Frequently Asked Questions
What school zone do I live in?
Can I Access My Child's Bus Stop Information?
To access the bus stop search utility below you will need to use the following (please note it is case sensitive):
WSB Bus Stop Search Login
Do you maintain a list of tutors available for my child?
Yes. We have a list of individuals who are interested in tutoring for your information. These tutors are not employees of the Western School Board and it would be up to parents/guardians to negotiate wages, the requirement for a criminal background check, references, etc.
Tutor List (updated June 2012)
- LITERACY & FRENCH IMMERSION TIPS
- SCHOOL ACCIDENT INSURANCE
Summer Literacy Loss
Students can lose up to three months’ worth of reading progress over the summer. Here are some tips to help combat this:
- Combine activities with books. Encourage your child to read a book about a fun activity you will be doing (going to the beach, a game, a concert, etc). Discuss the book and the event in the car on the way to and from.
- Lead by Example. If kids see adults around them reading, they will understand that a variety of reading material can be a fun and important part of their summer days. Read the news at breakfast, stuff a paperback into your beach bag, pick up a magazine at the doctor’s office, etc.
- Visit the library. If your child doesn’t have a library card, summer is a great time to sign up for one. In addition to a wide variety of books, there are often summer programs for children.
- Talk it up. Talk about something you have read. Tell them what you liked it, what you learned from it, or how it helped you.
- Help kids find the time to read. When planning summer activities with children, remember to leave some time in their schedules for reading.
- Relax the rules for summer. Summer is a time when children can read what, when, and how they please. Make sure they pick books for fun and find ways to choose to read on their own.
- Have plenty of reading material around. Storybooks aren’t the only thing that kids can read for fun. Be sure to have newspapers, magazines and informational materials on hand that might spark the interest of a young reader.
- Use books to break the boredom. Books that teach kids how to make or do something are a great way to get kids reading and keep them occupied! Don’t forget to take a reading series along on a long road trip.
- Read aloud with kids. Take your children to see a storyteller or be one yourself. You can engage in an enthusiastic read along – improvise different voices or wear a silly hat to make it more interesting.
adapted from http://www.rif.org/us/literacy-resources/articles/what-can-families-do-to-keep-children-reading-during-the-summer.htm
Helping with Research
- This means guiding, advising, and talking things through.
- Ensure that the final product reflects your child’s individual effort and design.
- If you feel tempted to do the research yourself, ask “Will this help my child to learn?”
- Remember it’s not your homework!!!
What Can You Do?
From Stead, Tony. Good Choice! Supporting reading and response, K-6 . Pembroke Publishers, 2008. 203.
- Suggest topics or focus.
- Help with locating information – library, book stores, family outing to museum/gallery, emailing someone, browsing the Web and downloading.
- Have your child discuss the topic and jot down ideas or questions before he or she starts researching.
- Discuss whether the information found is relevant to the child’s study.
- Help your child group and organize information.
- Encourage your child to use the following procedure when taking notes:
- Short notes - jot down key words and phrases with the reference material open
- Long notes – close the reference material and use the short note to make sentences.
How often do you read a nonfiction text to your child? Most parents who read to their children choose a story. However, recent research supports choosing an informational text, such as a book or magazine, instead. As adults, we spend most of our days reading and writing informational text. Students, even young students, benefit from hearing about inventions, countries, animals, planets, and the weather.
from p 856 Trehearne, Miriam, Lynne Hemming Healy, Gloria McBain, Mary MacGregor, and Shelly Pynoo. Language Arts: Grades 1-2 Teacher's Resource Book. Toronto: Nelson, 2004. Print.
For more information on what a nonfiction text is, check out this Wikipedia Entry (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Non-fiction).
Writing for Functional Purposes
Students more readily understand what writing is about when they write for functional purposes. Just as we write lists, invitations, recipes, letters, notes, and reports, students like to write for real reasons. Here are some ways to promote writing for real reasons:
~ Write a daily note to your child and tuck into a lunch box or school bag.
~ Ask a question so your child has a reason to write back.
Encourage your child to write a letter, postcard, or note to a relative or friend.
Have your child write or add to lists of groceries or things to do.
from p 854 Trehearne, Miriam, Lynne Hemming Healy, Gloria McBain, Mary MacGregor, and Shelly Pynoo. Language Arts: Grades 1-2 Teacher's Resource Book. Toronto: Nelson, 2004. Print.
Keep On Reading
Did you know that reading with your child remains as important in Grades 3 to 6 as it was in earlier grades? As with hockey, dancing, or playing a musical instrument, practice makes perfect. Here are some tips that you may find helpful to support your reader at home.
- Encourage your child to read at home daily. When possible, be a role model and read as well.
- Books, magazines, comics, and non-fiction books are all okay to read! The important thing to remember is that whatever your child chooses to read must be at his/her independent reading level. The goal is for your child to enjoy reading, not be frustrated!
- Read aloud with your child. Children of this age still love adults to read to them. Children need to hear what fluent reading sounds like. Listening to audio books is another great option.
- Talk with your child about reading. Share what books and authors you enjoyed reading as a child. Read and discuss a book together with your child.
adapted from Trehearne, Miriam, and Roz Doctorow. Comprehensive Literacy Resource for Grades 3-6 Teachers. Vernon Hills: ETA Cuisenaire, 2006. 602. Print.
Give Your Child "Just Right Books" as Gifts
Buying books for your child to read is not like buying clothes. Parents often purchase items that their children will "grow into". When choosing books for at-home reading, select ones that your child can read now. Children need the enjoyment and satisfaction that come from being able to read "just right" books fluently and independently. They, of course, benefit from hearing more challenging books read aloud to them.
from p 819 Trehearne, Miriam, Lynne Hemming Healy, Gloria McBain, Mary MacGregor, and Shelly Pynoo.Language Arts: Grades 1-2 Teacher's Resource Book. Toronto: Nelson, 2004. Print.
How can I best help my child to read and write?
- Read to your child daily.
- Take time to talk with your child every day.
- Sing and recite rhymes and poems.
- Visit the library often.
- Help your child to recognize letters and words on signs, in books, on license plates, and in your community.
- Encourage your child to write daily and to share what has been written.
- Give your child "just right" books as gifts.
- Read and reread favourite books together.
- Let your child see you reading and writing.
from p 895 Trehearne, Miriam, Lynne Hemming Healy, Gloria McBain, Mary MacGregor, and Shelly Pynoo.Language Arts: Grades 1-2 Teacher's Resource Book. Toronto: Nelson, 2004. Print.
Writing Rules Part I
Abbreviations: In English, an abbreviation always has a period, whereas, in French a period follows an abbreviation only if the last letter is not included in the abbreviation (e.g., Monsieur becomes M. because the final r is not part of the abbreviation, while Madame becomes Mme without a period, because the final e is included in the abbreviation.
Capitalization: Only the first word in a title (and any name of a person or place) is capitalized (e.g., Society for Educational Visits and Exchanges in Canada is Société educative de visites et d’échanges au Canada). The days of the week, months of the year, and names of languages are not capitalized.
Contractions: In English, letters are dropped and replaced by an apostrophe (‘) for the sake of brevity (e.g., don’t), but in French, it replaces a vowel because two succeeding vowels would make pronunciation difficult (e.g., qui il becomes qu’il).
Gender: In French, all nouns have gender. This means that every noun is preceeded by le or un (masculine the, a/an), or la, une (feminine the, a/an). The feminine form of some nouns is indicated by an added final e (ami and amie). In addition, the adjective must agree with the gender of the noun, which means a change to its spelling and sometimes its pronunciation (e.g.le chien brun, la table brune). (An adjective must also agree with the noun in number: les trois chiens bruns).
Money: is written differently (e.g., $1,000.45 would be 1 000, 45$).
Numbers: are written differently (e.g., 2,567.13 would be 2 567,13).
p 74 “Yes You Can Help” http://education.alberta.ca/media/
Here are the differences between French and English pronunciation that might be most obvious to you as you follow along with your child’s reading:
- while there are significant differences between the sounds of the vowels in the two languages,
- the consonants are essentially the same;
- h is always silent in French;
- an s at the end of a word to indicate the plural is silent;
- qu sounds like k (not like kw as in quick);
- th is pronounced t;
- ch is pronounced like the English sh;
- i is pronounced like the long English e (bee);
- y sounds like yes even at the end of a word;
- ou in French always sounds like group (not out);
- oy and oi sound like the wa in water;
- au and eau have the long o sound (so);
- ez has the long a sound (hay);
- accents change the sounds of vowels: e sounds much like the short English e (heck) while é has the long a sound (hay)
- stress falls on the last sounded syllable (ami sounds like am-ee)
- when a word begins with a vowel (or a silent h), it is usually joined with the last consonant of the preceding word—it will sound as though your child is reading one word instead of two.
p 70 "Yes You Can Help" http://education.alberta.ca/media|
How Can I Help My Child in French Immersion if I Don’t Speak French?
- Have a positive and encouraging attitude about learning French. Show interest in what your child is studying and talk about your child’s day.
- Strong first language skills are the foundation for learning a second or third language. So anything you do to strengthen your child’s dominant language will help your child in school.
Read aloud to your child, discuss a book or tv show together, encourage your child to write (a letter to a relative, a story, a daily or travel journal, etc)
- Go to the library often with your child and borrow books, audiobooks, CDs and videos in English and French.
- Establish a good relationship with your child’s teacher. Talk to them if you are uncertain about something or suspect your child is having trouble.
From CPF – Your French Immersion Parent Association www.cpf.bc.va/vannorth