Spring Creek Communicator - June 30, 2022
Message from Spring Creek Administration
Dear Spring Creek Families,
I also want to thank all of our staff for doing a tremendous job this year! We are so fortunate to have such a dedicated and talented staff who never hesitate to go above and beyond for our students at Springs Creek. This school is amazing and this is due in large part to their efforts, commitment and outstanding work they do for our school community.
Lastly, a huge thank you to our students. We are all so proud of the growth we have witnessed throughout this year. You are all amazing humans who are caring and compassionate and make Spring Creek a true community school and an amazing place to learn and play.
On behalf of all the staff at Spring Creek Community School, we wish all of our families a safe, relaxing and joyous summer.
Mario Tenisci | Principal
Starting for the 2022-23 school year, we are asking families to not buy their own school supplies. Rather, we are asking that you save your own time seeking to fulfil the school supplies requested by your student’s classroom teacher; rather, you let the classroom teacher do the purchasing at discounted prices. Families will see a charge in KEV at the beginning of the year for $45.00/student in primary grades and $55.00/student in intermediate grades to cover school supplies for your child for the year. The reason for this change is as follows:
- Endeavor to have a smaller footprint on the world – less duplicates and ‘waste’.
- Benefits student community as it provides identical school supplies for all students in a classroom, promoting inclusion;
- Benefits students as we receive a discount from our wholesale supplies allowing more supplies to be purchased with the same budget;
- Benefits parents as we received cheap prices and it saves parents time from having to shop and/or travel to shop for school supplies; and,
- Benefits teacher classroom management and preparedness as it ensures all supplies are here prior to the first day of school so teachers can be ready on the first day of school.
As this change benefits parents, students and teachers, we hope it is welcomed by all of our stakeholder. If you have any comments, questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out.
Summer Watering of our Pollinator Garden
We are looking to fill 6 1 hour shifts a week during the summer to help watering our Pollinator garden. Watering duties would only be necessary if its dry and hot. If you are available to help with this, please contact [email protected]. Any help is welcome!
Introducing our new sponsor student in Kenya: Vincent Jama. From the Pa-Moja website: “This is a brother and sister who once didn’t have the hope of living. Both were under the care of their mother who struggled to put food on the table let alone taking them to school. The children often slept outside but with the help of the PA-MOJA team … they got a place they could call home and a sponsor to pay their school fees. They both live in Nanyuki Furaha Foundation (an orphanage), a place they say is full of love and care. Mary Ann and Vincent can now afford a smile. Mary Ann says Vincent is very playful and always looks up to her like his mother. On behalf of her brother, Mary Ann would wish to thank their donors who gave them hope of living and a very special gift of taking them to school.”
“PA-MOJA is a home grown non-profit organization that was created by a group of teachers at Langley Fine Arts School, Canada, in 2006. Our community was inspired by the dream of primatologist, Dr. Gillian LaPrairie, who spent seven years in Kenya working with the Ol Pejeta Wildlife Conservancy and the surrounding communities. Her work with both people and wildlife made her realize that “You can’t help wildlife without helping people first.”
Pa-Moja club is proud to be able to sponsor Vincent’s living costs and school fees. This year we raised $1,379.20, to help him and support others in need in the area. Thank you to all the Spring Creek Community School members who helped with our fundraising this year and who are helping to make the world a better place for communities and wildlife a world away!
BC Lions Tickets
BC Lions have offered all SCCS students a free youth ticket to one of our regular season games in 2022. Pas parents, you can redeem the free youth ticket and purchase discounted adult tickets if you so choose. Tickets can be accessed here: https://www.bclions.com/energy-champions-ticket-offer/.
Learning Connections from Staff and Students
Class placement is a thoughtful process that is not completed until early September when exact student populations and staff members are known; however, to begin the process it is important to have as much information as possible. If your family is not returning to Spring Creek Community School in September please inform the school office at 604-935-3822 or [email protected] as soon as possible.
The placement process ensures that thoughtful consideration of each child’s social, emotional and intellectual strengths are aligned with the need to create balanced and effective learning environments that honour student diversity. It is important to note that the placement of each child to a class is made by a team that includes: the child’s current classroom teacher(s) as well as our Learning Support Teachers and the school Principal. This professional team considers each placement carefully as they create groupings rich in diversity. In addition to individual circumstances, criteria considered in the placement process include:
- Balanced instructional groups: considering academic needs and strengths, teaching/learning styles and work habits.
- Positive social groups considering: supportive peer groupings, positive leaders
- Our philosophy is based on a strength-based approach, considering all aspects of student learning including a child’s capacity to self-regulate, to collaborate, think critically, be creative, and the students’ general academic, social and emotional strengths and needs.
