Principal’s Message

We are well into the first half of the school year. School routines are well established and students have adjusted to school life.   There is no better indication of the joys of learning and the potential for young people to learn a new skill than seeing the Jk’s walking the halls, dressing themselves independently and proudly removing their “Mr. Zippy” from backpacks to start their day at school. We look forward to witnessing the growth of all our students throughout the year.

Home – school communication has one of the greatest impacts on student success. The staff encourage each of you to follow Holy Family’s events, achievement and activities through our school website and twitter account. We also hope that our monthly messages from the classroom keep you informed and invite you to have conversations with your child and staff about the classroom learning.

Strengthening the Parish – School relationship is important to nurturing our faith development and is fundamental to ensure the tradition of Catholic Education in Ontario continues.   Religious instruction happens four times a week and Family life once a week in each classroom. Ask your child(ren) what was discussed during Religion class.

Preparation for the Sacrament of Confirmation has begun for our Gr. 7 students and preparation will begin shortly for First Holy Communion. Both are led by Father Stephen at Holy Family parish; the school provides support through the Religious Education curriculum.

Academic achievement is a primary focus at Holy Family. It is our responsibility to keep you informed of your child’s progress throughout the year. This primarily occurs through teacher assessed student tasks, assignment, and tests. Asking your child what they have learned at school is another great way for you to be aware of their participation and engagement with the learning. Progress reports are the first formal assessment shared with parents and guardians. The progress report is the teacher’s communication with you on the students learning skills, Religion instruction, literacy and Numeracy knowledge and understanding.  The levels of assessment on the progress report are; progressing well, progressing very well or progressing with difficulty. They will be sent home on Tuesday, November 5th. Parent-teacher interviews are scheduled for Thursday Nov. 7th.

As we head into the cooler and wetter months, I ask that you ensure your child(ren) arrive at school with the appropriate clothing to keep them warm, dry and comfortable for the various weather conditions that are common at this time of year. It is WCDSB policy that outdoor recess continues when temperatures are above -19 degrees Celsius. We will continue to have outdoor recess in light rain.

I would like to thank the staff for their support and organization with our Halloween Dance-a-thon. Many of the staff along with parents donated prizes for our student incentive draws. In addition, your commitment and support to the school is overwhelming. Your dedication to the school was evident during our fundraiser by the baked goods brought in, the parent volunteers, carving of pumpkins and the generous cash donations.   Holy Family School community raised over $12000.   Thank you!

Vic Longo – Principal

Early Years

Mrs. Roth & Mrs. Benbow 

Hello Families!

October has been a busy month!  We have been excited to watch the changes outdoor as the season changed.  The students have enjoyed collecting, comparing, and playing with the fall leaves!  We had a wonderful visit to Steckle’s Heritage Farm, where we learned how some of our food is grown, saw many different varieties of corn, some huge pumpkins, and many animals!  We even brought home a cob of corn that will be ready for us to pop any day now!  Halloween was also an exciting time in Room 7, with the bake sale, dance-a-thon, and many other exciting activities.  We have been discussing our 5 Senses, and will continue to do so into November, smelling, tasting, feeling, hearing, and looking at items such as apples, pumpkins, and slime!  We are moving on from sorting into patterning, where we will learn what simple patterns are, both made by us and those found in nature.  We continue to practice one letter a day, as well as our sight words through different activities each day.  Home Reading is beginning shortly.  If you have any questions about the Home Reading program, please do not hesitate to ask!

Ms. Jardine  FDK

November in Kindergarten!

Hello November! In kindergarten, Home Reading has begun. Please read daily with your child and return all Home Reading folders on Fridays. Why Read at Home with Your Child? Reading books aloud to children stimulates their imagination and expands their understanding of the world. It helps them develop language and listening skills and prepares them to understand written word.

In Math, we have been learning about patterns. We have discovered that we can make patterns from colours, shapes, numbers and letters. We are learning how to label our patterns (AB, ABA). We will continue to practice making patterns. Ask your child to make a pattern at home! In Language, we have started our Letters and Sounds program. Check the classroom website at the beginning of each week for links to the Letter Songs we sing in class. These songs teach the sound or sounds that our Letter of the Week makes. This is great practice for at home. In Science, we have been exploring the human skeletal system. We have learned that we have 206 bones in our body! We are learning why bones are important and how we can keep them strong and healthy. We transformed our Dramatic Play Centre into an XRay Lab to get a closer look at our bones. In Religion and Family Life, we are learning that we can strengthen our relationship with God through Prayer and the Church. We are learning how and why we pray. Every month, we will attend Mass and where we will learn and participate in the different parts of Mass. In the classroom, we enjoy using Christian Meditation to calm our bodies before we start the afternoon. Many friends have shared that after meditating, their body feels “peaceful,” “love,” “relaxed,” and “calm.” We are learning about family. We have enjoyed sharing our families with one another as well as posting a picture of our family on our Family Tree. If you have not yet sent in a picture, please send one so we can add it to our family tree 😊

Miss Esbaugh and Mrs. Lichti’s class!

Hello there! October was a fantastic month in Miss Esbaugh and Mrs. Lichti’s class! We celebrated Thanksgiving, visited Steckle Farms where we got to see different animals and go on a tractor ride, and participated in many special Halloween activities (bake sale, pumpkin carving contest, Dance-a-thon, et cetera)! We have continued to explore one number and one letter each week. We have also explored and created AB patterns in Math, and begun journal writing in Language. We are also learning how to solve problems with peers independently using a positive tone and language. Dressing for the colder weather, including zipping up our own coats, has also been a focus. In November, we look forward to exploring 2D shapes and working together to create simple graphs. Please remember to check Google Classroom regularly for important reminders and photos of what we have been up to! Take care!



Mrs. Shouftas

Dear Families,

I can’t believe we have been in school for two months now! Time flies and I’m enjoying learning each day with your child. Thank you for your dance-a-thon and bake sale donations.

In Math, students have been learning about counting and recognizing numbers. Students had fun using various math tools (i.e., ten frames, base-ten blocks, colour tiles, number lines, hundreds chart and cubes) to count out numbers. I’m sure you heard the games we played to help students skip count. Students got a smartie if they landed on a certain number.

We have finished our first Science unit! Only 3 more to go this year. Students did very well learning about seasons, cycles and the sun. Next, we will switch to Social Studies where students will learn about roles, responsibilities and relationships between people.

In Writing, students are learning how to jot down ideas on a planning page and then transferring their ideas into sentences. Students are really trying hard to make sentences. Some students are even writing multiple sentences! We have finished reviewing all 26 alphabet letters and their sounds. Next, students will be learning about blends (i.e., ch, sh, ou, oi).

Thank you for returning and completing the weekly WWW (words of the week) homework. I’m already seeing an improvement in your child’s spelling, reading and sentence writing. Keep on practicing those high frequency words as often as possible. Don’t forget to fill our the read log in the green Home Reading duo tang for the end of this week. Students will get to pick a reward out of our classroom treasure chest when they return their books.

Mrs. Sike

Home Reading Program Home reading has begun! Details are in the folder that goes home along with two books to read. It will go home and come back to school as your child reads the books. As soon as possible books will be replaced and then the folder will be sent home again. Sometimes it will be daily and other times there may be a day or two that goes by.  Happy reading everyone!!! This was you can read at a pace that suits your family’s schedule as opposed to having books read by a certain day. Happy reading!!!

Math: We engage in daily “number talks” to provide opportunities for counting, building fluency with sets of numbers, conservation of number, and develop addition skills. We’ve been using number lines to help us count by 2’s, 5’s and 10’s to 100. We’ve been composing and decomposing numbers to 30 using ten frames and many math manipulatives. We’ve also learned many number sense math games to play when we finish a math task early. A Number Sense assessment will be coming home in the next few weeks. We will commence Geometry next.

Words of the Week and Shared Reading Each week as are introduced to 5 new high-frequency words. These are embedded in our weekly poems to provide a context for meaning. Ask your child about the “stretch and shrink” strategy to sound out and build vocabulary. We record these words on Mondays with white boards and markers. Word Chunks: We have begun building word family words by changing the first letter to “chunks” such as, “all” (ball,call,fall,hall…). This will assist in building a broader recognition of patterns in words. We will continue to play word wall games (i.e. the tapping game) to gain familiarity with the Word Wall Words. We body spell and cheer words of the week too. We will continue to work with the high-frequency words by referring to the word wall in our writing.

Writer’s Workshop We know that when we write, it is often for very natural reasons. We write messages, lists, reminders, notes etc. I have introduced writing material (e.g. whiteboards) throughout the classroom. Children use such materials to write during morning Language Tasks. Ask you child about, “Write the Room.” We also write daily during a Writer’s Workshop block. We use “Have a go writing” which is trying to stretch our sounds and number of words in a message. To write messages, we use the skills of what we know about letters and sounds, as well as words we find in our environment. We begin writing by drawing a “quick pic” to get our thinking going about a topic. Our writing process: Think, Draw, Write, Read, Add more detail to picture or words, then Start a new piece.

Learning Goals and Success Criteria When we engage in learning tasks it is important for us to know how to be successful. We will often discuss learning goals and how to be successful before or during an exploration using I can statements.


Ms. Gentile

October was a busy month, where we focused on Empathy and being thankful for what we have, including the new friends we are making this year.

The home reading program is a success! Thank you to all families for supporting your child in their love of reading. We are well on our way to having learned/reviewed all of the phonetic blends, which hopefully will be evident in your reading together. In language we are also learning about nouns, verbs and adjectives which should help make our writing more interesting!

Although working with numbers is year long, we will be moving on from a numeration unit, and focusing on data management this month.

We have also been learning about animals and their classifications, adaptations and relationships with humans, and will begin an animal research project this month to culminate the learning.

I look forward to speaking with you on Interview night, or once you have received your child’s Progress Report.


Mrs. Gruber

November already!  I am looking forward to seeing many of you at Parent-Teacher interviews early this month.  If you are unable to meet on November 7th, please contact me so we can arrange another time to meet or schedule a phone interview.  There is lots of exciting learning happening in our classroom in the Month of November.  We will be finishing up our Science unit about Animals by creating poster projects about an animal that each individual has chosen.  They are very excited for this first “project” of the school year.  In November, we will also perform our play, “Stellaluna” for our Grade 8 Learning Buddies.  The students have been doing a great job learning their lines and adding actions to their roles.  Don’t forget about our Science words Spelling Test on November 8th.  Although we have been practicing at school, the children should also practice the words at home to help support their learning.  Other themes and topics we are exploring this month are:  Data Management in Math, Digraphs in Word Study, Poetry related to Halloween and Remembrance Day, and Parts of the Mass in Religion.  We have 2 field trips planned for December (Laurel Creek and Doon Heritage Village).  More information will be sent home later in the month.

Mrs. Schlotzhauer

Dear Parents,

I am looking forward to meeting all of you during our parent/teacher interviews on Nov. 7th.

I have recently signed up for scholastic reading club. The next book order is due on Nov. 8th. You may order online or send in cash or a cheque with your order form. I am asking everyone to please send in a pair of headphones in a labeled bag for your child to use during listening centre reading activities and chrome book activities which would involve things such as research and math games. These will not be shared for health reasons. This will allow all students to focus and work more independently on their assigned tasks. Please continue to support our home reading program and send in your child’s book once per week, remembering to fill out one space per night of reading. Please also remember to send in spoons and forks with your child’s lunch as our extra supplies have run out.

It was great to see how excited our class was over building bridges for our Science Unit on Structures. They were very much engaged in this hands on culminating activity. Look for a rubric with your child’s mark in their agenda. Next we will begin a unit in Social Studies on communities in Canada 1780-1850. Students have just finished writing descriptive paragraphs on a cave dweller and checked their story sequence writing on, ‘If You Give A …’. Look for these and a rubric to come home soon. November’s focus in writing will be poetry. Our focus in reading will be visualizing, questioning and making connections to our personal lives and experiences, to other texts and the world around us. In Math we will be starting a new unit in sorting and Data Management. Please be aware that when math sheets come home, it is not intended or necessary for students to do all of the questions. This is an extension or extra practice from what we have been working on in class. Students may try a few different questions on the worksheet or do all of them if he/she would like.


Mrs. Schlotzhauer

Ms. Jarvis

November has crept up so quickly…. I am looking forward to meeting many of you at parent teacher interviews.  If you cannot make it this Thursday, please let me know and we can arrange another time.

In class we are working on Addition and Subtraction, Habitats and Communities, Drama, Writing Paragraphs and beginning to venture into research and how to do this in an effective way. Students are working hard to learn these new topics and we are continuing to weave in our Strength Based Learning and the Umbrella project into our daily conversations.

In Religion, we are going to be working towards our Bible Celebration which I am hoping to have before Christmas.

Thank you to everyone who donated and helped out with the Dance A Thon.  It was a great success and the students had an amazing time.  Our school raised $12,000 and our class raised just over $1500…. That is amazing!!!!   Our class won the top class and will get a bowling afternoon closer to the summer!!!


Ms. Mcleod

It’s hard to believe it is already November!

Within the curriculum we will be focusing on the following things:

Writing: personal narratives and report writing

Reading: class novel, responding to questions and providing evidence/proof from the text.

**Novel study questions are due each week by Friday**

Math: Fractions, probability and locations & transformations

**Weekly math homework questions are due each week by Friday**

Art: elements of art

Phys. Ed: handball games

Science: biodiversity

Social Studies: Canada’s Interaction with the Global Community in social studies

Continue to refer to google classroom and your child’s agenda for updates and messages throughout the month!

Important Dates for October:

Thurs Nov 7: Parent teacher interviews

Tues Nov 12: Trip to Laurel Creek

Fri Nov 15: PD day


Mrs. Hurren

Time sure does fly when you are having fun, and we are proof of that in Portable One! We brought October to a close with the completion of our first round of Litz Blitz reading centres. Ask your son/daughter to share with you the way to successfully summarize a text and why Greta Thunberg is such a ‘hot’ topic right now. Our Ecosystem design challenges were a huge success, demonstrating our solid understanding of the relationship between abiotic and biotic elements in our environment and the positive and negative impacts of human interactions. We will be hanging up our lab coats for awhile to dive into the past and explore conflict and change in Canadian history. Have your son/daughter share with you the significant historical figure they are ‘Becoming’ and how they have contributed to our past. In Math, we have finished evaluating expressions and look forward to beginning our Data Management unit where we will be graphing, inferring, justifying and communicating our way through different data sets. Our Umbrella Project focus for the month of November is developing a growth mindset and the students have been challenged to embrace the struggle and ‘get messy’ with their learning! In Religion we have been exploring our faith and working on building a deeper connection with God. Ask your son/daughter to share with you their understanding of the importance of prayer. We will be using this month to explore, teach and practice various types and styles of prayer through our student-led examples.


Ms. Cater

October was a very busy month in the Grade 8 classroom, and November is not looking any different!  Here is a list of the many events happening this month: Grade 8 Day at Rez, Mount Mary Retreat, Junior Achievement Day, Boys Volleyball and Girls Basketball Tournaments, and the Remembrance Day Assembly.  Our class will be running the Remembrance Day Assembly on November 11th in the afternoon, and all are invited to attend.

In class, we will be continuing to read, discuss, and do activities based on our novel “The Giver”.

We will soon finish our Science unit with a final test, and then move on to studying History.  The History unit we will be doing will be focusing on Confederation.  In Math, the grade 8’s will be doing their Patterning and Algebra unit, with a major focus on solving and balancing equations.  Please continue to check D2L for reminders and assignments.

Portable One Shout Outs: Congratulations to everyone who worked to raise money for our dance-a-thon; it was a huge success!

Math Challenge: If it took 6 people 9 hours to build a barn, how long would it take 12 people to build the same barn?

I look forward to seeing everyone at our progress report interviews on Thursday evening!


Planning Time

From Mrs. Valant’s Desk 

It’s hard to believe that we are already sailing into November! During Parent/Teacher interviews on November 7th, I will be available to speak with you and answer any questions or concerns you may have about your son or daughter.

Phys. Ed.

Our Kindergarten class has been learning new cooperative games, as well as working on developing our gross motor skills. We have also been experimenting with using equipment appropriately, e.g. catching and throwing various items of various sizes, developing hand/eye coordination.

Our Grade 1 classes have been exploring some new cooperative games this month and have been doing a great job developing their sportsmanship skills!

We have been experimenting with various types of equipment (e.g. beanbags, balls), to develop good hand/eye coordination using items of various sizes and shapes. We have also begun working on our soccer dribbling skills in a relay form and will put those skills to work with some indoor soccer games this month.

The Arts


Our main focus in all classes has been our dramatic presentations. The Kindergartens have been working on The Little Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything by Linda Williams. We have stressed the importance of speaking loudly and clearly, facing the audience, and using facial expressions and gestures to enhance our performances.

The Grade 1 classes have been working on Halloween Night by Marjorie Dennis Murray. Ask your child what story is similar in its structure – it’s a really famous book about a certain white-bearded man in a red suit 😉 We have also stressed the importance of speaking loudly and clearly, facing the audience, and using facial expressions and gestures to enhance our performances.

**I will be sending a note home this week asking for any Halloween items, decorations, old costumes you may have kicking around home that we could use to enhance our performances.  Thank you in advance for your support!


From the Desk of Mrs. Afonso-Magolon

Physical Education

The focus for the month of November in all classes will be on throwing and catching skills.  The children will use varying sizes of equipment and throw in varying ways (i.e., underhand, overhand).  We will work on these skills by rotating in stations and playing games adapted to the children’s skill levels.


In addition to personal hygiene, the importance of oral hygiene will be discussed,  especially after Halloween when treats are abundant.  After the unit is completed, the children will be bringing home a chart to record when they brush their teeth.  The children will continue to demonstrate Belonging and Contributing by suggesting sound effects and movements for different characters and participating in singing simple songs. We will also start practicing for our act in the Christmas Concert.


Healthy Living

This month we will…

  • Discuss how our body and brain responds to challenging and uncomfortable situations and describe and identify what we can do to feel better.
  • Develop and apply practices that contribute to good oral hygiene.

The Arts

This month the children will…

  • Learn about some vocabulary used in Drama and work in small groups to perform a Christmas skit.
  • Begin to practice for the Christmas Concert.


Healthy Living

This month we will…

  • Learn about concussions and our school policy to deal with them.
  • Learn about different types of legal/illegal substance abuse (e.g., nicotine, vaping, caffeine) and the impacts of abusing them.
  • Learn about the importance of making healthy choices by identifying and considering various factors.

The Arts

This month we will…

  • Be looking at note values and working on math in music.
  • Play games to develop our role of character by using facial and voice expressions.
  • Begin practicing for the Christmas Concert.

Finally, please remember to sign and return all rubrics the following day.


Mme Paquette

November is here! I thought October went quickly. October was a busy month for our French class. We began and finished a Writing assignment “activité R.A.F.T.S.”. We also continued to look at and learn the unit vocabulary. This will make it easier for the Listening and Reading tests coming in November. We will begin Listening and Speaking assignments/tests in the month of November as well.

Furthermore, our work in November will involve the beginning of the Christmas unit. This is my favourite time of the year.


Special Education

Mrs. Mash – Special Education Resource Teacher

November ~ Special Education

We are now in full swing as we enter the third month of school.  Students involved in The Empower Reading Programs are meeting daily to learn strategies that will assist them in both Reading and Reading Comprehension.

The Decoding and Spelling Program focuses on our Primary students. Two reading strategies; The Sounding Out Strategy and The Rhyming Strategy have already been introduced. Both provide young readers with tools to help them identify the sounds in words, blend the sounds together, and eventually read the word. Students are already meeting with success and are quite keen to transfer their new skills to the classroom. Please encourage your child to use these strategies at home – especially if they are Empower alumni!

The Comprehension and Vocabulary Program is in its sophomore year at Holy Family School and targets students in the Junior and Intermediate grades. This program provides support to develop vocabulary and reading fluency. Both reading intervention programs were developed by Dr. Maureen W. Lovett and her team at The Hospital for Sick Children (Sickkids) in Toronto. For more information on these programs, visit

For parents of students on an IEP, please sign and return the parent page of the document, which was sent home on October 15, 2019, as soon as possible to let me know that you have received your copy. Remember that an IEP is a fluid document; changes can be made at any time.

Happy Fall Y’all!