Home Learners’ Sports Days

As strict covid-19 measures continue to remain in place in schools,  we are not able to hold a school-wide sports day as we have done in previous years.  We are able to hold a small in-person event this year, which is at least a step up from the virtual sports day we had to have last year.  The key to holding a sports day event this year is that it has to be ‘small.’  The mainstream classes at Beaconsfield are having separate sports days for different groups, and we, as Home Learners’ will have our own sports day for our two student groups.
Our Sports Days will be as follows:
Primaries:  Monday, June 21
Intermediates: Friday, June 25th
Also, in keeping with Covid-19 protocols, parents and siblings will not be able to attend.  I will do my best to ensure photos are taken and shared with everyone.  Our Sports Days will consist of fun, participatory games for all the students to enjoy.  I haven’t worked out exactly where we will hold the games – school field, gym, park, etc., more details will be provided as I tee everything up.  Of course, if these days turn out to be rainy, we will adjust and do fun activities in the classroom.

End of the Year Fun

With the school year wrapping up, I’ve planned some fun theme days for the students to add a bit more fun into their weeks!  Mark your calendars!

  1.  Crazy Glasses Day:  Primaries:  Monday, June 7th, Intermediates, Thursday, June 10th.  I have cool cardboard glasses that the kids can decorate, put coloured “lenses” in and wear for the day!
  2. Crazy Hair Day:  Primaries:  Monday, June 14th,  Intermediates: Thursday, June 17th.  Come to school with your craziest hair-do!
  3. Tacky Tourist Day:  Primaries:  Tuesday June 22nd,  Intermediates:  Thursday June 24th.  Come to school dressed like a tacky tourist!

End of the year celebration.  The School Board is still following strict guidelines regarding gatherings and events, so, unfortunately, we are unable to hold a family-type gathering.  As per my previous posts, The PAC is providing each class with some funds to do something as a class, so the kids will get a small celebration in class, but we are unable to meet outside the school or gather as groups.

Classes will have their celebrations the last full week of school, Primaries on Monday, June 21st and Intermediates on Friday, June 25th.  

Opportunity for Intermediates

Canada's History

Young Citizens 2021

Canada’s National History Society is launching the tenth edition of the Young Citizens program. Since the program’s inception in 2012, more than 1,100 projects have been created by young Canadians who share a passion for history and are great leaders in their schools and communities. Kristin Smith, one of the program’s first alumni, joined us in recognizing this milestone by fondly reflecting on her own Young Citizens experience.

The Society looks forward to welcoming more students into a national community of young storytellers. Students aged 10 to 18 are encouraged to produce a short video on the topic they explored as part of their virtual Heritage Fair project — or any other relevant social studies research project — taking the form of a journalistic report or a short documentary.

Videos are due to Canada’s National History Society no later than June 8, 2021. Starting June 14, Canadians will be able to vote for their favourite videos.


Getting Started

Will your students be participating in the Young Citizens program? Here are the steps for creating and submitting a project.

Student Guide

Check out the Practical Guide for Students to find the rules and tips for creating a project.

Photo Re-takes Wednesday, May 26th

If any Home Learners would like their photo retaken, please meet me at our usual entrance/exit door of the school at 9:00 a.m. tomorrow morning.  I will take all the students who want a re-take to the photographer, then bring them back once their photos are taken.

Thank you,


Social Media and Mental Health

This may be of interest to parents.

May 26th, 3:00 PM EST

Join The Social Dilemma, Lookup.Live, Children’s Screen Time Action Network and MTV News on May 26th at 3:00 PM EST as we discuss mental health and social media live with Gen Z activists & allies.


Holiday and Portfolios

The ducklings have been an endless source of joy and wonder for our students these past weeks.  We have had many visits from other classes in the school, and the children have all demonstrated kindness and a deep awareness of our human role in caring for the health and wellbeing of these small souls.  They are growing so fast that they have almost grown out of their brooder bin, so in consultation with the owner of the ducks, she will be taking them back to their mama and the farm tomorrow or Friday (and before I get so attached that I won’t be able to let them go…)

This coming Monday, May 24th is Victoria Day, so there will be no school.  There will be programming on Tuesday the 25th, then we transition into Portfolio Meetings.  Portfolio Meetings are being held from May 27th through June 4th.  There is no programming during Portfolio Meeting time.  School will resume on Monday, June 7th.

Please ensure you have booked your portfolio meeting with me if you have not done so already.  As previously discussed, I need parents to write out an overview of everything your child(ren) has/have been learning at home.  If you can please email this to me at least the day prior to your meeting it will allow me the time necessary to go through it, prepare questions or clarifications, etc.  For the majority of my students, this information will provide the basis of their final report for the school year.

What I need specifically is a listing of what was accomplished for each curricular area.  Please include:


Language Arts (for Primaries:  a) reading b) writing c) listening/speaking


Social Studies

Applied Design, Skills, and Technologies

Physical and Health Education

Arts Education

Career Education

Second Language (for Intermediates)

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to ask!

Finally, the Beaconsfield PAC is providing us with approximately $7-8 per child to do something special for the end of the school year, as a class.  I have asked both groups what they might like to do, but with the parameters of covid, the kids are at a bit of a loss.  I am thinking of planning an outing/picnic at Trout Lake and providing some fun food/snacks for the kids?  If anyone has any neat ideas, I more than welcome them. Every year in past years I have also held a beach day at Spanish Banks for families and kids.  If families are interested in doing that during the last week of school, please let me know.  The Park Board has gotten a bit grouchy about booking those days, so I would need to hear from people ASAP on that one.


Individual Photo Day

Individual photo day will be on Thursday, May 6th.  Our Principal will be sending out a message to all families about photo day shortly.

For all Home Learners, Primaries and Intermediates who would like a photo taken, please bring your child to meet me at the regular door we enter and exit for school every day.  I will meet all students who would like a photo taken right at 9:00 a.m. at the door on Thursday.  Parents are asked, as regular protocol, to wait outside the school property on the sidewalk.  I will then take all the children, Primaries and Intermediates, to have their photos taken.  I will bring the students back to our regular entry/exit door for parents to pick up once the photos are done.  In total, it should take about 15 – 20 minutes.

Please be on time as all the classes in the school are tightly scheduled for the morning.  Late arrivals will not be accommodated.  There will also be picture re-takes at the end of the month, however, they occur during our portfolio meeting week.

Portfolio Time Fast Approaching

Portfolio meetings are fast approaching.  They will be held from May 27th through to June 4th. Please take a look at the available appointment times and email me your first and second choice of meeting times. Portfolio meetings are a mandatory component of the Home Learners’ Program, so please ensure you make an appointment with me.  Once I have booked your meeting time, I will send a link for us to meet virtually.

Due to the fact that we will be meeting virtually, I need parents to go through the Student Learning Plans for your child(ren) and prepare a written outline of the goals of each curricular area and what activities/reading/worksheets/workbooks/courses/books, etc., your child engaged in to fulfill their curricular goals. Just use the Goals and Content information on the left-hand column of the Student Learning Plan to indicate what they have completed, what they are still working on, or what they did not cover during this school year.  Please email me your written outline at least 1 day prior to your appointment day so I will be able to read it and prepare for our meeting.

Many of our parents already do this for all their portfolio meetings, so if you have questions, there may be some parents willing to share how they go about it – it isn’t onerous. Especially for Primaries, it won’t be detailed like my example, so don’t worry.

Here is a brief example of what I mean by outlining the goals of each curricular area.   If I had a grade 6 child, I would look at the goals for Grade 6 mathematics on the SLP and write for Mathematics:

Goals:  1.  My Child learned about whole number percents and percentage discounts using JUMP Math 6.2, figuring out what the percentages mean on advertisements, in flyers, and out shopping, and how much we saved on items discounted by a percentage when shopping.  They also have been working on pencil and paper calculations to future out percentage discounts using the formula to do so.

2.  My child is still working on improper fractions and the ordering of whole numbers and improper fractions using JUMP Math 6.1 and math manipulatives (fraction tiles).

etc… to complete the goals for Math.

Then I would do the same for each curricular area.

Last Two Weeks of April

You may have received an email from the Principal which mentioned early dismissal next week.  Please note that early dismissal does not apply to Home Learners.  Students will be attending as usual, 9-3.

Also, please note that Monday, April 26th is a Professional Day, so there is no school on Monday.

Enjoy the sunshine while it lasts!

April Showers

I am thankful for today’s rain, as I spent my long weekend tearing out my lawn and planting an alternative wildflower lawn.  We’ll see this weekend if I simply spread out very expensive birdseed, or if a blanket of pollinator flowers takes root!  With the gardening season emerging, I have asked for a garden plot for our class in the school garden and a small budget to purchase some seeds and plants with the kids.  I will keep everyone posted about what will happen with that.

Many questions about allotments…The last day to submit allotment requests is Friday, April 30th at noon.  There are no exceptions to this deadline as it has to do with the accounting deadlines at the school board.  I have had to say no to families who have submitted after the deadline in the past, and it isn’t something I enjoy doing.

Families have also asked me how much they have left in their allotments and those questions aren’t as easy to answer as usual.  I usually have a good idea myself, but since I was away, I don’t know how much was submitted before I returned, and with all the extra admin work for the office because of covid, our admin staff are swamped and tallies are not current.  I ask that families do their best to figure out what they have spent to date and submit for what you think you have left.  The earlier the better.  If you submit for something and there are not funds left in your allotment, I will simply let you know.  However, please keep in mind that if you want to do this, please don’t wait as we won’t be able to advise you of monies left over after the 30th as the accounts are closed at that point.

Scholastic orders please email directly to me.  Anything else, please place a paper allotment form with your items or invoices attached directly in the mailbox at the front door.  Thank you.

Finally, for the Primaries, please mark April 26th off on your calendar as that is a Professional Day and there will be no school that day.

Spring Break

This is a friendly reminder that for the weeks of March 15th and 22nd, school is closed as it is Spring Break. Programming will resume on Monday, March 29th.  Enjoy your break and stay safe!

On another note, a few parents have asked me about My Blueprint.  My Blueprint was a platform offered to teachers (and parents, presumably)  at VSB during the time in which I was away.  Some teachers chose to use it, others not.  I was not made aware of it and therefore do not have it.  Any student work you would like to share with me between portfolio meetings, please email to me.  Thank you.


It is that time of the year in which this program is being flooded with enquiries and registrations regarding the availability of placements in our program for the next school year.

If your child or children will not be attending next year, kindly let me know ASAP.  If you wish to keep that information confidential at this time, I understand and am able to do so, but please do let me know so that I might offer spots to potential students on the waitlist.

Thank you for your consideration.


The Week Ahead

For Everyone:

Friday is a Professional Day, so there will be no school for the Intermediates.  Monday is Family Day, so again there will be no school.


This past Monday, the Primaries started regular Library time.  Primary students may borrow a library book every week and need to return their books the following Monday.  Only children who have returned their books may borrow another one.  I am very grateful to our Librarian for going over and above to provide us with library time.  The primaries will not be having scheduled gym time, but I will be taking them out for exercise and play, weather permitting.

Primary Class Request

For Black History Month, the children are learning about famous Black leaders around the world.  On Tuesday, I will be reading a story and teaching them about Rosa Parks.  I am going to do an art activity in which the children put a photo of themselves in the window of a school bus.  I am asking parents to please email me a small head shot of your child(ren) so I can get the photos printed up and prepared for Tuesday.

Thank you!

Portfolio Meetings

As we all get into the swing of things with the change in teacher for the kids and adjustment to different teaching styles and approach to curriculum, we have decided, for this year only, to cancel February portfolio meetings.  For my part, I’d like the children to get into the swing of things, and not have the momentum broken up just as we get on-pace, especially as Spring Break is only 6 weeks away.  I will be contacting some families to touch base, see how things are going, and how I can support you going forward.

What’s Happening?!

I’m very happy to be back, and I want to thank people for their warm words of welcome.  I know it can be challenging for kids to change teachers in the middle of a school year, so I hope the transition is as smooth and angst-free as possible for everyone.  It is only day 3 back, so I am aware I am not on top of everything, but I wanted to start getting back to some of my tried-and-true routines with the kids and families.


I have had some enquiries about Scholastic and I sent home the current flyer with the Primaries yesterday.  Here is how Scholastic works:  If you wish to pay out-of-pocket, then go ahead and order online through the parent portal, but be aware, using this route, your Scholastic orders will not be paid for with your allotment and I cannot reimburse for items you purchase.  If you wish to use your allotment, send me a detailed email of what you want to order and where you located it – that is, is it in the current flyer, on the website, was it in a past flyer, and if so, which one?  Then I will order it for you and the cost will be deducted from your allotment.  Prices on the flyers (BC) and on the website are the total cost excluding shipping.  Flyer items ship free (if they meet a minimum order of $25), online items ship at about 10% of the total cost – so add another 10% on to your order for your own record keeping. If you wish to order something less than $25, I will simply wait until another order is sent to me and order items together for families to save shipping costs.

Primary Show & Tell:

We will be getting back to scheduled Show & Tell.  If I miss someone in the schedule, please send me an email and I will rectify the error.  If your child(ren) end up missing their allotted day, I will simply re-schedule them, no worries.  Also, if children do not wish to participate in show and tell, that is absolutely fine, just let me know. Finally, I ask that children bring something related to their learning and ask for no toys or stuffies, especially right now as the other children will want to touch and play with these types of things also.


Monday, February 8: Audrey

Tuesday, February 9:  Aprilia

Tuesday, February 16: Sophie K.

Monday, February 22: Chloe

Tuesday, February 23: Theo

Monday, March 1: Eden

Tuesday, March 2: Brixton

Monday, March 8: Skye

Tuesday, March 9: Stella

Monday, March 29: Sophia (T-L)

Tuesday, March 30: Tisa

Valentines Day:

The theme for Valentines Day is Kind things we can say to one another. The Primaries have been enthusiastically writing notes to each other, copying phrases from the board that they came up with.   It has been pretty great having the children want to spend their time writing to one another!  Our class rule is that if children want to give out valentines, they need to give one to everyone, and not leave anybody out.  If you need a list of children’s first names in their class, please let me know and I will email it to you.  Because of covid, we cannot share goodies or snacks, but things like individually wrapped treats (such as lollipops, candies, etc.) can be given out.  If there are any allergies or concerns, please let me know.  I personally won’t be giving out any treats, but families are most welcome to bring some treats to be distributed to the children if you’d like.  The primaries will open their valentines mailboxes on the 9th, and the intermediates on the 12th.





Mailbox for our Program


Our “mailbox” or “drop box” to pick up and drop off forms, assignments, etc., will be outside at the front door of the school starting tomorrow morning at 9:00 a.m.

I have decided to label it “Shannon’s Drop Box.”  I decided this because I think that no matter what iteration of of our name I labeled it, i.e. “Home Learner’s box,” or “Home Learner’s Program box,”  or “H.L. box,” there would be someone from one of the mainstream classes who is currently doing the transition choice who will be confused and think the box is for them.  So, look for the “Shannon’s Drop Box” label on the lid and side of the bin!

Class Welcome and Introductions

In this very strange covid situation, some students will be returning to programming at Beaconsfield, some won’t, and some may at a later date.  I know when I am meeting people, I like to be able to put a face to a name, and I know all the students are curious about who is in their group this year!

I’m asking parents to email me a photo of (each) your children.  Head shots/faces are best.  I am going to put the photos into a little welcome and intro presentation for our students.  Your child(ren)’s photo will not be shared outside the group nor used for any other purposes unless I contact you and get express approval to do so (which sometimes happens, but rarely).

I hope that by making a presentation to send out that the students will feel more like this is “their” group and class and feel more a part of what is going on.  It is hard to build community during this darned pandemic!

Thank you in advance for sending your photo and if I may, I’m asking for photos to be sent by Friday, September 18th.

Thanks Kindly,