Thanks for the Memories

Dear W.F. Ready Families,

It seems near impossible to believe that we are winding down another year at W.F. Ready.  As I reflect on my three years as the Principal of this outstanding school, I am reminded of the commitment staff, families, and students have made to ensure we instill a sense of community, pride, achievement, and integrity.  We have worked tirelessly to connect our actions to the values that have been established with Regina Public Schools:  I Want to Know, I Belong, I Respect, and I Am Responsible.  These actions have been further embedded by aligning our decisions at Ready to the 7 Big Rocks as shared by our Director, Mr. Greg Enion and our shared Reading Beliefs.

Leadership for Learning Poster.pub

As we reflect on this past school year, we also build with excitement for the year ahead.  We will continue to refine our focus and rejuvenate our energy to further commit to the essential priorities that will lead to a high impact learning environment for all learners.

At the end of the school year, we will be saying farewell to over 150 staff and students.  This change in population will be a unique transition for the school and community and will be led by Mr. Jason Norman who will be the incoming Principal.  Mr.  Norman is currently the Principal at McClurg School and is looking forward to joining the Ready School Community.  I know that Mr. Norman will experience the same warm reception that I did when I first came to Ready.  I also know that he will soon realize what a gift it is to lead such an amazing school!

To all of our students and families that will be leaving W.F. Ready at the end of the month, we wish you all the best in your future endeavors.  Please remember that you will always be considered part of the Ready Family!  Be sure to come back and visit!

The following staff will be moving on at the end of June as well:  Vanessa McIntosh (LRT), Niki Falconer (Teacher), Kama Pechey (Teacher), Tracey Vargo (Teacher), Sienna Borland (Teacher), Avery Westberg (LRT), Bevan Nye (Teacher), Michelle Toshack (Teacher), Jordan Bali (Teacher), Betty Urschel (EA), Tia Mackey (EA), Raquel Oberkirsch (Teacher), Megan Hannah (EA), Shaun Young (SRO), Ruth Adema (Teacher), Rainisha Maknojia (EA), Alexandra Duran (Teacher), Tammy Lueken (EA), Brooke Cooper (EA), Tracey Mitchell (EA), Elaine Kelly (EA) Retiring and myself, Angie Balkwill (Principal).

On June 26th we will celebrate our Grade 8 students at their Farewell Ceremony.  We wish each one of these students all the best as they make their transition to high school next year!

On June 28th at 10:00 AM we will host our annual Farewell Assembly.  Please consider this your invitation to attend.  We always enjoy seeing families join us at this assembly as we celebrate students and staff.  Who knows, there may even be a new staff video that will be premiered!

A reminder that on Thursday, June 29th there will be early dismissal at 2:30 PM for all students.

Thank you once again for the opportunity to lead this amazing group of students and staff at W.F. Ready for the past 3 years.  It has been a very rewarding experience and I will leave on June 30th with memories to last a lifetime!

I wish everyone a wonderful summer and we will welcome all students in Regina Public back to school on September 5th, 2017!

Sincerely,

Mrs. A. Balkwill, Principal

2017-18 W.F. Ready Staff:

FIAP EA Janelle Clarke
FIAP EA Niki Miller Lori Highmoor Sept-May
EA Autumn McCaskell
EA Cassandra Richards
DPS EA TBA
DPS EA TBA
Kelly Hischebett
Gillian Kramer Michelle Jay until Feb 5/18
Tessa Vibe
Jennifer Huntington Laura Beatch until April/18
Brooke Plant
Sarah Schuchardt
Taylor Peters Laura Slack until April/18
Parry Johnson
Jodie Ross
Barb Flaten 0.3 VP Release
Kim Markwart
Shianne Crichlow
Corinne Toews
Denny Park
Shelby Hersberger
Functional Integrated Adaptive Jennifer J. Huber
Discovery Preschool – PM Stacey Yea
Learning Resource Jana Wlock
Learning Resource Raelynn Merkley
Teacher Librarian Joanne Patron
English as an Additional Language Susan Ballantye
Core French Jillian Tunison
Arts Education Andrea Ulricksen
Arts Education Barb Flaten Orr
Principal Jason Norman
Vice-Principal Kim Markwart
Head Facility Ramon Fernandez
Administrative Assistant Beata Leskun

 

 

 

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Spring Has Sprung and We are “READY” for Continued Excellence!

Families,

Spring is certainly in the air and we have had a sprinkling of summer weather mixed in as well.  Teachers have begun the important task of administering the post assessments for Literacy and Numeracy.  We can hardly wait to see all the growth that each individual student has experienced this year at Ready.

We are well under way in determining class placements for next year along with staffing.  As you can imagine, with a change in our student population due to the opening of Ecole Wascana Plains this Fall, the school has some significant changes.  Change means opportunity and that is the mindset for all of the dedicated professionals in our building.

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 400 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 the Principal in consultation with the staff.  We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.

In August the W.F. Ready community will welcome a new Principal, Mr. Jason Norman.  Mrs. Markwart will remain as the Vice-Principal.  I am on the move to Ruth M. Buck as Principal.

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 10:00 AM 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!

Your children continue to READ! LEAD! and SUCCEED!

Mrs. A. Balkwill

Principal

Provincial Budget: Education Update

 On Tuesday, March 28, 2017, at the public meeting of the Regina Board of Education, the following points relating to the Provincial Budget were read out by the Director of Education.

