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Principal’s Message November

From the Principal’s Desk…

Thank you for your support at our Halo’s and Horns Hoe Down Throw Down. AMAZING!!!!! Balaclava’s Home and School association is an amazing group of parents dedicated to fundraising and volunteering to enhance the school environment.   This year’s extravaganza deserve special accolades because of the amount of time and effort these parents put into this initiative, the caring and amazing receptiveness of the entire school community, and the fabulous amount of money raised – $40000.00. Thank you so very much to Cyndy, Heather, Sarah and Corrine for facilitating such an amazing event.  This was really an excellent example of the power of a ‘community school’ coming together to support their staff and students and Cyndy, Heather, Sarah and Corinne were the guiding force behind the initiative. Our next step is to debate the best use of the funds for the students (feel free to attend Home and School meetings and join in the discussions!).

Balaclava had an amazing showing at the Track and field event on October 9th and had many top 3 and top 10 finishes. Our Volleyball season is going amazingly well – thank you to all of the coaches for their dedication and to the parents who volunteer to drive, supervise, etc. The children and teachers have been working hard in the classes with their Learning Cycles leading up to the Progress reports which will be going home on November 18th. Teachers will be in contact with parents/guardians to set up interview times to discuss these reports during the evenings on Wednesday and/or Thursday November 19th and 20th as well as on the PA day on Friday, November 21st.

Congratulations! Balaclava has attained outstanding results in many areas of this Provincial EQAO Assessment. The students in grade three have secured a 81 % in Reading, 91% in Writing and 84 % in Mathematics. The grade 6 students have secured 96% in Reading, 96% in Writing and 50% in Mathematics. Our Grade 6 students’ ability to develop a main idea with supporting details, organize information and ideas in a coherent manner, and use spelling, grammar, punctuation is really exceptional as shown in the details of this assessment. Our School Improvement goals for the 2014/2015 school year will focus on incorporating new pedagogies for deeper learning to enhance student understanding and improve student achievement in mathematics We will have a focus on Critical Literacy, Critical Thinking and Problem Solving in all subject areas.  We will continue to focus on using descriptive feedback – creating classrooms that are engaging, inquiry based, and involve higher level thinking skills in mathematics while still focusing on the required skills needed to scaffold success.

As the weather gets cooler each day, please ensure that students continue to come to school well prepared to go outside. All students should be dressed appropriately, so that they may participate in all aspects of the school program. Insulated jackets, snow pants, hats, gloves, scarves and warm boots will be necessary as the temperature begins to drop. We recommend that parents and guardians label all items of clothing. The Lost and Found box is overflowing!!! Please see the information from Home and School about the plans for Lost and Found this year. Please also keep a labelled pair of indoor shoes in your child’s classroom, so that we can keep our classrooms clean and dry. We do not want our students walking around in their socks – this is a health and safety issue.

Students who are well enough to attend school will go out for recess. In cases of extreme cold, inclement weather, or dangerous playground conditions due to ice, recess will be held indoors (please see the inclement weather policy on the HWDSB website). During inclement weather, students will be inside and supervised indoors by our teaching staff.

We have a busy month of November planned and look forward to seeing our students continue to grow and excel in all areas of the school environment. The Balaclava staff, parent support, board resources, and technology have allowed us to excel in so many areas and we will continue to set high expectations for achievement. Thank you to everyone for their excellent work, positive attitude, support and caring for our students.




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Watch: One More Game
"Back in the Game" chronicled the seasons of high school football teams in Hamilton and Edmonton. Both teams will be featured in a full length documentary on TSN prior to the Grey Cup game. In this emotional excerpt from the documentary the Eastglen Blue Devils (Edmonton, AB) and HWDSB's Sir John A. Macdonald Chiefs (Hamilton, On) find out that they will be going to the Grey Cup game courtesy of Nissan.