September 19, 2015

September 19, 2015

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

IMG_7069Traffic Safety is a hot topic in most school communities and Cambridge is no different. The feedback we are receiving is that many parents are becoming frustrated that the DROP OFF ZONE is not being used appropriately. School staff is noticing the same thing.

One thing is clear – school staff want to spend their supervision time making sure students and parents are safe and welcoming them to school, not playing the role of bylaw officers.

We expect ALL Cambridge community members, students, staff, and parents to be STARs: SAFE, THOUGHTFUL, ACCOUNTABLE, RESPECTFUL. We know that if we are all of these at all times, many problems will be avoided.

Here are some suggestions that may help with the DROP OFF ZONE issue:

  • WALK! It takes a little longer, but every time you walk, it means one less vehicle in the school driveway.
  • When dropping off, encourage older siblings to walk younger siblings to class. This way, parents do not need to leave their vehicles.
  • Stay with your vehicle in the DROP OFF ZONE. Remember that the school driveway is a fire lane and emergency vehicles need access to this area at all times.
  • Drop your child off at school a little earlier. We’ve noticed that many vehicles are arriving at school at the same time, causing congestion. If your child is older, feel free to drop them off at school starting at 8:12 a.m as this is when supervision begins. If your child is in Kindergarten, arrive closer to the welcome bell – 8:27 a.m.
  • If you are a pedestrian, please use CROSSWALKS and follow the direction of crossing guards.
  • Mostly, be patient with school staff and each other. Remember…we are all part of the same team!


Source: Published by Antonio Vendramin, July 2, 2015
IMG_2013I have been an Elementary Principal for 6 years and I love my job! Many views in education run deep and one such view is the role of the Principal. As I think back to my own schooling and how I viewed the Principals I had, it is often clear to me that many students and parents still view Principals as I did. To me, Principals were scary, distant figures. You didn’t go “see” the Principal unless there was big trouble. The Principal stayed in the office and it was rare if you saw him/her outside or in your classroom. And, you most definitely didn’t want the Principal to phone your parents because you’d have consequences at school and even worse consequences at home. Does any of this resonate with you?

When I first became a Principal, I remember being outside at recess and a young student coming up to me and saying, “Shouldn’t you be in your office?” Or recently when I parent came up to me in some distress asking, “Is everything OK? I heard James (not the student’s real name) was in your office today?” As a new Principal, I remember everything coming to a halt in a classroom when I walked in, with the teacher stopping whatever was happening to either have the class greet me or explain what the class was learning. The view of Principal, it seems, runs deep…even though much has changed in education since the time I was in elementary school.

Each day, I try to transform this view of a Principal’s role because I don’t want students, parents, and teachers to view me the way I viewed my Principals. To me, Principals need to model the learning they expect to see from others. Principals need to experiment and take risks, reflect and learn from mistakes, help others with their learning, and share their learning with others. Principals need to be people that ALL students, parents, and teachers trust and feel comfortable speaking to. Principals CAN’T be figures that people are afraid to approach and talk to.

What I do, I do because I believe relationships are central to the work Principals do in schools. I believe Principals should:

  • Go to school everyday with what I once heard called a “servant heart”. Effective Principals serve others, which in turn, encourages people to do the same.
  • Try to be outside before and after school greeting families and making sure they feel welcomed.
  • Also go outside at recess, play, and say hello to as many students as possible.
  • Get out of their offices when they can and get into classrooms because that’s where the magic happens.
  • Do everything possible to not be “scary”, and that often means being a little bit silly.
  • Invite groups of students to work or have lunch together in their office.
  • Be vulnerable because that let’s everyone know Principals are human too!

Sure, sometimes Principals have to deal with difficult situations, upset parents, students who need reminders about expectations, and a myriad of other scenarios. All of these interactions are made much easier when Principals are viewed as the caring, involved, professionals they are, rather than the scary monsters some people think still lurk in the Principal’s office.


Contributed by Kelli Vogstad
Our first week has come to an end and throughout our school, students and teachers are settling inIMG_9915 to their assigned classes, getting to know each other, and learning to follow classroom routines and expectations. As we visit classrooms, talk with students, listen to the voices, observe the faces, and see the activities students are engaged in, we 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 out first week back at Cambridge a success!

The idea of “educating the heart” has been around for a long time. Aristotle once said, “Educating the mind, without educating the heart, is no education at all.”
Here at Cambridge the importance of “educating the heart” is real; together we are working to create conditions, which will help all our student succeed in school and in their lives. I hope you enjoy the video “Educate the Heart” from the Dali Lama Centre for Peace and Education.



Twitter often gets negative press, not because of the tool, but because of the behaviour of the user. Schools are harnessing the power of Twitter to keep their learning communities informed. You can find a summary of tweets here weekly. Better yet, sign up for a Twitter account and follow @CambridgeLearns and you’ll know exactly what’s happening at school!



Your child may have mentioned something about International Dot Day which took place this Wednesday, September 16. The day is inspired by a book titled, The Dot, written by Peter H. Reynolds. The Dot is the story of Vashti, a student with self doubts, afraid to express herself in art class. With support, she eventually learns how important it is to “Make your mark, and see where it takes you.”


The majority of students at Cambridge read, or have read, The Dot, and the lessons learned were visible around the school:

As I walked the halls and read the insightful comments left by some of our youngest learners, I could not help but reflect on the concept of legacy. I believe most people want to look back at their lives and say that they “left their mark”. Evidence of this is all around us…from monuments left by ancient civilizations to graffiti sprayed on a wall. Some go through life wanting to leave behind a legacy of care and giving, while others aim to leave anything possible behind.

I hope that ultimately, students learn that the legacy we all leave behind is not in words, possessions, or monuments, but in how we treat others and the lasting impact we have on their lives.

Please take a few minutes to view and discuss this inspiring and powerful video with your child this weekend:




THANK YOU to the 8 parents who have volunteered so far!


Last October, we held our first Cardboard Challenge and what a success it was!!! Teachers and students embraced the opportunity to be creative and direct their own learning. You will recall that the Cardboard Challenge was inspired by a young boy from East Los Angeles, named Caine. Caine amazed the world by building a complete arcade using cardboard and his imagination. An organization called the Imagination Foundation “was founded to find, foster and fund creativity and entrepreneurship in children around the world to raise a new generation of innovators and problem solvers who have the tools they need to build the world they imagine.” The result? The Cambridge Cardboard Challenge!

Our event will take place on October 5th and will be open to all students. Students need to complete the Cardboard Challenge Application to indicate their interest in participating.

Please watch and discuss the following videos and then decide, “How will YOU show your creativity?”

Movie Sources:



Teaching Staff
Mr. Owen Stemler – Grade 7
Ms. Shelagh Lim – Grade 7
Ms. Nina Minhas – Grade 6/7
Ms. Leslee Burwash – Grade 6
Mr. Peter Beale – Grade 6
Mr. Dave Morrison – Grade 5/6
Mr. Chris Lee – Grade 5
Ms. Sandy McLean – Grade 4/5
Mr. Eric Neumeyer – Grade 4/5
Mr. Alex Dewar – Grade 4
Ms. Kam Padam – Grade 4
Ms. Kelli Vogstad/Nancy LaChimea (W,F) – Grade 3/4
Ms. Jessica Gray – Grade 3
Ms. Tracey Steeves/Ms. Leanne Meyer – Grade 3
Ms. Trish Ineson – Grade 3
Ms. Suparsha Sharda/Vicky Kaur (T,W,Th) – Grade 2
Ms. Punam Sharda/Brianne Topp – Grade 2
Ms. Katherine Douglas/Carrie Macumber – Grade 1/2
Ms. Kerry Tinant – Grade 1/2
Ms. Dawn Unruh – Grade 1/2
Ms. Kimberly Bomford – Grade 1
Ms. Laura Warkentin – Grade 1
Ms. Becky Weber – Kindergarten
Ms. Raj Taank – Kindergarten
Ms. Bonnie Jennings – Kindergarten
Ms. Carri McMillan – Kindergarten
Ms. Stephanie Brown – French
Ms. Julie Peloquin – Learning Support
Ms. Shelley Stark – Learning Support
Ms. Marlene Konyves – Learning Support
Mr. Kevin Fleming – Learning Support
Mr. Alex Reed – Integration Support
Ms. Sheryl Turner – Teacher/Librarian
Mr. Grant Hochman – Band
Ms. Darlene Lourenco – Music
Mr. Spencer Holland – Counsellor

Ms. Debby Kenna – School Psychologist

Mr. Csaba Reday-Nagy-Speech-Language Pathologist

Support Staff
Ms. Dyan Young – Childcare Worker
Ms. Charlotte Pearce – Aboriginal Support Worker
Ms. Angie Gilbert – Education Assistant
Ms. June Green – Education Assistant – Currently on Leave
Ms. Amber Harris – Education Assistant – Currently on Leave
Ms. Victoria Hodges – Education Assistant
Ms. Audrey Mainwaring – Education Assistant
Ms. Angie Martin – Education Assistant
Ms. Linda McLellan – Education Assistant
Ms. Chere Moore – Education Assistant
Ms. Kimberley Murray – Education Assistant
Ms. Aya Nordin – ABA Support Worker
Ms. Lori Roberts – Education Assistant
Ms. Poonam Pannu – Education Assistant
Ms. Karen Steele – Education Assistant
Ms. Beverley Lacey – Clerk
Ms. Kelly McLean – Clerk
Ms. Lorraine Knibb – Clerk
Ms. Maureen Fitzpatrick – Nurse

Supervisory Aides
Ms. Cindy Davis
Ms. Hardeep Dhamija
Ms. Raminder Grewal
Ms. Jessica Pater
Ms. Swaliha Siddiqui
Ms. Rashpal Tung
Ms. Raj Dhillon

Mr. John Demosten
Mr. Alvaro Blandon
Mr. John Green

Administration Team
Mr. Antonio Vendramin
Ms. Kelli Vogstad

WOW – We’ve received over 130 responses to this survey. Thank you! If you haven’t yet shared your feedback regarding our school nickname and logo, we’d still love to hear from you! Please take a minute to complete the questions below. We will share the results with your once we’ve collected enough data. Thank you!


24-Photo Day
24-Meet the Teacher-Community BBQ – 5:00-7:00 p.m.
28-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
30-Terry Fox Assembly at Run – 1:30 p.m.

1-Running Club Begins
5-Cardboard Challenge
12-Thanksgiving – Classes not in session
16-Interim Student Learning Communications sent home
21-Photo Re-takes
22-Grade 6 Immunizations
23-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
29-Last day of Running Club

10-Remembrance Day Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
11-Remembrance Day – Classes not in session
13-Professional Development Day (held September 2) – Classes not in session
26-27-Grade 7 30-Hour Famine
30-Assembly – 1:45 p.m.

4-Term 1 Student Learning Communications sent home
9-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
10-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
18-Final day of classes before Winter Break

4-Classes resume

8-Family Day – Classes not in session
18-Student-Led Conferences
19-Professional Development Day (held September 3) – Classes not in session

14-25-Spring Break – Classes not in session
28-Easter Monday – Classes not in session

11-Term 2 Student Learning Communications sent home
13-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences

6-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session
23-Victoria Day – Classes not in session
30-Professional Development Day – Classes not in session

1-Parent Tea
3-Kindergarten Orientation
10-Sports Day
17-Grade 7 Celebration
22-Year-End Assembly – 9:00 a.m.
23-Term 2 Student Learning Communications sent home
23-Early Dismissal at 1:30 p.m. for Parent/Student/Teacher Conferences
24-Administration Day – Classes not in session


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