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Spooktacular October at ROCS

Updated: Nov 21, 2022


October 31, 2022

Dear Royal Oak Families,

It has been another busy month at the school and we have much to be grateful for from October- gorgeous weather, beautiful fall colours and happy, productive students here inside the walls of Royal Oak! Today is the last day of the month, and marks a special day for our children, Halloween! It also is the day of our traditional Food Drive here at the school called “Trick or Eat”! Students head out into the community to share the joy of the celebration with our Chartwell Senior Neighbours, and follow with a walk through Old Town to collect non-perishable items for Newark Neighbours, NOTL’s local food bank. This event always speaks to the true spirit of Royal Oak for me. Our students showing stewardship and compassion in their community, even on a day that is typically quite “self-centric” in the lives of young chidren. Looking outwards, while also experiencing the joys that childhood hold looking inwards!

As we move ahead into November (don’t forget to set your clocks backwards on Sunday), we have MUCH to look forward to. Our second year Brock Teacher Candidates start in our classrooms tomorrow, and will be part of our community until the Winter Break. These students are in their second and some, sixth, year of teacher education, and we truly view them as co-teachers for ours students. They are committed, talented and help us lower class ratios even further, provide new perspectives and diversity, and are so often beloved by Royal Oak students. Brock University choses Royal Oak for this responsibility as a recognized and reputable institution that will help cap the final teaching experiences for our Teacher Candidates before they become teachers themselves next year. Please read below to learn more about your child’s Brock TC!

Parent teacher conferences also occur this month on November 11, 2022, and are an important check-in with your child’s teacher to hear about progress and goals for your child as the term and year progress. These interviews will be in-person, and sign sheets went out from individual teachers this week. Please put aside this important time and let us know if you need alternative arrangements to suit your schedules.

After the week long November Break, November 14-18, we have a busy week with our second Caribou Contest, an Ice Dogs assembly here at the school and then a full school social at the Ice Dogs game Friday, November 25. Our school choir will be performing, “Oh Canada” for the entire audience on the ice before we cheer on the Ice Dogs versus the Hamilton Bulldogs. You will see a sign up for tickets in the newsletter below: Please be sure you let us know how many tickets you will require so we can ensure a spot for your family!

In case you haven’t yet applied for your per child payment from the Ontario Government for “Catch Up Payments”, please see the link below to receive your $200-250 payment to go towards academic supports for your children:

On the topic of “catching up”, I do want to share that though as suspected, some children require extra support for their learning post pandemic, it has always been Royal Oak’s philosophy to meet children exactly where they are (whether that is via extra support or extra enrichment!) We tailor our instruction to the needs of each child at the school, and believe though online learning didn’t provide all the rich nuances of life in the classroom, that our children are also AHEAD in many ways. They have learned incredible resilience, compassion for others, flexibility and been shown the importance of health and family in the most concrete ways. We applaud each one of our students for this and move forward knowing they will receive what they need here at school and at home, with you. We look forward to watching them continue to grow and thrive in the months ahead!

Have a wonderful week, stay in touch and be well,


Julia Murray, Head of School


Every year at Halloween, the students of Royal Oak dress in their Halloween costumes and participate in a costume parade around the community collecting non-perishable food items for the local food bank, Newark Neighbours.

Newark Neighbours is a very impactful pillar of our community. This non-profit organization helps countless families in need. With your help, we reached our goal of filling the shelves at Newark Neighbours! Students walked around town and collected food with the help of our staff and our wonderful parent community. Thank you for another wonderful Trick-or-Eat year and thank you for your continued support of our ROCS students and the Newark Neighbours Non-profit organization.

High School transition information session

Friday, November 11th- 10:15am

On Friday, November 11, First term Parent Teacher Interviews will take place at Royal Oak School with homeroom and specialty teachers. Sign up sheets have been shared by teachers for you to indicate your availability. On this same day at 10:15 -11:00 am, Laureen Dennis and Julia Murray will be meeting with any interested parents of Grade ⅞ students to discuss the transition to high school, and the school finding process! Please use the sign up sheet below to RSVP for this morning Coffee event: Grade 7/8 High School Infosession

Duke- ROCS School Dog

Students at Royal Oak take tremendous joy in greeting Duke at the doors each morning and spending time with him - on the recess yard, or when needing a calming, comforting moment of “dog therapy”! Duke is a professionally trained, hypoallergenic dog who has helped many chlidren this year- get over a hard morning, or for some, even a fear of dogs! The students are brainstorming ways to make him our official mascot- this naming will occur at our next assembly at the end of November- stay tuned!

Clubs Updates:

The Fall term for Clubs is almost at an end, and six weeks of fall clubs will end the week of November 7-11 for the following clubs:

Monday, November 7: End of Knitting Club

Wednesday, November 9: End of Skateboard Club - Homework Club goes “Drop In”!

