Welcome back to the Swamp!

Argyle logoHey Gators welcome back to the Swamp…it is an unbelievably exciting time for us here at Argyle as we ready ourselves for another amazing year. I believe this will be another year where we see the Gators take a chomp out of all we do.

We have a number of new additions to the Argyle staff and we are super excited about the work we have been doing together to ensure we are ready for each and every learner that enters our halls. We know that we have a tremendously unique community

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with diversity in so many ways – we celebrate that and look forward to seeing every Gator find his or her own way this school year. This display is just one of many ways that we will proclaim this message and will welcome each person to our school as they enter from the north doors by the staff parking lot.

Speaking of new staff, we have a number of them and we are confident that they will be tremendous additions to our school community. All of our staff are excited for the return of our students tomorrow.

Clockwise from top left we have our primary staff, grade 3 and 3/4 teachers, our two grade 5/6 teachers, our specialists, and lastly our senior teachers. Unfortunately I didn’t get a shot of our amazing educational assistants or facility caretakers who so admirably serve our students and staff. I am beyond grateful for the work that all of these folks do to make Argyle the special place that it is. You will notice a number of new faces this year on our staff and I would encourage you to stop by and meet new staff and stop by for our annual SCC Potluck and Meet the Teacher night on September 21st.

I would like to offer a special welcome to our new staff:
– Ms. D. Haig in grade 1/2
– Mrs. C. Bray in grade 3/4
– Ms. K. Yee in grade 4
– Ms. K. Evans in grade 5/6
– Mrs. R. Adema in Arts Ed.
– Mr. A. Stoffel in Arts Ed.
– Mrs. A. Hendrick who will be joining us in late October in Arts Ed.
– Mr. C. Parker in EAL
– Mr. F. Robinson in the Teacher Librarian Role

STEAM boat

Last week we did a lot of learning together and participated in a number of fun team-building activities including a “build a boat” contest that featured this feat of engineering mastery. We did a number of STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Math) activities together which we all enjoyed and had a guest in who specializes in STEAM who shared a number of really cool activities.

Our opening morning will closely resemble last year with class lists posted on the east side of the building before school, all staff outside to help our Gators find their way when our opening bell goes, and a welcome back assembly later on in the morning.

Those of you who were with us last year will recall that we had a street safety focus for our community and we will continue that this year. Please click on this link to see a map that highlights some very important areas around our school.

Please click on this link for our 2017-2018 Communication Plan which includes a link to our new website (same address brand new format and look). I will be working to make sure that we get you all of the information you need to be in the know of all things Gator again this year!

As always please let me know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns that I can help you with. Have a wonderful school year and as always Go Gators!

 

 

 

 

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A fond farewell…

Argyle Logo_WebsiteAs the sun sets over the Swamp we bid a fond farewell to many students and staff who will be moving on to new experiences and adventures. I often talk about the importance of community and the amazing community we have here at Argyle. With the numerous changes we will experience in personnel this fall there is a real challenge to build a team that continues to reflect the values that this community holds dear.

We bid farewell to the following staff:
– Mr. Pare – EA
– Ms Palmer – Arts Ed
– Mrs. Flaten-Orr – Arts Ed
– Mrs. Huber – Core French/PE
– Ms. Paoli – EAL
– Mrs. Sanchuck – Teacher Librarian
– Ms Toporowski – Gr. 1/2
– Ms. Brady – Gr. 3
– Ms Burns – Gr. 3/4
– Mrs. Pominville – Gr. 4/5
– Mrs. Leupold – Gr. 5/6

A tremendous example of what an amazing community we have was demonstrated on our last day as we held our second annual, “Talent Show.” Many of our students bravely presented various talents for our entire school community to witness and appreciate. One of our very talented young men who was singing a beautiful song accompanied by a great friend stumbled upon his words – every performer’s worst nightmare I am sure – through the struggle our performer stopped and was upset. However, through the young man’s desire to do a great job and finish our student body, and the guests in attendance, gave him encouragement through applause when appropriate, silence when required, and vocal accompaniment through a few meaningful chorus’…not to mention a powerful standing ovation at the completion of  the song. For this Gator, and all of us, the phrase “One call away…”  perhaps hasn’t been as meaningful as it was right then!

