Monthly Archives: March 2019

Autism Awareness Month and Day- Wear Blue on the 2nd.

In 2007, April 2nd was designated as World Autism Awareness Day by the United Nations General Assembly.  Since its inception, autism awareness and acceptance have increased and a better understanding of neurodiversity has arisen but there is still more work to do!

We invite you to join the school to increase awareness for yourselves and others about the supports that are needed for children and adults diagnosed with Autism.  In addition, please take the time to reflect upon and appreciate the exceptional demands and commitments made by the parents’ and family members’ of individuals with Autism to ensure they are fully included in, and have access to their communities, schools and work places.

April 2 is World Autism Awareness Day, let us reaffirm our commitment to promote the full participation of all people with autism, and ensure they have the necessary support to be able to exercise their rights and fundamental freedoms.



By |2019-03-29T13:49:06-04:00March 29th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Autism Awareness Month and Day- Wear Blue on the 2nd.

Bus Loading Zone

We have been asked by the Bus drivers to remind and ask parents not to park in the bus loading zone.  This will allow the drivers to bring the bus to the curb so the students can safely depart and enter the bus.


Vic Longo Principal

By |2019-03-28T09:23:16-04:00March 28th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Bus Loading Zone

REMINDER: School Climate Survey Closing April 5th.

We would like to encourage all parents of Holy Family School to complete the School Climate Survey.

The purpose of the climate survey is to find out about bullying/harassment, including discrimination, sexual harassment, and homophobia, amongst students at school.

The information will be used by the principal and staff to help promote an environment of respect, safet , and belonging for all students.  Your answers are confidential. We are interested in  what you and other school members have to say.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact the WCDSB Research Coordinator at

You can access and complete the School Climate Survey by clicking the link below.



Vic Longo – Principal

By |2019-03-25T07:55:46-04:00March 25th, 2019|News|Comments Off on REMINDER: School Climate Survey Closing April 5th.

Messages From The Classroom

From the Principal

It seems that spring is slowly arriving after a long winter.  We held our Shrove Tuesday pancake breakfast for the school.  It was made possible by the many Dads and Granddads who volunteered their time to flip and serve pancakes.  Thank you so much!  The Lenten Season started on Ash Wednesday with a school mass.  It was great to see several parents and community members join us.  We welcome all of you to come and celebrate with us.  Our next school Mass is on April 11th at 9:30 a.m.  The student involvement is inspiring and is a demonstration of the importance of participating in our faith.  I would like to that Father Stephen for being our spiritual leader in faith, Mrs. Kroetcsh and Mrs. Radisic for their gift of music, the alter servers, the choir members and the teachers and students who prepare and lead the masses.

There are many student activities happening in our school community.  Ms. Esbaugh is running intramural for grade 1 and 2 at lunch, a chess club has started and the coding club continues for grades 1-6.  Mrs. Hehn is holding her book club which is growing in numbers.  Eight of our students from grade 5-8 represented Holy Family at the Waterloo Catholic District Skills Competition. We sent our intermediate girls’ volleyball and boys’ basketball teams to tournaments this month.  Thank you couches; Jarvis, Hurren, Gruber and Esbaugh.

We continue to ask for your support with the Umbrella Project.  You can find a brief summary of each month’s skill on our newsfeed.  This is a program that several school in the board have adopted as a way to build the personal skill that help individuals deal with challenging or unpleasant events which are a natural part of life.  This month’s skill is Autonomy.  The ability to stand up for what is fair, just and right when it may go against what is easy or popular to do.  To demonstrate this we are focusing on real life individuals who spoke out or took a stance even when it meant risking their own safety or inclusion.  Have a conversation with your child about autonomy and what it means to them.

An ongoing school wide academic focus is developing our students writing skills.  The staff regularly discuss and review student work to identify student writing abilities and develop intervention strategies to address the needs we observe.  I encourage you to ask your children and their teachers to see writing samples so you are informed of their ability to communicate their ideas and knowledge through writing.


Mme Paquette

The new DJ DELF units are well on their way. Every student has begun learning the vocabulary of the unit. This is necessary because they will need it to work on assignments and succeed their tests.

Here are the DJ DELF units I am doing with the students.

