Building Community

Dear W.F. Ready Families.

I want to thank all of our families that joined us for conferences.  Staff enjoy having the opportunity to meet with families to discuss student growth and potential.  A reminder that the school division has moved to a 2-Term reporting period this year and Progress Reports, along with updated Personal Social Growth Rubrics, will be sent home on February 1st.  We will be hosting a second set of conferences on March 24th.

At Ready we strive to be positive, contributing members to our community.  Each year we host an annual Santa Store Drive and a Hamper Donation Drive.  We have one more week to collect items for our friends within the Kitchener School Community.  Our efforts make a difference right here, right now, and right at home!


We are currently seeking NEW or GENTLY USED items to donate to the Santa Shop at Kitchener.  The Santa Shop is a school run “store” where students can shop for items to give as gifts to their loved ones over the holidays.  This year our school has once again partnered with Kitchener Community School and one of our commitments is to provide items to their Santa Shop.  Suggested items:  toys (new or excellent condition), unopened lotions/perfumes/nail polish/makeup, puzzles, games, knick knacks, ornaments, festive gift wrap/ribbon/tissue/gift bags, jewellery (for men or women), men accessories (wallets, ties, etc), blankets, slippers, pajamas, picture frames, etc . . .  Please do not send candles.  Remember, these items will be re-gifted, so we ask that they are new or in very good condition.  Items can be dropped off at the office.  We will collect items up until December 7th.


This year our We Act Team and Student Representative Council will be collecting food and money donations so that they can adopt a Kitchener Family for Christmas.  We are responsible for building a hamper for a family of 8.  This includes food for the holidays and gifts for each child.  Please consider donating a non-perishable food item or a cash gift.  Our students will go and purchase perishable food items and gifts for the family.


Once again this year our Winter Concert will be for students in DPS, FIAP, and Kindergarten to Grade 4/5.  The concerts will be on December 14th and 15th.  The format will be similar to last year as we are required to be more strict in accordance with fire regulations. Detailed information will be sent home to families of students in the grades performing so you know which night(s) your child(ren) perform. I will give you a heads up now that there will be an afternoon performance for each concert and it is strongly encouraged that your extended family (grandparents, aunts and uncles, etc) attend this matinee.  The evening performances will have a limit of 3 tickets per family and we would be heartbroken to have to turn people away due to seating capacity.


We will be revealing our Grand Total for our Read-a-Thon Fundraiser at an assembly in December.  A huge thank you to all families that supported this initiative to help us build classroom libraries for all of our learning spaces!!!


If you ordered Cookie Dough through the SCC fundraiser, please note that orders can be picked up December 8th at the school between 3:00 – 5:30 pm.


Please note that there will be early dismissal on December 21st at 2:30.  Winter break is from December 22nd, 2016 to January 4th, 2017.  See you January 5th!

Thank you for continuing to send the best kids in Regina to W.F. Ready!  It is clear that they are ready to READ, LEAD, and SUCCEED!

Mrs. Balkwill



Warming Hearts and Homes

Brrrr!!!  The chill is in the air and it reminds us to take a moment to reflect on the many reasons we have to be thankful at W.F. Ready School.

On Friday, staff participated in professional learning that focused on creating rich literacy learning environments for all students.  The dedication and drive of the educators at our school continues with great momentum and passion!  I am thankful that I get to spend my days surrounded by positive change makers who strive to make a difference in the lives of learners.  The energy at Ready is simply infectious, inspiring, and positive!

It is also the time of year when we embrace the feeling of community and share the warmth through our 3rd Annual Winter Clothing Drive for our friends at Kitchener Community School.  Our clothing drive will run from October 17th to 21st.  We are asking families to consider donating new or gently used outer gear and/or winter clothing suitable for infants, children, teens, and adults.  Kindly ensure your donations are clean and cared for.  Donations can be left at the school office.  Thank you for warming the hearts and homes in the Kitchener community!

This week also marks the third week of our annual Read-a-Thon.  We are blown away by the amount of weekly ballots students are bringing in.  There is no doubt about it, our students are readers and leaders.  Thank you to those of you who have donated to the Read a thon, all money raised goes directly back into your child’s classroom.  We have certainly seen great use of the option to make your donation online through School Cash Online.

Next week will mark Education Week:  Celebrating Today, Preparing for Tomorrow.  Families will have an opportunity to join us for Books and Bagels on Friday, October 21st.  More information will be sent home to families in the near future about this event.

