BRE Friday Communicator
October 23, 2020
Arrival/Dismissal Procedures help ensure the health and well-being of children and adults in our school community:
- Daily Health Check - Every child and every adult who goes to school must do a daily health check
- Stay home if sick
- Keep children home if they are ill or show signs of illness
- Every child must go directly to their arrival zone and remain there while they wait for their teacher
- Please do not send your child to school early; arrive close to 8:45am
- Parents and caregivers must avoid congregating and maintain 1-2 metre physical distancing from others.
- As physical distancing is not always possible, adults are encouraged to wear a mask
- Teachers escort their classes to their Arrival/Dismissal Zone in a staggered fashion to avoid congestion and mixing of cohorts
- Playgrounds are closed at arrival and dismissal to minimize mixing of cohorts
- Use the bike rack assigned to your class and Learning Group.
- To further disperse people, consider making your class bike a place to meet parents/guardians
4 Blankets of Resilience
Beginning with the first blanket of the self, family as the second, the third blanket of community, and finally the fourth blanket of land and culture, that wrap around them, students celebrate their strengths, connections and relationships that build their sense of self-efficacy, resiliency, and purpose.
(Adapted from: The Ripple Effect of Resiliency – An Indigenous Perspective by Monique Gray Smith)
Identity Project by Mr. Hirn’s Class
As an artistic representation of their 4 Blankets, Mr. Hirn’s students created an Identity Poster to celebrate their strengths, likes/dislike, their name story, their origin story, special family and culture. Ms. Saenger interviewed Yuri about his project.
Ms. Saenger: I am curious about your name story.
Yuri: My name means big and smart. I was named after the Russian Astronaut, Yuri Gragarin, who was the first human to journey to outer space. He did this before the first man on the moon who was Neil Armstrong.
Ms. Saenger: How do you feel about being named after this famous astronaut?
Yuri: I think I am the only one in my class is who is named after a famous astronaut so that’s kinda cool.
Ms. Saenger: Do you have aspirations to be a scientist or an astronaut?
Yuri: Maybe, I have lots of space books.
Ms. Saenger: What do you think about the meaning of your name: big and smart?
Yuri: I find it kinda cool that my name means big and smart. I am already smart but not big yet. My Dad thinks I will have a late growth spurt. I am tired and achy right now. My Dad thinks I might be 7ft tall soon. Well, if I stacked up a bunch of chairs and stood on the top, then I’d be 7ft tall!
Many of the students were keen to share their identity project for this article. Thank you to all Mr. Hirn’s students for celebrating their unique selves with us.
TBA) - see the agenda here.
October 16, 2020
- Stay home when sick,
- Follow Hand Hygiene
- Use Respiratory Etiquette
- Maintain Physical Distancing
- Avoid sharing food, drink and personal items
- Wash your hands
- Don’t touch your face
- Give others lots of space
- Cough into your elbow or use a tissue to cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze
- Clean surfaces that others touch – including money!
- Wash your hands
- Use your elbow to press elevator buttons and to turn on or off the lights
- Use your sleeve to open doors
- Rap or hum instead of singing out loudly
- Keep your snacks and toys to yourself
- Wash your hands!
Flexible Learning Spaces “…inherent in deeper student learning, are flexible and dynamic structures which take into consideration students’ physical, medical, social emotional, sensory, and academic needs.”SD#48 Education Plan
- Mrs.Borsoff’s students taking their reading into the hallway, under desks, and into the corners of their classroom.
- Mrs.Webb’s students enjoying their special reading spot in the classroom while exploring their books.
Do you struggle to keep track of your children’s things? Are you looking for labels for your canning and preserving? Do you just want the bear to know whose garbage can he’s bashing around the neighbourhood? The PAC has just the thing for you – place an order for Lovable Labels at www.brackendale.lovablelabels.ca – the PAC receives a portion of your purchase and you can put your own stamp on anything you want.
October 2, 2020
Orange Shirt Day
We recognize and honour the residential school survivors, we understand that every child matters, and we reflect on the experiences of our Indigenous community members. Our students study literature, view videos and have class discussions that capture the meaning behind Orange Shirt Day. While reconciliation is a life-long endeavor, this past week students have used words and imagery to capture their feelings and thinking about past wrongs.
Here are some student reflections, from Kindergarten through grade 6:
“Residential schools were a big mistake and I can’t imagine how the kids felt.”
“I’m sorry that you couldn’t speak your language at school.”
“I’m sorry that you couldn’t be at home with your Granny.”
“I wish you got to keep your self blanket.”
“I hope the government doesn’t make a mistake again. What the government did was wrong!”
