PRINCIPAL’S MESSAGE

Welcome back! I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday.

Our December holiday concerts were fantastic. Thank you to all of the families for their support, the staff for their hard work, and the students for sharing their amazing talents.

Thank you to all of the families that have been working hard to make sure their children get to school on time each day. Arriving on time helps students get settled into class and maximize their learning.

Mr. Anderson

IMPORTANT DATES

Jan 6 - First Day Back to School

Jan 7 to 18 - Junior Kindergarten Registration

Jan 7 - Last Day for Pizza Orders for Term 2

Jan 14 - Guelph Storm Visiting Brant Ave PS

Jan 15 - Guelph Police Visit

Jan 17 - Sports Jersey Day

Jan 17 - Choir singing at Guelph Storm Game - More Info Coming Home Soon!

Jan 22 - Guelph Fire Department Visiting K-3 classes (AM)

Jan 22 - Grade 3 & 4 going to River Run Centre (PM)

Jan 31 - PD Day

KINDERGARTEN REGISTRATION

Kindergarten Registration is from January 7 to 17, 2020. There is an online pre-registration that you can find at https://www.ugdsb.ca/kindergarten/registration/

You will need the following documents to register your child:

  1. Birth certificate or Immigration papers
  2. Proof of address (e.g. driver’s license)

Please contact our office if you have any questions.

STARTING THE YEAR MINDFULLY

Starting a new year, coming off of a two week school break, new resolutions and on-going challenges are a few of the things we have on our plates in January.  There is a lot of research that has shown the power of mindfulness in reducing stress and anxiety, increasing mental well-being, helping with sleep patterns, and also overall emotional regulation.        

WHAT IS MINDFULNESS?

Mindfulness is a way to turn off auto-pilot and bring awareness to the present.  It may seem easy but in a world full of schedules, appointments, deadlines and other daily stressors it can be a challenge to disconnect ourselves from auto pilot.  Daniel J. Siegel defines mindfulness:

“Mindfulness in its most general sense is about waking up from a life on automatic, and being sensitive to novelty in our everyday experiences…Instead of being on automatic and mindless, mindfulness helps us to awaken, and by reflecting on the mind we are enabled to make choices an thus change becomes possible”

Mindfulness is not only turning off auto pilot and staying aware but doing so non-judgementally – of yourself, of others, of your experience.  In that age of social media likes, followers, and commentaries this non-judgmental stance is something we could all benefit from doing. Jon Katat-Zinn writes:

“Mindfulness means paying attention in a particular way: on purpose, in the present moment, and nonjudgmentally”

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS?

Research in the area of mindfulness shows benefits in the following areas:

·       Improved working memory

·       Lowered anxiety levels

·       Reduced emotional reactivity

·       Reduced stress

·       Regulating emotions

·       Less distractable

·       Enhancing sleep

 

SO WHAT CAN YOU DO?

There are many ways to bring mindfulness into your life from a regular time every day to finding opportunities for mindfulness skills in daily life.

        · Bring mindfulness to a walk by focusing on what you see, hear, feel. Listen to the sound of your steps, notice the feeling of you legs, notice what you smell.

        · Try listening to someone mindfully by not crafting what you are going to respond and thinking ahead but rather listen fully to what the other person is saying – sounds easy but you will be surprised!

        · When you or your child are having a difficult time take a moment and focus just on breathing, in and out. Notice what your body feels like. Notice thoughts that pop into your head – AND LET THEM GO.  Just “be” for even 2 minutes. It can be very powerful to take even just one or two minutes! And a great example to set for your children.

So perhaps you can find some time in your day, your week, your month to turn off auto pilot and practice a little mindfulness!

Jenny Marino, Mental Health Lead, Upper Grand District School Board