Phone: 519-621-0371

December Newsletter

As the Christmas season quickly approaches, let us be reminded that before this beautiful celebration, there is a time of preparation. During Advent, may we continue to prepare ourselves to receive Jesus more fully in our daily lives and hearts.

Please join us in celebration as we come together as People of Faith during the Advent Season in our gym:

Dec. 5th at 11:00, Advent Celebration

Dec. 14 at 1:00, Advent Celebration

Dec. 19 at 1:00, Advent Mass

We are collecting non-perishable food items, new blankets, hats, scarves, mitts, socks, and diapers for the St. Vincent de Paul Society until Dec. 20th. Families are invited to drop off donations during the Advent Season at the front entrance of the school and place them into one of the bins.

We have a very special school wide Christmas Luncheon happening on Dec. 21st in our school gym. Thank you to Mr. Gibson, our custodian for organizing this special meal and to the many helping hands from staff who will assist. There is no cost for this luncheon. This will be our last Christmas together as a St. Francis School Community and we are excited to come together to celebrate and share a meal as People of Faith.

Our last day of school prior to the Christmas Holidays is Friday, December 22nd, and dismissal is at our regular time ~ 3:15 p.m.. Classes resume on Monday, January 8th at 8:45 a.m.

On behalf of the St. Francis Staff, we extend warmest of wishes to all of our families. May everyone experience a peace-filled Christmas Season filled with much joy.

St. Ambrose Roman Catholic Church

The times for the celebration of Holy Mass for Christmas at St. Ambrose Parish located on 210 South Street are as follows. The Parish website is Christmas Eve:  December 24 at 7:00 pm and 12 Midnight Christmas Day:  December 25 at 9:00 am and 11:00 am

Professional Activity Day

Friday, Dec. 8th is a PA Day. There will be no classes and no Extended Day Program for students on this day. Staff will be involved in professional development activities.

Outdoor Wear

Students are reminded to wear their coats when outside. If parents/guardians could kindly reiterate this message at home that would be appreciated.

Cash on Line

Go to:

School Website

Please visit our St. Francis School website at When you have a chance, please subscribe at the bottom to receive electronic messages from the office, newsletters and school reminders. As items are tweeted, you will receive those too.

School Logo Bags

We have drawstring bags with our St. Francis Logo for purchase via Cash on Line. They are available in black and pink and the cost is $10.00.

Cookie Dough Fundraiser

Our “Cookie Dough Fundraiser” was a great success. A heartfelt thank you to our school community for your support of this school wide initiative. We could not have done this without your support and St. Francis Spirit. We raised $3305.00 in profit. The classes who tied at having the most participants, earning a pizza party are the JK/SK and Grade 2 classes. The funds generated from our school wide “Cookie Dough Fundraiser” will go towards helping to offset school trips and bussing costs, our May BBQ and Math Night, our Closing Celebration and special events for our last year as a St. Francis School Community.

Catholic School Council

Our next Catholic School Council Meeting at St. Francis will be held on Wednesday, February 28th, 2018. We will be meeting at 5:30 p.m. in the library, and all are most welcome to join us.

Roots of Empathy

Our Grade 5/6 class is engaging in the “Roots of Empathy Program”. The program introduced students to identifying emotions, understanding different temperaments and caring for each other, via the world of a baby. They learn to identify Baby’s needs and feelings, their own feelings and the feelings of others.  They also learn about how we all have different temperaments; by identifying baby Eli’s own temperament traits and their own.

Once every 3 weeks, baby Eli and his parent(s) visit the classroom. Our trained Roots of Empathy instructor, Mrs. Maw, gathers the children around a green blanket and together they watch the baby grow and interact with us. The children predict and cheer, “He can roll over.” “He got his first tooth.” “He can crawl.” The children learn to observe the baby and read the clues the baby gives as to how the baby is feeling: “Is the baby feeling happy or sad?” “How can you tell?” and “How can we respond?” This discussion is used as a lever for the children to talk about their own emotions and to understand how their classmates and others feel: “How can you tell if your friend is happy or sad?” “What is their face, their body, their actions telling you?”  “Do you know what that feeling feels like, too?”  Being able to understand how other people are feeling is called “empathy.” Thank you to Mrs. Maw for her leadership with the “Roots of Empathy Program” at St. Francis.