What an amazing finish and picture of what I think community can, and should be: serving each other, building each other up, being together to support each other in the trials, and celebrate together in the victories! I don’t know that I have ever felt more proud to be a Gator…and that pride seemed to seep out of my eyes.

There are truly so many ways that this community builds into itself and the way Gator Park Daycare and our students so regularly interact is another awesome example. Below are a couple of images of Grade 2’s reading to some future Gators in the daycare.

Our Grade 8 Farewell is a culminating event each year that signifies a milestone in the lives of some of our students. Mr. Norman and Mr. Lamb once again did an amazing job of organizing an event that meaningfully showcased each of our finishing students. Thanks fellas!!! Also a big thank you to our parent volunteer team who decorated and worked behind the scenes to make this a memorable event for all.  Congrats to all of you Grade 8 Gators who move on to high school…it was said at Farewell, “Once a Gator, Always a Gator!”

A couple of reminders for startup in the fall: students return to classes on September 5th and class lists will be made available then; and if you would, please consider using School Start for purchasing your school supplies as it does benefit our school.
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I want to thank all of you who are a part of the Argyle Gator Community for your support of your students and our school. This is truly a wonderful place to be a part of and I am grateful to be a part of your team. If you have questions over the summer please know the office will be closed until August 28th, however, feel free to email me mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca and I will get back to you as soon as I can. I will not be on email every day but will be checking regularly.

Have a safe, restful, and relaxing summer…see you in the fall!

Remember, we are only “One Call Away!”

 

Heading down the home stretch…

As we sprint our way down the home stretch of this school year, both figuratively with less than 15 days remaining and literally with our Argyle track meet last week, I am left wondering once again…where did this school year go?runners image

In the time since our last post we have had so many awesome learning opportunities for our students both in and out of the classroom environment. A huge thank you to our School Community Council (SCC) for their financial support of two very fun undertakings that we were able to provide for our students: 1) “Cougars in School” which featured University of Regina Cougar Soccer athletes and their coach teaching and training our Gators in the super popular sport of soccer. The program ties soccer to physical education outcomes so it also has a benefit for our staff who get to learn alongside our students for their own professional development as well; 2) Saskatchewan Athletics also came to our facility and delivered their “Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel” program to our grade 3-6 students on multiple occasions and our grade 7-8  students received 5 clinics in different track and field disciplines as well from elite athlete/trainers.

Our Gator Green Sox softball team has been knocking it out of the park in the last few weeks as well. Close to 30 grade 7 and 8 students are playing in the school division softball league under the watchful eyes of Mr. Lamb, Mr. Norman, Ms Brady, and myself. The team and coaches are having a blast and look forward to finishing the season on a high with two games left to play.

Last week our Art Club had their exhibition and there were many amazing pieces on display. Thanks to Ms Paoli, Ms Mepham, and Ms Lerat for their work leading this group…

Another super cool thing that has occurred in the last month was our first ever “Work Bee” organized by our SCC.  Saturday, May 25th roughly 30 Gator students, parents, and community members pulled together to give our school grounds a makeover. Bike racks, goal posts, swings and many other things were treated to a fresh coat of paint and our front flower bed was given some amazing TLC that has transformed the area to a nicely kept area that reflects our love of this place.

Thanks to everyone who came out to help spruce up our area!

As we prepare for fall I would like to thank Mrs. Vonau for her work driving an opportunity with a company called School Start that can provide school supplies to our students without the headache of heading out shopping. We took a late stab at this last year with some success but we would like to encourage you to consider using this service as they do provide a kickback based on quantities sold. Please see the image below and call the school if you have any questions about this undertaking.
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As a school, the important work of administering, scoring, and examining the data of the post assessments for our Value Added Assessments is nearing completion .  We are excited to see this year’s individual growth for each of our Gators here at the Swamp! This growth is the reflection of hard work by students, staff, and you – our community, who encourage our students to excel each day…thank you for that!

