Staffing 2018-2019 school year

The school’s staffing model has been provisionally set for next year. This model is based on a number of criteria, balancing the provision made by TDSB with the requirements on class sizes and the skills of our individual staff members. Parent Council was involved in the consultation process and fully supports the current plan.
Note that some changes may occur over the summer and again in September as exact student numbers and staff moves are finalised.

FDK – 4 classes
Gr. 1 – 2 Classes
Gr. 1/2 – 1 Class
Gr. 2 – 1 Class
Gr. 2/3 – 2 Classes
Gr. 3 – 1 class
Gr. 3/4 – 1 Class
Gr. 4/5 – 1 Class
Gr. 5 – 1 Class
Gr. 6/7 – 2 Classes
Gr. 7/8 – 1 Class
Gr. 8 – 1 Class

At the other end of the school age range, staff are hoping to implement an exciting new plan to allow our older students to experience a Middle School-style program. Grades 6-8 will now experience classes with different members of their staff according to the teachers’ skills rather than having the majority of subjects with their own class teacher.
Details are still being finalised, but the intention is for students to remain with a consistent cohort of classmates throughout and be taught English / History, Math / Gym, Science / Tech and Arts (excluding music) by different teachers. Music classes will be increased to 2 per week, giving much more opportunity for progress.
This means that Grades 6-8 will drop recess and will end the day at 3pm.

In other staffing news, our fantastic Librarian Steve Riddell will be retiring at the end of this year. Steve has been described as the “heart and soul” of the school and staff, students and parents have always valued his infectious enthusiasm for reading, learning and fun. We wish him all the very best for the future; he will be much missed at Roden. Staff and students are preparing to bid him farewell in June at a school assembly and parents will be welcome to attend to add their good wishes for this wonderful member of our community.
We are also hoping that Steve will allow us to send him off in Pie Toss style at the Summer Send Off on 21 June!

What Does Council Do?

School Council is made up entirely of volunteers and always welcomes input from parents and other members of the Roden family. Council’s primary responsibility is to represent the parent community to both the School administration and TDSB. We can act as a conduit to handle your concerns and to pass information to you from the school, like in this website. We also consult on issues like safety (for example, School Council recently pushed for extra barriers at ‘Danger Bay’ behind the gym, which have now been provided by TDSB to improve student safety), staffing (a member of Council attended meetings to give input into the staffing model described in another article) and extra provision (such as current a lunch program investigations).
Council is also committed to improving equity in the school, building every student’s sense of community and fostering ties outside of Roden. This includes running free events like the Toy / Clothing Swaps and Parenting / Mental Health workshops, as well as those that double as fundraisers, and sharing many of these activities with our friends at Equinox.
Of course, Council is also a fundraising body, hosting events and activities throughout the year to improve our school through donations. This year, Council has or will provide funds for all of the following and other things too:
Tech / Literacy supplies, Cultural enrichment performances, Grade 8 trip, transportation, Staff appreciation event, Lice checks, Breakfast Club / Snack program, Read Up club…
If you would like to be involved in Council activities, or are wondering about joining Council next year, join the Volunteers email list to learn about opportunities, come along to a meeting, or contact Jen (chair@roden.ca) for more information. The bigger the team, the lighter the load for everyone.

Look out for more information about all the above in the school’s regular newsletter and on Roden School Council’s Facebook page or at www.roden.ca

NEIGHBOURHOOD SAFETY

A number of parents and neighbours from Roden and Equinox have expressed concerns about traffic safety, especially during pick-up and drop off times. Many of our older students are particularly vulnerable as they walk to and from school unsupervised. While these issues are not limited to the school community, we would like to remind you that health and safety are everyone’s responsibility.

Reminders…
STOP junctions and restricted left turns along Fairford Avenue are well signed and should always be followed.

Always park as signed. Parking outside designated areas or double parking on the street puts students at risk. There is a school parking lot, located on the south end near Gerrard St. E,. which families may use for free during daytime hours when visiting the school. School Council is seeking an amendment to the parking restrictions on Hiawatha Road to provide additional spaces and we are consulting with Ms Pollock and Mr O’Shaughnessy about opening up a gate from the parking lot to improve access there too.

Please take extra care driving around the school in general – pulling into parking at speed, turning in the road, crosswalks, etc.

Smoking within 20 metres of a children’s playground is illegal, even if you are outside the school gates.

With the exception of service animals, dogs are NOT allowed onto TDSB property. Tying your dog’s leash around your waist or carrying your dog in your arms and then entering school property is still against the law. Please ALWAYS keep your dog outside the clearly marked gated area around the school. If you do not feel comfortable leaving your dog outside the gated area, then please do not bring them with you to school. Be sure to pick up after your pet to help keep our community spaces clean.

Thanks for helping to make our school and its surroundings a safe place for everyone.

Lunchtime Changes

This year, we tried a hot lunch program from an external provider. Although those who used the program gave it great reviews, we didn’t have sufficient take-up to sustain the program. Parent Councils from Roden and Equinox are working with Ms Pollock to investigate alternative options for the future. Please look out for more information, together with a survey to gather your input, which was sent out recently.
In the meantime, the school has made some slight changes to when our students eat. Instead of all Grades eating together in the gym, Junior students now eat in the gym during the first 20 minutes while Primary students go outside to play. Then the groups will switch over, before everyone has 10 minutes or so together before classes begin again. Kindergarten arrangements are unchanged.
Early feedback suggests these arrangements are already making lunchtimes a little less chaotic and more enjoyable for both staff and students.

Literacy and Technology Fundraisers

A huge thank you to everyone who contributed and/or raised money for our Direct Donation program back in November and again for the Dance-a-thon in February. Whether you raised $5 or $400, you helped us to hit our ambitious target of $6000 to contribute to supplies for all levels of students in the school.
Some of the money raised will go towards providing our younger classes with new and additional Leveled Reading books, which are vital to their progress in reading skill. Many of our previous sets have been lost or damaged, or are outdated.
The rest of the money will contribute to Technology education for our older grades. These classes are well-supplied with laptops, but need a secure and stable cart to carry them. They are also hoping to purchase document cameras to record some of their work and more Prometheus boards for classroom teaching.

Performing Arts

Thanks to our fantastic volunteers and generous community, the 2017 Roden Summer Send Off raised enough money to pay for 3 professional performances during this school year. All students have the opportunity to attend during school hours at no cost and feedback from the first two has been extremely positive, with one still ahead!
B-Boyizm presents “The Evolution of B-Boying” – February
Cadence presents “4 Men, 4 Mics, No Instruments” – April
Dufflebag Theatre presents “Rumplestiltskin” – May
For the first time, this year Roden students from Grades 4-8 were invited to join Equinox in producing four performances of Shrek the Musical! Cast, crew and audiences alike enjoyed the shows and everyone is looking forward to extending Roden’s involvement in future years.

On the Move

Some of you might have heard rumours about planned changes to the layout of our main floor. One of the Equinox Kindergarten classes has been based upstairs, away from the rest of the FDK classrooms, and with a long unsupervised walk to a washroom. During their outdoor time, they have left belongings and equipment just inside the Library.
To improve that class’s situation, the school is planning to move things around. This work is likely to take place during the summer break, which will minimise disruption and tie in with the replacement of the flooring for the rest of the ground floor.
Stakeholders from each area have been consulted in coming up with this plan, and no significant functionality will be lost.
Planned changes:
The Kindergarten class will move into Area [16], currently the Parenting and Family Literacy Centre, sharing washrooms and other facilities with the classes nextdoor.
The Parenting and Family Literacy Centre will move into the East part of the Library (closest to the windows overlooking the Equinox outdoor Kindergarten area), which will be partitioned off from the rest of the Library to control noise. Access will be through the Breakfast Club room, which will also provide indoor stroller parking and washroom facilities for the Centre.
The Library will reclaim the area currently borrowed by the Kindergarten class.

Changes to LUNCH schedule

From this past Monday, April 23, lunch has been split into two sessions.  This affects all children who stay at school for lunch.
11:45-12:05 Grades 4 – 8 in the lunch room (grades 1-3 will drop off their lunch in the gym first and head outside for lunch recess with supervision.)
12:05-12:25 Grades 1 – 3 will be called into the lunch room (grades 4-8 will go outside for lunch recess with supervision.)

Afternoon entry will still be at 12:45 p.m.

Roden/Equinox Mental Health Workshop Series

A free mental health workshop is being held Tuesday, April 24 from 6-8 PM in the school library. Childcare is available in the parenting centre for children ages 3 and up.

“Helping your child navigate online spaces safely”

The workshop is free and open to anyone in our community.