CFL Celebrity Guest Reader

posted: Thursday, February 26, 2015

The Grade 4 classes sat in a semi-circle, listening intently to every word that Chris Cvetkovic spoke to them. The topic of his talk? Service dogs.

As part of I Love to Read month, SJR invited Chris Cvetkovic, a former Winnipeg Blue Bomber and founder of Cvet's Pets Helping Vets program. Chris started the morning off by reading two books, Jonathan Cleaned Up-Then He Heard a Sound by Robert Munch to the students. He then spoke to them about his organization and the great work they do and he quickly had the students hooked!

Cvet's Pets is a not-for-profit organization that aids in the process of taking dogs out of shelters and transforming them into medical service dogs for Veterans and First Responders suffering from PTSD (post-traumatic stress disorder). The dogs are donated free of charge to Canadian Armed Forces personnel suffering from PTSD. Through Chris’s involvement in the CFL, there are player reps for Cvet's Pets on all nine CFL teams.

The students loved hearing all about the training of the dogs and learning about the many different disorders and diseases that service dogs can help with. Chris took time to answer many questions from the students and at the end he handed out autographed football cards and rubber band bracelets to all the students.

To learn more about Cvet’s Pets for Vets please visit their website: www.cvetspets.com




Celebrating the New Year Through Art

posted: Wednesday, February 25, 2015

The Grade 7 Visual Arts students created stylized "Year of the Sheep" clay sculptures to commemorate Chinese New Year.




Jumping for Dollars!

By: Mrs. Cheryl Briggs, Kindergarten teacher

posted: Monday, February 23, 2015

On Friday, February 20, 2015 the Kindergarten through Grade 2 classes hosted the annual Jump Rope for Heart and Stroke to showcase their selected philanthropy project for this year. As you may know, Kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Cheryl Briggs’ husband, Mr. Gerry Briggs, suffered a stroke at the beginning of the 2009 school year. Over the past five years SJR has continued to raise awareness and funds to donate in honour of Mr. Briggs to the Heart and Stroke Foundation. Including this year’s donations of $3,800, students have donated more than $16,000.00 in just five years.

Before the event, each class brainstormed a variety of foods that they could consume that would be heart-healthy.  Each student was asked to fill in a graph for each heart-healthy food they consumed during a two-week period beginning February 2 and ending February 17, 2015. The students then discussed with their parents a suitable amount to donate based on the number of heart-healthy foods they consumed.

The event itself was a huge success, with support from the Phys. Ed dept. and many other faculty members. The students had a blast as they spent their afternoon skipping alongside, 103 Virgin Radio DJ, Ace Burpee, who joined us for the event as the emcee and as an enthusiastic participant.

The Briggs family would like to take this opportunity to thank all the students, staff and other who helped to make this event such a success and to express their heartfelt appreciation for the generous donations that made on Gerry’s behalf. Once again you have demonstrated what a wonderful community SJR really is, thank you from the bottom of our hearts!




Youth Parliament comes to SJR

By: Michael, Grade 12 student

posted: Friday, February, 20, 2015

In the afternoon of Thursday, February 19, 2015, the Grade 9 Social Studies students gathered together to form the first ever St. John's-Ravenscourt Youth Parliament.

In true democratic fashion the students gathered to discuss current issues and debate them in a parliamentary style. The students were all given riding names from across Canada, and followed the parliamentary rules of order for debate. The students discussed all manner of issues, with topics ranging from the legalization of marijuana, physician-assisted suicide, enacting mandatory voting and providing a plan for developing the Kaypyong Barracks, a Canadian Forces Base situated in a residential neighbourhood in south-west of Winnipeg.

The students presented these topics in the form legislation, having the member presenting their topic in the form of a bill, with clauses and amendments. The bills were then debated by all the members and voted upon, just as the Parliament in Ottawa does. The ‘Physician-Assisted Suicide Act’ passed by a vote of 56 to 9 while the ‘Legalization of Marijuana Act’ did not pass.

The effort to bring a youth parliament to SJR was spearheaded by Senior School social studies teacher, Mr. Matt Henderson and SJR alum Ms. Adrienne Tessier ’13 who is a member of the Youth Parliament of Manitoba. A non-profit organization dedicated to serving youth and educating them about Canadian democracy and government.

The SJR Youth Parliament was a fantastic experience for the Grade 9 students to experience the Canadian Parliamentary system, and how laws and decisions are made in a democratic process in Canada.





SJR celebrates Festival du Voyageur

posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

On Tuesday, February 17, the Junior School students embraced the spirit of Festival du Voyageur with Voyageur Day activities.  The activities started off with a voyageur pancake lunch and then moved into the Reimer Gym where a House tug-o-war showdown took place in a round-robin style with the winner being Hamber House. The students then enjoyed hot chocolate followed by folk dancing. View more photos from Junior School Voyageur Day.  

On Wednesday, February 18, Grade 6 & 7 students braved the -30˚ (with the wind chill) temperatures and headed out to the Festival du Voyageur. Students enjoyed many presentations en français, they learned about body music, which is the art of making music using your body: stomping, clapping and chest thumping. They also enjoyed many cultural experiences including learning how to weave a massive ceinture fléchée (sash), tobogganing, the snow sculptures and not to mention the amazing poutine! View more photos from Middle School Voyageur Day.



A Valentine’s Day Treat!

posted: Wednesday, February 18, 2015

Thank you to the SJR Parents’ Association who hosted its annual Pizza Day on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 and to the parent volunteers, SJR kitchen staff and Pizza Hotline who made this day a success. Almost 1,000 students and staff received pizza, soft drinks, salad and ice cream graciously served to them by our wonderful Parents’ Association and many parent volunteers.

An incredible 220 pizzas were bought for the occasion and a wonderful time was had by all!




Middle School Gets Results in Math

posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

On Tuesday, February 10, the Middle School honoured the mathematics accomplishments of last year's Grade 6s and 7s by awarding certificates and medals at the Math Awards Ceremony.

Categories included:

Canadian National Math League (Grades 6-8): Top five scores in each grade received a certificate.

Pythagoras (Grade 6), Euler (Grade 7) and Lagrange (Grade 8): Students scoring above the Canadian national average received a certificate.

Gauss (Grade 7 & 8): The top 25% of scores in each grade received a certificate.

Two students David and Ethan scored a perfect 150 on the Grade 7 Gauss.

Congratulations to all the students.

To view more photos please visit: bit.ly/1Ch5Rnc




Bisons Against Bullying

posted: Wednesday, February 11, 2015

In the new year a few Bisons from the University of Manitoba did a presentation on bullying to the Grades 2 and 3 classes. They explained the definition of bullying, the many ways that students can experience bullying and what students can do if they are being or see someone being bullied.

This is what the Grade 2s and 3s said:

I have learned that you should stand up for someone.

I learned that it is not ok to hurt someone .

The people who presented did a good job.

I liked that they were kind and generous and they answered questions nicely.

I learned to never be a bully.

I learned that bullies may have been bullied before.

I learned that being a bully is a bad thing.

I Iearned that if you see bullying you should tell an adult.

I learned that there was such a thing as being a bad bystander.

I liked that they talked about how to stop bullying.

I learned that there are two kinds of bystanders.

I learned that if you see bullying you should stop and think.

I learned that there was different kinds of bullying.




Culinary Wonders in Middle School

by Mrs. Alison Carrey and Mr. Anthony Falvo, Middle School teachers

posted: Monday, February 9, 2015

Fifteen Middle School students jumped into the kitchen and developed their budding culinary skills during our “I’m Hungry! What about You?” Winter Activity Days on February 4 and 5, 2015. Students explored cuisines from different cultures around the world at The Food Studio on Roblin Blvd.

Students not only learned that Sushi actually originated in China, but they gained many practical skills for working with food in the kitchen. They discovered how to use a knife, how to prepare and slice or dice a variety of vegetables as well as how to implement safety procedures when working in the kitchen. One of the highlights of the trip was making Sushi, and then having it for lunch.

We ended Day 1 with a  flurry of activity, everyone took on the many parts of preparing a Mexican Lasagna: cutting the tortilla shells, browning the ground beef, prepping and then sautéing the onions and garlic, heating the refried beans, and finally…the assembly.  The reward? Taking home a tray of lasagna to share with our families!

