Dunsford District ES


Darin Parish



Bruce Barrett



Judy Saunders



33 Dunsford Road


K0M 1L0  

Tel. 793-2088

FAX 793-2314






Volume 4



December  5, 2011


Message from the Principal

It seems hard to believe that there are only 3 weeks of school left until Christmas Holidays!  The first 3 months of school seemed to have passed awfully quickly.  December will feel like it has begun and ended, no doubt!


Please GIVE to the DDES Food Drive

This month’s Character Trait is Compassion and we are asking that our students demonstrate this by contributing to the DDES food drive.  Like last year, we would like to have a staff-student volleyball game (which the rest of the school can watch) if we reach our school goal.  Mr. Prins and Mr. Avery have stepped up to the plate (or, more accurately onto the scale) for the school.  If the school can raise their combined weight in food we will have a staff-student volleyball game.  After their crushing defeat in the staff-student soccer game in October, I am sure the students will be out to even the score this time!


December is going to be full of activities!  Please read this newsletter through all the way so that you are aware of the MANY, MANY activities taking place in December.  Practises for the Christmas Concert are well underway and the Christmas Concert will take place on December 21st and 22nd (more details below in the newsletter).  Our Food Drive and Christmas Hamper program has begun (and could lead to a staff-student volleyball game…).  The Grade 3’s are travelling to Lang’s Pioneer Village on December 12th, and the Grade 6’s are travelling to see a portable “Starlab” at Leslie Frost PS on the same day.  Both grades are excited about these trips!  The Christmas Shopping Spree (organized by the Eco Club) will take place between December 12th and 16th.  December 22nd is Spirit Day at DDES – students are encouraged to wear red/green (the holiday colours) or hats with the holiday spirit (and, no, a baseball cap doesn’t count as the “holiday spirit!”).  Christmas Holidays begin on Monday, December 26th with students returning to school on Monday, January 9th. 


The staff of DDES would like to wish both parents and students all the best during the holiday season.  On behalf of all staff, I hope that it is a relaxing holiday for you, with time spent together with family.  We wish all of you a Merry Christmas.


School Council News


The School Council did not meet in November, but meets on Monday, December 5th at 6:30 p.m.. 


The major focus for the upcoming School Council meeting is to decide in which ways to support DDES.  In the previous meeting, the School Council decided to use the fundraising dollars raised from QSP Magazine Sales (in part) to support either the goals of Engagement and/or Technology at the school.      


Our next School Council meeting is Monday, January 16th at 6:30 p.m..  It will be held in the school’s library.  Parents are always welcome to attend!


Character Ed Assembly


Dunsford celebrated students who demonstrated outstanding character in Responsibilty on Friday December   1st.


Congratulations to the winners of Character Education Certificates: Bradley Davies,Michael Brooks, Braeley Fitzpatrick, Reegan Dobson, Sarah Allan, Hunter Burrill, Matthew DeBlock, Kallum Fitzpatrick, Kailyn Brooks, Cameron Dudman, Stpehanie Reynolds, Jack Stirrett, Malcolm Green, Taylor Thurston, Chloe Scott, Sarah Freeburn, Nicki Castagne, Britney Dudman.


A larger photo of the Character Education winners has placed on the last page of the newsletter.


Principal’s Awards were given to Brianna Billings, Emily Krell and Grace Thurston.  Principal’s Awards are given to students who demonstrated outstanding academic achievement during that month. 


The Character Trait for December is Compassion.  The Character Education Assembly will be on Friday, December 23rd at 12:30 and parents are welcome to attend.  Parents of Character Education certificate winners will normally receive a phone call from his/her homeroom teacher a few days prior to the assembly.






New Hoop Net for the Primary Yard

(and Broomball Equipment for the Juniors and Intermediates)


Thank you to Mrs. Ciesielski who fundraised and purchased  a new Hoop Net for the Primary Yard.  The net was installed last week.  You will notice it on the primary yard, just in front of the swings.  Mrs. Ciesielski’s goal was to provide primary students with another option for physical activity and it’s a ton of fun!


