Newsletter – 2023 August 24

“Education is not about knowing things or taking lessons but about being able to use three lingos: those of the head, the heart, and the hands…learning so that you can think about what you feel and do, can feel what you think and do, and can do what you feel and think. Unity within a person”

Pope Francis

Welcome to the 2023-2024 school year at Our Lady of Mercy. We are all excited to have
students back in our classrooms and hallways filling them with energy and enthusiasm for
learning. We want to extend a very special welcome to our kindergarten students and new
students who will be joining our OLM community.

Going back to school after the long summer can be a time of excitement for many children (and
parents 🙂 However, for some children the transition back to school, especially for
kindergarteners and the new students can be stressful or worrisome. We would like to share some
tips that will help you and your family keep organized, create routines, and support your
child(ren) to be the best at school.

1. Use a calendar
Your children will be better prepared for school when they can visually see when school will
start again. A good idea is to hang a calendar in their room and let them mark off each day with a
colorful pen until the new school year starts.

2. Re-establish daily routines and bedtime routines early
Establishing consistent routines is very important for children. Getting enough sleep is critical
for a child to stay healthy and be successful. They will need some time to get back to the
sleeping pattern that they had before the summer holidays started. In order to make it easier for
children to be awake early in the morning, parents can introduce a bedtime routine one to two
weeks before school starts.

Create a bedtime routine that is consistent to help your children settle down and fall asleep. For
example, a calming pre-bedtime routine may involve a bath/shower, reading with them, tucking
them in and saying goodnight.
Have your children turn off electronic devices well before bedtime and remove the electronics
from the bedroom. Try to have the home as quiet and calm as possible when younger children
are trying to fall asleep.

3. Make the unknown environment more familiar
If your children are worried about the fact that they will start school in a new environment such
as a new classroom or where they will line up, bring your children to the school so that they can
become more familiar with the new place. It is also a good idea to have a conversation with them
about all the positive aspects at school such as their favorite subject and the activities they love at

4. If your child(ren) is worried…
One of the most powerful ways you can support your children through the process of returning to
school is by trying to understand how they are feeling about it.

  • find the right time to ask them questions to get a sense of what’s on their mind. Help identify
    what they are worried about. Listening to what they are experiencing – give them an open space
    to talk about what’s going on or ask questions
  • encourage them to problem-solve
  • focus on the positive aspects (what are they looking forward to or are curious about)
  • role play different scenarios to build confidence
  • be supportive but don’t allow your child to stay at home

5. Pack your bags the night before
There are quite a few things you can do the night before to help the morning rush run a little
more smoothly. Can you have backpacks packed, and waiting by the door? Can you encourage
your children to pick out their clothes and have them ready? Can you prepare lunches the night
before? These little things can go a long way to help you feel prepared.

6. Eating healthy
Studies show that pupils who have a nutritious breakfast and a healthy lunch function better.
They do better in school and have better concentration and more energy. In advance, ask your
children about healthy food that they like to take to school. Maybe your children like particular
fruits or vegetables which you can pack, as well as a healthy sandwich.

7. Give kids time to adjust
Different kids will be feeling different things – excitement, nervousness, uncertainty – about
going back to school. It’s important to give them time to transition back.

Newsletter – 2024 July 4

Dear Parents,

I wanted to express my gratitude for the many gifts and heartfelt cards. Many brought a tear to my eye and I wanted to let you know how much it means to me and how much I appreciate it. Thank you.

I wish everyone a safe and restful holiday. In the words of Pope Francis,

“To Mary we entrust our vacation time, so that we are serene and that summer would be a relaxing time, cheered by friends and happy moments.”

-Pope Francis

Mark Your Calendar
Tuesday, September 3, 2024 is the first day of school for students in Grades 1 – 7.
As in previous years, we will all gather in the gym where Mrs. Grout, our school administrator, will welcome and introduce the staff. Then the students leave to go to the classroom until 10:00a.m.

Normally, parents disperse at this time. However, this year parents are requested to stay in the gym for a collaborative session, which will focus on OLM’s vision on “How does one become a genuine Christian Citizen?” and “What does that look like in concrete terms for students ages 5 – 13?

It is important for all the stakeholders, parents, students and staff to participate in building a vision that reflects our shared beliefs and values. The vision is the big picture of our desired outcomes. It’s an internal representation of what is most important to us; it’s exciting, inspiring, compelling and filled with positive emotions.

Together, we will look at the relationship between the vision and current reality. This is called structural tension. During collaboration, brainstorming, and a creative process, we will have an eye on where we want to go, and an eye on where we are currently at.

The data we collect from all the stakeholders will inform our daily practices and help build a strategic plan to best meet the needs of our students.

We hope you will join this interactive and educational event, along with other stakeholders, parents, and staff on September 3! Stay safe and have a great summer!

Newsletter – 2024 June 26

Our Lady of Mercy is a mosaic of all God’s children. Through Jesus we strive to develop individual potential, respect and acceptance for all.

As we enter the last week of school, I wanted to say a big thank you to all for your continued
support and encouragement. I feel very privileged and proud to be working alongside of very
dedicated and talented people (the PEC, the parents, the students and the staff).

The conclusion of the school year signals the end of many milestones. Our youngest learners
flourished as they navigated their first year of formal schooling with enthusiasm and curiosity. At
the same time, the leaders of the School, our Grade 7’s, completed their final year, leaving the
arms of the school, ready to sail off into the next chapter full of new adventures and challenges.
These occasions offer time for reflection, consideration and an opportunity to begin the next
stage fresh and with renewed perspective, vigour and knowledge.

I would like to again extend my appreciation to our staff, students and the community for a
positive and productive 2023-24 school year. Much has been achieved by many individuals and
teams this year, and we will continue to find new ways to accomplish the mission and vision of
the Our Lady of Mercy School as we look ahead to the new year. A great school requires many
attributes, the core element of these coming from its students, staff and community. I sincerely
thank all those who supported Our Lady of Mercy School for their endeavours and care of our

Have a safe and wonderful summer! See you on September 3, 2024.

Mrs.and Mr. McGaughey are the proud parents of Quinn Liam. He was born on Sunday, June 23
at 7:51 a.m. He is 6.9pounds. Both mom and baby are doing very well.
We also congratulate Ms. Belliveau the very proud grandmother!

Good Byes
Ms. Ellard – Ms. Ellard was the Kindergarten Educational Assistance. She worked alongside Ms.
Brabant and was a valued and loved member of our staff. She has moved out to the valley and
therefore will not be returning to OLM. We wish her luck in her new job and we will miss her!

Mrs. Anastasi – It is with great sadness to announce that Mrs. Anastasi will not be returning next
year. She will be the new secretary of Holy Cross Elementary where her children are attending.
Mrs. Anastasi was an amazing office administrator and a friendly, warm and welcoming person
to all who called or visited OLM. It was my privilege to have her as part of our administration

Ms. Townsend – We have been blessed to have Ms. Townsend as our grade 7 teacher these past
years. Unfortunately, for us, Ireland is calling her home. We would like to thank you for being an
amazing teacher and staff member. Her quiet, loving presence will be missed. I’d like to send her
off with an Irish blessing.

“May love and laughter light your days and warm your heart and home. May good and faithful
friends be yours wherever you may roam. There are good ships and there are wood ships and
ships that sail the sea. But the best ships are friendships, may they always be. And may the
hinges of the friendships forged at OLM never grow rusty.”

God bless you and keep you always in his care.

Staffing for 2024-2025 School Year
We would like to welcome Ms. Bellamy (Kindergarten Educational Assistance), Mr. Bell (Grade
), Ms. Berlanga (Grade 7) and Ms. Doumakis (School Secretary)
Kindergarten: Miss Brabant and Ms. Bellamy
Grade 1: Ms. Krenosky and Miss Price
Grade 2: Ms. Giouzelis and Ms. Rogan
Grade 3: Miss Chin
Grade 4: Mrs. King
Grade 5: Mr. Bell and Mrs. Sociedade
Grade 6: Mrs. Thorpe and Ms. Boots
Grade 7: Miss Berlanga
Learning Resource coordinator and VP: Mrs. Ladouceur (returning in January)
OG Tutor/LAC: Mrs. Belliveau
Primary Support and Read Well Coordinator: Mrs. Mamertino
French and Library: Mme. Scaglione
PE and Technology: Mr. Nguyen
Primary PE and LAC: Mrs. Shein
Maintenance and Janitor: Mr. Ausena
Secretary: Ms. Doumakis (Tuesday -Friday)
Secretary: Ms. Johnston (Monday)
School Psychologist: Mr. Schaufele
Principal: Mrs. Grout

Newsletter – 2024 May 27

First Communion

Congratulations to all the students who received their First Communion on Sunday!

Pope Francis said, “First Communion is above all a celebration. We celebrate Jesus, who always wants to remain by our side.”

We are sure you will never forget your First Communion day which was our first encounter with Jesus in the sacrament of the Eucharist. We would like to thank Rev. Hien and Ms. Giouzelis for their guidance and teaching. Thank you Mrs.Shein and Ms. Rogan for supporting and celebrating this important special occasion with the students. 

CISVA Track Meet – Wednesday, June 5, 2024

All students will be going to the CISVA track meet on June 5th. Please see the attached schedule and ask your child what race they are in.

If your child has been coming to track practice they will be attending the meet on June 5th at Swangard. Only students who qualified and are in the finals will be attending the June 12th meet.

Library Spring Book Sale

Thank you to all the students and parents who supported this fair, We raised over $400.00 so far. All proceeds will be used to buy new library books. We are extending the book sale until June 5, 2024. All books are now $1.00 – $2.00. Thank you for your support. 

Known Calendar Dates for 2024-2025

Fraser Health Notice – 2024 April

Physical activity is a necessary requirement for optimal health – and the benefits are even greater if you can do it outdoors.

Regular physical activity in childhood helps to develop cardiovascular fitness, muscle strength and bone density, and being outdoors is known to improve mental health.

There are many benefits to unstructured, outside play. When children spend time outside, they:

  1. Sit less, move more and play longer – key to cardiovascular health and fitness.
  2. Have healthier eyes – 10+ hours a week outside reduces nearsightedness risks. 
  3. Sleep better – sunlight helps regulate melatonin and sleep patterns.
  4. Enjoy improved mood – exercise reduces symptoms of anxiety and depression.
  5. Feel more connected to nature – experience calm and develop mindfulness.

Planning active outings doesn’t have to be challenging or costly. Here are some ideas that you can try this week:

Find more ideas to keep your kids active through the year on Fraser Health’s website: