Wednesday, 14 October 2015

Wednesday October 14, 2015

Last week Hawthorne hosted a parent information session on social media that was presented by Safer Schools Together.  By all accounts it was a very informative discussion and our students were engaged with the same topics during assemblies the following day.  The sessions covered a myriad of topics such as privacy, safety, bullying, self-esteem, peer pressure and new smartphone apps.  It is unfortunate that we were not able to have more parents attend the evening session as this is an area that adults should be well versed in. As you are no doubt aware, our students are venturing into a world very different from the one we faced as children. While our parents likely had similar fears and concerns for us,  the primary difference for me is the omnipresence of social media and its impact on a child's stress level or self esteem. Students can expend a lot of energy worrying about what they are missing instead of enjoying the experiences they are immersed in. When they are engaged in an activity, the pure enjoyment can get overwhelmed by a desire to "post" the event and see how many people "like" it.  For many of our students, their lives are being reviewed and refined by a group of followers on Instagram or Facebook.  Too many events or photographs are rehearsed and staged so that our students can project a life that others will "like".  Pics are adjusted, filtered and perfected leaving everyone with a distorted view of what reality looks like.  

I am wary of sounding like the "grumpy old man" when it comes to technology.  I do engage with social media and enjoy its many benefits such as connecting with relatives/friends, learning opportunities and entertainment. However, as an educator, I am genuinely concerned about the impact that social media is having on our students. It is with this in mind that I encourage you to become engaged with your child's online life and perhaps set some limits if you have not already done so.  Here are two articles that may be helpful if you choose to have a family discussion on the topic of social media:  Connected with our Phones but Disconnected from Each Other  and The Effects of Social Media: Positive and Negative.  

Thank you.  

M. Carruthers

Over the last two weeks our students and staff have been engaged in some emergency planning. We began by reviewing our fire drill procedures on September 14th. We will also be participating in the "Shakeout B.C." initiative this week with own earthquake drill on Thursday afternoon. The drill will consist of an initial "duck, cover, hold" response followed by an evacuation.  Both drills should leave us feeling better prepared for an emergency.  If you should have any questions or concerns with regard to our emergency planning, please contact Mr. Carruthers at the office (

Mrs. Ratzlaff will once again be hosting a book fair in the library on Oct. 21 and 22.  We are in need of volunteers to assist with this event and you can contact Mrs. Ratzlaff directly ( if you are able to help.  Thank you in advance for your support.

We will be hosting our parent/teacher conferences on Wednesday, Oct. 21 and Thursday, October 22 and this will result in an early dismissal on both days (2pm).  Conference booking instructions will be sent home today with students. Parents can begin booking their meetings online (Parent Connect) at 9am on Friday, October 16th.

Hawthorne will be hosting its first "Hot Lunch" on Friday, October 16.  Thank you to Ms. Lawton and Ms. Ranu for their work in support of the Hot Lunch program.


Thursday, October 15
Shakeout BC Emergency Drill

Friday, October 16

Wednesday, October 21
Parent/Teacher Conferences
2pm Dismissal

Thursday, October 22
Parent/Teacher Conferences / Hot Lunch Day
2pm Dismissal

Friday, October 23
Non-Instructional Day
School Closed

Tuesday, October 27
PAC Meeting
6:30pm Library