Principal Blog

April 7, 2019

As we move into Spring and the weather turns warmer, it is important for students to balance their outdoor and indoor time.  Screen time should be reduced, and students should be encouraged to play outdoors.  Connecting with friends supports social, emotional and physical health.  Students needs to be able to create things to do without a lot of purchased resources.  One of the favourite places for the students to play at school is the nature playground.  It doesn’t matter if they are in kindergarten or grade 5.  Climbing, exploring, observing, wondering are all part of learning and growing.

Walking, biking, wheeling to and from school is another great way to promote healthy living.   If you are not able to do this from home, try parking the car 5 minutes from the school  Check out https://cloverdale.sd61.bc.ca/our-school/getting-to-school/ for ideas.  We will also be having our walk, bike and wheel week again in May.

Encourage students to read a variety of books, fiction and non-fiction, different genres and formats.  Also playing word and letter games while driving, whether it is to the grocery store or a day drive improves literacy and family time.

Many families stay for a few minutes after school to play.   This is a great opportunities for students and parents to socialize.  Enjoy!

February 15, 2019

Today staff is involved in professional development, learning about math, social and emotional, indigenous teachings, assessment, post graduate studies, and several other topics.  Later this month, staff will be sharing out and engaging in professional learning communities and collaboration time to improve their instructional practices and further engage our students, providing them with the best possible education.

Our first grade 5 basketball mini tournament will be after school in the gym on Tuesday.  (Last week’s was cancelled).  We wish our 23 basketball players good sportsmanship, team play and skill demonstration. There will be a second mini tournament on February 26.

Floor hockey for grade 5’s will be starting next week with a jamboree in March.  Stay tuned for rugby for grades 3, 4 and 5 starting soon.   Practices and auditions are coming up for our Cloverdale’s Got Talent show.

On Tuesday, we will welcome Trustee Nicole Duncan to our school.

Thank you students for demonstrating kindness each and every day.

February 2, 2019

The week ahead will be very busy.  On Monday, grade one students will be having a presentation by the Saanich Fire Department.  On Tuesday,  the Grade 3’s will be doing art in the gym put on by the ArtsReach Society.   Our book fair will be open during student led conferences.  This is an excellent opportunity for you to add to your home library.  The salmon eggs have arrived in Mrs. Kheari’s and Mrs. Morrell’s classroom.  The will watch the life cycle of the salmon until students release the fish into Goldstream River later this year.

If you have any questions about the proposed boundary changes, please feel free to call me at

250-382-7231, email me, sjost@sd61.bc.ca or drop by the school.  It is important that you understand what the changes will mean for your family and the community.

It looks like the weather will be turning colder.  In the event of snow, please check the district website or CFAX radio at 6:30 am to see if the school will be closed.  Please make sure your child is prepared to be outside during the cold weather.  This means boots, gloves, hats and winter jackets.  If it is extreme cold, the students will not be going outside at recess time.

January 19, 2019

Once again, our PAC, parents and students have demonstrated how committed and hardworking they are as they worked the Royals Hockey Game on Friday to raise money for events and equipment for Cloverdale Traditional School.  The students were excellent ambassadors for the school.  The PAC raised $4,367.50!  Thank you to everyone that made this happen.

On Tuesday, please remember to send in the Spellathon pledges.  The spellathon is a great way for students to set goals for themselves and learn new words.

Thank you to Mrs. Petrovic’s and Mrs. Sapsford’s class for welcoming the Superintendent to Cloverdale Traditional School by singing the Welcome Song.  Thank you to River and Lucy for being our greeters.

Next Friday is our assembly.  Please make sure that students have complete uniforms.

If any families would like to have a tour of the school, please contact the office at 250-382-7231.

Student Led Conferences are coming up on February 6 and 7.  Please watch for information to sign up for your time slot.  This is an excellent opportunity to see what is happening in the classroom and work with your child on activities.  We hope everyone will be able to attend.

January 13, 2019

Thank you to all the parents and students that helped out with the bottle drive on Saturday.  Students are raising money for their legacy gift.  Each year the grade 5 students give a gift to the school.  In 2016, the students donated a Buddy Bench, 2017 a bike rack, and in 2018, two large logos for the gym wall.  Thank you students for all your hard work.  On Saturday, they raised $800.4!   The next bottle drive will be May 25.  Please save your bottles.

This month, the students are studying Maud Lewis as our artist of the month.  They are learning about who she was and her style of art.  You will see bulletin boards around the school, showing student work using her style and techniques.

Our yearly school fundraiser, Spellathon, starts this week.  Students will be given words to practice and a pledge sheet.  The students will be assessed on January 22.  The proceeds are used to support programmes and initiatives in the classroom.

Tuesday is our Welcome to Middle School.  Students that previously attended Cloverdale students have been invited back to share their experiences about middle school.  We encourage grade 5 families to attend but any families are welcome to attend to start to prepare for middle school.  Thank you to our alumni for helping us out with this very important evening.  I look forward to seeing lots of families tomorrow at 6:30.​

December 16, 2018

We are down to the last week of school.  Students have been preparing for our Christmas Concert in between focusing on their core academics.  We are looking forward to our two performances of “Mrs. Claus Scores Again” on Wednesday afternoon and Thursday evening. Parking will be at a premium so if you are able to walk or park a few blocks away, it would be greatly appreciated.  Please do not park in Thrifty Foods parking lot.

For the last few months, we have been very fortunate to have Mrs. Wilcox working with students.  Unfortunately we will be saying good-bye to her on Friday.  Her hard work and dedication to students has been greatly appreciated.  We will miss her.

Our halls are filled with art work and decorations.  I hope you will have time before or after the performance to wander our halls.

Starting in January, students will be studying the artist, Maud Lewis.  They will be studying her style and trying to create her art, using similar technique.  Bulletin boards will start appearing in January.

Students will be bringing home uniform items including shoes.  Please check to see that the items still fit and that items are returned clean in January.

Have a wonderful week, and I look forward to seeing everyone throughout the week, dropping off and picking up students, watching performances, or helping in the classroom.

December 10, 2018

Thank you to Adina for another successful movie night.  Families arrived in pj’s with treats in hand.  What a fantastic community event.

Our soccer goal has finally been reinstalled.  The pitch is a little short but at least students can now play a game.

Staff are continuing to add to their toolboxes about social emotional learning.  Everyone needs to be ready to learn.

We are really gearing up for our Christmas Concert.  Please encourage your child to practice their song so that they are ready.  Tuesday, December 18, will be a dress rehearsal with performances on Wednesday afternoon, December 19 and Thursday evening, December 20.  A huge thank you to Mrs. Jones, our music teacher and Mrs. Grigolato, play director.

Kindergarten registration is January 7 – 11, 2019.  Please check the district website for more information.  Acceptance into our programme will follow the school enrollment priority.  If there are more students in a priority category than seats available, placement offerings will be determined through a lottery.  This means that students entering kindergarten for September 2019, can be registered any time between 8 am on January 7, 2019 to 3 pm on January 11, 2019.    If you have any questions, please see the district website or contact the school.

November 25, 2018

Hailey will continue to accept donations for the homeless this week as she will be delivering her donation later this week with her mother.  We were all very excited to see the jar fill up as students put in their donations.  Hailey will have a total by the end of next week.

In the spirit of giving, Cloverdale Traditional School will be collecting non-perishable food items for the food bank as well as money for Lamay Primary School in Tanzania.  We will have boxes for food items starting next week.  At our Christmas Concert on December 18, 19, 20, we will have donation boxes available.  Students will be learning about Lamay Primary School on December 13, 14.  This is a school that Cloverdale Traditional School has donated to over the years helping to purchase school supplies and sports equipment.  Please help us help others.

On Monday, we will be having a lockdown drill.  We practice earthquake, fire and lockdown drills throughout the year.  It is important to prepare students to help make them safe in case of an emergency.  This will not be a surprise for the students and they will be walked through the drill.  The Saanich police liaison officer will be in attendance to provide suggestions and support.

The boundary review survey is open until November 30.  If you have not completed the survey I encourage you to do so.

