What’s a Leap Year, anyway?

With 2016 being a Leap Year, and Leap Day (Feb. 29) fast approaching it got us thinking – what is a Leap Year, anyway?

Before we gathered the facts, we went straight to our students to find out what they thought.

Grade 1 students tell us what they think a Leap Year is

While a Leap Year might not be as fun as a frog or as exciting as a sporting event, it is a year that contains one additional day to keep the calendar year synchronized with the astronomical or seasonal year. Check out these facts about Leap Years:

What you need to know about Leap Years

We made a list of 4 fun activities to do with your family and friends on Leap Day. Share photos of your Leap Day activities with us on Twitter (@SCDSB_Schools) and Instagram (@scdsb).

  1. Get creative in the kitchen with these Leap Day frog apple and grape snacks.
  2. Play a game. Might we suggest leap frog?
  3. Get crafty! Use recycled materials from your home and try your hand at making these adorable origami frogs and then have a frog race.
  4. Make a list. Write down four things you hope to do before 2020 (the next Leap Year). Share your list with your family and friends.

Celebrating diversity in our community

The students and staff of the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) represent a rich diversity of faith traditions and we are proud to celebrate this diversity throughout our community. We recognize and value the varied customs that our families celebrate and we are committed to providing a respectful and safe environment.

With the help of the Peel District School Board, the SCDSB has created a Holy Days and Holidays Calendar that will help identify important and prominent days of commemoration. The expectation is that SCDSB schools and work sites will not schedule events on significant holy days (noted in bold print on the calendar). The calendar includes holy days from faiths including: Bahá’í, Buddhism, Christianity, Hinduism, Islam, Jainism, Judaism, Sikhism, Wicca, Zoroastrianism and Canadian Holidays.

Calendar Cover

To further extend our understanding of how our schools and communities recognize these significant days, we ask that they share plans and highlights of their activities on social media using #SCDSB_HolyDays.

As we are all dedicated to a life long journey of learning, the board will provide celebratory information and notifications of significant dates for all students and staff using our social media channels.

Using calendars to support transitions

As we head into the holiday break, I find myself reflecting on the transition that is forth coming. Students will transition from five days at school per week to two weeks at home with family, friends and engaging in activities they enjoy…maybe even enjoy more than school! Teachers move from teaching and learning to enjoying and celebrating. Holidays from work may occur for parents, travel may be on the list of things to do and families may gather together. Calendars can be a wonderful visual support to assist all of us with these transitions and changes in routines.

Calendars as a countdown tool

countdown calendarThis is a calendar that we have in use in my house. It’s a countdown to all the events that centre around the celebrations we participate in during the holidays. As you can see, this was started in November due to the persistent questions that surfaced once Halloween was put away and Christmas started to be seen in retail stores. This simple, hand-drawn calendar has helped answer the never-ending repetition of questions about how many more sleeps or when is this event happening. Each time my son asks about an event, I direct him to check the calendar and we count together for how many days left before it occurs. Before bed time he chooses a holiday sticker to mark that the day has ended.

Calendars to know what is going to happen

week at a glance editedThis calendar provides a week at a glance of school days, home days and special activity days. On Sunday mornings my son and I set out his schedule for the week. I pull out the photos and he puts them on the calendar in the correct order. At dinner time each day it is his job to remove what happened that day so he can see the passage of time. This calendar will help prepare him (and probably me) for the pending transition back to school after the holidays. Continue reading “Using calendars to support transitions”

It’s a busy world: Organizational tips, hints for families

Life gets busy. There’s school, homework, clubs, sports and so much more. It can easily get overwhelming. Getting and staying organized can help reduce everyday stress.

Here are some tips to help families get organized:

Set up a routine. A set plan for when things need to be completed can help students focus on the task at hand. Established routines make things go more smoothly and make the days more enjoyable.

Get plenty of sleep. A good night’s sleep sets children up for a good day at home and school. Create a bedtime routine and try to stick with it as best you can. During the summer, it’s easy to let children stay up later, but following a consistent bedtime routine now will help your child stay alert and energized during the day.

AgendaCoverUse planners and agendas. Each SCDSB elementary student and most secondary students receive an agenda for the school year, complete with a calendar, important information and a notes section. This is a great tool for homework and assignment planning as well as keeping track of important days and co-curricular activities. Continue reading “It’s a busy world: Organizational tips, hints for families”