November 2023 Newsletter
Posted on 11/01/2023

Dear Connaught families,


Happy November! What a beautiful fall we have had. As we transition into shorter days and colder temperatures, we are preparing for a fun-filled two months before the winter holiday.

Firstly, a huge shout to the student leadership team – they worked hard to create 2 incredibly engaging “haunted houses” for our students to enjoy on Hallowe’en. Students had the option of going through a less spooky “house” or a more spooky “house”. And, the whole school was treated to a kindergarten costume parade. It was so much fun!

Secondly, please note some very important upcoming dates. Mark Wednesday, December 6 on your calendars. Connaught is hosting its first ever COUGAR MUSIC and ART SHOWCASE in conjunction with the primary holiday concert. Mme Green has been working with classes to create works of art for the evening’s exhibition. Mr. Lintern and his music students will dazzle us with drumming and guitar performances. Ms. Morin and the choir will showcase their hard work. Primary students will share some holiday songs with us. Also on this evening, the Book Fair will be open in the library for families to purchase items. And, finally, themed basket silent auction in-person bidding will be available on this fun-filled night. Please join us for this student showcase on Wednesday, December 6 from 5:00 – 7:00 pm.

Speaking of our themed basket silent auction… School Council is hosting our themed basket silent auction fundraiser again this year. Notices will go home tonight to let you know the theme for your child’s class basket. Donations for these baskets will be graciously accepted for the month of November. In-person blind bidding will take place on Wednesday, December 6 during our Cougar Music Showcase. Bidding will close on Friday, December 8 at 4:00 pm. All monies raised from this fundraiser will be put towards student subsidies and athletics. Thank you for your support with this fundraising event.

One more very important date is planned for this month. Please save the date for a very important information session for parents and educators on the prevalence of sex trafficking among youth in Simcoe County. The School Councils from the schools in Collingwood are hosting a guest speaker from One Child on November 21. This free event starts at 7:00 (doors open at 6:45) at C.C.I. We hope to see you there.

Progress reports go home on Thursday, November 9. There is an opportunity for you to meet with your child’s teacher during the week of November 13 – 17 to discuss your child’s progress. Please be sure to sign up for teacher-guardian conferences using this link

Finally, GOOD LUCK to our Cougar Athletics this month. The following sports teams will represent Connaught at their respective area tournaments this month: Coaches Ms. Sweeney and Ms. Westendorp will take the Junior girls basketball team to CCI for their area tournament on November 6. Junior boys basketball, coached by Ms. Linton, will head to their area tournament on November 7 at OLB and Admiral. Coach Linton will also take the girls Intermediate basketball team to CCI for the area tournament on November 27. The Intermediate boys’ volleyball team and Coach Mr. Lintern will travel to OLB and Admiral for their area tournament on November 28.   Go Cougars!


Sara Jo Ottewell


Important Dates: 

November: Financial Literacy Month, Movember

November 2 – Picture Day (including group photos)

November 2 - I Read Canadian Day

November 5 - World Tsunami Awareness Day

November 6 - School Council Meeting, Junior Girls Basketball Tournament @ CCI; Boys Intermediate Vball @ Connaught vs St. Noel

November 5-11 -  Treaties Recognition Week, Veteran's Week

November 7 - Junior Boys Basketball Tournament @ OLB/Admiral

November 7 - Inuit Day (Indigenous World View)

November 8 - Indigenous Veterans Day (Indigenous World View)

November 11 - Remembrance Day

November 9 – Progress Reports go home

November 12-18 - Transgender Awareness Week

November 13-17 – Connaught Conferences

November 13 - World Kindness Day

November 14 - Boys Intermediate Vball @Connaught vs Mountain View

November 14 - World Diabetes Day

November 16 - International Day for Tolerance, Louis Riel Day (Indigenous World View)

November 16 - All grade 8s out at CCI for “picture yourself in Grade 9 day

November 16 - Conference Night

November 17 – PA Day – No School

November 19-25 - Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

November 20 - National Child Day/World Children’s Day, Transgender Day of Remembrance

November 20-26 - Canada History Week

November 21 - ONE CHILD Community presentation @ CCI - parent and educator learning about Human Trafficking; Boys Intermediate Vball @ Nottawa

November 25 - International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women

November 25-December 10 - The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence

November 28 - Photo Retake Day; Intermediate Boys Vball Tourney @ OLB/Admiral (Snow Date - Nov. 30)

November 28 - Wye Marsh School Visit - Gr. 4

December 6 – Art & Music Showcase – 5:00 to 7:00 pm - Book Fair open to parents; Themed basket Silent Auction Blind Bidding Fundraiser


New Safe Arrival system for SCDSB schools – call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) has a new Safe Arrival system at elementary schools. This system will support us in continuing to improve our home-to-school communication process and streamline absence reporting. To report a student absence, call 1-888-885-8065. Callers will be prompted to identify the school before leaving a message. Parents should include the student’s name, teachers’ name, dates, and reason for the absence. When schools do not hear from a parent/guardian, and a student is absent, the school will call home to find out the reason for the absence. If you have questions about the new system, please contact the school office.


You can still send an email to [email protected]



 Connaught Daily Schedule

8:50 AM


9:05 AM


9:05 – 10:45 AM


10:45 – 11:05 AM


11:05 – 11:25 AM


11:25 – 1:05 PM


1:05 – 1:25 PM


1:25 – 1:45 PM


1:45 – 3:20 PM


3:25 PM



November PA Day

Please note that Friday, Nov. 17 is a PA Day for all SCDSB students. Please refer to the 2023-24 School Year Calendar on the SCDSB website for more information:

Below is a summary of the activities planned for the Nov. 17 PA Day:

Length:                                    Full-day parent/guardian-student-teacher conferences
Topic:                                         Communication to parents/guardians about student progress through
                                                    parent/guardian-student-teacher conferences
Host:                                      ­   
Simcoe County District School Board elementary schools, including
                                                    Grades 7 and 8 in Grade 7-12 secondary schools
Presenter(s)/facilitator(s):        Elementary educators

Elementary educators will meet with students and parents/guardians to discuss student progress thus far this school year, including areas of strengths and next steps for improvement.


Connaught Spirit Wear Update

Due to unforeseen circumstances, we will not be able to get our spirit wear on SchoolCash Online. Spirit wear can only be purchased by filling out a physical order form and returning it to the school with cash or cheque payment. Cheques made payable to Connaught Public School. We are sorry for any inconvenience this causes. Orders are due by November 20, 2023.

To see clothing options, colours, and sizing information you can enter into any internet browser.

If you need another order form, students can pick one up outside the office or ask their classroom teacher for one. Please contact Miss. Ferguson at [email protected] or Mrs. Eskra at the office with any questions.

Parents’ Guide to Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting

Learn to navigate the world of assessment, evaluation, and reporting with this new guide for parents/guardians. Created to support parents’/guardians’ understanding of assessment, this guide was designed to effectively empower you to actively engage in your child's educational journey. The guide has been posted to the Simcoe County District School Board’s website and can be accessed at
Subscribe to Kindergarten Connections!

Will your child be turning four in 2024? If so, the SCDSB invites you to Kindergarten Connections! This is a monthly enewsletter informing families of everything they need to know about preparing their child for school, as well as registering them for Kindergarten in the SCDSB. To learn more and subscribe, visit the Kindergarten page on the SCDSB website:

EarlyON Child and Family Centres
The foundation for lifelong learning and health is built in the early years. EarlyON Child and Family Centres across Simcoe County offer programs for children prenatal to six years of age and their parents/guardians and caregivers. They offer access to play- and inquiry-based learning supported by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years, information on child development and developmental screening including Early Referral Identification Kits (ERIKs), parent/guardian education, referrals to community resources, nutrition information, and post-natal resources. Check with your local EarlyON provider:  

How is your infant, toddler, or preschool child developing? 