  • On March 22, 2017, the Government of Saskatchewan released the 2017-2018 Provincial Budget.
  • The Regina Board of Education and the senior administration of Regina Public Schools are currently working to determine the implications of the provincial budget on School Division operations.
  • This is what Regina Public Schools knows about the Government of Saskatchewan’s 2017-2018 Budget as it relates to education:
  • The Government of Saskatchewan’s 2017-2018 Budget reported a 1.2% ($22 million) decrease to school division operational funding.  This percentage, however, is based on the Provincial Government’s fiscal year, which is April 1, 2017, to March 31, 2018.
  • The fiscal year for school boards, however, is different; it is September 1, 2017, to August 31, 2018.  The operating funding decrease for school divisions’ fiscal year is 2.9% ($54.2 million).
  • In January, 2017, the Report on the Review of the Education PreK-12 Funding Distribution Model was completed.  The Government’s implementation of the recommendations contained in this report will reduce net funding to Regina Public Schools by approximately $2.5 million which serves to compound the impact of the general decrease in operational funding support.
  • These funding reductions come in a year that Regina Public Schools is expecting an overall enrolment growth of 575 new students and is anticipating the opening of three new joint-use schools and two rebuilt schools.
  • The estimated gap between funding recognition and projected expenses for 2017-2018 totals approximately $9.5 million for Regina Public Schools.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan has provided significant capital funding for the three new joint-use schools and the two rebuilds (École Connaught and Scott Collegiate at Mâmawêyatitân Centre), all of which are scheduled to open in September, 2017.
  • The Government of Saskatchewan has also increased funding for Preventative Maintenance and Renewal (PMR) of school division facilities.
  • The Board of Regina Public Schools recognizes that this Budget will negatively impact school families and the services the School Division provides.
  • Once there is a plan for the coming year, it will be shared with our school families and staff in order to provide time for any necessary adjustments.

Sent on behalf of Greg Enion, Director of Education.

 

“Ready” For Continued Excellence

Dear Parents and Guardians,

I would like to extend a Happy New Year to each one of you!

At Ready it is evident each and everyday that Literacy continues to be a priority in our building.  From the display monitors (thanks to our SCC) showcasing Literacy in Action to our shared Reading Beliefs displayed and actualized throughout the building – it is clear, we understand the importance of Literacy.  At the beginning of the school year, each staff member expressed why they are compelled to make Literacy a priority.  We revisit these Compelling Why’s ongoing and strive for continued excellence towards our commitment.  Being a literacy role models is a collective commitment among all educators at W.F. Ready!

On January 25th our school will be participating in a Book Swap in support of Family Literacy Day – information has gone home with students.  Be sure to check those backpacks!

At the beginning of the year we held our 2nd Annual Read-a-Thon.  Once again, the families of W.F. Ready supported this event with great enthusiasm.  In the past two years we have raised enough funds to purchase reading materials to support all learning environments.  The wonderful thing about a Read-a-Thon is that all monies raised go directly back into the school.  We did not waste anytime making purchases to ensure that students reaped the benefits of the fundraiser immediately.  A huge thank you to all the families that supported our fundraising efforts!

If your family is living in the catchment area for the new school in The Greens, Ecole Wascana Plains, your child will be coming home with a survey from the school division this week.  Please complete the survey prior to the January 26th deadline.  The information you provide is essential for planning and preparing.  There will be a parent meeting @ Wilfrid Walker School on Thursday, January 19, 7:00 PM, to discuss Before and After programs, as well as Playground Fundraising.

Our SCC is AWESOME!!!!  Thank you to our amazing SCC for providing funding for:  school signage, TV monitors, areas rugs for classrooms, basketball refs, data projectors, and so much more.  Fundraising efforts from the SCC are placed back into the school to support a fun, intentional, and focused learning environment!  Consider joining this dedicated and fun crew at the next meeting on Tuesday, February 7th at 7:00 PM in the staff room. Everyone welcome!

A reminder that the staff parking area is assigned parking.  It is a serious safety concern when parents are dropping students off or picking them up in the staff parking lot.  We also ask that families respect these assigned spots, please do not assume that an empty spot means that a staff member isn’t at work and does not require their parking spot. The facility department with the school division spent many days over the summer regrading the staff parking lot, installing new guard rails and adding new signage in areas that are “no parking zones”.  Please respect the signage and refrain from parking in the “no parking zones” as well.

Teachers continue to work on compiling evidence of learning to complete Term 1 Progress Reports.  Progress Reports will go home with students on February 1st.  Spring conferences will be held on March 24th.

It is an honour to witness daily the level of commitment and professionalism that is exhibited at W.F. Ready School.  Our educators continually put students first!  These folks are the real deal!

#leadandsucceed

Mrs. Balkwill

Principal

 

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!

KITCHENER COMMUNITY SCHOOL SANTA SHOP: 

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.

KITCHENER COMMUNITY SCHOOL ADOPT A FAMILY: 

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.

WINTER CONCERT: 

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.

READ-A-THON UPDATE:

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!!!

SCC COOKIE DOUGH FUNDRAISER INFORMATION:

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.

EARLY DISMISSAL DEC 21ST

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

Principal

 

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 Poster.pub

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