From a planning perspective for next year, we are well under way in determining class placements and staffing changes that are in the works.

Like last year, we will not be sharing classroom placements until students return in the fall. The rationale for this decision is that things can easily, and often do, change over the summer months (increased enrollment, staff changes, etc) and we will have a much better picture in August regarding plans for classroom placements.  Please understand that one question that comes to the office at the beginning (and end) of each school year is how we determine which class students will be in.  The first thing parents need to know is this is a carefully considered process.  There are a number of factors that go into this decision including the number of students in each grade, trying to get a balance of gender and abilities, and maintaining some social supports for each student.  In the end, the most important consideration is what is in the best academic interest of all of our roughly 300 students.

The reality for many of our students is they will be in a split-grade classroom at some point during their academic careers, often more than once.  Considering the diverse needs and abilities of students, no class is a “straight” grade.  Our teachers will use a variety of strategies to best meet the individual needs of their students, which would include flexible groupings within and beyond their regular classrooms.  Being in a lower split does not mean that students are lower in their ability, the same way a  higher-grade split is not comprised of the highest achieving students.  Each classroom needs a heterogeneous balance.

Finally, students cannot be grouped solely based on where their friends are or whether they will have the favourite teacher they have always wanted.  We do pay attention to social supports, but working in the same classroom with your best friend(s) is not always the best thing from an academic point of view.  While each teacher has their own strengths that may be somewhat different from their colleagues, all have incredible talents to share in a challenging, rewarding, learning environment.  I would welcome the opportunity to have my child educated in any one of their classrooms.

On very rare occasions, changes may be made if it is determined to be in the best academic interests of a particular child.  The final decision rests with the Principal in consultation with the staff.  We appreciate your understanding and support regarding this matter.

As always, if you have any comments, questions, or concerns please let me know…the easiest way to get me is via email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca.

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Important Dates:

June 14th – Leupold & Luba to Moose Jaw Tunnels
June 15th – 1:30 – Grade 8 Farewell
June 16th – Grade 5 Band individual interviews
June 16th – 11:00 & 1:15 – E-I-E-I-Oops! performances (Kowalyshyn & Scott)
June 16th – Lamb & Norman to the park for a bbq
June 19th – Multi-School Track Meet – Douglas Park
June 22nd – Leupold & Luba to the Science Centre
June 22nd – Grade 8 EALs barbecue lunch at Sheldon
June 28th – Primary Play Day (p.m.)
June 28th – Pominville & Leupold & Luba & Lamb & Norman to EVRAZ Park
June 29th – 9:15am – Talent Show
June 29th – Last day for students. Report cards go home. Dismissal at 2:30pm.

We keep getting Gator and Gator (or greater and greater)

As we race through May it is evident in so many different ways how much Gator greater we are getting at things. Our Gators have been improving in so many ways…academically, socially, physically (especially when we look back at pictures from fall some of these kiddos have really sprouted), and in other areas. What makes me most proud is seeing the way students have taken on the idea of community and embraced it so that they understand how important it is to care for ourselves and each other. That is growth…

As always the swamp is a busy place! Last night our grade 8’s and their families hosted the Carnival in support of their Farewell and it was a terrific success as always. Over 100 of our families participated in a fun-filled event that was, as always, a blast and a community builder! Thank you to everyone who came out and supported the event and our Farewell for the grade 8’s!

Today while our grade 8’s visited Sheldon-Williams for their Spartans in Training morning our Grade 7’s demonstrated the future is bright here at Argyle. They took on cleanup duties from the Carnival, but, took it to another level as they walked and cleaned up our school yard and the alleys that surround the school from garbage. Not a fun task for sure, however, there was much fun had and many laughs as we filled a few garbage bags with unwanted trash.

Recently, some student art work from our Art Club students was featured in an Art Show launch at the division office. Great job to all of our students involved in the Art club! Special thanks to Ms. Paoli, Mrs. Flaten-Orr, and Ms. Lerat for your work with our aspiring artists.