Day 2 began with a discussion about labeling on food packages and how it is important to read the ingredient list to see what you are eating. We also discussed the different smoking points of oils, learning that olive oil should not be used on high heat, unless combined with another oil/fat like coconut oil or butter.

Our next task was preparing and making quesadillas for lunch. Mmm….whether it was cheese, vegetarian, or the chicken version, we all enjoyed our Mexican treat with a Caesar salad, made with a homemade vinaigrette dressing.

Our afternoon focused on preparing the vegetables and chicken for a Filipino dish, called Pancit: rice noodles, celery, carrots, onion, garlic, asparagus, chicken and delicious flavours! We all took a portion home to serve with our evening meal.

Middle School students not only displayed enthusiasm to learn, they also worked as a team by sharing different jobs and varying work stations. They really aimed to contribute to the group effort. The Food Studio staff commented on the energy and courteousness of our students. Well done everyone.




A Practice Not To Be Forgotten

posted: Friday, February 6, 2015

Some of our Senior School hockey players got the surprise of a lifetime when they learned that a scheduled team-building practice that was set to take place at the MTS Centre included coaching tips from Paul Maurice, Head Coach of the Winnipeg Jets and Charlie Huddy, Assistant Coach of the Winnipeg Jets.
On Thursday, February 5, 2015, the SJR 1 team, along with the captains from SJR 2, the High School Girls' Hockey teams, their respective coaches, SJR’s Director of Athletics and our Senior School Vice-Principal made a trip to the MTS Centre for a practice before they headed into the playoffs. The excitement started to grow as their bus entered the underground entrance used by the Jets players - they were then taken to a locker room to store their gear and have a tour of the Jets' locker room from Dwayne Green, Executive Director of the True North Foundation.

While in their dressing room suiting up for practice, Paul Maurice walked in with Charlie Huddy and revealed that they were going to lead the practice. Maurice has been the coach for the Winnipeg Jets since January 2014 while Huddy is a former Edmonton Oiler who played in eight Stanley Cup playoffs, winning five Stanley Cups. Maurice spent time with the students, driving home the message of sportsmanship and that it was the responsibility of the each player to take the time to get to know every player on the team. He also explained to them that he was going to push them hard and even yell at them during the training session as that is his style of coaching. 

Pushing the players hard is exactly what he did during the hour-long practice. Maurice and Huddy were very much hands-on and interacted with the students as they ran the same drills that the Winnipeg Jets run. The students were exhausted but absolutely thrilled to have had this opportunity. The students, while awestruck with their celebrity coaches, had an amazing practice they won't soon forget.

Sincere thanks to SJR alum Greg Fettes ’95 and coach of the SJR Junior School 5/6 House Hockey League who made this opportunity possible.




Extra Time for Extra Knowledge

posted: Thursday, February 5, 2015

Last week the Senior School took a break from their regular classes to try something different - "Mini-Mesters". This three-day schedule allows classes to take place over longer periods of time, which gives teachers and students the opportunity to investigate topics and classes on a deeper level.

Over the course of the year, regularly scheduled classes are often disrupted from time to time by important activities such as CPR and First Aid training and field trips. Some activities, such as presentations or visits by guest speakers, are more meaningful when scheduled in longer blocks of time.

Each day of the "Mini-Mesters" was broken into three or four periods which lasted about an hour and 45 minutes in length (a typical day would have six periods each lasting between 50 – 60 minutes in length). Students participated in special courses which included: CPR and First Aid, coding class using Scratch, developed by MIT, discussion of the results from an earlier Myers-Briggs assessment from career perspective and ballroom dancing. The day also included their regularly scheduled topics, such as Biology, Chemistry, History, World Geography, Physics, Global Issues, Music, Drama, Visual Arts and Law, just to name a few. During these extended periods many speakers who are experts in their fields came down to SJR to talk to the students.

SJR aims to continue providing important enrichment activities with a reduction of disruption to class time, to reduce the stress on the students and to provide meaningful opportunities to explore topics in greater depth in the extended periods.