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PCS Uniforms

November 16, 2017
By Dr. P. Ogborne

As the seasons change, so does the type of apparel that is worn by the students.  This necessitates a few reminders regarding the school’s policies on uniforms, guiding principles, and some reminders of what is acceptable and what is not.  It’s never an easy conversation with a student when something with their uniform is not quite right.  We broach the subject with discretion and make every effort to make sure the student isn’t singled out or embarrassed.  However, your help in reviewing the guidelines with your child and discussing what is appropriate, will go a long way in alleviating any uniform discussions.

PCS has adopted standardized school apparel for our students that helps develop an environment conducive to learning and respectful behaviour. There are three principles that guide our thinking here — modesty, neatness and cleanliness.  School apparel must be clean and in good condition and must meet the styles and logo requirements laid out in the PCS Dress Code policy in the Parent/Student Handbook (pgs. 24-27), as well as in some specific highlights found on the website.

There are some areas that seem to cause the most common challenges when it comes to uniforms:

  • Pants - please remember that the appropriate style for pants is khaki or semi-dress.  Track pants, jeans, leggings and sweatpants are not appropriate everyday wear.  The only exceptions would be our JK, SK, and Grades 1-3 classes, as they do not use the change rooms for Gym class.  They are allowed to wear solid black track pants on gym days only, for the whole day.
  • Non-PCS tops - Students are free to wear non-PCS sweaters and jackets when playing outside. However, when they are inside the school (hallways and classrooms), they are to only wear      PCS- logoed tops.  Many times, students say that they are cold when inside.  They are gently reminded that there is a PCS Hoodie available, and that they are also allowed to wear an undershirt beneath their PCS polo, provided it is solid white or black.
  • Non-Uniform Day Apparel - These days are meant to be fun.  However, it is still important that all clothing maintain our three principles of modesty, neatness and cleanliness.  On occasion, we have had to speak to students about overly loose or tight fitting clothing, as well as appropriateness of slogans, pictures, etc.   

If ever you or a student has a question or concern about uniforms, please do not hesitate to stop in for a chat or drop me a note pogborne@pickeringcs.on.ca.  Thank you for your help and support.

P.S. - The change of season also sees a large increase in inventory for our Lost & Found Bin. There are so many items that have been left behind with no names attached, that there are literally hundreds of dollars of unclaimed items without identification.  If the item has a name in it, we can get it back to its owner. Please go through your children's clothing (especially hoodies) and label them.  We also do our best to regularly lay out any lost items.  Please feel free to take a look, in the north hallway, next time you are in the school.

Our Visit to Calgary

October 26, 2017
By Dr. P. Ogborne

Two times, Calgary came to PCS.  

Now it was our turn to board the airplane and visit the home of Profound Learning (P.L.). On October 5th and 6th, sixteen staff and teachers made the journey to immerse themselves in the heart of P.L. classrooms. The professional development trip allowed the teachers to see the real life workings of what they had been learning in the previous on-site training at PCS. Questions were answered and more questions surfaced as the time passed. We were challenged to search out how we could do P.L. better.

Take aways? 

1.       P.L. transforms the educational process through deliberate curriculum integration

2.       It’s hard work for teacher and student

3.       Slow and steady will win this race as we implement key concepts over the next few years

4.       Students become owners of their education and develop future ready skills

5.       Teachers are transformational agents in the business of learning

6.       Students can be excited about education at every grade level

7.       How to rethink assessments to close student information gaps

8.       The importance of teachers collaborating over curriculum with colleagues

9.       The need to establish a culture of learning at PCS

10.   Great things are instore as we faithfully move into 21stC  learning

A list of ten items is only a fraction of what could be written. It was a blessing to see a fellow Christian school eager to help other schools bring glory to God through this educational process. They have helped us develop an implementation plan going forward.

Please pray for students and teachers as they navigate through  many ideas and plans to bring all of this transformational thinking to PCS.

My Two Weeks as a Pylon!

September 21, 2017
By Dr. P. Ogborne

As I look back at the first two weeks of school, I am truly thankful for the parents who have braved the gauntlet of the PCS drop off and pick up maze. Breaking habits that some of you have done for years is not easy. I understand and appreciate your patience and smiles … even if sometimes they were a bit forced. Rightly so! In our attempt to make it easier and faster for you, we have adjusted the cones numerous times trying to find the right angles, length and safety to make it all work. Faithfully, you have followed our lead.

With my vest on, and acting as a human pylon, I have waved you around the traffic circle, guided your pulling out, dodged the backpacks falling out of the vans, and picked up numerous crushed pylons that were evident of how hard it is to control traffic.

However, it’s all looking up!

Our line painter has been booked and our hope is that you will soon be able to follow the lines for an effective and speedy drop off and pick up. I’ll still be doing my regular shift with my vest on as I enjoy seeing and waving to all of you as we continue to work together.

I know we affectionately called the traffic pinch points “Grace Corners” and “Mercy Way”, but as a daily observant pylon, I did see these characteristics in action.

Thank you

The Product and Delivery System

September 07, 2017
By Dr. P. Ogborne

The Product and Delivery System

As we move forward in Profound Learning we need to understand the process. In every activity there is the message and then how it is communicated. In everyday business life, it is the product and how it is delivered to the consumer. In education we have the curriculum and how it is taught.

At PCS the product has not changed. We still have the Ministry of Ontario curriculum documents. In the past they were documents to be accessed as needed when teachers were developing units of study. Under Profound Learning, these guidelines will be stored on a database that teachers can access but also develop student friendly translations that will assist the students to understand what they need to learn, the level of their knowledge in that area and help them determine where gaps in that understanding may exist.

The biggest change in Profound Learning is in the delivery system. This is seen in two areas, first, in the teacher methodologies and second, the classroom environment. The teachers will develop methods of direct instruction that will be more engaging and applicable to the majority of students. This will occur as the brained based elements of relevance, meaning, emotion, novelty, choice, and movement are all part of the daily learning experiences for the students. This will result in students understanding their own role and ownership in being a part of their educational journey. A higher level of student engagement means a higher level of knowledge retention and mastery. It’s about setting rigid quality and allowing the time for this to happen.

(Here are some links to a few documents (doc 1) (doc 2) (doc 3) that can give you a little insight on the Brain Based Elements. If you want some more insight you can visit the Imaginal Education website to hear more about activating the brain through meaning and the role of neuroscience)

As well, the classrooms are undergoing changes to allow students to be placed in areas that will allow them to be more comfortable in the learning and working environment. The three basic areas are called the Campfire, the Cave, and the Café. In the Campfire area the teacher is engaged in direct instruction that permits students to be introduced to new material in a more informal, yet personal manner. From here, the students are dismissed to either the Cave or the Café to do their work. In the Cave area they are in a quiet setting focused on completing the task. At the Café, they are in an environment developing skills of co-operative learning and the development of alternative learning.

Over these last few blogs, many words have been written. It’s time for show and tell. Please join us on August 31, 2017 at 7:00 pm for an Open House at PCS. There will be tours of the school so you can see the physical changes that we have made to inspire students and teachers into the 21st Century mindset. As well, we have Mrs. Doreen Grey from Master’s Academy, and the trainer of our teachers, who will give a short overview of “Ownership, Mastery and Brain Based Engagement”, PCS’ focus for this year. Mrs. Grey is one of the developers of this program and former principal of Masters Academy and College. She is currently travelling to many countries bringing Profound Learning to hundreds of teachers.

We are excited about the journey we find ourselves on. Profound Learning is more than just a program or delivery method. Every teacher here at PCS ultimately wants to see deep, engaged and profound learning for all of our students. Please continue to be in prayer for our teacher’s and the leadership of the school as we seek God’s wisdom and discretion as we navigate not only the upcoming year but the years to come as well.

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