Volume 21, Number 1, September 6, 2019

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General News

Greetings from your school everyone on this cooler Friday morning, and welcome to Volume 21 of our weekly newsletter, the Chronicle.  Through this newsletter we will keep you informed as to the goings-on at John Calvin School on a regular basis.  If you have anything to contribute to the Chronicle, please make sure you send it to the office on or by the Thursday evening prior to publication.  

The students and staff are off to a wonderful start to the school year.  We pray for the Lord’s blessing and guidance as we continue with our learning and teaching at John Calvin School for the next 38 weeks or so.  We look forward to working with you, parents, as we assist you (in loco parentis) in the nurture of your children, helping develop in them the talents freely and graciously given by God, to the end that they may serve Him in a life of responsible, Christian stewardship. May the Lord continue to provide everyone with what they need for their respective tasks throughout 2019-2020.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!

This past Tuesday morning, the doors of John Calvin School could once again open for the 56th time so that the 319 students can receive another year of Reformed, Christian education based on the hallmarks of reformed education: covenantal, confessional, antithetical, unity of purpose between church, home, and school.  We thank and praise the Lord that He has made it possible for us to carry out the instruction of His covenant children for another year, in the freedom that we may enjoy on a daily basis in our country. 

We are thankful that so many parents, grandparents, and other members from our community could join the students and staff at Tuesday morning’s assembly.  It was great to be able to start the school year in God’s Word, whether it was in song or in word.  We could hear about why we do what we do and the purpose of Reformed Education, and sing several songs connected to the theme including our theme song, To God Be The Glory.  Mr. Hummel, the chairman of the board, spoke a few words of encouragement and support as he shared with us the importance of serving- whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified in Jesus Christ. (I Peter 4:11) May the Lord continue to bless the work of the board and its committees throughout the 2019-2020 school year as they carry out their respective, voluntary tasks in behalf of the school society.

                In his address, the principal focused on this year’s theme based on the theme text, I Corinthians 10:31b, “…whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”  Embedded in Paul’s discussion about Christian freedom (from where this text is taken) is the most important principle for Christian living:  in everything we do, we are to live for God’s glory.  Paul also reminds us that we are not to seek our own good but the good of our neighbour.  If we make the good of others one of our primary goals, we will develop a serving attitude that pleases and gives glory to God. During his address, Mr. Hofsink also referred to several questions that he encouraged the audience to take with them to their classrooms or homes for continuing reflection and discussion, including: 

•               What is the chief end of man?  Man’s chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever.

•               What is the duty of man? (Ecclesiastes 12:13)

•               How is God honoured through my action(s)?

•               Who is my neighbour?

Whatever you do today, this week, this month, this year—from the simplest, most mundane chore to making the most important decisions—do it all Soli Deo Gloria.

Later in the assembly, the new kindergarten students were introduced (in absentia) as well as the new students in other grades (Rebekah V. and Quinn S. in Grade 1, Phoebe P. in Grade 2, and Paige P. in Grade 3).  Five new teachers/support staff— Mrs. D. Feenstra (Grade 2A P-T teacher), Mrs. A. Folkerts (Grade 6B teacher), Miss J. Jansema (Special Ed EA), Mrs. K. Oosterhoff (Special Ed EA), and Miss N. VanLuik (Kindergarten TA) were also introduced.  Once all was said and done, the students and their teachers headed back to their respective classrooms to get the school year underway.  While on the welcome wagon (bus?), we also welcome a new driver to our team of bus drivers.  Mrs. Karen Bos has been hired to drive Bus #5.  Welcome Mrs. Bos and have a great and safe year (along with the rest of your driver colleagues) driving the children to and from school.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in our community who need the Lord in a special way.  In particular we think of Mr. Herman Poort (father and brother-in-law to a couple of teachers, grandfather to several students at JCS, and a volunteer in the school who took care of a number of property committee items as well as helped out with last year’s Grade 8 PBL Pergola project) who is in Trillium Hospital in Mississauga recovering from a stroke.  May the Lord bless his recuperation.      

                We congratulate Jeremy and Danyse VanDam with the birth of their daughter, Avery Willow, who is a sister to Maelle (Grade K), Matthew (Grade 1), Camrynne (Grade 5), and Josh (Grade 7).  All is well with mom and baby, and the rest of the family too.  (Our children all are gifts of God, our sons and daughters his reward—each one a blessing from the LORD, as heritage on us bestowed.”  Psalm 127:3, BoP)  May our Heavenly Father provide the parents with all they need as they raise Avery and the rest of their children in the fear of His Name.

