Ready to Lead and Succeed in 2016-17

Dear W.F. Ready Families,

We hope that you had a restful and rejuvenating summer.  As we begin another school year, we are reminded of an African proverb; “it takes an entire village to raise a child”. It seems fitting when we consider the accomplishments achieved and those to come!  Your commitment to your child’s education past and present are good examples of what is required of that village to achieve success.  Therefore, one of the goals we continue this school year is to help build and support an even stronger village by relying on you, the families, who are our most important partners to ensure a quality education for every student!

As the school administrators, we are thrilled to be a part of a school community where family members are visible and actively engaged, as well as an integral component of W.F. Ready. Our staff will continue a legacy of commitment, care, and dedication.  We are honoured and privileged to lead a dynamic community where teachers and staff cultivate an environment where students achieve and believe in themselves and their school.  As mentioned previously, your input, feedback, and support will be critical to our leadership, the teaching and learning environment, and above all to the success of your child in our school.

With our school’s aim of having a greater emphasis on individual student success, W.F. Ready will continue to incorporate the shared values of our school division:

I am Responsible.  I Want to Know.  I Belong.  I Respect.

Using these as our guiding principles, each child will be encouraged and supported in working to his/her full potential academically, socially, and emotionally.

In order to achieve these things, we have included several ways that family members of our school community can work together with W.F. Ready staff:

  • Send your child to school every day on time.
  • Make sure your child gets sufficient sleep each night.
  • Establish a routine for reading each and every day at home.
  • Keep in touch with your child’s teachers via e-mail, notes, agendas, or blogs
  • Check the school website frequently, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to Mrs. Balkwill’s blog
  • Attend school-wide events, classroom events, and conferences

Our Director, Mr. Greg Enion, has expanded our Big Rocks this year so that as a division we are focusing on seven priorities through Leadership for Learning:

  1. High expectations for all students
  2. Literacy achievement for all students
  3. Climate of belonging
  4. Authentic engagement for all students
  5. Focusing on Attendance Matters
  6. Improvement and Success – Celebrating what we do well
  7. Improving graduation rates of FNMI students

Throughout the school year you will find our staff committed and focused on these seven Big Rocks.  Our priorities, efforts, and resources will align with this commitment to enhance the learning journey for every child at W.F. Ready School.

Introducing the 2016-17 W.F. Ready Staff

Beata Leskun Administrative Assistant
Andrea Ulriksen Arts Education Specialist
Ruth Adema Arts Education Specialist
Deb Skoczylas Band Teacher
Jillian Tunison Core French Specialist
Alexandra Duran Core French/Arts EducationSpecialist
Jenny Lyons-Mouyious Counsellor
TBA DPS Educational Assistant
Elaine Kelly DPS Educational Assistant
Stacey Yea DPS Teacher
Susan Ballantyne EAL
TBA Educational Assistant
Autumn McCaskell Educational Assistant
Brooke Cooper Educational Assistant
Cassandra Richards Educational Assistant
Megan Hannah Educational Assistant
Niki Miller Educational Assistant
Tracey Mitchell Educational Assistant
Spartak Latska Evening Facilities
Janelle Clarke FIAP Educational Assistant
TBA FIAP Educational Assistant
Ronda Keck FIAP Educational Assistant – AM
Jen Huber FIAP Teacher
Tessa Vibe Grade 1
Tracey Vargo Grade 1
Sienna Borland Grade 1/2
Brooke Plant Grade 2
Jennifer Huntington Grade 2
Sarah Schuchardt Grade 3
Taylor Peters Grade 3
Bevan Nye Grade 3/4
Parry Johnson Grade 4
Jodie Ross Grade 4/5
Jordan Bali/Kim Markwart Grade 5
Michelle Toshack Grade 5
Laura Slack Grade 5/6
Raquel Oberkirsch Grade 6
Shianne Crichlow Grade 6/7
Corinne Toews Grade 7/8
Denny Park Grade 7/8
Shelby Hersberger Grade 8
Ramon Fernandez Head Facilities
Ashley Salikin Intern
Gary Burgess Intern
Kama Pechey Kindergarten
Kelly Hischebett Kindergarten
Jana Wlock Learning Resource Teacher
Vanessa McIntosh Learning Resource Teacher
Krista Tameling Occupational Therapist
Angie Balkwill Principal
Ashley Lipp Public Health Nurse
Cst. Shaun Young School Resource Officer
Angelika Nixdorf Speech/Language
Luc Lerminiaux Superintendent
Joanne Patron Teacher Librarian
Kim Markwart Vice Principal/Grade 5

Remember it does take a village to raise a child; and we add it takes a very special school like W.F. Ready to educate them.  Please know that we welcome your participation, support, and efforts as they are greatly valued and appreciated.  We are in this together!  Wishing you a wonderful upcoming year of success! We look forward to seeing you bright and early for our first day of school, Thursday, September 1st!  

We will be Walking on Sunshine as students head back for another amazing year at Ready!

#leadandsucceed

Sincerely,

Mrs. Balkwill (Principal)                                   Mrs. Markwart (Vice-Principal)

FAQ’s

 More detailed information on the topics below and more will be found in our School Handbook which will be posted on our website later this month.  A copy of the School Handbook will also be sent home to each family during the first week of school.

  1. Where does my child go when they arrive on the first day of school?

All students who are already registered will be on the playground until 8:53 AM.  At that time the Kindergarten to Grade 2 students will be escorted into the school where they will learn who their teacher will be for the school year.  Students in Grades 3 to 8 will remain on their designated playground where they will learn who their teacher will be for the school year.  In the event of inclement weather, all students will meet in the gym.  We will have plenty of staff on hand to ensure students are greeted from the busses, taxis, and parent vehicles and walked to their designated playground area.

Students that are not already registered should come to the school office where staff will assist you through the registration process.

  1. Where do I find a school supply list?

School supply lists can be found on our school website www.wfready.rbe.sk.ca or on the school division website www.rbe.sk.ca

  1. What is the policy if I have a question regarding my child’s classroom placement?

As was communicated in Mrs. Balkwill’s June blog:

Please understand that one question that comes to the office at the beginning (and end) of each school year is how we determine which class students will be in.  The first thing parents need to know is this is a carefully considered process.  There are a number of factors that go into this decision including the number of students in each grade, trying to get a balance of gender and abilities, and maintaining some social supports for each student.  In the end, the most important consideration is what is in the best academic interest of all of our 550 students.

The reality for many of our students is they will be in a split-grade classroom at some point during their academic careers, often more than once.  Considering the diverse needs and abilities of students, no class is a “straight” grade.  Our teachers will use a variety of strategies to best meet the individual needs of their students, which would include flexible groupings within and beyond their regular classrooms.  Being in a lower split does not mean that students are lower in their ability, the same way a higher-grade split is not comprised of the highest achieving students.  Each classroom needs a heterogeneous balance.

Finally, students cannot be grouped solely based on where their friends are or whether they will have the favourite teacher they have always wanted.  We do pay attention to social supports, but working in the same classroom with your best friend(s) is not always the best thing from an academic point of view.  While each teacher has their own strengths that may be somewhat different from their colleagues, all have incredible talents to share in a challenging, rewarding, learning environment.  I would welcome the opportunity to have my child educated in any one of their classrooms.

On very rare occasions, changes may be made if it is determined to be in the best academic interests of a particular child.  The final decision rests with myself in consultation with the staff.  We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.”

  1. What are the hours of school?

School starts at 8:53 AM and dismisses at 3:37 PM.  Lunch is from 11:45 AM to 12:45 PM.  We have recess at 10:30-10:45 AM and 2:15-2:30 PM.  The playground is supervised from 8:38 AM to 8:53 AM.

  1. How do I pay for school items (trips, agendas, etc)?

Majority of school items are set up to be paid online.  In order to access this service you must register through School Cash Online.  You can find detailed information on our school website on how to do this.  If an item is set up to be paid through School Cash Online, you will not be able to send cash or a cheque without an exemption form (please see school office).  Our goal is to significantly minimalize the amount of cash and cheques that are received at the office and move to the more secure system of School Cash Online.  Thank you to those families that are already using School Cash Online!