Mrs. Ciesielski did this by organizing staff lunches on certain days last year (where staff paid money for the lunch) and all profits went towards purchasing this net.


Part of this money was also spent on purchasing broomball equipment for the Junior and Intermediate classes.  There is now one set for each division, with the intent that it is used when classes are taken to the Dunsford arena in the winter.


So, thanks to Mrs. Ciesielski for organizing this and to the staff who participated – your dollars purchased great equipment to keep our students active


Dunsford Stinger’s Christmas Hamper Program


 As you may know, the DDES Christmas Hamper program provides food and gifts to local families who require assistance at this time of the year.  We are particularly looking for students to donate non-perishable food items.  Our goal is to raise Mr. Prins’ and Mr. Avery’s weight in food!  


Thank you to Mrs. Loucks who is again organizing the Christmas Hamper program at DDES.  This includes determining the types of gifts required for each hamper, determining the time frame for the collection and ensuring that the hampers get delivered.  This is no small task and our local community benefits from her efforts!   


Mrs. Loucks has organized the Hamper collection by division – with each division being asked to donate to a hamper for specific age groups.  If you are able to donate gifts to the Hampers this would be greatly appreciated.


The last day for collection will be December 16th.


Christmas Hamper Program and Staff-Student Volleyball Game (December 23rd)


The challenge is now officially out to the students on our volleyball teams!  The Dunsford staff is ready to continue its winning streak after defeating the student team 3-0 in the staff-student soccer game in October.  School staff are willing to have a staff-student volleyball game…if the school is able to raise Mr. Prin’s and Mr. Avery’s combined weight in food.  Of course, we are not going to tell you their combined weight, yet.  Students are going to have to bring in as much food as possible!


The “weigh-in” will take place on December 16th (the last day for Christmas Hamper collections).  If the weight of food collected equals or exceeds Mr. Prins’ and Mr. Avery’s weight the staff-student game is on!


The game will take place during the 3rd block on Friday, December 23rd (at about 2:45 p.m.).  The student team will consist of the Junior and Intermediate volleyball teams.


Mrs. McFarland has already been practising her phenomenal overhand serves during her Junior team practices and Mrs. Thomas isn’t going to let being pregnant prevent her from playing!  Mrs. Wotten promises that her spiking skills are even better than last year’s…! 


Christmas Play – December 21st and 22nd 


Mr. Avery and Mrs. McReelis are staging this year’s Christmas Play.  The play is set to take place on December 21st and 22nd from 7:00 p.m. to about 8:00 p.m. on each night.  Mr. Avery has again written the play himself and is directing along with Mrs. McReelis!  Mrs. Lang has also been busy organizing the dancers for the play and their routine is sure to be great!  There is no official “charge” for the play; however, a donation to the food bank is encouraged.  As well, any money donations made will be used to purchase equipment (e.g., microphones and cords) for future plays and use by the school.  Donations from last year were used to purchase wireless mics which are being used in this year’s play.  


Students are already busy practising for the play during recesses and after school.  Students are participating in a wide variety of ways, including acting roles, the creation of sets, the choir and dancing.


As noted above (and unlike in past years) there will be 2 night showings this year.  This has been done to help accommodate the number of parents and family members who wish to see their children and relatives in the play (the concert is a popular place!).  As well, there will be a showing in the 3rd block on both the 21st and 22nd.  If all goes to plan, the 3rd block presentation on the 21st will be to visitors from a local nursing home and the 3rd block presentation on the 22nd will be to the entire school.  


The snow date, if necessary, will be on Thursday, December 22nd from 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. (meaning, that if the 21st is a snow day, the only day and night for the concert will be the 22nd). 


Christmas Shopping Spree


We are pleased to let you know that the Eco Club of Dunsford District Elementary School will be holding a Christmas Sale for its students this year.  During the week of December 12-16, our students will be invited to shop for Christmas presents for their families.  All items in the shop will cost $0.25.  If there are any items left, the shop will reopen for the families after our Christmas concert staring Frosty the Snowman.


We are asking all families to go through their old boxes and bring in anything that we might sell at our shop.  What better time to make way for all those Christmas decorations then to unclutter and donate to our school.  We are looking for anything from picture frames, mugs, toys, movies and anything else that might be getting in your way.


We will begin with the kindergartens and move our way up through the grades.  With help from our Leadership Council we will wrap the gifts and have them ready to go under your tree.  This is a fantastic way to allow your children to feel like they are giving this Christmas.  All money raised from the shop will be used later as a charitable donation to a cause that will help the environment.  This can only be made possible with your support. Please ask family members to go through their things to and drop them off at the office before Friday, December 9th, 2011.


We would like to thank you in advance for all your support and donations.




The Eco Club and Mrs. McReelis

Mrs. McReelis


Best Wishes for Mrs. Thomas


On behalf of students, parents and staff at DDES, I would like to wish Mrs. Thomas all of the best as she prepares for motherhood.  Mrs. Thomas’ parental leave begins in January and she and her husband, Sean, are looking forward to having a baby in the home and starting their own family (but she wants it to be known that she will miss her students)!   


A LTO will be hired for Mrs. Thomas for the remainder of this year (January to June).  When the LTO has been hired, this information will be sent to parents of Mrs. Thomas’ students via a letter and will also be updated in the next newsletter.


Thank You Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Welker


On behalf of staff and students, I would also like to thank Mr. Tomlinson and Mr. Welker for making DDES their student-teacher placements this fall.  Mr. Tomlinson has been working in Mr. Thompson’s class and Mr. Welker in Mr. Prin’s and Mr. Avery’s class.  They have been at DDES on 3 separate occasions this fall (for about 7 weeks of teaching time).  Dunsford wishes you the best of luck in your future teaching endeavors!


Parent Engagement Tips    


We all know there are some really easy things to do that turn the ordinary moments of daily life into extraordinary ones, by simply smiling, making eye contact, or asking a question.   In our hurried and hectic lives, it’s so easy for cell phones, the Internet, television, demanding jobs, and busy schedules to get in the way of asking questions of our children like, “Tell me about your day. What was the best part of your day today at school?” or just talking with them about a book they might be reading, something interesting that happened at school or with their friends.  Knowing what your child is studying at school, or what kinds of things they like to read can make all the difference in how well they do.


For more ideas on how to engage with your child’s education go to


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: 


Ÿ The Newsletter

Ÿ Calendar

Ÿ Community News


Boys & Girls Club of Kawartha Lakes

Steve Nash Basketball


The Kawartha Lakes Boys and Girls Club is organizing a “Steve Nash Basketball” program at the DDES gym starting on Tuesday nights on January 17th.  This is a fun skill development program with equal game play that is a great choice for beginners to the great game of basketball!  For more information about Steve Nash Basketball please visit


Location:  Dunsford District Elementary School Gym


Ages:  5-8yrs & 9-14yrs


Day:  Tuesdays starting January 17, 2012


Time:  6:00-7:00 for Ages 5-8

           7:00-8:00 for Ages 9-14


Cost:  $35 for 6 weeks (Each participant receives their own basketball and reversible jersey)


Register now at Boys & Girls Club office at 107 Lindsay Street South, Lindsay or at the Open House on January 17 during above age group times!


Note:  Financial Assistance available for all please inquire with Trevor for more information.


For registration inquiries please contact our office staff at (705) 324-4493 & press 0.

For specific program information please contact Trevor Tompkins @ (705) 324-4493 ext.

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“Lockdown” Practices


Dunsford DES students will be involved in “Lockdown” Practices throughout the year.  In a Lockdown Practice, students find a safe location in which to stay while the Lockdown has been announced.  This normally involves students remaining in a classroom, shutting the classroom door, remaining silent and out of sight of any windows.  Should a student not be able to get into a classroom he/she would find the safest location possible (e.g., a bathroom stall) and remain as silent as possible.  It is standard practise for DDES classroom doors to be locked at all times.  If a lockdown were to take place while the homeroom teacher was out of the classroom (e.g., during nutrition break) students could then shut the already locked door.


