Parent 2 Parent Communication
Welcome to the “Parents to Parents” which contains information from your School Council.
From the March 28 School Council Meeting:
We discussed the value of being involved with a secondary School Council and feeling aware of what is happening at PHS. A high school School Council is different from an elementary meeting because there is no fundraising! A variety of topics are discussed and parents get information that they may not get from their teenagers, “we get so much from meeting.”
Ms. Brennan, Head of Guidance and the Staff Rep, shared survey data from students regarding the course selection process. Students indicated that they get the most help from parents, then friends and then from guidance counsellors. There was good discussion about the types of information sources for students in learning about what courses are offered and what students should be taking. PHS offers a Business certificate that not everyone knows about.
Summer School information is on the school and WRDSB websites. Many students take summer school to work ahead or to catch up. Summer School registrations will take place in mid to late April. Parents should encourage their children to talk to the guidance counsellor if considering summer school. We also discussed the impact of summer school credits on a transcript (little effect).
We had a chance to try a few OSSLT Literacy Test practice questions to understand the complexity and specificity of the test. The processes in place for preparing the students were also discussed. You can try similar questions or review with your child at https://sites.google.com/googleapps.wrdsb.ca/phsossltpractice/students-practice-osslt-tests.
School Council learned about the planned facility changes for next year including a library renovation which converts the space to more collaborative, multi-purpose learning commons area.
An Explore Your Future event for Grade 7-12 students is being held on April 11, 6:00 – 8:30 pm at Bingemans sponsored by the Business and Education Partnership. See http://www.bus-edpartnership.org/ for more information.
Next Meeting is June 6 at 7:00 in the library. Everyone welcome!
At our November meeting, the members of the school council discussed the Hold and Secure that was implemented at PHS by the Waterloo Region Police as a result of an incident in the community. Members of School Council have offered their reflections below:
From the Principal:
The safety and well-being of our students and staff is always the priority in planning and preparing for any emergency. School administrators receive additional training from experts in managing school emergencies and all protocols are developed, reviewed, and implemented in collaboration with other community partners. The purpose of any procedure, such as Hold and Secure, Shelter in Place or Lockdown, is to keep our school community safe.
When the Hold and Secure was initiated in November, the students and staff responded appropriately. We conduct ‘business as usual’ within the school because we are safe inside the school. During a Hold and Secure, the exit doors are locked and supervised. We do not allow students to leave, and potentially risk being in community event. We also contact teachers in off-campus excursions to not return to the neighbourhood until the police have cancelled this safety protocol.
In November, a number of parents arrived at the school while we were in a Hold and Secure. Please note that during a Hold and Secure, Lockdown, or Shelter in Place, we do not allow anyone to enter the school. We maintain the safety of students and staff inside the school by doing so. Parents are always encouraged to contact the school by phone if they have questions.
From your School Council Co-Chair:
As a part time College teacher, news of a school incident like the ‘hold and secure’ that happened recently doesn’t generally phase me. I know the procedures the school carries out and why, and I know it’s the safest place for my child to be in an emergency situation. But the recent PHS experience gave our family a different kind of lesson.
I was in a meeting early Tuesday morning in Mississauga when my grade 10 student left for school. Two hours later when I came out of the meeting I checked my phone to see multiple text messages from my daughter:
First: “we’re in a hold and secure” and a bit later…
Second: “um mom there’s someone with a weapon outside the school or something”
Long pause and then
Third: “don’t know what’s happening”
My immediate slightly frantic text response ‘everything ok?’ was met with an ominous silence (that infernal little blinking dot). A quick online search got me the answer I was seeking – everything was ok (with the exception of my blood pressure) and the situation was under control.
So our family’s take away – a new texting protocol for emergencies:
1. start with ‘everything’s / I’m OK’
2. then brief describe what’s happening
3. follow up when it’s all over (especially when you haven’t gotten a response).
A teachable moment for all of us.