I said a Valentine prayer for you
and asked the Lord above
to fill your heart and bless your soul
With the precious gift of love.
I asked Him for sincere love
The kind that’s meant to stay
Just like the generous love
You give to those you touch each day.
I prayed for love from family
And from every cherished friend
Then I asked the Lord to give you
His love that knows no end.
From the Principal’s Desk-
St. Gabriel School Community, this is the first Newsletter using this format. Please continue to be patient as we try to share information in a timely consistent manner. All remaining Newsletters will look like this in the future.
This newsletter marks the half way point of this school year. There are several updates and reminders so thanks in advance for reviewing the information with your children.
-With winter WEATHER CONDITIONS – we consistently monitor outdoor conditions and temperatures. When temperatures hover around –20 degrees Celsius and lower, students will be keep indoors. At temperatures of -16 to –19 degrees Celsius, students may be sent outside for shortened recesses (no longer than 20 minutes). When students arrive in the morning and the temperature falls into the above degrees, students enter the school foyer through the blacktop entrance where there is supervision until the bell rings.
-St. Gabriel, St. Elizabeth and Our Lady of Fatima have decided to have all activities related to Valentine’s Day on February 13th. This is to respect Ash Wednesday, which falls on February 14th this year.
Pizza lunch is also moved from Wednesday February 14th to Tuesday February 13th. Thanks to Mrs. Mifsud for all she does to support our Pizza Days!!
-We will be reviewing Bus Safety with all our Bus students. The letter will be posted on the website after the meeting.
-Included in this Newsletter is our Snow Safety Plan with NEW Yard Boundaries and guidelines for students to follow to be safe on the school yard. I led an assembly reviewing these in December. Due to the weather, it has been a challenge but we continue to teach boundaries, behaviours, games to play etc. Watch for our NEW Behaviour Communication Sheet coming soon!
-ALL Safety rules are in affect from 7 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. We continue to remind the students that our safety rules apply even when parents are present. Throwing snow and sliding down hills that are ‘out of bounds’ are not acceptable during our school hours! We will be reminding the students to help share these rules with parents!
-Just a reminder about Parking at St. Gabriel. At the front, we have Visitor Parking. The side of the building is for the Silver Heights Neighbourhood Association only. At the back we allow drop off and pick up for our Extended Day programs only. Parents should not be using the Staff Parking Lots for drop off and pick up for regular school days.
-Attendance Reminder: If your child will be absent please call the office as soon as possible before the start of the school day!
-WELCOME NEW Kindergarten students and their families. Registration for Full Day Kindergarten starting in September 2018 will be held on February 5th, 6th, and 7th. Please contact the school office for more information!
-The HOPE team is organizing a cupcake sale on February 8th!! Proceeds go to our local Humane Society.
-Watch for Term 1 Provincial Report Cards. They go home February 15th!
-Here is the WCDSB process for communicating with the school:
Communication Guidelines for Parents
When a parent has concerns, suggestions, or issues, the following process should be followed in order.
Step One: Speak to your child’s classroom teacher. If that does not address the concern, etc., then proceed to step two.
Step Two: Speak to the principal. If you have not yet spoken to the staff member involved, the principal will ask you to do so first.
The Role of the Principal: The principal will involve the staff member in any discussions with the parent(s). The principal may request, at any step in the process, that concerns be put in writing. The principal may involve, at any time in the process, others who may be helpful in resolving the concern: support from the school board, employee group representatives, the local parish, or community agencies.
The Role of Trustees: Parents may contact any trustee at any time. The trustee will direct the parent to follow the process outlined above.
The Role of the School Council: The School Council is not a forum to discuss parent-teacher-student issues. If these matters are brought to any School Council member or any School Council meeting, the concern is to be referred immediately to the principal who will ensure the proper process is followed.
For all other school-related concerns/suggestions that do not involve taking the matter up first with a staff member, the communication should be directed to the school principal. The effective use of these communication guidelines by all concerned will result in the fair and quick resolution of concerns.
CATHOLIC SCHOOL COUNCIL
Our next meeting is Monday, February 26th at 6:30 p.m. in the Library/Learning Commons.
All the minutes from the meetings are posted on our school website.
Please watch for information related to Shrove Tuesday!
MESSAGE FROM THE PASTOR
The Season of Lent is upon us again. This is our annual opportunity to reflect upon the privilege of our common journey of Discipleship with Jesus. I pray that each of us will take time to meditate carefully on how God is inviting us to keep holy this Lenten season. When we are open to God, He works very powerfully in our lives. I also pray that we will be open to aiding the less fortunate in a way during the next 40 days.
In our school communities we will begin our Season of Lent with Ash Wednesday on February 14th with a Liturgy of the Word and continue our focus while we celebrate Sacramental Confession (Grade 3-8) in early March at School. Another highlight event during Lent will be our “Hats for Haiti” day on March 8th, where for the simple donation of a $2.00, and the opportunity to where a hat in class for the day, our young people will be making a difference in our parish mission in Haiti – where we have been actively working at re building homes and lives for several years.
