February 2024 Newsletter
Posted on 02/01/2024

February 2024

Principal’s Message

It has been quite an interesting Winter so far. With temperature expected to continue to rise over the next weeks, I would like to remind families to send extra items of clothing. Our yard gets muddy and wet as the snow begins to melt and having extra clothes will be helpful (and will save many calls home!)

We are excited to be holding a Dance-a-thon on March 5th. I would like to thank the Tay Shores School Council for organizing this wonderful event for the school.

Mr. Nie

Important Upcoming Dates at Tay Shores Public School

February 12

Grade 8 Photos

February 16

Report Cards go home

February 19

Family Day

February 22

Dance A Thon Kick Off Assembly

February 26

Grade 2 Outdoor Education

March 5

Dance A Thon

March 11 - 15

March Break


Please visit our school website calendar at https://tay.scdsb.on.ca/calendar to view all that is happening at Tay Shores PS


Inclement weather and bus cancellation information reminder

All information regarding cancelled buses in Simcoe County is posted on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC)’s bus information website at www.simcoecountyschoolbus.ca. Our school is in the NORTH zone. When buses are cancelled, schools remain open for student learning, unless otherwise noted. School staff are expected to plan for such emergencies in order to transition students who are unable to attend due to inclement weather, to their online platforms (Google Classroom and/or SCDSBhub [Brightspace by D2L]) and continue with academic programming. It is always a family decision whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions.


The Consortium and bus operators try to make the decision to cancel school buses before 6 a.m. and make every effort to post announcements before 7 a.m. Inclement weather cancellations are effective for the whole day and buses cancelled in the morning will not run at the end of the day. You can follow the Consortium on Twitter @SCSTC_SchoolBus for bus cancellations and other information. You can also subscribe to receive bus delay notifications here: https://scstc.ca/Subscriptions/Login.aspx.


Reminder to Families of Attendance Taking Procedures on Bus Cancellation Days

On days when busses are cancelled all families MUST still call the school to report their child absence.  It is always better to call the Safe Arrival line or email [email protected] rather than messaging the teacher as the teacher may also be away.  All families who call in to the school to report an absence, will NOT receive a Safe Arrival call.  All families who do not call the school (even if your child is a bus student) will receive a ‘bus cancellation day’ Safe Arrival call.  This call is different than our usual Safe Arrival call and states that ‘if your child should be at school, please call and let us know’.  Please only return the call to the school if your child should be in attendance, if they are at home, there is no need to call and after the call they will be marked absent due to weather.  Calling the school prior to the Safe Arrival call is always the best option and will stop families from receiving a Safe Arrival call.

On non-bus cancellation days, please continue to call the school and report your child’s absence as usual.


Black History Month
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) recognizes and celebrates Black History Month every February. The SCDSB is committed to improving equity of access, positive identity affirming experiences and opportunities for Black students, staff, and parents/guardians, and to creating a safe and caring learning environment that promotes the human rights of students, staff, and parent/guardians. The initiatives undertaken by the SCDSB have been embedded in teaching and learning at all school levels, and centrally, for Black History Month and throughout the year. Follow the SCDSB on social media to see how schools are recognizing Black History Month and celebrating Black excellence.

Parents’ Guide to Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting
Learn to navigate the world of assessment, evaluation, and reporting with this new guide for parents/guardians. Created to support parents’/guardians’ understanding of assessment, this guide was designed to effectively empower you to actively engage in your child's educational journey. The guide has been posted to the Simcoe County District School Board’s website and can be accessed at https://cdnsm5-ss14.sharpschool.com/UserFiles/Servers/Server_210898/File/Secondary/Parents-Guide-to-Assessment.pdf

Subscribe to Community Connects!
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is excited to launch Community Connects, a new bimonthly newsletter for the SCDSB community. Our shared goal with this new tool is to keep our community partners and stakeholders informed while nurturing relationships that are built on accountability, trust, and transparency.

To learn more and subscribe, visit the Community Connects page on the SCDSB website: https://www.scdsb.on.ca/community/community_connects.

Kindergarten registration for September 2024 is open!
Kindergarten is the beginning of a wonderful journey of learning, and we want your child to begin their journey in a SCDSB school! Do you have a child who is turning four in 2024? If so, we invite you to register your child for Kindergarten. To register online or for more information visit:



Subscribe to Kindergarten Connections!
Will your child be turning four in 2024? If so, the SCDSB invites you to Kindergarten Connections! This is a monthly enewsletter informing families of everything they need to know about preparing their child for school, as well as registering them for Kindergarten in the SCDSB. To learn more and subscribe, visit the Kindergarten page on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/kindergarten.




EarlyON Child and Family Centres
The foundation for lifelong learning and health is built in the early years. EarlyON Child and Family Centres across Simcoe County offer programs for children prenatal to six years of age and their parents/guardians and caregivers. They offer access to play- and inquiry-based learning supported by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years, information on child development and developmental screening including Early Referral Identification Kits (ERIK), parent/guardian education, referrals to community resources, nutrition information, and post-natal resources. Check with your local EarlyON provider: https://linktr.ee/earlyonsimcoe.  



How is your infant, toddler, or preschool child developing? 

Is your child meeting their milestones? Age-appropriate speech and language skills are critical to your child’s ability to read, write, and be successful in school as well as to their ability to engage with their peers. Free services are available to support you with your child’s development. Preschool speech and language programs are located across the County of Simcoe. Call 705-739-5696 or 1-800-675-1979 to complete a developmental screen. The earlier we work together the better!


Child care programs available on PA days, holidays, and March Break

Child care programs for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided by independent, third-party child care operators in some SCDSB schools. To support your child care needs, some operators offer child care on PA days and holidays, including over the March Break (March 11 to 15). Registration in advance is required. Please contact the child care operator directly to discuss fees and to register. For more information and contact numbers, please visit: https://www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/planning_for_school/childcare_before_after


Join us! A learning series for parents/guardians with Pine River Institute
Mental health and well-being continues to be a key strategic priority within the SCDSB. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Centre for Family Initiatives at Pine River Institute (CFI@PRI) to provide several curated learning sessions focused on student mental health and well-being to SCDSB families.

There are eight webinars specifically planned for parents/guardians and other caregivers during this school year. The remaining webinars are:

Feb. 8, 2024          Self regulation for kids
Feb. 22, 2024       
Self regulation for teens
March 28, 2024    
Building parents' resiliency
April 18, 2024       
Vaping, weed, and alcohol 


We hope you save these dates in your calendar and join us for these learning opportunities. For more information and to register, please visit the SCDSB website: https://bit.ly/3jGaC74.


Pine River Institute is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. CFI@PRI extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence-informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions.  Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at www.pineriverinstitute.com.

Interested in learning more about the ways that the SCDSB supports students with special education needs and their families? Join us for a virtual special education information series
During the 2023-24 school year, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is hosting virtual special education outreach sessions to assist parents/guardians in learning more about programs, supports, and ways that we work together to support students with special education needs. 

Transition planning
Feb. 13
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Reading strategies
March 19
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Supporting students with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
April 16
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Every day mental health strategies
May 14
6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Participants are asked to register in advance. Information to access the sessions will be shared via email with individuals who have pre-registered. Learn more about each session and how to register on the SCDSB website: www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/special_education/special_education_outreach_sessions.  

Registration now open for summer eLearning!
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is offering summer school courses in July 2024 (elearning) and travel for credit courses in both July and August for current high school students or adult learners who are interested in earning a new credit or upgrading a previous mark. Students can advance online learning skills, earn missed credits or fast-track preparation for graduation or post-secondary in just four weeks. eLearning is fully supported by certified teachers who are available electronically daily.

Summer school program details can be found on the Learning Centres website at https://www.thelearningcentres.com/programs/summer_school.

EDUTravel programs are offered in a variety of destinations including Canada, USA, and Europe.  For more information including costs, destinations, credits, and dates of commitment, please visit: www.edutravelforcredit.com.

Summer eLearning opportunities for students entering Grade 9! 
The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is offering summer school eLearning courses in July 2024. Current Grade 8 students wishing to reach ahead and earn a credit before high school can now register through their elementary school principal. eLearning is fully supported by certified teachers who are available electronically daily. Available courses include: 

CGC1D – Grade 9 Geography 
PAF1O – Grade 9 Personal Fitness 
CHV2O & GLC2O – Grade 10 Civics and Careers 
CHC2P – Grade 10 Applied History 
CHC2D – Grade 10 Academic History  


Summer school program details can be found on the Learning Centres website at www.thelearningcentres.com/programs/summer_school

Reminder: Safe Arrival system for SCDSB schools – call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence
This school year, the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) launched a new Safe Arrival system at elementary schools. This system supports us in continuing to improve our home-to-school communication process and streamlines absence reporting. To report a student absence, call 1-888-885-8065. Callers will be prompted to identify the school before leaving a message. Parents/guardians should include the student’s name, teachers’ name, dates, and reason for the absence. When schools do not hear from a parent/guardian, and a student is absent, the school will call home to find out the reason for the absence. If you have questions about the system, please contact the school office.

School playground structures are closed for the winter
Every winter, school playground structures are closed. Students are made aware of this during school hours through announcements and staff reminders during breaks. This may not be well known throughout the community, despite signs indicating that playground structures are a winter hazard and are closed. The Canadian Standards Association regulations make recommendations for the depth of ground cover required to minimize injuries (e.g., sand, pea gravel, or wood chips). These surfaces cannot be maintained when the ground freezes. Injuries from falling would be more significant on frozen ground. We strongly recommend that you do not allow your children to play on any structures while the ground is frozen.

Reminder about sledding safety at school
Student safety is our first priority, and although we do allow soft sleds at our school, we do not allow hard sleds, two-person sleds, or snow racers. We do supervise sledding and we remind students of safety rules on a regular basis.

We want to inform parents that if students are sledding at school, Ophea recommends that they should wear a properly fitted (as per manufacturer's guidelines) and properly worn CSA-approved hockey helmet or snow sport helmet certified by a recognized safety standards association.

If you send a sled and helmet (optional) to school with your child, you are giving permission for your child to take part in this activity.



New Math at Home online resource for families

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) Math team is excited to launch Math at Home, an online resource for parents/caregivers of SCDSB students from ages 0-16. Math at Home provides the following information and resources to support math learning:


  • Math games to play at home
  • Links to digital math games
  • Practice opportunities
  • Real world math connections
  • Math mindset


Math at Home will be updated monthly to include new math games, problems, and number talks. Visit www.scdsb.on.ca/MathAtHome to begin supporting your child’s math learning at home!

Math @Home parent and caregiver series
It’s back! The SCDSB math team is pleased to offer three virtual sessions for parents and caregivers of SCDSB students. These sessions will focus on practical and fun ways to support children with their mathematics learning and engagement at home. The first 200 registrants will receive a Math @Home kit of resources to use at home. Participants must pre-register for each of the sessions.

Exploring the new SCDSB family math resources
Tuesday, Feb. 6, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m.
This session is for parents and caregivers. Join members of the SCDSB math team for a guided exploration of the new SCDSB family math resources. Participants will have the opportunity to explore the resources that are available to support their child’s math learning at home. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length. During the final 15 minutes, the math team will be available to answer questions about the resources available.

Tips for engaging in math conversations with your child @Home
Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m.
This session is for parents and caregivers and will explore opportunities to discuss math with their child(ren) at home. Participants will learn about how events such as shopping, preparing food, engaging in a building project, or going for a walk can be used as a starting point for math conversations, and will receive prompts to get the discussion rolling. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length. During the final 15 minutes, the math team will be available to answer questions about the session.

Games to support your child’s math learning @Home
Thursday, April 4, 2024, 7 to 8 p.m.
This session is for parents, caregivers, and their children. Playing games at home is a great way to support child(ren)’s math development. In this session, several games will be explored, and participants will have the opportunity to try the games with their children during the session. The guided portion of the session will be 45 minutes in length followed by 15 additional minutes for further game play or to ask questions of our math facilitators. Bring your child(ren) and your math kit to this session! 

Participants must pre-register for the sessions they wish to attend. Registered participants will receive a kit of hands-on resources that will be sent to the school indicated on the registration form. Use this link to register: https://bit.ly/24MathAtHome.


Developing fluency through repeated reading

Fluency, the ability to read smoothly, accurately, and with expression, is a fundamental skill that significantly impacts a child's overall reading proficiency. When children read fluently, they can focus more on comprehension, understanding the meaning behind the words, rather than struggling with decoding.


Repeated reading is a highly effective strategy that involves a child reading the same text multiple times. This method aims to enhance fluency, comprehension, and overall reading proficiency. By revisiting a text, readers become more familiar with the words and structure, leading to increased speed and accuracy. Additionally, repeated reading allows children to focus on expression and intonation, promoting a more natural and engaging reading style. This approach is particularly beneficial for struggling readers, as it builds confidence and reinforces word recognition. As parents/guardians, incorporating repeated reading into your child's routine not only reinforces the joy of reading but also cultivates a strong foundation for improved fluency and comprehension skills over time.

Mental health strategy of the month - Just Breathe

Well-being is a Strategic Priority in the Simcoe County District School Board, and our mental health and well-being department provides monthly strategies to support student and family well-being.


This month’s strategy is Just Breathe. The purpose of this strategy is to help students develop a mind/body connection, self-regulation, awareness of emotions, and resiliency by practising deep breathing.


To practice Just Breathe at home, follow these steps:

  • Place your hands flat on your stomach or pay attention to your stomach.
  • As you breathe deeply in through your nose, send this breath all the way to your stomach.
  • Feel your stomach expand and your hands move out.
  • Breathe out. Feel your stomach contract and your hands move in.
  • Repeat 5-6 times.


Practice deep belly breathing any time you feel stressed or upset. Find more information to support your child's mental health here: https://smho-smso.ca/parents-and-caregivers/.


Follow the Mental Health and Well-being social media accounts (@SCDSB_MHWB) to see how well-being is being supported in our schools.



Online luring and grooming

As part of our shared commitment to educating our students about digital citizenship and cyber awareness, this month we are highlighting online luring and grooming. The following info sheet has been created by the Educational Collaborative Network of Ontario (ECNO) to overview:

  • What online luring and grooming is
  • Commonly used tactics that online predators use
  • Helpful tips to stay safe
  • How to report if necessary


Info sheet:https://ecno.org/wp-content/uploads/2023/09/ECNO-CAM-Calendar-23-Aug3023_GroomingLuring.pdf


For additional activities and information, please refer to the digital citizenship resources for parents/guardians that are available on the Safe Schools page on the SCDSB website (www.scdsb.on.ca/elementary/safe_schools). The Ministry of Education has also provided information and resources in PPM 166 Keeping Students Safe: Policy Framework for School Board Anti-Sex Trafficking Protocols: www.ontario.ca/document/education-ontario-policy-and-program-direction/policyprogram-memorandum-166.



Foster families needed in your community!

Children in our community need you! We have an urgent need for foster homes in Simcoe Muskoka. We are looking for diverse foster care providers who understand children's needs. Our needs are diverse and range from babies to teens. Open your home to a child/youth and receive training, support, and between $85 and $155 per child and per day. Do you know anyone who may be interested? Visit https://familyconnexions.ca/fosterconnexions/ to inquire, apply, and for more information. You may also call 705-726-6587 ext. 4.


Information provided by Simcoe Muskoka Family Connexions.



Stay healthy this school year
COVID and other respiratory infections can spread easily from person to person. These germs can spread quickly when someone coughs or sneezes directly on another person, or when germs land on hard surfaces like doorknobs, desks, and keyboards and then are touched by someone else. These germs can then enter the body through the eyes, nose, or mouth.

The most important thing you can do to keep from getting sick and stop the spread of germs is wash your hands. Wash with soap and warm running water for at least 15 seconds (or try singing Happy Birthday twice). If your hands are not visibly dirty you can use alcohol-based hand sanitizer for 15 seconds. Also, make sure you are up to date with your immunizations, cover coughs and sneezes, and stay home if you are sick. Teach your kids to do the same!

For more tips to keep you and your family healthy this school year, contact Health Connection at 1-877-721-7520 or visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

Information provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.



Creating safe and healthy schools
A healthy school supports children to reach their full health and learning potential. There are many ways for you to get involved in creating a safe and healthy school for your child. Here are some ideas:

  • Talk with your child about what they are learning at school and find ways to role model or reinforce the health messages at home.
  • Stay informed about your child’s school through the school website and social media platforms.
  • Get to know your child’s friends, other parents, and staff from the school and communicate often.
  • Volunteer to participate on a committee that helps organize healthy activities for the school community. Contact your child’s school or your local public health unit to get started.


Looking for more parenting support? Speak with a public health nurse by calling 705-721-7520 or 1-877-721-7520 or visit www.simcoemuskokahealth.org.

Information provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit.

Register your child for the YMCA’s Escape in the Landscape program

Register your child for an outdoor education experience like no other. The YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka’s Escape in the Landscape program offers nature immersion activities led by qualified staff for children ages 4-12. Through experimentation, peer-to-peer learning, and storytelling, your child will be encouraged to discover new experiences and skills, all while making lasting friendships and developing a love of the great outdoors. 


During this memorable program, your child will: 

  • Learn about the land and how to be environmental caretakers. 
  • Connect with nature and build self-confidence.
  • Improve their mental and physical health.
  • Be curious, resilient, and motivated to make a difference. 


The program runs for eight weeks from March to April 2024 and is offered in Alliston, Innisfil, Midland, Wasaga Beach, and Barrie.



Ages 4-6: $125.00 

Ages 7-12: $175.00


For more information and to register, visit https://ymcaofsimcoemuskoka.ca/escape-in-the-landscape/.


Information provided by the YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka.