Next school year has potential to be a very unique school year! Here are a couple of updates that I want parents to be aware of . . .

As some of you may have heard, South Oaks received some difficult news that we will see a reduction in staffing for next year. We are currently in the process of navigating what this will look like. Initially, this news was difficult to hear as we all want the best possible education for our students and for your children. However, I hope we can get to the place where this can also be seen as an opportunity. Perhaps this will provide opportunities for more partnerships with parents, for more parent volunteer opportunities and for parents to participate more in their child’s school life. Perhaps this is an opportunity to prioritize what is most important in education, etc. Even though we will need to operate as a slightly smaller school, we will be the best smaller school that we can be! 🙂 No doubt, South Oaks will grow in the future and we will be ready to grow with it.

Also, perhaps you have heard of the Teacher’s Idea Fund in Manitoba? If not, click this link to learn more. A team of teachers from South Oaks has been working throughout this year to apply for a Teacher’s Idea Fund grant for 2023-24. We felt compelled to do this because we are seeing other schools in Hanover and throughout the province who are receiving these grants and the students are benefitting from it. So, we want to do what we can to explore innovative school improvement ideas and hopefully access this funding, so our students may also benefit.

If our school is fortunate enough to receive this grant funding, we will focus on developing our school environment to support mental health and self-regulation via the introduction of nature into the school. This includes many plants in the school and other natural elements, so students can benefit from the calming aspect of nature during their learning day. We would also like to create an outdoor Regulation garden, so students can interact with nature alongside caring adults. We also hope to introduce some indoor vertical gardens and living walls so students can produce some food in the school. We are very excited about the possibilities, but it will all depend on whether we can secure the grant. Stay tuned!

Next year will come with some significant changes, but this can also mean significant opportunities. No matter what we do at South Oaks, your kids are always our priority. Our values of safety, kindness and learning remain the same.

Take care,

Dale Martens


in: General