Our parish welcomes your families to join us in a special way during the Lord’s Day celebrations Saturday at 5:00pm and Sunday at 8:00am, 9:30am and 11:30am during Lent. Our Children’s Ministry will have a special focus and our community seeks to welcome you to find your place with us. Know that you are always welcome at St Mary of the Visitation Parish.
Each month we have a Recognition Assembly to celebrate the Virtue of the Month. Each class will also present the next month’s virtue, so classes can refer to it on a regular basis. At our assembly individual students from each class are recognized for modelling the characteristics of:
February: Love—Friday February 2nd, at 2:30 p.m. (change in date)
March: Forgiveness—Friday March 2nd, at 2:30 p.m.
April: Justice—Friday April 6th, at 2:30 p.m.
May: Compassion—Friday May 11th, at 2:30 p.m.
June: Faithfulness—Monday June 4th, at 2:30 p.m.
Five Great Ideas for Healthy Valentine’s Day Celebrations
Why are healthy celebrations important?
Special occasions often include less healthy food and beverages. Celebrating with nutritious food promotes the messages that children learn about healthy eating in the classroom. Healthy celebrations show kids how to have fun while celebrating special occasions and are an opportunity for children to learn new food skills.
Here are a few ideas to try this Valentine’s Day:
- Repurpose the heart-shaped cookie cutter
Create fun and festive heart-shaped sandwiches, fruit, cheese, or cucumbers. For an extra special treat, use different types of heart shaped fruit to make a cupid’s arrow or rainbow themed fruit kebab!
- Create pun-tastic fruit valentines
Get ready to peel the love this Valentine’s Day! Send a piece of fruit with a clever tag-line. Try these or make up your own: “You are the apple of my eye”; “Orange you glad we are friends?”; “I’m bananas for you!”; “You are ‘pear-fect’!”; “You’re berry special”; or “You are sweet.”
- Celebrate with red and pink vegetables and fruit!
Choose tomatoes, red peppers, apples, beets, radishes, watermelon, strawberries, raspberries, cherries or pomegranate for a vibrant red and pink theme that is packed with nutrients.
- Choose non-food items to share with your valentines
Show your classmates your appreciation with hand written valentines, or fun themed pencils, stickers, lip balms, glow sticks, bouncy balls or small toys.
- Focus on fun instead of food
There are so many fun and healthy ways to celebrate. Check out brightbites.ca for great classroom celebration ideas. Your class or school can even earn a badge and a place in the brightbites Hall of Fame!
Valentine’s Banana Split
Preparation time: 5 minutes Makes: One banana split
- 1 small banana
- ½ cup plain or vanilla Greek yogurt
- 2-3 Strawberries
- ½ teaspoon cocoa
- Wash strawberries and pat dry. Cut a ‘V’ in the top of each strawberry to remove the hull, then slice strawberries to resemble hearts (with the ‘V’-shape at the top of each slice).
- Cut a banana in half lengthwise and place in a bowl or dish.
- Spoon Greek yogurt onto the banana, top with strawberry hearts and sprinkle with cocoa (or sliced almonds, if desired).
This recipe meets the criteria for Maximum Nutritional Value.
Recipe adapted from www.school-bites.com.
Brought to you by Lunchbox Orders
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Stay WELL During Cold Season
Amy Skeoch MHSc, RD
If you’re one of the lucky ones who has yet to be impacted by this year’s round of the cold virus, give yourself a pat on the back! Aside from general good habits such as proper handwashing, getting enough sleep and coughing into your elbow, there are a few things that you can do (backed by science) regarding your diet, to help bump up your immune system, or reduce how long your body is invaded by the circulating virus!
- Vitamin C – Getting a least 200mg a day of this virus-scavenging vitamin may help reduce the length of cold symptoms. Foods that have high amounts of vitamin C are: oranges, berries, kiwi, strawberries, broccoli and bell peppers
- Zinc – Although we don’t know the exact amount needed to help with immunity to colds, we do know that consuming zinc in the early stages of a cold may help lessen symptoms and shorten the duration. We also know however, that taking more than 40mg/day is NOT a good for us, so stay clear of overloading on supplements. Good sources of zinc: beef, poultry, fish, oysters, baked beans, nuts and whole grains
- Probiotics – There is some evidence that regularly taking probiotics (10 billion cultures or more) for at least 3 months before cold and flu season may improve your immune system, thus reducing your chance of getting a cold.
- Variety – Variety in your diet (think eating from all four food groups) ensures that your body is getting all the various vitamins and minerals it needs to maintain good health
Tips for staying well during cold and flu season, Dietitians of Canada; Penn – Handout, 2011
Silverheights Neighbourhood Association