“We need our language”
“We need our culture”
“We need our family”
“We are important”
“Every Child Matters!”
Highlights from our Health and Safety Plan
We practice hand hygiene a lot! This is one way to prevent spreading diseases including COVID-19.
Ms. Saenger interviewed some students about handwashing. Derek (gr. 6) explained that: “Handwashing is healthy for you and I do it at home too.” Jakub (gr. 5) commented that “It is getting annoying washing my hands for 20 seconds, but I still do it because I need too.” When discussing the importance of hand washing in Mr. Hirn’s classroom, Easton (gr. 4) said:
“The best way to get rid of hand washing…is to keep handwashing!”
Everyone at BRE must wash their hands:
- before leaving home;
- upon arrival at school
- after using the washroom;
- after breaks and outdoor activities;
- before and after using playground equipment;
- before and after using shared spaces (gym, library, etc.)
- before food preparation;
- before and after eating any food; and,
- before leaving the school
We are fortunate at BRE because every classroom has a sink area which is equipped with running water, soap and paper towel which makes handwashing accessible.
Put a Pause on Sharing - We often use the phrase “sharing is caring”. For now, we are putting a pause on sharing personal items, food and snacks. You may see snack wrappers and compost coming home in lunch kits. That’s because our school sustainability plan, created by students and PAC, says “Leave No Trace”.
- BRE started a “pack in/pack out” environmental practice last year and halted compostable and plastic recycling
- Items from home may not be shared including food, snacks, birthday treats
- Personal items will go home with students each day
- Students will help ensure that the ‘coat cupboard' is completely empty of shoes, coats, bags etc.
Student and Parent Handbook - a great place to look for the answers to your frequently asked questions about Brackendale Elementary. Please make sure you take a look through it. Inside you will find our student code of conduct, the dress code and lots of other useful information. You can find it here.
"Hey! Mr. Zigar's class has three new slimey GALS. Do you know what GALS are? What should we name them? Put your suggestions in the box by Mr. Zigar's class. The names must be, funny and clever. Thanks, Rhyden and Tori
Mr. Zigar has also welcomed Anastasia (below) - she's an albino California kingsnake.
October 9, 2020
Health and Safety Highlight of the Week - Minimizing Physical Contact
- Send someone an “Air High Five”
- Replace Bear Hugs with “Air Hugs”
- Keep hands to yourself
Reducing the number of close, in-person interactions helps prevent the spread of COVID-19. When students are interacting within their Learning Group cohort they are to reduce physical contact with each other but do not need to practice physical distancing. When students and staff are interacting with others outside of their cohorts, they practice physical distancing and avoid physical contact.
(Source: School Health and Safety Plan)
To support this important health and safety measure, our learning groups play in designated zones at recess and lunch, students have access to their learning group bin or bag of outdoor equipment like hoops and scoops and balls for recess times and we adapt games and do not participate in traditional contact sport matches like football, rugby and hockey.
Check out this fun YouTube of Katie Dedmak‘s book ‘If You Can’t Bear Hug, Air Hug'
We are maintaining physical distancing in our safety practice at school - our first fire drill was held this past week and we arranged it by learning cohorts in staggered time slots. Ms. Saenger spent time with each group ensuring that they understood the importance of these safety drills and was very pleased by the respectful and orderly conduct of all the classes.
Growth Mindset - Teaching and reinforcing a growth mindset, defined as empathy, flexibility, persistence, resilience, and optimism, enables students to stay the course when things get tough and become better learners. The following examples come from Mrs. Stroh’s class where students in grades 1 and 2 connect literacy to their real life learning. Through the book series about Gerald (an elephant), and Piggy (a pig); and the series of Indigenous legend books by Robert James Challenger which combine stories of the Northwest Coast with the tradition of Aesops's Fables, students deepen their understand each of these different traits.
Dylan – “Finn hurt his leg at recess. Brysen showed Empathy with Finn when he fell down. Brysen was asking Finn if he was OK.”
Gibson – “I showed Resilience when I wasn’t giving up at bike camp. I tried to get all of the cones but only got two. I got only a little bit sad but knew I could get more next time.”
Finn – “My example is Persistence. I saw other students with big, big logs, and sticks and big rocks and lots of stuff like that. They worked hard at building their fort.”
Truth and Reconciliation – Comparing and contrasting how we feel at our school with our thoughts about residential school is one way that students in Mrs. Fieldhouse’s class explored this important topic. They also noticed a lot of Empathy during these learning activities.
On the Orange Shirts students have written words that they would like to say to children who attended residential school.
