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IHMS’s two new staff members for the 2017-18 school year during the Orientation Evening. Ms. O. Pecuch is the school’s new Kindergarten and Sadochok teacher (top photo), while Mr. L. Burg (bottom photo) is the new Grade 8 teacher.


Immaculate Heart of Mary School held its annual “Orientation Evening” on Thursday, September 21 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.


Unfortunately, parents were unable to park their vehicles in the school playground for this year’s Orientation Evening. The new play structure limited the amount of available space, and the two basketball poles presented a hazard for vehicles (especially at night), so parents were forced to park on adjacent streets.


The evening began in the school gym where Mr. Picklyk, the school’s principal, welcomed everyone and then invited Sr. Ruth Aney, SSMI to say the opening prayer. For the 2017-18 school year, Sr. Ruth, who assists with the Kindergarten and Sadochok classes, is the only Sister Servants of Mary Immaculate currently working at IHMS.


Mr. Picklyk, the school’s principal (top photo), was the MC for the evening. Sr. Ruth Aney, SSMI said the opening prayer.


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 SSMI are the religious order that own and operate two missions in Winnipeg – IHMS and Holy Family Home.


It should be noted that the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate celebrate a landmark anniversary this year – 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 long, vibrant history as one of the oldest and most established schools in the province, currently starting its 112th 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.


In his presentation, Mr. Picklyk noted some of the exterior improvements done over the summer including a new playground structure with a set of basketball nets (shown in the above 4 photos), new asphalt, and a new 10 foot high fence around the property. Free babysitting was provided by the school for parents who brought their children to school (bottom photos).


Mr. Picklyk then introduced the school’s current staff for 2017-2018. He also listed 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. Several of the school board members were in attendance as parents to meet with their child’s teacher.


  Some of the IHMS staff members for 2017-18 school year


Mr. Picklyk also introduced the elected members of the Parent’s Guild, including its current president, Mr. Arnold Dumlao. Mr. Dumlao explained that all parents with children currently enrolled at IHMS are automatically members of the Parent’s Guild, and are therefore invited to attend the monthly Parent’s Guild meetings at the school. It should be noted that he main role of the Parent’s Guild is fund-raising, and each meeting lasts for approximately an hour. Free babysitting is provided for children accompanying their parents for the meetings.


Mr. Picklyk (top photo) and Mr. Arnold Dumlao, the 2017-18 Parent’s Guild president (bottom photo)


Next, Mr. Picklyk introduced the IHMS student council, including Donovan M., the newly elected student council president. Donovan 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.


Donovan M., the newly elected student council president (top photo) and grade 8 students selling the “Show and Save” coupon books in the front landing (bottom photo) .


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 the end of October.


Representatives from the North Winnipeg Credit Union were on hand to infirm parents about the advantages of a RESP, a Registered Education Savings Plan.


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 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.


A few of the teachers in their classrooms during their presentations.


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


 The Orientation Evening wrapped up around 9:00 p.m.


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