Thursday, November 10: End of Running Club, Forest Explorers Club and Soccer Club

Music and Movement with Cynthia Konopka will continue until November 28, which is the last day of this six session Club.

Conversation Club, Choir and Homework Club will continue year round!

We look forward to introducing our Winter Club Selections to you the second week back in January, for the Winter Club Sessions that run January 23- March 3, 2023.

Brock University Teacher Candidates in the Classrooms

Starting on Tuesday, November 1, Royal Oak teachers will again welcome a new crop of Brock University teacher candidates into the classrooms. Each classroom will host one of these fantastic 2nd year teacher candidates, who will teach and learn alongside our wonderful educators. This is a great opportunity for us as educational professionals to pass on our knowledge of the unique outdoor, inquiry teaching practices that make our school so special. Please say hello to the following teacher candidates in each of our classrooms:

Ms. McMackin ( Early Years/Kindergarten) will host Lindsay Brown

Ms. Robin (Grade 1/2) will host Kalista Berry-Stavropoulos

Ms. Bigda (Grade 3/4) will host Gabrielle Gagne

Ms. Nyenhuis (Grade 5/6)will host Nicole Write

And….. Mr. W (Grade 7/8)will host Montana Nethercott

The Brock teacher candidates will be at our school until December 16th this year. We look forward to working with these great individuals over the coming weeks.

Royal Oak Soccer Club

On November 10, 2022, Royal Oak will have the opportunity to participate in our first ever out of school competition with Wheatley School. Our Soccer Club members (and any other interested students!) will travel from Royal Oak with parent volunteers to Wheatley School at 497 Scott St. in St, Catharines, to compete in this game and show off their skills!

Coach AW and Ms. Julia will be in attendance and are looking for parent volunteer drivers to assist. Please email to volunteer!

Royal Oak in the News

Head of School, Julia Murray, was interviewed by the Globe and Mail alongside other “Heads of School” on the decision making process when choosing an Independent or Private School. Have a look!

Cold and Flu Season Reminder

As we know, cold and flu season is here and many regular cold and flu viruses are circulating along with COVID. Though many of last year's COVID protocols have been lessened, we do still need to be vigilant with screening our children for symptoms and ensuring sick children stay home to get the rest and care needed to recover quickly and rejoin us at school!

The current guidelines around respiratory illness are to stay home if your child has even one of the symptoms of fever, cough, shortness of breath or visible infection (green mucus, sneezing, etc.) or two or more symptoms such as headache, muscle pain, runny nose, or sore throat. As a small community, germs can spread so easily and even one day of rest when a child is feeling unwell can protect the class as well as your own child from developing further symptoms.

When in doubt, please see the Ontario School Screener below not just to screen for COVID, but school readiness for any cold/flu-related symptoms:

ROCS Choir set to sing O’Canada at the Meridian Center

On Friday, November 25th, as part of our School Hockey Free Skate and Game Night with the St. Catharines Ice Dogs Ontario Hockey League team, our own school choir club will have the opportunity and privilege to sing O’Canada on centre ice at the Meridian Centre. Free skate will start at 5:30pm with the game beginning right after at 7pm. Tickets are $16 and more information will be sent home closer to the game. Please use the google document here to indicate your attendance and the number of tickets your family requires to this wonderful event!


Royal Oak Character Award Winners for October

We have started a new tradition at Royal Oak- Monthly Character Assemblies. Every month, Royal Oak students and staff will be focusing on certain character traits. This month, students focused on empathy, patience and cooperation. The Grade 7/8 class presented an assembly all about these character traits on Friday, October 28th. We also presented certificates to one student in every class who were nominated by their teacher for showing exemplary character to their teachers and peers.

Early Years: Layanika M.

Grade 1/2 : Isabelle D.

Grade 3/4 :Grayson K.

Grade 5/6 : Max R.

Grade 7/8 :Preston B.



Early Years October in Early Years was a busy month! On top of all of the important learning, we were able to celebrate 5 birthdays, welcome new friends into our class, and possibly our favourite, celebrate Halloween together! In Literacy, we’ve continued learning about our Letters of the Week, working through Literacy centres (including using iPads for RazKids reading), and starting some writing assignments. In Math, we’ve continued to learn about numbers from 0-20, including adding and subtracting. In Inquiry, the kids learned about Types of Communities. We also started diving into Trees and Leaves and creating beautiful projects using the leaves we found falling outside. The students look forward to their specialty subjects each day and are doing wonderfully so far this year!

Grade 1/2

I cannot believe that another month has gone by at ROCS! October has been a busy month in the Grade 1/2 class. At the beginning of the month, the girls and boys began a Fall Is Here project. In order to complete this project, we went on a community walk, collecting colourful leaves, nuts and pinecones to be added to the gourds, pumpkins and corn that I brought in for display. The children sketched, coloured and cut out these objects to make their own cornucopia. The children thoroughly enjoyed this activity and have taken a tremendous amount of pride in their creations. In literacy, the girls and boys began independent writing in the form of Journal entries. Show and Share was introduced in October. As a class the students chose the topic of their favourite toy as the first item to bring into the classroom to share with their classmates. Inquiry has focussed on the students discussing their roles and responsibilities within their family, the classroom and their local community. In order to improve our math skills, IXL was introduced to the students as part of their homework packages. To date, our class has completed 500 math skills and everyday that number grows! I am so proud of all the hard work put into this by the boys and girls. At the end of this month, the students will enjoy Halloween activities with their reading buddies from the ⅚ class. This will be a great way to celebrate this special day!

Grade 3/4 They say time flies when you’re having fun, and that was certainly true for the Grade ¾ Class! At the beginning of October, our class gained Avi, a beautiful new face who joined us from Australia. The warm Autumn weather gave us wonderful opportunities to explore the Niagara-on-the-Lake community, with must-stop visits to COWS ice cream and The Tyme Candy Shoppe! In our Inquiry unit, we developed a greater understanding of community types, such as urban, suburban and rural. While researching, we learned that 64% of the Niagara peninsula is agricultural! Wow! In Reader’s Workshop, we have been focusing on making connections to texts and making inferences to what an author is trying to tell us. On Fun Fridays, we’ve honed our creativity by applying an Impressionistic style to our Fall inspired tree paintings, using warm and cool colours. As we move into November, October will be a hard month to beat!

Grade 5/6

What a month it has been in Grade 5/6! This month the class worked through different challenges in all subject areas. In Language Arts, we really got into the Halloween spirit! We used adjectives to describe a Haunted House for Sale that the students drew. We then took our paragraphs to persuade others to buy our properties, since who wouldn’t want to live in a home where slime constantly oozes from the walls? In Inquiry, we joined forces with the Grade ⅞ class to see what creative things we could make while using a cardboard box. The groups came up with wondrous things from a vending machine to a whole eco-friendly biome! Finally, the highlight of our learning has been our unit on Budgeting in Financial Literacy Fridays. Each student has been assigned an occupation where they have to figure out how to spend their money to cover needs such as renting a home, purchasing food for their family, and even covering the phones and internet bills! When they weren't hitting the books the class was enjoying a variety of activities such as celebrating our triad of October birthdays. Happy Belated Birthday to Wes, Josiah, and Silas! It has been another great month in our class! We have been working hard and are counting down the days until November break!

Grade 7/8 October has been an excellent month for the Grade 7 and 8s. I feel that the group has come together with a lot of bonding and sharing of personal stories and confidences since the school year began. We were also excited to have a new student join us this month and have seen new friendships developing. In Literacy, the students have started Literature Circles, expanded their vocabulary with daily Wordle, Word of the Day, and weekly spelling words as well as developed stronger descriptive writing habits with adjective phrases, similes, and metaphors. The students also advanced their writing skills in several areas including letter and cursive writing. In Math, the students finished their first unit with success and began their second unit on Data. We have started the data unit with probability and will follow that with graphing soon. In Inquiry, we have gravitated from early Canadian history to focus on the War of 1812. The students have done very well with high school readiness skills such as building binders, taking notes, and summarizing texts. I am very pleased with how the year has developed with a group of such amazing students!

Offerings in the Community

Start thinking about High School:

Great Lakes Christian High School is hosting 2 significant events for students exploring their High School options. We invite you to join us at one or both events!

Open House “The Amazing Race”

November 17th at 6:30pm

Students will have the opportunity to participate in 'An Amazing Race' while learning more about Great Lakes.

Parents will have an opportunity to ask their questions directly to the principal, Mrs. Kerri Kennedy, and learn details about the various opportunities available for their children.

GLCHS responds both effectively and efficiently to our students' needs. As a community we strive to come together to encourage each other as we discern wise options for our children's futures. Come learn how we are making decisions regarding the challenges facing your child’s education today!

Join us for PIZZA, and we will discover together what you need to know about Great Lakes!

Register here:

Join us for a Shadow Day “Experience Great Lakes Christian High School”

Friday November 25th 8:00-3:15 pm (limited spaces available)

Exploring your academic options? Come join us for a Shadow Day Experience and see what a day in the life of a Great Lake's Laker feels like!

Great Lakes Christian High School invites you to come be a student for the day, bring a friend, meet some classmates, teachers, and other staff. Have a tour, attend class, collect some swag, and eat cafeteria food as lunch is provided!

Register here:

PD Days for NON-Royal Oak Students-

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To download a PDF copy of this newsletter, please click this link:

October Newsletter 2022 (1)
Download PDF • 27.66MB

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