Katimavik Elementary School

Educating for Success : Inspiring Learning and Building Citizenship and doing it W.E.L.L. 64 Chimo Drive, Kanata 613-592-5462

Concerts, Lost and Found and Scents

December 15, 2014 by · No Comments · Arts, Band, Community, Health and Safety

Tomorrow the Grade 7 band and the Glee Club will present a concert for parents and guardians at 12:00 p.m. The grade 8 band and the Jazz band will perform for parents/guardians at 1:45. Both concerts will take place in the gym. We have limited seating in the gym so we have arranged for the students to see the concerts and their siblings perform, earlier in the day as an audience for a dress rehearsal. This way we hope to be able to accommodate all of the parents/guardians of the students who are performing during the afternoon concerts.

We know that families may want to take pictures and video of the events tomorrow. Any pictures that include students other than your own children must not be posted to social media or shared publicly, because we have students for whom we don’t have consent to share photos. We respectfully ask that you remain seated during the performances as well. We want all audience members to be able to enjoy the concerts and we want to reduce the distraction to the performers. The school will record the audio of the performances to post to the blog, so you may consider simply sitting back and enjoying the show.

Any parents who are visiting are invited to take a look at the lost and found items displayed in the junior hallway. Unclaimed items will be packaged up and donated to a local charity at the end of the week.

On the eve of having families visit the school, it is important to note that we have a member of the school community who has a medical concern which is intensified by the presence of scented products like perfumes, colognes and scented creams. Though we haven’t asked our school community to be scent-free until now, it is becoming more common practice in workplaces and schools, so please share the air and help us ensure the well-being of all members of the school community by visiting the school scent-free.

Thank you!

 

It’s Time to Welcome a New Principal to Katimavik

December 3, 2014 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

As Principal at Katimavik it has always been very clear what a supportive and caring community we are, at home and at school. It is with that in mind that I am writing to announce a change in the Admin Team at Katimavik.

This afternoon the teachers informed the students that effective January 5, 2015, they will be welcoming a new Principal to Katimavik. Mr. Jeff Gervais is an experienced Principal who comes to Katimavik from Bayshore Public School. I met with him today and I can tell you that he is very excited to be coming to our school! I was too when it was my turn to come to Katimavik, over four years ago. I told him how much he is going to love it here, just as I do. He is a dedicated educator who will bring many talents with him to the school and the community.

I trust you know that I will be very sad to leave Katimavik – we have accomplished so much together over the past four years. I am moving to an exciting position in Curriculum Services at the OCDSB in the role of System Principal, which is a big challenge and privilege, just as it has been a privilege to serve this community. My experiences here, working with and for this community will long be held amongst my most special career memories.

Before the holidays, Mr. Gervais will come to visit the school and he and I will meet to make the transition smoothly – we’ve done some successful transitions before at Katimavik and we can do it again. I know that all parents, students and staff will embrace Mr. Gervais as he assumes the role of Principal at Katimavik in the New Year, because of the caring supportive nature of this community. Welcome, Mr. Gervais!

Sincerely,

Mme Jewell

 

The School Learning Plan

November 30, 2014 by · No Comments · School Improvement Plan, School Learning Plan

The School Learning Plan (formerly School Improvement Plan or SIPSA) is underway at Katimavik. After an intense review of data late in September (supported by the OCDSB Quality Assurance division), planning sessions at the October PD Day and several team-based planning sessions we currently have 6 groups of teachers actively learning how to teach differently in order to meet the identified learning need in our students.

The leadership team uncovered a need in our students in two areas: pre-writing (generating, sorting, organizing ideas) and open response questions where application of mathematical knowledge is required. The identification of the writing need was affirmed by the teachers’ reaction when we presented it to them; they have observed these weaknesses in student work. They reported that students can fill in organizing sheets to organize writing ideas, but often their drafts don’t reflect the plan. They aren’t using their plan for writing, they are creating a plan as an independent task.  We talked about how best to teach this skill and determined through professional dialogue that we need to use modelling, shared practice and independent practice. These are practices we haven’t tried for teaching the writing process.

We used Google Forms and surveyed the students to see what they would identify as their pre-writing practices and to ask them what they thought they needed to learn more about. Results were able to be viewed by grade to help teachers make decisions about the specific needs of their students.

Based on the student survey data and the review of EQAO and previous SIPSA data, we have established the following theory of action:

If teachers explicitly teach pre-writing through the comprehensive literacy model (with a focus on modelling), then students will value it and independently and effectively apply it to their writing.

We took time on the PD Day to review the Comprehensive Literacy Model (formerly Balanced Literacy) in order to use it effectively to address the students’ learning need. Since then, teams have met twice to plan how to teach and assess student pre-writing. Each team is working with the same theory of action but is planning lessons and assessment tools specific to the students in their classes.  Some students may not be writing many drafts or final copies while we focus on this process of pre-writing. We want students to understand how important and useful this phase is. Once the plan is ready, the writing should be significantly less difficult and if it is done well, the reader will be able to understand your message even before the text has been written.

What we discovered in our own drafting of the if/then theory of action is that we all plan differently. We had pages and pages of notes and drafts just to write one sentence and each of our work looked very different from the others! Pre-writing doesn’t have to look a certain way – it’s the process, not the product that matters!

You should be hearing more about pre-writing from your students in the coming weeks!  You can support your child’s learning by thinking about and talking about how you plan for writing. Talk about how you plan to write everyday items like emails, birthday cards or letters. Include the steps of thinking up the ideas, choosing the ones you want to use and putting them in order. Show them how you plan for a piece of writing in your workplace if that applies. Most importantly, ask your child questions about what he or she is writing at school (it could be a reading response, a paragraph, a story, a report or a poster) and how they have planned to answer it.

.  Two classes surveyed their parents at Parent/Teacher interviews about pre-writing strategies they use.

Two classes surveyed their parents at Parent/Teacher interviews about pre-writing strategies they use.

 Once we have completed the learning cycle for pre-writing we will apply some of those skills to answering open ended questions in mathematics, to address the other need we identified in our review of the data in September. We will be welcoming Marian Small to the school in February to help us learn how to teach these skills more effectively. Marian Small is an author and International Professional Development Consultant for Improved Mathematics Education and she has partnered with the OCDSB this year to support teachers’ learning.

The School Learning Plan is just that – all members of the school community are learning – including the admin team. I have been learning about some of the barriers to professional learning and how to minimize them so that all of our professional learning can have maximum benefit for our students. We are all learning and it’s all about and for our students!

Canadian Tire Money Collection

November 30, 2014 by · No Comments · Athletics

The next few weeks we will be collecting Canadian Tire Coupons to purchase hockey nets for the school.

 If you have any Canadian Tire Money that has been stuck in the centre console of the car, lost in your wallet or in the back of the kitchen cupboard, now is the time to dig it out and put it to good use. Dig out that lost CT money and bring it to the school today! Thanks!

Being a Part of your Child’s Education

November 24, 2014 by · No Comments · Parental Involvement

Thank you to all of the families who were able to come and meet with teachers last Thursday evening and Friday morning. There was a very positive feeling in the school as home and school work together to support student learning.  “By being involved, you encourage good learning habits and support your child in making choices about his or her future. Studies show that when parents get involved in learning, students do better in school.” Your Child’s Education – Be a Part of It! OCDSB, 2014. If you weren’t able to make it during the allotted interview dates and times, please contact your child’s teacher to arrange for a phone conversation or face-to-face meeting.

Here are some other suggestions about how to remain involved in your child’s learning.

If you have a few minutes:
Help your child develop routines to be ready for school each day.
Connect with your child’s teachers or school principal through e-mail, by phone or in person.
Ask your child what happened today in the classroom and on the playground.

If you have a few hours:
Read with your child in any language to help your child learn.
Talk to your child about current affairs and encourage him or her to read local newspapers and magazines.
Volunteer in the classroom or in the school.

Other opportunities to support your child’s learning:
Volunteer to help with a team, play, band science or math club or other initiative that your child is interested in.
Visit a museum to learn more about what your child is learning in the classroom.
Encourage active learning through outdoor play, board games and helping at home.
Attend or read the minutes of the School Council meetings.

Every little bit of involvement supports your child’s learning! Ask your child’s teacher or school principal for ways to become more involved in school life!

Resiliency

November 24, 2014 by · No Comments · Bully Prevention Program

Here are some photos of the work of the Inclusive Safe and Caring Committee during Bullying Prevention and Awareness Week last week. The week culminated with a presentation by Mr. John Robertson who is an expert in helping people to recover from traumatic or tragic events. He spoke to the students about being resilient and how to look at things in a way that will encourage them (give them the courage) to face hardships or obstacles in their lives. Thank you, Mr. Robertson!

Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week: Resilience

November 16, 2014 by · No Comments · Bully Prevention Program

For Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week (November 16 – 22) this year, our Inclusive, Safe and Caring Committee has planned a week’s learning activities about resilience. The committee is Chaired by Mr. Harry and is comprised of three teachers (Mme. Ramsden, Mme Hart, Mme Goodier), a parent and a grade 8 student.

Resilience is the ability to bounce back from difficult times: to withstand or recover quickly from difficult conditions. Being resilient helps all of us to get through difficult times, be they physical, emotional, spiritual, social or academic. Reslience also helps us to protect ourselves from bullying and to have the ability to step in when another person is being subjected to bullying. This week’s activities are organized around three statements which build and support resilience in our students: “I have”, “I am” and “I can”. We will focus on one of these statements per day.

Monday, November 17  – I HAVE

The “I HAVE” factors are the external supports and resources that promote resilience. The child needs external supports and resources to develop the feelings of safety and security that lay the foundation, that are the core, for developing resilience.

Tuesday, November 18   – I AM

The” I AM” factors are the child’s internal, personal strengths. These are feelings, attitudes, and beliefs within the child.

Wednesday, November 19  - I CAN

Using personal traits (I AM) and external supports (I HAVE) there are things I CAN do to overcome my adversaries, stress, obstacles, fears.

Thursday, November 20 - Wear Pink

We have a guest speaker  to consolidate the learning from the week so that students can see themselves as resilient and can be aware of the internal resources (I AM) and external resources (I HAVE) that will empower them to withstand and recover from difficult situations (I CAN): to be resilient in the face of adversity.

Resuming Normal Operations Today

October 23, 2014 by · No Comments · Emergency Procedures, School Administration

Dear Parents/Guardians:

On behalf of the school community, I extend our support and condolences to all those affected by the events on Parliament Hill.  It was a difficult day for our community.

At the school, our first priority is always the safety of our students and staff.   When we encounter situations of risk, we implement appropriate safety measures to secure the school and we make every effort to maintain a calm and safe learning environment.

In response to this incident, our school moved to Shelter in Place which means regular activity continued within the school, but all exterior doors and windows were locked, and students were kept inside at lunch and recess.

In emergency situations, we receive communications support from the school district.  This allows school staff to stay focused on school needs and ensures consistent and timely messaging to the community.  Information from the district was provided to parents through the media, social media (Twitter and Facebook), our district website (ocdsb.ca), from our school blog (katimavikes.edublogs.org) and direct phone calls and e-mail to parents.

At times like this, we are reminded of the importance of having up-to-date emergency contact information for all parents.  Please ensure that your contact information is up to date. We recently sent home a copy of the information we have on file and have asked you to verify and/or update your contact information and we remind you to please return it as soon as possible.

As we resume regular operations today and beyond, we will be keeping a close eye on student and staff well-being.  We know that children may be confused by what they have heard about what happened in our city yesterday.   Most likely they will look to adults for information and guidance on how to react. Parents and school personnel can help children cope by listening, acknowledging and validating feelings and by being reassuring.  At the school, we will provide resources and supports to students as required.  An information sheet for parents to help manage conversations with children is posted on the district website at this link: http://www.ocdsb.ca/OCDSB%20Doc/OCDSB%20Comms%20Tips%20for%20Parents_Teachers.pdf

If you have any concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact the school.  I appreciate your ongoing support.

Sincerely,

Wendy Jewell
Principal

School Council Election Results and Next Meeting (November 26)

October 23, 2014 by · No Comments · School Council

On October 15, the School Council held a meeting to elect officers for the 2014/2015 school year. At that meeting it was decided to cancel the meeting scheduled for this evening, October 23.

On behalf of the families and and staff at Katimavik I would like to thank all those who have come forward to volunteer to be a member of the School Council and to those who were willing to put their candidacy forward for leadership within the Council. Welcome to Megan Venner and Sara Cummings who are our new Co-Chairs of the Council. Last year’s Chair, Claudette Nyenhuis will take the duties of Treasurer, and Teri MacDonald will serve as the Council’s Secretary. Thank you! The Council includes the Principal, Vice Principal and a member of the teaching staff. Councils also provide the opportunity for a representative of the Admin and Support Staff and a community member to be part of the group.

All parents and guardians are always welcome to attend any School Council meeting where there is discussion about various topics including our School Learning Plan (formerly SIPSA). There is opportunity for input on the School Learning Plan and on decisions that affect our students’ learning experience. The School Council is a place where families can get to know each other better in the service of enhancing school experiences for all of our students, including their own child/ren. We know that parents have valuable insights, ideas and knowledge to share and we encourage you to come and join us to see what the Council is all about!

For the remainder of the school year, meetings will be held on the fourth Wednesday of the months of November, January, February, April and May. The next meeting will be held on Wednesday,  November 26 from 7 -9 p.m. in the school library.

 

Communication Tips for Parents and Teachers

October 22, 2014 by · No Comments · Uncategorized

Dear Parents/Guardians and Families,

The OCDSB has prepared some tips for parents and teachers to keep in mind when communicating with children about today’s events. Please follow this link: http://www.ocdsb.ca/alert/Pages/Communication-Tips-for-Parents-and-Teachers.aspx

Please know that the staff at Katimavik will model calm and contol, limit media exposure and acknowledge and validate any feelings that students may wish to express here at school. We will, as suggested, follow the lead of the students and answer questions as best we can and in developmentally appropriate ways while at the same time maintaining normal routines in the school. We are here for our students first and foremost. If there is anything we can do to support your child/ren or your family at this time, please do not hesitate to contact me via email at [email protected], at the school at 613-592-5462.

Thank you once again for your support today.

Sincerely,

Wendy Jewell
Principal