing her best to finish up everything in preparation for passing the torch to her successor.  The Resource team has their usual year end responsibilities for testing and record keeping and have the added weight of the strong possibility of an ELL audit at Moberly next fall.  They will be doing their best to complete our files in a way which will best serve everyone in the fall – thank you!

I’m not sure what will happen with class casting.  At this point, it is on hold.  We will be distributing the pink and blue slips this week and hope that teachers will be able to fill them out.  This will be especially helpful if a teacher is not going to be here in the fall in case we have to do casting in September.

Thank you to everyone for everything you do to make Moberly so magnificent!

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Supervision Aide meeting Tuesday at 11:00.
  2. SSSA Meeting Thursday at 8:15 (please note new date!)

 

Weekly Message #4-30

imagesIt’s hard to know what to say this week.  Henry and I are thinking of all of you as we head into the one day walk out tomorrow.  We can only hope that the situation will be resolved quickly and positively.

While the teachers are walking the picket line, we will be setting up the gym for Welcome to Kindergarten.  In addition, I hope to have all of the Summer School confirmation letters ready for distribution on Tuesday. Right the summer school classes are all full and any further forms received will be placed on a waitlist.  I am looking for someone to serve as a TOC for Summer School.  Let me know if you are interested.   Now that teachers have their grades assigned, it would be great to have your PLOs in to me asap.

I have been taking a box of toys out to the primary play area on nice days at lunch.  This has been a huge hit, so I will head down to the toy warehouse on Tuesday afternoon to spend the rest of our Community Link money on some more outside play toys.

Our assembly on Wednesday should be great.  We can look forward to a musical presentation from some of our intermediate students as well as a skipping performance by Divs. 8 & 9.  Division 7 will be hosting with support from Div. 6 students.

The school calendar for next year has been approved and will be distributed this week.  I will send an electronic copy to all staff as well.  Our draft school plan has been submitted and we will revisit it in the fall once job action is over.

EVENTS THIS WEEK:

  1. Welcome to Kindergarten on Tuesday morning.  Interviews from 9 – 10:30 and program from 10:30 – 12:00.
  2. Assembly Wednesday morning at 9:00.
  3. Health & Safety meeting Friday at 8:15.

 

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