May 2017 Merlin Area Public School

21184 Erie Street North, Merlin, Ontario, N0P 1W0


Principal: Tracy VanDenBossche

School Zone 7

April was a busy month!

We've had a busy month at MAPS with loads of activities and projects on the go. Please read through this online newsletter to see all the wonderful things happening at the school. We'd like to thank our community members and volunteers for helping make Merlin Area Public School an awesome place to be.

Pitch in event

Thank you to Mrs. Gram for organizing our Pitch In event to clean up the school yard and surrounding areas. Our students are encouraged to be mindful of littering and what that does to our environment. This is a good way for them to see what kinds of garbage is being tossed daily. In recognition of Earth Day, this annual event is supported by the CK Municipality with free supplies to do the clean up.

Students collected a lot of garbage!

helping hands grant

Thank you to Eric Authier who helped arrange a Helping Hands Grant from Enbridge Energy to purchase furniture for our new Exploration Station! The $1,000 grant was used to purchase shelving for our new space.

The Authier Family had a lot of fun putting together these units.

Grade 8 Graduation

Our graduation ceremony takes place at the Merlin Community Hall on Thursday, June 22th. An information package will be sent home with graduating students shortly.

student tutor

Our new student tutor, Mr. Pittuck recently began working with our students with a focus on improving achievement in literacy and numeracy. Mr. P will be with us until mid June and students have welcomed the opportunity to work with him. Mr. P is a University of Windsor student and just completed his 3rd year in Kinesiology.

lkdsb Parent involvement committee

milk sales

Just a reminder that both chocolate and white milk cartons (small) are available for purchase at the office for $1.00 during both nutrition breaks.

new website coming

All schools in the LKDSB will be unveiling new websites soon! Our new site goes live on May 17th and will feature a new streamlined look. The site will be mobile friendly so will adapt to whichever device you view it on. The site address remains the same and can be found at

junior boys basketball

The boys had fun at their tournament and represented MAPS well!

Thanks to Mr. Sanders for a great season. The boys played hard each and every game and represented Merlin well! They showed incredible sportsmanlike qualities and respected one another and every team that we faced.

education week

The Ministry of Education declared the week of May 1 to May 5 as Education Week across Ontario. In light of the 150th anniversary of Canada and Ontario, this year the Lambton Kent District School Board selected a theme to recognize and celebrate diversity. This year's theme was:

LKDSB Celebrates Respectful and Inclusive Education

At MAPS, a variety of special activities took place. Descriptions are listed below.

Monday/Friday - Maker Days

Maker Days occurred in the new Exploration Station on May 1 and May 5. Staff and students in all grades were able to choose from a variety of STEM activities to break in the new room, which was renovated over March Break.

Students were challenged to build the highest tower they could design using spaghetti noodles!

Tuesday - Black History Symposium

On May 2, students from Grades 6, 7 and 8 accompanied staff members to the Black History Symposium to learn about the role of African-Canadians in our history and society.

Eight of our Grade 6 & 7 students attended this event. According to our staff, our kids were awesome and understood the overall theme of empathy and different points of view. They also volunteered for all of the activities and were fantastic performers! Way to represent MAPS!

Wednesday - Jump Rope for Heart

Our FDK friends enjoyed the afternoon outside skipping!

On May 3, Merlin hosted its school-wide Jump Rope for Heart event in support of The Canadian Heart & Stroke Foundation and their research efforts.

Wednesday/Thursday - Merlin Friendship Club

Beginning Education Week and continuing throughout the remainder of 2017, Merlin Area P.S. will partner with the Merlin Friendship Club to commemorate Canada’s 150th anniversary. A variety of activities are planned, including visits with seniors in Merlin to view displays about life in the community and in school when they were elementary students. Key parts of the interactions include the evolution of technology, diversity and inclusion. Members of the Friendship Club will visit the school to observe classrooms and share learning experiences.

FDK & Primary students learned about vintage games and activities and visited stations to learn how to play new games! They were all treated to a snack as well. Junior & Intermediate students were schooled by members of the Merlin Friendship Club. They learned about life in Merlin during WWII and what school was like when the seniors were their age. According to some, it was their "favourite morning of the year"!

earthplay for earth day

Thank you to Mrs. Salmon for organizing a very successful EarthPLAY for Earth Day event. Our students enjoyed an afternoon outside playing and creating with a wide variety of recycled items collected by staff and families. As you can see from the photos, loads of fun was had and all students were actively engaged in play.

muskoka woods

Our Grade 8s had a blast during their 3 days at Muskoka Woods in Northern Ontario.

jump rope for heart

Students enjoyed the one sunny day bookmarked by days of rain ~ we were lucky!
Staff & students enjoyed skipping in the sunshine!

Thank you to all staff, students, and families for supporting our Jump Rope for Heart event. We are a relatively small school and yet your efforts to support this project proved that we have a lot of heart. Our $2,000 goal was easily surpassed as more than $3,200 was raised in support of The Heart & Stroke Foundation. We'd like to thank you for helping your students to fundraise for this very important cause.

As mentioned to our students in the kick-off assembly, prizes will be awarded to recognize exceptional fundraising efforts. Stay tuned for more information regarding our prize-winning students.

Spring flower fundraiser

For our Spring Fundraiser, we've partnered with The Flowerbed Nursery to offer a variety of geraniums, hanging baskets, planters and a variety of accent plants. Money and forms are due back to the school on Monday, May 8th. Flowers will be available for pickup from the school gym all day on Friday, May 19th. Our Grade 8 students will receive their order forms once they return from Muskoka Woods.

visit from italian principal

Mrs. Massucco arrived from Savigliano, Italy on April 22 and was immediately whisked off to a day in Niagara Falls before heading to Muskoka Woods with our Grade 8 students. She marvelled at the adventure opportunities provided to Ontario students with the trip. Mrs. Massucco enjoyed visiting MAPS and meeting all the students. She was immediately struck by how 'kid focused' our school is which confirmed that we are moving in the right direction. Classroom visits were observed as being welcoming and active with students enjoying hands on activities including technology. Mrs. Massucco noted that our students are provided with the tools to learn how to access information rather than too much focus on content. We want our student to be aware of their own learning and how they learn best. Our PA Day spent at CKSS offered an insight into Indigenous Education and hearing a testimonial from a survivor of residential schools was enlightening.

Mrs. Massucco's second weekend in Canada was spent in Toronto with a visit up the CN Tower, a photo op in Nathan Phillips square and of course a Blue Jays game (they won!). It was a busy 10 days, and she left full of ideas to take back to her staff and students at both of her schools in Italy.

track & field

Our Track & Field school meet for students in Grades 4-8 will take place on Friday, June 2nd, with a rain date of Monday, June 5th. The Optimist Fry truck will be on site for participants, volunteers and viewers. FDK and Primary students will be able to pre-order lunches which will be delivered to their classrooms. Order forms will be coming home shortly.

play day

On Monday, June 19th, our K-3 students will take part in our annual Play Day. The rain date for this event is Tuesday, June 20th. Students will be outside beginning at 12 noon to begin rotations. Students need to have a hat, sunscreen, and water bottle. They must have running shoes on in order to participate. Flip flops, sandals and crock are not safe for students to wear while participating in Play Day events. Families are always invited to be part of the fun and we welcome you to the school! Please be sure to stop in to see Mrs. Oliphant in the school office if you will be taking your child home following the events. Thank you for your cooperation in helping us keep track of students.

new school bus info app

Getting information about school bus cancellations and delays just got a little bit easier. CLASS has launched a new mobile app that will provide subscribers with real-time notifications whenever buses are delayed by 10 minutes or more. The notifications will come in the form of alerts, which will also include service cancellations due to adverse weather conditions. The app allows subscribers to quickly select the morning and afternoon buses for which they wish to receive updates from a simple drop down menu. For additional information about using the mobile app, please visit the link below.

Bus delay and weather cancellation information will also continue to be posted on the CLASS website at


​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​EQAO assesses how well Ontario’s public education system is developing students’ reading, writing and math skills. EQAO provides reliable and useful information that is used to help improve student achievement and ensure the accountability of school boards. This year, Grade 3 and Grade 6 students will be participating in assessments from May 23 through June 5, 2017.

new sound system for the gym

A big thank you goes to our Home & School members for funding our new Gym sound system! Our new audio system was recently installed and sounds terrific! Our students can now enjoy participating in activities accompanied by great sounding music. During presentations, our new wireless microphones offer audiences a clear sound easily heard in all areas of the gym. Thank you once again to our Home & School for their continued efforts to fundraise and support our students. We appreciate everything you do!

Inclement weather

A reminder that Merlin Area Public School in is in Zone 7. Please listen to local radio stations, or visit with updates on bus delays or cancellations due to inclement weather.

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