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Please Help One of Our Families Who Recently Lost Everything

Image credit: Jess Peters of The Observer http://bit.ly/1bY3Sd1

Image credit: Jess Peters of The Observer http://bit.ly/1bY3Sd1

Families of Kent and beyond,

This was originally posted on Facebook but with the outpouring of support and shares, I felt it would be best to have one place in which we could update the status of the family.

Original message:

Important message – please read and share. One of our families needs our help. Yesterday, one of our families’ homes on a farm burnt down. They are all safe but sadly lost everything. They are currently living in a hotel until Thursday but are looking for a place to live/rent on a farm. Also, they are in need of clothing and household necessities. The family has 4 children: a 9 year old boy, twin 7 year old girls, and a (big) 4 year-old boy. Please drop off any gently used clothing and household items at the school and we will pass on to the family. Please share on your page and contact the school if you have any questions. Thank you. CW

You can see the original post on the Facebook Page by clicking here. You can also read the article from the local media here.

I do want to share a comment by a gentleman in Langley that shows that the support extends beyond our wonderful community of Kent School and Agassiz:

From Facebook

From Facebook

Updates:

  • I spoke to the mother today (December 11) and they are still looking for a home.  If you know of any homes on a farm that are for rent, please let me know (as they do have animals – chickens, a pony, dog, and cat).
  • The children’s sizes: The twins are a size 7/8, the older boy is a size 10 and the younger boy is a size 6/7. (update: no more clothes are needed at this time)
  • The parents’ sizes: father – 38 pant, XXL shirt; mother 11/30 pant, M shirt (update: no more clothes are needed at this time)
  • They will likely be needing household items.  At this point, please hold off on large donations as once they find a home, we will know more (but they will need everything).  We will then create a list of needs and have people sign up to donate so we better know the needs of the family.
  • We have been accepting cash, gift cards, and cheques at the school.  The family will be popping in to collect each day.  I will ask her today about setting up and account as people have been asking about transferring funds through their bank.
  • Dec 12: I have set up an online fundraising page (accepting paypal and credit card).  Click here to donate.
  • Dec 13: Please note that we have  had many bags of clothing donated so we are good for clothes right now.  The family is still looking for a home.
  • Dec 14:  The family has found a home and will move in on Sunday/Monday.    They will then go through the items and create a list of needs that will be shared with us.
  • Dec 15:  The Province wrote an article to try to gain more support for the family.  Click here to read.

Please comment below if you have any questions or thoughts you would like to share with the family.  To contact the school, email cwejr@sd78.bc.ca or call 604-796-2161.

Thank you again and please check back here for updates.

Regards,

Chris Wejr (on behalf of the community of Kent School).

10 Good Things to Talk About – Dec 6

Winter view from atop our hill

Winter view from atop our hill

  1. Michael Bortolotto

    Michael Bortolotto

    Apples and Pineapples:  Our intermediate students had the complete honour of listening to Michael Bortolotto share his message on the importance of respect and friendship. Michael grew up being teased and bullied because of his disability (cerebral palsy).  His life changed when some classmates reached out one day and asked him to play football with him; from that point on, people started to see him for the person he was on the inside.  He used the analogy of being a “pineapple” compared to an “apple”… different on the outside but equally wonderful on the inside.  Please check out his book that is on display in our library.

  2. Choir:  Mrs. Di Rezze and our choirs are gearing up for a busy and entertaining Christmas schedule.  The intermediates are performing in Harrison at the Memorial Hall tomorrow (Sat.) from 9-10:15am.  They will also be participating in the Community Carol Festival on the 12th. Both choirs will be travelling to care homes to share the joy of music with the elders in our communities.
  3. Paper mache

    Paper mache

    Paper Mache Insects:  Miss Martinson’s class teamed up with Mrs. Peters’ class to expand on their science unit on insects by using paper mache art to create their own insects and demonstrate their knowledge of insect body parts.

  4. Eric Wong of FNESC

    Eric Wong of FNESC

    Treating Others With Respect:  Eric Wong of the First Nation Education Steering Committee (FNESC) was here to work with Mr. Mills and Mr. Gallamore’s students on understanding and treating others with respect.  He shared stories of his upbringing as well as some stories of others on the impact of judgments from others.

