September 25, 2017 – Every Child Matters


FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 29 – ORANGE SHIRT DAY – See Learning Story Below

IN THIS ISSUE: (click CONTINUE READING below to access links.)


It’s the last week of September and throughout our school, students and teachers are settling in to their assigned classes, getting to know each other, and learning to follow classroom routines and expectations, and talking about safety on the playground.  As I visit classrooms, talk with students, listen to the voices, observe the faces, and see the activities students are engaged in, I notice the focus has been on establishing how we learn to work together and build caring relations. For some a new school year is welcomed with excitement and confidence, for others, it brings anxiety and disappointment. Together we are helping students accept changes, look for the positives, and open their minds and hearts to new opportunities, friendships, and challenges.

In many of our classrooms, students are participating in team building activities, making family graphs, sharing stories about their strengths and interests, creating name art, and more, in an effort to establish learning environments that will set the stage for risk taking, hard work, and caring for each other. With compassion, acceptance, and tolerance, we are giving students time to settle in, to feel safe and a sense of belonging, and to prepare for a wonderful year of growing and learning together. Thank you to all for making our first month at Jessie Lee a success!

Kelli Vogstad, Principal




Many teachers at Jessie Lee will communicate student learning this year through personalized digital portfolios using an online tool called FreshGrade.  FreshGrade represents a new way to communicate student learning which engages families in real-time student progress, reporting, parent participation, and student support. This digital tool allows teachers to effectively collect, organize, and share evidence of student learning in the classroom with parents. This evidence can take the form of notes, images, audio, and video clips and can be sent to parents via email.

We have known all along that ongoing, descriptive feedback is an essential part of assessing and improving student learning, We also know that as busy people, parents yearn to know on a daily basis what their child is learning and how they are progressing. FreshGrade gives parents a “window” into the classroom so they don’t need to wait for interims, parent-teacher conferences, or report cards to know how their child is doing, and ways in which they can support their child’s learning.

Last week a Digital Portfolio Consent Form was sent home with your child.  If you did not receive one you can access the form here, Digital Portfolio Consent Form or drop by the office to get one.  Please read through it carefully, sign, and return.  A number Jessie Lee teachers, including myself, have used FreshGrade for 3-4 years.  If you have any questions about FreshGrade, please contact me.

Find out more about FreshGrade by watching the following video:



School is about learning, but school is also about developing the whole child. That’s why it’s important to provide as many opportunities as possible for students. This week marks the start of Cross Country season and grade 3-7 students who were interested in joining Jessie Lee’s Cross Country Team brought information notices home last week. We will need volunteer parent drivers to transport students to Crescent Park. All students will need to be picked-up and taken home from Crescent Park as well. Thank you!

Jessie Lee Cross Country Coaches


Cross Country practices will be held on Thursdays after school, 2:45 – 3:15 p.m. Cross Country meets will be on Tuesdays.  We have 4 meets: September 26, October 3, October 10, and October 17. Please note the date October date changes which were incorrect on notices sent home.  A very special thank you to Ms. Procyck, Ms. Rumley, Ms, Hayes, and Ms. Ykema for organizing and coaching this activity.  Attached is the notice your coaches sent home last Friday. Cross Country Notice and Permission Form

Learning Story by: Kelli Vogstad

Over forty years ago, six year old Phyllis Webstad lived with her grandmother on the Dog Creek reserve. They had very little money, but some how Phyllis’ grandmother managed to save enough to buy Phyllis a brand new orange shirt for her first day of school.   Wearing her treasured orange shirt, Phyllis entered the St. Joseph Mission Residential School, outside of Williams Lake, BC. The mission quickly stripped off her new orange shirt and replaced it with the school’s institutional uniform. Phyllis shares her story and her memories of feeling unworthy and insignificant in the video below. She recalls all the children crying, frightened, and feeling that no one cared. No teacher was telling them that they would be okay and that they mattered.


Phyllis’ moving story is the nucleus for what has become a national movement to recognize the experience of survivors of Indian residential schools, to honour them, and to show a collective commitment to ensure that every child matters. The initiative calls for every Canadian to wear an orange shirt on September 29 in the spirit of healing and reconciliation.  Phyllis’ story also reminds me of how important our role is as teachers.  We are often the first person a child comes in contact as they enter our school.  Here at Jessie Lee we all work together to send a message to all our students that we care, that they are safe, and that they matter.

Orange Shirt Day is this Friday, September 29th.  It is an opportunity for First Nations, local governments, schools, and communities to come together in the spirit of reconciliation and hope for generations of children to come.  The date for Orange Shirt day was chosen because it is the time of year in which children were taken from their homes to residential schools and because it is an opportunity to set the stage for anti-racism and anti-bullying policies for the coming school year.

Today we have the capacity and the opportunities to make our lives different from those that came before us. Phyllis’ story stands to remind us all that we can make a difference in the lives of our children and students, helping them feel worthy of love, respect, and belonging.

I am struck by the importance of our responsibilities as parents and teachers. As parents and teachers, we are in the business of person-making. The cultures we create in our homes, classrooms, and schools, the interactions we use, and the activities and tasks we ask children to do, can make important differences in their lives and who they become.   Who we are in our homes and in our classrooms can have profound influences on who our children and students become. These are important understandings we must remember as we work to create environments that will have positive effects on our children. This is not always an easy task.

My belief, and my hope, is that the stories we remember and share from our pasts, stories such as Phyllis’, help us to become better people. As I continue working in schools with teachers, students, and their families, I must remember I am an agent of change and the perceptions, beliefs, attitudes, and actions which I bring to classrooms and schools influence and impact students’ own journeys to becoming who they are and the stories they will share.

Our challenge is to accept, value, and nurture our students’ developing selves in an effort to help all of them feel a strong and positive sense of belonging. We must remember, the way we live together in our classrooms and our school, and the way in which we appreciate each other’s struggles to become who we are, can make a lasting effect on each of our lives. With this understanding, the teachers at Jessie Lee work hard to create a special place – a place of belonging that sends the important message to all the members of our learning community: you matter.


VIDEO OF THE WEEK: Leave Your Legacy

In the video below an important message is shared. Our words and our actions will leave our history behind. The memories we create for tomorrow with leave legacies for others to follow. What stories will you leave behind for those around you to inherit?

What will your name leave behind? The choice is yours.



“A child’s life is like a piece of paper on which every person leaves a mark.”



25-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
29-Assembly – Orange Shirt Day – 12:45 p.m.
3-Cross Country Meet – Crescent Park – 3:30
6-PHOTO DAY -individual student photos
9-Thanksgiving – Classes not in session
10-Cross Country Meet – Crescent Park – 3:30
17-Cross Country Meet – Crescent Park – 3:30
20-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
3-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
9-Remembrance Day Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
10-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
13-Satutory Holiday in lieu of Remembrance Day – Classes not in session
22-Last day of classes before Winter Break
25-Winter Break begins
5-Last Day of Winter Break
8-Welcome Back! First day of school in 2018
16-Early Dismissal for program evaluation
12-Family Day – Classes not in session
16-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
19-29-Spring Break
30-Good Friday
2-Easter Monday
4-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
21-Victoria Day – Classes not in session
28-Non-Instructional Day – Classes not in session for students
28-Last Day of classes
28-Early Dismissal for program evaluation
28-Student Learning Communications sent home
29-Administration Day – Classes not in session for students


Dot Day Creations

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