PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE

We got a taste of Spring for a few days last week. As soon as this new snow clears off, the playground climber will be open for the season. Spring brings wet and muddy weather...please remember students need indoor and outdoor shoes and a change of clothes for younger students is always a good idea.

Once again, we are having our indoor Climbing/Ninja Obstacle Course later this month. To raise funds for this great experience, we will be holding our third annual Dance-a-thon on April 10th.

The office is a very busy place, especially at the end of the day. We ask that parents wait for their children outside unless there is a special event (early appointment) or a special arrangement. Thank you!

IMPORTANT DATES

April 5 - PD Day

April 9 - Spring Picture Day (Grade 6 & Senior Kindergarten Grads + optional Sibling photos)

April 10 - Day of Pink: International Day against Bullying & Discrimination

April 10 - Dance-a-thon

April 12 - Grade 3s and 5s - Shark Swim at YMCA

April 15-18 - Grade 6s at Camp

April 16- Grade 3s - Shark Swim at YMCA

April 18 - Grade 5s - Shark Swim at YMCA

April 19 & 22 - Holiday

April 23-26 - Climbing/Ninja Obstacle Course in gym

April 24 - Read4Success - Junior Reading Program Starts

DIVERSITY SURVEY

The UGDSB is conducting a system-wide survey, to help the board understand the demographic makeup, diversity and ongoing needs of our student population. The sole purpose of this survey is to gain a better understanding of the students and families in our communities, so that the board can program effectively and provide the right supports for every student to achieve their full potential.

Please complete the voluntary and anonymous parent survey at www.ugdsb.ca/diversity-data between March 22 and April 18, 2019. The survey is open to all UGDSB staff, parents/guardians of students under Grade 4, and students in Grades 4-12.

TALKING ABOUT MENTAL HEALTH: Jumpstart your Brain this Spring

Did you know that you can actually boost your brain power and increase your focus, ability to concentrate and your overall sense of well being?   So how do you do this?

 

Feed Your Brain:  Did you know your brain uses up to 20% of the calories that you take into your body? A well-balanced diet can provide your brain with much needed energy and increase your ability to focus and concentrate.  Some high-quality brain foods are blueberries, salmon, nuts, avocados and whole grains. As a family you can journal what you are eating and then engage in a conversation and reflect on what you are feeding your brain.

 

Get Quality Sleep:  It is estimated that approximately a third of school aged children in Canada are not getting the required amount of sleep.  Sleep actually restores the brain and supports memory, thinking and creativity!  Try stopping screen time at least an hour before bed.  Don’t drink sugary or caffeinated drinks.  Is your brain getting enough recharge time?

 

Get Outside and Move:  Even just 20 minutes of walking can increase your brain power.  Try and charge your brain with fun, family friendly exercise.  Walk around the neighbourhood and try and find all the spring buds and other signs of spring.  Try and count your steps for one minute – it’s not that easy!! Fresh air, exercise and movement are all fuel for your brain!

 

Take a Mental Vacation:

Take 3 minutes and close your eyes imagining a place that you love or wish you could see. Focus on the smells, the sounds and sensations.  When we visualize something, our brains respond the same way as if we were actually there.  Just 3 minutes of a mental vacation can put your brain into “relax” mode.

 

Be Creative!  Creativity can increase focus and sense of calm.  Pick a craft or project to do as a family.  Make a springtime collage of all things spring: images from magazines, words, drawings, items you find outside, etc.  Taking the time to engage your brain creatively will give your brain a boost!

 

Exercise Your Brain: Exercising your brain is as important as exercising your body! So how do you do this? Do a crossword puzzle or a word search.  Anything that gets your brain thinking and being strategic will do! Play a game of chess, make some origami art or even playing hide and seek!  These activities may not feel like work, but they are doing great things for your brain!!

 

And, as always, remember that there are many people who are struggling. Stay kind, be a good listener and talk to someone if you are needing support!

 

Jenny Marino, Mental Health Lead     Follow me on Instagram @ugdsb_mental_health