Safe Routes to School

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We are looking forward to seeing all of our students next week!  Safe transportation to school is important to us all so please review the following map published by HASTe outlining the best routes to Garibaldi Highlands Elementary School.  See you Tuesday!

 

GHE safe routes

Coping with Back to School Worries

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We know that the summer holiday has only just begun and we hope everyone is able to have fun and enjoy some much needed rest and relaxation.  With that said, we are always looking forward to seeing our students back in September! Since summer is a time when regular routines are changed or relaxed for many families, we thought it would be a good time to provide some important information that might be helpful in August.  

With warmer weather and longer days, we tend to stay up later and spend more time outside than we might at other times of the year.  This can make going back to school tricky for some children. According to Anxiety Canada “anxious feelings are normal and expected in children and teens returning to school, changing schools, or for first-timers starting kindergarten”.  The Child Mind Institute states that “even kids who are usually pretty easy-going get butterflies, and kids prone to anxiety get clingier and more nervous than usual”. Transitioning to school can create stress for the entire family.

It’s normal for your child to cling, cry, have temper tantrums, complain of headaches or stomach pains, withdraw, and become sullen or irritable prior to the first day of school according to Anxiety Canada.  Worries are normal! Some contributing questions that may be leading to their anxiety include:

  • Who will be my new teacher?
  • Will any of my friends be in my class?
  • Will I fit in?
  • Are my clothes OK?
  • What if I can’t understand the new schoolwork?

Anxiety Canada states that “although it is normal for your child to have worries, it is crucial to have your child attend school. Skipping school will only increase your child’s fears because s/he never gets a chance to find out if his/her worries are valid. Furthermore, when children and teens stay home because of anxiety, they miss:

  • Valuable opportunities to develop and practice social skills
  • Important chances for success and mastery
  • Being acknowledged and praised for talents
  • Fostering close friendships with classmates
  • Learning basic skills like reading, writing, and mathematics”

According to the Child Mind Institute these worries about the new school year and anxious behaviours will fade for most students.  There are, however, things you can do to help prepare yourself and your child for the beginning of the school year.  

The following are 5 Steps to deal with Back to School Worries from Anxiety Canada:

STEP 1   TAKE CARE OF THE BASICS:

Ensure your child is getting enough sleep, eating regular meals and healthy snacks and has daily exercise. When your child’s mind and body are nourished, tackling school worries is easier. Plus, your child will be more likely to listen to you, and cope better when you insist on school attendance, if s/he has had a good nights sleep and a decent breakfast.

STEP 2   PROVIDE EMPATHY: 

Listen to your child’s concerns. What is s/he worried about? Why does s/he expect that to happen? Let your child share his/her fears and talk about what’s on his/her mind. There may be good opportunities to simply listen to your child when you are in the car, standing in line at the store, at bath-time or during dinner. For some kids and teens this “casual” method of talking feels less intense and makes it easier for them to express themselves. For others, a private time with undivided attention feels better.

STEP 3   PROBLEM SOLVE:

Once you know what’s bothering your child, you can start to develop a coping plan. Anxious youth are often poor problem solvers and doubt their ability to cope. Addressing your child’s fear head on, by creating an active plan with concrete solutions, will significantly reduce the worry. For example, “If (the worst) happens, what could you do?” or “Let’s think of some ways you could handle that situation.” This gives you the opportunity to coach your child on how to cope with (and interpret) both real and imagined scary situations.

STEP 4   FOCUS ON THE POSITIVE ASPECTS:  

Once you have an understanding of what your child is afraid of, and a coping plan to address these fears, you can encourage your child to re-direct attention away from the worries towards the positives. Ask your child, “What are three things that you are most excited about on your first day of school?” Most kids can think of something good, even if it’s just eating a special snack or going home at the end of the day. Chances are the fun aspects are simply getting overlooked by repetitive worries.   

STEP 5   PAY ATTENTION TO YOUR OWN BEHAVIOR: 

For parents of younger children or children starting at a new school, it can be anxiety-provoking for parents to hand over care and responsibility of their child to teachers. Children take cues from their parents, so the more confidence and calm you can model, the more your child will believe s/he can handle this new hurdle. Be supportive yet firm. When saying goodbye in the morning, say it cheerfully – once! Ensure you don’t reward your child’s protests, crying, or tantrums by allowing him/her to stay home. Instead, in a calm tone, say: “I can see that going to school is making you scared, but you still have to go. Tell me what you are worried about, so we can talk about it.”   

