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Jun 02
Updates for June

Congratulations to our grade 5 and 6 students who all qualified for the RRSD track meet this year! It is not often that we have all students make it this far with track and field and we are very proud of their accomplishments! We look forward to celebrating this at the Grade 6 farewell which will be taking place on June 26th in the morning.

If you haven’t had a chance, stop by the school and check out the plants that your child planted in our community garden. During the final month of school one of our classrooms look after the gardens. We really appreciate the community helping out in July and August with garden! We know that a number of you stop by to have a look, pick a few weeds and help with watering. It’s another demonstration of the community spirit that is continues to stay strong in Rivers.

Senior administration are in the process of finalizing staffing for the 15-16 school year. Once this information is completed, I will include the most up to date staffing information in the RES community report which will go out before the end of June. As you know, we will have multi-level classrooms for all gr.1-6 classrooms starting September 2015. Information regarding the transition for gr.3-6 was sent out recently. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me.

There have been a few questions regarding report cards for the end of the year. We will be handing out report cards on June 29th, the last day of classes for students. If you know that your child will be away the last day of classes, please let Mrs. McMurachy know as soon as possible and we can make arrangements for mail delivery or if possible pick up on June 26th at the end of the day.

On the last day of classes, June 29th, we are celebrating “Fly Into Summer” with a presentation and family lunch bbq. Everyone is welcome to attend. More information regarding location and time will be available to families closer to the event. We hope you can make it! If I don’t see you before the end of the school year. I want to wish you and your family a restful and enjoyable summer together!

Apr 29
April Updates

​Spring break seems like a distant memory after another busy month of learning at Rivers Elementary. Spring break came fast just after parent teacher conferences and Rolling River Festival of the Arts. We are very proud of all the students who participated in the festival this year! With festival taking place at the same time as the parent teacher conferences, I want to say thank you to all the families and teachers for being so flexible to ensure that everyone was accommodated during this time.

In April, during the elementary in-service day, our teachers gathered to talk about our school priorities for the 15-16 school plan. When we think ahead about our school plan, we center our plan on the divisional priorities. Our teachers have prioritized excellence in education with a focus on math and student self-assessment, continuing with health living and community partnerships. In the last few months, we hope to narrow our plan to two goals for our school. We are looking for your feedback. If you have any suggestions or comments for the 15-16 school plan, please email or give me a call as soon as possible.

On Friday, April 24, our staff and students also participated in a Shelter in Place Drill. This is a practice drill for our school to have a systematic response to hazardous materials released in the community. Our drill was very successful with students and staff doing a fantastic job ensuring everyone’s safety.

In each newsletter, I have mentioned how we are moving to multi-level classes for our 3-6 grade levels in the 15-16 school year. Teachers are anticipating this shift and have started having conversations with students in class. I will send a note home in the upcoming weeks with more information regarding this transition. If parents request an information evening, I would be happy to have a session. After you receive the multi-level information letter, please contact me if you would like an information session.    

I would also like to announce that my family will be extending by another child!  I will be going on maternity leave during the 15-16 school year following the birth of our second child. The replacement for my maternity leave has not been finalized but I will let you know as soon as I have any additional information. My anticipated due date is in mid-October so I will be returning for the start of the school year in the fall and working for as long as I am able to. I really appreciated all of kind words and thoughtfulness of our students today when I shared the news with them. I am so grateful to work in a community that values family and continues to work hard to teach our children to be raised as kind of thoughtful children. 

Mar 27
Spring Forward!

​Spring is in the air! Our students and staff have already started preparing for the season with their planting time this month during Social Learning Communities. Thank you for helping them to care for their seeds at home. We hope they grow into excellent plants that can be transplanted into our community garden at the end of May.

Carnival was also a very exciting day for us this month! It’s always great to see the students’ creativity and families coming out to support the event! What I love most about Carnival is that it brings out the kindness of our students. Older students help younger students count change and work their stations. Children often lose items or money during the event in the excitement of the moment and these things make their way back to owners. Adult supervisors make their way through out the building and observe children demonstrating positive citizenship skills while being independent. We expect no less from our students and marvel in their success!

Thank you for joining us at parent teacher conferences this year. There seemed to be a variety of activities happening in addition to the conferences in this round. It was great to see families and teachers with flexible times in order for those important conversations to continue. This was another good example of the value our community places on education and Rivers Elementary.

While the report cards provide us with valuable information on student learning, we know that the conversations with the teachers are the most beneficial. You have probably noticed a change in the way the report cards are written since they have become provincially mandated. Teachers are now reporting to you using outcome based language focusing on strengths, challenges and next steps. During each reporting period, teacher spend hours(which total up to days) gathering evidence of learning and planning how they can best provide you with information about your child’s learning growth. This isn’t all we do with the report cards! We also spend time looking at the data from report cards and children’s evidence of learning to plan how we can continuously improve the depth of understanding and support specific student learning needs. The data helps us to make informed decisions about school planning.

At the end of April, our teachers will come together and talk about our school plan for the 15-16 school year. We always welcome your input with the school plan. Please contact the school if you have any suggestions as we think ahead. During this time we will continue to plan ahead with the multilevel classrooms that will take place next year which is not new for our gr.1/2 students but will be a new adventure for the remaining grades.

Wishing you a joyful spring break filled with fabulous weather and lots of fun with family and friends!

Mar 02
February- I Love to Read

​February was exciting month at Rivers Elementary! We celebrated “I love to read” in a variety of ways including having community members come into the school and model their love of reading with our students! We were excited to have hockey players from the Wheat Kings as well as Leanne Rowat sharing their love of books with RES.

