You are here

Blog: Saturday, August 19th, 2017

Welcome to the 2017-18 School Year

By Linda Pollastretti

August 1, 2017

Hello Parents and Students of Clayburn Middle School,

We hope that you are enjoying a relaxing summer break filled with summer adventures like a pool, a hike, a good book, a camping trip or a sleep over with friends.  We’ve put together this newsletter to help you prepare for back to school just 6 short weeks away:  how time flies!

About your Clayburn Admin Team

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce myself to our new grade 6 parents/ students and to new and continuing grade 7 and 8 parents and students.  This is my 27th year in education; I began my teaching in the small community of Nakusp on the Arrow Lakes (a lovely camping spot).  One year later, I joined the Abbotsford team in the New Beginnings program as Learning Support teacher on the Abbotsford Senior site.  A short five years and I moved to Yale Secondary as an English, History and Student Leadership teacher.  Several years later, I earned my masters degree in Educational Leadership and Counseling and was persuaded to join the Yale Admin team. Now in my 11th year as an administrator and my 4th year as a Principal, I am proud to say that I am part Panther, Lion, Timberwolf, and Cougar!  I am looking forward to an exceptional year of teaching and learning with inquiry based hands on lessons where every student can be a designer, thinker, or creator.

I would like to introduce my Vice-Principal, Heather Reid.

Mrs. Reid began teaching at Simpson Elementary 19 years ago in a learning disabilities classroom. When the school changed to Simpson Traditional, she took a grade 3 position at WA Fraser, when it was still a 4-7 school. When it changed to a middle school, Mrs. Reid moved into the grade 6 and 7 classroom for four years. Shifting into the Learning Support Services role for 7 years at WA Fraser and finally into the role of Vice-Principal after obtaining her Masters degree in Psychology and Counseling through UVIC.  Now in her second year at Clayburn, she’s excited to see those students returning, and meeting the new students and parents of the Clayburn community. With so many varied and engaging opportunities at our school, I encourage all students become involved in a club, athletic, arts or after school activity beginning in September

All Grade 6 students are invited to our Where Everyone Belongs (WEB) Orientation on Wednesday, August 30 from 8:30 to noon. Come meet your grade 8 mentor and enjoy some fun activities!

Staffing Updates:

Please join us in welcoming the following new staff for the upcoming school year:

  • Mrs. Wyse – Grade 6
  • Mrs. Prysunka  - Learning Services
  • Mrs. Bell – Counsellor
  • Mrs. Cecconi  - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. Halladay - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. Madill - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. McLaughlin - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. Petrovich  - Educational Assistant
  • Mr. Potter - Educational Assistant
  • Mr. Sciankowy - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. Studiman - Educational Assistant
  • Mrs. Keedwell – Library Tech
  • Mrs. Born will be moving into our new Imagination Lab (Learning Commons).
  • Mrs. Supeene will be moving into the classroom joining our grade 6 team.
  • Mrs. Olson will be moving to grade 8 joining Mrs. Fuerst.
  • And we still have two teacher positions to fill at the end of August.

 Class Lists will be posted on the windows at the front of the school on Friday, September 1 after 5pm for Grade 7 and 8 students.

First Day of School Information

Tuesday, September 5 is a Half Day

o   Grade 6 students are to arrive at or before 8:15am and will go directly into the gym for an 8:20 start.  Grade 6 students will be in session from 8:20 to 9:50 at which time they will be released for the day.  Please note that students will be seated in rows based on their last name. During this time, students will meet the grade 6 team, staff, and review expectations.

o   Grade 7 and 8 students are to arrive at 10:05 and will go directly into the gym for a 10:10 start.  Grade 7 and 8 students will be in session from 10:10 to 11:40.  Grade 7 and 8 students will be seated in rows based on their POD and class assignment. 


Finding your TENTATIVE POD and Class

On the first day you will find your tentative POD and Class lists posted on the windows at the front of the school building.  The lists will have the teacher name, grade level, room number and POD identification.  Look for your name on the lists and proceed to the gym and sit in the row assigned to your POD and class.  Please note, at Clayburn we assigned students to a POD first and then into either class A or B of the POD.  Throughout the year, we conduct numerous POD shuffle, which mix and mingle the students in class A and B. 


Shape of the Week

Tuesday, September 5

  • 8:15  Grade 6 Arrival
  • 8:20-9:50 Grade 6’s in Gym for Welcome Assembly
  • 10:05 Grade 7 and 8 Arrival
  • 10:10-11:40 Grade 7 & 8 in Gym and then into Classrooms escorted by teachers

Wednesday, September 6

  • This is a regular school day with arrival at or before 8:15am and ending at 2:23pm.  Transportation will be running on a regular schedule.

Thursday, September 7 and 8

  • These are regular school days with the start of our regular exploration and gym schedule.  Students should bring their gym strip to school. 


If you are moving in to or out of the Clayburn area and will or will not be attending Clayburn in September, please call us at 604-504-7007 or an email at


Transportation Information

Bussing begins on the first day of school, Tuesday, September 5.  All students who would like to ride an Abbotsford School District bus are required to register each year.  Parents can register their child using the following web address  or using the Clayburn website,  under the Parent & Student tab, then Transportation.  On this page you will find two ways to register either the online form (click the link) or using the PDF form (click the link).  Please note that the school is not responsible for transportation scheduling or information.  If you have questions, please contact Transportation directly. 


Parking Lot Etiquette

Parents are reminded that a residential neighbourhood surrounds our school.  Please follow all traffic signs.  Parking at the school is very limited.  Parents can park in the parallel space on the downhill entrance into the school or on Laburnum Avenue directly in front of the school.  Please do not park in the staff lots to the north and south of the school we need all these spaces for our growing staff.  Please do not drive through the staff lots and pick up your child, staff are coming and going and backing out of parking spaces is difficult with children and parent cars to avoid.  This is a safety concern, and we ask for your help in this matter. Once the busses, leave at 2:30, parents can pull up and idle in the buses only area to pick up their child.


School Supplies

The school supply list is on the website under the Parent & Student tab, then School Supplies or at .  This year there are three choices for school supplies: purchased independently or via Staples or School Starts.  You can find complete information on how to order your child’s supplies on the website.  Due to Bring Your Own Device implementation, we are encouraging students to wait and purchase supplies as needed.   Please do not bring your school supplies to school on the first day instead WAIT until your teacher says’ “bring your supplies tomorrow.” 


Gym Strip

Students who ordered gym strip may pick up their order during the WEB Orientation Day on Wednesday, August 30 at noon.  A reminder that students in grade 6 and 7 are asked to wear a royal blue top, and black or navy shorts or leggings with non-marking (white sole) gym shoes. 


Report Cards

Unclaimed 2016-17 report cards, and/ or yearbooks, can be picked up from the office.  Just a reminder that all school fees must be paid in order for report cards to be distributed.

Closed Campus

During the school year, Clayburn is a closed campus for the safety and security of students.  Closed campus means that students are expected to stay on campus at all times (including lu nch) unless previous arrangements are made with the school by the parent or guardian. 

All visitors (including parents) to the campus/ school are asked to sign in at the office upon entering the building.

Attendance and Late Arrival

Where possible we expect all students to arrive on time and be in attendance on a daily basis.  A reliable indicator of student success is consistent attendance at school.  Students who attend all of their classes all of the time experience greater success in school.   We input daily attendance as required by law and track student attendance as it relates to student progress.  We ask for your help and cooperation in the following ways:

·       Ensure that your child arrives on time to school.  Student who are late disrupt the learning environment of their peers and often find it uncomfortable arriving late to class which has already begun

·       Ensure that the office is notified of absences or lates with a phone call, a note, or via our website under Report an Absence

·       Remind your child to sign-in at the office if they arrive late to school

·       If your child needs to leave school early for any reason please send a note for their teacher that can be forwarded to the office.

·       If students do not have a note to leave early, parents must come into the building and sign their child out.



This is our third year of implementing Bring Your Own Device (BYOD).  We will not be streaming students into BYOD pods as we do not want to create have and have not classes rather the move to a BYOD class is based on teacher direction.  In other words, it is based on teachers’ who will be using a device to transform their students learning environment.  We do not want to simply substitute a pen and paper for a laptop but rather allow students to adapt modify and revolutionize their learning using tools they are familiar with.  You can find more information on BYOD on the Clayburn website, under the Opportunities tab, then BYOD, then choose Chromebook (the recommended device) or FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions). 


School Fees

In accordance with District Policy AP 317, the student activity fee for middle school is $30 which covers the student agenda, guest speakers, student ID cards, school events, student recognition, student leadership, locks and locker rental. 

We would prefer parents and guardians pay for student fees, field trips, activities, canteen cards, and/ or athletic fees through the school district’s online payment system (  or also available on the Clayburn website, under Parent and Student tab, then School Cash Online.  If this is not an option for your family, fee envelopes will be available from the office or your child’s POD teacher.  Parents can enclose cash, money order, or cheque (made out to Clayburn Middle School) into the envelope, seal it and return it to either your child’s teacher or the school office.  Receipts are available through the online account as soon as payment has been processed.


Parental Involvement

As your child gets older,  we encourage parents to become more involved in your child’s education and school activities.  We love to have you involved in our school and see how your child spends their day.  We welcome your involvement in the ebb and flow of Clayburn Middle. We have developed a tradition of parent helpers particularly in our canteen, with our field trips, in athletics as well as with our exceptional Parent Advisory Committee (PAC).

·       To volunteer in our Canteen please contact  Not only will you be in the school and see how we conduct a regular day, but you will meet other parents while working  a “shift” from 9:45 to noon.  Your child will love the $5 canteen voucher you earn (for them, I’m sure) for each shift.

·       To volunteer on field trips, please indicate your interest on the appropriate field trip form your child brings home.  

·       If you are interested in being a noon hour supervisor, please contact

·       To volunteer, as a coach within our athletic program, please contact

·       Lastly, come on out to our PAC meeting scheduled for the second Tuesday or Wednesday of each month at 7pm in the Clayburn Imagination Lab (Learning Commons). You can find dates on our school calendar at or News tab, then Calendar.


How do I know what’s happening at school?

The best way to stay on top of things that are happening at our school is through the use of our Clayburn website.  You can also follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter but you’ll find excellent information, regularly updated on our website or for example under the:

o   News tab, you’ll find our Calendar with important dates

o   Athletics tab, you’ll find information on our complete Athletic program and sport specific information.

o   Opportunities tab, you’ll find  information on BYOD, all clubs, our Explorations program, our extensive Student Leadership program and our Music program including Band, Choir, Jazz Band, and Drumline

o   Our School tab, you’ll find a staff directory with all staffs’ email address, our bell schedule, our Aboriginal Program, our Canteen, International program, Learning Commons, and our school goals for 2017-18.

o   POD tab, you’ll find information directly related to your child’s POD including how to sign up for text or email notifications (this will be more updated on the second week of school).

o   Parent & Student tab, you’ll find information on school clothing, field trips, fees, PAC, photo day, transportation, and weather

o   Lastly, you can Report an Absence and Contact Us.


One Last Word, or Two….


We are looking excited to sharing your child’s learning journey next year.