Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week

The Government of Ontario has designated the third week of November as Bullying Awareness and Prevention Week. During the week of November 19-25, we will be intentionally addressing issues of bullying and the impact that it has on the academic and socio-emotional well-being of students.

Our Board is committed to creating and maintaining caring and safe environments where students, staff, parents/guardians and others feel safe at school and at all school-related events and activities.

Here are five tips on how we can work together to prevent bullying:

  1. Be informed. Additional resources are available on the Caring and Safe Schools site and speak with us school about our student code of conduct policies.
  2. Model positive peer relationships and coping skills. Youth are observant – how do you act in the grocery line, on the roads or when in conflict with a partner, colleague or friend?
  3. Pause with curiosity. If your child or student is involved in a bullying situation, use those positive coping skills to remain calm, assess the situation and listen before reacting
  4. Advocacy instead of aggression. In the words of Bully Free Community Alliance of York Region founders Bessie Vlasis and Gwyneth Anderson, don’t be a “bear”! Effective advocacy is about appropriate and respectful communication, loud and aggressive communication is not nearly as effective when dealing with school staff or other families.
  5. Encourage upstanding behaviour. According to Young Canadians’ Experiences with Electronic Bullying, PREVnet/Media Smarts (2015), youth need to know that their actions would make a difference, not reward or praise, but that their concerns will be taken seriously, that adults would be helpful and that they could do so without turning themselves into targets.

We also encourage the use of the Report it! Button, a tool for students and parents to report incidents of bullying, drugs and vandalism. It is available on the YRDSB and school website homepages.

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

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Me to We Initiative

Dear Watson Community,

From Nov. 20th-Dec. 1st, our Me to We team will be gathering items for a local organization called “Jason’s Bags for the Homeless”.  Kristin Elder, the organization’s leader, fills backpacks with much needed items and delivers them herself to homeless members of our Georgina community at Christmas time.

Items needed include:

-new mitts, gloves, hats, scarves, socks

-toiletries such as travel size shampoo, conditioner, soaps, shaving cream, lotions, toothpaste, toothbrushes, floss, chapstick, combs, kleenex, disposable wipes, and sanitary pads

-food items such as granola bars, juice boxes, and energy bars

-dog items, such as dry food, treats, tennis balls, and toys

If you would like to donate items to this cause, please drop them off at the office or room 206 (Mrs. Williams’ class).  Thank you for your ongoing support!

Sincerely,

The Me to We Team

Media Release – York Region Police

Dear Parents,

York Regional Police has asked our school to share this press release with our school community. We continue to reinforce the importance of personal safety to our students and encourage you to do the same. If you have any questions or information regarding the attached press release, please contact YRP at 1-866-876-5423 ext. 7341, or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

Thank you for your ongoing support and commitment to our school and student safety.

Safety in our Community

It’s important to regularly remind children about being safe in our community.

Here’s what children need to know:

  • To never approach or enter a stranger’s vehicle.  A responsible adult would never ask a child for directions or for their help with something like finding a lost pet.
  • If they think they are being followed or are in danger they should run home, back to the school or to a public place and immediately report the incident.
  • If someone grabs them, they should try to get away, yelling and screaming ‘fire’ while doing so to attract attention.
  • How to contact their parents at any time, by memorizing cell or work numbers.
  • How and under what circumstances to call 911.
  • Make sure they know they have a right to say “no” to an adult, especially when the adult is asking them to do something they have been taught is wrong or feels uncomfortable.  Reminding children of this right is important because children are taught from a young age to respect adults.
  • To always tell parents where they will be and to never enter someone’s home without their parent’s permission.
  • If home alone, never admit it when answering the phone. Never answer a knock at the door or speak through it.  Adults can be very persuasive.  Teach your child to call you if there is a knock at the door and if they fear for their safety, teach them to call 911.  Make sure they know that police officers are there to help them and would not get mad if it were a false alarm.
  • It is important to play in safe areas, never take shortcuts and stick with a buddy whenever possible.
  • Follow the guidance that “if in doubt, check it out.”

It is never too early or too late to teach children the importance of personal safety.  Common sense, communication and consistency are the keys. Remind children to alert a responsible adult if something strange happens that makes them feel uncomfortable. Remember, crime prevention is everyone’s responsibility.

For more information on this subject, visit www.yrp.ca.

Parent Teacher Interviews – Nov 23 and 24

Dear Families,

Progress Report Cards will be sent home at 3:30 p.m. on Thursday, November 23rd.  

We look forward to seeing parents and guardians at Watson PS  for Student Led Conferences on the evening of Thursday, November 23rd and morning of Friday, November 24th.  Conferences will be arranged through the homeroom teachers.  Please ensure you have completed the Conference Request form sent home today and send it back to the school by Tuesday, November 14.  You will receive a Confirmation Slip with your child’s Student Led Conference time by Tuesday, November 21st .

The Elementary Progress Report Cards are designed to show a student’s development of the learning skills and work habits during the fall of the school year, as well as a student’s general progress in working towards the achievement of the curriculum expectations in all subjects. The Progress Report Cards are intended to become a central part of rich discussions with students and their parents in the context of a variety of communications that will help to establish a positive tone for the remainder of the school year.

The Elementary Progress Report Card focuses on progress towards expectations, during a cycle of learning rather than achievement of expectations at the end of a learning cycle.

Student-Led conferences provide the forum for positive learning conversations between the students and their parents and guardians.  Celebrating a successful start to the school year and setting goals for future learning are important steps for students who are becoming more responsible for their own learning.   Learning skills are located on the first page of the progress report as they are the skills needed towards improved academic success.  Learning skills are a wonderful topic for dinner conversations as there is always room for growth in these areas for people of all ages.