Swansea Weekly Update September 29, 2016

Principal’s Message
Dear Parents,
Thank you for your patience as we reorganized our classes to accommodate the increase in enrolment this Fall. We are pleased to inform you that as part of this reorganization we added an additional Gr. 1 class and were able to dissolve the two, Gr. 1/2 split classes. We would like to welcome Ellen Kim to the newly created Gr. 1 teaching assignment. In addition, we dissolved the 3/4 split and created a straight 3 and straight 4 class. Natasha Chatterjee has assumed the Gr. 3 grouping and Ms. Romano will be teaching the newly created Gr. 4 class. Here is an updated copy of our organization for this school year.

Thank you to all of the parents who were able to attend our Curriculum Night and participate in the curriculum presentations delivered by your child’s teacher. I hope that you found this evening informative. Parents often ask me what they can do to ensure their child has a successful school year. Attending the curriculum evening is an important first step. I have also outlined below some other school success strategies for parents. I hope you will find these useful:

Focus on the positive
Get to know your children’s ability levels and preferred learning styles. School success comes easily for some students, but for others schoolwork is tougher. When children are encouraged to compete for grades with siblings or classmates, someone is always going to be disappointed. Sometimes this is all it takes for a student to give up. Whenever possible, work with your children individually on school assignments or homework.

Set realistic and specific goals
Help your child take small steps toward improving school performance. Work together to create a plan for improvement, and help your child see all the little steps involved in achieving a goal. A long-term project is a great way to point out your child’s step-by-step accomplishments and celebrate the small successes along the way.

Get feedback from teachers
Your child’s teacher will suggest ways you can help your child with schoolwork at home. There will also be an opportunity for you to discuss all aspects of your child’s school performance during the progress reporting process in November. Don’t be afraid to speak frankly to teachers. Some situations are complex and may require time and specific strategies to be identified before improvements will occur. We believe parents and teachers are partners in assuring student success.

Teach children that mistakes are a natural part of learning
Children need to be reminded that it is OK to make mistakes. Make certain your child(ren) understand that without making mistakes, we cannot learn and grow. Tell a story about your own misconceptions or errors to help your child see that even adults can make a mistake. Children also benefit from hearing you solve problems out loud. Let your child hear you talk through a situation to demonstrate how to best handle arriving to a solution.

Offer encouragement for improvement
When children work hard, they deserve reinforcement for the effort. Be specific when giving praise. For example, “I can see that you are including more detail in your stories” is more meaningful feedback than “I like your story”.

Learning is more than a good grade
While marks are important, there are many ways to measure your child’s success. Does he/she ask questions? Does the work represent his/her best effort? Does he/she feel good about what he/she is learning? Resist using grades and tests as the only way to tell how well your child is doing, and approach tests and homework assignments in terms of the content and what your child is learning.

Homework Tips:
• Use the daily planner (grades 1 and up)
• Establish a regular homework schedule
• Establish a space that contains all the materials required to complete assignments
• Break assignments down into sections and set time limits for each section
• Minimize disruptions

Wishing everyone an enriching and positive school year!
Mary Salvarinas

News from the Music Room
Please click music-news-oct-2016 to read the notice from Ms. Ullman.

Swansea PS Spirit Day: Tuesday October 4th
Support Swansea PS and the Toronto Blue Jays! Bring in a Toonie, and wear all your Blue Jays gear – hats, t-shirts, anything! Don’t have Blue Jays gear? Don’t worry, just wear blue and white J All funds raised from Swansea Spirit Days support Swansea Parent Council initiatives. Thank you for all your support. If you have any questions, please contact carinaneuman@gmail.com

Pizza Order Form Deadline: Wednesday, October 5th
Just a reminder that any outstanding Pizza Order forms are due Wednesday, October 5th. If you still need a copy there are still extra forms located in the office, or you can print from pizza-form-2016-17.

Walk a Child to School Day: October 5th
It’s that time of year Swansea! Wednesday, October 5 is International Walk A Child To School Day! Once again we will have 3 “Walking School Buses” departing neighbourhood locations at 8am to arrive simultaneously at the school for entertainment & snacks all before the Morning Bell!

The 3 neighbourhood meeting places for the “Walking School Buses” are:
1. Northeast corner of Windermere Ave and the Queensway (entrance to Swansea Mews)
2. Southeast corner of South Kingsway & Morningside Ave
3. Southwest corner of Beresford Ave & Bloor St (by the Pizza Pizza) … the route goes down Beresford to Deforest, west over to Lavinia, south to Waller and then to the school

The class with the highest percentage of participation will win the coveted Gold Shoe Award and a Pizza Party!

Walk a Child to School Volunteers Needed
To facilitate this great event, we need 2 volunteers to help out in the following way:

Arrive at school by 7:45am LATEST
Set-up snack stations
Organize & direct student volunteers on what they should be helping out with
Tear down after the event
If you can help out please contact us at: swanseaps@gmail.com

Chess Lessons- Tuesdays at lunch
Tamara Makharadze is a professional chess master from Georgia and will be offering chess lessons at lunch on Tuesdays in the library. All students welcome. Cost $80. To register, please complete and email the chess-registration-winter-2016. The program will begin on Tuesday, October 4, 2016.

Codemobile Visits on Wed Oct 12 and 19
This is a free, introductory session being held on Wed Oct 12 (Gr 2-4; 3:30-5pm) and Wed Oct 19 (Gr 5-8; 3:30-6:30pm) in the school library. The Codemobile is a cool, colourful van equipped with laptops and driven by Ladies Learning Code http://ladieslearningcode.com/code-mobile/!/ a not-for-profit group dedicated to bringing coding to all kids. Scratch will be the language introduced to both age groups. Permission/signup forms have been distributed already or can be printed from codemobile-slip-with-logo_20160920. Spots are limited so get your forms in quickly! Deadline is Mon Oct 3. This program is generously supported by McRock Capital. Contact Sylvia, sylvchong@yahoo.com with any questions.

Bike Rodeo: Message to Parents of students grades 2-5
On Tues Oct 11 and Wed Oct. 12, 2016 Officer Eric, our school community relations officer, has organized two obstacle course bike rodeos. Students from grades 2 &3 are invited to participate on Oct 11th and students from grades 4 &5 on Oct 12th. The students will be scored according to how well they control their bikes and their knowledge of bike safety rules.

The Bicycle Rodeo will begin at 9:15AM and end at 10:30AM. If you would like your child to participate, please have him/her bring his/her bicycle and helmet to school on their day. Only students with helmets will be allowed to participate. Bikes should not be left unsupervised at any time. They should be locked and placed in a secure spot.
Parents are welcome to come to the school to watch the Bicycle Rodeo.

Swansea Craft Sale
Business Sponsorship
Are you a Swansea parent with a local/small business looking to give back to Swansea School and get some promotion within the local community? The Craft Sale is one of the school’s larger fundraisers. Your contribution to our sale would greatly support Swansea students.

Volunteers Needed
Looking for a few parent volunteers to join the Craft Sale team. This is a great way to get involved in the school! Key positions to be filled include Raffle table coordinator, Sponsor coordinator and Student Volunteer coordinator (shadow). Also general help the day prior and day of the sale is needed.

Please contact Sylvia with any questions or further details about craft sale sponsorship or volunteering. sylvchong@yahoo.com

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