  5. Cereal Drive  Our annual cereal drive is underway.  Please bring any unopened boxes of cereal and drop them off outside of the library so we can donate these to those in need this Christmas.
  6. Space in Division 5

    Space in Division 5

    Spaced Out!  Space is everywhere in Ms. Exley’s class.  They are learning about the solar system in science and the interest in this carries over into their art, math, writing, and reading.  Be sure to check out Venus in the sky tonight as it is at one of it’s brightest phases.

  7. Canned Food Drive  Ms. Home’s class is collecting donations of canned food in their classrooms so they can donate to community services.
  8. Kent Staff Learns!  On November 25, we had our staff in the library working with educator and presenter Jim Skinner on how to work with students with challenging behaviours.  A key message from Jim was that students want and need to belong; therefore, we need to reflect on how we can help them with this.
  9. Inclusion is how we do it.  At Kent, all our students are in classes for the majority of the day.  Students with a variety of physical, emotional, social and academic needs are purposefully placed with support in our classrooms.  We all know this is supported by strong research as the best for the development of all students as this helps to build understanding, empathy, and, most importantly, friendships.
  10. “Meet the new principal” night  On Wednesday, December 11 from 6:30-7:30, we invite you to stop by the library for some desserts and refreshments and a chance to meet our new principal, Stan Watchorn.

Please note – due to some family illness, report cards will go home on Tuesday, December 10.  Have a great weekend!

 

10 Good Things To Talk About – Nov 15

Senior-Teen Luncheon

Senior-Teen Luncheon

  1. Welcome to Mr. Watchorn!  We are thrilled to announce that the principal of Kent starting in January will be Mr. Stan Watchorn.  Mr. Watchorn is currently the district’s Director of Instruction and comes with a wealth of experience both as a teacher as well as an administrator.  Be sure to keep an eye out for him at our school and take a moment to introduce yourself and welcome him to the Kent Community.
  2. Laying wreaths

    Laying wreaths

     

    Remembrance Day Assembly  We invited the community into our gym last Friday to participate in our Aboriginal Veterans Day/Remembrance Day assembly.  Cpl Dwayne Farlin of the Agassiz RCMP and Terry Blaker of the local Legion were honoured guests for the important event.  We are so proud of our students for the respect that was shown during this important school event.  Students sang beautiful songs, stood for a moment of silence, and helped to lay classroom wreaths to honour those who have served our country as we strive for more peace.

  3. Visual De-Cluttering  Our self-regulation team met this week and the topic was on the physical environment in our classrooms. We discussed ways to reduce visual and auditory “clutter” in the classrooms as this can lead to increased stress and less regulation of our students.  Be sure to ask Mrs. Powell, Mrs. Peters, Mr. Turner, Ms. Garrioch and Mrs. Reich about some of the strategies we are using to increase self-regulation skills with our students.  For parent resources, go to www.self-regulation.ca
  4. by Maggie deVries

    by Maggie deVries

    Author Visit  We were delighted to host Canadian author Maggie deVries last week as she came to share her passion for writing with our students.  Thank you to FVRL librarian Terrill Scott for organizing this.  You can read more on Mrs. Dumas’ blog http://bit.ly/1gS4JO8

  5. Atom project

    Atom project

    Up and Atom  Mrs. Peters’ class has been learning about the parts of the atom and their charges.  Stop by to check out their projects on attraction and repulsion.

  6. Scholastic Book Fair  Mrs. Dumas is hosting the Scholastic Book Fair from November 19-22 in our library.
  7. Community readers

    Community readers

    Early Morning Readers  Our successful community reading program continues to draw primary students in on Tuesdays and Thursdays as our local volunteers read to and with students.

  8. Self-Portrait Sketches  Our intermediate teachers worked together to develop a theme and criteria for art for the students.  This past week, the students worked on self-portrait sketches… check them out on the boards in our hallway!
  9. Sr-Teen Luncheon  A few of our grade 6’s worked with students from ACE to prepare and serve yummy ACE burgers to our local seniors at the legion hall this past week.
  10. Be Polite  We had our Celebrating Our Strengths assembly today in which we honoured our 2nd set of students this year.  We also introduced our focus for the next month: BE POLITE.  Ask your child what being polite means to them.

Click here to view our latest video of images from October and November.

10 Good Things To Talk About – Nov 1, 2013

Decorated pumpkins from Ms. Exley's class

Decorated pumpkins from Ms. Exley’s class

  1. Actors from the haunted house

    Actors from the haunted house

    Haunted House at Kent  Mrs. Gallamore’s grade 6 class turned our portable into a wonderfully “haunted” house for this week at Kent.  Students were tricked and treated to theatre, reading, poetry, and science!

