Saturday, 3 December 2016

Week of Dec 5th

A Message from the Administrative Team:

"We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give. "      
                                                                                                         ~ Winston S. Churchill

We hope our students have enjoyed a nice long weekend!  We have 3 more weeks before the holiday break! 

Just a reminder to parents, if you are leaving for an early holiday vacation, please let the office know by emailing

Students have been practising for our holiday concerts on Dec 14th for kindergarten and Dec 15th for Grades 1-8.  Please save those dates!

Students this week will also be discussing the Spirit of Giving.  It's a great time to discuss how your child can help others, the impact helping someone has and what they can do to make change.  Please encourage these discussions at home as it's a wonderful way to start the holiday season.

Have a spectacular week!
~ Ms Broderick and Ms Rosenbloom

Students Arriving Late:

Students who are arriving late after the morning bell and after the lunch bell are to report directly to the office, not their classrooms.  Students are marked absent when attendance is taken and require a late slip to return to class.

When students who arrive to class without a late slip, an automated message is sent home stating your child is absent.

To avoid any confusion, please remind your child to report to the office first.

If your child will be absent or arriving late for an appointment or absence or extended absence, please email our safe arrival to let our office staff know.

Thank you
Ms Rosenbloom

Norovirus Infection: Symptoms & Prevention

Norovirus has been found in some schools in the GTA.  Here is some information to understand what it is and to help prevent spreading of the virus both at home and at school.

What is Norovirus infection?
Norovirus is a highly contagious infection also known as Norwalk virus. It is a common cause of vomiting and diarrhea each winter and is often referred to as 'winter vomiting disease' or 'stomach flu' (although it is not caused by the influenza virus). Norovirus infections have been linked to outbreaks of vomiting and/or diarrhea in child-care centres, long-term care homes as well as on cruise ships, camps, schools, restaurants, households and other places where people gather.

How does the Norovirus spread?
Norovirus is found in the stool and sometimes in the vomit of ill persons. People can become infected with the virus in several ways:
• Direct contact (e.g. shaking hands) with another person who is infected
• Touching surfaces or objects contaminated with the virus (e.g. door knob, hand or stair railings,

etc.) and then touching your mouth or eyes
• Eating food or drinking beverages that are contaminated by an infected person
• Eating food such as shell fish contaminated at the source
• Airborne transmission has been suggested to explain its rapid spread in settings like schools and

day cares
Those infected with Norovirus can spread it once they feel ill and for up to two days after the symptoms (usually diarrhea) stop but people can carry the virus for up to two weeks longer.

What are the signs and symptoms of Norovirus infection?
Infected individuals usually experience sudden onset of nausea, vomiting and watery diarrhea that lasts about one to three days. Other symptoms may include fever and stomach cramps. 

How can I reduce my risk of Norovirus infection?
  • Keep your hands clean. Wash your hands often with soap and warm water for at least 15 seconds
    after using the toilet, diapering a child and before preparing or eating food. This is the best way of
    reducing the risk of getting infected with Norovirus.
  • If soap and water are not available, and if hands are not visibly soiled, use an alcohol-based hand
    sanitizer with 70%- 90% alcohol.
  • Do not prepare food for others if you have symptoms of vomiting or diarrhea.
  • Thoroughly and frequently clean and disinfect environmental surfaces and equipment with a
    chlorine bleach disinfectant, especially in areas that are touched often (e.g., telephones, door handles, gym equipment, bed side rails, etc.). A chlorine bleach solution of one part household bleach to 50 parts water can be made from two teaspoons of household bleach mixed with two cups of water.
  • Anyone who is ill with diarrhea or vomiting should stay home until well for at least 48 hours (especially for those who work with food, the elderly or at a hospital). 
For more information, please see the following attachment.

Upcoming High School Information Sessions:  
Dec 5 - 14th 
A reminder that the following High School Information sessions will be taking place the weeks of December 5th and 14th that may be of interest to you:

December 8 - Leaside HS - 6:30 (Student session - 9:00 am - 11:30 am)
December 14 - North Toronto - 6:30 pm 

Gr 8 Grad Trip - Parent Info Night

There will be a parent information night for the Gr 8 Grad trip on Wednesday Dec 7th at 6:45 pm in the library. You can sign up at .

Bessborough Cafe

Every Friday, for next few weeks, Bessborough Café will be open in rooms 31 at lunch. This initiative is in support of the WE Villages. All of our funds will support WE Villages” WE Villages is an adaptive, effective five-pillar model built on 20 years of experience collaborating with dedicated community members and international development experts to find solutions that work. WE Villages’ five pillars are: education, water, health, food and opportunity. Each pillar is a critical component in breaking the cycle of poverty. (

In addition, we will be selling Rafiki bracelets. In Swahili Rafiki means “friend”. These bracelets are handmade by Kenyan artisans (the “mamas”). By buying them we support community-led development projects through Free the Children’s WE Villages.  Students will be able to buy those and support various pillars of the We villages program detailed above.  
Ms. Ciobanu and Ms. Angheloni

From the Athletic Council:

The Bessborough Athletic Council has had an amazing time running intramurals for the grade threes and fours, and is so glad to have given the students this opportunity. Because the holidays are approaching, and it is getting busier, there will be no further intramurals for grade threes and fours.

The Athletic Council is planning for a new grade to participate in intramurals in the new year. It will be decided before winter break ends.

Thanks for your participation Bessborough!

Bessborough Happy Holiday Book Drive

The holidays are fast approaching and Bessborough is embracing the spirit of giving. 

December 5th to 9th will be Bessborough's Happy Holiday Book Drive. Students of all ages are encouraged to bring in gently used, no longer needed books to Bessborough next week. Books meant for all ages are welcome! 

All books will be donated to Rene Gordon Elementary School to provide students with reading material for the holidays. Our goal is 550 books, that's one book per student!  We thank you in advance for your generosity and support!

Hour of Code @ Bessborough

The 2016 Hour of Code is a global event that takes place during the week of December 5 - 11.  Participants commit to dedicating 1 hour to coding activities during that week.  The purpose of the event is to raise the awareness of computer studies, programming and coding and the problem solving, logic and creativity that can be realized from learning more about, and participating in these types of activities.  Coding and its associated activities are important components of TDSB's Vision for Learning and the Global Competencies including Critical Thinking & Problem Solving, Creativity, Inquiry; Entrepreneurship & Communication.

It's a great opportunity to start your little one on learning to code.  Even at the age of 4! Mentor students will be working with a variety of classes to explore some of the games and activities to learn how to code.

Feel free to explore these with your child.  Visit the following websites to learn more.

TDSB Hour of Code Site Activities
- Lots of activities for all grades that can be filtered. Great place to start.
- Probably the easiest and most popular site to use >> lots of great activities here!

- Activities to get started with Scratch

Khan Academy Hour of Code Resources
- Instructional videos on how to code.

Intro to Coding HypeDoc (Grades 3+)
- Use in Present Mode and click on the links to try. This can be shared directly with students.

- Activities for K-6+.  Site allows you to learn to Code, build Cool Games, & collect Certificates!!

- Program Lightbot to light up all of the blue squares!

Here are a few apps that can be used on the iPad. Go into the catalogue on the iPads to download.
Scratch Jr

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The Foos

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Hour of Code @ Bessborough - Share what you are doing!
... Twitter icon | by Jurgen ...

If you are sharing tweets of your participation in the Hour of Code on Twitter, please use the hashtag #BessHOC so that we can curate those tweets together.

Guys Night Out - Christmas Toy Drive

For more information contact Edward Wong [].

Trustee Gerri Gerson - Update
For more information visit

Lost & Found - Last Look!
This is your last chance to claim any lost items. Our Lost & Found is full of sweaters and coats so come take a look! The clothing rack is located on the upper level of the school, around the corner from the office. All clothing that is left after December 15th will be donated to New Circles Community Services to help people in need.

Enrichment Vote Update
Thanks to money from H&S, new books have arrived in the library!  And they are already in high demand.  Before Ms. Surdivall could even finish unpacking them, three teachers were already signing them out to engage our kids in the Forest of Reading program that kicks off in January.  Many of our teachers will be reading as well, which means kids can approach them to talk about the books and share their thoughts and ideas.  Thanks to Ms. Surdivall and all our teachers for making this great CanLit program happen.  Here’s a look at all the new books:

Winter Term Lunch Programs
We will be offering some brand new lunch time programs and bringing back some old favourites for the winter term in January.  Registration will begin the week of December 11th.  Look out for more details in our next newsletter and on our site next week!

Appreciation Corner
A shout out to Kyra Gurney who will be stepping into the H&S role of Communications Co-Chair starting in January.  Thank you Kyra for taking on this very important job!

Visit now for details on all of this and more!