Grade 4 – Ma journée typique

Grade 5 and grade 6 – Une planète à partager

Grade 7 and grade 8 – Je me présente

Each class has also begun their French culture activity. Ask your child what they’ve learned so far.


Miss Kate Butter & Mrs. Sarah Lichti

A Look At What Will Be Covered in March…


Through February, we have started to count by 10s and explore double digit numbers (10-20). We learned about how to turn our surveys into a graph, as well as how to analyze a graph for specific information. In March, we will be exploring Measurement including height, length, capacity and weight using non-standard units of measurement. We will also continue working on representing numbers in different ways (e.g. ten frame, using our fingers, drawing pictures, tallying, etc.) with our numbers of the week (we have now covered 0-17) and various other numbers in our centres. This is a theme that we will continue through the rest of the year.


In  the month of February we learned about Groundhog Day and Valentine’s Day and read various texts relating to these themes. We continued with our guided reading groups and practiced learning strategies to read unfamiliar words.  This month we will read texts related to St. Patrick’s Day, the transition into Spring and will continue learning decoding strategies for unfamiliar words. We will also continue working on our Jolly Phonics program, learning letter names (upper case and lower case) and sounds, as well as sight word identification. Please check calendar or Google Classroom to see what letter and which words we are working on.

Outdoor Learning/Science

In the month of February we chose an animal and researched its characteristics on with the help of our book buddies. We learned about hibernation and how some birds fly South for the winter, In March, we will design and construct a trap to catch a Leprechaun and will investigate early signs of Spring.

Religion/Family Life

We have been practicing different types of breathing to demonstrate our February Umbrella Project theme of Mindfulness. This month, we will be learning about our new Umbrella Project monthly theme and continue to study New Testament Bible stories, discussing how we can be like Jesus.

We hope everyone has a wonderful and safe March Break!


Mrs. Borys-Sike & Mrs. Grimberg


Thank you for being so diligent in returning the home reading folder each week. Continue to read with your child in a cooperative manner by reading with two voices and having your child repeat after you like an echo. Upon completion of the book ask your child to retell the simple story by telling what happens at the beginning, the middle and the end. Encourage your child to respond in sentences instead of one word responses.


We are nearing the completion of our study of Measurement. Mass: We have discussed how bigger is not necessarily always heavier. Weight and size are different. Ask your child, “How does a balance scale work?” Capacity: We learned that a taller (in a child’s mind it is bigger) container does not always hold more. A shorter but wider container holds more water. Length: We have compared lengths of objects in our classroom environment. We ordered from shortest to longest using Wiggly Worms of different lengths, our names and used non-standard units of measurement (e.g. paper clips, cubes) to measure the length of our feet! We also worked on Problem Solving (SKs), practicing our addition and subtraction skills, using a balance scale to determine equality, more and less. Next up: More work with Number Sense!

Did You Know?

Most of the work/evidence of learning/art your child engages in throughout our day does not get sent home. Rather, we keep it in his/her portfolio. The authentic pieces of learning are housed in one spot so that at the end of the year there is a keepsake of all your child’s authentic, meaningful Kindergarten learning. The crafts/creations your child brings home each day are made during free-choice centres (i.e. the creative centre) at the end of the day where he/she has many loose parts and beautiful stuff to use and create with freely.

Ms. Jardine, Mrs. Simpson & Ms. Floto  

Hello March!

In Math, we will be learning about money. We will learn how to identify coins and bills and how to count them. We will make patterns with coins as well as sort coins. In Language, we are continuing to Read the Room to add words to our pictures and sentences to our journals. We are also learning how to stretch out unfamiliar words to hear the individual sounds they make to read or write unfamiliar words. In Science, we are going to become Scientists! We will conduct a new and exciting experiment each week. In Religion, we will be learning about how Lent is a time to prepare and celebrate the Resurrection of Jesus.



Ms. Gentile

March is here already, which brings the beginning of Lent, and March break! Ordinary time ends on Tuesday when we will celebrate Pancake Tuesday, and Lent begins on Wednesday March 6, which is marked by Ash Wednesday. In Language, we will continue to work on following directions and instructions, and writing procedural texts to teach others “how to” do something. Please continue nightly reading at home, the improvement of our grade 1 readers is awesome to see! In Math, we are looking at place values, and adding and subtracting numbers, which will continue after the break. Our Materials and Structures unit will wrap up with the creation of personal structures, thank you to all families who donated materials for us to use. Have a safe and healthy March break!

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

Dear Parents,

Our class really enjoyed the Pottery-To-Go Art activity. They are off now, to be dried in the kiln. Look for these special creations to come home in the spring. Please remember to send in a plate and cutlery for our Pancake Tuesday on Mar. 5th. Our Ash Wednesday Mass is scheduled for Mar. 6th, our class will be joining Mrs. Shouftas Grade 2’s in preparing for this special Mass. Our two classes will be over at the church to practice and those students who have a reading part have an attached copy in their agendas. Please have them practice at home as well. In Family Life we have been discussing how a family prepares for the birth of a new child and how babies are cared for. In Religion we will beginning the story of Lent and Easter. In Science we are investigating the characteristics of structures and students will be creating their own structure using various materials. In Math students will be demonstrating how they can order whole numbers to 50, count forwards by 2’s, 5’s, and 10’s to 100 and backwards by 1’s, 2’s, and 5’s from 20. We are also continuing using a variety of strategies to tell number stories to 20. Next we will be moving into 2D and 3D Geometry. Please note that there will be no new words for Mar.4th; therefore, there will be no Dictation test on returning from the March Break on    Mar.18th. I have noticed a lot of improvements in our classes reading abilities both in fluency and decoding. Please continue to practice with the All Star Reading Strategies that are being sent home. Students often are referring to them in class. In Writing we are continuing to work with writing questions and answers. I am hoping that all students will have this finished and be able to present their Groundhog Interviews before the Break. We are also continuing with Opinion Writing with the focus on writing thoughtful and detailed explanations.

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

 Ms. Esbaugh

Wow – it’s hard to believe it’s March already, and spring is (hopefully) right around the corner! The Grade 1/2 class had lots of fun in February celebrating Valentine’s Day, Pink Shirt Day, and our 100th day of school. We are looking forward to Pancake Tuesday, Ash Wednesday, Women’s Day, Electronic Day, and Western Day in March. In Math, we recently wrapped up our unit on Canadian coins and adding/subtracting money amounts, and are moving on to 2-digit addition and subtraction with regrouping. In Language, our focus has been creative writing, and we will soon be moving onto non-fiction reading/writing. Grade 1s are wrapping up “Objects, Structures, and Materials” in Science, and the Grade 2s are wrapping up “Simple Machines”. We will be returning to Social Studies for our units on local and global communities! Thanks for an awesome month, friends – I hope everyone has a safe and fun-filled March Break!

Mrs. H. Shouftas

Dear Families,

Welcome to March! We have had a busy February!

In Math, students have been focusing on measurement. They have learned what the terms mass and capacity means. They had the opportunity to measure the capacity of various container as well as measure the mass of different items using a balance scale. They then had to order the mass and capacity of their findings from most to least or least to most. Next, students will learn how to read a thermometer and clock. In Grade 2, the expectations will be for students to read time to the quarter hour (e.g., 2:15). Please start reviewing how to tell time with your children : )


In Science, students have been learning about the three states of matter which are solids, liquids and gases. Students have been observing what happens when certain liquids (e.g., oil and water) are mixed together. We had fun on a cold day outside freezing bubbles! The bubbles went from a liquid to a solid right before our eyes! Next, students will construct a boat out of aluminum and test their boat to see how heavy a load it can take before it sinks.

In Writing, students are learning about which punctuation to use for the different types of sentences. Students are also encouraged to proofread their stories to make sure their sentences start with a capital letter. Students are reminded to be careful using capital letters where they are not needed.

In Reading, students will be learning about inferring. They will be given strategies to infer information from text to help them further understand the stories that they read.


Mrs. Rice

Welcome March, and hopefully some milder weather! Considering it is the shortest month, February seemed quite long with the turbulent weather, not to mention the snow days and bus cancellations! Nothing stops us as we have been plucking away with our learning in Grade 3. We have mastered the concepts around multiplication and division and will have a unit test the week before March Break. After we return, our focus will be Measurement. We will review a few concepts around Time and Temperature but our major focus will be learning how to calculate Perimeter and Area of shapes. In our Language Arts program, the students will be wrapping up their Biographies and sharing their knowledge and the contributions of a famous person that has made a difference in our world. After the break, we will be taking on Adventure Stories with a focus on conventions and format of a creatively written story. Thank you to the families that help to make our classroom a comfortable place to learn through their donations. We always are always happy to accept plastic spoons and Kleenex to help especially during the colder months. Some of you have already escaped south and I know a few more that are making that venture over the March Break. Family time is so precious! I hope EVERYONE has fun and have safe vacations, whether it be somewhere warm or by staying warm and cozy in our homes.

Mrs. Gruber

Term 2 has begun in Grade 3/4!  The students have been doing some great work this term and all are working hard toward their Goals for Learning that they set after receiving their Term 1 report cards.  Make sure to ask your child what his or her goal is.  The students will also be making Lenten promises this month as we head into Lent and the Easter season.  In Literacy, the class has been exploring the use of quotation marks within Reading and Writing.  They are applying their knowledge to their Snowman Narrative writing assignment.  Most are still working on rough copies, so this work will continue after the March Break.  In Math, the class is just finishing their Multiplication and Division unit and will have a quiz on Thursday before March Break.  A review package will be offered and can be worked on at home on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Other exciting things that are happening include our class Bead Jar celebration which will include some Electronics time this Friday, and also a Community walk to Sweets, where we will enjoy a little treat.  I hope you all have a relaxing and fun-filled March Break!



Ms. Jarvis

Wow, February flew by!!!  March brings with it some warmer weather (hopefully) and March Break.  Before we focus on the break, students continue to be working hard on many different skills in our classroom. In Reading, we are going to be switching up our reading groups and starting new books in each group. Our focus will continue to be on finding evidence but we are also going to be looking at reading punctuation.  In Math, we are continuing with multiplication and division and exploring what is the difference between what they are and how they are similar.  In Science, we are continuing with Pulleys and Gears and will begin our final building project before the end of the month.


Mrs. Kalbfleisch

Hello from portable 2!

We have been so busy and are amazed at how quickly February passed by; with the snow days and Family Day it seemed as if we blinked and it was gone!

In Language, we are completing our mystery novel study and are working to create a concise summary of the important parts of our book. We will soon be writing our own mystery narratives using our knowledge of our class text.

In Mathematics, we are venturing into division, which can be intimidating, but not if you know your multiplication facts as they are connected. We will work to understand more complex word problems and to apply the concept of division with less fear and more confidence!

In Religion, we will focus on our Lenten journey and what we can do to make a conscious effort as a class to prepare for Easter, the most important event in our Catholic faith.

In Science, we will be wrapping up Forces and Structures and going into our unit of Social Studies where we look at the relationship and influence of New France and the Indigenous Peoples of Canada prior to 1713.

Physical Education is full of energetic activity and skills such as competitive games, building stamina, team building, safety and of course some skills relating to volleyball and basketball.

The Arts will be focused on Drama and Visual Arts and draw from our study of personal perspective in Language. We will apply this practice to Drama by taking on a variety of characters in Social Studies and role playing the many different perspectives of the unit..

All this work will flow over into April and we are sure to be a busy hive of activity!

We leave you with thoughts of spring and sunshine, from Mrs. K and the Grade 5’s.


Ms. Mcleod

February has also flown by and March Break will be here before we know it! For the month of March, the students will be focusing on “Autonomy” for our school theme.

This month we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: we have started a new unit on persuasive writing and will be continuing with that and focusing on multi paragraph responses.

Reading: we are have just started some book clubs/literature circles as a class. Students have chosen a novel of their choice to participate in this. We will be begin to use a bunch of reading strategies (inferring, evaluating, providing proof, etc) to help us participate in this.

1. Whole number operations:
– addition, subtraction, multiplication and division problems (also using mental math), as well as,  unit rate problems

  1. Angles and Polygons

Science: We are starting a new unit on Electricity.

Social Studies: we have started a new unit on Canada: past and present)

Art: the element of line, as well as, 3D art.

Health: sexuality

Gym: Badminton


Mrs. Hurren – Portable One

Double Math Challenge month:

28 days + crazy winter weather – buses = n snow days. Solve for n.

Even though it may have felt like we spent more time away from the classroom then in it this past month, we managed to still do some serious learning! We are become confident professionals with our fraction and decimal computations and comparisons. After the break we will extend that understanding to percents. We will continue with Number Sense by ending off the month exploring ratios and rates. Watch out! You will have an expert bargain hunter and unit price finder in no time at all!

In Language we are practicing asking higher level thinking questions using our Q-chart. Have you son/daughter explain this tool to you. We will end the month with Persuasive Essay writing, focusing on developing a dynomite thesis statement and essay outline.

We are continuing to deepen our understanding of heat with our classroom Travel Mug challenge in Science – stay tuned for our winners!

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of Lent which will be our Religion focus for the next month. We will be talking about the fundamentals of Lent – Prayer, Almsgiving and Fasting – and how we can use these ideas to help prepare ourselves for Easter.

Our Laurel Creek trip was a great success – such a bright and beautiful day! Make sure you check out our Google classroom to see some picture highlights. Thanks again to our parent volunteers – we loved having you with us for the day!

I hope everyone has a safe and happy March Break – enjoy your family time!

Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to our Skills Canada, Basketball and Volleyball teams! Way to go Guardians!

Math Challenge: Order these numbers from least to greatest:

0.875, 3/4 , 0.32, 3/5 , 0.1, 7/8


Mr. Vuylsteke

Just like that March is already here!

February was a whirlwind of reports cards, high school course selections, and too many bus/snow days to count. We are currently wrapping up our History unit as we prepare to dive into Geography this month. March also brings a new Science strand focused on fluids – we had Scientist in the School stop by for a fantastic workshop on Groundwater as a culmination to our water unit. We will be kicking – or should I say chopping- things off with a construction project to build battling hydraulic powered Judo Bots.

In Language we continue our focus on social justice issues, exploring some renown ‘hidden figures’ who pushed the limit and left lasting societal impressions. We will also spend time working to develop rich inquiry questions and improve our essay writing craft as we prepare for Grade 9.

In Math fractions and decimals are the focus.

March also marks the start of Lent and we will be preparing the way for the Lord over the next 6 weeks -Don’t forget your plates and utensils for Shrove Tuesday pancakes!

I hope everyone has a safe and fabulous March break!

-Mr. V

Planning Time

News from the desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Dear Family,

I would like to wish everyone a Happy St. Patrick’s Day.  During this day of cheer, take time to remember that this day is to remind us of St. Patrick spreading the word of the Holy Trinity and using the shamrock as a symbol.  Also, I hope you and/or the children have a safe and wonderful March Break.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Physical Education, the children will engage in balance activities to improve the purposeful control and stabilization of major body parts; demonstrate balance on gym equipment and on different body parts; demonstrate whole body flexibility in movement by engaging in rolls and somersaults; learn to properly and safely jump and land on the floor.  In Health, the children will continue learning about the benefits of eating nutritious foods.  We have been focusing on how Fruits and Vegetables help to keep us from getting colds and we will be learning about getting energy from grain products through games, singing and movement.

The Arts

This month, the children will continue to use their face and body to express how a character feels.  They will use a variety of locomotor and non-locomotor movements to depict creatures and objects through pantomime activities.  Pantomiming in large groups, helps even the shyest child build confidence in a nurturing and “safe” environment.  In music, we will explore rhythm  by continuing to learn simple notation through fun games and use body and percussion instruments to accompany songs.  We will continue to explore the element of tempo (i.e., fast and slow) by experimenting with different instruments and singing and comparing songs of various tempos.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Healthy Living, we will be taking a closer look at the four food groups and identifying foods from each group.  We will also have an opportunity to sort snacks into the correct food groups.  In Physical Education, the children will practice balancing techniques; perform balance poses independently, with partners and in small groups and use different body parts, levels and shapes when creating balance poses.

The Arts

In music, through song and creating and presenting musical experiences, the children will apply the elements of music when playing an instrument or singing.  The will also use their body to show varying pitches and tempi and use the concepts they learned to complete listening logs.


