From the Office – Nov 2021

It seems like at least once each winter I find myself writing our newsletter message while we have a winter storm rolling outside. If you’ve had students in our school before this year, you know the next part of my message is going to remind families that adequate footwear and jackets and mitts and head coverings are important not only for recess time outside, but also includes for bus students in case of a bus breakdown on route.

Thank you for your emails of support and well wishes as we all move ahead this year. Staff continue to do an amazing job adjusting to this year’s restrictions and I know a lot of that is also due to the way our students take in stride the adjustments they have to make as well. We’ll continue to find ways to be creative in our planning for annual Hanley School events. We moved ahead with a Remembrance Program this year, and the grade 11 students did a wonderful job planning it for a separate elementary group in the gym followed by a second program of grades 7-12 students, separating the grade 7-8 students on the balcony and the grade 9-12 on the gym floor. Great job, Grade 11 and your teachers Mr. Hutchinson and his intern teacher Mr. Imes!

We were so happy around here this fall to plan and cheer on our extra-curricular programs as well! The SRC and School clubs as well as Cross-Country, junior and senior Volleyball and Football teams moved ahead this fall and the good feelings brought to our school this fall are making a big difference for the positive for everyone. We all hope that continues and we can plan for more of the same as the year moves ahead.  

With the current weather happening I’ll add here some details of the PSSD policy of bussing in cold weather – a combined temperature and wind chill that drops to minus 40 degrees at 6am will cancel buses for the morning run. That announcement can be made at https://www.spiritsd.ca/buses/  In previous years that would cancel the trips for the day – the new practice will be that if the temperature improves then the bus will run in the afternoon. Classes will never be cancelled on those days – the school is required to remain open for those students who do make it to school, including those whose parents drive them in. Class work will continue and students can look for online work posted by their teachers to keep up on those days.

I’ll offer the Cold Cats program for students again this year for students in grades K-7. Again, remember that this is an option on the indoor recess days for students who still want to go outside for some fresh air and outdoor play. I’ll be supervising them on those days on the playground. They can go back in when they get cold or once they’ve had enough, but it’s sure a great option for many of them to get some fresh air and exercise, even though its very cold. Please ensure those students are prepared with warm clothing and accessories so they can enjoy the recess – head and face coverings are a must. Call or email the school to sign up your Cold Cat student to be on our list. We even have long sleeve Cold Cats shirts for sale for $10!

The annual Christmas lunch and the Family Fun night will still need to be cancelled this year while the restrictions about large gatherings are still in place. That said I know that the staff will work on a few in-school ideas that will be done instead in December.

The Quad One classes are now completed for High School students and the first evaluation part of the year as well. We are not sending home paper copies of report cards again this year and I’ll direct you to the PowerSchool Parent app that will give you access to all the details of those marks and comments on the progress your children are making this year. Teachers are always reachable by email or phone calls at the school if you have questions or concerns on the details of the student progress reports.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Hindmarsh and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – Oct 2021

What a great day it is today! I’m writing this as we get prepared to host another home football game and the hustle and bustle around the school on these days always makes for an exciting afternoon. We also have had some volleyball games schedule inside out school and ones that teams are travelling to. I’m constantly reminded how these extra-curricular offerings are so much valued by the students and are such a big part of our school. I hope we continue to be able to offer them without any interruption as the details out from the division continue to update us on their decisions and the directions from Health when a case comes up.

This week we have virtual TriConferences scheduled after school on Tuesday and Wednesday. Both evenings are opportunities for parents to connect with their child’s teacher(s) by phone call, Zoom call, Meet, or Teams etc. Many parents and teachers have contact with each other much before these times, but it’s our dedicated time scheduled to focus on the first six weeks and the progress or lack of progress and the behaviours and habits already in place that either we can encourage or hope to change before too much of the year or semester or quad has gone by.

This year we were directed to schedule classes by Quads again for the high school classes. That means that the end of quad one will be complete at November 10th and the second quad will start November 15.

The weather has taken a turn to fall temperatures. Please remind your students of that so they bring a warm jacket in the mornings for the playground. They might not need it by afterschool but it still is a good idea.

