Message from the Principal, October, 2019

Message from the Principal, October, 2019
Whether you have been with us for a while or you are new to the community, welcome to school.  It has been a busy month at ECI but a very good start to the year.

Mrs. Robson, Mr. Bayes, and Mr. Waterman have our volleyball teams up and running and they all have participated in exhibition games and tournaments already.  Mrs. Harder is coaching the junior high students and they have had couple of practices.

Mrs. Collyer and the Gay Straight Alliance group have held their first organizational meeting.  They are scheduled to participate in a couple of conferences in Winnipeg this year – one in which they will be presenters.

Ms McKay, our BSSIP coordinator and liaison with RRFN, splits her time between our school and Erickson Elementary.  For Orange Shirt Day, which is a day for raising awareness about the impact of residential schools, she created a bulletin board and made a presentation to the student body.  Ms McKay also made arrangements for Mr. Dennis White Bird, a member of  RRFN and the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, to come and speak with our students about the impact of residential schools on First Nations people.  Staff wore orange shirts on a couple of days and the students were encouraged to do so also.  Mrs. Boyd and her Grade 9 English class participated in the elementary school’s Orange Shirt Day walk.  Ms McKay, Mr. White Bird, and our own Mr. Mathews are working on creating a digital archive for RRFN.

Our efforts to meet the divisional goal of diversity and infusing Aboriginal Education into our classes continue.  Mrs. Brandon, the Grade 8 and Anishaanabemowin language teacher, is doing a unit on residential schools and she is also teaching the Current Topics in First Nations, Inuit, and Metis Studies course on-line.  While she has students from ECI, there are other students from Minnedosa, Elton, and Rivers taking part.  Mrs. Boyd and her Grade 9 ELA class are doing some research and reading on residential schools and the TRC .  Mr. Waterman and his Photography class, along with Mrs. McKay and RRFN community members are getting ready to take pictures for our third annual school calendar.  Watch for it in the near future; it makes a great Christmas present. Mr. Roberts and his Grade 10’s are discussing Indigenous Environmental Protection Activism.

If your child happens to miss breakfast – do not worry.  We have our breakfast program available for students.  Students are able to access fruit, toast, juice, cereal, and yogurt cups.  Mrs. Brandon is overseeing the program this year.

If your daughter or son is not into sports, they are more than welcome to join Mr. Roberts at noon hour for board games.  Mrs. Collyer also has activities in her room at noon for students.

Mrs. Frey and the students are continuing to fundraise for the trip to Churchill next October.  The first Pancake Breakfast of the year was held this past Sunday.  Check our webpage for future breakfasts. Watch for sign up sheets for curling; Mrs. Frey will start curling as soon as the ice goes in.

Mrs. Collyer has meet with the Grade 12 students regarding courses and the number of credits they have and they need to graduate.  She has also meet with students regarding post secondary plans. 

Mrs. Robson and the Grade 12’s have met to begin making plans for June’s graduation.  Committees have been chosen and students already have things in motion.  There was also a parents/ guardians meeting and Mrs. Robson was very pleased with the turn out.  The group is selling Mom’s Pantry products as a fundraiser right now.  If you would like to place an order, get in touch with Nancy and we’ll pass you along to a Grade 12 student. 

Under the tutelage of Mr. Waterman and Mrs. Marcinyk, Uncle Carl’s Canteen continues to serve up excellent and healthy meals for our students.  For $6.00 students can get some delicious meals! For example, students cooked up lasagna and stir-fries that were amazing.  The students are learning some life long skills.

Mr. Bayes has intramurals going.  First up is volleyball.  Rumor has it that the staff team is the one to beat!

Mr. Waterman is organizing the annual ski trip to Panorama.  It is open to students in Grade 9 – 12.  It is a great opportunity for our students!

Our Open House on September 24 was poorly attended.  We had a total of five parents/ guardians.

Mental Health is an ongoing school and divisional goal.  Our Grade 11 and 12 students participated in Safetalk – a program that teaches students to recognize when a classmate may be experiencing a difficult time and what to do when that happens.  Students that participated in the presentation will receive a certificate.  The program was presented by the regional health authority and organized by Mrs. Collyer.  Next up is a presentation by the Sexuality Education Resource Centre, and then later in the month there will be suicide prevention presentation.

We have new entry/ doorbell system at the front door.  When you buzz the doorbell, Nancy is able to see who it is and press a button for entry.  She no longer has to get up out of her chair every time there is someone at the front door.  We also have a new camera system that now has exterior cameras and allows us views of all around the school. 

We have had picture day, immunizations for the Grade 9’s, and hearing and vision screening for students in Grade 7, 9, and 11. 

The Teen Clinic returned to ECI for a second year.  The nurse practitioner and mental health worker are here the third Tuesday of every month.  The next clinic is here on Tuesday, October 15. 

There was a change to the structure of our school day this year.  Staff has implemented the WIN (What I Need) program at ECI.  From 9:55 – 10:20 each day, students go to there TAG (Teacher Advisory Group).  During this time students are to be working on assignments, studying for tests, or reading.  It is uninterrupted quiet time in which there is no music or devices.  This is also a time when students receive extra support from teachers.  For example, if a student is struggling with concepts, missed the previous day’s lesson, or is behind in work, a teacher is able to request that student during WIN time to provide the extra support she or he needs.  Likewise, a student may also request to see a teacher for extra support.  A month into school, we are very pleased with how WIN is going.  We have seen the direct benefits to students.

Another way we are supporting our mental health goal is by introducing Wellness Wednesdays.  Every third Wednesday of the month, Mrs. Collyer and Mr. Bayes organize wellness activities and presentations for the students.  In September, Mrs. Collyer spoke to the students about nutrition and changes to the Canada Food Guide.  We also did our Terry Fox Run on that day and nutritious snacks were made available to the students once they completed the trail. It was an informative and fun morning. 

If your daughter or son is going to be away, please call Nancy at the school.  She calls home after Periods 1 and 4 if students are absent.  If you are interested in signing up for the divisional portal that allows you to view your child’s attendance and marks, please give Nancy a call.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding your child’s education, please contact your child’s teacher(s).  Staff email addresses are on our webpage.

As you can see, ECI is one busy place!! And I have not even really mentioned all the great teaching and learning that is going on in the classrooms!