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What's New….. the latest with the PIC

The 2014 Assembly of School Councils
Start with dinner and finish with education as the April 2 Assembly of School Councils (AOSC) promises to fill your stomach with amazing food and fill your mind with proven concepts on the combination of education and parenting.
The AOSC, hosted by the Renfrew County District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committee, is an evening of problem sharing and problem solving on a variety of topics affecting students, parents and educators across Renfrew County. The AOSC will be held Wednesday, April 2 at Fellowes High School in Pembroke and features experts in mental health, physical well-being, education, technology, parenting, language and student voice, sharing their expertise with teachers, principals, students and parents through a variety of talks and workshops.
RCDSB PIC chair Tracy Somes and Minister’s Student Advisory Council representative and Arnprior District High School student Oliver Jacob will kick off the evening with a discussion on empowering youth.
Following their discussion, attendees will break into smaller groups and attend two carousel sessions, chosen during registration and led by experts in their fields, on a variety of topics including mental health, modern parenting, mental math computation, Destination Imagination, character education, use of technology, concussions, French in Kindergarten, the Shaw Woods Education Centre and the student voice.
But none of this will be done on an empty stomach. Dinner kicks off the AOSC starting at 5 p.m. with a meal of pork medallions in a creamy mushroom sauce and plenty of delicious sides to choose from. There will also be a vegetarian option. For dessert enjoy your choice of caramel apple cheesecake or cherry chocolate cake all prepared by Fellowes High School’s Hospitality Program students.
To register for this free evening of fine food and important information click here. Registration closes Friday, March 28.


The RCDSB/RCCDSB Parent Involvement Committee 2013 Head, Hearts and Hand Symposium

To register for this incredible symposium click here
If you wish to cancel the onsite childcare request from your registration, please contact Carol Stalkie (613-732-8703) or Tracy Somes (613-334-2730 or 613-758-1217).

For further information on the symposium, please contact RCDSB PIC Chair Tracy Somes at: tsomes@xplornet.ca (613) 334-2730

To register for this incredible symposium click here

Assembly of School Councils, March 27, 2013
Click on link below for downloadable registration form:

AOSC Invitation and Registration Form (March 27, 2013).pdf

EQAO Parent Forum – Saturday, March 23, 2013

The EQAO Support and Outreach Team is hosting a regional parent forum in Ottawa for boards of education in the eastern region on Saturday, March 23, 2013, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. The parent forum will be held at the Brookstreet Hotel, 525 Legget Drive, Ottawa, K2K~2W2.

The forum is composed of two sessions. The first session, Answering Parents’ Top Questions about EQAO Assessments will be delivered by members of the EQAO School Support and Outreach Team. This presentation will describe EQAO’s province-wide assessment program and will inform parents about the EQAO assessments and how parents can work with the school to support their child’s learning.

The second session features an educator and author from Queen’s University, Dr. Lynda Colgan, who will talk to parents about the importance of mathematics and how parents can encourage their child to see the value of mathematics in everyday life.

EQAO will cover the following for each participant:
  • continental breakfast, refreshments and lunch;
  • mileage, according to Government of Ontario guidelines, and
  • accommodation, if required, according to Government of Ontario guidelines (participants travelling more than 160 kilometres round trip).

For more information, please contact:
Jody Kitson-Roy kitsonj@renfrew.edu.on.ca                613-758-2202
Jackie Stadnyk  stadnykj@renfrew.edu.on.ca                613-735-0151 ext 3321

Our School, Our Community Expo at Walter Zadow Public School

PIC Symposium: Manley's battle with mental health was key to winning Olympic silver
General Lake Public School Principal Lizanne Lacelle poses with Olympian Elizabeth Manley following Manley's address

Winning silver at the 1988 Calgary Olympic Games was a triumph of the mind, body and soul for Ottawa native Elizabeth Manley the Olympian said to about 100 parents and educators gathered at the Nov. 3 Parents Involvement Committee held at Fellowes High School.
Manley was the keynote speaker at the daylong symposium hosted by the combined Renfrew County District School Board and the Renfrew County Catholic District School Board’s Parent Involvement Committees.
Along with Manley, the free symposium, titled Nurturing our Children: Heart, Mind, Body and Soul, included a morning and afternoon session of workshops, breakfast, lunch and daycare for those who needed.
During her keynote address Manley shared the story of her journey to the Calgary Olympics and her still ongoing battle with depression.
“I kept so much inside because I didn’t want to burden my mom” Manley said, calling her mom the greatest figure skating mom a child could have. “That’s what kids are doing today.”
Due to Manley’s extensive training and time commitment to her sport “friends at school didn’t exist.”
Manley told the audience she was bullied as school due to the life she chose.
As Manley progressed through her training and competition she was told she should move to Lake Placid to advance her training.
Although in meant the loss of her mom and her comfort zone she did it.
“I felt lost,” she said.
She moved in with an elderly lady who was a “hoarder.”
Although the old house was large, everything in it, including the hallways and room, were filled with piles of stuff. She chose to live in the attic which also had a bed.
“I just wanted to be alone,” she said.
To make matters worse, Manley wasn’t clicking with her new coach who repeatedly called her fat.
“I felt like nobody liked me,” she said. “I started gaining weight despite training eight hours a day. My hair started falling out.”
Finally Manley’s mom came down.
“I told her I was fine,” she said. “That’s a horrible word, a trigger word. Kids use it all the time. I was diagnosed with depression and had had a nervous breakdown. I went home.”
Despite a return home things spiralled downwards for Manley. She was bald, overweight and CTV did not want to interview the Canadian champion because of the negative stigma attached to mental illness at the time.
“I was right on the cusp,” Manley said. “I could have done anything – like so many kids are doing today.”
Not long after that, Manley made a decision that would change her life and Canadian Olympic history – she went back to Lake Placid.
“I wanted to leave figure skating on my terms,” she told the audience.
A doctor offered to help Manley with her mental strength.
She resumed her skating career, under strict guidelines including no media interviews, upon receiving a coaching offer by Peter and Sonya Dunfield.
“It all came out of me,” she said. “I started to love me again.”
She still had to battle though. At the 1986-87 Canadian Championships, moments before hitting the ice, her closes rival sarcastically asked her if she “wanted to borrow some hairspray.”
“I shocked the skating world,” she said. “They all thought I was washed up. Finished.”
But she wasn’t. She won the Canadian Championships and qualified for the 1988 Olympic Games in Calgary.
Her joy was short lived though. She finally relented and agreed to do an interview with the Ottawa Citizen – her first media interview in more than a year.
She was photographed with her poodle and was excited to see the story – until she read the headline.
“It froze me,” she said. “It said ‘Manley dogged by inconsistency, will never win a medal.’”
At the time she felt she couldn’t go to Calgary but later decided “no one is going to tell me I can’t skate.”
Upon arrival in Calgary in the winter of 1988 Manley had the flu and a blown ear drum. Even after a strong finish following the short and compulsory program Manley was plagued by doubt.
But then something inspiring happened. The day before the final day of competition Manley was hitting the ice for her final long program practice.  
“The entire Canadian Hockey team came into the rink and sat at the bench and watched my practice,” Manley told the audience. “When I was done, they all got up and left. Later the coach came by and introduced himself. He said it was ‘a must’ the team came and saw a real champion.”
And that was exactly what Manley needed.
“That gave me hope,” she said. “The rest, you know what happened.”
Manley won the long program, beating both favourites German Katarina Witt and America Debi Thomas. She finished a fraction of a point behind Witt winning the silver medal.
“That night I won gold in life,” Manley concluded.
Following a standing ovation, Manley took time to say hello to those attending the symposium and to pose for photos.
After that, the attendees broke up to attend two workshops of their choosing of eight available workshops organized by the Parent Involvement Committee.
Workshops included Restorative Practices, Collaborative Problem Solving, Anxiety in Children, Free the Children, Destination Imagination, Challenging Parent: Yesterday versus Today, Essencia Spa and Yoga and Homework Help, eLearning, OERB Resources.

1172012_24250_1.jpgPIC chairs, from left, RCCDSB Hazel Mitchell-Power and RCDSB Claudia Major introduce Elizabeth Manley.
Palmer Rapids Public School had a big contingent at the PIC symposium. From left, Jen Juhasz
(PRPS Parent), Jody Kitson-Roy (PRPS Principal), Tracy Somes (PRPS School Council Co-Chair),
Elizabeth Manley (Super Star), Joanne Armstrong (PRPS School Council Co-Chair) and
Tracie Marquardt (PRPS Parent).

The Parent Involvement Committee Symposium to be held Nov. 3

1042012_113459_0.jpgThe Renfrew County District School Board is pleased to announce that their joint application for funding with the Renfrew County Catholic School Board for a parent symposium was approved by the Ministry of Education. The symposium will be held on Saturday, November 3 at Fellowes High School and is entitled, ‘Heart, Body, Mind and Soul’ and features former Olympian Silver Medalist and Canadian Figure Skating champion, Elizabeth Manley as the keynote speaker. While Ms. Manley experienced success during her illustrious figure skating career, many people are not aware that she also suffered from a debilitating mental illness. Ms. Manley will share her personal experiences and provide advice on how parents and educators can identify, support and minimize the long-term effects of mental illness. Please click below for information on individual workshops being held during the symposium.

Workshops - Descriptions0.pdf

Follow the RCDSB on Twitter

Follow along Ottawa Valley, the Renfrew County District School Board (RCDSB) is joining the Twitterverse.
In an effort to provide even more information to parents, student and staff of the RCDSB as well as the greater Renfrew County community, the RCDSB can now be found on Twitter.
Follow @RCDSB and get a front row seat to all the action happening within the board as well as at all 31 RCDSB secondary and elementary schools from the comfort of your computer, smartphone or tablet.
@RCDSB will post photos from events as they happen including sports, assemblies, fundraisers and celebrations. It’s a great way to get to know some of the students and educators of the RCDSB and the great work they do in the community.
Follow @RCDSB and get information and updates on upcoming board meetings, parent information nights, educational seminars and bus cancellation alerts.
@RCDSB will share links to interesting educational websites, re-tweet RCDSB staff members’ tweets and provide alerts when the board’s website, www.renfrew.edu.on.ca, is updated.
You too can share information with @RCDSB if you can do it in 140 characters or less.
Following us on Twitter is a quick, convenient, available anywhere way to keep informed on what’s going on with the students and educators of the RCDSB.

Message from the Director of Education for the 2012-13 school year
2 - Director's Welcome Back Letter - September 2012.pdf

The Mental Health Warning Signs guidebook
The following link is for the Renfrew County Early Identification and Referral Guide for Students with Mental Health Issuse.

Warning Signs Guidebook - December 2011.pdf

The 34-credit cap
Important information from the Ministry of Education regarding the 34-credit cap from the 2012 provincial budget. Please read a letter from the deputy minister on the issue and a Frequently Asked Questions fact sheet on the system.

DMLetterCreditCap- DofE-ENG.pdf
Frequently Asked Questions- FINAL ENG2.pdf

TVOParents website
TVOParents has a lot of resources for parents including homwork help and articles on school and learning. The following link will take you to the very useful website:

A Parent Symposium was held on October 22, 2011
The RCDSB Parent Involvement Committee  hosted its 5th Annual “Achieving As One” Symposium on Saturday, October 22nd at Fellowes High School. The Keynote Speaker was Dyan Eybergen. Dyan is a renowned clinical psychologist and motivational speaker and her keynote address was on the adolescent journey in today’s fast-paced world. The symposium offered parents a variety of workshops including: restorative justice practices for students, Homework Help Program for secondary students, and Healthy Eating: A Public Health Perspective.
Thank-you to all who made this day possible.

12 Virtuous Gifts for Children
Love: A profoundly tender, passionate affection for another person.
Fortitude: Strength of mind that enables one to endure adversity with courage
Curiosity: A desire to find out and know things
Flexibility: Adaptable, able to be changed to suit circumstances
Compassion: A feeling of deep sympathy and sorrow for another who is stricken by misfortune, accompanied by a strong desire to alleviate the suffering
Creativity: The ability to create. A quality involving the generation of new ideas or concepts, or new associations of the creative mind between existing ideas or concepts
Integrity: Moral soundness; integrity is consistency of values and actions. Unspoken completeness with nothing lacking
Reverence: Profound awe and respect
Accountability: An obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one’s actions
Resourcefulness: The ability to act effectively or imaginatively, especially in regard to difficult situations~
Purposefulness: Having a definite goal
Silence: Inner peace, comfortable being with oneself

Parents Receive Financial Support for Parent Engagement
The Ministry of Education recognizes the importance of parent engagement. It reflects a growing body of research that demonstrates strong and direct links between parent engagement and student achievement. Strong parent engagement means improved student achievement. Good schools become better with engaged and involved parents. The RCDSB recently received $13,930 for the Parents Reaching Out Grants for School Councils. A total of 15 school councils received up to $1,000 to support their local initiatives for engaging parents in their children’s schools. Projects that were funded by the Ministry included ADHS’s “Teen Mental Health Resource Bank” to Walter Zadow’s “Relationship Matters – Harnessing the Power of Attachment”’. This funding is in addition to the $10,000 the RCDSB received to support the Parent Involvement Committee’s application for its Achieving As One Symposium.

Newsworthy...from the Ministry and the Board

RCDSB Launches Logo / Motto Contest
The Renfrew County District School Board has launched a logo and motto contest to its students effective September 26, 2011. Superintendent Debra Rantz - a key facilitator in the development of the new vision and mission statements for the board - stated,“We believe in the talents of our students and look for their inspirations in creating a new image for the board”. Recent changes to the geographical boundaries of the Board as a result of the amalgamation of the former school authorities (Whitney Public School and Madawaska Public School) as well as a new strategic plan for the Board has resulted in the need for a new corporate image for the RCDSB. The competition is open to students of all ages and entries must be submitted to the director’s office by December 23, 2011. The winner will receive a new 16GB iPad 2. Students can receive more information about the contest at their respective schools and on the board website.

Board Hires New Communication Officer
Board Hires New Communication officer named Jake Davies who will start his employment with the board on Tuesday, October 11, 2011. This is a new position for the RCDSB and is a part of its strategic plan to help with communication between staff, students and parents.

Deep River K-12 School named! - The Renfrew County District School Board has confirmed the name of the kindergarten to twelve facility in Deep River as Mackenzie Community School. Staff, students and community members submitted 572 surveys by January 14. Sixty-seven of the 123 suggested names contained a variation of the name Mackenzie. "It was very obvious from the input," said Trustee Barbara Basso, "that retaining the "Mackenzie" name in the school title was important to many in the North Renfrew School Family Community."

Homework Help - The Renfrew County District School Board has been taking part in the "Homework Help" pilot project which provides free, anonymous, online Math help to all students in Grades 7 to 10 for the 2010-11 school year. This pilot has received great reviews from the parents, teachers and students involved.  The website allows students to get one-on-one tutoring from Ontario teachers from Sunday to Thursday between 5:30 p.m. and 9:30 p.m., after school hours, when teachers or parents are unavailable to help. Interactive Tutorials are available to help them work through common areas of difficulty, and Best Sessions and Listen & Learns which allow them to watch recordings of lessons and tutoring sessions on a wide variety of Math topics. A Glossary of Math terms, which includes steps on how to solve specific types of problems, is also available.

PPM 150 and Healthy Schools -  Ontario has introduced its School Food and Beverage Policy that includes nutrition standards for food and beverages sold in schools. The policy will apply to food and beverages sold:
  • in all venues on school property such as cafeterias, vending machines and tuck shops;
  • through all programs, including catered lunch programs; and
  • at all events on school property, including bake sales and sport events.
The nutrition standards do not apply to lunches or snacks that are brought from home.
The policy was announced in January 2010 and takes effect on September 1, 2011. However, schools are encouraged to consider implementing the policy as soon as possible.

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