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.

Anti-bullying, cyberbullying and digital literacy  

Help keep kids stay safe from bully behaviour online and at school

Bullying can affect all children and has negative impacts on the victim as well as the bully.

Bullying can appear in several forms:

  • Verbal bullying: Examples are name calling, making fun of someone, making jokes at another’s expense, unwelcome teasing and spreading secrets someone disclosed in confidence.
  • Physical bullying: Pushing, shoving, pinching, hitting, spitting, damaging property and vandalizing lockers or school supplies. 
  • Social bullying: Examples are spreading rumours, being exclusive with friends and excluding people from events or study groups.
  • Cyberbullying: Using social media to intimidate, exclude and disseminate private information or using texting, emails or other applications to damage someone’s reputation.

Strategies focused on building self-esteem, developing respectful relationships and providing clear but respectful communication tend to be the most successful.

Children who are bullied need to be empowered and supported in developing healthy relationships.

Bullies on the other hand, need to learn social responsibility, empathy, right from wrong and remedial actions, such as rebuilding relationships and apologizing. 

What can you do as a parent to prevent or deal with bullying?

  • Encourage your child to report bullying they either experience or witness to school staff, such as teachers, counsellors, principals or parents.
  • Provide opportunities for open dialogue about sensitive topics.
  • If your child is the bully, encourage them to reflect on their actions, and how they would feel if the tables were turned and they were on the receiving end.
  • Help your children develop digital literacy so they are aware of what cyberbullying looks like and have strategies for handling cyberbullying when it arises.

Find more advice for preventing or dealing with bullying on Fraser Health’s website at:

Newsletter – 2023 December 11

Our Winter Food Drive was once again a huge success, due to the generous donations by our OLM Community. The food collected will help two food banks in our area:

  • Don’t Go Hungry in New Westminster – feeding over 500 families weekly. 
  • Help Us Belong  in Burnaby – Feeding over 500 families weekly.

Your donations, while they may seem insignificant, are impactful to those in need. We believe that a single action can make a difference in the community and that collective action can impact the world. Congratulations O.L.M.!!

In other Leadership Club News, we are excited to participate in the Shoebox Project. We will be donating 20 personally crafted gifts that contain a mix of essential everyday items and small luxuries that any woman would love! These boxes are meant to uplift and empower women who are experiencing or at risk of homelessness.

Money raised from hot dog days, popcorn/chips and frozen treat sales have been used to fund this project. More community outreach projects will take place in the new year. 

Newsletter – 2024 February 13

Dates to remember:

  • Thursday, February 15 and Friday, February 16 – Catholic Education Conference – No school
  • Monday, February 19 – Family Day – No school
  • Thursday, February 22 – Annual General Meeting and Registration Package pick up 7:00 pm
  • Tuesday, March 5 – Student-led Conferences and 
                                  – Registration packages review panel in the OLM Gym (See below)

A reminder that there is no school this Thursday and Friday (February 15 and 16) due to the Catholic Educators’ Conference, and no school on Monday (February 19) due to Family Day.

Our Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 22, 2024, at 7:00 pm. At least one parent must attend this mandatory meeting. Please note that Registration packages will be available for pick up at the end of the event. 

Student-led conferences will be from 1:30 pm – 6:30 pm on Tuesday, March 5, 2024. The students will be dismissed at 12:00 pm. There will be no YouthCat on this day.

Due to the large number of incomplete registration packages returned last year, there will be a new registration format this year. Therefore:

  • To register your child for the upcoming 2024-2025 school year, a panel of individuals will be accepting completed packages in the gym between 1:30 pm – 7:00 pm on the Student-Led Conference Day (Tuesday, March 5, 2024). 
  • We will review the package with you present and only accept complete packages. 
  • Please ensure you have a VOID cheque for the debit authorization. We will NOT be accepting “same as last year” on the form. 
  • Please also note that returning students will have a student verification form (White Re-Registration form) included in their package. Kindly review the information and update any changes with a colored pen (red preferably). 
  • A reminder that if you are applying for an out-of-parish subsidy, to notify your parish as these forms need to be received in the package to be processed.

Newsletter – 2023 November 7

Happy November! Please see below for an update on some of the important things happening around our school in the next little while.

Remembrance Day
Please join us on Friday, November 10th for our Remembrance Day celebration. Families are welcome to attend mass with the school at 9:30, as well as the assembly to follow at 10:45, (please note the slight adjustment in timing from the online school calendar).

A big thank you to the teachers and students who have been working hard to prepare the assembly for us!

There will be no school on Monday, November 13th, as it is a provincial holiday.

Three-Way Conferences: Grades 1-7
Those families that have been with us for a while may remember three-way conferences. After a few years of communicating student learning in the first term through student-led conferences, we are once again giving this format a try!

Student-led conferences involve multiple students leading their family member(s) through their classroom and a portfolio of their work at the same time. Three-way conferences, on the other hand, are scheduled, private meetings between the classroom teacher, the student, and their parent(s). During this time each party is given a chance to share about the student’s
learning and discuss next steps for growth.

Please note that Kindergarten will still be using a student-led conference format this term.

Conferences will take place on November 30th, between 1pm and 6pm.

  • there will be NO SCHOOL for students on Nov. 30, other than their scheduled conference time
  • there will be no YouthCat
  • families will soon be invited to schedule a 10 minute interview time for each of their children
  • students are to wear their school uniform to their conference
  • This is a mandatory event. All families are expected to attend.

Christmas Concert Costumes
It’s almost that time of year again! Please see the “Student Provides” column of the attached costume list to see what your child will need to bring for their costume. Costumes will be due into classrooms on December 4th.

Helpful Tips:

  • label every part of your child’s costume-even socks!!
  • send your child’s costume neatly folded in one clearly labeled bag, (paper works well!)
  • if you have any questions about your child’s costume, please contact Miss Krenosky

Kindness Week
This week is Kindness Week at OLM! “Spots of Kindness” currently line our hallways, and many of oure doors are sporting signs advertising that “Kindness Starts Here.” Each day, students will be encouraged to engage in activities that help them to notice kindness in others, and promote kindness in themselves. We are looking forward to a great week!

Congratulations to all of our teams on a great season with lots of teamwork and improvement! Special congratulations, and best of luck to our Grade 5 team as they won their quarterfinal game, and will be continuing their play-off journey next week!

Important Upcoming Dates:

  • November 13th: No School
  • November 15th: Pro. D. Day. NO SCHOOL for students. The office will be open.
  • November 16th: Skating for Grades 6 and 7
  • November 30th: Student-Led Conferences. No school for students.
  • December 1st: Student Learning Updates for Term One go home to families
  • December 4th: Christmas concert costumes due