Dear Parents and Guardians,

Welcome to another school year at Elmdale PS. After 7 years in Victoria, B.C., I am delighted to start my fifth year in Ottawa. I am from Lac-St-Jean, Quebec, and I’ve lived in many cities across Canada, from Halifax to Victoria. I’ve been a French teacher since 1990 and many of those years were spent at Connaught PS, a vibrant multicultural school in Ottawa. Sending an email to the following address would be the easiest way to reach me but you can also send a note: fslactivities@gmail.com.

Class Subjects
I will be teaching most of the subjects except for English Language Arts, which will be taught by Mrs Monsebraaten, in the afternoon. As well, Mrs. Monsebraaten will be teaching music for 40 minutes per week. We will have physical education on Mondays and Fridays, and library on Thursdays.

I appreciate when you let me know by email when your child is going to be absent. However, it is important that you still contact the office to let them know. If your child will be missing school for any planned period of time, please notify me in writing (either by email or by sending a note to school with your child) outlining the dates she/he will be away.

Home/School Communication
Please feel free to contact me by email at pierre.renaud@fslactivities.ca. Thank you to those who signed up to join our distribution list (https://plus.google.com/113370088010175970567/posts). I view e-mail as a means to improve and facilitate the flow of information between students, parents, and ourselves. I hope that we will all use the system to convey supportive and constructive comments.

We decided not to use agendas this year. Students can log into their Google Docs account to read the “Nouvelles de la salle de classe.”

Google Docs - Journal
In an effort to maintain an open line of communication between students and teachers, I will be using a journal with Google Docs. I cannot stop students from sharing documents between themselves, so I rely on them to make good use of this service.

Use of French and reward system
Developing oral language skills and vocabulary in French is an important part of the French Immersion curriculum. Students are expected to speak French in class at all times (except during recess, lunch, English Language Arts, and special events). In order to encourage students to use their French language skills, students will be given an amount of "play money" with the opportunity to earn more for speaking regularly in French. Every Friday, students can use this money to purchase recycled items that other students have brought from home in a class auction. Not only does this system promote the use of French in the classroom, it also reinforces basic Math and computation skills.

Students may occasionally have work to complete at home. Students should be able to complete these tasks independently; however, they can benefit from a quiet place in which to perform these tasks and the supervision of an adult or older sibling to ensure that homework is completed. Homework will not normally be assigned on weekends. As a rule of thumb, your child should not spend more than 30 minutes completing homework per evening; please advise me if this is not the case. If your child is unable to complete her/his homework for any reason, please let me know by writing a note in your child's agenda or by sending me an email. In the event that your child has completed all her/his tasks at school and has no homework, students should be reading for a minimum of 10 minutes per evening in French and in English.

Report Cards and Conferences
Parents and guardians will receive three reports concerning their child's progress throughout the year. If your child is finding a particular activity or curricular area to be a challenge, I will let you know so that you may work on the concept with her/him at home. In addition to our first conference in November, there will be another Parent-Teacher conference time set up in the spring. Should you wish to discuss an issue with me outside these dates, feel free to set up a time to meet with me by either phoning the school office or emailing.

Water Bottles/Snacks
Students should bring water bottles to school and are permitted to keep them on their desks during class time. Since spills and accidents do occur, juice and other drinks are allowed at recess and lunchtime only. As learning takes a great deal of energy, students may also eat fresh fruit and vegetable snacks at their desks throughout the day.

Field Trips
Field trips are an important part of the school curriculum and provide enriching experiences for all learners. I will try to have a few curricular-related field trips throughout the year and will advise you well in advance if there are any costs associated with these activities.

Digital Pictures
I will take pictures of the students throughout the year, that I will share with the families using online services such as Picasa (Google Web Album) and Google Plus. By default, all albums will be Private and will be invisible to guests trying to browse the personal URL. Note that when I share albums via email, any recipient of that invitation could view that album even if it is set to Private. Uninvited guests who have not received a sharing email from you will not be able to see it. Please advise me immediately if you do not want your child to appear in these albums.

Parent volunteers are most welcome in the classroom once routines are well established. Please advise me if you have a particular interest, skill, or hobby that you would like to share.

Classe Partenaire / Buddy Class
In the coming months, I will try to match students with an younger “ami(e)” from a kindergarten or grade 1 class with whom we will do primarily literacy activities. Having a “buddy” contributes to the students’ literacy skills, helps younger students feel part of the school community, and gives a chance to older students to be friends and role-models, both in the classroom and outside at recess.

Routines, procedures and expectations

Be Considerate:
  • Listen carefully
  • Raise your hand if you wish to speak to the class
  • Maintain eye contact and give your full attention to those speaking
  • Maintain good listening posture
  • Show respect to others
  • Be kind with your words and actions
  • Work quietly
Be Prepared for Lessons:
  • Pencils sharpened prior to lessons
  • Have all necessary equipment at school daily
  • Try to follow directions the first time and if you are unsure, ask for clarification
  • Do not disturb others who are working
  • Use washrooms during class breaks (Recess/Lunch)
Be Conscientious and Responsible:
  • Work and play safely
  • Present work neatly to the best of your ability
  • Label your work (Page, Title, Name, Date)
  • Hand in homework on time.

M. Renaud