  2. Pumpkin Patch  Students in Mrs. Smith, Ms. Findlay, Ms. Garrioch, and Mrs. Roste’s classes travelled to the pumpkin patch to learn more about how pumpkins are grown and used at this time of year.
  3. Maple leaf art

    Maple leaf art

    Maple Leaf Art  Mr. Mills’ class has been working on perspective and overlap by using fall leaves as inspiration for their artwork.

  4. Sight word watches!

    Sight word watches!

    Sight Word Excitement  Ms. Findlay’s readers are taking their sight words and doing some very creative activities like “sight word bracelets” and “sight word basketball” to enhance their learning.

  5. Kent Music Website  Mrs. Direzze has been putting in a ton of time to create a website to increase parent communication and share the stories of learning in her classes.  Although it is a work in progress, you can go to http://mrsdirezze.wordpress.com/ and download the songs kids are singing and see videos used to inspire the students. Check out the site to download and play the Songs of Peace that students will be singing next week at our Remembrance Day Assembly.
  6. Making a Difference  Students in Ms. Home’s class continue to focus on making a difference at the school as well as in the world.  To find out who’s making a difference starts with, check out the board outside of their class (hint: it involves a mirror J)
  7. Remembrance Day Assembly  Next Friday, November 8, we invite you to attend our Remembrance Day ceremony when we pay tribute to those who have fallen or risked their lives for our country.  Members of the Royal Canadian Legion as well as the RCMP will join us during this important event.
  8. Soccer Tourney  Mr. Mills took our soccer squad up to Sts’ailes for a chance to play some friendly competitors from our neighbour schools.  Our students played hard, played well, and demonstrated respectful game play during the event.
  9. Hallowe’en at Kent  We had many smiles in some very creative costumes this week as students dressed up to have a little fun on Hallowe’en. In addition to classroom activities, a few students from Mrs. Peters’ class organized a lunch time intermediate dance, Mrs. Gallamore’s class led us on a Pumpkin Run, and some classes traveled to the Agassiz Centre for Education (ACE) to walk through their haunted house.
  10. Food For Thought Luncheon  As a culminating activity for the past 4 weeks of efforts and learning about preparing nutritious, local, and mostly organic foods, Miel Bernstein, Susan Bohonos and our Food For Thought crew put on a semi-formal luncheon for some special guests.  Guests were treated to Greek salad, chicken with potatoes and kale, and cheesecake .  Mmmmmm!

    The cooks in Food For Thought.

    The cooks in Food For Thought.

 

10 Good Things To Talk About – October 11

View from the top of Kent Hill

View from the top of Kent Hill

  1. CHOICES!  We have started another round of our CHOICES program.  Staff offer activities in an area of their interest/passion and students choose which activity they want to attend.  This term we have puzzles, card games, dinosaurs, things that go, stencil art, fall art, beaded mobiles, outdoor education, computer coding for animation (scratch), phys ed, crib, drama, library volunteering, and chess.
  2. Corn Maze  A number of our classes have traveled to the corn maze this week for some outdoor play and teamwork.
  3. Welcome to our SEAs  We are so excited to officially announce that special education assistants Jeff de Crewe, Bob Penner, Rochelle Ramsden, and Jen Poole will be on our team this year.
  4. Learning to cook with local organic food  A group of 10 grade 5/6 students are working with local cooks Miel Bernstein and Susan Bohonos to learn how to cook healthy meals consisting of local organic foods.  In a few weeks, they will be putting on a formal lunch for a room full of special guests.
  5. Celebrating Our Strengths We honoured our first group of students today for their strengths and interests as part of our monthly assembly. Check out the video from September – http://bit.ly/185FH91
  6. After the motivation show, students got a chance to play on the new playground.

    After the motivation show, students got a chance to play on the new playground.

    MuchMusic Multimedia Motivation All out intermediate students traveled to Rosedale to watch a multimedia motivational presentation about goal setting, health, and overcoming odds.

  7. Using Technology to Communicate with Parents  A number of our teachers are turning to technology to better communicate with parents.  Through platforms like Facebook, classroom blogs, and email, teachers are communicating with parents in a variety of ways.
  8. Reading Summit  6 teachers from Kent attended a provincial early reading summit in Vancouver this week.  We look forward to working with these teachers to create some positive changes in our early literacy programs.
  9. Mr. Turner showing his martial art (and acting) skills.

