Nelson Mandela Park PS
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October 2017 Principal Message
We decided to commemorate Orange Shirt day here at Nelson Mandela Park PS on October 2nd this year. We were not able to order shirts for the students and many people don’t have an orange shirt, so there was no expectation that students/staff came wearing orange to school. More important than 1 day or wearing a shirt is the continual learning we do around First Nations people, and how we can move towards Reconciliation. An integral part of Reconciliation is for us to have our students engaged in learning about First Nations people from pre-European contact to Residential Schools to the current day. Presently, there are many First Nations people like Brian Jungen making huge contributions in visual art or Dr. Nadine Caron in medicine (Canadian First Nations surgeon). The work we do today and beyond to highlight how destructive the Residential School system was for First Nations sits as an important part of the broader learning we need to do with our students. Shortly we will be ordering orange wrist bands for all our students and staff. On these wrist bands we would like to put a hasthtag that represents the learning that students have done around First Nations people. We have asked every homeroom at our school by the middle of November to send us their classes chosen hashtag and then we will have a school wide vote to choose the hashtag that we will have imprinted on the orange wrist bands we give to every student and staff member here at our school. In mid-November we will let you know the hashtag our school has chosen.
If you are able to, please come by the school and take a moment to look at the bulletin board in the main foyer of the school that our volunteer Sarah Wolfe put together to highlight the importance of Orange Shirt Day. October 2nd marks an important step in our ongoing work to have our students learn about First Nations people all year long and not just on one day.
Please note we have decided to do classroom sharing assemblies every other month instead of every month to allow staff more uninterrupted time to focus on classroom teaching. This means after this week our next round of sharing assemblies will be in November.
At our October 6th PA day we took time with our staff to refine our School Improvement Plan for this year. We spent a portion of the day going over strategies that staff could use to build self-regulation skills with students. We also reviewed expected best practices when it comes to teaching mathematics. We will be sharing more information about all of this in the coming weeks.
It should be noted that one of our parent volunteers is kindly helping us by keeping a weekly archive of the Family Mandela Calendar emails we send out every week that highlight the week and upcoming important dates and information. The link for this archive is: https://sites.google.com/site/nelsonmpps/
If anybody has any questions about anything please come and talk to us at the school or call us at 416-393-1620. Thank you for your support.
Jason Kandankery Diana FitzGerald