Volume 22, Number 1, September 11, 2020

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General News

The purpose of John Calvin School is to assist and support parents in the education of their covenant children to the glory of God.  In accomplishing this mission, the vision of John Calvin School is to provide excellent Christ-centered education in service to God and our neighbour.

Greetings from John Calvin School everyone on this cool Friday morning (after a few overcast or foggy days), and welcome to volume twenty-two of our weekly newsletter, the Calvin Chronicle.  Through this newsletter we will keep you informed as to the goings-on at JCS 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.  

In spite of the changes/restrictions caused by COVID-19, we had a wonderful first week; it was almost normal except for the things that weren’t normal🙂.  The Lord blessed us with cooler weather so that we could go about our daily work unhindered by heat and humidity.  We pray for His blessing and guidance as we continue with our learning and teaching at John Calvin School for the next 38 weeks or so, D.V.  We pray that restrictions may be lifted in due time so that we can proceed through most of the weeks unhindered.  May the Lord continue to provide everyone with what they need for their respective tasks throughout 2020-2021.  To God be the glory!

This past Tuesday, September 8, the doors of John Calvin School could open for the 57th time.  Praise God from Whom all blessings flow!  On that morning, 325 students, 18 full-time teachers, 5 part-time teachers, 9 EAs (full- and part-time), 1 TA, and 2 part-time office administrators (along with 5 bus drivers and 2 janitorial crews) could take up their respective tasks for another year of teaching and learning in His service.  What a blessing it is to be able to assist the parents in educating his covenant children in the fear of his Name.  We pray that our Heavenly Father will continue to provide wisdom and understanding to the parents, the board and its committees, the principal and the staff, as they provide Christ-centered education for his covenant children.  We pray that, once again, clear vision, a spirit of openness, trust, cooperation, and communication may encompass all those involved in the education process at John Calvin School.  

This year’s opening assembly took on a bit of a different flavour.  In his YouTube address, Mr. Hofsink spoke a few words about this year’s theme text, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, “Rejoice always, pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you.”  In this chapter of Thessalonians, the apostle Paul provides many examples of how we can encourage others.  Our theme text contains three of them:

•               Rejoice always:  Joy is a basic mark of a Christian and a fruit of the Spirit.  As God’s people, we are to be joyful and remember that even in the midst of turmoil, such as that caused by a pandemic, God is in control.

•               Pray without ceasing suggests continual personal fellowship with God.  We need to remember that God is always with us so talk to him wherever, whenever.  It is important to have a prayerful attitude at all times.

•               Christians are to be marked by thanksgiving.  So, why not give thanks by making a list of all the gifts God has given you, giving thanks to God for each one.  In this verse, Paul was not teaching that we should thank God for everything, but in everything.  In everything we are to be thankful for the good God accomplishes.

As God’s children, we are created in his image and we must reflect that image in our relationship with others.  We need to put aside our personal thoughts and opinions and be considerate of our neighbour.  Remember, the community is constantly watching us.  Can they see Christ in us?  How well are we doing as His ambassadors as we carry out our calling as prophets, priests and kings in our community, in our neighbourhood, in our homes, in our school, and in our classrooms?  A couple of important questions to ponder as we move forward into a new school year.  

Since there was no in-house assembly this year, the new students and new staff were introduced as part of morning announcements on Tuesday and Wednesday.  Most new students and staff were mentioned in the August News and Views; however, I would like to welcome Mrs. Glenda deSchiffart to the JCS staff.  She is working as a part-time EA in the Learning Resource department.  She is replacing Mrs. Magda Ravensbergen who resigned from her EA position after 25+ years of service at JCS working first as a volunteer and then as an EA.  We thank her for all her work over the years in the Learning Resource department.  We welcome back Mrs. Brandy Stieva, one of our bus drivers, who was off on medical leave.  She is driving Bus 2 for a month or so in Mrs. VanLuik’s absence.

Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those in our community who need the Lord in a special way.  We continue to pray for Mrs. Alanna Folkerts as she undergoes treatments for colitis.   We pray that the Lord will continue to make all things well with the pregnancies of Mrs. Sarah Jongsma and Mrs. Keri Oosterhoff.  

*A Point to Ponder: Where were you/What were you doing 19 years ago on this date?

A few items for your attention:

*Sadly, with the cancellation of the West Lincoln Fair, students from Grades 4&5 were not able to participate in the Fair’s Spelling Bee. 

* We would like to remind everyone that when you come to school to pick-up or drop off your child(ren) that you continue to use the north driveway.  When dropping off your children please stay to the right of the driveway and once past the pylons you may drop off your children.  Once your children are dropped off, make your way down one of the lanes of the parking lot and then exit using the right side of the driveway.  When picking-up your children please park in the church parking and wait for your children there.  Please be on time when picking them up.  When leaving, please stay to the right.  Safety is of utmost importance.  Mr. Hofsink will be out on Monday and Tuesday to play traffic cop🙂, as necessary.  You are reminded that there is no parking by the kitchen and the storage room during the day.  Thank you 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 during the day.  After before school drop-off, the rest of the entrances remain locked until dismissal.  We also thank you for your cooperation in this matter.

*There is no chocolate bar fundraiser this year. 

*The annual soccer tournament is cancelled.  We are waiting to hear from Guido De Bres Christian high school as to the status of the annual elementary cross-country invitational meet scheduled for Friday, October 9.  

*Thankfully, buses are arriving by 8:00 so we are getting school started pretty much on schedule.  Thank you, Transportation Committee, for organizing the routes and thank you parents who offered to drive your children to school so this can happen.  It is much appreciated.  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.


*Please note that class mom/volunteer forms must be returned on or by next week Friday, September 18.

*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.  

*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 from September 21 to October 9.

*Picture Day is scheduled for Tuesday, September 22.

*The first Fire Drill is planned for Wednesday, September 23.

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

Classroom News


Week 1 has been completed!  And what a great week it was!  Both kindergarten classes were able to attend school 2 days this week.  The students are busy getting to know each other and are quickly making new friends.  We have been working very hard on learning the new routines and expectations of a kindergarten class and how kindergarten will work with covid.  Next week the students will begin learning the theme song for the year which is “Rejoice in the Lord always”.  Look for a video of the class singing in on SeeSaw if you need help with the tune or would just like to enjoy the singing of praises to our heavenly Father.  We also will be starting Special Helpers next week.  Look in the agendas to see if it is your child’s turn to be a special helper!  Have a blessed weekend!  JB &NV

Memory Work: Hymn 10:1, 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (Sept. 18)

Spelling words:  in, it, is, that, you  (due Sept. 18)

Sight words:  he, she, both, do, does  (due Sept. 18)

Grade 1

Wow!  The first week of school is almost behind us.  It is amazing how quickly we learn new things.  On the first day of school, we all had to remember so many things about how things work in grade 1 that it was hard to get any grade 1 work finished.  By Day 2 we were totally surprised that we were able to teach almost all of our lessons.  It was very hard for grade ones to have only one turn on the playground structures, and lots of fun when it was our turn on Wednesday.  We are continuing to work on making our play space lots of fun on the other days of the week.  We have just a few reminders. Please send your child to school with a full water bottle. Please fill in and send along the forms from the office.(If you want to email them directly to the office, that is ok too.) Many children are not able to eat large pieces of fruit at snack time. 

Spelling words and sight words for week one will be tested on Friday.  (Spelling pretest on Thursday).

We will test Bible near the end of the week.

Memory Work: Hymn 10:1, 1Thessalonians 5: 16-18 (Sept. 18)

Spelling words: a, and, of, to, the  (due Sept. 18)

Sight words:  are, be, and, the, a  (due Sept. 18)

Grade 2

We have had a great first week of school here in Grade 2! The students have been busy learning the new routines and are becoming comfortable here in the classroom! This week we have started with math facts and plan to send their first set home today. Please practice these with your child each day. In Bible, we have started our first unit on the birth and early ministry of Jesus Christ. Please remember to send your child to school with a labelled water bottle. We are looking forward to next week! Have a relaxing weekend! LS/BV

Memory Work: Hymn 19:3

Text: 1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

Spelling Words: way, black, very, off, them

Wednesday: Bible Quiz

Grade 3

Welcome to the first Chronicle of this school year. We’re back in the classroom! Praise God from whom all blessings flow. It is a blessing to be with the students again. We have heard about God’s creation, the fall into sin, and the need and promise for a Saviour. It is so beautiful to hear the children sing praises to God again; we missed it! We were introduced to safety rules, washing hands, disinfectant, where to line up, where to play, all so that we may keep each other safe. What a great way to show we care for one another and for being neighbourly. Great job, boys and girls! We are learning about pioneers, lines in Art, cursive writing, and listening in class. It’s exciting to learn all ‘new’ stuff. Thank you to all who have returned their forms already. If you haven’t done so, please return the forms asap. Thank you for your help in this regard. May our heavenly Father bless each of us in our respective tasks this school year. Have a wonderful weekend and a blessed Sunday. MP/JB