With the great weather many of our classrooms have been enjoying our wonderful space outside to learn in an alternate location. Please make sure your Gators have sunscreen and bug spray in their bags if you think that it is necessary. We also have the Sask Athletics crew in doing clinics with our grade 7 and 8’s and doing a terrific program called “Run, Jump, Throw, Wheel” with our grades 3-6 classrooms. Other exciting events to look forward to include the return of the Cougars in School soccer program and a visit from the SGI Safety Squad.

We also have our Kindergarten Family Orientation tonight and a chance for new kindergarten students to visit the classroom space for a portion of the May 24th morning. Another exciting undertaking led by our School Community Council is the Argyle Work Bee hat will run the morning of May 27th in an effort to further beautify our outdoor space.
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As always I want to encourage all of you to connect with our various digital profiles including this space, our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website. As always, if you ever need anything please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca or call the school office.

Some upcoming events for you to be aware of:

  1. May 12th – SGI Safety Presentation
  2. May 15th – Gr 3-6 RJTW – PM
  3. May 17th – Grade 7 Band Trip
  4. May 17th – Band Concert 930am
  5. May 17th – Gr 3-6 RJTW – PM
  6. May 17th – Gr 7/8 RJTW – PM
  7. May 18th – Cougars in School Soccer Day
  8. May 18th – Grade 2’s PM – RPS Showcase
  9. May 19th – PD/Staff Meeting No School
  10. May 22nd – No School
  11. May 24th – New Kindergarten Student Visit 1045-1130am
  12. May 24th – Gr 3-6 RJTW – PM
  13. May 24th – Gr 7/8 RJTW – PM
  14. May 26th – Gr 3-6 RJTW – PM
  15. May 27th – Argyle SCC Work Bee 9m-12pm
  16. May 29th – Gr 3-6 RJTW – PM
  17. May 29-30 – Grade 8 Band Trip
  18. May 31 – Gr 7/8 RJTW – PM

Spring Break is upon us…

IMG_2816The Swamp has basically dried up and our Gators are ready for a much needed break, students and staff included. It was less than two weeks ago that I last posted but there has been a  number of events that our group has continued to excel and grow in.

IMG_2818Our choir under the direction of the wonderfully talented duo of Mrs. Leupold and Ms. Flaten-Orr were terrific in their performance at the Regina Music Festival. They received wonderful feedback from the adjudicator on the performance, but he also noted their openness to ways they could improve and he noted the group’s awesome behavior. Way to represent our school and community Choir!

Mrs. Sanchuck has continued to do some cool research projects with kids and they recently wrapped these up with presentations. It is so rewarding to see our students, learning, engaged, and having fun. Our entire staff wants this to be the norm and are working very hard to continue to make this a great place for every person who walks through the doors of Argyle School. Here are a few more photos to add to our last blog post.

Last week featured our students competing in the “Battle of the Books” and in Cup Stacking. It is always cool to see our students representing our school well in the various undertakings that are available. Thanks again to Mrs. Sanchuck for leading our crew in the “Battle of the Books” and to Ms. Powell and Ms. Toporowski for their leadership of our Cup Stackers. Below see a number of photos from each event.

On this last day before Spring Break, Ms. Lerat, an intern from the University, organized a Tipi Day for the school where each class got to learn from a guest professor from the University, Mr. Dustin Brass. Students got to erect the tipi and learn about the many different components that make it up. Thank you to Ms. Lerat and Mr. Brass for sharing this valuable experience with all of us.
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Upon our return from Spring Break things will definitely fly by…May and June always do! Please continue to check this space, Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, and our website for information on what is going on in and around our school. As always, if you ever need anything please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca or call the school office.