It’s a good practice to keep checking for the division emails that are sent out as it’s the best way for them to get details out to families about COVID and announcements as well as any school division policy changes. They will use the same email addresses on file through PowerSchool that we use for these school newsletters and other parent communications. We’ll continue to keep you up to date on happenings around the school this year and look forward to our year continuing the best we can under what restrictions we have. Thanks for your support again this year and for the various emails and other messages we’ve received thanking us for the part we play in keeping the school a safe healthy place for students to learn.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Hindmarsh and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – Sept 2021

Well, it’s great to be back at school with our students and staff again and I know we’re all looking forward to as positive a year as we can create together with you, the parents and community.

We’ve got a good start going this fall and it’s been a delight to see the smiles on the faces and the students interacting at school this fall. We’ve done as much as we could in the first few weeks to take advantage of this time for the students to experience some of the normal pre-covid school events and opportunities that we thought was reasonable while still possible.

We did make a conscious effort to increase the sizes of the cohorts as we described the groups of students last year. We hope that helps the students in the school make interaction between some classes possible as it was the most difficult part to overcome for the students. We have had some sports teams start up again and to date, have hosted two football games and attended one volleyball tournament. Junior teams are also holding practices and our aim is to work on getting as many of those opportunities back for the students. It’s great to have this part of our school routines back and we hope to keep them going for as long as we can this year.

Today (Sept 14) we were directed to have the students start wearing masks while indoors again, and while I know that makes some parts more difficult, it’s a step made to help keep kids healthy and keep  it possible to have students all in the schools and that’s a shared responsibility for all of us. Parents, thank you for doing your part to support that and to encourage your students to be good role models for all of the grades younger than they are.

Like last year, please assess your child’s health before they head to school – if they are showing symptoms of COVID please keep them home for the day and check them again the following day before sending them to school. If students present symptoms at school, we have been directed to have you pick them up similar to last year with the reminder they aren’t to return until 24 hours after symptoms disappear. I understand how difficult that can be and the disruption for working parents. I appreciate the efforts you’ll make to keep our students healthy again this year.

Welcome to the new families and students who have joined our school this fall! We hope you find Hanley Composite School a warm, inviting and safe environment and invite you to contact your student’s teacher with your questions and concerns without waiting. Teachers have been encouraged to do the same thing. Our success in helping all students achieve to a high degree at school is best accomplished when we do that work together.

Welcome also to our new staff. Miss Junop is our new SERT teacher. Mrs. Mellquist is one of our support staff has joined us from Dundurn School. Mr. Hindmarsh is our new Vice Principal and is teaching some middle years courses.

Our calendar was changed at the end of August to include a day off for staff and students on Sept 30 for National Day for Truth and Reconciliation. Please consider how you can also use this day with your students to discuss the reason for the holiday – a day to honour survivors, families and communities, and to ensure the history and legacy of residential schools remains a vital component of reconciliation.

Lastly before I wrap this up, I recognize that all schools are not perfect but should strive for improvements where we see a need to improve – as a staff we discussed a need to make some improvements with our own school environment. Some students from other years have expressed that they haven’t felt safe and welcome at our school and we want to change those perceptions so all students feel that Hanley School is a good place for learning in a positive environment for all. We hope you also support us in that area as we work on making it a great place for learning.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Hindmarsh and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – June 2021

There are a number of milestones that we pass on the course of the year. Many of those milestones didn’t take place this year but as a staff we’re already looking forward to fall and a new school year that brings more of what we love and enjoy back to a day in classes and a year at Hanley Composite School. I write this knowing that we have the last half of June to fill with the remaining course outcomes and concepts left this year, and our gaze looks ahead to the new students and their next grade to work in and their next classroom to be a part of. Once again parents, I give you all my appreciation for the supports you’ve made sure your students had from home this year, and for working alongside us through a tough year for us all. My plan is to help the staff focus on what next fall looks like and I look forward to working with the students and families again on another school year.

As far as milestones go, we are forced to say good-bye to Mark Anderson this year as his retirement really does begin at the end of the month. Mr Anderson has been my admin partner for the last ten years and I’ve always looked forward to coming to school to work with him each day. The staff and students all would wish you much joy and happiness in the upcoming days ahead and we all wish you congratulations on a much deserved retirement after 32 years of teaching. Please don’t be a stranger, Mr Anderson. I know the elementary students would love to have a guest reader in any time you’re available!

As well, we have a few teachers who will be away next year on leaves. Mrs McCubbing and Mrs. Carpenter will be away for next year and are scheduled to return in 2022-23. Mrs Romanchuk is making a transfer to the South Corman Park School. We wish you all a good year next year! Mrs Romanchuk, we will miss your presence in the elementary end and on our staff. Ms Camryn Junop will be joining our staff for the 2021-22 school year as our new SERT while Mrs. Carpenter is away. Welcome Ms Junop! We will also welcome Mr Josh Hindmarsh to our school as our new vice-principal. Welcome Mr Hindmarsh!

We held our graduation program on June 11 and it was wonderful that the clouds parted to allow a time after the in gym program to take place outside with the graduates joining their parents. It was also really great to see the graduates could be part of a parade around the community after. We all hope you had an enjoyable weekend focused on celebrating this accomplishment of finishing high school. As I mentioned in my address, as graduates you will all be stronger and more resilient after this challenging year and we look forward to hearing about your life choices as time moves on.

Families, I look at the next couple weeks and I want to remind you that there are two days scheduled for exams as needed for courses on June 25 and 28. The last day for classes for all students is Monday, June 28 and I know that each of them deserve a great summer of both fun and relaxing too! Staff will be finishing up on June 29th and starting their also much deserved summer breaks. Fall of 2021 will have school start for students on Sept 1 2021. I’ll post online more details and dates this summer. If you have items of concern please contact me over the summer at my email address and I will always get back to you as soon as possible.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – May 2021

We’re at the mid point in the month of May and making our plans for the remainder of the year. That means high school teachers completing their last quad courses, and all teachers planning on what last units need to be finished over the next six weeks.

Parents, you’ve done an awesome job of helping us keep a healthy school this year and we appreciate it. Continue your diligence of having students stay home if they aren’t feeling well or showing symptoms we’re all looking out for this year. We continue to do our sanitizing practices at school, mask use and reminding students to keep their distance from other cohorts at school, and will continue to do so until the end of June.

We all know that spring weather and sunny days means for a hot school. Please keep in mind that our student handbook has always mentioned dressing with modesty and that teachers will remind students about that and if they have an issue with it. Remind your student to be thoughtful about their clothing selections and their choices on what to wear for school. 

High school students have been looking at classes for next year, and we’re going to be juggling high school quad class schedules with semestered ones and K-8 three-term schedules. The school division asked for families to provide feedback this year on the quad scheduling and the positive responses have led to us planning it for next year again. I’m sure you’ll be surveyed again next year to confirm it’s the right direction for us to keep headed in and planning for.

Our school year ends at the end of June on Tuesday June 29 for staff. The last days for students is Monday, June 28th. Final exams for grades 10-12 will take place on June 25th or June 28th.

A reminder that it’s a long weekend ahead of us and there will be a no-school day on June 7 as well.

We say farewell to our head caretaker, Bob Moate, this month as Bob is retiring at the end of May. Congratulations, Bob! We’ll miss your conversations and your care of our school but we’re happy for your next step in life. Stop in for a visit and we’ll talk to you soon, Bob.

We’re plugging ahead into spring and getting closer to our next goal of finishing the year with everyone here. Thanks again for doing your part to help us with that. I don’t think I can say that enough.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – April 2021

LOL this is one of those months where I seem to have jinxed my weather predictions no matter what I think is going to happen. I’m writing this at middle of April on a day when we had more snow flurries in the morning after a weekend that had almost plus twenty degrees and warm sun as well.

We have a last week of April ahead of us next week and another milestone this year that will be the end of the third quad. That mean final exams this week for Grades 11 and 12. That might not include your students, but it’s a big deal for us to get through another quarter of the year without a class having to stay away from school, especially at the end of the quad and the struggle of how to administer final exams.