    Mr. Turner showing his martial art (and acting) skills.

    Clic ‘n Play  Diana Davids was here to put on a performance with our students that discussed online behaviour and encouraged students to reflect on offline/online friendships.

  10. Walking School Bus  Students and volunteers walked from AESS to Kent this week as part of our walking school bus to encourage people to get out and walk to school/work.

10 Good Things To Talk About – September 27

IMG_5254

  1. Terry Fox Run We are so proud of our students for all the efforts they have put into fundraising and running to support the Terry Fox Foundation.  We don’t have our totals yet but I know our students have families have generously supported the cause.  Thank you for all your support!
  2. Mr. Wejr and Andrew Putt

    Mr. Wejr and Andrew Putt

    Love For Lilee As most of you have followed and supported this beautiful girl’s life journey, you also know how her story has impacted our school community.  We were truly honoured and inspired to have LJ’s father, Andrew Putt, join us for our Terry Fox Run. In Andrew’s words, “I ran because LJ will never get to”.  To continue to support the family, please go to www.loveforlilee.com and “like” their Love For Lilee Facebook Page.

  3. Buddies  Teaming up our older students with our younger students has become part of what we do at Kent School.  Through play, art, math, and fitness, older students learn leadership skills while the young students benefit through mentorship and coaching.
  4. Miss Findlay's Minion

    Ms Findlay’s Minion

    Welcome to Ms Findlay  We are excited to have Miss Findlay join our Kent team this year as our grade ½ teacher.  Be sure to welcome her and come check out her classroom in room 12.

  5. Soccer  Some of our intermediate students are traveling to Chilliwack, with their coach Mr. Mills, to participate in the Chilliwack elementary school soccer league.  Best of luck to them!
  6. Student sits on the Hokki stool to allow movement and increase focus.

    Student sits on the Hokki stool to allow movement and increase focus.

    Self-Regulation  A few of our staff members are on our self-regulation team as part of a district pilot project to see the benefits of a number of tools and strategies on student learning.  Strategies and tools such as wiggle seats and chairs along with heavy lifting, rolling, and fidget tools help our students to be more calm, alert and ready to learn.  For more info, check out www.self-regulation.ca

  7. A great turnout!

    A great turnout!

    Welcome Back BBQ  We had a great turnout for our family BBQ.  The rain couldn’t stop our families from gathering and chatting about life at Kent School.  Thanks to all those that helped make this event another success.

  8. New Year for PAC  Our dedicated PAC held our first PAC meeting last week fir elections and ideas for the year.  Congrats and thank you to Jamie Fisher who was elected PAC Chair.  Be sure to check out the PAC board near the primary entrance.
  9. Senior-Teen Luncheon  Some of our grade 6’s teamed up with students from ACE and local seniors to cook and serve lunch for some of our senior members of our community.  We are excited to continue this partnership with the Legion and Agassiz Centre for Education.
  10. House Games  Intermediate house games have started again at Kent School with European Handball.  These are a great way for students to learn athletic skills as well as teamwork and sportsmanship!

Moving to a Nut-Free School

Nut Free ZoneDear Parents and Families:

Re:      IMPORTANT: Medical Danger

A few of our students have life-threatening allergies to all nuts. To safeguard these students, we all need to be aware of the ingredients in the snacks and processed foods that are sent to school. Because our students learn throughout our building, the only way to ensure a safe environment for our children is to work together to make our school nut-free. To do this we need everyone’s co-operation.

Please check the ingredients of all foods your children bring to school. Coconut is not a risk for nut allergies only for students with specific coconut allergies.

In a classroom setting, cross-contamination is the greatest risk from this type of allergy. Cross-contamination is when a few crumbs from one child’s snack are dropped and then picked up by and allergic child.  Even a small amount can kill.

It is difficult at the best of times to get children to eat healthy snacks; however, I hope you will appreciate the seriousness of this condition and that you will assist us at the school in our efforts to create as safe an environment as possible.  With your co-operation we can minimize the risk of an allergic reaction.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact the school.

To download a copy of this letter, click here.

For a news report on how parents who have lost their child to a peanut allergic reaction, please click here.

