Buddy Bench at Bastion

When Anita Pieper, a beloved Certified Education Assistant (CEA) suddenly passed away in October 2018, her family wanted to honour her memory in a special way. “Anita left an incredible legacy which includes her warm smile, her kind heart, her inclusive nature, and the importance she placed on friendship,” comments Jennifer Findlay, District Principal for School District No. 83 North Okanagan-Shuswap. “I had the pleasure of working with Anita at Len Wood Elementary many years ago, and she quickly became a friend who was like family.”

The Pieper family decided to honour Anita’s legacy with the Buddy Bench Project. Currently, there are five Buddy Benches in place on SD83 school playgrounds. Including a Buddy Bench on the playground can encourage students to look out for one another so no one feels left out. Some of the guidelines include:

  • If you are looking for someone to play with or a friend, please sit on the Buddy Bench
  • If you see someone sitting on the bench, talk to them and invite them to play
  • If you are sitting on the bench and someone invites you to play, say “yes”

The most recent Buddy Bench installation took place at Bastion Elementary School. This bench was a true community project in memory of Paul Whyte (February 29, 1984 to December 24, 2020). Paul was born in Victoria, BC and moved to Salmon Arm in 1993. He attended Bastion Elementary from 1993 (Grade 3) until 1997 (Grade 7) and he graduated from Salmon Arm Senior Secondary in 2002. Paul was an accomplished helicopter pilot, a talented photographer, an avid traveler, and a loving son, brother, and friend. He will be missed by many and remembered for his kindness, compassion, honesty, and integrity. Paul’s family is honoured to have the Buddy Bench placed at Bastion School in his memory.

A huge thanks goes out to everyone who was involved with this project including the Pieper, Kusisto, Wagner, Stanley, and Findlay families. Thank you also to Leko Precast for providing the concrete foundation.

Photo: Lindsay Kusisto (Paul’s sister), Allyson Wagner, Jennell Stanley, Chris Pieper (Anita’s husband), Jordan Stanley, Chad Pieper (Anita’s son) and Chad Wagner.

Halloween Costume Day 2021

Bastion students will be invited to wear their Halloween costumes to school on Friday, October 29th. If a student would like to save their Halloween costume for Halloween night and not wear the costume to school, students can also choose to wear Orange and Black on October 29th. We would like to remind our students and their families of Bastion’s guidelines for Halloween costumes:

halloween
  • Please ensure costumes are respectful of various races and cultures;
  • Replica weapons (sword, dagger, gun, etc.) should be left at home and saved for Halloween night;
  • Masks of any type should be left at home and saved for Halloween night;
  • Costumes should follow the school’s dress code in order to be respectful to self and others.

In this current day and age, we have to be very careful with students bringing replica weapons to school or wearing masks at school.  There is a lot of sensitivity (for a variety of reasons) to these types of items and we need to be respectful to all members of our school community, while still providing a fun opportunity for students to celebrate the day in their Halloween costumes.

If there is a chance your son or daughter will get uncomfortable in his/her costume during the day, we are encouraging those students to bring a change of clothes to put on later in the day.  During the day, we would like all students to act responsibly with their costumes, to ensure that none of the costumes get ruined before Halloween night.

Classroom teachers will be deciding how their classrooms will celebrate Halloween, and make plans appropriate for the age group.  If you have any specific questions regarding the classroom activities, please contact your child’s teacher.

Our school believes in healthy eating, we would like to strongly recommend that all students save their Halloween treats to be eaten and enjoyed at home, after school.  Thank you for support!

Only 4 More Sleeps!!

Dear Bastion Families…

We certainly hope all of our Bastion families have had a wonderful summer. We’re sure some plans were changed or cancelled due to the wildfires and smoke that affected much of British Columbia. However, knowing our Bastion families, we’re sure everyone was able to adapt and still have the opportunity to have some wonderful adventures and create some great summer memories.

Only four more sleeps and then we get to begin a brand new school year!! Many teachers have been in the school, getting their classrooms ready and they are looking forward to reconnecting with the students they taught last year, and they are excited to meet the students who will be in their class for the 2021-2022 school year. Hopefully all of our students are looking forward to starting a new school year (even if they say they’re not… deep down they really are)!!

Sincerely,

Joel Menzies (Principal) and Laura Jegues (Vice-Principal)

The September newsletter will have lots of important information for families to review, and you can expect that newsletter to come home near the end the first week. In the meantime, here is some information about our school start-up:

First Week of School

The Grade 1 – 5 students will start school on Tuesday, September 7th.  When the Welcoming Bell rings at 8:02, the students will line-up at the exterior door of last year’s classroom.  The students will spend the first day in their last year’s classrooms, so we can determine who has moved away and who has recently registered.  All students new to Bastion can meet Mr. Menzies and Mme Jegues at the stairs, by the main entrance of the school.  On September 7th, the students will be dismissed at 11:12 am.  On Wednesday (maybe even Thursday), the students will be able to go to their classrooms for the year and meet their teachers. 

On Tuesday evening, families will receive an email from Mr. Menzies.  The email will state one of the following:

  1. On Wednesday, September 8th, the students will remain in their last year’s class until the School District gives Mr. Menzies the “OK” to have students go to their new classroom.

or

  1. On Wednesday, September 8th, the students will be able to go to their new classrooms and meet their new teachers.  The email will let families know who their child’s 2021-2022 teacher will be, as well as the Division and Room Number.

Last year we had an email issue where some families did not receive the email, stating which class their children were in. If this happens again, and you do not receive notification on Tuesday evening, several staff members will be available on Wednesday morning to tell families which classes their child(ren) will go to. Due to privacy protection, schools are no longer allowed to post class lists. We apologize in advance if families do not receive this important information in a timely manner.

Kindergarten students will begin their Gradual Entry on Wednesday, September 8th.  Information about the Kindergarten Gradual Entry, including the students’ group, was emailed to families on June 30th, 2021.  We are very excited to meet all of our new Kindergarten students!!

School Supplies

Families do not need to go to the store and purchase school supplies for their children. The school has already purchased supplies for each child, and we charge a School Supply Fee. Feel free to click on the Bastion Fee Schedule link, to view the breakdown of School Supplies Fees and Activity Fees. Please remember to bring indoor shoes, a backpack and a snack on the first day!

Daily Health Checks

Last year, our Bastion Bobcat community did a fantastic job of helping our school be healthy and safe by conducting Daily Health Checks and keeping their children home if the children were not feeling well. This is one of the most important strategies in keeping our community safe and ensuring school can continue as normal as possible.  Parents will be required to complete a daily Health Check with their child again this year. Our hope is that families will continue to be vigilant and monitor their children for symptoms of illness. Please click the link below for information about the K-12 Daily Health Check and the Daily Health Check Mobile App:

K-12 Daily Health Check Information

Masks at School

The Provincial Health Officer has mandated that students in Grade 4 and up, staff members and visitors are required to wear masks, while inside the school. Please click the link below, for a brief Q & A about face masks at school:

School District No. 83 Return to School Plan

Earlier this week, School District No. 83 released updated information about Covid-19 Protocols and Procedures. Many of our protocols and procedures will remain the same as last spring. There are some updates to make note of, so please take the time to review information by clicking on the link below. The Bastion Elementary Health & Safety Plan is being updated by our Health & Safety Committee and will be posted on the school’s website very soon.

Updated School District No. 83 Health & Safety Plan

Summer Information

We hope everyone has a safe and enjoyable summer!!

Office Hours.  The school office will be open from 8:30 – 2:30, starting Monday, August 30th.  Our secretaries, along with Mme Jegues (VP) and Mr. Menzies (Principal) will be in the school all week, preparing for a new school year and welcoming any parents/students who wish to stop by and say “hi”.  We do have some student report cards and personal items which were not picked up in June.  If you did not receive your child’s report card in June, feel free to stop by and pick up the report card.

New Student Registration.  Registration for new students will take place on Tuesday, August 31st.  When coming to register your child(ren), please bring each child’s birth certificate, BC Services Card (or equivalent provincial medical card), and a document showing your home address (eg. driver’s license, utility bill, lease agreement etc.).  Once the registration is complete, we will be more than happy to give parents and their children a tour of the school.  If you are not able to come for registration on August 31st, please call the school and we can make alternate arrangements.

First Week of School.  The Grade 1 – 5 students will start school on Tuesday, September 7th.  When the Welcoming Bell rings at 8:02, the students will line-up at the exterior door of last year’s classroom.  The students will spend the first day in their last year’s classrooms, so we can determine who has moved away and who has recently registered.  On September 7th, the students will be dismissed at 11:12 am.  On Wednesday (maybe even Thursday), the students will be able to go to their classrooms for the year and meet their teachers. 

Kindergarten students will begin their Gradual Entry on Wednesday, September 8th.  Information about the Kindergarten Gradual Entry will be sent to families.

Please note:  Due to any revisions of the Ministry of Education’s COVID-19 restrictions and regulations, our plan for school start-up may change.  We will inform families of any new start-up procedures as soon as we receive direction from the Ministry of Education and School District No. 83.

School Supplies.  Families do not need to go out and purchase school supplies for their children.  The school has purchased school supplies for each classroom, and families are charged a School Supply Fee to cover the cost of the supplies used over the course of year.  In preparation for the first day, students will need to have a backpack and a clean pair of indoor runners (with non-marking soles). 

Have a wonderful summer and we are looking forward to seeing all of the students’ smiling faces in September.

Our Bastion School Song

Bastion students have been working very hard on learning the bilingual lyrics to our new Bastion School Song. We filmed and recorded the song and are so excited to share out the final product as a piece of our school’s history!!

We would like to thank our two fantastic music teachers, Shannon MacLachlan and Chelsea Goshulak, who worked so incredibly hard with composer Nicholas Longstaff to create this amazing piece of history for our school! We would also like to thank all the staff, volunteers and community members who helped out along the way. Go Bobcats go!

Some of the lyrics…


Bienvenue dans nos bois…once you’re here you are home! École Bastion!

Ici, les jeunes Bobcats aiment collaborer,
whether we’re at work or play.
Step-up to amazing…keep each other praising, laissez-nous vous inspirer!

L’amitié vit ici – the greatest place in B.C.!
où j’apprends à me trouver.
Teaching us to reach far – saisissant
notre pouvoir!
Watch us set out on our way!

Thank you very much for all of the support from our parent community. We had several parents assist with videoing. A big “thank you” to Colby Gedak for filming and editing the video!