Sep 01

Welcome to your Home for Grades 7 and 8

Aug 29

First Week of School

Hello Glen Cairn PS Families,

Our first day back is just around the corner.  If you haven’t already, please have a look at our post “Gearing Up for the 2014 – 2015 School Year“.  There you will find some general information about the start up.  Below is some more detail about the first week of school:

Student Arrival – Safety in Our Parking Lot

IMG_3172We encourage students to walk to school or ride the school bus to avoid additional traffic in our parking lot.  This year we have 6 school buses, which will mean that there is no access to the area of our lot directly in front of our school.  That is our bus zone and it is clearly marked with signs.  We ask for your cooperation in keeping students safe by abiding by the signage and keeping the bus zone clear of other vehicles both before and after school.

StudentDropOffSignThe Student Drop Off Zone is in front of the Glen Cairn Community Centre, at the west end of our building.  Again, it is clearly marked by signage.  You may stop briefly to allow your child to disembark and then continue through the west side of the lot back out to the street.  Alternately, you may park in that end of the lot and walk to the sidewalk to approach the school.  Students will then proceed to the east side of the school to locate their class lists and homeroom teachers.

Bus Transportation:

Students taking buses can view information about their stop locations and times at

Class Lists and Student Entry:

On the first day of school, all staff will be on the yard to help students find their homerooms.  Class lists will be posted and students may locate their names and then remain with their homeroom groupings prior to entering the building.  Homeroom teachers will collect their students and then enter the building through their assigned entry/exit door.  In order to control the volume of traffic, parents must not enter the building with the classes.

Inclement Weather:

If it is raining on the first day of school, students will enter the building and proceed to the gymnasium to find their homeroom assignments and teachers.

End of Day Routines:

Student dismissal is at 2:30 pm.  In order to manage student traffic flow, students will exit the building through the same doors they enter.  Students boarding buses will do so in the bus loading zone.  Students walking will be encouraged to leave the property promptly, using sidewalks and staying out of the bus zone.  Students being picked up may meet their rides in the west end of the parking lot, in front of the Glen Cairn Community Centre.  Parents are asked to meet students outside, rather than entering the building.  Please do not arrive in the last 5 or 10 minutes of the day looking to sign your child out.  This is a very busy time in the school and teachers are often providing instruction for assignments or homework.  Disrupting classes at this time impacts all students.

Construction in the Neighbourhood:

You may have noticed that there are many streets in the Glen Cairn neighbourhood impacted by ongoing infrastructure work on the roads and sidewalks. This will impact both vehicular and pedestrian traffic approaching the school.  Please be very careful on the streets.  We have received notice from the city about the following construction on Oriole Avenue sidewalks:

Sept 2 - construction of temporary sidewalk.  Students will use original sidewalk.
Sept 3-9 - Students will use temporary sidewalk.
Sept 10 - students will use new sidewalk.

Access to the Building:

All doors except our front entry door are locked at all times.  Parents, visitors and volunteers must enter the building via the front door and present themselves to sign in at the office.  All visitors to the school are given an identification badge to wear for the duration of their visit.  If you must pick up your child for an appointment during school hours, letting the office know in advance allows us to be prepared to sign your child out quickly when you arrive.


If your child is ill, please call the attendance line (613-836-6453) as soon as you can to let us know.  This will ensure that the office staff enter the absence promptly, saving a phone call from our office to your home.  If you know of an upcoming absence, you may send a note or call the office at anytime.

School Photo Day:

Edge Imaging does our school photos and we have been very impressed with their work.  Photo Day is September 9th.  Students are encouraged to wear solid colours and to avoid white shirts that day.  With Edge Imaging, you will have the opportunity to order your prints online and we will send information home with your child the first day of school.

Meet the Staff Night:

Our Meet the Staff evening will take place from 6:30 pm – 8:00 pm on Thursday, September 18th.  The first half hour will be in the gymnasium, where I will present an overview of the school.  Following this, you are welcome to wander through the school to meet the staff in their classrooms.

School Council Elections and Meeting:

The Glen Cairn Public School Council elections will take place on Tuesday, September 16th at 7:00 pm.  Following the elections, we will convene our first School Council Meeting.  Many hands make light work and we do rely upon our families to support our work with your children.  If you wish to stand for a position on the executive, you may complete a self-nomination form or a candidate nomination form and bring it to the election:

SC Candidate Nomination Form

SC Self Nomination Form

Please enjoy the long weekend.  I look forward to seeing all the students on Tuesday morning!



Aug 13

Gearing up for the 2014 – 2015 school year

Hello Glen Cairn PS families,

I hope that you are enjoying a safe and relaxing summer.  There are still a few weeks of summer before us, however, I did notice that school supplies are on the shelves in the stores and thought it would be appropriate to provide some information about the upcoming school year, and specifically the first few days, to help you in your preparations.  If there are questions or concerns that are not addressed below, please email me at

School Supplies:

Please note that students do not need to bring school supplies the first day of school.  You may consider waiting to see what your child’s teacher recommends.  The generic list of supplies is as follows, however, not all teachers request that students use all of the supplies on the list:

Grade 4 to Grade 8

12 pencils

2 erasers (preferably white)

1 metric ruler (clear rulers are preferred)

1 pair of scissors

2 glue sticks

3 ballpoint pens

1 package of coloured pencils

2 packages of 3-hole lined refill paper

6 duotangs

1 package of coloured markers

1 calculator

6 lined notebooks

1 geometry set

2 highlighters

3 binders

binder dividers

Please also note that at Glen Cairn PS, students are required to change into gym clothing for their physical education classes.  This means that all students must bring a clean t-shirt and pair of shorts or sweats, as well as gym shoes.  This is for both safety and hygiene reasons.  Students should also bring unscented deodorant.  Please note that Glen Cairn PS is a scent-free environment, so perfumed hair products or personal hygiene products are not appropriate.

Student Transportation:

For all information regarding student transportation, please visit  Please note that the Ottawa Student Transportation Authority handles all inquiries regarding bus eligibility, stop locations and pick up/drop off times.

Student Lockers:

lockersAll students are loaned a locker for the duration of the year.  It is imperative that students keep locks on their lockers to keep personal items safe.  Students who fail to keep a lock on their locker or who do not keep their lockers clean will lose the privilege of having one.  When you are purchasing a lock for your child’s locker, please make sure that it is a standard lock from a quality brand.  It can be very stressful for students when their locks don’t fit the lockers or when they get stuck.  Some brands that we recommend include Master and Dunlop.  You may find locks with pre-assigned combinations, or combinations that you set.  Please note that only combination locks are permitted and students will be required to share their combination with their homeroom teacher.  I recommend that you purchase a lock sooner than later and have your child practice opening it several times.  If you are concerned that your child may have difficulty remembering a 3 digit combination (standard ), please know that the office has single digit combination locks for sale for $5.00.

Class Assignments:

Students will learn about their homeroom assignments on the first day of school.  Your child’s grade 6 teachers worked with us to ensure that your child was placed in the appropriate homeroom and this is a lengthy and thoughtful process.  Please note that we will not make changes to homeroom assignments.  When students arrive on the first day of school, they will find class lists posted at the side of the school and all staff will be on hand to ensure a smooth start to the day.

“House” Lunch Rooms:

Glen Cairn PS is on a balanced day schedule, with two nutrition breaks/recess breaks.  Please note that the nutrition break portion is only 15 minutes at each break and we encourage students to eat at both of these opportunities, so packing snacks appropriately is important.  Both recess breaks are 30 minutes in duration, allowing for students to get some exercise and fresh air or participate in extra-curricular activities.  For their nutrition breaks, students are assigned to lunch rooms based on their “house” assignments.  This permits students to socialize with friends outside of their homerooms.  House assignments will be provided to students on the first day of school and during our orientation activities the first week, students will get to know friends in both their homerooms and their houses.

Glen Cairn PS Schedule and OCDSB Calendar:

Following the first day of school, we will post class schedules on our website here:  Please note that the following are our hours of learning:

7:45 am – supervision begins on the yard.

8:00 am – 8:50 am – period 1

8:50 am – 9:40 am – period 2

9:40 am – 10:10 am – outdoor recess

10:10 am – 10:25 am – nutrition break

10:25 am – 11:15 am – period 3

11:15 am – 12:05 pm – period 5

12:05 pm – 12:35 pm – outdoor recess

12:35 pm – 12:50 pm – nutrition break

12:50 pm – 1:40 pm – period 5

1:40 pm – 2:30 pm – period 6

2:30 pm – 2:40 pm – buses load and depart.

It is imperative that students arrive on time and attend school regularly.  Late arrivals interrupt the learning of others, and mean that students miss learning opportunities.  Students whose attendance and/or arrivals become causes of concerned will be brought forward as students of concern and we will seek your assistance in remedying the situation.

For your planning, you may refer to the OCDSB 2014 – 2015 school year calendar for information regarding school holidays and professional activity days.

OCDSB 2014 2015 Calendar

Orientation Activities:

The first week of September will include several orientation activities to help your child adjust to life at an intermediate school.  There will be many new experiences for students entering grade 7:  lockers, the rotary system of moving classes for different subjects, changing for physical education and just generally making the most of the opportunities both within the classroom and extra-curricular.  Orientation activities will include opportunities for students to identify areas of strength in learning styles, set goals for both academic and learning skill development, explore extra-curricular activities and set up their online portfolios.  Students will have opportunities to demonstrate their leadership skills and to demonstrate resilience and problem-solving skills.

Dress Code:

At Glen Cairn PS, our dress code is meant to establish shared norms around appropriate attire for school and work.  It is not my intention to police students for their attire, however, we appreciate your support in ensuring that your child is dressed for learning.  Below are the guiding principles of our dress code:

  • We are a workplace.  For teachers, that work means all the varied facets of teaching and for students that means demonstrating learning.  Casual attire is acceptable and we want students to be comfortable.
  • Clothing may not include offensive or illegal references.  This includes advertising or references to alcohol and drugs.  It also includes aggressive, belittling or racist references.
  • Clothing must not reveal undergarments.  This includes rips in shirts or pants/shorts/skirts.
  • Clothing must cover a students’ belly and bottom.  We do not enforce length rules for shorts or skirts, and only ask that the clothing be safe and comfortable and not a distraction to their own learning.  In other words, if your child must constantly adjust his or her clothing throughout the day, that is a distraction from his or her learning.
  • Students must have appropriate clothing for physical education, including safe running shoes.  Flip flops may not be worn while participating in any physical activities.

Online Portfolios:

At Glen Cairn PS, all students maintain electronic portfolios using Google Apps for Education.  This is not gmail as you know it, but has enhanced security features.  These portfolios are accessible to students anywhere they have access to the internet.  Students use their assigned technology log in to access their portfolios and share their work with both teachers and parents.  The portfolios not only demonstrate your child’s learning throughout the year, they also provide opportunities for teachers and parents to provide feedback via the “comments” feature.  I encourage you to ask your child to share their portfolio with you and to review its’ contents regularly.


I’m always amazed when I hear parents lament that their children don’t have homework and thought it would be worthwhile to address this misconception right away.  Homework is deliberate practice of skills that students are learning during their classes.  Homework should complement the learning currently taking place in the classroom so that teachers are able to focus classroom time on assessing students’ levels of understanding and addressing learning gaps or providing enrichment opportunities.  Doing homework on a regular basis creates learning habits that will benefit students throughout their lives and finding the right balance of activities to enhance learning at home will ensure that it doesn’t become an endless drudgery.  The key to this is knowledge of what students are learning in school.  We strive to support you in this through the maintenance of classroom google calendars and blog posts.  Family-centred activities such as field trips to museums, to hear guest speakers, listening to podcasts, watching documentaries, reading together and attending cultural events are all ways to enhance your child’s learning.

Daily deliberate practice in a few areas will ensure that your child is building a strong foundation to support their learning.  For instance, all students should be reading for at least 20 minutes every night, whether it is fiction or non-fiction.  As well, all students at Glen Cairn PS are provided with access to “e-text” versions of the Nelson Math textbooks to practice and consolidate their mathematics skills.  As a starting point, your child is expected to know their multiplication tables to 12 and if they don’t, daily practice will support their future learning.  Additionally, all students learn an instrument in grades 7 and 8 and daily practice of 20 – 30 minutes will help them develop proficiency in their instrument.  For more information and resources to support learning at home, please visit our ”Learning at Home” page.

School Learning Focus:

At Glen Cairn PS we maintain high standards for all students.  This means that the program is rigorous and demanding both academically and in the area of work habits and learning skills.  We will not accept mediocre work and will work hard with you to support your child in meeting, and even exceeding, their learning goals.  We are able to achieve this because we are a relatively small school and our staff get to know all students very quickly.

Our academic learning focus is in the area of proportional reasoning and algebraic thinking.  We will work closely with our secondary colleagues at A. Y. Jackson Secondary School to ensure that all students leaving Glen Cairn PS are well-prepared for the challenges of high school.  This means that we want students to think as mathematicians think, rather than simply memorizing algorithms.  Developing the habits of mind associated with mathematical thinking will equip students to tackle novel learning situations throughout their lives.

In the area of learning skills, we are dedicated to fostering a growth mindset and resilience in our students.  A growth mindset is explained in the following video:

Students who approach learning from this stance and who embrace curiosity, will persevere through difficulty.  We want students to struggle a little with their learning.  For this reason, if your child is complaining about work being difficult, we invite you to remind them of the growth mindset and encourage them to stick with it.  Additionally, students experiencing difficulty have the opportunity of developing their self-advocacy skills by seeking assistance from the staff at school.


I realize that this post is lengthy, and I hope that it provides you with information to help you support your child’s transition to intermediate school.  Please note that our “Meet the Staff” evening will take place on Thursday, September 18th, 2014 from 6:30 – 8:00 pm.

Warmest Regards,

Shannon Smith


Jun 23

Register All Summer Long

Thank you for visiting the Glen Cairn Public School website.  We are now closed for the summer but you can register all summer long at the OCDSB Administration Building at 133 Greenbank Road.


Please call the Admissions Department at 613-596-8730 to make an appointment.  Please bring your child’s proof of age and address, health card and immunization record to register.

If English is not your first language, you are new to Canada, returning from abroad or from a French language school board, please call our Family Reception Centre at 613-239-2416 to make an appointment.


For more information please visit the OCDSB website. 




Jun 23

Art by the Lake

Art by the Lake

Jun 13

Another Busy Week at GCPS!

Dear Glen Cairn PS Families,

As the end of June approaches, things are as busy as ever here at GCPS.  This past week several of our athletes competed at the Board-Wide Track and Field event held at the Terry Fox Athletics’ Centre.  Congratulations to all athletes who represented Glen Cairn.  I am so proud of you all.  Congratulations to Angel J who won gold in the girls’ 800 m race and to Angel, Ryann, Alexis and , who won silver in the girls’ 4 x 100 m relay.  Way to go!  Thank you to our parent volunteers and to Mme. Spear.

We also had our student-organized Talent Show on Thursday of this week.  So many of our students shared their talents with us – dancing, singing, playing instruments, and reciting poetry.  Thank you to Sarah M, Maryam O and Yuka for organizing the event and to Mr. Maloley for supervising countless hours of try outs and rehearsals.

There is a lot on the horizon to which I would like to draw your attention.  Next Tuesday evening is our Spring Concert.  Come join us from 7 – 9 pm in the gym for band and choir performances, as well as some of our acts from the talent show.  There will be a bake sale to benefit the Brick by Brick campaign.

On Wednesday of next week, the Scientists in Schools program will spend the day at Glen Cairn PS.  Thank you to Mrs. Robertson for organizing this and to the School Council for funding this excellent learning opportunity.

Thursday, June 19th is our feeder school visit day.  We welcome our incoming students for a day of activities, including “Intermediate Life 101″.  Our current students will act as mentors to our incoming students.

On Friday, June 20th, our annual picnic will begin at 12:00 noon.  You are welcome to join us if you would like.  Our theme this year is cottage games – bocce, badminton, croquet, and others.  The school council is providing pizza for students and the BBB group will be selling freezies.  Students should bring a snack to compliment the pizza.

Have a wonderful weekend!



Jun 13

Year End Pizza Party

Year End Pizza Party

Jun 13

Bake Sale and Band Performance

It’s the end of the year and our musical groups are inviting you and your entire family to a concert on Tuesday June 17th from 7pm – 9pm.

 Brick by Brick will be hosting a bake sale that same night and all proceeds will go into the music program at Glen Cairn.  We hope you can make it.


Jun 06

Grade 8 Leaving Ceremony

Grade Leaving Ceremony RSVP

Jun 06

Talent Show!

Dear Glen Cairn P.S families,

We would like to invite you to be a guest at the Glen Cairn Talent Show to enjoy the unique acts that many students have been preparing for the past couple of months. Please join us at this memorable event located at the Glen Cairn Public School gymnasium on the afternoon of June 12th (first section: 11:15-12:05, second section: 12:50-1;40). If your child is participating you’ll be receiving a schedule to notify at what time they’ll be performing. Hoping for your presence on that day, we look forward to seeing you there.


The Talent Show Gang

Older posts «