Annual School Raffle Fundraiser

Each year our school raises funds for extra-curricular activities and materials not funded by the school board. This year, the fundraising raffle draw will be held on December 21, the last day of school before the holidays.

Students will be selling tickets and you can also purchase tickets from Rosa or Ms. Baker. If you wish to sell tickets you can pick them up at the school.

We have some wonderful prizes  including 15 lbs of lobster, a spaghetti dinner for 4 including dessert and a bottle of wine, a hooked mat and a painted chair and hooked chair pad. If you would like to donate a prize, please drop it off at the school.

Talking Sticks

The children made personal Talking Sticks today by painting driftwood sticks and then decorating them with feathers and shells. Thanks to Josh for supplying us with feathers from his geese and chickens.

The Talking Stick – In many First Nations tribes, people used a “Talking Stick” to make sure that each person had a turn to share his or her ideas and opinions with the rest of the group. The person holding the stick has the right to speak. Everyone else is expected to listen with respect. When a person finished talking, he or she passes the stick to someone else.

Canada 150 Chair Visits Tancook School

Ms. Baker arranged to have the Canada 150 Chair  visit Tancook School this week. Here is some background information from the  website. Stay tuned for the chair’s official Tancook photograph which will be added to the collection.

“Made by the hands of our ancestors this chair has supported Nova Scotians for 150 years and now it is time for this little chair to travel throughout the length and breadth of our beloved Province to take a front row seat in the places that we collectively cherish/chairish.
The Kings County Museum is asking local photographers to record the places that inspire them and include you in the picture because this chair is your chair, this chair is my chair, from 1867 until 2017 this chair represents both you and me.

A chair with history
This chair is believed to have been made by a local craftsman around the time of Confederation. In 2016 it was rescued from the spring clean-up in Gaspereau, Nova Scotia. Kings County Museum Volunteer Bill Naylor passed it along to craftsman Bill Zinck who restored it. With the approach of Canada 150 Celebrations in 2017 Kings County Museum Curator Bria Stokesbury asked local artist Victoria Marston to transform this little chair into a contemporary symbol to commemorate this historic year in the life of our country. Local photographers than began to create a visual celebration of the chair in locations of importance to them, and hopefully to all Nova Scotians. Those images are being uploaded to this website to be enjoyed by all.”

More information and photos:

Walk to School Day 2017

Isaac leads the group.

Children, parents and friends all walked to school today. Upon arrival, Ms. Baker had stations set up for the children and their parents to cook pancakes and eggs. Fresh fruit and yogurt completed this healthy and filling breakfast.

A big THANK YOU to Ms. Baker for organizing Walk to School Day 2017.


Walk to School Day – October 26, 2017

On Thursday, October 26, the students of Tancook Elementary School will be  celebrating Walk to School Day by walking from the wharf to school. Upon arrival students will have breakfast together.

If anyone wishes to join us for the walk, please meet at the wharf at 8:45 am. Anyone wishing to join us for breakfast, make a contribution, or help in any other way, is very welcome to do so.

International Walk to School Day, celebrated every October, teaches children how walking, cycling or other active modes of transportation help improve health, reduce air pollution and climate change.

School Advisory Council (SAC) Meeting News – Oct. 11, 2017

Looking for Raffle Items 

In anticipation of this year’s Holiday Concert which traditionally has included a raffle with donated prizes,  we are looking for prize donations. It may not be common knowledge that schools are not given any funding for extra-curricular activities or materials. These funds must be raised by the community which is why so many schools ask students to sell chocolate bars or cookie dough.

One of Ms. Baker’s goals is to enrich the learning experience of her students with extra-curricular learning experiences. Donating to this annual fundraising event will help her achieve this goal.

Volunteer Your Talent

We know that there is a lot of talent in our community. Ms. Baker is making an appeal to community members to share a bit of their time and talent with her students. From cooking, drawing, singing, dancing, sewing, knitting or puppetry to lessons about local history or sauerkraut making, if you wish to spend some time sharing your interest or skill,  please let Ms. Baker know. 



A Morning With Ms. Paula Baker

I recently had the pleasure of spending a morning with our new teacher/principal, Ms. Paula Baker and her seven students. Giving up the freedom of summer and adjusting to new routines and expectations is difficult for all of us. For children entering their first year of school this adjustment is even greater. Based on what I observed however, it seems that all of the children have all settled into school life with ease, the youngest included.

The wealth of teaching and administrative experience that Ms. Baker brings to Tancook Elementary must certainly be a major contributing factor to the way in which the children all seem to be enjoying and adapting to school life after a summer of fun in the sun.

Watching Ms. Baker in action was akin to observing a talented choreographer managing to keep everyone engaged and busily productive. Having some teaching experience myself, I appreciate the challenges of planning and facilitating the learning experience for seven children, all of whom are at different levels of learning and have varying interests and capabilities. Ms. Baker’s repertoire of masterful teaching skills seems to make this second nature to her.

During my visit, I observed the children writing, reading and having fun with math problem solving. Ms. Baker moved quietly and efficiently from one activity to another while keeping the children involved and focused.

Ms. Baker’s open door policy is welcoming and I hope to be able to assist in small ways throughout the school year. She has agreed that we can make a school page on the website where we will keep island residents up-to-date on anything school-related that is newsworthy.

Between teaching, playing with the children outdoors at recess and making preparations during her lunch break, Ms. Baker still seems to have energy at the end of the day. I was worn out after one morning!

A little bit about Ms. Baker…

Ms. Baker is a seasoned educator. With a Master’s degree in Special Education and Administration and as a graduate of the Instructional Leadership Academy, Tancook Elementary is fortunate to have someone as qualified as Ms. Baker.

Ms. Baker has a wide range of experience both in teaching and administration. She has taught all grades from Primary to 12 and has experience as a Special Education teacher as well as a Vice-Principal and a Principal. In addition, Ms. Baker has served as a Literacy and Math coach for her colleagues throughout the South Shore Regional School Board (SSRSB).

On a personal note, Ms. Baker has four adult children ranging in age from 23 – 28. The teaching gene runs deep in Ms. Baker’s family. Her daughter has followed her mother into the teaching profession and Ms. Baker’s sister is the Coordinator of Literacy for the SSRSB.

Heritage is important to Ms. Baker. With the Baker surname, Paula has a special interest in Tancook considering the family connection. She believes in making teaching relevant and as a result, a special emphasis on island life is infused throughout the learning experience of her students.

As an example, the following poem is recited by the children in the morning.

If you’ve ever lived on an island

If ever you’ve lived on an island
if ever you’ve lived by the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
once your spirit has been set free.

If ever you’ve smelled the ocean
or tasted the salt in the air;
You’ll know you’ve discovered a haven
that is uncommon, precious and rare.

If ever you’ve seen the whales play
or watched the eagles in flight;
You’ll remember, again, why you live here
and why it feels so right.

If ever you’ve seen the sunset
as the ferry passed the shore;
You’ve seen the beauty of the island
that will be with you forever more.

If ever you’ve heard the seagulls
the waves, a foghorn, the winds;
Then you’ve heard the song of the island
and the peaceful message it sends.

Indeed, if you live on an island
if you’re lucky to live be the sea;
You’ll never return to the mainland
as your spirit has been set free.

~ J. Earnhart

Please stay tuned…We will update this page on the website with any school news that may be relevant and of interest to Tancook residents.

Hetty van Gurp