Summer Greetings!

Welcome Back Celtics! We sincerely hope that all our families have had a wonderful summer creating many new memories. We cannot wait to hear about your adventures. I am your incoming principal, Mrs. Tanya Hunter, and I am so excited to get to know you over the next few years. 

We are getting closer and closer to the first day of school: Tuesday, September 7th! We know this time comes with mixed emotions – hopefully lots of excitement but maybe some concerns, too. Please rest assured that our staff’s first priority is the health and safety of your child. 

I hope that this letter will answer any questions you may have. Please read it carefully and continue to check for ongoing communication from our school & School Board website https://www.wcdsb.ca/ Information sent out last week from our Director Loretta Notten aligns with our Board’s Operational Guidelines found here: https://www.wcdsb.ca/operational-guidelines/.

Please also note most informative posts/news items will be sent out through Newswire, including the “Friday Flash” updates you will receive each week.  This provides a weekly glance at any news items from the school, board & parish along with what to expect in the week ahead.  Additionally, we will send out occasional tweets and updates to share any important occurrences to keep our community informed (e.g., late buses, fundraising).  See our school website for our twitter feed and newswire sign ups. 

 

On Friday, September 3rd, we plan to send classroom teacher information through SchoolCash Online to students in Grades 1 to 8.  Please check your email for the information that will notify you of your child’s new classroom teacher. Please note that class lists continue to be tentative due to ongoing registrations which has significant staffing implications due to evolving enrolment. Often, we can see classroom assignment changes continue into September

Please read the start up procedures for the school year including the COVID Protocols that will be observed:

 

Plan for First Day Procedures for Students Entering Grade 1

Just before the 8:35 a.m bell, all the grade 1 students are asked to meet at the front of the school beside their old outdoor play area where they will see Mrs. Hunter and their Kindergarten teachers from last year, along with their new grade 1 teacher.  Staff will assist in gathering the students and bringing them into their new classroom.

If it is an inclement weather situation, we will gather the grade 1’s as outlined above and bring them into the front foyer to be organized.

Plan First Day Procedures for Students Entering Grades 2 to 8

Just before the 8:35 a.m. bell, students will line up, physically distanced, at the backyard where they will find their classroom teacher.   We will have several staff members on hand to help all of the children. Classes will be led into the school by the teachers, one class at a time.

If it is an inclement weather situation, students will meet their teacher as outlined above in the backyard to be brought into the classrooms.

Parents will not be allowed on the blacktop or anywhere around the back of the school on the first day of school or any other days throughout this school year.

Bell Times

Our bell times have not changed (8:35 a.m. start; 3:05 p.m. dismissal). Yard supervision begins at 8:20 a.m. You may drop off your child between 8:20 and 8:35 a.m. daily but please remember that parents may not walk around to the back of the school with their child. There is no outdoor supervision by staff after dismissal, with the exception of supervision of bus students, so students are encouraged to leave the school safely & promptly at 3:05 p.m.

Transportation

For all inquiries related to bus transportation, please contact Student Transportation Services of Waterloo Region: http://www.stswr.ca/. Students will need to be physically distanced in bus lines and wear their masks on the bus. As always, students not eligible for bussing are encouraged to walk to school. If it is absolutely necessary to drive your child to school, we ask that you use the Drop Off.

Masks

Masks are mandatory for all students in JK to Grade 8. Students must bring several of their own labeled masks from home. All staff will wear medical grade masks and some staff may wear face shields or safety glasses with their masks.

Daily Self-Assessment for Students and Staff

All students and staff are required to take the COVID-19 self-assessment daily before coming to school: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/self-assessment/. If your child has any cold or flu-like symptoms, please do not send them to school. If your child presents symptoms during the school day, your child will be sent to the office, where he/she will be supervised in the Health Room – Isolation room. Parents will be called and must pick up their child immediately. Parents are then encouraged to contact Public Health, and follow Public Health direction. 

Safety Protocols

Our main strategies include:

  • Physical Distancing 
  • Hand Washing/Sanitizing (We have hand sanitizer in all classrooms and throughout the school. You may choose to send a travel size bottle of unscented sanitizer with your child.
  • Masks (mandatory for all students in JK to Grade 8)

Other safety measures:

  • Staff will review safety protocols with students on the first day of school and regularly thereafter.
  • There will be enhanced cleaning/sanitizing in the school throughout the day.
  • Signage has been placed around the school to remind students of our protocols, e.g., hygiene, physical distancing and directional arrows for hallway traffic.
  • Drinking fountains will not be available. Water bottle filling stations will be available.
  • Classrooms are set up with students’ desks facing forward and as far apart as possible.
  • Classes will have scheduled washroom times in an effort to keep each cohort together and to minimize traffic in hallways. No child will be denied access if they need to use the washroom outside of their class’s scheduled time.
  • Students will wipe down Chromebooks before and after use. Students are encouraged to bring their own devices.
  • Students will eat lunch at their own desks. They will be responsible for cleaning their own desks after they eat.

 Recess and Physical Education

We will continue to separate students on the yard by “zones” – Kindergarten, Primary, Junior and Intermediate. Students will be supervised, as per usual practice, and reminded to stay physically distanced. Students may be unmasked during recesses. Teachers will lead students out of the school and into the school in a staggered fashion.  Students will have designated line-up spots and will be expected to physically distance while walking in lines. The creative play structure is closed until further notice. 

For physical education, classes will take place outside wherever possible. Students should come to school expecting to participate in physical activity every day both inside and outside. Appropriate clothing at school is always required (e.g., running shoes, clothing for colder weather, etc.)  High and low-contact activities are permitted outdoors without masking.

Students will not be permitted to use the change room or change into gym clothes. All students should dress for indoor and outdoor physical activity every day and keep a pair of indoor running shoes at school. Athletics programs (sports teams) remain suspended for now.

Visitors

As we begin the school year, access to the school is not permitted by non-essential visitors, including parents. Visitors are not permitted in the school without administrator authorization. There are some scenarios where parents may need to come to the school during the school day. Parents will be expected to remain outside of the school and communicate through the intercom.

If you need to drop off your child during the school day, you may drop off your child at the main entrance and your child will come into the school independently. 

If you need to pick up your child during the school day, please call the office when you are at the front entrance and we will send your child out to you when we see you. It is important to notify the office of such occurrences to update attendance and maintain COVID protocols.

If you need to drop off something for your child, you may drop it on a table we will have outside the main entrance and communicate through the intercom about what is being dropped off and who it is for. We will call your child to retrieve the item from the table during a scheduled break time so we are not interrupting students’ learning in the classroom during instructional time.

Please help us to limit these visits by ensuring your child has packed everything they need for school, making every effort to be on time for school, and attempting to schedule appointments outside of school hours. 

Extended Day Programs:

  • Visitors are required to follow appropriate entry and exit protocols for the Extended Day Programs
  • All individuals including children attending before and after school, staff, parents/guardians, and visitors must be screened each day before entering the program. https://covid19.ontario.ca/school-screening/ 
  • Individuals will still use the same extended day entrance as previous years 
  • Extended day students will be outside at least 40 minutes to one hour prior to morning bell time and 40 minutes to one hour after bell time at the end of the day; this will allow for deep cleaning of the classroom and area

Student Planning Agendas, Parent Communication

Agendas have been ordered for students in Grades 1 to 8. This year, agendas will be for student use only, as a personal organizational tool. Teachers will not be monitoring students’ use of agendas. Agendas will not be used as a communication tool between home and school. Teachers will communicate with parents through D2L, Google Classroom, email or phone calls. Your child’s teacher will inform you at the beginning of the school year of the preferred mode of communication between home and school. 

Back-to-School Shopping

As mentioned in a previous communication, learning kits will be provided for each student. There is no need to buy or send in any extra school supplies at this time. Students will only need a mask and a pair of indoor running shoes. Please remember to label all personal belongings so that students are only touching their own items. 

Lunch Program

It is our hope to start up a lunch program again this year. Plans are still being discussed so please stay tuned for more details that will be sent via Newswire and Schoolcash. 

Nutrition for Learning Program

It is a pleasure to announce that we will be participating in the “NFL” Breakfast Bin Program this year.  More information regarding the program will be forthcoming.

Catholic School Advisory Council

Our first virtual meeting is on September 21st.  Please complete the form on School Cash Online if you are interested in joining the council. The more the merrier!

Start-up Forms

All start-up forms will be processed through School Cash Online over the next week or so. They are due by Sept 10th. There are a number of documents that require input of information and your signature and there are a couple read-only documents. Student Verification forms will go home as a paper copy where you may update student information. 

Medical and Contact Information

If any of your personal contact information has changed (phone numbers, address, etc.), please email Jera.Franchi@wcdsb.ca. If you are new to our school or if your child has a new medical condition, please email Mrs. Franchi with this information. 

Dressing for the Weather

Please ensure your child is dressed for the weather every day. We are committed to giving students breaks from their masks and exposure to fresh air during recesses, even if the weather is not perfect, e.g., light rain. Parental requests for students to stay inside at recess will not be granted as we do not have the space or supervision to support such arrangements. Students who are not well enough to participate in outdoor activities should be kept home. 

 

 

We greatly appreciate your attention to these details and your support. We will work together to create a learning environment that is safe for all of our students. Please watch out for more NewsWire updates as we continue to communicate important information. It is our continued goal to have our families feel a part of our school community!  

Our St. Brigid team is looking forward to seeing all of our incredible students soon! Let’s go, Celtics! 

God bless,

Mrs. Tanya Hunter