For a School Preparation Timeline 2 weeks before school starts, please access the following link: https://anxietycanada.com/articles/coping-with-back-to-school-anxiety/ 

Helpful Videos:

How to help your Child with Back to School Anxiety: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y3ZnCV2MhCQ 

Starting Kindergarten Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_5eiYIo1XM 

Helpful Articles:

Kindergarten Gradual Entry Schedule French Immersion and English

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Monday,

September 2nd

 

 

 

 

 

Tuesday, September 3rd

 

 

NO KINDERGARTEN STUDENTS

 

Wednesday, September 4th

9:30 – 11:00

Group 1 & 2

 

1:00 – 2:30

Group 3 & 4

Thursday, September 5th

9:30 – 11:00

Group 1 & 2

 

1:00 – 2:30

Group 3 & 4

Friday, September 6th

9:15 – 10:30

Group 2 & 3

 

1:30- 2:45

Group 1 & 4

Monday, September 9th

 

9:00 to 12:00

All Kindies

Tuesday, September 10th

 

9:00 to 12:00

All Kindies

Wednesday, September 11th

 

Full Day – All Kindies

Thursday, September 12th

 

Full Day – All Kindies

Friday, September 13th

 

Full Day – All Kindies

Information for Parents:

During the gradual entry process, your child will be dropped off and picked up from one of our Kindergarten classrooms (room TBA).  As your child transitions into school, they will spend time in the Kindergarten classrooms and work with the Kindergarten teachers until classroom configurations take place on Friday, September 13th.  On Friday, September 13th you will receive an email notifying you which class your child has been placed in.  Drop-off and pick-up will be in your child’s new class as of Monday, September 16th.

Please return your “Welcome to Kindergarten Information Sheet” on your child’s first day of gradual entry.

Thank you for your patience and understanding.  We look forward to working with your child.

Registration During Summer:

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Please note that is you are registering a child at Garibaldi Highlands, you may do so from July 2-4 and again beginning August 26. The School Board Office will not be accepting student registrations during the summer.

Summer Message

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Dear Families and Caregivers,

Thank you for a wonderful school year! We hope you enjoy the summer months and we look forward to seeing everyone back in September.

We have attached an “essential” school supplies list. These are all of the supplies that will be needed for the first few weeks in September. Once your child has been placed in their new class, you will receive a classroom specific list of supplies. We are hoping that you will be able to collect the essential items from things you already have in your home.  The classroom specific lists will be less expensive than previous years, contain only the items your child will need, and will be available for order online beginning on Friday, September 6th. Through this process, our goal is to reuse materials, order less and save families some money.

Essential Supply List – Kindergarten & Grade 1 ENGLISH

Essential Supply List – Kindergarten & Grade 1 FRENCH

Essential Supply List – Grades 2-6

“First Week” – September 3-6, 2019 (Grades 1-6)

Tuesday September 3rd, 2019 – First day of school for Grades 1-6 (8:50-10am)

  • First bell is at 8:50am and students will be dismissed 10am.
  • All returning students in Grades 1-6 will report to previous year’s classroom.
  • All newly registered students in Grade 1-6 will check in at main office and then report to gymnasium.

Wednesday September 4th, 2017 – Full day for Grade 1-6.

 

Kindergarten “First Week” Schedule:

Families will receive an email with information regarding their child’s schedule for gradual entry into Kindergarten.  If you have not received this email please contact Mrs. Sweeney at ssweeney@sd48.bc.ca.

The PAC will provide a “Welcome Tea” for all Kindergarten parents on Monday, September 9th in the morning.

GHE 2019-2020 Calendar

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Click the link below to see our updated calendar for the 2019-2020 school year.  Please note that the October Pro D day will be moved from October 18 to October 25th upon approval in June to align with the Provincial Professional Development Day.

GHE 2019-2020 Calendar

New erase Website

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Dear Parents & Guardians,

Our school is committed to creating safe, inclusive, and caring learning environments for all students. As part of this commitment, I wanted to share the newly-updated erase website – an online hub created to help students, parents, educators, and community partners to learn more about bullying and violence prevention, online safety, mental well-being, substance use, and sexual orientation and gender identity (SOGI).

An important part of this new website is the expanded Get Help section where students can find links to 24/7 phone and text lines as well as online chats if they, or someone they know, needs help. Students can also use the updated erase Report It tool to send a direct message to our school or our school district’s safe school coordinator for immediate response. All information is private and confidential.

Bullying isn’t just a child’s issue, it’s a school and community issue, and I am here to listen. Please feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns.