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It was a beautiful quiet evening outside in the school parking lot, but there was a lot of activity going on inside the school during “Meet the Teacher Evening”.


Immaculate Heart of Mary School held its annual “Meet the Teacher Evening” (formerly known as the “Orientation Evening”) on Thursday, September 22nd at 7:00 p.m. This event, which is held every year during the third week of September, is not intended to be a parent/teacher night where specific concerns about a child are discussed. Rather, it’s meant as an opportunity for parents to learn more about school policies and to give them a chance to meet informally with the teachers.



Parents, teachers, and students gathered in the school gym on Thursday, September 22nd for “Meet the Teacher Evening” (top photo). Free babysitting was provided by the school for parents who brought their children to school (bottom photos).


The evening began in the school gym where Mr. Picklyk, the school’s principal, welcomed everyone and then invited Sister Anne Pidskalny, the school’s director to say the opening prayer.


Mr. Picklyk (top photo) and Sr. Anne (bottom photo)


ihmslogo Mr. Picklyk again welcomed everyone, especially all the new parents, and indicated that IHMS is the only Ukrainian Catholic school in the province. It’s also the longest continuous running mission of the Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate in the world (the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate are the religious order that own and operate the school).


Mr. Picklyk also noted that next year, in 2017, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate with be celebrating a landmark anniversary – 125 years as a religious organization living out the Gospel in their everyday lives and serving the needs of communities all over the world.


IHMS enjoys a very long, vibrant history as one of the oldest and most established schools in the province, currently starting its 111th year of continuous operation.It’s a member of the Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools, and is one of 17 Catholic schools in the province. It’s also one of only 3 Catholic schools in Manitoba run by a religious order (the other two schools are St. Paul’s High School and St. Mary’s Academy). For the 2016-17 school year, there is currently only one Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate working at IHMS – Sister Anne Pidskalny, SSMI (the Kindergarten and Sadochok teacher).



Mr. Picklyk then introduced the school’s current staff for 2016-2017.


 Some of the IHMS staff members for 2016-17 school year


Mr. Picklyk went on to list the members of the appointed Board of Trustees. Members of the school board (the “Board of Trustees”) are not elected – they are individually selected by the school administration. Many school board members were in attendance in the role as parents to meet with their child’s teacher.


Mr. Picklyk also introduced the elected members of the Parent’s Guild, with Mr. Arnold Dumlao as the president. Mr. Dumlao noted that all parents with children currently enrolled at IHMS are automatically members of the Parent’s Guild, and that the main role of the Parent’s Guild is fund-raising.


Mr. Arnold Dumlao, current president of the IHMS Parent’s Guild


Mr. Dumlao noted that Parent’s Guild meetings take place once a month at the school, and that each meeting lasts for approximately an hour. Mr. Dumlao emphasized that this is one of the best ways for parents to invest in their children’s future. Interestingly, one of the upcoming monthly meetings will be a Parent Enrichment workshop. Free babysitting is provided for children accompanying their parents for the meetings.


Next, Mr. Picklyk introduced the IHMS student council, including Myles C., the newly elected student council president. Myles, who humorously seemed to be in disbelief that he was now the student council president, spoke briefly about the student council’s fundraising efforts throughout the year, including the “Show and Save” coupon books currently on sale in the front foyer.


bookss The cost is $20 per book, and the money raised from their sale will help cover the cost of the Grad Dinner and Dance. The “Show and Save” coupon books will be on sale until October 28.


Student council president Myles C. delivering a short speech about the “Show and Save” fundraising booklets (top photo). The “Show and Save” booklets were sold by members of the student council at a table set up in the front foyer (bottom photo).


Mr. Picklyk then made a quick reference to some of the more important points in the student handbook, including school uniform rules, family vacation rules, volunteering, and healthy eating practices (Halloween and Valentine’s day will be “candy free days”). Since many students at IHMS have food allergies, students are asked not to share food or bring birthday cakes to school.


nostopsign_edited-1 The  protocol for dropping off and picking up students in the back lane was addressed with a Power Point presentation. It gave a visual representation of where parents can and cannot park.  Parents are strictly forbidden from parking almost everywhere in the back lane.


It’s school policy and a city bylaw. No matter how tempting it may be, parents cannot park along a neighbour’s garage, and they cannot park in front of the “No parking” signs along the fence.


This message on a garage door in the back lane vividly illustrates the level of frustration that some of our neighbours are feeling about parents blocking access to their garages. It’s important to be respectful of our neighbours’ right to enter and exit their own property.


Also, if a parent stops in the back lane along the side of the school, and if that parent leaves their vehicle, that vehicle is considered to be illegally parked according to city bylaws and may possibly be ticked.

The top photo shows the prominently displayed signs in the “No Stopping  Zone” along the back fence. This is the zone where students enter into the back lane to be picked up or dropped off. Parents are strictly forbidden from stopping their vehicles along this fence at all times. The bottom photo is an image projected on the gym wall during the presentation showing parents where NOT to park!


Mr. Picklyk then dismissed everyone from the gym, and parents were free to visit the classrooms. There were 2 classroom sessions, and each one was 20 minutes in length.


Parents leaving the gym for the classroom sessions


During these sessions, teachers gave a short presentation to the parents on the type of work they were planning to do. There was also plenty of time for the teachers to answer any questions that the parents might have about the curriculum or classroom rules. During these sessions, the school provided free babysitting for any parents who brought their children to the school with them.


The grades 3-8 teachers in their classrooms during their presentations. The last photo is of Mr. Trochanowski, the school’s new vice-principal.


At the end of the evening, refreshments were served in the gym. Coffee, tea, and juice were available, as well as an assortment of baked items supplied by the grade 3 and 4 classes.


Parents, students, and teachers  enjoying refreshments at the end of the evening





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