Dear Jackman Community,
Welcome to the 2012-2013 school year! There is much excitement in and around the school and I am looking forward to another great year ahead.
Before I let you know about some of the plans for the coming year, I want to take a minute to welcome our new families. We hope that you and your children have a wonderful year and enjoy all that the Jackman community has to offer.
We have a number of new staff joining us this year. Please welcome the following teachers covering maternity leaves.
Karen Pace is replacing Zoe Rankin in SK French Immersion
Jeremy Bass is replacing Stacey Swedko in grade 5 French Immersion
Stephanie Ustianov is replacing Lauren Kidd in grade 1 /2 English.
In June we also permanently hired Julia Atkins (grade 5/6 English), Sari Stillman (grade 4 /5 English), and Melanie Caine (grade 5 /6 French Immersion). I am very excited to bring them on board and think we have one of the strongest teaching faculties in the Toronto District School Board. We also have two new educational assistants joining our primary division. Kimberley Parish will be supporting students in room 207 in the afternoon and Margaret Ventrone will be in room 208 assisting our French Immersion kindies.
This year our staff will be continuing to develop higher order thinking in our students, particularly using evidence from texts and from prior learning experiences to justify their ideas and opinions. We will also spend more focused attention on Mathematical Problem Solving ensuring that students can represent their math ideas in a variety of ways and communicate their thinking to their peers. We have been gradually shifting our pedagogical approaches from infusing opportunities for thinking into the curriculum from time to time to developing a classroom culture that supports and nurtures thinking every day. We believe that thinking must be nurtured in students over time by establishing routines and strategies that are woven into the fabric of the classroom and school. Caring for the environment and principles of equity will continue to be two guiding lenses.
Parents often ask us how they can directly support their children here at school. Here are some suggestions as we start off a new school year.
1. Ensure your child has enough sleep so that they come to school refreshed and ready to learn each day.
2. Have your child arrive to school on time. Missing the first 10 minutes of the day causes them to miss key messages of the day and doesn’t allow them to do the ritual “meet and greet” with their friends as they get ready for a day of learning.
3. Establish a home routine where homework is completed. Do not do the homework for your child. Track the length of time for completion. If homework is too difficult or too time consuming, communicate this to the teacher.
4. Have your child read every day. It is better for a young child to read every day for a short time than to read only twice a week for a long time.
5. Help develop a growth mind set in your child. Reinforce effort and persistence to task rather than the grade earned. Studies consistently shows that students who are praised for their efforts and improvements made are more likely to take risks and take on more challenging assignments. Developing grit is a lifelong disposition that will serve them well in the journey of life.
6. Partner with the teacher and/or administration. Students will experience disappointment, peer/social conflict, and a failed assignment from time to time. When we work in a united way, students are more likely to take responsibility for their actions and work to make improvements.
We are already off to a great start with the first week under our belts. I look forward to seeing you all at our Curriculum Night on September 24.