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It was a beautiful quiet evening outside in the school playground, but there was a lot of activity going on inside the school during “Orientation Evening”



IHMS’s three new staff members for the 2018-19 school year were introduced during the Orientation Evening:

  1. Mrs. E. Walton is the school’s new Grade 8 teacher (top photo).
  2. Sr. Emily Schietzsch, SSMI (pronounced “sheets”) is the new Kindergarten Educational assistant (middle photo).
  3. Mrs. L. Wozny (an IHMS alumni) is the school’s new administrative assistant (bottom photo).


Immaculate Heart of Mary School held its annual “Orientation Evening” on Thursday, September 20 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 assembled in the gym for the orientation evening


The evening began in the school gym where Mr. Picklyk, the school’s principal, welcomed everyone and then invited Sr. Ruth, SSMI to say the opening prayer. Sr. Ruth is an important representative of IHMS who volunteers her time in various activities at the school.


IHMS principal Mr. Picklyk (top photo) and Sr. Ruth Any, SSMI (bottom photo)


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 Sisters 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 (formerly Holy Family Nursing Home).


This year, the Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate are celebrating 126 years as a religious organization. These dedicated women live out the Gospel in their everyday lives and serve the needs of communities all over the world.


As mentioned above, the longest continuously running mission of the SSMI is our school – Immaculate Heart of Mary School is currently beginning its 113th year of continuous operation. For the 2018-19 school year, Sr. Emily SSMI, who assists Ms. Paulic with the Kindergarten classes, is the only Sisters Servants of Mary Immaculate currently on staff at IHMS.


IHMS is one of the oldest and most established schools in Manitoba, it’s a member of the Manitoba Federation of Independent Schools, and it’s one of 17 Catholic schools in the province, and the only Ukrainian Catholic school..


Mr. Picklyk then introduced the IHMS staff members for 2018-2019 school year. He also listed members of the Board of Trustees. Members of the school board are not elected – they are individually selected by the school administration.


Photos of some pf the IHMS staff taken shortly before assembling in the gym


It should be noted that beginning this school year, IHMS is operating a full time Kindergarten class and is no longer offering a nursery or Sadochok program. However, the school still operates a Sadochok program at St. Anne Ukrainian Catholic Church, located at 35 Marcie Street in North Kildonan. Click here for more information.


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. The main role of the Parent’s Guild is fund-raising, and each meeting lasts for approximately an hour. It’s a very pleasant evening – snacks are served and free babysitting is provided for children accompanying their parents for the meetings.


Mr. Dumlao speaking to the parents in the gym (top photo) and later on making himself available to parent inquiries at the front office (bottom photo). Mr. Dumlao is a friendly and very approachable man who is sincerely committed to improving the quality of educational at IHMS through his role as president of the Parent;s Guild.


Next, Mr. Picklyk introduced the IHMS student council, including Anton A., the newly elected student council president. Anton 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. The money raised from the sale of these coupon books help to cover the cost of the Grad Dinner and Dance at the end of the school year. The “Show and Save” coupon books will be on sale until the end of October.


Anton A. giving his first speech as student council president


Mr. Picklyk then talked briefly about the new report cards which will be coming out soon. He also made a quick reference to some of the more important points in the student handbook, including 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.


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, including along a neighbour’s garage and in front of the “No parking” signs along the fence. It’s important to be respectful of our neighbours’ right to enter and exit their own property.


If a parent parks and leaves their vehicle in the back lane along the side of the school or in front of a neighbour’s garage, that vehicle is considered to be illegally parked according to city bylaws and may be ticketed.


Finally, Mr. Picklyk mentioned that three representatives from the North Winnipeg Credit Union were on hand in the front foyer to inform parents about the advantages of an RESP, a Registered Education Savings Plan.


A Registered Education Savings Plan (RESP) can be a very important investment in a child’s future. The above three representatives from the North Winnipeg Credit Union were available to answer any questions that parents may have.


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 about 15 minutes in length.


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 school provided free babysitting during the orientation evening. K-3 students watched a movie or played in the Art room while grade 4-8 students played in the computer room. Grade 8 girls supervised each group of students.


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.





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