                Mrs. Elgersma and her husband are planning to travel to Bermuda to spend time with their son and daughter-in-law and grandchildren; including the newest arrival born last week.  Congratulations!  We wish them an enjoyable trip.  We welcome Mrs. D’Addazio who will be occupying the administrative assistant’s chair during Mrs. Elgersma’s absence. 

A few items for your attention:

*Today, Grade 5 was able to spend the morning at the West Lincoln Fair.  Their main purpose in attending was to be in the audience when five Grades 4&5 students participated in the Spelling Bee hosted by the Fair.  We wish Tahlia B. (Grade 4), Reuben V. (Grade 4), Daeton H. (Grade 5), Angelina H. (Grade 5), and Madison L. (Grade 5) all the best at the Spelling Bee.  While there, the students were also able to take in some of the displays and activities of the fair.

*Parents and grandparents are reminded that there is no parking by the kitchen and the storage room during the day.  Once again, we request that when you come to school to pick-up or drop off your child(ren) that you refrain from parking inside the “pyloned off” area, particularly during recess times and at the end of the day.  There is an additional exit on the north side of the school (Special Needs wing) from where parents can pick-up their children.  Thank you again for your cooperation.

*Also with respect to drop-offs and pick-ups, we remind parents to come to the main office so that office staff can inform the classroom teacher via intercom of a pick-up or drop-off, and the parent can then proceed to pick-up her child(ren) or bring him to his classroom (more so in the case of younger children).  We also thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

*The chocolate bars for the annual chocolate bar sale arrived yesterday and will be going home today with all participating students.  All students from Grades 4-8 are encouraged to participate so that the work is shared as well as the profits.  The profits are placed in the Student Fund to support the costs of class trips and such items of direct benefit to the students.  If all students in those grades sell at least one box, we will be a long way to our goal.  The cost of the individual bar/box is the same as last year, $3.00.  Thus, those students who sell an entire box need to bring in $90.00 to the school. 

*Service opportunity:  Students in Grades 7&8 are invited to help at Anchor Home as they are holding a garage sale to raise money for the Lincoln Church construction.  The garage sale is scheduled for Saturday, September 14.  Student help is needed at Anchor Home for after school on Friday, September 13 and on Saturday morning from 7:00-12:00.

*The first few weeks of the fall season in the athletics department are devoted to soccer and the cross-country run.  Training has begun for soccer and will begin soon for cross-country.  John Calvin School is once again hosting the soccer tournament at the school and the West Lincoln Leisureplex.  The tournament is scheduled for Saturday, September 28th.  The cross-country runners will be participating in the annual Guido de Bres invitational meet scheduled for Friday, October 11.  We thank the coaches (teachers and parents) for giving their time to get the athletes ready for these events.

*Later this month, a bus evacuation drill and review of bus expectations will be held with all the students.  Stay tuned for when that will be.  At this time, I would ask that parents also remind their children of the expectations that are listed in the Parent Handbook.  Bus behaviour needs regular monitoring and, if a problem arises, it would be appreciated if you let the transportation committee or the principal know about it.  We can only address those situations that we are made aware of.

*Special Need classroom is in need of a dresser with easy sliding drawers. Also if anyone has clothing they are willing to part with,  we are looking for T-shirts, shorts/pants, socks, underwear, towels, hand towels, facecloths (dishcloths) for our functional skills programming. Thank you!

Message from the board of directors regarding transportation:

Dear JCS parents,

Another school year is approaching quickly, and many wheels have been turning throughout the summer in the Transportation Committee to begin the year smoothly. All bus routes have been worked out and published for both John Calvin School and the STC buses we share with Guido de Bres Christian High School. The morning pick-up times can be expected to be adjusted over the first few weeks as everyone becomes familiar with them. It is the committees’ and drivers’ expectation and policy that students are at the stop 5 minutes prior to the estimated/projected pick up time.

We have been in communication with our insurance company and with some significant changes to the insurance policy we are happy to report that we are now able to increase our driver pool.  The insurance company has eliminated the expensive “facility policy”, thus allowing any qualified bus driver – regardless of experience – to drive any of the buses.

Much consideration and time has been spent and is ongoing to investigate different GPS tracking options.  These GPS options would allow the transportation committee, bus drivers, and the general membership alike to see and report where the buses are at any given time. While this work is ongoing, renewed commitment has been made by the drivers and the transportation committee to ensure timely texts and postings of school cancellations and other disruptions, unforeseen or planned.

We encourage parents to contact us with any concerns and ask for patience in the upcoming days as we adjust back to the daily routine of safely transporting our children. Please pray for safety that our drivers may be equipped with all they require for their important task. We are thankful for the Lord’s blessing over the work being done and continue to rely on Him in all things as we begin a new year. 