February is a great time to think about how we are supporting our young readers and writers throughout the year. At school, we find ourselves forever collecting the best literature we can to promote children’s love of books in and out of the classroom. We want to have a range of books that children can choose from. One of the most important skills you can have as a reader is to believe that you can read and we know this happens with great literature.

In classrooms, it’s no longer enough for students to be able to answer questions at the end of the chapter or fill in the blanks on a worksheet. Our expectations are much higher. Instead, children are being asked to read a range of texts and think deeply and critically, discovering new meanings, making personal interpretations, connecting texts to one another, and borrowing mentor writer techniques as students create their own writing. These are not the same classrooms that you and I attended. Our teachers support each child at his or her own reading level and we spend time as a staff talking about how we as a school team can help our readers.

So what can you do to support your child with reading at home? Pay attention to your child’s growth as a reader and celebrate this often! Share your questions with teachers or me and read often with your child. Some of the books may come home with your child and some books your child will need to have choice with. Most importantly, make this a time to drop everything and cuddle up together. We know that our readers are learning much from parents at home because at RES, we are proud of the reading growth that happens among our students.

We also know that you trust we will work hard to be explicit with instruction. While many of our students learn with regular instruction, there are times when extra support is needed. So above and beyond the everyday school structures for reading with children, to children, and having children read to themselves, we are providing interventions for struggling readers. We continue to work as a team with you to ensure that every child in our school grows as a reader to her or his best ability.

Here is a website with 20 tips for parents to help create lifelong readers as a little extra light read! http://www.education.com/reference/article/Ref_20_Ways_Parents/

Happy reading to all of our Rivers Elementary families!

Jan 22
Happy New Year for 2015!

​Happy New Year for 2015! It's an exciting start to the new year with our classrooms work hard in a variety of ways. Our teachers continue to enhance student performance through differentiated assessment and instruction as one of our major school plan goals this year. I see this happening in the classrooms in a variety of ways. Teachers work with individual and small groups of children as needed to support their academics as well as doing whole group instruction. In our classrooms that have two grades, this is a very important goal and great way to meet the needs of each child at Rivers Elementary.

As our school division continues to plan ahead, Rivers Elementary is one of the schools who will be moving to a full multi-level program next year. As you know, this year is the beginning of the transition with grade ½ classes. For the 15/16 school year we will continue with ¾ classes and 5/6 classes in our intermediate grades. This will be an opportunity for us to continue to grow as a learning community and value the needs of each individual learner. There will be a parent information session in April for families who would like to know more.

There have been some exciting activities happening in the classrooms. If you stop by the school, please take time to notice the artwork and writing on the walls created by our students! We also have continued with our Breakfast Club which has received excellent support from our community, The Honey House, and the Nutrition Council of Manitoba. A special thank you to our high school students who volunteer to help out every morning! Voyageur Day took play on January 16 during Social Learning Communities with great success.

Best wishes to you and your family for a healthy and happy 2015! You have such a key role in your child's education and your school support is much appreciated.
 

Nov 28
Tis' That Time of Year...

​It's the time year for celebrating and sharing virtues with family and friends as we approach the holidays in December. At school, celebrating student learning at parent teacher conferences was big focus for us. I hope all of our families had an opportunity to stop in the gym for the literacy fair to see the children's favourite books on display with their projects that older students led younger students through. We appreciate the value you put on supporting your child's academic success at school! Establishing a partnership between teachers, students and parents is the most integral part of student learning.

Thank you to our families for sending students at 8:45am instead of 8:30am daily following the note home last week. As temperatures continue to drop, the later time gives them an opportunity to play before school starts without freezing in the cold for too long. We monitor the temperature and weather regularly and make sure students will come inside the school in the morning and through out recesses during the day when conditions do not permit them to be outside.

Our next exciting event takes place December 10th with the Christmas concert. This year's theme is "The Spirit of Christmas" with each classroom trying something a little different for you to enjoy. Mr. Graham is away this month on a medical leave so we will have Mrs. Krahn leading our choirs and music for us.

We are continuing to learn the features of our new website and how this communication tool can benefit parents. Until we are operating smoothly and effectively to ensure all families in our community can have access to the website, we will continue to run our newsletters and email information(or print when needed) so you receive items in a timely manner. In the future you will receive emails as website updates are created as part of your "My Site" access. There will be more information to come from the school division technology department.  Thank you for the website feedback received so far which has been very positive. We are always looking for any suggestions that you have!

Nov 17
Welcome to Mrs. Reynolds' Blog

​Welcome to the first principal blog post for the "NEW" Rivers Elementary website! This is a place where you can find that I will be sharing ideas, opinions, and events related to our school and community.

I'm excited to share with you the learning that's happening in our school. I am a proud principal because RES has a fantastic learning environment filled with excellent children who bring a smile to my face everyday! You know, everytime a visitor comes to our school and does a presentation or participates in an assembly when all of our students are together, the visitor comments on the respectfulness and kindness of our students. Whether it's students holding the door open and welcoming people to our school or how they listen so respectfully to someone they have never met before, our students leave a lasting impression!

It is an honour for me to be here for my third year as principal working with such a dedicated group of educators. As I write this first blog, our teachers are working vigorously to ensure they share evidence of our students' learning in a meaningful way to parents for the first term of provincial report cards.

It is my hope that you will find this website as a way to feel connected to our students and staff at RES. Please be patient with us as we learn the ropes for the first little while. We are always looking for ways to improve so if you have any suggestions for our site or for news clip ideas, let me know as soon as you can. Give me a call or send me an email kreynolds@rrsd.mb.ca.