Dunsford District ES
33 Dunsford Road,
March 1, 2011
Message from the Principal
February feels like it no more than began than it had ended! We saw several very cold days (with ever popular indoor recesses) and spring-like weather (of course, during our Winter Carnival!). It almost seems hard to believe that the decent amount of snow in our fields turned into Lake Dunsford overnight between February 17th and 18th! March Break is just around the corner and we are more than half way done school – which seems a little hard to believe.
There is much to celebrate in this month’s newsletter. Report Cards went home on Friday, February 4th, our Grade 6’s have been participating in the DARE program, the Grade 7 & 8’s had their Valentine’s Dance, Winter Carnival took place on February 18th, and the Grade 7 & 8’s had a Skills Canada Presentation and also went to Ken Reid Park for team-building activities. Our basketball teams have also been practising and preparing for the upcoming Zone Tournament in early April.
Key March dates include:
The February Character Ed Assembly on March 4th at 9:20 a.m.
Junior to Intermediate Speeches on March 10th in the gym (for the top speeches from each class)
JK and SK Reports going home on March 11th
March Break from March 14th to 18th (students return to school on March 21st)
A March PA Day on Monday, March 28th (no school for students)
The March Character Assembly is tentatively planned for April 1st at 2:00 p.m. (no foolin’ here, though!). As always, parents are welcome to attend.
School Council News
The next School Council meeting is Monday, March 7th. Parents are always welcome to attend.
There was no School Council meeting in February.
Character Ed Assembly
Our next Character Education Assembly will be on Friday, March 4th at 9:20 p.m.. Parents are always welcome to attend!
Visitors to the School
A reminder to parents/guardians and others visiting the school that we require all visitors to sign in at the office. We discourage visitors from going to classrooms unless absolutely necessary (e.g., picking your son/daughter up early for an appointment). This is for safety purposes – as the fewer non-staff members walking around the school the better. It is usually easier for the office to call a student down to the office where the parent/guardian can pick them up.
If it is absolutely necessary for a parent/guardian to visit a classroom, you will also need to obtain a “Visitor’s Badge” from the office secretary. Individuals without Visitor’s Badges will be immediately redirected to the office.
Instructional Practices at DDES
I think it worthwhile for our school community to know the major instructional practices that our staff at Dunsford are working towards implementing. These practices are geared towards improving student learning and gives students the best opportunity for success. While I cannot comment on every practice being implemented, I would like for you to be aware of the larger trends. Please also understand that these instructional practices do not “change overnight” and require time to plan and implement!
Assessment For / Assessment As / Assessment Of
One trend you will notice in your child’s classroom and work is an increasing specificity in the use of Assessment. You probably remember being in school (as I do) and almost everything that you did being assessed (or given a mark). All of these marks were put towards your final grade.
The Ministry of Education (which determines our curriculum and sets our instructional practices) has given us direction with respect to the use of Assessment.
Assessment For refers to assessment used to provide staff members with an understanding of how students are doing on a particular task. Assessment For is not usually used in determining a student’s final grade. Assessment For is usually used to gather information about a student which can be used to improve his/her work on a later task. For example, if a student were to be completing a Report there would be a number of tasks leading to the writing of this report (e.g., brainstorming, a graphic organizer, and a rough draft). The brainstorming, graphic organizer and rough draft would usually be considered Assessment For. Feedback would be provided on each of these things, leading to the Final Report.
Assessment As refers to opportunities for students to assess their own learning. Through this students will be better able to determine how they are doing and what they need to do to improve. Students may use a Success Criteria Checklist, for example, to determine if they have completed all of the requirements. The goal of students being able to assess their own work is very important and one that we are working towards at Dunsford.
Assessment Of is what we normally think of as the “final grade.” This is the point at which teachers determine the learning demonstrated by a student. This could be a final product (e.g., a piece of writing, a project or an experiment). At this point students have used feedback during the Assessment For and As stages to produce their final product.
There are generally fewer Assessment Of’s than in the past. However, these Assessment Of’s are very rich and deep (because students have received lots of feedback leading to his/her final product).
Hep B and HPV shots May 13th at 9 a.m.
Grade 7 students will be receiving their Hepatitis B shots and Grade 8 girls will be receiving their HPV shots on May 13th at 9:00a.m.. These will be taking place in the Activity Room.
March Break – March 14th to 18th
Do not forget that our March Break is between March 14th and 18th. There will be no school during the March Break. School resumes on Monday, March 21st.
PA Day – Monday, March 28th
Monday, March 28th is a PA Day. There will be no school that day (but teachers will be at school using this time for planning and examining new instructional practices).
Milk / Hot Lunch / Healthy Snack
Forms for milk and hot lunches will go home on March 22nd for April and due back March 25th. The choice for pizza is ham, pineapple and cheese or cheese and pineapple.
DDES Winter Carnival – Friday, February 18th
Dunsford’s 6th annual Winter Carnival was another success! Although staff were initially concerned whether or not the carnival would take place due to the mild temperatures, we were able to spend a beautiful, sunny day outdoors enjoying winter activities!