  1. How do I find out about school and classroom events?

Over the past two years we made a decision to reduce the amount of paper consumption at the school.  Therefore, we do not send home a monthly newsletter from the office.  Instead, Mrs. Balkwill frequently contributes to her school blog which is full of information for families.  You can subscribe to her blog by visiting our school website.  Speaking of our school website . . . it is another source of information regarding events that are taking place at the school.  You can also follow our Twitter account @WF_ReadySchool to keep in touch.  Teachers may use agendas, websites or blogs to keep families informed of the particular events pertaining to their classrooms.  You can also access Parent Portal to see your child’s attendance, academic assignments, and teacher schedule.  You must obtain a password in person from Mrs. Leskun in the office to gain access to Parent Portal.  The link to Parent Portal is found on our school website.

7.  How do we register and pay for lunchroom?

Please find information that was shared with families last school year about upcoming changes to lunchroom fees HERE.  All students staying for lunch will receive registration forms during the first week of school.

 

Farewell to 2015-16 – What a Year!

I can hardly believe that we are in the final week of the 2015-16 school year.  It seems hard to believe that this will conclude my second year at this fantastic school. It is an absolute pleasure to spend my days with your amazing children.  In addition, I feel incredibly honoured to work alongside one of the most dedicated staffs in Regina.  As I always say, I am the very proud principal of W.F. Ready!

This month we will be drawing 4 lucky blog followers to receive passes to the Queen City Ex.  Be sure to follow this blog to be entered to win!

As our process was last year, we will not be sharing classroom placements until the Fall.  The reason behind this decision is that things can easily change over the summer months (increased enrollment, staff changes, etc) and we will have a much better picture in August regarding plans for classroom placements.  Please understand that one question that comes to the office at the beginning (and end) of each school year is how we determine which class students will be in.  The first thing parents need to know is this is a carefully considered process.  There are a number of factors that go into this decision including the number of students in each grade, trying to get a balance of gender and abilities, and maintaining some social supports for each student.  In the end, the most important consideration is what is in the best academic interest of all of our 550 students.

The reality for many of our students is they will be in a split-grade classroom at some point during their academic careers, often more than once.  Considering the diverse needs and abilities of students, no class is a “straight” grade.  Our teachers will use a variety of strategies to best meet the individual needs of their students, which would include flexible groupings within and beyond their regular classrooms.  Being in a lower split does not mean that students are lower in their ability, the same way a  higher-grade split is not comprised of the highest achieving students.  Each classroom needs a heterogeneous balance.

Finally, students cannot be grouped solely based on where their friends are or whether they will have the favourite teacher they have always wanted.  We do pay attention to social supports, but working in the same classroom with your best friend(s) is not always the best thing from an academic point of view.  While each teacher has their own strengths that may be somewhat different from their colleagues, all have incredible talents to share in a challenging, rewarding, learning environment.  I would welcome the opportunity to have my child educated in any one of their classrooms.

On very rare occasions, changes may be made if it is determined to be in the best academic interests of a particular child.  The final decision rests with myself in consultation with the staff.  We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.

In August, we will share our school handbook for 2016-17.  This will have information about the first day of school, grade compositions, and general school rules and expectations.  This information will be posted on our school website and not mailed out as the cost of postage is too significant.

Please continue to spread the word to other families about signing up for my blog so that they can stay in touch with the latest school news.  Our school website and twitter feed (@WF_Ready) will continue to be great sources of information as well.

I hope you are able to join us on June 28th at 10:30 PM for our Final  Year End Assembly where we will acknowledge our staff moving on and also celebrate our fabulous school year.  It will certainly be a memorable assembly!

In the Fall, those of you returning to Ready will see some changes to the school once again.  We will be converting the da Vinci studio (art room) into a classroom.  This is to accommodate the growing population for our healthy and vibrant community.  There will also be some repairs to the exterior of the portables.

In closing, I would like to thank the following staff for their contributions to our school.  Even though they will not be at Ready next year, we know that they will always be considered part of our school family.  Please join me in sending well wishes to the following:

  • Rachel Taylor (Educational Assistant – DPS)
  • Donovan Chaput (Educational Assistant)
  • Lisa Fiorante (Teacher Librarian)
  • Megan Cottenie (Core French)
  • Laura Radford (Grade 3/4)
  • Laurie Ellis (Grade 7)
  • Marie Delparte (Grade 4)
  • Marilyn Dietz (Learning Resource Teacher)
  • Maureen Taylor (Grade 2)
  • Nirmala Anilkumar (Educational Assistant)
  • Susan Gottselig (Grade 2)
  • Taylor Stepan (Grade 6/7)
  • Trish Vollman (Educational Assistant)
  • Tania Tkach (Grade 3/4)

From our school family to yours, we wish you a fun, healthy, active, and memorable summer!  See you on September 1st!

Mrs. Balkwill

*A list of  grade compositions for 2016-17 will be posted on our website later this month.

Join Us in Saying Farewell

On Tuesday, June 28th we will be hosting our annual Year End Assembly starting at 10:30 AM.  This assembly is dedicated to coming together as a school community and celebrating a fantastic school year.  We will be acknowledging the staff who will be leaving WF Ready as well.  It is guaranteed to be a fun-filled event with a performance by the entire student body and perhaps some entertainment by staff as well!

Hope to see you all there!

 

Mrs. A. Balkwill

Principal

We Love to Read at Ready

It is very evident from the moment you walk through the doors at W.F. Ready that literacy is a priority at our school. At any given time during the school day you can find students engaged in reading.  Our staff works diligently to create an environment where students not only learn how to read, but also develop a love of reading.

I invite you to watch this fascinating video of one of our primary students explaining her love for reading and a particular series that has her “hooked”.

It is our students that compel us each and every day to provide a school culture that celebrates and embraces literacy.

Enjoy!

Mrs. Balkwill

Principal

We Are On A Reading Roll!!!!

Breaking News!  As of this afternoon, we have now collected over $6500.00 for our Read-a-Thon.  This means more books in your child’s classroom.  Thank you to all of our families who have participated in our Read-a-Thon so far!

We aren’t done yet . . .  Students have until Monday, March 7th to bring in pledges for the Read-a-Thon.  Let’s keep our momentum going strong!  If each student were to bring $4 on Monday we would reach $9000 and surpass our goal. We can do this!

Remember that all money raised goes directly into your child’s classroom and supports literacy at WF Ready!

Read-a-Thon Update

Please note that we have extended the deadline for pledge money and forms to Monday, March 7th!  Students were advised of this change today. 

Tomorrow we will still do our weekly prize draw for minutes read. Students will need to bring in their Minute Recording Sheet tomorrow to be entered for the weekly prizes. 

Next week we will have an assembly to announce our final total raised. Currently we have raised around $2000. We are excited to see what our grand total will be!

Thank you for such amazing support of our Read-a-Thon and be sure to take advantage of having this weekend to gather a few more pledges!!!

Mrs. Balkwill

New School Open House Reminder

NEW SCHOOL OPEN HOUSE DATES ANNOUNCED!

At the end of January, we informed you about some of the details of three new joint schools that Regina Public Schools will be opening in 2017. At that time, we also noted that we would be hosting open houses to provide you more information. Today we are pleased to inform you of the dates of the open houses and related details.

The open house sessions will be opportunities for parents, students, staff and the community to learn about:

  • New school designs
  • New school attendance boundaries
  • Name Your School Campaign

The open house sessions will also be a great place to ask questions on a variety of new school-related issues, such as transportation and French Immersion boundaries.

The session for the Greens on Gardiner School is as follows:

  • March 1, 2016 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
    • Regina Public Schools Division Office, 1600 4th Avenue
    • For the interest of all public school supporters in Regina
    • Discussing all the new schools
    • Opportunity for parents who can’t attend other sessions in their area
  • March 2, 2016 – 6:00 to 8:00 p.m.
    • W.F. Ready School, 2710 Helmsing Street
    • For the school communities of W.F. Ready, W.S. Hawrylak and the southeast Regina community
    • Will be discussing school in Greens on Gardiner
  • The open houses will be informal, come-and-go sessions. You are welcome to come at any time, as there is no set agenda, and plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

For more information about the new schools, please visit http://www.rbe.sk.ca/news/2016/01/new-school-announcements-2017

Please forward any questions to review@rbe.sk.ca

Mrs. Balkwill

Principal