October 2023 newsletter
Posted on 10/31/2023


Dear Connaught families,

We have had a tremendously positive start up and are so excited to be working with you this year to support your child(ren)’s achievement and well-being. It was great to see so many of you out to our Welcome Back night.

Thank you all for your support during our re-organization. Change is potentially difficult, but we all worked diligently to ensure that the best possible placement was assigned for each learner.

And, we have quickly moved forward. Sports teams are up and running: junior boys, junior girls basketball and intermediate girls basketball practices have all started. Congratulations to our cross-country runners who represented Connaught so well at the Nottawa Fun Run and the Area races at Blueberry Trails. Thank you to Coach Farnand who will be traveling to the County Cross Country Race with 2 qualifying junior students. Good luck, as well, to our intermediate co-ed flag football team who will be traveling to Fisher Fields for the Area Tournament. Thank you to Coach Ball and Coach Lintern for coaching this team! Go Cougars!

We were sorry to have had to cancel our Kennedy Orchard apple picking Fundraiser; the weather had been beautiful all week but sadly, apple picking in the sudden thunder storm and accompanying downpour would not have been fun. Kennedy Orchards did say that they would provide their homemade apple cider that we can sell to support our fundraising efforts.

You may have all noticed the new cross-walk outside of the school and the fresh line painting in our parking lot. We are so grateful that these improvements were able to occur over the summer. The cross walk has made a significantly positive impact on the safety of students, families and staff during entry and dismissal. Thank you for helping to reiterate to your child(ren) to use this cross walk as well as walking their bikes once on school property. Finally, please be advised that the standing-only vehicle spaces along the paved curb beside the front of the school are for dropping off and/or picking students getting a ride that do not need assistance to and from the gate. If you are using this space, please do not get out of your vehicle. If you would like to accompany your child to the gate, please park your vehicle in a space in our parking lot. Thank you for helping to ensure entry and dismissal times are safe for all community members.

Enjoy the Fall weather.


Sara Jo Ottewell


Important Dates: 

October 9 - Thanksgiving Monday

October 16-20 – National School Bus Safety Week

October 16 – School Council Meeting at 6pm in the library

October 17 - IEPs Go Home; International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, Jr. Girls Basketball game against Nottawa @ 4pm 

October 18 - Persons Day

October 19 - Immunizations for grades 7s; School Bus Driver Appreciation Day; International Pronouns Day

October 20 - PA Day

October 23 - 29 - Canadian Down Syndrome Week

October 24- Outdoor learning Gr.2’s

October 25- Grade 1 & 2 @ Rounds Ranch 

October 26 - Dress Purple Day - Association of Children’s Aid Societies

November 2 – Picture Day (including group photos)

November 9 – Progress Reports go home


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


Please note that Friday, Oct. 20 is a PA Day for all SCDSB students. Please refer to the 2023-24 School Year Calendar on the SCDSB website for more information: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/planning_for_school/school_year_calendar.

Below is a summary of the activities planned for the Oct. 20 PA Day:

Full day
Health and Safety, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion, and Mathematics
Host:                                      ­    
Simcoe County District School Board
School board staff and school administrators and school leads

Educators will participate in a half-day Health and Safety digital learning session focused on health and safety incident reporting and investigations with a particular emphasis on the essential aspect of workplace violence prevention. The session will equip staff with the knowledge and tools to report incidents effectively and promptly, provide insights into the investigative and risk mitigation process, fostering transparency and accountability, and highlight the critical role staff play in preventing workplace injuries.

Educators will learn about Somali, Latino, South Asian, and African Black Indigenous heritage. They will collaboratively plan within grades and divisions. Through this, they will celebrate identities and create environments that foster well-being and sense of belonging.

Educators will choose learning related to the Knowledgehook digital math tool based on their readiness. Different learning pathways have been planned for new users, those with some experience, and those who are ready to extend their use of the math tool. All participants will learn about how to invite parents/guardians to view their child’s progress. Additionally, educators will engage in High Impact Instructional Practices in Mathematics learning modules that align with their school’s Achievement in Mathematics goal.

SchoolCashOnline – LunchBox

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

P  Fast  P User-Friendly  P Secure

Register at www.schoolcashonline.com

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.

Please sign the Standard Acknowledgment and Permission form on SchoolCash
The 2023-24 Standard Acknowledgment and Permission Form and Student Information Computing Technology Appropriate Use Agreement are required forms for all Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) students. The forms have been made available electronically through School Cash Online until Oct. 16. School Cash Online is our preferred method for forms. If you are unable to submit these forms electronically, please contact the office for paper copies.

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 www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca. 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: https://scstc.ca/Subscriptions/Login.aspx.

School bus transportation information available from the SCSTC

In order to receive delay and cancellation notifications, families can check the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC) website at www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca or download the ‘BusPlanner Delays’ app from the Apple or Android app stores to receive delay notifications to their devices. Users would need to select Simcoe County STC as the transportation authority. The app will need to be forced closed, but you will be able to select your student(s) routes or school to receive delays.

The app will send a general notice for any cancellation in Simcoe County. You only need to know which ‘zone’ you’re in, so you would know which one to look out for in the app. You can find your student’s zone by visiting the School Bus Status page at www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca and clicking the dropdown for the area you live in.

School Bus Safety Week and School Bus Driver Appreciation Day
School Bus Safety Week takes place Oct. 16 to 20, 2023. Please visit the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC) website at main.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca for information on school bus safety and links to school bus safety resources. Oct. 19, 2023 is School Bus Driver Appreciation Day in the province of Ontario. It’s a great opportunity for the school community to thank our bus drivers for all their hard work transporting students to and from school safely.

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 www.scdsb.on.ca, then select ‘elementary’, and ‘French as a Second Language’.

Fire Prevention Week is Oct. 8 to 14
This year, the 2023 Fire Prevention Week theme, ‘Cooking safety starts with YOU. Pay attention to fire prevention™’, works to educate everyone about simple but important actions they can take to keep themselves and those around them safe when cooking. For more information about Fire Prevention Week and this year’s theme,along with a wealth of resources to help promote the campaign locally, visit fpw.org.

Information from the National Fire Protection Association website

Get on the move

There are many benefits to walking or wheeling to school. Walking or wheeling to school reduces traffic, helps students establish healthy lifestyles, is better for the environment and enhances community safety. Wherever possible, we encourage students within walking zones to get on the move and walk or wheel to school. For more information please visit the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit website here: bit.ly/3OC4CJ9

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 via the following link: https://tinyurl.com/2urcm2tm.  

Licensed PA day and holiday 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, March Break, and during summer holidays. Registration in advance is required. Please contact the child care operator directly to discuss fees and to register.

Interested in learning more about the ways that the SCDSB supports students with special education needs and their families?

Join us for a virtual special education outreach series
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is hosting virtual special education outreach sessions to assist parents/caregivers in learning more about programs, supports, and ways that we work together to support students with special education needs.

The first session, 
IEPs and school-based assessments – information for parents/caregivers, will be held on Oct. 24 from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. This virtual presentation will include an opportunity for participants to share some of their questions regarding IEPs and special education programming.

Participants are asked to register in advance. Information to access the sessions will be shared via email with individuals who have pre-registered. Learn more about upcoming sessions and how to register on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/special_education/special_education_outreach_sessions.  

Have you met Sora?
Our digital ebook/audiobook collection contains over 4,000 titles waiting to be checked out by our SCDSB students. Students simply download the app, use their SCDSB login and start reading for free on their phone or tablet. The collection can be accessed at: meet.soraapp.com.

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, staff and within the SCDSB’s broader school communities.

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

Oct. 26, 2023         Understanding and managing screen time, part one - gaming edition

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: https://bit.ly/3jGaC74.

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 www.pineriverinstitute.com.

Supporting your child with math

Are you curious about how you can support your child’s growth as a mathematician? Visit the Parents Guide to Mathematics at www.ontario.ca/page/new-math-curriculum-grades-1-8, where you can find a summary of the knowledge and skills your child will be learning as they progress through the grades, information about how you can support your child’s learning, and how the curriculum was developed. 

TVO Mathify offers free 1:1 online Grade 4-12 math tutoring to SCDSB students. Connect with an Ontario Certified Teacher of your choice. It is anonymous and secure, and can be used from a phone, tablet, or computer. Math tutors are available from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. ET Monday to Friday, and 3:30 to 9 p.m. ET Sunday. 

All SCDSB students from Grades 4-12 have been pre-registered for this amazing service. For quick access to TVO Mathify:

  1. Find the link in your child’s Google waffle to the SCDSBhub.  
  2. Look for the TVO Mathify icon on their dashboard.

A screenshot of a computer Description automatically generated

Your child will not need to enter their OEN number or any identifying information when TVO Mathify is accessed through the SCDSBhub.

Revised 2023 Ontario Language Curriculum
Beginning this school year, all language programs for Grades 1-8 will be based on the expectations of the revised Ontario Language Curriculum. The Ontario Curriculum, Grades 1 to 8: Language, 2023 outlines the knowledge and skills required for effective reading and writing, listening, and speaking so students can succeed at school and beyond. The curriculum has been revised partly in response to the recommendations outlined in the Ontario Human Rights Commission’s Right to Read public inquiry report.

The 2023 curriculum now includes four strands:

  1. Literacy Connections and Applications
  1. Foundations of Language
  2. Comprehension: Understanding and Responding to Texts
  3. Composition: Expressing Ideas and Creating Texts

For more information, visit www.dcp.edu.gov.on.ca/en/key-changes-language to view a guide for parents/guardians on the Ministry of Education website.