Is your child meeting their milestones? Age-appropriate speech and language skills are critical to your child’s ability to read, write, and be successful in school as well as to their ability to engage with their peers. Free services are available to support you with your child’s development. Preschool speech and language programs are located across the County of Simcoe. Call (705) 739-5696 or 1-800-675-1979 to complete a developmental screen. The earlier we work together the better!


Licensed Winter Break school-age child care programs

Child care programs for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided by independent, third-party child care operators in some SCDSB schools. To support your child care needs, some operators offer child care on PA days and holidays including over the Winter Break. Registration in advance is required. 

Please contact the child care operator directly to discuss fees and to register. More information and contact numbers can be found by visiting:

Join us! A learning series for parents/guardians with Pine River Institute
Mental health and well-being continues to be a key strategic priority within the SCDSB. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Centre for Family Initiatives at Pine River Institute (CFI@PRI) to provide several curated learning sessions focused on student mental health and well-being to SCDSB families.

There are eight webinars specifically planned for parents/guardians and other caregivers during this school year. 


Nov. 9, 2023          Understanding and managing screen time, part two - social media edition

Nov. 30, 2023        Helping parents align

Jan. 11, 2024        Sleep hygiene     

Feb. 8, 2024          Self regulation for kids
Feb. 22, 2024       
Self regulation for teens
March 28, 2024    
Building parents' resiliency
April 18, 2024       
Vaping, weed, and alcohol 

We hope you save these dates in your calendar and join us for these learning opportunities. For more information and to register, please visit the SCDSB website:


Pine River Institute is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. CFI@PRI extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence-informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions.  Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at

High school information events for Grade 8 students
Is your child starting Grade 9 next year? High school information events will take place in-person this winter! Student leaders and staff at the school will give an overview of what’s new and what to expect. Learn about courses offered, as well as information about teams and clubs. Please visit the SCDSB website at to find details on your high school’s info night, and contact the school directly for more information.


Nov. 28 is Eat Well to Excel Day in Simcoe County
Eat Well to Excel is a Simcoe County non-profit community partnership that supports our school’s student nutrition program. The funding provided by Eat Well to Excel allows us to supply students with access to healthy snacks during the school day.

The pandemic and increasing food costs have caused a significant financial strain on many families in our region and new data shows that 1 in 3 kids in Canada are at risk of going to school hungry. Kids that are hungry struggle to retain knowledge and keep focused throughout the day. They are also at an increased risk of experiencing poor mental health and a compromised immune system. With your support we can maintain and hopefully improve our program to provide a consistent supply of healthy food to our students.

You can make a donation by visiting You can either support the county-wide program or direct your donation to our school. Please include our school name in the comment box to ensure the donation goes directly to our program. A tax receipt will be emailed to you.

For more information about Eat Well to Excel visit

Knowledgehook math tool
Knowledgehook is a digital math assessment and practice tool that has been purchased for all K-10 SCDSB classrooms. This tool is accessible to students at home so that they can practice math skills, either assigned by their teacher or on their own. Ask your child about how they use Knowledgehook in class and learn more at:

Supporting oral language development at home
Within the revised language curriculum, there is a focus on supporting students to acquire the knowledge and skills relating to the foundations of language. Oral and non-verbal communication are foundational components of language skills. Over the years, students develop their listening and speaking abilities using a variety of strategies and skills, including word choice and syntax, to become effective communicators. 

Here are some ways you can support oral language development at home:

  • Engage your child in conversations about things that interest them
  • Talk to your child and listen responsively
  • Ask and answer questions
  • Share oral stories
  • Read aloud to your child
  • Talk about the books you read together
  • Singing and playing together

Mental health promotion strategy of the month

Well-being is a strategic priority in the Simcoe County District School Board, and our mental health and well-being department provides monthly strategies to support student and family well-being.

This month’s strategy is Let It Go. This practice helps students focus their attention, calm feelings of anxiety, and manage stress. To practice Let It Go at home, have your child/youth sit comfortably and take a deep breath. Share the following exercise with your child/youth:

  • Use your fingers to gently massage the top of your head
  • Still in massaging motion, bring your fingers to your forehead, eyebrows, temples, around your eyes, cheeks, and jaw
  • If you notice tension anywhere – let it go
  • Finally, massage each of your ears and end by gently pulling your earlobes

Keep in mind to take your time with each area, especially where you hold the most tension.

Practicing Let It Go can be done any time of the day or at regular times, such as at mealtime or before bed. You may try this technique on your hands using a massaging motion to focus on each finger, thumb, and palm. Consider doing Let It Go with your child/youth to model the strategy.  

Visit the links below for Let It Go posters from School Mental Health Ontario:
Elementary -
Secondary -

Find more easy and fun mental health activities to do at home visit:

Follow the mental health and well-being social media accounts (@SCDSB_MHWB) to see how well-being is being supported in our schools.

Dental screening and services for kids ages 0-17

Good dental health is an important part of your child’s general health. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Oral Health Community Program offers free dental screenings in daycares, schools, and health unit offices for children and youth aged 0 - 17 years. Dental screening can identify and inform families that their child has a dental concern.

Health unit staff can also help children/youth and their families access free preventive services and treatment through the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) Program. For more information regarding these services visit:

Information provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit


SchoolCashOnline – LunchBox

Pay for trips, fundraisers, and sign permission forms with School Cash Online.

P  Fast  P User-Friendly  P Secure

Register at


A School Cash Online letter will come home during the first week of school with information on how to set up your account if you don’t already have one.  Connaught will be working with Lunchbox again this year to offer pizza on Tuesdays from Dominos and subs on Wednesday from Subway and pitas on Thursday from Pita Pit.


Deadline to place your order – Sunday at Noon for the upcoming delivery week.

Deadline to cancel your order – two days prior to the scheduled delivery.


Inclement weather and bus cancellation information reminder

All information regarding cancelled buses in Simcoe County is posted on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC)’s bus information website at Our school is in the WEST zone. When buses are cancelled, schools remain open for student learning, unless otherwise noted. School staff are expected to plan for such emergencies in order to transition students who are unable to attend due to inclement weather, to their online platforms (Google Classroom and/or SCDSBhub [Brightspace by D2L]) and continue with academic programming. It is always a family decision whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions.


The Consortium and bus operators try to make the decision to cancel school buses before 6 a.m. and make every effort to post announcements before 7 a.m. Inclement weather cancellations are effective for the whole day and buses cancelled in the morning will not run at the end of the day. You can follow the Consortium on Twitter @SCSTC_SchoolBus for bus cancellations and other information. You can also subscribe to receive bus delay notifications here:


Upcoming in-person Grade 1 French Immersion information sessions

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) offers French Immersion (FI) at select schools throughout Simcoe County beginning in Grade 1. The goal of the FI program is to enable students to communicate in French with a high level of proficiency, enabling them to function with ease in both English and French.


Information sessions for families who are considering entry into Grade 1 FI for the 2024-25 school year will take place at (Cameron Street, November 20th from 5-7 pm) and online applications will open in December 2023.


Entry into the FI program will be determined through a digitally randomized lottery system. A link to access the Grade 1 FI online application form will be available on the SCDSB website starting at 9 a.m. on Friday, Dec. 1 until 4 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 15. For more information regarding French Immersion, visit, then select ‘elementary’, and ‘French as a Second Language’.

Looking for Employment? Join Our Team!
Curious about what employment opportunities are available at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB)? The SCDSB is hosting several job fairs throughout Simcoe County during the month of November; come by and speak with one of our representatives at any of the following events!

YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka Employment Services (Midland)
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Job Seekers | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka (

TRACKS Employment & Resource Service (Collingwood)
Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
TRACKS Employment Services - One-stop resource centre for Employment Ontario Services | Located in Collingwood and serving Georgian Triangle communities of Clearview, Wasaga Beach, and Town of the Blue Mountains

FOCUS Employment Services (Alliston)
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023
3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Job Seekers - FOCUS Community Development Corporation (

Agilec Employment Services (Orillia)
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023
12 to 5 p.m.
Employment Services - Agilec

For more information about employment opportunities at the SCDSB, visit: