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New Parent's Coffee

I believe that it doesn’t matter how long you have been in a school, there is always something new to learn. I went along to new parent’s coffee this morning to say hello to some new folks (and to let them know all about the good work of the PTA), and to see how much I remembered from back when I was a new parent at the school three years ago. I did learn something new too!

New parent’s coffee was hosted by Dr Mitchell and Mrs O’Keefe with all of the guidance staff (counselors and psychologists) in attendance. It was attending by mostly new families to Wilton – Cider Mill welcomes 45 new students to the district this year.

Here are some of the key things that were covered:

School Handbook – This wealth of information is being updated and will be available through the student drop down menu on the school’s website soon.

Guidance for students new to the district - During the first week of school our two guidance counselors arrange to have lunch with all Cider Mill students who are new in the district. This serves as a welcome introduction and a 'we are here if you need us'. It puts new students in touch with one another, especially if they are in the same house / grade as other new kids. Guidance staff will invite all students at the school to have lunch with them. This pretty much takes the whole year due to do. Guidance is also able to set up groups of students who might benefit from more targeted meetings. They mentioned anger management and anxiety groups as two such groups. Guidance is there to help students through divorce; they have found that these groups work best after school when they are not constrained by the lunch schedule.

Attendance - Parents are allowed to notify the school 9 times if their child is absent. For the 10th time and thereafter, parents need to have a doctor’s note to excuse the absence. Starting this year, the office will be making follow up phone calls to parents if there has not been a phone call or email into school to explain a student’s absence.

Drop Off - If you are late to school i.e. after 7.40am you are required to park your car and walk your child into school through the main entrance. For safety reasons, please don’t kiss them goodbye in the parking lot and drive off.

School Bus behavior – The bus journey is still part of the school day and good respectful behavior is expected at all times to ensure that everyone feels safe on the bus. Should your child be experiencing something to the contrary, please get in touch with the school.

Safety Drills – Fire drills and lock downs are held during the year, the first ones will be announced to staff in advance, all others will be unannounced drills.

Open House – See Edline Calendar for your date. At 7pm all the Special area teachers (music, foreign language, art, gym) will be available in the gym should you wish to meet them or have any questions you want to ask them. At 7.30pm Open house with your child’s teacher will begin.

Edline – Vs – PowerSchool – At the elementary grades PowerSchool is used to convey bus information (bus number / morning pick up time) and PowerAnnouncments (usually closings due to inclement weather, but can be anything else where the school urgently needs to get in touch with all parents) Edline is used for communications from your class, school calendar, virtual backpack of every form you may need to fill in for your child. It is also where you will find this month's lunch menu.

School Dismissal Manager SDM – Replaces notes to school for changes you need to make for your child’s pick up arrangements after school. Teachers do not see the report from SDM until the end of the school day, so if you are planning an early pick up i.e. before 2.10pm, you still need to send in a note to school. SDM requests for today must be made by 12.30pm. You can schedule changes to your pick up schedule up to 2 weeks in advance.

Dropping off Items – If you bring in a forgotten item from home, (musical instrument, after school soccer kit etc), the office will call down for these items to be picked up twice a day. This is a way of working for this year, intended tominimize interruptions in classrooms.

Vision Statement – We have a district Vision Statement, new this year, it can be found on Cider Mill's Edline home page.

Change of Address - Should you move house, you are unable to update your address on PowerSchool, you need to take 2 proofs of your new address to the office and they will make the change for you.

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