Anaphylaxis Canada

10 Good Things To Talk About – September 13

Art in the garden

Art in the garden

  1. Welcome Back to 10 Good Things!  Welcome to another school year at Kent School! Please check your child’s backpack  on Fridays as we send home the weekly letter with news about Kent. You can also receive them via email and online at www.kentelementary.ca.
  2. Happy Fall Fair  Another September means another Fall Fair! Our students and staff have been working hard preparing our float for the parade.  Teachers have also been using Fall Fair as a theme to teach writing and reading in their classes.

    Before and after the decorating of our Fall Fair Float. "The Great Outdoors"

    Before and after the decorating of our Fall Fair Float. “The Great Outdoors”

  3. Welcome Back BBQ  We are excited to welcome parents and families to a free BBQ in our back field next Tuesday from 5:00-7:00.  At 6:00, families are encouraged to come into the school and meet the teachers and staff.  FREE burgers, hotdogs, and watermelon will be served.  Please bring plates, cutlery and a drink.  See you Tuesday!
  4. Getting to Know Each Other  Many classes create projects at this time of the year with the learning intention of getting to know each other.  Whether it is creating a personal crest or a silhouette with images, this is a great opportunity for students to share and be proud of who they are.

    Grade 6 students working on the All About Me silhouettes.

    Grade 6 students working on the All About Me silhouettes.

  5. Kent Professional Learning Time  We have a staff of learners and we are curious about a number of ideas that will help our students.  This year, we have implemented a few periods a week for staff to meet to inquire about and build upon these ideas so they can further enhance student learning.  We already have staff discussing project-based learning, technology to enhance parent communication, thematic arts, and implementing learning about residential schools.  It is certainly going to be an exciting year of learning for our staff!
  6. All About Inclusion  We are so proud of the inclusive atmosphere that is Kent School.  Every student has their own needs and differences and it is so important to reach out and include others, regardless of differences.  Please encourage your child to reach out and include beyond the school – it can have a huge impact on all our students.  For more of my thoughts on this, go to: http://bit.ly/1e2Oihx
  7. Library Renovations  Our library is often the learning hub of our school… and it just got even better.  Drop by to check out the beautiful changes that have been made to make it brighter with more space for student learning.
  8. New Students  We had over 40 new students (in addition to our our kindergarten students) arrive to school this September.  Please take a moment to get to know our new families and welcome them into our Kent Community.  For those new students and families, if you ever need anything or have any questions, please call or email me at the school (CW).
  9. Welcome Back Miss Martinson   We are thrilled to have Miss Martinson return to our school this year as our grade 2/3 teacher. Our grade 1/2 position will be finalized on Monday.
  10. School Photos  A reminder that school photos will take place on Friday, September 20. SMILE!

For a video of the first week at Kent, go to: http://bit.ly/1bfyru4

Enjoy the Fall Fair!!!  Be sure to come watch our students on the Kent Float in the parade and watch Mr. Wejr in the “Celebrity Goat Milking Contest” at 3:30.

Principalship Change for January, 2014

Dear Parents and Families of Kent Elementary

It is with mixed emotions that I let you know I have accepted an Elementary Principalship in Langley effective January 1, 2014.  I have made this decision in order to be closer to my family and make it easier to spend more time with my children.

Kent has become my second family over the last six years.  As a teacher, Vice-Principal and Principal at Kent I have been blessed to have had such a close relationship with students, staff and families of Kent Elementary.  I have become a better person and educator as a result of our connection.

I am very excited for Kent Elementary this year.  We continue to improve, innovate, and create positive changes.  Our students continue to receive an education that focuses on their personal strengths and supports their challenges. A key reason for our successes is the collaborative nature of our staff; there is no single leader but rather a group of leaders all moving us to be better each year. As a result of this, I know Kent will continue to inspire a love for learning, a culture that embraces strengths and focuses on the skills all our students need to be successful.

I want to thank the parent community at Kent for teaching me the importance of truly listening and caring.  I have benefited from learning about our students’ families, culture and the community itself.  I will always be so grateful and this will influence me in the future both as an educator and parent.

I look forward to working with the new administration at Kent to continue the initiatives we have started.  The Board of Education for SD 78 (Fraser-Cascade) will be making a decision in the next few weeks on the next principal for Kent Elementary and I will communicate this as soon as possible.

Thanks again for all your support.

Sincerely

Chris Wejr, Principal

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