Transportation Committee – JCS

Duane VandenOever – Chair (duanevandeno@gmail.com)

Anthony Ouwersloot – Board of Directors Transportation Liaison (anthony.ouwersloot@johncalvinschool.com)


*Please note that the volunteer/class mom forms must be returned on or by next week Friday, September 13.

*If your child has music lessons in the school or in the church, please ensure that they are aware of when the lesson takes place.  Even though they may have written a permanent note on the board, it is not the teacher’s responsibility to remind the student of their lesson.

*Please have the Emergency Medical Treatment form and any other forms returned to the school by Monday.  The school has purchased student accident insurance which covers the students only on school days and school hours.  This does not include any other school or Saturday events.  We strongly encourage you, if you do not already have insurance, to check out the flyer and the FAQ`s that you received from Reliable Life and pay a small amount to get 24/7, 365 day coverage.

*We would like to remind parents that if they have any questions or concerns about the procedures and routines of the school to please contact the school either by telephone or by email as opposed to discussing questions and concerns via other means of communication, e.g. social media.  In this way, we can keep each other better informed about what is happening in and around the school.

*All medication, e.g. puffers, epi-pens, needs to be properly labelled.  For those students who require oral prescription medication, Tylenol or Aspirin, the school has a form that parents will need to fill out so that the medication can be administered by the classroom teacher.

*John Calvin School is planning a Fall Food Drive for West Lincoln Community Care beginning on Monday, September 16.

*Picture Day is scheduled for Tuesday, September 17.

*The first Fire Drill is planned for Wednesday, September 18.

                Have a great weekend everyone and may the Lord grant you a blessed Sunday.  We hope to touch base again next week.   G. Hofsink

Classroom News


This week was filled with many firsts for the kindergarten students. First time on the bus! First time coming to this school for a WHOLE day! First time playing on the playground! First time

having gym! First time learning their memory work and Bible text! There were so many new experiences and so many new learning opportunities for each of the children. The students are quickly learning the routines and expectations of school! We learned all about creation and how powerful our God is. He was able to just speak and the world was created! How great is our God! Next week we will learn about man’s fall and Cain and Abel. In math we are learning about positional words such as above, below, on top, bottom, middle, and between. Next week we will be learning about more positional words like left and right. In social studies we read “Chrysanthemum;” a story about a mouse who goes to school. Next week we will begin our unit on living and non-living things! It was an absolute pleasure having each of the students here this week and getting to know their unique personalities.

Grade 1

We have had a good start to the new school year.  We are getting to know our students and they are getting to know us.  We have been busy learning all the safety rules this week.  Your child may come home and ask you to check your fire alarms and escape plan.  We have finished our creation unit in Bible.  In Math, we are learning about patterns and sorting as well.  This week we have started learning our Spelling words in class.  We will test the words on Friday, students should be able to recognize and print the words.  We will glue the colour words in the agenda, these words are sight words.  The students should be able to recognize them out of order (they do not need to spell them).  On your child’s microwave day we ask that you have the food already prepared so it can just be heated up.  Please fill in the student form ASAP, if you have not done so already.

Thanks.  Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday!

Memory Work for Friday, Sept. 13 – Hymn 10:1; 1Cor. 10:31b

Spelling Words: a, and, of, to, the

Grade 2

Welcome to our first edition of the Chronicle in this 2019/2020 school year! We’ve had a great first week in Grade 2. Students and teachers alike are getting to know each other, and beginning to adjust to the classroom routines. We’ve also enjoyed listening to the wonderful stories of the summer holidays! For our spelling words next week, please check the agendas as the two classes are working with different lists for these first two weeks. In our Bible unit, we’ve begun learning about the birth of our Lord and Saviour. We will have a quiz on Wednesday. We will send the students’ notes home on Tuesday so that you can prepare with your child. Thanks for all the Kleenex boxes that have come to the classroom so far! We also extend a request for paint shirts. We would love to receive your old button-up shirts! That’s all for this week! Have a wonderful weekend! BV/RG

Memory work: Hymn 19:3

Spelling words: see agendas

Bible quiz: Wednesday

Grade 3

To God be the glory great things He has done!  Welcome back to another school year at John Calvin School! Mrs. Poort and I are so thankful to be back to teach your covenant children. May the LORD bless our efforts so that His name is praised and glorified. We are working on getting into the routines and habits of grade 3; so far, so good! In our Bible classes we began with the stories of Creation found in Genesis. Math is all about place value and addition drills. Social Studies has us busy with pioneers.  We will keep you posted regarding the trip where we need to dress up as pioneer boys and girls. Just a reminder to bring back all forms given out on the Open House. Thanks and have a blessed weekend! J.B./M.P.

Psalm 6:2,  Hymn 63:4

School Theme Text:  I Corinthians 10:31b

Words:  again, because, could, favourite

Gym clothes on Tuesday and Friday.

Library will be on Thursdays.

Mission $$$ on Friday

Grade 4

It’s hard to believe that we are already one week into the new school year! We will have a spelling test this week on Lesson 1. Words are: apple, stick, plants, seat, had, rich, else, hid, dress, miss, autumn, then, mass, bath. Please continue to practice math facts at home.

Memory Work is Psalm 122: 1 for Sept. 13.

Next week: Memory work is Psalm 66:1, Bible Memory is Psalm 32: 1-2 for Friday Sept. 20th.

Grade 5

Just like that, the first week of school is done! We were able to discuss both classroom and school routines, and the students were able to ask questions about them and give their opinions. Grade 5 has a wonderful opportunity to participate in the Spelling Bee at the West Lincoln Fair every year. At the time of writing, we have not yet participated, but we trust that it will be a good time! 3 Grade 5 students and 2 Grade 4 students are participating. Next week, the students will start leading lunch devotions. Parents, please make sure that you at least read over what they have prepared and sign it before they bring it to school. The list will be published in the Chronicle every week. Thank you for your cooperation in this matter. Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday. RK/KV

Memory Work: Ps. 16:1; Text: 1 Corinthians 10:31b

Devotions: 5A – M. Linden, Tu. Laura, W. Olivia, Th. Angelina, F. Silas

5B – M. Ryeanne, Tu. Daeton, W. Isabella, Th. Torey, F. Alyvia

Grade 6

The students and teachers have had a great beginning to the school year. It is good to get back to routines and to be together to encourage each other in our walk of faith to glorify God. We had the theme appear again in our first math lesson and showed that God gave man the ability to make many discoveries about our human bodies. Did you know that the average 11 year old’s heart has beaten about 520,344,000 times since they were born? In Church History we will be discussing the early Christian church during the years 300-500 A.D. During language arts we will focus on perspective. We saw the clear difference on the perspective of the lives of the queen honeybee and the worker bees. The students enjoyed presenting this duet play. Have a blessed weekend. AF/CV

Grade 7A

It was an interesting week as students and teachers alike got to know each other. Students also had to adjust to new subjects and routines. In Independent Study the class had the task of choosing a topic of study; the topic needs to be relevant to your child and provide a wide enough catchment to allow for further study. Our trip to the St. Catharines Central branch library taught us how to use the library system; thank you to our volunteers for joining us. Please ask your child what topic they have selected and why they chose that topic. Math has us working with number sense while in Bible History we see God’s mercy in providing leadership through Samuel at a time when everyone did what was right in their own eyes. Enjoy your weekend.

Grade 7B

In Bible History, we have started looking at the ministry of Samuel and how to people of Israel reject their heavenly King and ask for an earthly one. In Math, we have begun our unit on Number Sense, looking at exponents and square roots. In Geography, we look forward to studying the wonderful Creation that God has given to us and take care of. We begin by looking at Landforms. In History, we begin looking at Jacque Cartier and the race to find the best route to India and how that leads to the discovery of Canada. Independent Study has also started with a field trip to the library. I encourage parents to ask their child about possible topics that they could explore over the course of the year. Have a great weekend!

Grade 8A

As creatures of habit, it is good to begin again and see the ebbs and flows of life settle into place. What a rich blessing to begin again in the Lord’s name! As we have in our school theme, it is our prayer that whatever we do is done to His glory! We are off to a busy start in Grade 8A. Soccer practices are in full swing, units and lessons have been introduced, chocolate bar sales have commenced and we are settling into our regular routines. Have a restful and blessed weekend! Cheers, Mr. J

Grade 8B

We had a really good start to the school year. Hopefully all of you have had a chance to read through our greeting letter where some specific routines were outlined. Soccer practices have already started.  Please make sure that you read and sign the School Teams protocol and send it to your child’s coach.  Cross-country team sign-ups and practices should be beginning soon as well. Students will also have an opportunity to sign up to be on other service teams in the school.  (IT, Special Needs, Bulletin Board, etc.)  The students have also been encouraged to try to sell a box of chocolate bars with their siblings.  All of the funds go towards paying the fees for class and school trips.

Memory Work:  Psalm 103:5, 7 and John 1:1-7

Lunch Devotions:  Jewel, Melissa, Arie, Alayna, Carter

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