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Nov 14
To motivate your child, make sure expectations are realistic

Expectations can be tricky. Research shows that students generally live up to parent and teacher expectations, whether the expectations are high or low. So, you want to set the bar high for your child.

But it’s important to be realistic, too. Most students are not going to excel at everything. If you are only satisfied with near-perfection, your child may say to herself, “What’s the point?” and stop trying altogether.

To make sure your expectations are realistic and effective:

  • Encourage your child to do her best in all her pursuits.
  • Have unique expectations for each of your children. Do not compare your child with her siblings, friends or classmates.
  • Let your child know you are proud of her effort and hard work. Remind her that she should be proud of herself.
  • Remember that your expectations are for your child, not for you. She is entitled to her own dreams. It is not fair to her if you simply want her to do what you wish you had done.
  • Learn about your child’s interests. When your child feels you value these, it can spur her to try to do better in all her pursuits.
  • Be a good role model. Let your child see you give your best effort. Set expectations for yourself and talk to your child about how you plan to meet them.

Reprinted with permission from the December 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: “Child Trends Databank: Parental Expectations for Their Children’s Academic Attainment,” Child Trends, niswc.com/elem_expectations.

Oct 10
Habits at home can help your child thrive in school and life

Every family—and every child—is different, but there are ways all families can set their children up for success. Studies show that kids are more likely to achieve in elementary school and beyond when their parents give them the tools to succeed. To help your child:

  • Assign chores. Kids who have responsibilities around the house learn how to be responsible. Give your child a list of weekly tasks to complete. He may grumble, but don’t give in.
  • Teach social skills. Your child’s success in life hinges on more than grades; it centers on his ability to get along with others. Model good behavior—like cooperation and courtesy.
  • Set the bar high. Expect your child to do well, and he’ll rise to the occasion. Don’t demand perfect grades, but do insist he work to the best of his ability. And praise him when he tries hard—even if he falls short. When you show him you believe in him, he’ll believe in himself.
  • Nurture your relationship. You are your child’s parent, not his friend. But you’re also his ally. So, make time to have fun together! Share a hobby. Play catch in the yard. Never let your child forget you’re on the same team.
  • Take care of yourself. If you’re always stressed, your child will be, too. Carve out time to relax, exercise, or curl up with a good book. A calm, peaceful home starts with you.

(Reprinted with permission from the November 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!® (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: R. Gillett and Y. Han, “Parents of successful kids have these 12 things in common,” Business Insider, niswc.com/elem_habits.)

Sep 21
Create a homework routine at the beginning of the year
You want to help your child take responsibility for completing her homework—and creating a homework routine at the start of the school year can do just that.

To establish an effective routine, make sure your child has:
  • A well-lit study area. This can be at a desk or tabletop. If it’s at the kitchen table, make the kitchen off limits to others during study time. Turn off the television, too.
  • A set study time. When does your child prefer to do homework? Right after school, leaving the evening for free time? Or does she prefer to blow off some steam right after school and begin homework after dinner? Experiment, then schedule the time that works best for her.
  • A homework survival kit. Include all of the supplies she might need to complete her homework— pencils, pens, paper, sharpener, erasers, crayons, markers, glue stick, scissors, ruler, etc.
  • Standby support. Encourage her to get phone numbers of classmates she can call when she has homework questions.
Aug 08
Get your family back into the school groove with these tips

A new school year brings new routines, schedules and priorities. Here are some practical ideas to help you and your family gear up for a year of learning:
  • Make a plan for after-school activities. Schedule adequate time for homework, play, sports, clubs and family time.
  • Scale back screen time. Set a weekly limit for time spent watching television, playing video games and surfing the internet. Maintain a firm rule that homework and chores come first.
  • Establish family reading time.
  • Start a change jar so you’ll have spare lunch money on hand.
  • Reestablish bedtimes for school nights.
  • Keep a family calendar. Mark each family member’s activities in a different color.
  • Collect important phone numbers, such as those for the school office, after-school program and a neighbor. Update work, medical and other emergency contact numbers.
  • Make a backup plan. Find another parent who will exchange school drop-off or pickup favors—in case you get sick or delayed by work or traffic.
  • Set up a file for school papers. Place all school notices in it so you don’t misplace them.
  • Get ready the night before school. Encourage your child to set out his clothes, pack a lunch and put his school bag by the door.
Jun 15
Joint Social Media Use Statement RRTA & RRSD

The information in this media statement is applicable to all RRSD Staff.

** Please note that as a "statement" this is not understood as School Division Policy or as an official statement of the RRTA or MTS. It is a statement for our teachers to consider and discuss with colleagues when using Social Media. Your professional reputation is one of your most valuable assets as a teacher; protect it always – including online.

RRTA and RRSD recognize that access to technology in school gives teachers greater opportunities to learn, engage, communicate, and develop skills that will prepare them for work, life, and citizenship. We are committed to helping students develop 21st-century technology and communication skills.

To that end, this Joint Social Media Use Statement outlines behaviors that teachers should follow when using school technologies, when using personally-owned devices at school or when making postings to social media outside of school.

  • Teachers need to follow the same rules for good behavior and respectful conduct online as offline.

Examples of Acceptable Use

  • Follow the same guidelines for respectful, responsible behavior online that you are expected to follow offline.
  • Treat social media carefully. Do separate personal and professional. With your personal accounts, consider using a different name and set your privacy settings to their most stringent, but don't assume it's invisible
  • Encourage positive, constructive discussion if allowed to use communicative or collaborative technologies. Use the highest levels of security.
  • Alert a teacher or other staff member if you see threatening/bullying, inappropriate, or harmful content (images, messages, posts) online.
  • Be cautious to protect the safety of yourself and others. Monitor yourself on Google from time to time.
  • Remember always to follow our Professional Code of practice
  • This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. Users should use their own good judgment when using social media

Examples of Unacceptable Use

  • Venting online
  • Posting anything that you wouldn't want posted on the front page of the local newspaper.
  • Using language online that would be unacceptable in the classroom
  • Engaging in community discussion boards (ex. eBrandon or Facebook groups) when the subject matter is focused on potentially sensitive/confidential situations (i.e. don't use social media to engage angry parents or community members.
  • This is not intended to be an exhaustive statement. It is meant to raise teachers' awareness about how they should model ethical and appropriate behaviour online. Users should use their own good judgment when using social media.
Jun 05
Support your child as the end of the school year approaches

By May, some kids act like summer vacation has already started. They “forget” their homework. They stop giving their best effort and start avoiding anything that seems difficult or challenging.

But the school year isn’t over yet. Kids need to stay focused on learning until the last day of school. Here’s how to help your child:

  • Review old homework papers, quizzes and tests. Use them to talk with your child about how much she has learned this year. Having these papers close at hand will also be useful as she studies for end-of-year tests!
  • Shape year-end learning around your child’s interests. If she has one more book report due, suggest she choose a book on a topic she loves. If she has a social studies project, she should focus on something she is interested in learning about.
  • Help your child manage her end-of-year projects. Long-range assignments can be overwhelming. So, in addition to helping your child break a big project down into smaller steps, encourage her to apply this rule of thumb: Move the deadline for finishing any big project earlier by two days. If a report is due on Wednesday, your child should plan to get it finished by Monday. That way, she’ll have a cushion if (OK, when) something comes up!

Reprinted with permission from the May 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc. Source: D. Goldberg, The Organized Student, Fireside Books.

May 02
Everyday tasks can help your child strengthen math skills

Most people read every day. They probably do math, too, although they may not realize it. Math is a natural part of life, and it’s important to include your child in daily math activities.

With your child, you can:

  • Take a trip. Before leaving, measure the air pressure in your car or bike tires. Also calculate how many miles you’ll go. If you are driving, how much gas will you use? As you travel, say a number between 1 and 10. Who can find a license plate with numbers that add up to the number you called out?

  • Follow recipes. When preparing meals, let your child help with weighing and measuring. Discuss sizes, shapes and fractions. Find answers to questions such as, “How could we double this recipe?” and “When we add ¼ cup to ¼ cup, what do we get?”

  • Go shopping. Use a calculator to keep a running tally of purchases. Use coupons to inspire math problems. “If we use this coupon, will the item cost less than other brands?” “Which of these items is really the best deal per pound?”

  • Save money. Help your child choose a goal, such as saving for a book. Make a chart to help. How much does she need to save each week? How long will it take her to reach the total? Keep track of how well she is doing. Then have fun shopping together!

  • Play games. There are lots of fun math games you can play together. Try dominoes, Uno and Connect 4.

(Reprinted with permission from the May 2017 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2017 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.)

Apr 05
School Attendance - Information for Parents

What Parents/Family Can Do with Children...

Attending school regularly helps children feel better about school and themselves. Building good habits as early as pre-school can help you child's education throughout their school years.

  • Help your child get organized for school the night before
  • Have regular bed time routines
  • Avoid scheduling medical appointments and vacations when school is in session
  • Follow personal health practices that reduce the risk of your child becoming ill
  • Don't let your child stay home unless he or she is really sick. Keep in mind that stomach aches or headaches can be a sign of stress or anxiety and not a reason to stay home.
  • Talk to your child about the importance of going to school everyday
  • Set an example of what good attendance looks like
  • Read to your child from a very early age. Students who are good readers tend to stay in school longer and achieve higher academic scores.

What Parents Can Do with the School...

When the parents and the school work together to improve attendance the children benefit and feel better about school and home.

  • Connect with your child's school early in the year, before there are any problems
  • Learn the school's attendance policies and practices
  • Make sure the school has current contact information
  • If your child appears anxious about attending school contact the school and see if anything has changed at school

What the Community Can Do...

Effective schools are integral parts of their community. Attendance and concerns about truancy are community problems not just school problems.

  • Make attendance a community priority
  • Help parents look for solutions
  • Provide appointments for children that are outside of school hours
  • Offer free parenting programs to parents, such as Triple P Parenting
  • Support families with after school programs such as After the School Bell Rings
  • Partner with the school to provide incentives
  • Involve community leaders in the goal of improved attendance

Personal Health Practices

The number one reason that students miss school is due to illness. The best way to reduce the risk of your child being ill is to follow preventative health practices that keep your child well.

Some examples are:

For more information, please click on Healthy Habits for Life.

Feb 21
Invitation to Attend Public Budget Presentation

INVITATION TO ATTEND PUBLIC BUDGET PRESENTATION

7:00 p.m. Wednesday, February 22, 2017
Division Administration Office
36 Armitage Avenue
Minnedosa, MB

Dec 15
Highlighting RRSD Activities

With the holiday season fast approaching this is an opportunity to highlight some of the activities that have taken place in Rolling River School Division (RRSD) over the fall. The School Division is full of dedicated and enthusiastic individuals who are committed to ensuring positive educational opportunities for our students.  We have robust participation in music, art, drama, athletics and service projects.  In the spirit of the season, our schools are preparing for holiday concerts. We encourage you to attend and enjoy the entertainment provided by the creative and talented youth in our communities. Please visit our RRSD website for a concert schedule listing at rrsd@rrsd.mb.ca

Parent/Teacher Conferences were held on November 25. The conferences provide an opportunity to establish a cooperative home-school partnership. These one to one meetings are an opportunity to talk about academic, social and behavioral progress with the goal of helping students learn and be successful in school.  When parents and teachers communicate and work together student progress increases. I encourage all parents to take advantage of parent-teacher conference opportunities scheduled for the school year, and to be involved in school experiences and events involving your children.

I'm particularly appreciative of the work completed this fall on the RRSD Strategic Plan which included broad participation of the Rolling River School Division Trustees, Principals, Teachers, Thoughtstream Community Survey data, and Tell Them From Me (TTFM) student data. The Rolling River School Division Strategic Plan details Board priorities from 2016 – 2021. The priorities include Cultural Proficiency, Mental Health and Well Being, Literacy and Numeracy. For information on each priority please view the plan on the RRSD website.

Mental Health and Well Being is a strategic plan priority and Rolling River School Division is partnering with Healthy Child Manitoba Office (HCMO) to offer PAX Training to RRSD teachers in September 2017.  PAX is a set of tools and strategies used by teachers and students that creates conditions for active teaching and lifelong learning. Longitudinal studies have shown that students who participate in PAX are more likely to graduate from school, need fewer special education services, have better mental health (including less suicidal thoughts/attempts), fewer smoking, alcohol and drug addictions, and are less involved in crime, into their adult years. The PAX program is currently being implemented in early years in four of our schools.  We are expanding the PAX program to include all schools and grades in RRSD that have not previously used PAX. We are in the initial planning stages and more information will be forthcoming to include a parent information evening planned for September 2017.  Additional information on the PAX program can be viewed at http://www.gov.mb.ca/healthychild/pax/.

I would like to express my gratitude to students, staff, parents, and community members who enthusiastically contribute to our School Division.

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No, this isn't actually my picture. I just haven't gotten around to updating this section. It's good to know that someone is reading every last word though. Thanks!