It is important for parents to understand that any requests made for placements will be considered as one factor alongside the criteria stated above. Requests for specific teachers will not be considered; however, matching learning styles to teaching styles is a factor listed above and is a considering factor in the placement process.
Student Mental Health
Article from the Washington Post (June 20, 2019)
An 8-year-old girl sits on my couch, squeezing a stress ball and staring out the window. She’s feeling anxious. I am a psychotherapist, and I talk her through a deep breathing exercise to help her feel less anxious, but she can’t stop thinking about her worries. She tells me that she has 18 days left of school, and that it’s not nearly enough.
With the end of the school year approaching, it’s natural to think that she might be relieved. She made it through another year. For this child, however, it’s the opposite. She does enjoy some parts of the summer: She likes swimming, has fun with her family and doesn’t miss homework. But with both of her parents working for most of the summer, she has to enroll in several week-long day camps. This means constant transitions and new rules. Long weekends away with family and friends disrupt sleep routines.
We think of the summer months as carefree and relaxing, but many kids actually experience an uptick in anxiety during the break. Anxious kids rely on carefully crafted routines, and too little structure or shifting routines can feel overwhelming. There are several factors that can negatively affect anxious kids during the summer:
- New, and not necessarily improved, daily routines. Kids with anxiety thrive in familiar settings with a fair amount of structure because they like to know what to expect. The trouble with summer is that routines generally change. Whether a child is enrolled in day camps, overnight camps, or even staying home, the rules and expectations change. The lack of predictability and structure can trigger worry and be overwhelming. It can also result in meltdowns.
- Overscheduling. Parents may see the break as an opportunity to help their kids step outside their comfort zones by loading them up with shiny new experiences. “Many parents view the summer months as a time for children to ‘catch up,’ improve or gain an edge, and enroll them in numerous classes or activities, leaving little or no time for kids to relax and rejuvenate,” says Susan Newman, a social psychologist and author of “Little Things Long Remembered: Making Your Children Feel Special Every Day.” “Piling on and filling time only adds to their stress and anxiety that, ideally, summer break is theoretically designed to reduce.”
- Changes in eating habits. Summer is often treated as a time for bending the rules and enjoying ice cream cones, Popsicles and other sugary sweets. Although a little bit of indulgence is always fun, too much of a good thing (or straying too far from the healthy balance you work all year to promote) can affect how kids feel both physically and emotionally.
- Changes in sleep habits. It’s common for kids to have periods where they don’t sleep well, but patterns of poor or inconsistent sleep can negatively affect their mental health. Sleep and anxiety have a fairly complicated relationship. Research shows that sleep problems predict escalating anxiety symptoms, and that anxious kids have difficulty falling and staying asleep. “It can be so easy to let bedtimes slide in the summer, especially when it’s light so much later,” says Carla Naumburg, author of “How to Stop Losing Your Sh*t With Your Kids.” “But getting your kids to sleep at a reasonable hour is incredibly important.”
- Too much screen time. Believe me, I understand. You’re tired of hearing about the screens. You might also be tired of hearing your kids ask for just a few more minutes of screen time on a rainy (or even perfectly sunny) summer day. Many kids enjoy technology and use screens to connect with their friends or fill their downtime. A recent study found an association, though, between more screen use and a small increased risk of anxiety and depression. Although it might be tempting to focus on the words “small increased risk” or state that more research is needed (it is), it’s also important to note that any risk is too much when it comes to our kids’ mental health.
- Travel worries. Family travel can be a lot of fun and create lifetime memories, but it can also feel overwhelming. From flight anxiety to travel delays to sleeping in strange places and dealing with change, travel isn’t always easy for little worriers.
How to help kids cope: Although there’s no easy fix, parents can take steps to help prepare anxious children for the changes that occur during the summer:
- Get back to basics. Balanced nutrition (including occasional s’mores), plenty of water and exercise, a consistent sleep routine and regular periods of downtime and unstructured play are essential for helping your anxious child thrive during the summer.
- Trust your gut. You don’t have to accept every pool party invitation or force a sleepover. Take the opportunity to tune in to your child’s needs and focus on creating a relaxing summer.
- Maintain the usual sleep routine. Although the sun sets a little later during the summer, your child still needs the same amount of sleep. Consider white noise, relaxing music, blackout shades, or even a weighted blanket to help ease your child into sleep. And although a couple of late nights won’t pose too much of a problem, don’t make a habit of it. Preserving the sleep routine that your child relies on during the school year can prevent him or her from losing sleep or getting caught in a pattern of constant adjustments.
- Set healthy boundaries. Screens are alluring, and they certainly feel like a lifesaver during long flights or car rides, but the key to teaching moderation is to practice it. “Any sort of screen time can be anxiety-producing,” Naumburg says, “but especially time spent on social media, or watching scary shows or movies. And remember, shows that we may perceive as relatively benign may still be upsetting for some children.” The same goes for video games. What might seem innocent and fun in the moment can trigger big worries for young children after the fact. It’s fine to use limits built into your devices (or an app such as Bark) to shut down screens after a certain amount of time, but be sure to talk to your kids about the expectations and boundaries.
- Spend time together. Day trips and travel are fun, but you don’t need to spend a lot of money to create lasting summer memories with your kids. More often than not, kids tell me they just want to spend time with their parents. They don’t really worry about how that time is spent. “Doing fun things together — be it a hike or a trip or backyard picnics or even cooking together on a regular basis — is more important for your children’s mental health than sports camps or summer academics to get ahead for the next school year,” Newman says. “You will build bonds and memories that will last a lifetime.”
- Plan for travel. It might be easier for you to do the packing, but asking your child to help gives him some control. Anxious kids tend to prefer to bring certain comfort items and clothing when they leave home, so ask your child for input. It also helps to discuss the details of the trip, including any layovers or pit stops, and what to expect if you do experience travel delays or other problems.
- Slow down. Although many kids need day camps during working hours, there’s no need to overload them with extra activities and new experiences. Look for local camps that focus on outdoor play and include downtime. These programs tend to have predictable routines and regular breaks from the action.
Katie Hurley is a child and adolescent psychotherapist and parenting educator, and the author of the new book “No More Mean Girls: The Secret to Raising Strong, Confident and Compassionate Girls.” You can find her on Twitter and on her blog, Practical Parenting.
Thank you to the Real Estate Association of Whistler (REAW)!
The REAW generously contributed $1,000 towards all local, public school PACs for our fundraising efforts this year as well as donating $9,500 to the Whistler Community Services Society “Kids Can Cook” program. With these funds, we sponsored a school-wide ‘Hot Chocolate Day’ earlier this year. Together with our Spring Creek Super Parents - Jen Ford, Connie Spear & Katherine Currall, (and some terrific SCCS students) this past week we also sponsored a “Fruit Kebab Day” for all students with these remaining funds. Thank you to the supportive Real Estate Association of Whistler!
Thank you to all Current SCCS PAC Volunteers and Outgoing Volunteers Cristiana Spooner & Anita Patel!
Thank you to the following SCCS Super Parents for all they do every day, week and year to make our school better!
Katherine Currall, Outgoing Chair
Martin Kraut, Treasurer
Monica Small, Secretary
Jen Ford, Director - Social Media & Website
Aryn Brown, Hot Lunch Administrator, Flower Fundraiser
Kate Argall, Hot Lunch Coordinator
Jane Dixon, Hot Lunch Chef
Cristiana Spooner, Santa’s Workshop and DPAC Representative
Anita Patel, Santa’s Workshop
Nicole Leddy, Santa’s Workshop
Lindsey Ataya, Scholastic Book Fairs
Liane Dunsmuir, School Supplies
Sarah Morphy, Fruit & Veggie Coordinator
Kathleen Orr, Family Movie Night
*And a BIG thank you to all hot lunch volunteer teams and all parents, guardians, caregivers who have helped in any way in the past. We couldn’t be as successful as we are without each of you and your time, commitment and support!
**Thank you as well to Cristiana Spooner for your many years of service to our school as a DPAC Representative and an always enthusiastic Santa’s Workshop leader. Your valuable input helped to shape our school over the years and we are every appreciative and you will be missed. We wish you luck as your youngest heads off to high school!
***Thank you, Anita Patel, for all your support as well with Santa’s Workshop & the DPAC. We look forward to seeing you around town in Whistler in the future!
PAC Executive Open Positions for Next School Year:
The PAC executive continues to look to add to our team (so that we can continue to have fantastic events like movie night). The following positions are currently available:
Chair/Co-Chair Position *the role could be done by one individual or two*
Time Commitment – 4-6 hours monthly
District-PAC Representative Position
Time Commitment – 2-3 hours quarterly
If you are interested in learning more, please contact us today.
Have a very safe, restful and fun summer break!
Your SCCS PAC Team
Email: [email protected]
Community Workshops, Programs and Events
Important COVID Safety Information
Health Canada Approved Rapid Test Kits
Please read this letter from the BCCDC. Test kits will be distributed from the school office, and must be collected by a parent/guardian. We will not release these kits to students. Office hours are 8:00 am – 3:30 pm to pick these up. You may come during office hours to collect your allotted tests (one box per student). For information on safety and proper use of the test kits, please visit the BCCDC updated information here: Rapid Testing At Home web page.
SCCS COVID-19 Communicable Disease Plan