“I wish you could have stayed home”
“I’m sorry your language got taken away”
“I’m sorry your family blanket is gone”
“I’m sorry you got taken away”
“I wish that your self-blanket didn’t get taken away” (Teacher note: Self-blanket means self-identity)
On the White shirts, students have written words to describe how they feel at our school.
“Joyful, safe, good, happy, grateful, smart, loved”
“I feel joyful, safe, loved, ready to learn, amazing”
“I feel loved ready to learn”
“I feel happy, good, safe”
The Brackendale Parent Advisory Council (PAC) is an unbiased, non-profit organization representing the parent community at our school. We hold meetings monthly and volunteer our time at a variety of events and fundraisers that benefit students, families, and teachers.
September 25, 2020
Professional Development Day, September 28th – Learning together is paramount to helping our children, staff and the school community thrive during these ever-changing times. By focusing on First Peoples’ Principles of Learning, Trauma-in formed Practice and Educational Technology we will be better equipped to support student agency, foster resilience and be inspired to create different learning opportunities for children. For information about part of our Pro-D Day see: “Building Compassionate Communities in a New Normal”. We are excited that Monique Gray Smith, who authored the concept of the 4 Blankets of Resilience, is one of the speakers in this webinar. Thank you also to Tina Sherlock, Dixie Cameron and Natalie Mah for leading our technology infused in-service workshops.
- New PAC Executive for 2020-2021
- Jinelle Thompson - President
- Krista Breau - Vice President
- Catherine Rosen - Secretary
- Heather Teasell - Treasurer
- Krista Brea and Heather Teasell - DPAC Reps
- Neufeld Farms Fundraiser - We’re excited to offer another Neufeld Farms fundraiser, time to stock the freezer with some fall goodies!
- Orders are due Thursday October 1st
- Pick up is Wednesday October 14th at 330pm at the school!
- Ordering online through the hot lunch site for your convenience! New to the hot lunch site?
- Register here https://brackendale.hotlunches.net Access Code: BDHL Payment can be made on the site by Paypal (etransfer, cheque or cash payments can also be arranged if needed)
- If you have any questions - please reach out to Jinelle Thompson or Michelle Greenlees.
- PAC email - firstname.lastname@example.org We look forward to this fundraiser being another success! Thank you for your continued support.
September 18, 2020
What a busy week we have had! We are settling into a routine again (with some adjustments for COVID protocols and the smoky weather.)
Welcome Ceremony - Roxy Lewis, Rachel Baker, Yvonne Brekke and Cynthia Lewis marked the beginning of the school year with some drumming and singing in our beautiful forest area. We live-streamed the ceremony into our classrooms at both Brackendale Elementary School and Don Ross Middle School. This tradition brings us together as one community and highlights our special relationship with the land on which our schools sit. We are hounoured to be teaching and learning on the Traditional, Ancestral, Unceded Territory of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh Nation. The video is available here on our website.
Today we also held a modified Terry Fox "Walk" – students walked in their
learning groups at staggered times through the day. We didn’t send home our usual donation envelopes, but we encourage you to make a donation if you can – here is the link to our school donation page http://www.terryfox.ca/BrackendaleElementary.
Thanks so much to Emily Tolmie, Heather Teasell and others for stepping up to help our last year Grade 6 students make their handprint stepping stones before school started last week. We are very grateful that our students were able to participate in this legacy project.
The Brackendale PAC has some very exciting plans in the works and would love for you to join in the fun! They are holding the BRE PAC AGM/ 1st Meeting Virtually on Sept 23rd - 7pm via Zoom and will be communicating details very soon. Neufeld Farms fundraiser is happening now! Orders are due by Oct. 1st. Order online here and note that the access code to register is BDHL.
There are a few housekeeping items for you to review:
- Please take a read through the Student/Parent Handbook – it holds the answers to many of your frequently asked questions and is a great resource for families.
- Our school calendar can be found here – please make sure you note Pro-D Days and early dismissals in your family calendar.
- There are a few forms that we need you to sign – they are available electronically at https://sd48seatosky.schoolcashonline.com/ if you are not already registered it is an easy process and makes paying for students supplies and field trips and signing forms a snap.
- Speaking of School Supplies – if you have not already purchased your child’s supplies please visit the https://sd48seatosky.schoolcashonline.com/ site and do so at your earliest convenience. We are happy to provide this slick alternative to the mad scramble of supply shopping each year.
- Late Arrivals - Students who arrive after their class has entered the building in the morning must check in at the school office. It is a quick and efficient process, but there may be a short delay due to the need for physical distancing in our foyer.