Bundle up, cheer hard for the Riders, and remember to read everyday with your children!

Mrs. Balkwill

“Fall”ing For A Spectacular Beginning

I can hardly believe that we have a full month of school under our belts!  What an amazing start to the 2016-17 school year it has been.

Due to extremely high enrollments in Grade 6 to 8 over the summer, we made some adjustments to our classroom compositions.  Mrs. Oberkirsch started the year as a Grade 6 classroom and is now a Grade 6/7.  I want to thank all of the families for their support and understanding surrounding these changes.  We would also like to welcome two new staff members:  Tia Mackey (Educational Assistant) and Avery Westberg (LRT).

Literacy remains a key priority for us at Ready.  This year we are extending our Reading Beliefs further by developing our Compelling WHY.  Each staff member has expressed their Compelling WHY along with each classroom.  Our level of commitment to Literacy is evident in our beliefs, decisions, discussions, and instruction.  We want our students to Read, Lead, and Succeed!

This week we kicked off our Annual Read-a-Thon.  All students received fundraising packages.  The package can also be found on the main page of our school website (just in case a package didn’t make it’s way home!) All money raised goes towards building classroom libraries for our students. Due to several requests, families now have the option of making a flat donation using School Cash Online.

Last year we purchased several Literacy kits for the primary and senior classrooms.  We also awarded hundreds of dollars in Chapter’s gift cards to classroom teachers and students.  Let’s continue our momentum and READ, READ, READ!

Our Director, Mr. Greg Enion, has continued to build on the Big Rocks for our Division.  He has added a seventh rock this year to align with our ongoing Leadership for Learning.

Leadership for Learning

All staff at W.F. Ready have made personal commitments towards Leadership for Learning!

We were so pleased to meet many families at the SCC Back to School BBQ earlier this month and look forward seeing everyone at our Open House on October 5th from 5-6 PM.

Your ridiculously proud Principal,

Mrs. Balkwill

SCC BBQ Tonight

A reminder that our fabulous SCC is hosting their annual Back to School BBQ this evening.  Families are encouraged to come out between 5:30-7:00 and enjoy a burger or hotdog with a drink for only $5.00  They even have some TCBY available for $2.50.  Please note that classrooms will not be open for visits this evening.

We hope to see many families tonight!

Our Meet the Teacher evening will be held on Wednesday, October 5th from 5:00 – 6:00 PM – this will be an opportunity for families to meet their child’s teacher and visit the classrooms.

Celebrating International Literacy Day

We had a very exciting morning at Ready!  To help us celebrate International Literacy Day, the Hon. Don Morgan, Minister of Education, visited classrooms throughout the school and even read a wonderful story about Wascana Park to Ms. Borland’s Grade 1/2 class.We had media join us from The Leader Post, Global, CBC and CTV.  Be sure to watch the news tonight for some footage!reading-to-whole-class

A reminder that our SCC will be hosting a Welcome Back BBQ for all families on Wednesday, September 14th.  We hope to see many of you there!

We will also be hosting our Open House and Meet the Teacher night early in October – date to be determined soon!

Mrs. Balkwill




One More Sleep!

Parents and Caregivers,

Students won’t be the only ones having the jitters before bed tonight!  Today as I walk around the school I can feel the excitement and anticipation of our staff as they prepare for the arrival of students tomorrow.  Staff have spent the past 3 days planning, collaborating, attending meetings and professional development opportunities.  You can check out the interview that our very own, Ms. Toews, did regarding start up with CJME by clicking this link.

A reminder of our procedure for the first day:

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.

Our community continues to grow, and due to this growth we will be welcoming many new families to W.F. Ready.  Some of the student registrations have increased class sizes significantly.  Please note that we are monitoring registrations closely and will make decisions about possible classroom adjustments following the long weekend.  There is a high probability that all classes will have adjustments to the number of students over the course of the first two weeks of school.  We will strive to provide our families with up to date communication on these decisions.

For those of you returning to our school, a reminder that my priority the first days of school will be helping to settle our students and welcome our new families.  If you are wishing to speak with me, kindly call the office and Mrs. Leskun will arrange a time for us to meet.

I look forward to seeing all of our students arrive for the first day of school tomorrow!

Mrs. Balkwill



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!



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


 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 or on the school division website

  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.