December Newsletter 2023
Posted on 03/01/2024

Dec 2023 Newsletter.pdf

Days of Awareness 2023-24 

As you prepare your school’s newsletter package, please review the Days of Awareness (NM1) Please include what is relevant to your school community in your October newsletter package.

Communication to families regarding inclement weather days 
Please note that APM A3020 – Inclement Weather, 3.1.2 states that “parents/guardians are to be reminded, in writing at appropriate times (October and January) each school year, that it is their responsibility to decide whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions.” 

Inclement weather and bus cancellation information reminder  

All information regarding cancelled buses in Simcoe County is posted on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC)’s bus information website at Our school is in the South zone. When buses are cancelled, schools remain open for student learning, unless otherwise noted. School staff are expected to plan for such emergencies in order to transition students who are unable to attend due to inclement weather, to their online platforms (Google Classroom and/or SCDSBhub [Brightspace by D2L]) and continue with academic programming. It is always a family decision whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions. 


The Consortium and bus operators try to make the decision to cancel school buses before 6 a.m. and make every effort to post announcements before 7 a.m. Inclement weather cancellations are effective for the whole day and buses cancelled in the morning will not run at the end of the day. You can follow the Consortium on Twitter @SCSTC_SchoolBus for bus cancellations and other information. You can also subscribe to receive bus delay notifications here:

High school information events for Grade 8 students 
Is your child starting Grade 9 next year? High school information events will take place in person this winter! Student leaders and staff at the school will give an overview of what’s new and what to expect. Learn about courses offered, as well as information about teams and clubs. Please visit the SCDSB website at to find details on your high school’s info night, and contact the school directly for more information. 

Join us! A learning series for parents/guardians with Pine River Institute 
Mental health and well-being continues to be a key strategic priority within the SCDSB. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Centre for Family Initiatives at Pine River Institute (CFI@PRI) to provide several curated learning sessions focused on student mental health and well-being to SCDSB families.  
These webinars are specifically planned for parents/guardians and other caregivers during this school year.   

Jan. 11, 2024        Sleep hygiene       

Feb. 8, 2024          Self regulation for kids 
Feb. 22, 2024        Self regulation for teens 
March 28, 2024     Building parents' resiliency 
April 18, 2024        Vaping, weed, and alcohol   


We hope you save these dates in your calendar and join us for these learning opportunities. For more information and to register, please visit the SCDSB website: 


Pine River Institute is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. CFI@PRI extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence-informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions.  Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at 

Subscribe to Community Connects! 

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is excited to launch Community Connects, a new bimonthly newsletter for the SCDSB community. Our shared goal with this new tool is to keep our community partners and stakeholders informed while nurturing relationships that are built on accountability, trust, and transparency.  


To learn more and subscribe, visit the Community Connects page on the SCDSB website: 

Feedback, recovery, and improvement days   
At the end of each semester, all secondary schools will run feedback, recovery, and improvement days for students. Culminating assessments such as portfolios, essays, examinations, and interviews will take place during instructional days and will be returned to students with feedback.    


The last day of regular instruction for students in semester one is Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. The period from Tuesday, Jan. 30 to Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 is reserved for students who require an opportunity to receive feedback from an assessment, to rescue or recover a credit, or to improve on an area of missed expectations. Teachers and support staff will communicate with students who will benefit most from attending this opportunity; however, all students will be invited to attend. There will be no new instruction these days. Feedback, recovery, and improvement days are an opportunity for students to work closely with their teacher if they require feedback, credit recovery, or an opportunity to improve on an area of missed expectations.    

Mental health strategy of the month - Emotion Charades 
Well-being is a Strategic Priority in the Simcoe County District School Board, and our mental health and well-being department provides monthly strategies to support student and family well-being. 

This month’s strategy is Emotion Charades. This practice helps students practice expressing emotions with their whole body and recognize body language and facial expressions in others. To practice Emotion Charades at home, on slips of paper, write or draw different feelings depending on the age of your child. For instance, happy, sad, angry, scared, worried, sleepy, frustrated, etc. Place the papers in a bowl/container.  


  • Decide who will go first. Have that person pick a piece of paper from the bowl. 

  • Have them read the feeling to themselves, or, if needed, help your child read the feeling. 

  • Now they will act out the feeling without words while the other players try to guess what it is. 

  • Once someone gets the right answer, it’s the next person’s turn to pick a piece of paper and act out the feeling.  

This is a fun activity that everyone in the family can play!  

Emotion Charades link to School Mental Health Ontario parent sheet: 

Find more information to support your child's mental health here: 

Emotion Charades: 
Elementary -  
Secondary -  

Follow the Mental Health and Well-being social media accounts (@SCDSB_MHWB) to see how well-being is being supported in our schools. 

Did you know it’s illegal to vape or smoke anywhere on school property, inside the school or outside within 20m of school property, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year? 
The law applies to everyone on school property, students, staff, and visitors. It also means it is illegal to vape or smoke on school athletic fields during afterhours activities or vape or smoke in school washrooms. There is a fine of $305for vaping or smoking on school property. 

But why do youth vape at school? Vapes contain nicotine, which is a highly addictive drug. Nicotine addiction is extremely powerful, develops quickly, and youth may not realize they are addicted. Once addicted, they need nicotine regularly or they will experience withdrawal, making it hard to get through the school day. Help them take back control – there are supports to help youth quit! Talk to your child about vaping, they listen more than you think. Learn more at 

Information provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit