CCI Newsletter for November 2023
Posted on 11/03/2023


Collingwood Collegiate Institute

November Fall Edition  |  2023-2024


New absence reporting system:
Call 1-888-885-8065 to report an absence

The Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB) is implementing a new absence reporting system at secondary schools. This system will support us in continuing to improve our home-to-school communication process and streamline absence reporting.

To report a student absence, call 1-888-885-8065. Callers will be prompted to identify the school before leaving a message. Parents should include the student’s name, teachers’ name, dates, and reason for the absence. If you have questions about the new system, please contact the school office.


Procedures help keep our school safe
We have a number of procedures in place to keep our school safe. You can help your child understand and feel safe by:

  • talking to them about the situations below
  • reminding them that emergencies are rare
  • telling them it’s important to follow staff instructions in these situations

Parents/guardians should talk about the following emergency drills with their children:

  • Shelter in place is used when there is an environmental or weather-related situation, like a chemical spill outside the building, or a major storm. Activities continue inside the school. Students and staff are not allowed to leave the building. The ventilation system may be shut off temporarily.

  • A hold and secure is used when there is a situation in the community, not related to the school, like a bank robbery nearby. Activities continue, but all exterior doors are locked. No one is allowed to enter or exit the school.

  • A lockdown is used when there is a major incident or a threat of violence related to the school. Students and staff move to secure areas, away from doors and windows. Interior doors are locked, lights are shut off and blinds are drawn. Students and staff remain quiet. We practice lockdown drills at least two times per year. In the unlikely event of an actual lockdown situation, police ask that parents/guardians do not go to the school. Information will be communicated through the school board social media sites ( and and website (, through local police and local media.

  • All schools have evacuation plans in case of gas leaks, bomb threats or fire incidents that would require everyone to leave the school. We hold drills to practice our evacuation plan. In a real evacuation, students and staff may go to the evacuation site, depending on the situation. Parents/guardians will be informed about pick-up procedures by the school, school board and local media.

When parents/guardians are at school during a drill or emergency event, they must follow direction from school staff, police, fire, and/or emergency personnel. Parents/guardians may not have immediate access to their children during drills or emergencies. They may need to wait until the situation is resolved and school staff and/or emergency personnel release students into parent/guardian care.

It’s important for you to know we’ll always take whatever precautions are necessary to keep our school and students safe.

Please note the following:

  • Elementary school main doors are locked during the school day. Visitors must use the intercom system and wait for assistance. Staff may not be available to answer the door immediately, so please be patient.
  • Staff must complete a criminal record check before having contact with students. 
  • We ask parents/guardians of elementary students to contact us when their child will be absent from school as part of our Safe Arrival program. When we don’t hear from a parent/guardian and a student is absent, we will call home to find out the reason for the absence.
  • At least two staff members in every school are trained in first aid and CPR. All SCDSB schools have automated external defibrillators (AEDs).

Communication to families regarding inclement weather days

Please note that APM A3020 – Inclement Weather, 3.1.2 states that “parents/guardians are to be reminded, in writing at appropriate times (October and January) each school year, that it is their responsibility to decide whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions.”


Inclement weather and bus cancellation information reminder

All information regarding cancelled buses in Simcoe County is posted on the Simcoe County Student Transportation Consortium (SCSTC)’s bus information website at Our school is in the West zone. When buses are cancelled, schools remain open for student learning, unless otherwise noted. School staff are expected to plan for such emergencies in order to transition students who are unable to attend due to inclement weather, to their online platforms (Google Classroom and/or SCDSBhub [Brightspace by D2L]) and continue with academic programming. It is always a family decision whether or not it is safe for their child(ren) to leave for school under severe weather conditions.

The Consortium and bus operators try to make the decision to cancel school buses before 6 a.m. and make every effort to post announcements before 7 a.m. Inclement weather cancellations are effective for the whole day and buses cancelled in the morning will not run at the end of the day. You can follow the Consortium on Twitter @SCSTC_SchoolBus for bus cancellations and other information. You can also subscribe to receive bus delay notifications here:


Howliday - CCI Vendor's Market- November 24th

The student council will be hosting a vendor market. All funds raised are going towards our nutrition program, providing food and school supplies to students in need within our building. 

Please complete the following Vendor Application if you are interested in booking a table.

Please feel free to spread the word if you know of any other vendors who may be interested

Event Details:
Friday, November 24th, 2023
5:00pm - 8:00pm
Collingwood Collegiate Institute (Cafeteria)

6 Cameron Street, Collingwood

Donate your CCI clothing

We will be selling gently used CCI spirit wear clothing at the Howliday's, CCI Vendors Market on November 24 (5-8pm).  All proceeds from the sale will be going to CCI’s in-school student nutrition program.  Please bring any CCI clothing you wish to donate to the school office by November 17thThanks for your support! 


Days of Awareness 2023-24

A list of SCDSB's Days of Awareness can be found at

November PA Day

Please note that Friday, Nov. 17 is a PA Day for all SCDSB students. Please refer to the 2023-24 School Year Calendar on the SCDSB website for more information:  

Below is a summary of the activities planned for the Nov. 17 PA Day:


Length: Full-day parent/guardian-student-teacher conferences
Topic: Communication to parents/guardians about student progress through parent/guardian-student-teacher conferences
Simcoe County District School Board elementary schools, including Grades 7 and 8 in Grade 7-12 secondary schools
Presenter(s)/facilitator(s): Elementary educators

Elementary educators will meet with students and parents/guardians to discuss student progress thus far this school year, including areas of strengths and next steps for improvement.

Full day
Multilingual learners; assessment, evaluation and reporting; school action and equity planning

Host: Simcoe County District School Board
Presenter(s)/facilitator(s):  School board staff, school administrators, and school leads

Educators will learn about using STEP assessment data to plan responsive instruction for their multilingual learners (ML), including the use of tools and resources to support learning. They will participate in collaborative discussions and tasks in small and large groups facilitated by school leaders and ML lead teachers. This learning was collaboratively planned by members of the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion/Multilingual Learner team and the school-based ML leads to be responsive to the needs of the MLs in each school (100 minutes).

Educators will collaborate with department colleagues to develop culminating course tasks and consolidation activities which provide students with multiple opportunities to demonstrate their learning. They will be supported with planning resources developed by the Student Achievement 7-12 department (100 minutes).

Educators will work with school and curriculum leaders in their schools to identify evidence-based strategies and actions to support students through the achievement of their school’s School Action and Equity Plan goals. These goals connect to safe and inclusive learning spaces, achievement in mathematics, and graduation and transitions (100 minutes).

Online learning graduation requirement and opt out options

Students are required to earn two online learning credits to graduate from secondary school, beginning with every student who entered Grade 9 in the 2020-21 school year. The online learning graduation requirement also applies to adult learners that will be entering the Ontario secondary school system starting in the 2023-24 school year. The graduation requirement is intended to support students in developing familiarity and comfort with learning and working in a fully online environment, as well as developing digital literacy and other important transferable skills that they will need for success after secondary school, including in post-secondary education and the workplace.

Opting out
Parents/guardians may choose to opt their children out of the mandatory online learning credits required for graduation. To opt out, a parent/guardian must submit the Secondary Online Learning Graduation Requirement Opt-out Form. Exemption from the online learning graduation requirements may be requested by:

  • the parent/guardian of the secondary student

  • students who are 18 years of age or older

  • students who are 16 or 17 years of age and have withdrawn from parental control

Check with your local school if you have questions regarding the registration or opt-out process.

Parents’ Guide to Assessment, Evaluation and Reporting

Learn to navigate the world of assessment, evaluation, and reporting with this new guide for parents/guardians. Created to support parents’/guardians’ understanding of assessment, this guide was designed to effectively empower you to actively engage in your child's educational journey. The guide has been posted to the Simcoe County District School Board’s website and can be accessed at  

Feedback, recovery, and improvement days
At the end of each semester, all secondary schools will run feedback, recovery, and improvement days for students. Culminating assessments such as portfolios, essays, examinations, and interviews will take place during instructional days and will be returned to students with feedback.   


The last day of regular instruction for students in semester one is Monday, Jan. 29, 2024. The period from Tuesday, Jan. 30 to Thursday, Feb. 1, 2024 is reserved for students who require an opportunity to receive feedback from an assessment, to rescue or recover a credit, or to improve on an area of missed expectations. Teachers and support staff will communicate with students who will benefit most from attending this opportunity; however, all students will be invited to attend. There will be no new instruction these days. Feedback, recovery, and improvement days are an opportunity for students to work closely with their teacher if they require feedback, credit recovery, or an opportunity to improve on an area of missed expectations.   

Looking for Employment? Join Our Team!

Curious about what employment opportunities are available at the Simcoe County District School Board (SCDSB)? The SCDSB is hosting several job fairs throughout Simcoe County during the month of November; come by and speak with one of our representatives at any of the following events!

YMCA of Simcoe Muskoka Employment Services (Midland)
Thursday, Nov. 2, 2023
9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Job Seekers | YMCA of Simcoe/Muskoka (

TRACKS Employment & Resource Service (Collingwood)
Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023
11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
TRACKS Employment Services - One-stop resource centre for Employment Ontario Services | Located in Collingwood and serving Georgian Triangle communities of Clearview, Wasaga Beach, and Town of the Blue Mountains

FOCUS Employment Services (Alliston)
Tuesday, Nov. 14, 2023
3:30 to 6:30 p.m.
Job Seekers - FOCUS Community Development Corporation (

Agilec Employment Services (Orillia)
Wednesday, Nov. 22, 2023
12 to 5 p.m.
Employment Services - Agilec

For more information about employment opportunities at the SCDSB, visit:

Join us! A learning series for parents/guardians with Pine River Institute

Mental health and well-being continues to be a key strategic priority within the SCDSB. We are pleased to continue our partnership with the Centre for Family Initiatives at Pine River Institute (CFI@PRI) to provide several curated learning sessions focused on student mental health and well-being to SCDSB families.

There are eight webinars specifically planned for parents/guardians and other caregivers during this school year. 

Nov. 9, 2023:Understanding and managing screen time, part two - social media edition
Nov. 30, 2023:
Helping parents align
Jan. 11, 2024:
Sleep hygiene
Feb. 8, 2024:
Self regulation for kids
Feb. 22, 2024: Self regulation for teens

March 28, 2024:
Building parents' resiliency
April 18, 2024:
Vaping, weed, and alcohol 

We hope you save these dates in your calendar and join us for these learning opportunities. For more information and to register, please visit the SCDSB website:

Pine River Institute is a live-in treatment centre and outdoor leadership experience for youth aged 13 to 19 struggling with addictive behaviours and often other mental health issues. Combining therapy with a fully-accredited education program, PRI reinforces the healthy life skills required for a successful future. CFI@PRI extends PRI’s knowledge, experience and evidence-informed treatment approach to families and care providers in the community to support youth mental wellness and prevent the need for more intensive interventions.  Learn more about PRI by visiting their website at

High school information events for Grade 8 students

Is your child starting Grade 9 next year? High school information events will take place in-person this winter! Student leaders and staff at the school will give an overview of what’s new and what to expect. Learn about courses offered, as well as information about teams and clubs. Please visit the SCDSB website at to find details on your high school’s info night, and contact the school directly for more information.


Nov. 28 is Eat Well to Excel Day in Simcoe County

Eat Well to Excel is a Simcoe County non-profit community partnership that supports our school’s student nutrition program. The funding provided by Eat Well to Excel allows us to supply students with access to healthy snacks during the school day.

The pandemic and increasing food costs have caused a significant financial strain on many families in our region and new data shows that 1 in 3 kids in Canada are at risk of going to school hungry. Kids that are hungry struggle to retain knowledge and keep focused throughout the day. They are also at an increased risk of experiencing poor mental health and a compromised immune system. With your support we can maintain and hopefully improve our program to provide a consistent supply of healthy food to our students.

You can make a donation by visiting You can either support the county-wide program or direct your donation to our school. Please include our school name in the comment box to ensure the donation goes directly to our program. A tax receipt will be emailed to you.

For more information about Eat Well to Excel visit

Subscribe to Kindergarten Connections!

