WELCOME TO A NEW SCHOOL YEAR!
I sincerely hope that families were able to connect with friends and loved ones over the summer and are refreshed and happy to be back at Gordon. We have many new faces here at Gordon and we have enjoyed welcoming students and parents back to school. A great deal of wonderful learning occurs here at Gordon and we all value your involvement and input as members of the community. Working together this year we hope to accomplish many great things!
Student packages will be going home next week or early the following week. Please read through them carefully as there are some forms that need to be signed and others that are just for your information. This year the VSB is working towards a digital solution to collecting consent from students and parents/guardians. Instead of all the paper that is printed and distributed at the beginning of the year, the VSB has digitalized the following forms:
VSB Internal Use Media Consent
External Use Media Consent
CASL – Canadian Anti-Spam Legislation
Adobe CC Consent (if applicable)
Student AUP – Acceptable Use Policy
Step-by-step instructions will be sent home on how to access and complete these forms.
We all feel very fortunate to be in such a respectful and supportive community but it is always a good reminder to remember that the Vancouver School Board is committed to fostering safe schools that promote mutual respect, cooperation, and social responsibility. There is zero tolerance for violence, harassment, or disrespectful behaviour in the school community. We strive to make our schools and sites welcoming places for everyone in our community. You will see new posters in the office that highlight this.
As we begin a new school year, we ask that you pause and remember VSB staff are valued community members. Be considerate, and ask, will my actions or words hurt someone?
It is our shared responsibility to ensure interactions are conducted safely and respectfully. Students learn here, and together we can be models for those that are watching.
Please take a moment to download our updated School Calendar. This includes when school is not in session as well as Professional Development Days. Our first Professional Development Day will be on Fri., September 22 (school is not in session for students) and Mon., October 2 will be in lieu of National Day of Truth and Reconciliation. School will not be in session.
KINDERGARTEN PARENTS & GUARDIANS
First of all, I would like to thank you for all the hard work you have done in preparing your child over the last five years for this new adventure. The staff and community are grateful to you for trusting us in partnering with you in educating your child. This is a big step and we would like to express our gratitude to you for choosing Gordon as the school for your child.
MOVING TO NEW CLASSES
On Monday, students will be transitioning to their new classes. We know that this can be an anxious time for students. As a school, we continue to focus on building resiliency and change is a good opportunity for developing this life skill. We ask parents to play a crucial role in helping their child transition to their new class by being a calm and empathetic listener, while at the same time modelling positivity towards the benefits of how change can be a good thing. Experience has shown us that children are remarkably adaptable and settle into their new learning environment quite quickly. The staff here at Gordon carefully considered parental input and spent many hours building classes with the educational, social, and emotional needs of students at the forefront of their decisions. Classes are created with the entire group in mind and dynamics for the year have been carefully considered.
Our primary goal is to provide a supportive and conducive learning environment for students. In doing so, efforts have been made to place students with at least one friend to help ease the transition. Please be aware that not every child may end up in the same class with preferred friends. This is sometimes intentional, as it can encourage students to forge new relationships and concentrate within the classroom setting. While your child may not be in the same class with all their close friends, please remind them that they will continue to have opportunities to interact during recess, lunchtime, and before and after school.
Please note that we will not consider classroom moves based solely on social preferences. Within the first two weeks of school each year, they establish a multitude of new friendships and settle into their new classroom environments very well.
We appreciate your trust in our decisions and your understanding that moving students once classes are set is very unsettling and counter to our goal of building resiliency. Should you believe there are extenuating circumstances affecting your child’s placement after the initial adjustment period of two weeks, I encourage you to schedule an appointment to discuss the situation. We are committed to ensuring that every student has the best possible experience at Gordon and are looking forward to another exciting year together.
Here are a few tips about building resiliency from BC Children’s Hospital – Healthy Bodies & Minds – Boosting Resiliency in Students.
When your child will be late or away for the day, please call the office at (604) 713-5403 and press 1 to reach the voicemail system to leave a message. When leaving your message please speak slowly and clearly as we will be writing all the information down. The details we require are your child’s full name, their teacher’s name and their division and how long they will be absent for. Alternately, you can email us using the email address: email@example.com.
If the school has not received a message from you by 9:15 am then we will begin calling parents or guardians on the child’s emergency contact list. Please ensure that the phone numbers you have provided us will reach a person who will answer the phone. If this information changes at any point in the school year, please contact the office.
As this is a voice mail system please call at any hour as soon as you are aware of the absence or lateness as the system takes calls on a 24 hour basis.
PICK-UP AND DROP-OFF OF STUDENTS
More specific information will be sent home to parents regarding safe routes to school as well as drop-off and pick-up traffic reminders. For now, I would like to strongly encourage you to park 1-2 blocks away from the school and walk in to drop-off or pick-up your child. This lessens congestion around the school and is a healthy way to start and end the day! Please obey the no stopping and parking signs and refrain from backing out of lane-ways and doing U-turns in the middle of the street. We all want to keep our children safe!
Students are never to leave the school property without a permitted adult. Only designated adults that are indicated on your child’s emergency contact form will be allowed to pick up your child. If you need to pick up your child early or take them out of school, please come into the office to either sign them out or sign them back in.
If you are late arriving at school, come to the doors by the office (north side) and ask your child to sign in at the office.
All students must be picked up at 3:03 PM. If you are running late, please call the office and let Ms. Heidi know.
HOP ON OUR FRIDAY BIKE BUS
Last spring we started a bike bus to our school. It’s a group of children and families riding to school together. It’s a fun, healthy, and safe way to arrive to school. It is also a great way to meet some of your neighbours and make friends! Check out this cool video made by the City of Vancouver about our very own Bike Bus!
Join the bike bus every Friday starting September 8th!
East Route starts from Kits House at 8:40 AM. Riders are welcome to join from any corner along 8th Ave.
North Route starts from Tatlow Park at 8:40 AM. Riders are welcome to join from any corner along Balaclava Street.
We’re also always looking for more volunteers to get involved. Please email the PAC if you are interested in helping out: PACgeneralgordon@gmail.com
More info here.
ARRIVE ON TIME, LEAVE ON TIME
Teachers will continue to pick up students outside at designated spots on the school grounds each morning and dismiss them from there. It is very important for students to arrive at school on time and to start the day together as a class.
Warning Bell: 8:55 AM
Welcoming Bell: 9:00 AM
Recess: 10:30 AM – 10:50 AM
Lunch: 12:10 PM – 12:57 PM
Dismissal Bell: 3:03 PM
If your child has a medical condition requiring medication that must be administered at school, a parent will need to fill out a Request for Administration of Medication at School. We also have a form for those requiring a Medical Care Plan such as administration of an EPI PEN. Students are never to self-administer medication at school without supervision and all medication must be stored in the office. This includes “over the counter” medications as well as prescription medications. Please contact Ms. Heidi in the office for these forms if your child has a medical condition that requires medication.
Parents are reminded that medication cannot be administrated by school staff until these forms are completed. Staff are trained by the Community Health Nurse for the administration of medication as well as an EPI PEN in case of an emergency.
SCHOOL CASH ONLINE
The VSB uses School Cash Online as its preferred method of payment for school fees. This secure system helps parents/guardians and community members pay school-related fees safely, quickly, and easily online. You will be receiving detailed instructions that outline how to register and create your profile if you have not used this system before. Please read the documents carefully and let us know if you have any questions. You can also find information on our school website by clicking here.
STUDENT ACCIDENT INSURANCE
The VSB is offering parents access to two voluntary student accident plans which offer coverage for students and their families against accidental injury, unexpected medical/dental expenses, and critical illness. The two companies that are offering this product are the IA Family Accident Reimbursement Plan (FARP) and Study Insured. Please contact the companies directly if you have any questions.
VSB DOG POLICY
Dogs are not allowed on the school grounds, play fields or in the school at any time between the hours of 8:00 am – 5:00 pm and during other organized school events outside of these hours, unless they are service dogs. Please take some time to review the VSB’s Dog Code, posted on the bright green signs on the fences which includes more detailed information.
Our school grounds and buildings are very active places with many children playing and moving about. Some children are afraid of dogs and/or allergic to them. School age children may put themselves at risk without thinking and get hurt by a dog. Unfortunately, dog feces have been left on our playgrounds, which is a concern for our students’ safety and hygiene when they engage in healthy outdoor play and as you can imagine it creates unpleasant odours.
Allergic reactions, unhygienic situations arising from pet feces, and the possibility of unpredictable aggression contribute to the School District’s decision to prohibit dogs in/on school properties during the school day.
Thank you for your cooperation and for making our school grounds and play fields safe for all our students.