The students and teachers had a blast flying down the hill on crazy carpets and saucers, students enjoyed a friendly competition at the broomball station, and they had fun riding on a sleigh through the slush behind the horses. Students were challenged by an obstacle course, had three-person ski races, ate delicious pancakes made by Mr. & Mrs. Loucks, and went up against each other at the Tug of War station.
Unfortunately for the Grade 8 students, they lost yet another friendly battle as they were defeated again by the teachers in a Tug of War. At the end of the day, we saw a spectacular magic show in the gym that left many of us wondering how on earth the magician did many of his tricks! Overall, it was a great day filled with excitement, laughter, physical activity and teamwork. Students and staff certainly did not allow the lack of snow to ruin their day!
A big thank you goes out to the countless parents who graciously volunteered their time (and helped the teachers win the Tug of War!), along with all of our staff members who collaborated to deliver a fantastic and fun-filled day for our students.
~ Mlle. Hainer
I would also like to thank Mlle. Hainer and Mr. Avery who both spent many hours in setting up and arranging this afternoon. I would also echo Mlle. Hainer’s thanks to staff and parents alike who volunteered their time and energy in making this such a successful day!
To kick off our Winter Carnival, Intermediate team captains led their carnival teams (consisting of students from Grade 1 to 6) outside on Thursday, February 17th to build snow sculptures. Students worked together to create some amazing works of art. There was a Stanley Cup with “Go Leafs, Go!” carved into it, a birthday cake, a few castles, a living room, the Dunsford Stinger, a turtle, and many other animals! We were thoroughly amazed with the creativity and hard work that all the teams put forth.
The leadership shown by the Grade 7 and 8 students was also outstanding. A huge thank you must go to our Intermediate students as their exemplary leadership was one of the factors that made our Carnival so successful.
~ K. Hainer
MPP Rick Johnson Visit
On Monday, February 14th, Mr. Thompson’s Grade 5/6 class was visited by the Brock-Victoria-Haliburton MPP Rick Johnson as part of its citizenship and government curriculum. Mr. Johnson spoke to the class about his role as an MPP and the importance of voting and responsible government. The students asked very challenging questions regarding democracy and current events. Mr. Johnson answered everyone’s questions and even took the time to pose for a few photographs. Thank you very much Rick Johnson! Our students definitely enjoyed the opportunity to meet you, ask questions and find out more about their government.
Speeches – Thursday, March 10th
Dunsford’s ever popular speeches are again taking place this year! Students from Grades 1 to 8 have been researching, writing, rehearsing and presenting speeches during the month of February. You can continue to help your daughter or son by helping them locate information about his/her topic, helping them write his/her speech and then helping them practise his/her speeches.
Classroom level speeches will take place prior to March 10th. 2 students will then be selected from each Junior and Intermediate class to present their speech in the gym. This will take place on March 10th at about 11:40 a.m.. Parents are welcome to attend the gym level speeches. The top students from the gym level speeches (in each age category) will proceed onto the local Legion level speeches, which take place on Monday, March 21st.
Mrs. Loucks has taken on the large task of organizing speeches (getting the information to the Legion, organizing packages for teachers and students and establishing dates for speeches to take place). Thank you, Mrs. Loucks! Perhaps Mrs. Loucks will provide us with her own speech on March 10th?
The basketball tournaments (both Zone and County) do not take place until early April; however, the DDES teams are hard at work, practising on a regular schedule. Although the tournaments have not taken place yet, the school appreciates the effort and determination all of you are putting into your teams. The victories in April will be built upon your sweat and practices of February and March!
Information on the School Website
Do not forget that we are doing our best to keep the school website up to date with current information. There are a number of important items that you can find out about on the school website, including:
The information below refers to bus cancellations in the event of poor weather (e.g., heavy snow or icy conditions). The school is normally open even when buses are cancelled.
Every attempt will be made to have the decision made by 6:15 a.m.
In the event of school bus service cancellation, the following notifications are sent out and parents can access any of these for the information:
BOB FM – 91.9 FM
CBC – 98.7 FM
Country 105 – 105.1 FM
EZ Rock – 105.9 FM
The Wolf – 101.5 FM
For TLDSB schools:
City of Kawartha Lakes Public Library – March Events
Indian River Reptile Zoo
Wednesday, March 16 at 11 am
Saturday, March 19
Dunsford Library Hours
Tuesdays 2:30 – 7:30 pm
Wednesdays 10:00 am – 1:00 pm
Saturdays 9:00 am – 1:00 pm
For information please call the Dunsford Library at 705 793-3037.
Search the Library Catalogue at www.city.kawarthalakes.on.calibrary
Grade 7 & 8 Trip
On Friday, February 25th, Mr. Avery’s Grade 7 class and Mr. Prins’ Grade 8 class went to Ken Reid Conservation Area in Lindsay for an exciting educational excursion. The “Out To Learn” program through Kinark and Fleming College provided them with guided programs that allowed students the opportunity to go snowshoeing (including some orienteering, compass, and navigation skills), Wilderness Survival Skills (including learning alternative means of starting a fire when you don’t have matches or a lighter with you), as well as a Wild in Winter program while playing some engaging and fun predator versus prey games. It ended up being a great day and the students had many memorable experiences.