Gordon Gazette Important School News 2015 09 08 Issue #01

This the First bi-weekly newsletter of the 2015/16!

Click Here to get an authenticated and certified piece of the 1912 General Gordon School and support the new playground

Newsletter Contents:

  1. The Gordon Gazette (A message from the Principal Margaret Davidson)
  2. PAC News

Don't forget PAC Fundraising

Gordon Gazette

September 09 2015, Newsletter #01

Click here for General Information about the School
Click here for school hours


Monday-Friday 9:00am-3:00pm
Recess 10:35-10:55am
Lunch 12:10-12:35pm (Eat lunch)
12:35-12:57pm (Play)
Supervision for students at recess and lunch
Supervision in the mornings on the playground for students 8:35-9:00am
Supervision after school on the playground 3:00-3:30pm


Monday-Friday 8:45am-2:45pm
Recess 10:15-10:35am
Lunch 11:35-12:10pm (Play)
12:10-12:27pm (Eat Lunch)
Supervision for students at recess and lunch
Supervision in the mornings on the playground for students 8:00-8:45am
Supervision after school on the playground 2:48-3:30pm

Calendar Reminders

Wednesday Sept. 9 Busses start to pick up and drop off
Monday Sept. 14 Professional Day (school is not in session)
Wednesday Sept. 16 Meet the Teacher Night MAIN SCHOOL(changed date)
Thursday Sept 17 Busses start to pick up for Kindergarten students
Wednesday Sept. 23 Meet the Teacher Night ANNEX
Wednesday Oct. 7 Goal Setting Conferences

Annex dismissal at 2:00pm

Main dismissal at 1:45pm

Thursday Oct. 8 Goal Setting Conferences

Annex dismissal at 2:00pm

Main dismissal at 1:45pm



Welcome to another exciting year at General Gordon. We look forward to meeting all our new students and their families. We have a couple of new staff members and welcome them to our learning community. Our Code of Conduct reflects how the Gordon community is caring, respectful and safe. Choose to be Kind! Choose to be Safe! Choose to be Fair!

Gordon School has been focusing on “Critical Thinking” and “Aboriginal Culture.” Our goals this year are to teach the application of critical thinking, clear articulation of ideas, healthy choices and social responsibility in the use of technology and electronic media and to increase students’ participation in socially responsible activities around the school environment. We are also working on increasing our knowledge, acceptance, empathy, awareness and appreciation of Aboriginal histories, cultures and contributions among all students.

Thank you to the parents and students that helped with the greening and making our portables look great!

We would like to welcome the following new staff to our school: Erin Carrasco (Grade 7LFI until December), Sarah Endicott (student support worker) Sikh Randhawa (extra-clerical staff) and Leslie Germain (counselor working on Tuesdays & Wednesdays).


I would like to thank the parents and the staff for being patient as we work on putting a school organization together that is able to meet the needs of most everyone. There are a number of factors that become important when looking at the make-up of the different classes. Some of the factors are that we are bound by a collective agreement, others are Ministry guidelines that we need to follow, and others involve individual children and looking at their learning styles, their friendships, their strengths and weaknesses. Teachers spend hours and hours of their time making the best educational decisions for grouping the students. It is difficult for us to organize our classes by the first week as families move in and out of our catchment area throughout the summer. Thank you for your input with letters and know that we try to accommodate everyone but are not always able to do this, however please know that we will always support your children so that they get the best learning experience possible.

  • Due to the restrictions of the two sites we will not be moving our students once they are placed.


Administration: At General Gordon there has always been an open door policy where students and parents are able to come and speak to the administration when they have concerns about their child’s education. We found last year that with our schedules being so busy either at meetings; teaching or working with students it was difficult for parents to know when we are available.

This year Margaret Davidson (Principal) will be at two different sites. It is best if you would like to communicate with her to please forward an email and she will get back to you and let you know her schedule. mdavidson@vsb.bc.ca

Teaching Staff:

Please be respectful when setting up meetings to talk to the teachers about your child’s learning. Right at the beginning of class is not the best time as teachers are prepping for the day and need that time to organize their lessons. Please speak to the teacher at the end of the day to make a convenient time for both of you. We thank you for your consideration towards and respect of our amazing staff at General Gordon.

Newsletters/Information Bulletins/Website Regular communication is one important way that parents can be well-informed about what goes on at school. Please expect two newsletters a month that will be posted on our website www.gordonelementary.ca. Information sheets on field trips etc will be sent home. We are working on trying to be green so we will not be sending home paper newsletters.

The School Calendar will also be on the website.


On Wednesday, September 16 at the main school between 5:00-6:00 come and meet your child’s teacher and see their classroom.



Miles Patrick will be calling for a sign-up for any students in Grades 3-7 that wish to join the team. More information will be coming to parents and students.


We have 2 parent coaches that will be volunteering their time to coach a Grade 7 Girls soccer team. We had a sign up on Friday and potentially have 17 girls interested. The practices will be after school from 2:45-3:45pm and the games will be on Thursdays from 3:30-5:00pm. (place TBA). Ms. Davidson will be their sponsor coach.


Agendas: Student agendas are another very useful communication and teaching tool. The cost of the agenda for the Grades 1-7 students is $10.00

Performances: Catherine MacIntyre, our music specialist has taken the time to research and book some exciting performances to show our children and school community this year. These performances are costly and in order to maintain the variety of experiences and number of performances we are asking for $15.00 from each student. Parents and younger siblings are encouraged also to come and watch the performances. Catherine will sometimes book performances appropriate for all grades (odd and even divisions can watch) or performances that are appropriate for primary or intermediate. The school and the PAC will also be providing funds for some performances. Catherine always chooses a variety of performances for the students to enjoy. These performances will be described in the upcoming newsletters. She will book five performances and then our PAC sponsors two extra performances so that our students benefit from numerous enriching experiences. We welcome families to come and join us for these performances and times will be posted in the upcoming newsletters.

Spirit of Math: Gordon staff have found the Spirit of Math program to be a successful way to help students with learning their math facts and working towards mastering basic math concepts. Every teacher (Gr. 1-7) will be working with this program in their classroom. PAC and the school have offered to subsidize part of the cost but we are asking parents to help out with $15.00 per student. Each booklet is $20.00. If you have any concerns about this program please don’t hesitate to contact the principal Margaret Davidson at mdavidson@vsb.bc.ca.

Intermediate students (1-7) Agenda, performances & Spirit of Math $40.00
Primary students (K) Performances $15.00

Please send cash or write a cheque made payable to General Gordon School by Friday, September 25th.
Please don’t hesitate to contact us at the school if you have difficulty with finances as all our students need to benefit from the ongoing learning experiences we provide at the school.

SCHOOL FEES Please send a cheque or money with your child to pay for school supplies. These supplies include pencils, pens, glue sticks, exercise books, duotangs, and art supplies that are shared in the classroom. Students in Grades K-7 need to pay $25.00. Please send the money by Friday, September 25th. Please be reminded that students will not be denied supplies or an opportunity to participate in school activities if paying fees is a hardship. Please speak to Ms. Davidson if this is a concern.


If it is easier to write one cheque please enclose the following by Friday, September 25.

Intermediate Grade 1-7 $65.00
Kindergarten $40.00


We would like to welcome Promita Abraham and Vickie Stephens as our new Co-Pac Chairs. Our first PAC meeting will be at Bayview at 7:00pm on Monday, September 28.

Our first PIE (Partners of Inclusive Education) meeting will be at Bayview on Thursday, September 17th at 7:00pm.

Our first coffee meeting at the site of our new school will be on Friday, September 18th at 8:00am.

Everyone is welcome to all of our meetings!

Important Information


Important Notice re: PEANUT ALLERGY (anaphylaxis)

Anaphylaxis is a severe allergic reaction, which requires immediate treatment to prevent sudden death from suffocation or cardiac arrest. One of the life threatening allergens is peanuts. We have a few students in our school that have peanut allergies. We have a few students in the school who have peanut allergies that are life threatening. Not only is the direct ingestion of nuts life threatening, but also contact with peanuts. We are asking our school community to please AVOID snacks and luncheons containing nut products. We would like our school community to be “allergy aware” and work together to minimize the risk of exposure for the allergic child.

The treatment if the child is exposed to peanuts is to call 911 immediately and use an “epipen.” The community nurse, Sarah Thorsteinson will be do a review workshop with the staff on how to use the epipen. There is an epipen in the child’s classroom and in the medical office. The Ministry of Education’s publication Life-Threatening Food Allergies in School and Child Care Settings lists great ideas for nutritious no-nut lunches and snacks, a few of which we include here:

  • String cheese or cheese & crackers, celery or bread stick wrapped in Swiss cheese
  • Raisins, dried apricots, fruit leather, salads (pasta, mixed bean, potato, bulgur wheat)
  • Noodles, carrot sticks or baby carrots; hummus or other dip with veggies, macaroni and cheese, pizza
  • Pepperoni stick or beef jerky, animal crackers, graham wafers, yoghurt drink or chocolate milk

The school and particularly the families of our anaphylactic students, thank all students, parents and staff for their cooperation and support.


  • We are trying to finalize our rosters this week so that students, staff and bus drivers can get set into their routines. As of now we have some spots left on Bus #1 leaving the Gordon site at 8:00am and leaving the QE site at 2:50pm.
  • The rosters are posted on the school website (www.gordonelementary.ca). Because we are conscious of unwanted emails, we will not email all parents again about buses so please check the website to find out which bus your child is on.
  • The logistics of organizing bus for 150+ students on two different sites, with sport practices, day care goers and some part-time riders is challenging. Therefore we cannot accommodate friend’s requests etc. for the bus. The ride is 5-10 minutes long and there is plenty of time at school to play with friends. If students have playdates planned you will need to arrange their rides for them.
  • We will also be asking the students to fill out a “Code of Conduct” for the bus transportation. We will go over the expectations in an assembly and we appreciate the parents also following up with this at home.
  • The Annex bus will leave the site at 8:45 so please be there at 8:40am.

Margaret Davidson