Putting Spring on hold with snow, snow, and more snow!

Our school yard has once again taken on the familiar color of winter! The last few weeks have been filled with piles of the white stuff re-accumulating to assist in the spring formation of our actual Swamp. With the dump of snow it has been cool to see this community once again pull together to help each other out in many ways…I guess pulling and pushing in some cases with the number of cars we had stuck in, and around our school!

We have done as much as we can to keep ourselves moving, learning, and growing here at Argyle since our last blog…

A huge highlight for me, personally, was seeing our Gators rally together to raise money for the Z99 Radiothon in support of the NICU. In six short days our school collected over $1600 for this great cause that has impacted a number of our students and my own son. “Changing Babies’ Lives,” was a huge success and I would like to thank you all for your donations and support. Part of our campaign involved shaving my beard and head if student met some preset targets. We more than surpassed them because of this awesome community and I am now feeling the effects of snow and wind in a new and refreshing way.

A special thanks to Rylee Boutin and Colton Ahlquist for their help in taking the money to the radiothon and being “on air.” Also, a huge thanks to our Gator Gusto Group for the work they did in promoting, collecting, and counting. Finally, a gigantic shout out to Lois Young-Hamel, a parent, SCC member, and hair stylist by trade for your time and the “trim.” What a team!!!

Some of our students’ art work is being showcased at the division office and I would like to be able to show you the pieces that were selected for display.

Ms. Wilson’s class were the fortunate recipients of a visit from Saskatchewan Roughrider, Chad Owens. “The Flying Hawaiian,” spent the morning with our grade 3/4 class playing some games in the gym, doing some work in class, racing a student up and down the hallway, answering a multitude of questions, and posing for a pile of photos. Mr. Owens was a huge hit with our students, and staff alike. A few of the photos can be seen below.

Today is our second three way conference date of the year and I was once again reminded how awesome it is to have the support of families for our Gators who are growing and learning each, and every, day. Here are a few photos from our day including our amazing primary teachers.

I count myself so thankful for the opportunity to work here with amazing students, staff, and you – our community!

A staff member captured this moment that I feel captures what I would like for every Gator!!!
IMG_0560As we enter our spring break at the end of next week I am reminded again how fast time flies by when you are having fun.

As always, I welcome your input, feedback, and thoughts. Please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca, call our main office, or stop by and chat.

Also, a reminder to check out our other online platforms including our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website.

Some important upcoming dates:

  • March 27th – Grade 8 Farewell Photos
  • March 30th – No School – Beginning of Spring Break
  • April 9th – Classes Resume after Spring Break
  • April 9th – Create 5/6 PM
  • April 10th – SA Team Meeting
  • April 12th – Kinders and Grade 1 to Museum
  • April 16th – Create 5/6 PM
  • April 16th – SCC Meeting
  • April 17th – Principal’s Meeting
  • April 20th – Pizza Hut Lunch (Healthy Hunger website)
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Is there a Winter Olympic event that a Gator would excel at?

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There probably isn’t a lot of Winter Olympic events that Gators would do well at…I’m thinking luge and skeleton maybe but there are a number that are funny to think about – can you see a Gator in mixed curling? 🙂IMG_0338

If you are like most of our students and staff you have been engaged in the Winter Olympics from Pyeongchang of late. The Olympics are a culmination of preparation and training that is for many athletes a lifetime in the making. The Olympics are a global event where athletes compete against one another at one moment in time to see how they measure up. The reality is that in every Olympic competition athletes/teams achieve at a level that makes them happy, disappointed, or otherwise.

Recently, our students received a term one report card which may have elicited a similar response to these athletes feelings. A major difference for us is that our students have the opportunity to immediately work on what happens next. Our report cards are only a snapshot of where we are at and hopefully came with no surprises. We want to make sure that our Gators understand that we have the ability to be growing and improving in an ongoing way and that our learning, unlike a competition, is not final. If you have questions, concerns, or comments about the Report Card please reach out to your Gator’s teacher. We want to communicate with you in ongoing ways so that there is never surprises as to where students are at.

As always, there have been so many things going on in, and around, the Swamp and our students and staff continue to do things that are fun, engaging, and amazing!

Despite the rough patch of weather, our students have maintained a pretty sunny disposition that has made February wonderful.
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Our grade 5-8 students were fortunate to have a visit from Saskatchewan Roughrider, and Red Cross advocate, Dan Clark who was with us as part of the ongoing anti-bullying campaign. Dan’s presentation was part of the “Be Someone’s Hero,” work  that continues to point students towards healthy behaviours and relationships and culminates on February 28th with “Pink Day.” I would like to thank the “Shops on Hill,” for their sponsorship of thirty Pink Day t-shirts that were given away to our students throughout the presentation.

This past week has been staff appreciation week (“Inspiration through Learning”) and once again we are so thankful for the many ways that our SCC and community have demonstrated care and appreciation for us. It is truly a gift to be a part of this community and, as a staff, we are grateful to get to do what we do with our Gators.

Another really cool event that has occurred was our SCC hosting the Regina Public Schools adaptation of the “Blanket Exercise,” for the community. The evening was eye-opening and very informative to those who were able to participate.  I would encourage all of you if you have the opportunity to engage in a Blanket Exercise if you can.

If you are a regular follower of our webpage you may have noticed a new regularly updated story entitled, “Week at a Glance.” The story will highlight important events going on each week and is easily viewed on a smartphone. Thanks to Mr. Corbin at Janzen for the idea! I am sure you will find this useful and we will make every effort to update it each week moving forward.

We are going to be trying something new to offer periodic lunches to our students/staff through a company called Healthy Hunger. We have two lunches planned, one for March 16th – Subway and a second on April 20th – Pizza Hut. Be watching for an information letter in the days ahead…let me know if you have questions after you have read the letter.

Beginning tomorrow we are on the February break (Feb 16th-25th inclusive) and I hope that everyone enjoys the chance to rest up and recharge.

As always, I welcome your input, feedback, and thoughts. Please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca, call our main office, or stop by and chat.

Also, a reminder to check out our other online platforms including our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website.

Some important upcoming dates:

  • Feb 19th-23rd – February Break – No school for students
  • Feb 26th – Argyle @ Grant Road Girls BBall
  • Feb 28th – Pink Day
  • Feb 28th – Grade 6 Safety Presentation
  • Feb 28th – Sheldon-Williams Open House for Grade 8’s 7pm
  • March 1st – Perry @ Argyle Girls Basketball
  • March 1st – Argyle @ Arcola Boys Basketball
  • March 5th – Grade 5/6 at Brier AM
  • March 5th – SCC Meeting 630pm
  • March 6th – Art Show Launch at Division Office
  • March 6th – 8th CREATE grade 5/6 PMs
  • March 8th – Hawrylak @ Argyle Boys Bball
  • March 8th – Ready @ Argyle Girls Bball
  • March 9th – PD/Staff Meeting –

“The road to success is always under construction.”

15446-Lily-Tomlin-Quote-The-road-to-success-is-always-under-constructionJanuary is a great month at Argyle. As staff, we often get the privilege of seeing the work done before our winter break come to fruition as our Gators come back refreshed and focused.  It is always heart-warming for me to hear from the adults in our building, and to see on my own, the great successes happening in classrooms and for individuals. This January has been no different in this regard as we have noted many students making huge strides and accomplishing great successes. This only happens through the combined efforts of our students, the direction of staff, and your support at home. We are all grateful that together we get to see our students develop and succeed.

A snapshot of our students progress will be coming home at the end of next week as term one finishes up. This is a great time to have some discussions at home about how things have been going and to set some goals for where our Gators will go in the five months remaining. As always, our staff would love to work with you to help set the course and are easily accessible through email, a phone call, or a visit. Every learner in this building is unique and it is of utmost importance that we work together towards the best outcome for each student. I know that many of you are in regular contact with teachers and your support truly makes the process easier for all Gators.

SW logoIt is hard to believe that our grade eights are already planning for next year and the transition to high school. We are so fortunate in Regina Public to have many awesome offerings and programs to meet the diverse needs of our learners. Sheldon Williams is the High School we feed into and they have a number of transition activities planned for our students highlighted by their open house on Feb 28th at 7pm and an Associate School Basketball Tournament/Registration Day on March 22nd.

This week we were very fortunate to have a visit from the teachers of a new offering for the 2018-2019 grade nine class – the Balfour Arts Collective. Check out their offerings and some media regarding the program via their website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram. Another terrific offering for the sports minded student is the Martin Academy (Twitter). Visit the Argyle webpage for more information including Open House dates and other pertinent information.19598668_1730102403716591_6688020550639749355_n

Our two Gator basketball teams have tipped off their season and both teams are looking forward to successful seasons ahead. A special thanks to Mr. Norman and Ms Yee who are leading our girls and boys teams respectively. Our boys have already played a couple of games and our girls recently played an Argyle alumni squad (pictured below). Go Gators!
26992568_1730101773716654_3518404501218619268_nRegardless of our pursuit be it in the classroom, on the basketball floor, or any other arena of life it is important to remember that “the road to success is always under construction.” It can be hard to give ourselves permission to not be great at something, however, we need the reminder we need to keep working, growing, and learning.

As always, I welcome your input, feedback, and thoughts. Please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca, call our main office, or stop by and chat.

Also, a reminder to check out our other online platforms including our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website.

Some important upcoming dates:

  • Jan 30th – RPS Community Engagement Meeting (formerly AGM) 7pm @ Harbour Landing School
  • Jan 31st – PM Skating Grade 5-8
  • Feb 2nd – Term 1 Report Cards Issued
  • Feb 5th – SCC Blanket Exercise 630 pm Argyle Library
  • Feb 6th – Grade 5-8 skating PM
  • Feb 7th – OE trips – Grade 7/8
  • Feb 9th – Imagine No Bullying Presentation Grade 5-8 1pm
  • Feb 12-16th – Staff Appreciation Week
  • Feb 14th – Gr 5/6 Evans OE trip
  • Feb 16th – Teacher Convention – No school for students
  • Feb 19th-23rd – February Break – No school for students

 

Welcome back and welcome to 2018!

IMG_0227“Well the weather outside is frightful…”

Oh wait that was supposed to be in our mid-December post, but I digress, we came back to a couple of days of mild weather (including rain) which has transitioned into multiple days in a row of frigid temperatures that have kept us inside for the entirety of our days.

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Our school yard and surrounding area have been transformed into somewhat of a skating rink so we want to remind everyone to be extra careful in their coming and goings.

Thankfully a crew from the division office has been able to come out and sand large areas of the school yard, our parking lot, and surrounding areas. Add this to the diligent work of Mr. De la Cruz with our sidewalks and we are doing all we can to stay upright! I heard someone say the other day “we need to walk like penguins” and I like the picture of this. The very same day a student here at Argyle asked if penguins have knees? Think about it…

Things at school have started the calendar year off well otherwise and we are excited about the awesome learning opportunities that are upcoming. It has been cool to see the grade 7/8 classes creating games (including a French Escape Room) with Mme. Desnoyers and they certainly could help us during our indoor recesses.

It has also been special to be in some of our youngest classrooms and to see the huge steps of growth our students have taken since coming together in September. There is something heart-warming about seeing students learning and even more when they see it themselves. We are so thankful to get to see this “magic” happen regularly here at Argyle and it is definitely a highlight of being in education.

Looking back to right before the break I would like to thank and congratulate Mr. Norman, Mr. Lamb, and their classes for the outstanding job they did with Argyle Cardboard Arcade. The event provided some great entertainment for our school and community, but more importantly, gathered over 2500 items of clothing, 650 items of food, and over $200 donated and raised for the Salvation Army and the Regina Food Bank.

It was also cool to just see our school community rally together and enjoy many fun activities leading into the break (including our grade 2/3 classrooms delivering cards to our neighbourhood, school wide caroling, and the regular laughs that we share in the Swamp).

I would like to take this opportunity to welcome to our Gator team, Ms. Alicia Hendrick who is teaching in the area of Arts Education. We are really excited about having her and our students are going to definitely enjoy her passion and joy in their classrooms.

Our School Community Council has a meeting coming up on January 22nd for anyone interested in coming to check that out (the meeting this month is our one meeting a year offsite and will be at Roots – in Orange Tree) at 630pm.

The Regina Public School Board is also hosting a community engagement forum on January 30th at 7pm in the new Harbour Landing School if you are interested in checking that out.

Some other upcoming events here at Argyle:

  • Jan 26th – PD/Staff Meeting – No classes for students
  • Jan 30th – RPS Community Engagement Meeting (formerly AGM) 7pm @ Harbour Landing School
  • Feb 2nd – Term 1 Report Cards Issued.

As always, I welcome your input, feedback, and thoughts. Please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca, call our main office, or stop by and chat.

Also, a reminder to check out our other online platforms including our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website.

 

A gift from the Gators…

It feels like we comment on how fast time flies every month and this month is no different. We are counting down in hours now until our winter break, however, we have witnessed some terrific things in and out of the classroom from our Gators.

We started the month with some great learning together as a staff and enjoyed the chance to set a course for ourselves moving forward in this busy time of year..

As we have progressed through the month we have celebrated the growth of our Band students in the Sheldon Williams Area Band in grades 6-8 in their Winter Concert. It is so cool to see our students progressing in their abilities concert to concert and year to year. Under the guidance of Mrs. Stennes and Ms. Gasparic-Block our Gators are showing tremendous growth and joy in the opportunity they have.

The next night, “Kids singing songs and stuff” had its world premiere under the watchful eye of writer and director Mr. Norman. Our entire community who were able to make it out enjoyed our show tremendously. Students and staff had a pile of fun as classes shared various “songs and stuff” (yes we are being ironic). Following our show our School Community Council hosted their annual Hot Chocolate Social which was super well attended as always.

Our grade 5-8 were very fortunate to have a visit from Saskatchewan Roughrider, Henoc Muamba, last week. Henoc shared a moving presentation that challenged students and staff to pursue greatness in all that we do. Following our concert where we saw students doing wonderful things it was a timely reminder to continue on that path. Henoc discussed with us a pathway to success and ways that positive peer pressure can push us along the pathway we should all desire.

We are very excited about the grade 7/8 Cardboard Arcade that is happening this week on Wednesday through the day for our students and in the evening for the community. The event is an opportunity for our students to give back to our greater city community. Donations of non-perishable food and clothing are the entry and user fee for the event with proceeds to the Food Bank and Salvation Army. I can tell you I am excited to see this event occur as our students have been working hard and have been very creative in the games they have created.

As we enter this Holiday season I want to wish you all a wonderful and restful break. Thank you for a wonderful first four months…I am excited to see what the rest of this school year holds.

Go Gators!
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Embrace the present…

I love words and playing with them!

What does it mean to “embrace the present?”

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The phrase has two meanings that I want to unpack that I think apply well to what we get to do here at Argyle School. First. there is the meaning of “present” as gift. It truly is a gift to be a part of a community that values this place and what happens here. In this regard, I, and our staff, truly do value the gift of being a part of this community. The turnout for our conferences last week was awesome! It was so cool to see students, families, and our staff celebrating the work that has been accomplished already this

year and then to set plans in place for further growth and experiences for our Gators.
The second meaning of “present” I would like to focus in on is the time based idea that contrasts the past. As a staff, we have had some conversations in the past and continue to, about the idea of “Growth Mindset.” Carol

Dweck is an educator that has done much of the foundational work on this concept. She has argued that,  “in a growth mindset, people believe that their most basic abilities can be developed through dedication and hard work—brains and talent are just the starting point. This view creates a love of learning and a resilience that is essential for

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great accomplishment.”  Personally, from an education standpoint I embrace this idea because it promotes a belief that we all have the ability to learn, evolve, and grow. I believe the idea of embracing where we are today, right now, the present but with an eye towards progress is essential for us as learners, and teachers, to be most successful in a school context and beyond. I would encourage each of you to further examine the idea of Growth vs. Fixed Mindsets and think through how it might shape some of your attitudes and beliefs in the things you do everyday as well. There has been much written about this topic, however, for some more information click here.
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There are so many efforts made every day around here to make this place wonderful and they are all appreciated. However, our student Gator Gusto Group (think SRC) makes a huge impact regularly and I would like to publically thank them and their staff leaders (Mr. Lamb and Mrs. Luba) for the work they do to make Argyle awesome. They do things like Spirit Days/Weeks, Hot Lunches, Menchie’s sales, and many other behind the scenes things to provide an enhanced student experience. Thank you so much…
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An example of a recent Spirit day was, “Dress as your favorite Celebrity/YouTube sensation/Meme.” Here you see, “Santa in training” with a number of other dressed up Gators. Can you spot some costumes?

December promises to be a busy month with many things going on around the Swamp. Please make sure to follow along on our calendar for information on many of the events going on. We have recently added an upcoming events bar to the right side of our

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webpage as well for information at a glance. One event that our Senior students (grades 5-8) are excited about is the viewing of the movie, “Wonder.” Each class has been reading and doing activities tied to this heart-warming story in preparation for the planned trip to take in this movie.  Also, a reminder that while we are enjoying a respite from the brisk weather of earlier in November cold weather is certain to return…and all of our Gators need to be dressed for the weather.
IMG_3846A couple of events to highlight in December include our Band students concert on Dec 13th and our school wide production entitled, “Kids singing and stuff…” that runs the night of Dec 14th. Please see the list below and the previously mentioned school calendar for more information.

  •         Dec 7-8th – Bake Sale – noon both days
  •         Dec 8th – Grade 6 Curling
  •         Dec 8th – Grade 7/8 Soccer Tournament
  •         Dec 11th – Grade 5-8 @ “Wonder” 11-3pm
  •         Dec 12th – Grade 5-8 Skating PM
  •         Dec 13th – SWAMP Band Student Concert 7pm at Sheldon Williams
  •         Dec 14th – Winter Concert Rehearsal for students – afternoon at Sheldon Williams
  •         Dec 14th – Winter Concert followed by Hot Chocolate Social 630pm at Sheldon Williams
  •         Dec 15th – PJ/Comfy Day
  •         Dec 15th – Afternoon – Grade 5-8 “Winter Wonderland Dance” in the gym – produced by the GGG
  •         Dec 22nd – Last Day before the break (break is Dec 23rd-Jan7th inclusive)

As always, I welcome your input, feedback, and thoughts. Please drop me an email at mick.panko@rbe.sk.ca, call our main office, or stop by and chat.

Also, a reminder to check out our other online platforms including our Facebook Page, our Twitter Feed, and our website.