November Parent Letter

We have had a smooth, but crazy busy start up this school year.  With school returning to relative normal, it took staff and students a few months to find the rhythm and balance with academics and extra-extracurricular.  Many good things are happening here at the school.  We hope that you are following our Facebook page for classroom and school highlights and enjoying our Parent Peek at the Week emails!

We wanted to catch all of our families up on some very exciting learning that has been going on in our building and behind the scenes, with our Learning Improvement Plans.  Avonlea School has developed two goals that align with the ministry and the division Priority Action Plan. Our goals focus on Mental Health and Learning Response.

 

Goal #1:

By June 2022, student scores on the Emotional Regulation Questionnaire will increase from 3.3 on reappraisal to 3.8′ and decrease from 2.9 to 2.4 on suppression.

 

What does this actually mean?

All students completed a 10-question questionnaire.  The data, which was collected on an anonymous basis, allows staff to see areas that need support with emotional regulation: understanding our emotions and changing the way we think.  The data concluded that, on average, 3.3/5 of our students have difficulty changing the way they think about situations (reappraisal).  On the other hand, 2.9/5 of our students keep their feelings inside (suppression).  Our focus, therefore, is on increasing the reappraisal statistic and decreasing the suppression statistic.

What work is being done?

We have been very busy of the last two months working toward this goal.  Following are the highlights of what has been done thus far.

* Zones of Regulation (k – 12)     * Review of Boundaries and Positive Relationships (Grade 9/10)

* Purchase of the Release App (growth mindset and tapping activity)        * Teaching Problem Solving Skills (K-12)

* Mental Health Day       *Grade K-12 Resiliency Presentation         Grade 5/6 Empathy & Kindness Presentation

Plans are also in the works for some upcoming presentations and skill building lessons:

  • Executive Function: Building Skills for Student Success  These strategies will be incorporated into every classroom.
  • Trina Markusson: Present Moment Living    Trina Markusson has been practicing and studying stress reduction for almost 20 years.  Trina uses her life experiences and professional trainings in Mindful Teaching and Mindful-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) to help us “be” present and to deal with daily stress more effectively!    She will be presenting to students in each classroom,  and to staff at our Professional Development meeting.  She is also offering a parent zoom presentation on the evening of November 30 from 6:30 – 7:30 to any interested parents.  Details to enter the zoom meeting will be sent out closer to that date.

              

 

Goal #2:

By June 2022, 80% of Avonlea students, in grades K-12, will be meeting ALL curricula outcomes.

 

What does this actually mean?

Staff and students are working together to ensure that any gaps in learning as a result of the pandemic or due to missing essential skills are being targeted.  The end goal is for all students to be successful in meeting outcomes based on the curriculum.  Last year, we only targeted ELA and Math.  This year, we are working on transferable skills to all subject areas.

What work is being done?

Here are the highlights of what has been done thus far over the last two months.

     Monthly Team Meetings          Attendance Monitoring                  Raz Kids                              See Saw implementation

Monthly staff Professional Development                Parent surveys                  Learning Improvement Teams

Mathletics                          Sora (online library)

In other news…

Student Led Conferences have been scheduled for November 16 and 17.  This year we are able to offer our families three conference options – Zoom, phone, or in person.  Please refer to the Student Led Conference information sheet printed on Page 4 for all details.

Staffing News!

We have some exciting staffing news!  Both Mrs. Dombowsky and Ms. Dorval will be celebrating new arrivals in their families in the new year – Mrs. Dombowsky in January and Ms. Dorval in May!  We are all looking forward to meeting their newest additions.

 

While we won’t be hiring for Ms. Dorval position until some time in the new year, we are very happy to have hired Mr. Dylan McIntosh to cover Mrs. Dombowsky’s maternity leave.

 

My name is Dylan McIntosh, and I am going to be the grade 5/6 teacher starting in the New Year! I wanted to introduce myself to the community so that you can get to know me and my background as both a teacher and a person. I was born and raised in Moose Jaw where I played all sports in elementary school, and competitively hockey and baseball in my teen years. I am the youngest of three siblings (two sisters) and a very proud uncle of three nephews and a niece.

I played five years of AAA baseball in Moose Jaw where I was able to win back-to-back Bantam Provincial Championships and represent Saskatchewan at Nationals in 2008/2009. I played U18 AAA hockey in Moose Jaw for three years and then moved on to play two years of junior hockey in Notre Dame. I have stayed in the game of hockey by coaching at the U13 and U15 levels, and am currently helping coach a U15 A team in Moose Jaw that plays out of the Hockey Regina League. Coaching led me to wanting to be a teacher. My hobby outside of coaching is making pens! It all started at the beginning of the pandemic, and has kept me busy ever since! I have made pens out of different materials such as, acrylics, woods, and even deer antler.

 

I moved to Saskatoon where I completed my Bachelor of Education last fall. My education has sent me to places such as Springside, Saskatoon, and Lloydminster for my 16-week internship in a grade 4 class. It was there I realized my love for elementary teaching and the curriculum we have here in Saskatchewan.  I have been subbing in Prairie South since last January, where I have spent time in all grades from Kindergarten to Grade 12, and have had extended stays in a 4/5 class last spring, and high school Phys. Ed earlier this year.

 

I am an easy going person who likes to have fun, and I like my classes to reflect that and to be a place where everyone feels comfortable, and welcome to be themselves. I am also passionate about my students and their development and growth through the year. School is not always the place the students want to be, but I am always striving to be the teacher that makes the students want to come to school and get to work! I am extremely excited to get into the school and community and get to work with the students, teachers and members of the community

 

Employment Opportunities:

As well, we are still looking for casual Educational Assistants, Facility Operators and bus drivers.  If you know of anyone who might be interested in a casual position, please contact Mrs. Krawetz for more information.

Thank you!

We would like to extend our sincere thanks to all of our families and community members who have stepped up to help our school year get off to a wonderful start.  We are so very grateful to be able to take part in extra-curricular activities again, and none of it would be possible without your help.  From driving athletes to games, organizing and running canteens, planting trees, collecting bottles, making sandwiches – the list goes on and on.  Please know that we appreciate everything you to for “our” kids!