We are now halfway through the school year. This is a good time to reflect on all that your child has learned and to look at setting goals for the rest of the school year.
Our Board believes that student well-being and achievement go hand-in-hand. One of our goals set out in the Board of Trustees’ Multi-Year Plan is to “continuously increase student achievement and well-being through a culture of caring and learning.”
The Ministry of Education has recently identified four priorities for well-being: positive mental health, safe and accepting schools, healthy schools, and equity and inclusive education. As a Board of Trustees, we will continue to further work in all of these areas to support student well-being in line with these priorities.
There are many resources on the Board website to help support student well-being, including tips for talking about mental health, managing stress, packing healthy lunches and addressing incidents of bullying.
Creating a healthy, safe and welcoming learning environment is key to helping our students reach their full potential. All of us have an important role to play in creating an environment that enables our students to thrive.
I wish you all the best for a healthy, happy and successful 2017.
A Message from Administration
We are now planning for next school year! We will soon be coming together as a staff to carefully consider class placements for the 2016-2017 school year. The staff at Beckett Farm care deeply about student needs. The experience, instructional expertise and passion for teaching children give our teachers the unique qualifications to recommend student placement decisions. Rest assured that placing students and balancing classes will include the best opportunities for student achievement and well-being.
A balanced class reflects the diversity of our community and allows the variety of interests and talents of our learners to emerge and be appreciated. A harmonious class unit provides a balance of opportunities for a range of learners to succeed through appropriate challenges.
The following are the criteria we use to guide our placements:
- Balance of Ability, Interests and Talents – all children are unique and different. The teacher’s task of providing meaningful learning programs is enhanced when classes are created to accommodate instructional groupings.
- Learning Style – how does the learner go about the process of learning? What kind of environment would best suit the learner?
- Social Blending – what is the best cluster of individuals to effectively and efficiently learn? This should not be viewed as a grouping of friends. At particular stages, some close friends learn best in separate classes.
Do we need to know something particular about your child that you feel we do not already know? Aside from requesting a particular teacher, or for your child to be with a specific friend, parent input is taken into consideration. If you have information to share with us, it must be shared in writing by April 14th, 2017.
Hello’s and Goodbyes:
Mrs. Fatima Jessa
It is with mixed emotions that we share this good news with you. Our ESL teacher Mrs. Fatima Jessa has been promoted to the role of Vice Principal in a York Region school here in the east. She will begin her role at her new school on February 6th 2017. During her time here with us, she has contributed to every element of our school’s growth. Ms. Jessa has worked directly with students in supporting their academic achievement and personal growth. She has also been a leader in our school working along side teams of teachers and administration to improve the instructional program and positive school culture. Ms. Jessa’s work in the area of Equity and Inclusion has been influential and we are determined to continue in the direction of improvement. She has built many strong relationships with families in our community, with students and with our entire staff. Ms. Jessa will be missed dearly by all. Please join us in wishing Mrs. Jessa a wonderful journey in educational leadership.
Ms. Talia Kniznik
As some of you may be aware Ms. Talia Kniznik our Primary Special Education Resource Teacher has begun her Maternity leave. We are very excited for her to start her journey as a new mother. We wish her the best of luck and look forward to her return next year. We hope she will visit us often!
Ms. Kirstyn Pepall
Ms. Kirstyn Pepall will be joining us on staff as our new Primary Special Education Resource teacher. She brings with her experience in a variety of grades and teaching experience. She will be resuming the responsibilities of our Primary SSC. We are certain our students will appreciate her warm and sunny disposition. Welcome aborad
A Letter from J. Philip Parappally, Director of Education
(PDF Letter, also copied below)
This afternoon, the Minister of Education announced the appointment of Patrick Case and Suzanne Herbert to examine issues of governance and equity in our Board. These are critical issues and we welcome this opportunity to work with the reviewers in an open and transparent manner. This review will foster a common understanding of how we need to move forward with our community, the Board and staff members alike. I will ensure that all staff members cooperate fully throughout this important review. I want to assure you that we take these issues very seriously, and will not shy away from the difficult conversations and the important work that lies ahead to address these concerns. Our Board has long had a reputation for excellence and I want to acknowledge the good work that continues to take place in our schools and workplaces to advance student achievement and well-being. We remain committed to providing our students and staff with safe, welcoming and inclusive learning and working environments that enable all of our students and staff to succeed. I will continue to communicate with you as we take steps to address these important concerns.
J. Philip Parappally
Director of Education
York Region District School Board School Climate Survey
York Region District School Board School Climate Survey for Students Students in Grades 5 to 12 at the York Region District School Board will be invited to participate in a survey between March 20 and April 28, 2017. The survey is voluntary, anonymous and confidential, and will take place at school. The YRDSB survey fulfills the Ontario Ministry of Education’s requirement for schools to conduct student surveys and is aligned with the YRDSB’s Board Improvement Plan for Student Achievement and Well-Being. Survey questions will address topics related to Math, Modern Learning, Mental Health and Well-Being, Equity and School Safety. This survey provides an opportunity to hear directly from students and the results will be used to identify student needs and plan strategies to support student achievement and well-being. If you have questions, please contact the school office. If you do not wish your child(ren) to participate in the survey, please contact the school by March 10, 2017.