  1. May 1st – SCC Meeting 630pm
  2. May 2nd – Art Show Open House at Board Office 530pm
  3. May 3rd – Sask Athletics with Grade 7/8s PM
  4. May 3rd – Grade 5/6’s to Brown’s Coulee
  5. May 3rd pm –  PM Kinders to Science Centre
  6. May 4th am – AM Kinders to Science Centre
  7. May 10th – Grade 6 Band Trip
  8. May 10th – Sask Athletics with Grade 7/8s PM
  9. May 10th – RJTW Begins PM for grade 3-6
  10. May 10th – Carnival
  11. May 11th – New Kindergarten Open House
  12. May 12th – SGI Safety Day

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The Swamp is abuzz with action…

It won’t be long before the early spring image, on the left, turns into the picture of joy on the right! Spring is here and hopefully the weather that accompanies that will soon follow. In the meantime, our Gator back fields and parking lots truly resemble the swampy home of our team names – Go Gators!

Speaking of our teams, a huge congratulations to all of our Gator hoopsters. We had one boys team and two girls teams who improved mightily over the year and represented our school with class and sportsmanship. A huge thanks to our coaches Ms Brady, Mrs. Kowalyshyn, Mr. Norman, and community member Kelsey Stewart for their work with our student athletes.

There have been many other exciting things going on around the Swamp as well in the last couple weeks. A special thanks to Mme. Desnoyers and her team who produced a super fun Carnaval that our entire student body participated in. There was even a Bonhomme sighting as the King of the Winter Carnaval spent the day here at Argyle – he is the one in the middle if you are confused at all! bonhomme

In the first third of March we had two screenings of the film, “Screenagers,” where a combined 850 residents had the opportunity to view and discuss with a panel of local experts some of the many issues that continue to arise around screen time. Our greatest hope is that the ripple effect of the conversations will lead us all to greater understandings of our role in this important issue. Many thanks to our SCC for your work in bringing this film to our students and community. Your continued efforts on behalf of our community are to be commended!

In response to the video, a few of our senior students created a  video of their own regarding using a specific social media tool.

Also, since our last blog post the SCC organized a huge cookie sale that went super well! Delivery of the cookies will be on the afternoon of April 5th with specific pickup details to follow through classrooms. A huge thanks to Argyle parent Kelly Adams for his organization of the event. The funds generated will continue to allow the SCC to support events like “Screenagers,” the upcoming Sask Athletics Run Jump Throw Wheel Program in the spring, SGI Safety Days, and many other activities that make Argyle an even better place.

One of our school wide focuses this year has been on Mindfulness and developing tools to self regulate in various circumstances. It has been a cool beginning to this journey but I wanted to share a couple images from one of our classrooms that grabbed my attention last week:


IMG_2725You may have noticed some new hardware in front of the school in the last couple week. Thanks to our Trustee, Mr. Adam Hicks and ATS Traffic we have had a portable Radar Trailer on Lakeview Avenue to remind us all of our speeds in the school zone. This is part of another school focus on safety of our students and staff that we have been examining over the course of the school year.

We had one other safety group visit us in the last couple of week as a result of a combination of sensitive smoke alarms (which is a good thing) and some carpentry work being done in our building. I hope your Gators told you of our brief unplanned evacuation that included a visit from this truck  and crew 🙂IMG_2712

In light of the provincial budget that was recently released, our Director, Mr. Greg Enion, has released an information page that outlines some of the financial impacts for our division here in Regina. The specifics of the changes required will undoubtedly be coming in the weeks and months ahead. Please visit this link for more information: http://www.rbe.sk.ca/news/2017/03/provincial-budget-information-board-meeting

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Many thanks to Mrs. Sanchuck who has given a number of our students the opportunity to be a part of Genius Hour. The group recently completed some very cool interest based projects and shared them in the library.
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Some Important Upcoming Dates:

  • April 3rd – SCC Meeting
  • April 5th – Battle of the Books 4pm at Hawrylak School
  • April 6th – Cup Stacking Tournament 4pm at Sheldon Williams School
  • April 8th – Grade 8 Farewell Photos
  • April 11th  Choir performs at Regina Music Festival
  • April 14th-21 No School

For more updates visit our Facebook Page, Twitter Feed, and our website.

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The Gators are a growling…and growing :)

 

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Much continues to happen around the Swamp and I for one am having a hard time keeping up! A million thanks to you, our community, for your support of our students and staff as we “Pursue success through the joy of learning!” We are so fortunate here to have such varied talents and abilities that combine to make this such a special place. Seeing students grow and develop in many aspects is such a gift for all of here at Argyle.

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I am sure if you are a regular reader of this blog that you know how proud I am of this community, however, what I don’t think I can accurately describe for you is the quality of care and concern that is being put into the teaching and learning for our students by our amazing staff. Sometimes it’s just plain fun too…last week in Grade 3 Science we were learning about Friction while in Language Arts the topic was Fiction. Jack fused the two together to really show some learning with – “Fiction/Friction” 

IMG_2601In late February, our SCC once again treated the staff here to an amazing week of thanks during “Staff Appreciation Week” and we would like to publically thank you for your efforts on our behalf. Pictured here are a couple of staff members enjoying a refreshing treat that was amazing! Just one of many ways that our staff was truly appreciated and arguably SPOILED! Thank you! Thank You! Thank You!

Another way that we are trying to tell “Our Story” is through the Argyle News that is being produced By Mr. Norman and his class. This new addition has been a pile of fun to view and put together for our students. This started as part of a pilot project using a software program but has definitely morphed into something far bigger. Check our Facebook and Twitter feeds for the most up to date stories. The most recent production can be viewed here.

IMG_6344Recently, we hosted with our SCC, “Books before Bedtime” in conjunction with a “book Swap.” There was roughly one hundred members of the Gator community out to participate in this literacy undertaking and to join in on some cookies, milk, and lots of reading. Many thanks to everyone involved with a special thanks to Mrs. Scott who drove this evening.

IMG_2599Another recent event was the 100th day of school. Many classrooms celebrated this milestone with fun events while Miss Brady’s room commemorated the day with this fun bulletin board featuring pictures of her 100 year old students.

Our Gator basketball teams have all been having super successful seasons with one of our girls teams recently participating in the prestigious Basketball Beat. The team competed super hard in every game and even one a game in the tournament for the first time in recent memory. The tournament is super competitive and features many of the top teams in the city. Our girls represented us well as always and we are super proud of them. Our other girls team and our boys team continue to be highly successful in their leagues with players having a pile of fun and showing steady improvement.

Hopefully you have seen the Cookie Fundraising sheet that came home as part of an SCC fundraiser. We know that this is not for everyone, however, we do appreciate the support if you can. Our SCC does so many things that support the programming in our school and much of the extra support is financial and allows us to do some things we might not otherwise be able to.

Once again the #25ActsofConservation contest is upon us and our Environmental Club is looking to win this contest for the third straight year, but more importantly, to continue to help make a positive contribution to energy conservation for our planet. Check out the launch video here as well as see our webpage for the details and pledge/tracking sheet.

We are very excited to be sharing with 700 Sheldon area students the documentary “Screenagers” to Regina for our senior students  on March 10th at Sheldon-Williams. The trailer of the video can be seen here:


<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/145826333″>SCREENAGERS (Official Trailer)</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/user560514″>Delaney Ruston</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

A second showing is being offered on March 13th for the general public in the evening at 630pm again at Sheldon in the auditorium. We are very hopeful that families will take advantage of this resource to engage in conversation around this ever evolving issue for our society. Both showings will have a panel discussion afterwards including local  people with social media and technology focuses. Please link to our Facebook, Twitter, or webpage for more information. For questions please email me mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca  or call the office 3067918536.

Gators and Crocs

  • Important Upcoming Dates:
    • March 10th/13th – “Screenagers”
    • March 16th – “Understanding the Teenage Brain” at Sheldon 700pm
    • March 16th – PD/Staff Meeting – No School
    • March 17th – Teacher’s Convention – No School
    • March 21-24 – Optimist Band Festival
    • March 23rd – Feeder BBall at SW
    • March 24th – Conferences #2
    • April 3rd – SCC Meeting