Will your child be turning four in 2024? If so, the SCDSB invites you to Kindergarten Connections! This is a monthly enewsletter informing families of everything they need to know about preparing their child for school, as well as registering them for Kindergarten in the SCDSB. To learn more and subscribe, visit the Kindergarten page on the SCDSB website:

EarlyON Child and Family Centres

The foundation for lifelong learning and health is built in the early years. EarlyON Child and Family Centres across Simcoe County offer programs for children prenatal to six years of age and their parents/guardians and caregivers. They offer access to play- and inquiry-based learning supported by How Does Learning Happen? Ontario’s pedagogy for the early years, information on child development and developmental screening including Early Referral Identification Kits (ERIKs), parent/guardian education, referrals to community resources, nutrition information, and post-natal resources. Check with your local EarlyON provider:  

How is your infant, toddler, or preschool child developing? 

Is your child meeting their milestones? Age-appropriate speech and language skills are critical to your child’s ability to read, write, and be successful in school as well as to their ability to engage with their peers. Free services are available to support you with your child’s development. Preschool speech and language programs are located across the County of Simcoe. Call (705) 739-5696 or 1-800-675-1979 to complete a developmental screen. The earlier we work together the better!

Licensed Winter Break school-age child care programs

Child care programs for children in Kindergarten to Grade 6 are provided by independent, third-party child care operators in some SCDSB schools. To support your child care needs, some operators offer child care on PA days and holidays including over the Winter Break. Registration in advance is required. 

Please contact the child care operator directly to discuss fees and to register. More information and contact numbers can be found by visiting:

Knowledgehook Math Tool

Knowledgehook is a digital math assessment and practice tool that has been purchased for all K-10 SCDSB classrooms. This tool is accessible to students at home so that they can practice math skills, either assigned by their teacher or on their own. Ask your child about how they use Knowledgehook in class and learn more at:


Supporting oral language development at home

Within the revised language curriculum, there is a focus on supporting students to acquire the knowledge and skills relating to the foundations of language. Oral and non-verbal communication are foundational components of language skills. Over the years, students develop their listening and speaking abilities using a variety of strategies and skills, including word choice and syntax, to become effective communicators. 

Here are some ways you can support oral language development at home:

  • Engage your child in conversations about things that interest them

  • Talk to your child and listen responsively

  • Ask and answer questions

  • Share oral stories

  • Read aloud to your child

  • Talk about the books you read together

  • Singing and playing together

Mental health promotion strategy of the month

Well-being is a strategic priority in the Simcoe County District School Board, and our mental health and well-being department provides monthly strategies to support student and family well-being.

This month’s strategy is Let It Go. This practice helps students focus their attention, calm feelings of anxiety, and manage stress. To practice Let It Go at home, have your child/youth sit comfortably and take a deep breath. Share the following exercise with your child/youth:

  • Use your fingers to gently massage the top of your head

  • Still in massaging motion, bring your fingers to your forehead, eyebrows, temples, around your eyes, cheeks, and jaw

  • If you notice tension anywhere – let it go

  • Finally, massage each of your ears and end by gently pulling your earlobes

Keep in mind to take your time with each area, especially where you hold the most tension.

Practicing Let It Go can be done any time of the day or at regular times, such as at mealtime or before bed. You may try this technique on your hands using a massaging motion to focus on each finger, thumb, and palm. Consider doing Let It Go with your child/youth to model the strategy.  

Visit the links below for Let It Go posters from School Mental Health Ontario:
Elementary -
Secondary -

Find more easy and fun mental health activities to do at home visit:

Follow the mental health and well-being social media accounts (@SCDSB_MHWB) to see how well-being is being supported in our schools.

Dental screening and services for kids ages 0-17

Good dental health is an important part of your child’s general health. The Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit’s Oral Health Community Program offers free dental screenings in daycares, schools, and health unit offices for children and youth aged 0 - 17 years. Dental screening can identify and inform families that their child has a dental concern.

Health unit staff can also help children/youth and their families access free preventive services and treatment through the Healthy Smiles Ontario (HSO) Program. For more information regarding these services visit:

Information provided by the Simcoe Muskoka District Health Unit