Posted: May 23, 2023

School Organization for 2023-2024

There are currently 423 students registered for the 2023-24 school year.  The Board has budgeted Frank J Ney for 19 divisions, which is one more than we have this year.  The recent announcement from the district is for Rutherford Elementary to reopen in September 2025.  In addition, Randerson Ridge is at capacity and McGirr, Departure Bay and Frank J Ney are accepting new registrations from Randerson where there is no space for these students. This means that we will need to recommission the portable (131) located at the front of the school to accommodate the additional division, starting in September 2023.  An upper intermediate class (e.g., grades 5-7) will be in the portable for the next school year.

Kindergarten News

The school held a kindergarten parent information session on Wednesday May 17 at 6p.m. in the library.  Ms. Wicks, Ms. DeGroot, and Ms. Brooks hosted a productive information session for several parents about what to expect in kindergarten and start up in September.   For those parents unable to attend, we encourage you to come to our Welcome to Kindergarten program on the morning of Wednesday May 24th in the gym.   Families have received invitations for one of the two morning sessions, so please check your invitation for the correct time.

Kindergarten Registration– Frank J Ney currently has 42 students registered for kindergarten in September.  It is important for all families to register their kindergarten age children (turn 5 years of age on or before Dec.31, 2023) as soon as possible for the 2023-2024 school year.  If a sibling already attends the catchment school, it does not mean that the incoming kindergarten sibling is automatically enrolled.  The Frank Ney K-7 school organization and staffing is based on the number of kindergarten students. Please register online at the SD68 home page.




We are currently in the process of planning for the next academic year.  It is important that parents trust the school team to build classes, which suit the students’ academic and social needs. We take a lot of time and consideration in doing classroom composition for each grade. We make up each class list in a way that maximizes the quality of teaching and learning conditions for all students. The decision for placement is based on many factors, such as: balancing academic ability, levels of independence, learning styles, social/emotional maturity, and maximizing the positive learning environment for the whole class.  The classroom composition for each grade has to reflect the acceptance of all individuals within an inclusive school as we attempt to provide appropriate educational programming to all children.


If you have specific educational information that you would like us to consider about your child, please contact the school Principal, Mr. Halfyard (in writing) as soon as possible, but no later than June 5th.  We do consider this request, along with all other pertinent information provided by classroom teachers and support staff.  Please note your request will be considered but we do not guarantee it can be honored. It does become an important part of our planning process.  As teachers may change schools and grade groupings are dependent on our enrolment numbers and balancing learning needs, please describe optimal learning environments without referring to specific teachers.  We are not able to take requests for individual teachers.


Combined-Grade Classes- Common in Elementary School


Success for All GUIDING PRINCIPLE: The classroom composition for each grade must reflect the acceptance of all individuals within an inclusive school as we attempt to provide appropriate educational programming to all children. Nanaimo Ladysmith Public Schools is committed to creating balanced classes that focus on a student’s individual learning strengths and the needs of the whole child. Additional factors that influence the formation of classes include shifting enrollment, class size/composition, and school staffing. Often, particularly at the elementary level, schools will form combined-grade classes. In a combined-grade class, students from different grades are grouped together in a classroom with one teacher (e.g., Grade 2 and Grade 3).


Combined-grade classes are common in Canada. In fact, a Canadian study on classroom organization found that one out of every five Canadian students is enrolled in a combined-grade classroom. This means, it is very likely that your child will be in a combined-grade class during their elementary years.

Do children “learn” differently in combined-grade classrooms? Children learn and mature at different rates. Intellectual, social, physical, and personal development is not grade level dependent. In every classroom, combined-grade or single-grade, there is a wide range of children with varying skills and abilities. Teachers are aware of these individual differences and structure learning activities within the curriculum, according to the needs of each learner. Students in combined-grade classes are not held back to the level of younger students nor are they expected to handle work beyond their ability. Whether a child is an advanced learner, or requires additional learning support, each is guided to succeed within the grade appropriate learning outcomes.

There are also social benefits to combined-grade classes. Research shows that combined-grade classes:

  • allow students to learn from one another • encourage students to work together • provide models for younger students • help older students see what they have already learned • promote social responsibility • help students to become independent • foster a positive attitude towards school.


How are students chosen for Combined Classes?  Principals and staff consider a variety of factors when grouping children into classes such as learning styles, social and emotional needs, academic needs, and many other factors. All classrooms, whether single-grade or combined, include students performing at a wide range of achievement levels. In every case, schools strive to create a classroom environment that will support the needs of all students.


How do teachers “teach” in combined-grade classes? The combined-grade structure does not make a difference in how a teacher teaches students. Teachers of combined-grade classrooms are familiar and knowledgeable about the Learning Standards for the grades and subjects they are teaching. Learning has shifted away from memorizing facts to a more holistic approach that focuses on engaging the learner through a lens of inquiry-based learning, and critical and creative thinking. This approach lends itself well to combined-grade classes where the emphasis is on teaching students how to evaluate ideas, make judgments, transfer and apply knowledge, understand processes and to access and interpret information.



Staffing Updates- Thank you to Leaving Temporary Staff!

We have enjoyed having two Vancouver Island University student teachers at our school this year and staff and students say goodbye and wish future success to Ms. Hannah Ross, who taught with, and was supported by Ms. Macdonald in her grade 4 class, and Mr. Jordan Gregoire, who was mentored by Ms. Turner in her grade 3 class.   We also appreciated the strong efforts of VIU EA practicum student Ms. Vicki Kim.   In addition, please join me in saying goodbye and thank you to temporary education assistants Alison Kraushar and Tiffany Watson.

With the school year ending for students on Thursday, June 29th, it is important to thank our temporary teachers for their effective instruction with our students.  The following temporary teaching assignments end on June 29th, and we wish them well in their future careers.

  • Kaitlin Weber- grade 1/2
  • Madison Turner- grade 3
  • Infanti- grade 5/6 (Mr. Olson) Tuesday afternoons
  • Sarah Minkley- grade 6 (Ms. Ludwinowski) afternoons and Wednesdays
  • Alexis Carlson- grade 1/2 (Ms. Zolob) Fridays

A special note of appreciation and sincere gratitude to kindergarten teacher Ms. Megan Stokes!  Ms. Stokes is transferring to Departure Bay Elementary School to teach grade 4/5 in September 2023.  We will miss her positive energy and thank her for her excellent instruction with our kindergarten students and wish her continued success in her new assignment.


Moving?  Please Inform the Office Immediately

If your family is moving out of the Frank J Ney catchment over the spring/summer, it is important that you inform your child’s teacher and the office immediately.  There are currently no primary spaces open, and we only have (7) seven available spaces for intermediate students in the school as of today.  Students are waitlisted by the date of registration to enter our school and each time a FJN family relocates to another school or district, it opens a space(s) for in-catchment families on the wait list.  It is equally important that parents register their child(ren) in their new schools by June 15th to guarantee a place for the 2023-24 school year.   This information will also help us in planning our school organization for 2023-2024.  Thank you in advance for your assistance!


Battle of the 80s Bands

All students have been participating in a “Battle of the 80s Bands” unit in music for the past few weeks. They have listened to 16 pop and rock songs and voted for their favorites.


On Friday, May 26, the kids (and staff) are encouraged to come dressed in 80’s style clothing for our school-wide 80’s day! On 80’s day, we will also reveal the winner of the Battle of the Bands as selected by the students.  Some simple ideas for 80’s styling include side ponytails, hair scrunchies as bracelets, backwards baseball caps, shoulder pads, neon colors as well as giant 80’s “Hair Band” hairstyles. Let’s not forget that this is where the mullet got its start!


Thanks for supporting our music program!


Ms. Delage, Music Instructor





Congratulations to the bantam girls!  The basketball season was highly successful as our bantam girls won the NETPEA championship by defeating Quarterway in the final game.  Our grade 6/7 girls improved their skills with each game and their sportsmanship was excellent.  Many thanks to teacher coaches Ms. Hooyberg and Ms. Wicks and parent coach Ms. Linder.

The school sport currently underway is an Ultimate Frisbee Team with grade 6 and 7 students practicing regularly at the school and playing other schools on Wednesday after school.  Much appreciation to coaches Ms. Hooyberg, Mr. Rolls, and Ms. Wicks.  As always, we are grateful to parent volunteer drivers for transporting our students to and from schools for sports events.

Zone- Track & Field Meet

The zone 5 track and field event takes place at the Rotary Bowl at NDSS on Wednesday May 31st.   This is a full-day activity and students will need to dress for all types of weather (e.g., dress in layers, rain gear, sweats, proper running shoes, hats, sunscreen, and shorts) and bring a healthy lunch and water bottle.  Students finishing in the top four of their school event(s) qualify for the zone meet.  The district meet is on Thursday, June 8th for qualifying students (Finishing 1st-4th at zones).

District buses have been booked to transport all students participating except 100M athletes, who will be driven by parent volunteers.  The reason 100M students are driven earlier is to ensure they arrive in time to run their heats (if they are late, they will miss their race).  Buses will leave the school around 8:55 so students should arrive early to school.  Pick up at NDSS is at 1:15 p.m. and we will return to the school by 2:00 for dismissal.  Any parents wishing to pick up and/or drive their children home from the meet must first check in with the teacher for accurate attendance.

We are thankful for parent volunteers who assisted running our school events, and we are requesting volunteers for the zone meet to be timers for running events.  A zone track and field information and consent form and volunteer form was sent home two weeks ago.   Please ensure to sign the form to give your child(ren) consent to participate.  In addition, please check the times you can volunteer for events and complete a Volunteer Driver’s Form/Criminal Record Check in advance.  Thank you for your support!

Parking– There is parking only at Serauxmen Stadium or the Nanaimo Ice Center for the meet.  Do not park at the board office or your car may be towed.  Please pay any required tolls to avoid parking tickets.  Be sure to lock your vehicles and do not leave valuables in them as there have been thefts in the past.



Important Dates:

  • May 22 Monday: Victoria Day – Schools Closed
  • May 23 Tuesday: Gr. 7 Swim to Survive – Beban Park – 10:15 pick up; 11:30 return
  • May 23 Tuesday: Fred Fox presentation on Terry Fox at 1:00 p.m.
  • May 24 Wednesday: Welcome to Kindergarten- 2 morning sessions in the gym starting at 8:45am
  • May 24: Div. 5/6 Neck Point am
  • May 24 Wednesday:  AM-2 sessions; City of Nanaimo Public Works Day Gr.5- 8:45-10:00 (2) & 10:30- 11:45 (1)
  • May 26 Friday: Officer Staniforth presents to grade 5s on Drug Awareness
  • May 26: Battle of the Bands
  • May 29 June 2: Bike to Work Week
  • May 30 Tuesday: Gr. 7 Swim to Survive – Westwood Lake – 10:15 pick up; 11:30 return
  • May 31 Wednesday: Zone 5 Track and Field Meet at Rotary Bowl
  • June 5 Monday: Hot Lunch-pizza * New Date
  • June 6 Tuesday: Gr. 7 to Qwanoes
  • June 7: Parent Appreciation Drive Through in the morning
  • June 8: District Track Meetat Rotary Bowl
  • June 9: Talent Show- PM in gym
  • June 14 Wednesday: Gr. 7 Splitsville and NAC
  • June 14: Div. 5/6 Yellow Point Farm am
  • June 21 Wednesday: National Indigenous Day
  • June 21 Wednesday: Gr. 7s to Parksville
  • June 22 Thursday: Rathtrevor Beach (School-wide) PAC supplies pizza
  • June 27 Tuesday: Gr. 7 Recognition Assembly
  • June 29 Thursday: Last Day of School for Students; Summary of Learning Report Card Distributed
  • September 5 Tuesday: Schools Open for 2023-2024 School Year