Digital Images

Our students and staff enjoy opportunities to share some of their activities with parents/guardians, and the school community through teams, clubs, and special events. Many of these are “memory making” for families and as such photographs are often taken. We ask that families exercise their discretion when taking photographs or videos at school events and consider the privacy of other students who may also be present in those pictures. We would appreciate if families not upload images of students other than their own to the Internet (e.g. YouTube; Facebook). Your cooperation is appreciated.


This provincial assessment provides the opportunity for our students in Grade 3 and Grade 6 to demonstrate their skills and knowledge of Reading, Writing and Mathematics. Below are our EQAO scores for the Spring 2017 showing percentage of students at or above the provincial standard (levels 3 and 4).

Grade 3: Reading 88; Writing 88; Math 50 and Grade 6: Reading 89; Writing 100; Math 63

Student achievement data help us to know what students are learning and to help improve learning for all students. Test booklets and examples of student answers from the past five years are available at There is also a parent resource section for your perusal on the EQAO website. As a school, we are preparing our students for EQAO by working on questions and mathematical language that align with EQAO. Please see below two multiple choice questions from the EQAO website in the area of Mathematics.

 An example of a Multiple-Choice Grade 3 Mathematics Question

A store has 7 tricycles. How many wheels in total are on these 7 tricycles? 3, 7, 14, or 21.

An example of a Multiple-Choice Grade 6 Mathematics Question

A store sells 12 oranges for $3.96. How much does one orange cost? $3.84, $3.03, $0.39 or $0.33.

School Improvement Plan Focus

At St. Francis, we as a staff are focusing on the following question to assist with instructional and assessment practices and opportunities for our students to grow in their learning:

How do collaboration of teaching, triangulation of data, rich tasks help students to consolidate their thinking and clarify misconceptions during inquiry math?

In the classroom and when working collaboratively with others, students have the opportunity to discuss misconceptions and next steps for their learning, engage in their learning by making deeper connections (to self, the world), and justify and explain their mathematical processes (problem solving, reasoning, critical thinking). Students work through mult-step and mult-strand inquiry questions. When assessing our students, staff are looking at the process to which the students arrived at their response, and at how the students can explain their thinking.

Math Bits: Number Sense

The math strand of Number Sense involves an understanding of and an ability to manipulate numbers. A strong foundation in number sense can create opportunities for future math success.

Play “Guess my Number” with mathematicians of all ages. For younger learners, use friendlier numbers, but don’t hesitate to challenge them. For example, “I am thinking of a number which is 2 less than 10.” Or, “Guess my number; it is between 7 and 40. I have some hints you can ask me to give you more information.”

For older learners, consider using decimals or negative numbers. For instance, “I am thinking of a number between 10.2 and 10.8”. You can also give clues if you like (i.e. “It is closer to 11 than it is to 10.” Or, “It’s half way between those numbers.”). Make it as challenging as you see fit. Encourage them to come up with their own “guess my number” idea that you will try to answer. This is a great opportunity to model your thinking out loud. You can check out this website as well:

Safe Schools Team

 For December, the focus of the month is Compassionate Christian. When students display this quality, they demonstrate their compassion for all; care about the needs of others; are understanding, accepting, helpful and sympathetic. These are the expectations the staff will be looking for when recognizing the student of the month for December.

When a Green Slip is given, this information is communicated to the parent/guardian via a label in the agenda book. Thank you to parents/guardians for your support as we work together as a team.


A concussion is a type of brain injury that is caused by a bump, blow or jolt to the head. Concussions can also be caused from a fall or blow to the body. It is extremely important to seek medical attention if signs or symptoms of a concussion are present: ringing in ears, headache, fatigue, irritability, vision imbalance, difficulty concentrating, dizziness, nausea, vomiting. For more information on concussion and injury prevention, please visit,

If a student happens to get a bump, blow or jolt to the head at school, a phone call will be made to parents/guardians to determine one of the response options:

  • Come to the school and assess student
  • Pick up student
  • Provide permission for student to remain at school

A copy of the Symptoms/Sign form and Parent Handout will be sent home to all students if there is a bump, blow or jolt to the head while at school.­­