The goal in practicing Lockdowns is that students know exactly what to do should a Lockdown be announced.  Should your child come home and have questions or concerns regarding Lockdowns (or his/her involvement in one) please discuss this with him/her and always feel free to contact the school if you require further information. 


Nut and Peanut Safe School


Dunsford DES endeavours to be a “Peanut Safe School.”  We encourage all parents to NOT send food containing peanut, peanut products, or tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, etc…) to school.  Some students are highly allergic to these types of nuts.


Should a student mistakenly/accidentally bring a food item to school that contains or has come into contact with nuts, they will be asked to place the item back in their lunch bag.  Should the student absolutely need to eat that food item, they may do so in the office.


Should you have any questions regarding our Peanut and Tree Nut Safe School Policy feel free to contact the office.


Police Checks and Vulnerable Sector Checks and Volunteers at the School


Please be aware that the format for Police Checks and Vulnerable Sector checks changed last year.  It can take several weeks for these checks to be completed and returned to the applicant.


Police Checks continue to be processed in the manner they have been previously.  However, volunteers now must also have a Vulnerable Sector search completed.  A volunteer would typically have the Police Check and Vulnerable Sector search completed at the same time.  We have heard that the Vulnerable Sector search can take several weeks to process, so if you are interested in volunteering in the school (e.g., in classrooms, for class trips, the snack program) you will need to have both checks completed.  The Police and Vulnerable Sector checks are kept on file at the school.


Volunteers at the school must have both the Police Check and the Vulnerable Sector search done.  The form for the Vulnerable Sector search can be obtained from the school and requires the school to fill out certain sections before taking to the OPP.  Up to this point, volunteers have been able to obtain a letter on school letterhead indicating that he/she is volunteering for the school and the police/vulnerable sector checks have been done without cost (at the local OPP station).



City of Kawartha Lakes Public Library

Dunsford Library     

December Events      


Christmas Fun

 Saturday December 17th at 10 am.

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


Healthy Snack Monday and Thursday


Thank you to Mrs. Nicole Barker who has organized the Healthy Snack for the past several years at DDES.  After more than fulfilling her volunteer commitment to our school, Mrs. Barker is passing over the program to Mrs. Stacey Jeffrey.  Mrs. Barker has put in countless hours organizing the Nutritional Snack program (which includes completing paperwork, setting up which snack will occur on which day and purchasing food) and also preparing food for the program.  This has been no small commitment on Mrs. Barker’s behalf.  The program requires many hours of work each week.  The students have been the real winners from all of your hard work over the past years – thank you!


Contribute to the Healthy Snack Fund!


Many parents purchase gifts for their child(ren)’s teacher at Christmas (which is greatly appreciated!).  However, if you are considering purchasing a gift for your child’s teacher this year, a thought might be to contribute that instead to DDES’ Healthy Snack program.  The program receives its money from the school board and from Breakfast for Learning.  However, additional money is always needed and is useful.  100% of the money donated to the Healthy Snack program goes into purchasing food (with just a small amount used to purchase the bins or utensils used to prepare the food). 


Pizza and Milk Orders


Thank you for continuing to send in money in the manner requested. PLEASE MAKE SURE THAT  THE STUDENT’S NAME AND TEACHER’S NAME IS ON THE FORM. Doing so helps to reduce the significant workload involved in organizing milk and the hot lunches.  At this time pizza is being ordered from Godfather’s in Bobcaygeon and will continue to be on Wednesdays.  You may have noticed that Dunsford DES is now ordering pizza with a whole wheat crust.  We are also ordering pizza with a lower fat content.  The goal in doing this is to meet new provincial requirements for healthier eating in school.  White and chocolate milk will be available every day.  Please continue to send money in a sealed envelope with the correct amount as this is very time saving.  Milk is still $.75 a day or $3.75 a week.  Cheques should be made out to Dunsford D.E.S.


Bus Cancellations


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: