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Three Hundred Nineteen.  This is the number of students at RMB that were in the Green for Attendance in September.

Four Hundred and Six.  This is the number of students that attend RMB.

I want you to imagine what school could and would be like if each student was able to be in the green for attendance every month.  The impact of instruction.  The opportunity to receive in-the-moment feedback frequently.  The strength in relationships with peers and staff.  The list goes on.

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Attendance isn’t the responsibility of one, it is the responsibility of us all!  Students, teachers, support staff, families, and community members.  At school, you will see reminders in our entrance, hallways, offices and classrooms reinforcing the importance of good attendance.  You will hear conversations with students welcoming them each day and offering support when absences have occurred.  You will see staff reaching out to families to see if there are obstacles that are preventing regular attendance and offering to work together to find solutions.  Attendance Matters. 

At RMB, we want to work with any families that are finding it hard to be in the green.  This month we will be personally contacting each family where attendance was not in the green.  We will be doing this as a gesture of support.  A way to let you know that you are not alone and that we are here to help, to problem solve, and to work together to create a plan that will support regular attendance for your child(ren).

We are here to be your partners with a common goal of having each student at RMB feel success!

#dontmissaday

Mrs. A. Balkwill, Principal

 

 

 

Thanks and Giving

There is no greater feeling than being thankful and this school year has already provided so many opportunities to be thankful for.  One being our Open House and SCC BBQ this past week.  As you can appreciate, the time spent in preparation for this annual event is significant, yet not once did I hear a complaint.  From staff preparing welcome packages, ensuring the classroom environment is welcoming, to making arrangements with their family in order for them to stay for the evening.  I am thankful to the staff at RMB. From the SCC members who formed a committee to ensure that the BBQ was organized and efficient, who worked as a team modelling the power of being a united front, and who saw the value in each other’s efforts and contributions.  I am thankful to our SCC.  From the families who were able to join us and made it a priority to connect with staff, who visited among one another over a tasty supper, and who let their child(ren) take the lead on proudly showing off their classroom and introducing their teacher.  I am thankful for our families.  There is much to be thankful for!

As we continue to digest a long weekend of Thanksgiving feasting, it is important that, along with being thankful, that we also engage in the positive impact of giving.  Later this month we will launch a unique school fundraiser that will focus on giving (and not just money!).  The fundraiser will challenge students, staff and families to be generous in their contributions in making RMB and the RMB community rich in human spirit.  We know that everyone will rise to this challenge as we strive to create tomorrow together.

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So thank YOU for all you continue to do to support learning at RMB.  We know you make regular attendance a priority, we hear the positive way you speak about the staff to your child(ren), and we see the impact of your engagement with school priorities.

Thank you!

Mrs. A. Balkwill (Principal)

Failure Leads to Success

Failure.  It is a tough word that can bring out the worst or the best in us.  As we near the end of the first month of school, it would be easy to spend this post reflecting on the many successes we have experienced as a school community.  Instead, I have decided to dive a little deeper, to go beyond the surface, and really explore the pathway to success at RMB.  It doesn’t take much to soon realize a common theme to many of our successes.  It is failure.  Now, you may be reading this thinking that your Principal is already in need of a vacation because what kind of Principal writes about failure.  This one does and I will tell you why.

Take a moment to think of a skill that you consider yourself masterful at.  It could be something in your personal or professional life.  Now reflect on your journey to mastery.  My guess is that you were not proficient the very first time you tried this skill, and in fact, likely stumbled or failed multiple times.  I would also make a guess that you relied on someone who you deemed to be masterful to help guide you.  Maybe a family member, friend, or teacher.  And then, just maybe, you practiced and received feedback until you felt confident enough to start sharing or teaching your skill to others.  From there, you became masterful.  You persevered and built your resilience.

So let’s go back a few steps.  Imagine if after the first time trying you failed, that you gave up and never made another attempt.  Imagine the missed opportunities.  Seems hard to even consider not having this skill, doesn’t it?

Without failure, we would never experience many of our successes.  This applies to school every day.  The Educators at RMB make an effort to model for students the importance of resiliency.  They show support for student growth by encouraging students to build resilience and perseverance by learning how to fail forward, reflect, accept feedback, practice, and accept that others may develop a skill differently.  It is this type of belief, this mindset, that will see student success soar.

Let’s embrace failure, because it is evidence that we are learning and growing!

Mrs. Balkwill

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Perseverance at RMB

This week we were fortunate to have Fred Fox, brother to the late Terry Fox, come and speak to all of our students at a special assembly.  Fred came to visit us at RMB because this year marks our 15th year as a school participating in the fundraising campaign.  What an accomplishment!  Fred was a magnificent speaker who captured the attention of each student and Educator within seconds.  He spoke to us about his brother and through the stories and memories that he shared, came a common message about the power of perseverance.  Each day we are all faced with choices and challenges.  Each day, it is up to us how,or if, we persevere.  Fred spoke about the importance of facing difficulty, embracing discomfort, and setting both short and long term goals.  His words left us all thinking of ways we can honour the efforts of his brother, Terry.  His words also compelled us to think of how we have the opportunity to practice perseverance and that we owe it ourselves to do just that.

This week, the Educators at RMB are taking the perseverance challenge personally.  We are all reflecting on one area that can benefit from some continued perseverance.  We will set the example for our students, that as adults, we are continually working to be better.  That we fall, but when we do, we fall forward and get back up and keep trying.

We encourage all of our families to take time and do the same thing.  Where could you benefit from a little extra perseverance?  Is it taking time to read each day?  Ensuring that attendance at school is on time and a priority?  Or maybe it is carving out 5 minutes to sit and just have some “me” time.  Whatever it is, we invite you to embrace the power of perseverance, because at RMB, we truly are committed to Creating Tomorrow Together!

Mrs. Balkwill

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Kid President is So Wise!

I came across this fantastic quote over the weekend and I immediately gave credit to some adult who I was instantly envious of for crafting such wise words.  I looked closely to see who I needed to give credit to and it was none other than Kid President.  I should have known!  Now, if you don’t know who Kid President is, stop reading my blog, google “Kid President” and sit back and be astonished at the powerful words of one awesome kid.

I think this particular quote resonated with me so much this week in particular, because I had the privilege of watching the Educators at RMB embrace this notion that their actions and words have great impact on students, families and fellow colleagues.  They get it.  They understand and welcome the responsibility that comes with being dedicated to our profession.  And to think, I have the honour of leading alongside, witnessing the integrity, grit and determination of these professionals every day.

Watch out world, because at RMB, we really are Creating Tomorrow Together! 

Be Somebody

Keeping the Drive Alive

The first day of school. I know countless Educators who say each year that it is their favourite day, myself included. As I reflect this evening on our amazing first day of school at RMB, I can’t help but ask myself, “how do we maintain the energy and excitement that exists on the first day of school?” I want the energy and buzz, the halls full of caregivers, and the countless interactions to occur all the time. And so tonight, I challenge myself. What do I do on the first day of school that I can do everyday to help keep the first day drive alive?

Love the first day of school too? Then I encourage you to ask yourself how you can contribute to keeping the drive alive as well.

Who knows, maybe the first day can be the new way at RMB in 2018-19.

Mrs. Balkwill

‘Twas the Night Before School Started

Tonight is a BIG deal!  Students, caregivers, and Educators will be heading off to sleep with nervous excitement.  It doesn’t matter if it is your first day of school ever or your 38th first day of school (now you all know how old I am!), the emotions still persist.  I have learned to embrace the “Night Before School” jitters.  I have them because the first day of school is important.  It is important to me.  It is important for my own children.  It is important for all the students and their families as well.  It’s a big deal.

As Educators, we are so fortunate to be part of such a big deal every single year.  There are not many professions that offer this opportunity.  At RMB, the Educators understand this and have been working tirelessly to ensure that each year, the first (and every) day of school aligns with our commitments.  We want every person that comes through our doors to feel valued and respected; to know that they belong.  We want students to know that learning how to work through conflict is an important life skill.  We want each student to experience success.  We are committed to Creating Tomorrow Together!

Tomorrow morning, as your children head off to school, remind them that the Educators at RMB are excited to see them.  Assure them that we are professionals deeply committed to their education and their future.  Show them through your words that you are partners with us, working together, to help them become the best that they can be!

Let’s make 2018-19 outstanding at RMB!

Mrs. A. Balkwill

Creating Tomorrow Together at RMB

Dear Ruth M. Buck Families

I am thrilled to be returning to Ruth M. Buck and to serve as your Principal.  The start of a new year is always my favourite time.  Watching staff bring forth an energy full of enthusiasm, determination and desire for this to be the very best year.  Behind the doors there is a contagious buzz as these dedicated educators plan, collaborate and establish priorities for the upcoming school year.  Your children are incredibly fortunate to have access to such high level professionals here at Buck.  Throughout the course of the year you can expect a refined focus on school culture and climate for all of our stakeholders:  Students, Staff, and Community.  You will also notice a compelling commitment focused on Literacy, Truth and Reconciliation, and Numeracy.

I hope that you had a restful and rejuvenating summer.  As we begin another school year, we are reminded of an African proverb; “it takes an entire village to raise a child”. It seems fitting when we consider the accomplishments achieved and those to come!  Your commitment to your child’s education past and present are good examples of what is required of that village to achieve success.  Therefore, one of the goals we set this school year is to help build and support an even stronger village by relying on you, the families, who are our most important partners to ensure a quality education for every student!

As your Principal, I am thrilled to be a part of a school community where family members are visible and actively engaged, as well as an integral component of Ruth M. Buck. Our staff will continue a legacy of commitment, care, and dedication.  We are honoured and privileged to lead a dynamic community where teachers and staff cultivate an environment where students achieve and believe in themselves and their school.  As mentioned previously, your input, feedback, and support will be critical to our leadership, the teaching and learning environment, and above all to the success of your child in our school.

With our school’s aim of having a greater emphasis on individual student success, Ruth M. Buck will continue to incorporate the shared values of our school division:

I am Responsible.  I Want to Know.  I Belong.  I Respect.

Using these as our guiding principles, each child will be encouraged and supported in working to his/her full potential academically, socially, and emotionally.  We believe that everyone who enters our school brings value.

Last year, the students, staff, and SCC worked together to define who we are at RMB.  After many conversations and reflections, we set to work on establishing our core values, vision, and beliefs.  One of the key visions we committed to was our hope for the future.  We will stay the course on this commitment through our vision statement, “Creating Tomorrow Together.”  We are dedicated to ensuring that each student that attends RMB knows they belong, that they bring value, and that their contributions make a positive difference in the lives of many.

In order to achieve these things, we have included several ways that family members of our school community can work together with Ruth M. Buck staff:

  • Send your child to school every day on time.
  • Make sure your child gets sufficient sleep each night.
  • Establish a routine for reading each and every day at home.
  • Keep in touch with your child’s teachers via e-mail, notes, agendas, or blogs
  • Check the school website frequently, follow us on Twitter, and subscribe to Mrs. Balkwill’s blog
  • Attend school-wide events, classroom events, and conferences.
  • Be positive in conversations about Education.

Our Director, Mr. Greg Enion, has shared 7 Big Rocks so that as a division we are focusing on continued common priorities through Leadership for Learning:

  1. High expectations for all students
  2. Literacy achievement for all students
  3. Climate of belonging
  4. Authentic engagement for all students and families
  5. Focusing on Attendance Matters
  6. Improvement and Success – Celebrating what we do well
  7. Improving graduation rates of FNMI students

Throughout the school year you will find our staff committed and focused on these seven Big Rocks.  Our priorities, efforts, and resources will align with this commitment to enhance the learning journey for every child at Ruth M. Buck.

Leadership for Learning Poster 2018 Revised.pub

And now, I proudly present the 2018-19 RMB Educators

Staff Member Position
Andrea Taylor Kindergarten
Jenaya Taylor Grade 1
Michelle Ferwerda Grade 1
Lori Flaman-Drumm Grade 2
Sarah Shaver Grade 2/3
Nanette Goski Grade 3
Lisa Landgraf Grade 4
Charlene Hinks Grade 4
Jacquie Vierling Grade 5
Darcia Van Iderstine Grade 5
Wendy Mymryk Grade 5
Natalie McNabb Grade 6
Ian Trail Grade 6
Chantel Sebastian Grade 7
Tracy Somer Grade 7/8
Joel Christopherson Grade 8
Erica Goode Quiet Elementary
Allison Boulanger Quiet Elementary
Angie Balkwill Principal
Andrew Pelling Vice-Principal
Phoebe Deck Administrative Assistant
Jamie Armstrong Learning Resource
Michelle Papp Learning Resource
Brianna Levesque Specialist
Mohamed Zoubir Core French
Heather Dolmage Band
Shelley Holywell Arts Education
Robin Swann Band
Carey Hamel Speech Language Pathologist
Sandy Pelletier Teacher Librarian
Tracy Dubey Educational Assistant
Michelle Brown Educational Assistant
Jodi Dimond Educational Assistant
Sara McLeod Educational Assistant
Jeff Morhart Head Facility Technician
Holly Hicks Facility Operator
Jenny Lyons-Mouyios Counsellor
Pam Korczak Psychologist
Samantha Burnett Intern
Alyssa Pelletier Intern
Luc Lerminiaux Superintendent

 

We are excited to see all of our students on Tuesday, September 4th at 8:53 AM!

Your incredibly proud Principal,

Angie Balkwill

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“Spring”ing into Learning at RMB

Families,

Spring is certainly in the air and we have had a sprinkling of summer weather mixed in as well.  Teachers have begun the important task of administering the post assessments for Literacy and Numeracy.  We can hardly wait to see all the growth that each individual student has experienced this year at RMB.

We are well under way in determining class placements for next year along with staffing.  As our process was last year, we will not be sharing classroom placements until the Fall.  The reason behind this decision is that things can easily change over the summer months (increased enrollment, staff changes, etc) and we will have a much better picture in August regarding plans for classroom placements.  Please understand that one question that comes to the office at the beginning (and end) of each school year is how we determine which class students will be in.  The first thing parents need to know is this is a carefully considered process.  There are a number of factors that go into this decision including the number of students in each grade, trying to get a balance of gender and abilities, and maintaining some social supports for each student.  In the end, the most important consideration is what is in the best academic interest of all of our over 400 students.

The reality for many of our students is they will be in a split-grade classroom at some point during their academic careers, often more than once.  Considering the diverse needs and abilities of students, no class is a “straight” grade.  Our teachers will use a variety of strategies to best meet the individual needs of their students, which would include flexible groupings within and beyond their regular classrooms.  Being in a lower split does not mean that students are lower in their ability, the same way a  higher-grade split is not comprised of the highest achieving students.  Each classroom needs a heterogeneous balance.

Finally, students cannot be grouped solely based on where their friends are or whether they will have the favourite teacher they have always wanted.  We do pay attention to social supports, but working in the same classroom with your best friend(s) is not always the best thing from an academic point of view.  While each teacher has their own strengths that may be somewhat different from their colleagues, all have incredible talents to share in a challenging, rewarding, learning environment.  I would welcome the opportunity to have my child educated in any one of their classrooms.

On very rare occasions, changes may be made if it is determined to be in the best academic interests of a particular child.  The final decision rests with the Principal in consultation with the staff.  We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.

Staffing changes will be shared with students and the community once finalized.  This typically occurs mid-June.

Please continue to spread the word to other families about signing up for my blog so that they can stay in touch with the latest school news.  Our school website and twitter feed (@ruthmbuckschool) will continue to be great sources of information as well.

I hope you are able to join us on June 28th at 9:00 AM for our Final  Year End Assembly where we will acknowledge our staff moving on and also celebrate our fabulous school year.  It will certainly be a memorable assembly!

Mrs. A. Balkwill

Principal

Learning Together Every Day at RMB

You know how they say “a picture is worth a thousand words”?  This past week the pictures that were taken are proof enough!  The Educators, students and families at RMB made this year’s theme of Building Our Future by Learning Together a reality by planning and participating in a wide variety of events that aligned to the theme.  The energy in the building, quality of discussion and engaged commitment has sent a very powerful message that we value education and will work together to make our school amazing for each person who enters it.

Please enjoy some of the photos that were taken throughout the week!

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