Physical Education & Healthy Living

In Healthy Living, we will be investigating what a balanced diet should look like.  In Physical Education, the children will perform a variety of static balances with and without equipment (e.g., on lines), using different body parts, levels and shapes (e.g., low level: v-sit); demonstrate the ability to jump, hop and land safely using different body actions,

The Arts

This month in music, through song and participating in musical experiences, the children will practice the solfage and arm signs to simple songs.  They will also use music terms to describe songs they hear and share personal responses to music.


Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Special Education/Student Success

Mrs. Mash

Second term is well under way and hopefully your child has been sharing various samples of work that he or she has done in the classroom with you at home.

If your child is a Grade 2 student in the Empower Reading Program; Spelling & Decoding, he/she should be bringing home their yellow Home Reading folder about every second day. Students should be reading the short passage with a parent and demonstrating how they are able to use 1 of 3 learned strategies; Sounding Out Strategy, Rhyming Strategy, and/or the Peeling Off Strategy to read words they do not know. Please make sure to complete the Reading Log before sending the folder back to school with your child. Using the skills taught in class at home, on a regular basis, is an essential component of the program and will help your child meet with continued success.

Grade 5-7 students involved in the Empower Comprehension Program have been practicing their Summarizing Skills. Using the formula 4W + 3W + 1H (4 W questions; 3 W questions, 1 H question), students have been extracting the most important details from a piece of writing. These details are then written in the student’s own words in order to create a summary. These skills will help students as they progress through the grades and encounter more complex written material that they will need to comprehend.

Thank you to everyone who has signed and returned their child’s Term 2 IEP Parent Form acknowledging that you have received your copy of the second term IEP. Keeping an open line of communication between home and the school is the best way to support our learners and make sure that they are being properly programmed for.


By |2019-03-19T07:53:55-04:00March 19th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Messages From The Classroom

Parent School Climate sURVEY

We would like to encourage all parents of Holy Family School to complete the School Climate Survey.

The purpose of the climate survey is to find out about bullying/harassment, including discrimination, sexual harassment, and homophobia, amongst students at school.

The information will be used by the principal and staff to help promote an environment of respect, safet , and belonging for all students.  Your answers are confidential. We are interested in  what you and other school members have to say.

If you have any questions/comments, please contact the WCDSB Research Coordinator at

You can access and complete the School Climate Survey by clicking the link below.




Vic Longo – Principal

By |2019-03-18T11:31:34-04:00March 18th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Parent School Climate sURVEY

Lockdown Practice

Today we held a school lockdown procedure practice.  This is a twice a year practice held to rehearse our school safety protocols to maintain a safe school environment.  Today was a practice.  Teachers provided advanced notice to their students of the practice and reviewed student and staff responses.   This was done to ensure the emotional comfort of the students.

The lockdown procedure is enacted ONLY when there is a major incident or threat of school violence within the school, or in relation to the school.  The Lockdown announcement is made over the school’s public announcement system and 911 is called.  From the moment of the 911 call the police are in control and command of the school.   The building remains in lockdown until the police declare it over.

By |2019-03-07T07:17:05-04:00March 6th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Lockdown Practice

Safe Digital Citizenship and On-line Content

MOMO Challenge
The thoughts of what your child might come across online can be worrying. Some of you may have heard recently about the Momo Challenge. In the letter below are some tips and internet safety advice to help make sure going online is a positive experience for you and your child.

Parent letter – digital citizenship and child monitoring

By |2019-03-04T11:54:53-04:00March 4th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Safe Digital Citizenship and On-line Content

Shrove/Pancake Tuesday

Good Morning,

Just a reminder of our Shrove/Pancake Tuesday celebration that we will be having this Tuesday.  Pancakes will be provided and prepared by the school with the help of Dads and Granddads.  Thank you for all those who were able to give their time.

We ask for your help to make this an eco-friendly event by providing a plate and cutlery for your child  to help reduce waste and clean up time .

In addition, if your child has dietary restrictions please send a note to your child’s teacher.


Thank you,


Vic Longo


By |2019-03-04T07:18:22-04:00March 4th, 2019|News|Comments Off on Shrove/Pancake Tuesday