Parent Advisory Council=Pretty Amazing Community

Where to begin? Let’s start at the beginning. In September, a new school opened its doors in the Louis Riel School Division. A staff of over 60 were hired and we welcomed 630 students from over 20 different schools in both of our programs (French Immersion and English).

Knowing that positive relationships are key to developing strong and confident learners, our staff knew right away what our focus was – we wanted to get to know our students and incorporate their passions and interests within their learning. We wanted our dual track school to feel united and build community in our brand new building.

What some may not know is that our school’s Parent Advisory Council has been an integral part of this process. These parents volunteer their time to organize amazing opportunities for families to come together and get to know one another. At their meetings, anywhere from 45 to 65 parents show up wanting to share their thoughts, help in sub committees and make our school a great place to be, not only during school hours, but after! I’ve never seen a PAC so dedicated to its school population. From organizing regular hot lunches, school dances, movie nights, paint nights, theatre evenings, mental health workshops, gym nights and more- they work tirelessly to give our students and families opportunity to build friendships and bond. They have played such a part in building our school community. They have strengthened relationships because, like the educators in the building, they are here for the same reason-their kids.

Today however, all of the attention was on the staff for our Staff Appreciation day. I was overwhelmed with the amount of thought, time and attention to detail the PAC and families from our school had in planning this event. An abundance of food (breakfast, lunch and snacks-needless to say we were stuffed by first recess!), flowers and sweets, a banner, kind words, a video, cards and generous gifts. Not one detail was missed. They even covered recess duty!

Thank you! Merci! From all of us to all of you, thank you for making École Sage Creek School an amazing place to be. Thank you for your time, your dedication and your kindness. They do not go unnoticed. We are so lucky to be on the same team! As much as we felt appreciated today, know that we are equally grateful to you. It’s a pretty amazing community to be a part of!

Encore une fois, merci! Thank you PAC and all the families who contributed in some way to make us feel so special!

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Growth Mindset Read Aloud #MindsetMondayLRSD

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Starting May 7th, we challenge you and your students to partake in our #MindsetMondayLRSD Growth Mindset Read Aloud! Each week, for four weeks, a new book that will deepen your learning and engage your students in powerful and meaningful conversations will be featured by a hosting class. You will also be able to connect and share your learning with other classrooms globally through slow Twitter chats, and more if you choose. So why join?

Importance of Growth Mindset

Stumbling, falling, and knowing how to get back up is an important step in our learning process. We all need to build resiliency and develop the skills to persevere when we hit road blocks. #MindsetMondayLRSD will allow you and your students to explore different children’s literature focusing on Growth Mindset while reflecting on who we are, where we are, where we’re going, and our uniqueness on that journey.

What you can expect

Each week, you and your students will be invited to watch a prerecorded video of a Growth Mindset book being read by the hosting class. Throughout the book, the hosting students will invite you to answer questions based on the book and your experiences. You can share your learning using the Q1 A1 format on Twitter. Don’t forget to include the #MindsetMondayLRSD hashtag in your answers. If a certain book inspires you further, feel free to share your extended activities through art, poetry, blogs, #BookSnaps, video reflections, etc. to the hashtag. Please note that you can view the video and participate in the slow Twitter chat as it fits into your schedule that week! Watch for new blog posts coming out every Sunday that will include all of the info you need for the week, including what class is hosting, what book they will be reading, the video link, and the Slow Twitter Chat questions.

We look forward to connecting with you and your students to see where this Growth Mindset adventure will take us!

Nycol & Annick

Ode To Things That Bring Us Joy

It’s so important that at any age, each and everyone of us have interests and hobbies that spark joy in our lives. One of my go-to’s has always been music. Singing in the shower or in places where the acoustics make you sound amazing even though you’re subpar. Playing the flute in the high school band or the sax in jazz. Belting out my favourite hits on the radio. Music has always been such an immense part of my life.

My love for music comes from my family, mostly my mom’s side although my dad is a phenomenal drummer too. Growing up, there was always music on, especially when we were washing dishes by hand. Back in the early days, records, then later, cassettes and CDs. Neil Young, Eric Clapton, America, Jann Arden, James Taylor you name it, we played it!

The Mireault’s (my mom’s side) have always been such a close knit family and whenever we got together for a special occasion or weekend pool parties on the farm, guitars were sure to make an appearance around the fire late at night and three part harmonies followed suit. It’s a running joke in town- “You’re a Mireault-music is in your blood” they say. Whenever there’s someone added to our family, they can’t believe our rendition of Happy Birthday! It’s one for the books! In fact, we even have our own songs book! It’s coil bound and 288 pages long! That’s my Mémère and Pépère on the cover!

Needless to say, growing up in a small town, my mom and her siblings all learned how to play guitar, mostly by ear. When someone’s fingers are on fire, there’s usually someone who can take over. I’ve always wanted to learn this instrument-it’s been on my bucket list since I can remember. I love how you can bring a guitar anywhere. It can instantly change the mood of a party and I love how you can sing while playing at the same time. Try doing that with a sax or a flute!

My parents always wanted to teach my brother and I to play so when we were in our late teens, they each bought us a Yamaha guitar for Christmas. We had all the intentions in the world to learn from them during our Thursday night dinners at their place, but those guitars never came out. Instead, we’d play a board game or talk until the wee hours of the morning.

My desire to learn how to play the guitar increased when I had my kids. I wanted to play them lullabies and kids’ songs for them to sing along to- but I never took the time to take lessons. There was always a reason not to: no time, too expensive, assignments to hand in for my M. Ed., mom guilt, and the list goes on.

Since I’ve decided in the past few months to do more of what brings me joy, I’m so excited to share that I’ve taken my first guitar lesson tonight! Do you know who gave me the push to make it happen? Three grade 7 and 8 girls who were practicing their guitar in our school’s main learning commons!

It’s so much harder than it looks and it’s really stretching my brain, but I’m so incredibly proud of myself. It’s nothing like playing the flute or the sax or the piano! So tonight I dusted the same guitar that was gifted to me over a decade ago and learned six notes! Check it out! (You can laugh at me, cause I’m laughing with you!).

I feel like I should have done this years ago, but it’s never too late. It’s kind of hilarious because all of the students in the time slots before me are on average 8 years old. But I don’t care. I believe you are never too old to learn something new, especially something you’ve dreamed about, that speaks to you, that sparks joy. It’s not foolish to try something new, it’s foolish to never try at all. So I keep trying…

Allow me to change the tone a bit. As a teacher, it was really interesting for me to be in the passenger seat and learning at my own pace. I was instantly immersed in the environment that my students live day in and day out. I felt so many emotions. Ok, it was my first lessons, but even with a music background and already knowing how to read music, I struggled, but I didn’t and won’t give up. I immediately empathized with students when they are learning new concepts and skills in my class. Some have previous knowledge but all learn at their own rhythm. They need to be praised and encouraged through the learning process and need time to practice, practice and practice. Practice makes permanent.

As I was looking our Mireault songbook, I came across a tune from Doris Day- Enjoy yourself. I feel it applies well to the message in my post.

So do it. Find time for things that make you happy. Put time aside for yourself and start crossing those items off your bucket list. You’re never too old to learn something new or try the things you’ve always dreamed of. Life’s too short! You won’t regret it! Ode to things that make you happy! Ode to joy!

My first ever song played on my guitar after my first ever lesson (learning notes B, C , D, E, F, G) and about twenty minutes of practice! You gotta start somewhere! Note my husband wasn’t there to film me (who can blame him) 🙂