Our next week therefore starts the last quarter of the year, and with it our push to get as many credits completed for high school students as we can and support them all through this year. Please continue to have those discussions with your students about planning for next year and what that looks like going forward. If I can help with that in some way, please let me know.

Our year normally ends with two months planned of field trips, special days and whatever learning can be packed into the last months, weeks, days, hours etc so that each class has a strong finish. We won’t have the field trips and the special days are looking differently, but what I can tell you is that the staff here is working to make this year as special as they can given where we’re at.

Please continue to do what you’re all doing to help keep these viruses out of the school. Again, I hope I’m not jinxing anything, but I know that a lot of our success for staying open and not having any classes close down, is due to your work with us. Keep up the work you’re doing with your students and also please keep them at home on those days that they show symptoms.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – March 2021

This is a great month so far with the changes in weather we’ve been looking forward to. We always have some questions about how quickly the snow will melt and the water will drain through the school yard but with the sun and windy we’ve had it’s made good progress already. Thanks to BRP for the extra work scraping the snow by the building away from the school and for the drainage path they scraped for us as well!

That’s another reminder that we encourage elementary students to bring splash pants and some kind of boots to handle the wet yard and puddles until it dries up further. We’d like to keep as much of the mess outside the school as we can so caretakers can focus on the regular cleaning and sanitizing.

It’s a busy week again with the parent teacher student conferences on Wednesday night (5:00-7:30pm) and after school Thursday night (3:30-6:00pm) again by virtual means. A video call is preferred, but a voice call is also a wonderful chance to get parent, student and teacher together. What a great time to learn about how your students are doing and what wonderful learnings they’re involved in. Please keep in mind there is no school on Friday.

We’re about a month away from the end of the third quad. It will end a couple weeks after the Easter break and the final quad for the school will take us to June 29th. Thank you to everyone who answered the digital survey regarding the block system and the quads we had in place this year. We’ll receive some direction from the school division about how to proceed with planning for next year soon.

We had our presentation from Saskatchewan Youth Apprenticeship program and about fifteen students in grades 10-12 took part. Please remind your student if they did have interest in starting the program to see me and I’ll register them this spring.

We don’t have a firm start date yet, but we’re still on the renovation list for the elementary washroom area this spring. It will be a big noisy job I’m sure and we’ll need to funnel the students to other washroom areas during the construction period. We’re not strangers to construction after the huge renos we worked through about 7 years ago, but I’m sure we’ll have a few growing pains to work through. I’ll appreciate the patience and cooperation of the staff and students through that time when it arrives.

If you’re like me, you’re looking forward to lessening restrictions, less cases to be reported, less need to wear masks and socially distance, and looking forward to a much simpler time. Even the hustle and bustle of the regular year and the busy hallways and classes and school teams and busy life outside is what I’m looking forward to us all experiencing again one day soon. That doesn’t necessarily sound simpler than what we have now, but I feel it is what’s needed for so many of us.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

Maggie Peterson receives major award

Congratulations to Maggie Peterson, recipient of a University of Saskatchewan premier entrance awards, the Chancellors’ Scholarship! The scholarship, valued at $30,000, recognizes the accomplishments and potential of exceptional individuals with high academic standing. Way to go, Maggie! We’re all so proud of you!

From the Office – Feb 2021

I know this short spell of warm weather won’t last, but after the brutally cold snap we had before the break, I’ll take this in a heartbeat! I hope all our Hanley Composite School families had a restful and relaxing break. For many bus students who didn’t have transport during those cold weather days, I know many of you got some extra days of break. I know that we did have about ten Cold Cat lunch recesses outside and the students can hold their heads up high that went out at the minus 50 wind chills – pretty tough Cold Cats kids!

Our school and our school division are changing in a lot of ways from what we’ve known as traditional thoughts on access to learning this year. We’ve gotten used to being able to access school work online when we’re moved to a level three or level four on our Safe Schools Plan but there seems to be varying levels of understanding about other types of days. Parents, please be aware that on those cold weather days when buses don’t run, with learning being posted online, students have the ability to connect to their teacher(s) and access learning from home. With those extended days away and our compressed quads and classes, it became very important to the teachers to be able to move ahead on their lessons and expect students to log in and access those learning options. As we move forward this year and into the future that might become more and more an expectation. As the school division continues to project, Learning is Everywhere!

We have a staff PD day on March 8th to make you aware of as it’s not a school day for students.

For those students planning on pursuing a trades career and looking to apprentice with a tradesperson, the Youth Apprenticeship Program is a simple program to complete for a step ahead of other apprentices. We’ve also helped send students in past summers to a Summer Youth internship in a trades area where they receive very good pay and up to 2 apprenticeship credits on their transcripts. See Mr. Tucker for further information for either program. We will have a presentation for it soon for those interested.

I know that the school division sent out an update to families about what’s going on with COVID updates and where we’re at. So far we haven’t had a case in the classrooms to deal with and as the letter explained, if we ever do we’ll be in contact with families as needed. Please continue to practice proper mask use and hand sanitizing as required and we’ll continue to work through this year together. Ironically, this month’s message last year at this time was sent out just before we all went home. I’m thankful for so many supportive families and the work you have all done along with the teachers and support staff to keep on with the learning in school through all of it. Again I’ll repeat that we’re doing it, together! Thank-you.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.

From the Office – January 2021

I want to repeat a thank you to each family and student who has done their part to help us get to where we are this year. We have had some changes and new routines to adjust to and your ability to do all of those is admirable. I was thankful over the Christmas break and thought many times then and since then how I wanted to make sure that message from me to you is quite clear. The move of classes to home on January 14 was another example of how you all adjust this year.

Again, our Cold Cats club has a lot of names of K-7 students listed and I know we’ll have students who will consistently head outside no matter what the temperature is. The first day this year I had about 29 students out there, about double what I would have expected. I will continue to run this as an option to staying inside – please make your own wishes known to your elementary students and their teacher about if you’d like them to head outside. We don’t force students on the list outside if they want to remain indoors. That said if they intend on going out, please make sure they have warm clothes and understand they must wear them, including something to cover their mouth and nose as well.

Our January events always include talk about exams for grades 10-12 that will end the second quad and the current semester. Those exams will be in the last couple days of January and the 29th will be a prep day for teachers to plan and prepare for the new semester, as well as a chance for the high school teachers to complete marking of exams and get report card comments and grades completed. Like first quad end, the “portal” will be close for about a week as they enter those evaluation marks and then we’ll open it up later in the first week of February.

We did stack the first semester with classes that could allow some grade 12s to finish early this year if they choose to. With COVID practices and other options available to them, there are a couple grade 12s who could be done after this month and be considered graduated. Great work everyone! We’re almost at that halfway point, and I know everyone can do it! For those students continuing with more credits, February 1 starts the new quad three. I’ve been sending emails about programs, scholarships and bursaries, and other career counselling details straight to the grade 12s who shared an email address. It’s great to hear about some students who are already accepted into a school and program for next year. We’re all very proud of you. There are programs like MyBlueprint that can help others with finding a direction to move in. Just ask at the office and we can get you started.

Speaking of February, the regular break week starts with Family Day on February 15th this year. That feels early this year but I know we’ll take it whenever it’s here.

Many of you have arranged to pick up your Community Calendar for $10.00 and we say thank you for that. We were disappointed to hear that the Lindmark Company that has created that calendar and supplied that service for over 25 years to our community, is closing their business. We have decided that we will try to recreate something similar that we will continue to get advertising commitments for. It might not look exactly the same, but it will be a community calendar. Thank you again for your support each year, both to those of you who advertise, and to those who purchase them. The profits are spent by the School Community Council to support the school and the school goals each year.

That’s all for now.  For further information and updates from the students and classrooms, check out our school website at http://blogs.spiritsd.ca/hanley/.  As always, Mr. Anderson and I would love to talk to you if you have time to send us a message or give us a call. We’ll talk to you soon.