Next Friday, November 30 is our monthly assembly.  Please join us at 9:00 to see what has and is happening at Cloverdale Traditional School.  Keira K and Toby will be your MC’s.

Have a wonderful week.

November 19, 2018

Thank you to the PAC, especially Adina A, for another successful Open Gym Night. Over 30 families attended an evening of basketball, floor hockey, hula hoops, scoop ball, scarves, skipping and more.  Watch for the next Open Gym Night in the Spring.

Students continue to work very hard.  Science concepts are reinforced using games, math is found in articles about animals, social studies is related to world events and students get into the zone in daily reading.  Thank you to all the parents that come in to support daily reading in the classroom.  Students are making excellent progress and developing a love of reading.

Grade 5 basketball will be starting soon.  All students are encouraged to join the team.  We are hoping to get several games in prior to our jamboree in February.

Christmas concert ticket request forms will going home on Thursday.  There will be 2 tickets per family initially and if there is extra seating, additional requests will be filled.  Orders will be filled on a first come first served basis.  Please return your requests as soon as possible.

Just a reminder, there is no school on Friday, November 23.  Teachers will be exploring how to meet the needs of all students.  This is a topic that we continue to explore, learn new strategies and then incorporate into our daily lessons.   Teachers, too, are life long learners.

November 11, 2018

It is hard to believe that we are thinking about Christmas already.  The actors in the Christmas play have begun practicing and Mrs. Jones is working with classes to learn songs.  Please stay tuned for more information about tickets.

Work continues on the new portable.  At this time, we do not have a confirmed date of completion.  The district is planning on doing plantings around the portables.  The Cloverdale Out of School Care Society is really looking forward to completion.

As the weather turns cooler, please make sure that students come dressed for the weather.  Tucking gloves and a hat into the backpack would be appreciated.  Students will be outside playing during recess whenever possible.

Please remember to check student agendas.  This daily communication between home and school will help to stay connected as well as support your child with their students and develop responsibility.  Daily reading in every grade is very important.  Setting aside family reading and sharing time each day is a great way to create some down time as well as an opportunity to have discussions.  Making connections to personal experience, other books you have read and world events helps to deepen understanding.

I hope that you have a lovely weekend.

November 3, 2018

On Monday and Tuesday, students worked very hard to prepare the school gardens for the winter.  The planting days started with Starr Munro and Mr. Kissinger explaining about the Living Knowledge Garden and the important of camas to the Indigenous people.  Students were told that the camas may not bloom until the second year.  Our food gardens are being tended to by our grade two classes.

The school was a sea of orange and black on Wednesday.  Maybe classes were engaged in Halloween activities.  There were stations within and between classes.  Several buddy classes chose to collaborate on Halloween activities.  Buddies is a very important party of learning, sharing, collaborating, and leadership.  The activities that they do and the relationships that are formed, create lifelong memories.

Teachers are involved in many professional development opportunities, learning and developing strategies to support curriculum.  They are sharing with others and incorporating what they are learning into their daily lessons.  As I walk through the school, I am seeing engaged students doing a wide variety of activities to help deepen and show understanding.  As we continue to learn more about the brain, we are developing best practice to support learning.

Report cards will be coming out in a month.  If you have any questions, comments or concerns please contact your child’s teacher at any time.  Open communication and ongoing support for your child is paramount to their progress.

Have a wonderful weekend.

October 27, 2018

Our monthly assembly on Friday, was very well attended by parents and guests.  Three families toured the school, to learn more about what we have to offer.  If you are interested in booking a tour, please contact the office.

The Halloween dance on Friday night was a huge success!  The decorations, music and food was extremely well organized.  Princesses, spiderman, ghosts, wild animals, fruit, pirates and storm troopers danced the night away.  Thank you PAC for another fantastic evening.

On Monday and Tuesday, with the help of Starr Munro, students will be planting Camas bulbs and preparing the gardens for winter.  We are still waiting for our split rail fence to be installed around our Knowledge Nature Garden.

The third portable is still under construction.  The carpenters have been building an entrance ramp and hope to be finished some time in November.

Students are invited to wear orange and/or black, or school uniform on Wednesday. Students are not to be dressing up in costume.  If you are going out to celebrate Halloween, please be safe.  We ask that you send a minimal amount of Halloween candy to school.  It makes it challenging for students to focus with the extra sugar in their system.  Happy Halloween.

October 18, 2018

Friday’s professional day will see staff exploring curriculum, inclusion, diversity, self-regulation, and health and safety.  Staff are working very hard to help all students reach their full potential.  Striving for excellence in a nurturing and supportive environment is the philosophy behind the traditional school.

This week we had apples and milk delivered to the school as part of the Fruit and Vegetable Programme.  It is amazing how quickly all of the product disappears.  Please continue to provide healthy lunches.  It is important for your child to know what is in the food they eat.  Reading labels and discussing food content, can help develop a healthy lifestyle.

It is important for child to be fluent in math facts.  Practicing addition and subtraction facts up to 20, for grades 2 to 5 as well as multiplication and division facts for grades 4 and 5, for 5 minutes a day should increase fluency.  This foundation is very important for more complex mathematical concepts.

Today we practiced our earthquake drill.  Students did a duck and cover drill and then exited the building, meeting on the back field.  Just over a year ago we had our reunification drill.  The district is continuing to solidify its emergency response plan.  Creating and practicing your family’s earthquake plan will help prepare your child.  It is also important for you to have supplies that will last for a minimum of 72 hours.

Saturday is municipal voting day.  Grade 4 and 5 students have been learning about government and participating in a student vote.  Don’t forget to get out and vote on Saturday.

October 11, 2018

Students did an excellent job of evacuating the building safely during our fire drill on Tuesday.  The fire department said it took only 1 minute 38 seconds to evacuate the building.  I walked through the school with the captain and he explained how we could make the school even safer.  We will be making the suggested changes.  Thursday, next week, is Shake Out BC.  Everyone is encouraged to practice duck and cover at school, work and home.  All families should be prepared to survive for a minimum of 72 hours after a major earthquake.  Please make sure that all earthquake forms have been returned to the school.

1000X5 is a wonderful programme provided by volunteers in the Greater Victoria area.  If you have gently used books appropriate for children age 0-5 that you are no longer using, please bring them into the school office.  Volunteers will sort the books, put them into colourful bags and distribute this “gift” to children and families throughout Victoria.  We know that children that have heard 1000 stories by the time they are 5 will have a much greater chance of becoming good readers and developing a love of reading.  Please help this very important cause.

On Wednesday, I had the pleasure to watching the choir practice.  The students were learning a new song and they sounded amazing.  Our cross country runners continue to show great sportsmanship and dedication at their weekly meets.  Monday’s meet is at Gorge Kinsman Park.  Our Green Team continues to clean out our compost bins and collect our hard plastics.  Thank you.

It is to be a beautiful warm weekend, I hope that you will find time to enjoy the outdoors with family and friends.

October 5, 2018

The week started off with Cloverdale Traditional co-hosting the Cross Country meet at Lambrick Park on Monday.  Our students worked very hard, demonstrating excellent sportsmanship and determination.  Well done!  Our next meet is on Tuesday.

On Tuesday night, Mrs. Black, Mrs. Kheari, Mrs. Crust, Mrs. Glover and Ms Williamson presented a workshop to parents on Supporting your Child with Home Reading.  We had 25 parents attending.  If you are interested in learning how to support your child with home reading, and we not able to attend, please connect with your child’s teacher or Mrs. Glover.  They would be more than happy to provide you with information.

Wednesday and Thursday were short days with parent/teacher interviews in the afternoon.  We had an excellent turn out.  If you were not able to attend, please contact your child’s teacher to make alternate arrangements.  This is an excellent opportunity to share insight about your child.  You know your child best, and any information that helps support your child is greatly appreciated.

We had lots of students participating in our Bike, Walk and Wheel to School week.  Students recorded their mode of transport.  Student received zipper pulls, Cloverdale Cheetah stickers, bookmarks and scarves.  Please consider continuing biking, walking or wheeling part or all the way to school.

Next week is fire safety week.  This is an excellent to discuss emergency plans for your family, creating an exit plan and a meeting area outside your house.  Testing the smoke detector is also a good idea so that your child knows the sound.  We will be having a fire drill on Tuesday.  The fire department will be here, monitoring our procedure.

As the weather is starting to be colder and rainier, please make sure your child is dressed for the weather.  We will be having outdoor recesses as much as possible.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving long weekend.

September 28, 2018

It is hard to believe that September is over.  Students have been working extremely hard.  Yesterday the school was awash in a sea of Orange Shirts.  The message that the students learned was that everyone is included, everyone is special and everyone is accepted.  I witness this every day on the playground and in the classroom.

Today we supported the Terry Fox Run.  Students brought in money to support Cancer Research.  Cancer has touched every one of us in one way or another.  Students, teachers and parents ran and walked around the field to acknowledge the hard work that Terry did and the hard work that researchers, medical staff, families and friends do to support those that are experiencing this horrible disease.

Today at our assembly we acknowledged the Cross Country Team, the Green Team, and Choir and spoke about the upcoming opportunity to join the swimming team,  As well, we acknowledge students that participated in the Library Summer Reading Programme and wrote journals.  September birthdays were celebrated as well.

Next week is our Bike, Walk and Wheel to school week.  We are encouraging students to Bike, Walk or Wheel to school one or all 5 days.  This can be all or part way to school.  Students are reminded not to ride their bikes, scooters and skateboards on school property and to make sure they are locked up outside.  Skateboards may be brought into the classroom.  There will be a bulletin board on the basketball court and students will get a sticker to put on the board showing that they participated in the programme.

On Tuesday evening, 5 of our primary teachers will be presenting how to support your child with home reading.  This is an excellent opportunity to learn tools and strategies to move your child forward with their reading.  We are hoping for an excellent turnout.

If your child missed photo day on Monday, there will be an opportunity for retakes on November 6.

During the month of October, grade 4 students will be writing FSA’s.  The results show the school how it is doing in reading, writing and math.  Teachers are able to use the information to adjust programming.

Hopefully the weekend will cooperate and you will be able to enjoy time outside with family and friends.

September 21, 2018

Cross Country practices have started with the first meet on Monday.  Good luck runners.  Information about Swim Club will be coming out shortly.  On Wednesday, choir started with Mrs. Jones.  All grade 3, 4, 5 students are welcome to join this noon hour club.  Our Green team is working very hard to help our environment.  They are collecting the composts and hard plastics on a weekly basis.

Take a stroll through our hallways to see the displays demonstrating our knowledge of “The Bad Seed”.

The new portable for the Cloverdale Childcare Society arrived on Tuesday.  Students watched as the portable arrived in two sections, then trailered across the basketball court and the grassed field, and finally lifted by crane into place.  The two halves were put together to make a new portable.  Hopefully, once the building is complete, students will have an opportunity to have a tour of the inside.

Monday, September 24 is Picture Day.  Full uniform is required.  Please check to see that your child’s name is on their crested item.  Students are encouraged to leave their crested item at school so that it is ready at all times.

Thursday, September 27 is Orange Shirt Day.  Orange shirt day was designed to educate people and promote awareness about the Indian residential school system and the impact this system had on Indigenous communities for more than a century in Canada.  Students are invited to wear orange shirts instead of their white shirt.

Friday, September 28 is our Terry Fox Run.  Students will be running around the field from 2:00 – 2:30.  You are more than welcome to come and join your child as we walk and run to help raise awareness of the legacy of Terry Fox.  Donations will be collected next week to support cancer research.  Please consider donating to this very important cause.

The PAC is sponsoring an information night on October 2. Daily reading of just right books is extremely important. To help you support your child, several of our primary teachers will be presenting tools and strategies.

Also next Friday is our monthly assembly.  Parents and grandparents are welcome to attend.

I hope the weather cooperates this weekend and you are able to venture outside to enjoy the beginning of Fall.

September 15, 2018

It has been a very busy week at Cloverdale.  Students are settling into routines and teachers are assessing so they can meet the needs of students.  One routine that we practiced on Friday is the fire drill.  The students did an excellent job of following the directions of their teacher.  We will be having a fire drill each month.  The fire department will be attending one of the drills.

Cloverdale is exploring one school one book.  All classrooms are reading the book, The Bad Seed,  by Jory John.  Bulletin boards throughout the school will depict things from the story.  The book has some important messages.  Check it out!

We are looking forward to our Welcome Back Evening on Thursday, September 20, 2018.  Everyone is invited to the gym for 5:00 for introductions and then to the classrooms until 6:00 to meet the teacher, learn about what will be happening this year and have your child show you around the classroom. The gym will be open until 6:30 to socialize. This is not an opportunity to discuss your child with the teacher.  Parent/Teacher interviews will be held on October 3 and4.  More information will be coming out on how to sign up on-line for your interview time.

Cross Country has snuck up on us.  Notices were sent home on Friday with grade 3 – 5 students, about the upcoming season.  Permission forms need to be returned to Mrs. Glover as soon as possible.  All students are welcome.  As long as a child is interested in running and participates in the practices, they can be part of the Cross Country team.

Two of our intermediate teachers will be attending a coding workshop this week to learn how to incorporate coding into their lessons.  Primary teachers will be attending a similar workshop in October.

Monday is a Professional Day with no students in attendance.  Teachers have a very busy day planned.  We will be talking about the traditional tenants and how we are making them part of each day at Cloverdale Traditional School.  Next on the agenda will be technology and how we are using technology in the classroom now that we no longer have a computer lab.  (Thank you PAC for buying us all the Chromebooks and IPads).  Then it is on to Professional Learning Communities where teachers will be working in grade groupings to come up with a driving question that will help move our school forward.  And finally we will be exploring the new resources available to support the new math curriculum.

The PAC meeting on Tuesday was well attended.  It was nice to see returning parents as well as several new parents.  Feel free to come to one or all of the meetings.

September 8, 2018

We have had a very smooth first week of school.  Moving students on Wednesday, allowed students and teachers to settle and quickly establish routines and begin the new curriculum.  Teachers will be doing some assessment to determine how to best support your children.  Agendas will be used daily.  Please check the agenda and sign it daily.  This is a great way to see what is happening in your child’s classroom.  Please read the introduction in the front of the agenda and discuss it with your child.  It is expected that all parents, and students in grade 3-5 sign the front of the agenda, agreeing to the information provided.  Teachers will be communicating with families on a regular basis either through a paper or digital newsletter.

We had our first assembly yesterday.  Students were told about many of the clubs, activities and sports that we will be doing this year.  More information and sign-ups will be given to children via the daily announcements.  Please encourage your child to get involved!  Our next assembly is September 28 at 9:00.  Everyone is welcome.

If your child was involved in the library summer reading programme or wrote/created a journal, please encourage them to bring it to the office.  I would love to read what they have been reading and doing.  These students will be recognized at the September 28 assembly.

Our welcome back and meet the teacher evening is on September 20.  The format will be slightly different this year.  We will start with a welcome with coffee and treats at 5:00 and then the classrooms will be open until 6:00.  Coffee and treats will be available until 6:30.  I hope you are able to attend.

Our Terry Fox Run will be happening on September 28.  We will be collecting Toonies for Terry.  Please help this very important cause.  All of us have been touched directly or indirectly.  Students will be running on the back field from 2:00 – 2:30.  Please come and join us.

August 2018

It is hard to believe that Cloverdale Traditional School is starting its 12th year as a traditional school  I feel extremely fortunate to have been given the principalship.  Miss Pick worked very hard to make Cloverdale Traditional School what it is today.  We will continue to create a school that encourages the principles of the traditional philosophy, the core competencies and an inclusive learning environment.  My goal is to support teachers, students and parents, allowing everyone to grow and work to their full potential.  I hope we can challenge everyone to try new things, think outside the box and create a school where everyone is excited to be.  Please don’t hesitate to email, call or stop by the office, to share ideas, concerns and successes.  I can’t wait until September 4th.  See you then.