Memory work: Hymn 63:4, Text: 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Spelling words: again, because, could, favourite

Grade 4

Welcome back to another school year! It is great to be back to teaching and learning in person and we look forward to a good year in Grade 4. Thank you for the donations of Kleenex boxes; we appreciate it. A few things for next week:

Memory Work (due Fri. Sept. 18) – Psalm 122:1/1 Thessalonians 5:16-18

Spelling Words: (Lesson 2 – due Fri. Sept. 18) – hop, mud, there, hunt, frog, buzz, their, rocks, such, swam, clock, shop, bug, cup

Have a blessed weekend. RT/YH

Grade 5

Already the first week is wrapping up here in Grade 5! The students are adjusting well to the classroom after so many months away. They have also shown their willingness to cooperate with the new cleaning procedures and restrictions due to the pandemic.  This is encouraging to see and we hope their enthusiasm will continue throughout the school year!  Thank you for the boxes of Kleenexes that have been coming in!  If you have not done so, please send one along with your child. Our Bible unit is about Christ’s birth and early years on earth.  The students are seeing the connections between our Bible lessons and our Social Studies unit about Ancient Rome. Students will lead devotions starting next week.  The schedule is as follows: Grade 5A (Mrs. Kelly) Mon. – MacKenna, Tues. – Kayden, Wed. – Jackson, Thurs. – Katie, Fri. – Jacob.  And in Grade 5B: Mon. – Ella, Tues. – Chelsea, Wed. – Connor, Thurs. – Mikenna, Fri. – Kingston. 

We wish you a restful weekend and an upbuilding day of worship on Sunday! RK/KVL      

Grade 6

We have had a very enjoyable first week back to school. The students and teachers are adjusting to the new procedures.In Grade 6 the students are responsible for the recycling and distribution of the Scholastic flyers as part of their service for the school. This week the first group are in training and will train their fellow peers when it is their turn. Some of the highlights of this week were playing Scoot, Helping Harry, and practising the poem ‘Honeybees’ as a duet. Students are reminded to have a change of clothes for Phys. Ed even if they are not the J.C. ones. Have a blessed weekend. SO/CV

Grade 7A

Praise be to the LORD that in His time He allowed us to return to our daily work. We also thank Him that He gives us work with purpose, equipping ourselves for a life of service to Him and our neighbour. Amongst the highlights of the new work year is the Independent Study. Please assist your child in selecting an area/topic of study they can research on their own. Once the topic has been selected, the next step will be to read a book about the topic. This book must be at an, “adult” reading level and be somewhat academic in nature. Thank you for guiding your child towards a topic and for helping them to find a book. Be sure to regularly ask your child how they are adapting to the expectations and requirements of Grade Seven; also ask to see the results of their efforts. Please contact me with any questions or concerns; theodore.witten@johncalvinschool.com 905-957-9199 Enjoy your weekend.

Grade 7B

In Bible History, we have begun our class in 1 Samuel, where we will be looking at how the people ask for a king, ultimately rejecting the LORD as their King, and how the LORD grants their request in Saul. In History, we will be looking at Jacques Cartier, Samuel de Champlain and the founding of Canada. We have started our new class of Independent Study, where the students will be selecting a topic and researching it using a developed process. Our first step is going to be to find a non-fiction book relating to their topic. Please help your child find/get a book either from the library or from any other resources you may have. Enjoy your weekend!

Grade 8

It was really enjoyable to welcome students back to school after such a long time away! Although this week was largely filled with adjusting to routine and introductory lessons, we are off to a great start and are thankful to our heavenly Father for being allowed to begin this new school year actually at school! In Bible History we have started by discussing the time between the testaments, while in Math we are working through some math fact review to ‘knock off the rust.’ We hope next week to sort out what the supplemental math pilot project will look like in Gr. 8. Oh! on Friday we celebrated Isaac’s birthday! Next week promises to be a busy one as we prepare to jump more into our curriculum and ‘settle in’ to our new routines. Parents can also expect to be updated about the Ottawa Trip, etc. next week as we begin to prepare for what our trip and fundraisers will have to look like with the Covid restrictions. Stay tuned! Until then, have a blessed weekend. Cheers, Mr. J and Ms. P

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