Weekly Message #6-4

IMG_3653Struggling to get rid of this stupid cold!  I am looking forward to tomorrow’s pro-d session with Misty.  It promises to be an excellent day with time built in for people to actually work with their own lessons / units with an eye on the new curriculum.

Many of our needy families will be enjoying some financial help this week due to a wonderful donation from the Pacific Lions Club.  We received 23 – $50 gift cards which we have distributed to our families in need to help with back to school expenses.  Thanks to Carrie for organizing the distribution of the cards.

A special thank you to Shannon for her leadership in providing the music for our playground opening.  Thanks also to

IMG_8823Jane for conducting the group.  I think it was a great success and that our donors were moved by the students and their beautiful voices.  Dave Warner (Habitat playgrounds) told us that he has been to lots of openings but ours was the best he had seen so kudos to all of you for your ideas and support.

The numbers game continues this week – we are very close to being done AND our numbers are very close to projections (Phew!)  You’d think with all the technology we have at our fingertips that the process would run more smoothly.  With slow processing by the information software, changes that were made getting lost by the computer and constant need to re-check everything, it is a very difficult process.  You have all contributed to the final result – so thank you.

Jen Erickson has asked if any of our SSSAs / teachers would like to sponsor some SSSA practicum students.  Please let Patti know asap if you are interested (a great way to get some extra help in your classroom)

I came across some interesting research on gratitude this week.  Here is a short excerpt with the link in case you want to read the whole article: “New Neuroscience Reveals 4 Rituals That Will Make You Happy”  read more

Yeah, gratitude is awesome… but does it really affect your brain at the biological level? Yup.

You know what the antidepressant Wellbutrin does? Boosts the neurotransmitter dopamine. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine. Additionally, gratitude toward others increases activity in social dopamine circuits, which makes social interactions more enjoyable…

Know what Prozac does? Boosts the neurotransmitter serotonin. So does gratitude.

Via The Upward Spiral:

One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex.

I know, sometimes life lands a really mean punch in the gut and it feels like there’s nothing to be grateful for. Guess what?

Doesn’t matter. You don’t have to find anything. It’s the searching that counts.

Via The Upward Spiral:

It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful.

And gratitude doesn’t just make your brain happy — it can also create a positive feedback loop in your relationships. So express that gratitude to the people you care about.


  1. Pro-D day Monday – A focus on concept based curriculum with Misty Paterson.  9:00 – 3:00.  Snacks provided by your Pro-D funds.  Lunch provided by your Social Committee.
  2. Assembly on Wednesday morning to review Code of Conduct.  Div 1 to lead if there is time to organize!
  3. Meet the Teacher night 6 -6:45 on Wednesday.  Please see the notes distributed to teachers re: topics of importance
  4. Class Review begins on Thursday morning.  We will start with Grade 7’s and then move on to K-6.
  5. SSSA meeting Friday morning at 8:15.

Have a great week everyone!


Weekly Message #6-3

The Treadclimber!

The Treadclimber!

Here is my newest commitment – I think I’ll be starting with 5 minutes at the lowest setting but I am hoping to increase that as soon as i can.  I’ll let you know how it goes.

It’s been a BUSY week with all students moving to classes and staff working hard to get to know their new students.  Thank you for all your efforts and flexibility in your new assignments. I will be chairing SBT this year, so please pass on any PRIS forms or referrals to me.   A class review has been planned for Oct. 1.  We will see how many classes we can get done that day and then schedule an additional day as needed.  A TOC will be here on Oct 1 to relieve teachers.  Stay tuned for a schedule.

All of our numbers are due to the school board by Sept 30th so our office staff and resource team are working overtime to confirm designations and ELL status.  Thank you for your cooperation as we need to assess students over the next couple of weeks.

I have scheduled an additional SSA meeting for this Tuesday morning so that we can review how the schedule is going and iron out any problems that have cropped up.  Thanks in advance to our SSA staff for making every effort to be in the library by 8:15 that day.

We are continuing to interview for our vacant positions and will update you as soon as we have successful candidates.  Thanks to Shannon, Melissa, Barb and Robin for serving on the interview committees.

Our new “Delivered Meals” program will start on Monday morning for needy students.  Carrie will be distributing the lunches from her office.  Students will be called down by phone for the first day.  In addition, Valerie from the Lions Club will be here on Wednesday afternoon to present us with 23 – $50 gift cards for Superstore that we will be providing to the same families to help with back to school expenses.


  1. Meeting with STIBS worker and Behaviour Strategies Consultant re new student at 8:30 on Monday morning (Cynthia, Carrie, Patti, Karl)
  2. Resource Team meeting at 11 on Monday morning.  Location TBA (Anita’s room?)
  3. SSA meeting Tuesday morning – 8:15 in the library
  4. Karl and Patti at the area meeting on Wednesday morning
  5. Health & Safety Meeting on Friday morning at 8:15 in the staffroom.

Have a great week everyone!

Weekly Message #6-2

inspirational-quotes-3_zps809af04cWe made it through the first week – all students are in classes and we are ready to move on Monday morning.  Thank you for your assistance and flexibility as we struggled to fit those last few students in.  The good news is that everyone on our waiting list has been placed.  We are jam packed with 500 enrolled students and very little space for anyone who arrives from now on!  A special thank you to Yvette for helping with everything needed this past week and to Manpreet for her commitment to making sure that everyone was counted and entered.

I know that you are all looking forward to meeting your new students tomorrow.  As we begin another school year, please consider the power of positive thinking and the importance of supporting and encouraging each student to do his/her best.  The most powerful lesson we can teach is that everyone is a learner with potential to succeed.

I will be meeting with the resource team on Monday at 10:00 am to fully discuss the resource schedule and make sure that time has been allotted in a way which reflects our commitment to helping all students while recognizing the importance of concentrated support for early learning.  The resource team has done an amazing job of putting together a thoughtful schedule with the goal of starting student support asap.  This week, we will be challenged to carefully examine our ELL numbers.  We had projected 315 ELL students for this year and right now we are at 263.  This is a significant discrepancy which could affect staffing.  It may be that our new computer system does not accurately reflect our population so this will be our next task!   Also please note that some of our Resource team members will be attending district pro-d this week so may not be available at all times.

Please mark Thursday, Sept. 24th at 1:30 in your calendar for our “Grand Opening” of the playground.  We have invited our donors and VSB staff.  Parents and community members will be invited via a newsletter this week.

Best wishes for a smooth first week with your new classes.  It’s going to be an incredible year!


  1. Resource Team meeting on Monday at 10 am in Rm 103
  2. Supervision Aide meeting on Tuesday from 11-11:30 (not available for coverage at that time) in staffroom
  3. Tyson Shmyr (Community Link Coordinator) will be here at lunch on Wednesday to greet staff and update you on this year’s plans.  Please come down to the staffroom as soon as you can.

Weekly Message #6-1

playgroundIt’s Friday afternoon before the long weekend and the school is very quiet!  It will be very different when you and the students all return on Tuesday.  I am looking forward to the excitement of the first week of school and working with all of you as we head in to the 2015/16 school year.  It feels like we are starting the year in a very positive way.  It is a real pleasure to look out my window and see the new intermediate playground.  We have all worked hard to make this a reality for our students and I know they will love it!  As the playground will be for the exclusive use of intermediate students at recess and lunch, I would encourage primary teachers to take their kids out during school time to give it a spin!

Almost everyone is returning for the new year but we do have a few new additions.  We welcome Carrie Kerr as our new Youth and Family Worker.  Carrie comes to us from Mount Pleasant where she has worked for the last 20 years.  We met briefly this week and I know she is looking forward to meeting all of you and the students over the next few weeks. Anne Wong is joining our staff as a half time early literacy teacher.  She will be based in room 021.  She has lots of experience and most recently has worked as an ELL consultant.  Michelle Neidig will with us half time as well as an SSSA.  I worked with Michelle at Van Horne and I am very pleased to have her join us at Moberly.  Thank you all for making these new staff members feel the “Moberly” welcome.

We have two vacant positions which will be posted on September 8th.  As many of you know, Jen accepted a position at Langara College and in addition, Casie Wong is transferring to Sexsmith.  Their positions will be filled by TOC’s until we complete the hiring process.

Being a TIer 3 Inner City school is proving to bring advantages for us.  Services are targeted at our vulnerable students.  We will be participating in a free lunch program for needy students this fall.  While you have your last year’s class, please make a list of students who you think would benefit from having a free lunch every day.  We are talking a maximum of 30 students in the school so please focus on actual needs.  Secondly, the Lions Club is planning to provide some students with gift cards for the Superstore to assist with back to school expenses.  Together with Carrie (YFW) we will be compiling the list of names for the lunch program and the gift cards.

David and I enjoyed a wonderful summer – Vegas, the cabin and Toronto and it seemed to go so quickly.  I hope you all had a wonderful vacation and that you are ready for the thrill and challenge of a new year.  This year’s theme for morning messages and assemblies will be “Gratitude”.  So on that theme… I would like to say how grateful I am to work with such an amazing group of people – the importance of the work you do and the commitment that you all make to our students is what pulls me back to school after the summer break.  See you on Tuesday!