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March/April 2018 Merlin Area Public School

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

519-689-4812

Principal: Tracy VanDenBossche

School Zone 7

Welcome Back!

The staff at Merlin Area Public School welcomes all students and families back from March Break. We hope you had a relaxing break and are ready to head into the home stretch of the 2017-2018 school year! The last few months of school are always hectic and busy with lots of activities and planning going on. As always, please be sure to connect with either your student's teacher or the school office if you have any questions or concerns. Our goal is to serve you and your student to ensure a safe and happy school experience.

Breakfast Program

Home & School Association

The next meeting of the Merlin Area Public School Home & School Association is Monday, March 26th beginning at 6:00 in the Exploration Station. New members are welcome to attend. We hope to see you there!

Helping your child with Math

Are you looking for ways to help your student better understand math? The Ministry of Education has developed this resource called "Doing Mathematics with Your Child" ~ a parent guide which offers simple ways to include 'math talk' in everyday activities. Click on the link below to view the entire guide.

School Cash Online

During the first week of April, the Lambton Kent District School Board is launching a pilot of School Cash Online involving 20 schools, including Merlin Area Public Schools.

School Cash Online is a convenient, web-based solution that gives parents/guardians the ability to pay for student items online. Parents/guardians can make payments, print or view their receipts and their current account history all in real-time. The LKDSB is piloting the online service in April 2018, with anticipated roll-out across the Board in May 2018. Currently, School Cash Online has been implemented by 48 school boards across Ontario.

School Cash Online provides multiple payment options, including eCheck (direct withdrawal from your bank account) or “MyWallet” (virtually add funds and reload like a gift card). Please note, banking information is not saved in School Cash Online and must be re-entered for every transaction. Unused funds in “MyWallet” will be carried over to the next year for back-to-school purchases unless a refund is requested (more information about refunds will be available on the School Cash Online website once launched).

Please note: There is a 2% administration fee associated with using School Cash Online. This fee is included in all of the pricing provided to parents/guardians, regardless of whether purchases are made using School Cash Online or payment is made directly to schools. All surplus funds collected through School Cash Online’s administration fees will be returned to the school to be used for capital expenses.

The LKDSB anticipates there may be some challenges related to this implementation and staff will be working with schools to mediate any issues experienced during this transition.

Further information about School Cash Online and the pilot is available on our school website.

TELP Update (Technology Enriched Learning Plan)

The integration of technology in the classroom is a priority for supporting student success and the promotion of innovative learning environments at the Lambton Kent District School Board. After careful consideration and community consultation, Senior Administration has decided to continue to the 1-to-1 Technology Enriched Learning Plan (TELP) program to provide all Grade 7 students with an iPad in the 2018-2019 school year.

In order to make an informed decision regarding the TELP program, Senior Administration solicited input from parents and guardians through the Parent Involvement Committee and an online survey. Input was gathered on multiple options, including continuing the 1-to-1 model for Grades 7-9; a 2-to-1 model (one iPad available for every two students in a classroom); and a model involving parents/guardians providing a financial contribution to purchase an iPad. We had more than 800 responses to the online survey, as well as phone and email responses. Senior Administration also gathered input from teaching staff.

Overwhelmingly, parents and guardians supported the 1-to-1 model, particularly noting the importance of equitable access to technology to support students’ learning. Accordingly, Senior Administration has decided to continue to the 1-to-1 TELP program for Grade 7 students for the 2018-2019 school year.

For more information, read a letter from Director Jim Costello: http://www.lkdsb.net/Pages/newsitem.aspx?ItemID=96&ListID=1cb83139-1d39-452b-8ab2-b6cfab6c2ba7&TemplateID=Announcement_Item

Donations Received!

L to R: Mrs. VanDenBossche, Mrs. Mifflin, Mr. Neuts, Mrs. Doyle, Mr. Skillings

Thank you to Mike Neuts and his Make Children Better Now Foundation for donating $1,000 to our Nutrition Program! We are very grateful to receive this funding to help feed our students every day.

L to R: Mrs. Salmon, Mrs. Greenslade (Home James Committee Member), Mrs. VanDenBossche

Merlin Area Public School was the recipient of a $1,000 donation from "Home James", a volunteer organization working cooperatively with the CK Police and OPP to ensure that members of our community have safe rides home during festivities. The donation was made to support our Eco Club and their environmental initiatives.

Basketball

The Sr. Girls’ basketball team had a great skill building season this year. The girls improved on their defensive play as well as movement on the court. Thank you to all the girls for their hard work, determination and efforts this season.

Free Throw Contest

The Knights of Columbus Free Throw Competition was held in Merlin in January. Congratulations to all winners!

One of our Grade 4 students won the District competition for the Boys 9-year old category and represented MAPS at the Regional contest in Belle River on March 2. He placed 5th. Congratulations to all our Free Throw shooters.

100th Day of School!

Our Grade 1 students celebrated the 100th day of school with their families in our Exploration Station. In addition to participating in a variety of activities around celebrating 100, families were treated to tea!

First Rider Program!

Current and future FDK students are invited to attend the First Rider Program offered by our shared school transportation services. Mark your calendars for Saturday, August 18th from 9:00 to 11:30 at UCC in Chatham.

International Education

Next year LKDSB International Education Program hopes to welcome more international students into our school and our community. We are looking for homestay families who wish to welcome students from China, Taiwan, Korea, Spain, and other countries for short stays or even for a semester or full year. We are looking for all types of families because every child is different and we work to find the best match possible for the family and the students. Families will receive remuneration for having a student in their home to help cover any additional expenses that come with welcoming a student into your home.

We work with Canada Homestay Network that has many years’ experience placing students and supporting students and families throughout the year. They have helped tens of thousands of students find their home away from home since 1995. Hosts are provided with a full orientation into the program, 24/7 support, first language support, and a generous payment. If you are interested in joining this exciting program please visit www.whyihost.ca to learn more and apply.

Reaching Out ~ A Wellness Event

Pediculosis—Head Checks

Head checks occur at regular intervals throughout the school year, especially after a lengthy break from school. Any person can be infested with head lice irrespective of age or gender. They are equally attracted to clean and dirty hair. Head Lice are most commonly found in school children; the most vulnerable age for catching head lice infestation remains 4-11 years.

Parents and guardians are encouraged to conduct regular head checks as well as pediculosis is a common occurrence at school. For more information on prevention and treatment, please visit the link below from the Public Health Unit.

Earth Day 2018

What’s happening for Earth Day 2018? At Merlin Area Public School , we are going to EarthPLAY for Earth Day! On April 22nd, we will join students across Canada to get outside, connect to our nature, have fun and #Play4EarthDay. We'll also be planting a tree donated by the Tilbury Horticultural Society in honour of Canada's 150th Birthday! In addition, we'll be doing a Pitch In & Clean Up event around the school and the community. Lots of exciting things happening!

Spring Sibling Photos

This year Lifetouch is offering Spring Sibling Photos! On April 9th, siblings are invited to be photographed together. Please contact the school if you would like to include your pre-schoolers in these photos as arrangements can be made.

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 www.schoolbusinfo.com.

Inclement Weather

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

Important Dates

Please be sure to regularly check our Google Calendar online. The calendar can be found on our school website at the following link.

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