The Rideau Report

December 2020

Principal's Message

"If you cannot do great things, do small things in a great way." Napoleon Hill

It is hard to believe that we have come to the final month of 2020. It has truly been a year like no other in recent memory, and will no doubt stay with us long into the future. We have been amazed at the resilience and adaptability of our children and our community, and are so grateful for the support of our parents and guardians through the emergency remote learning in the spring and the safe return to school in the fall.

As we continue to reinforce our COVID protocols with students, we would like to remind everyone of three important practices:

  • At drop-off and pick-up, when possible, all grade 1-6 parents should wait outside the school gates. In the morning we think that all parents should be able to say goodbye at the gate, now that students all know their routines and muster spots. After school may be a bit more complex, but the majority of students can be met at the gate, reducing the total number of people on the yard. Kindergarten parents need to continue to drop off and pick up students at the gate to the kinder yard, on the school yard.
  • After school, students are not to use the primary climber. We need to avoid mixing cohorts, particularly unmasked on the climber. Our FCCC after-school cohort often uses the school yard, including the climber, and they need to keep their group safely distanced from other students.
  • When outside for recess, students need to keep masks on unless they can maintain 2m distance from classmates. We know that many students need this time as a mask break, which is fine as long as social distancing is maintained. If students are playing in close proximity with peers, they need to put their mask back on.

Thank you for reinforcing and repeating these protocols with your children at home.

December is always a month of giving at Rideau, and this year is no different. As you will see in this newsletter, we are supporting Partners in Mission Food Bank and other local Kingston charities. We are grateful for your support. If you celebrate holidays in December, whether Hannukah, Christmas, Yule/Solstice, Kwanzaa, New Year's or anything else, we wish you all the best. We hope that you enjoy time with family, stay safe and healthy, and come back refreshed for 2021!

We try to make our communications with families as effective as possible. All email communication will be done through School Messenger this year, so please ensure that we have your correct email address on file at school. Our website: also has our newsletters, a school calendar, and other useful information. Twitter is another way to keep up with what's happening at Rideau. Follow us @RideauPS_LDSB . You don't even need a Twitter account to follow us! Just Google @RideauPS_LDSB and you can see our Twitter feed. You can always get in touch with us through email at or by calling the school at 613-546-5901. Thank you for your continued support of the work we do every day!

G. Seiveright, Principal

Screen your child every day!

On October 1, the Ontario Government released revised screening guidelines for schools. The new guidelines are available through our school and Board websites, and at The new screening protocol has some significant changes, and has resulted in fewer COVID tests and school days missed due to a single minor symptom such as a runny nose. Please review the new screener carefully and continue to screen students every day before school! Thank you for your cooperation.

Picture Day!

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Our Picture Days are this Thursday and Friday! Lifetouch has a new COVID-safe protocol approved by KFLA Public Health and the Board. Only individual photos will be taken this year - no class or sibling photos. The schedule for picture day is as follows:

  • Thursday, December 3: Mme Kozo/Mme Coulas, Mlle Sveinson/Mme Graham, Mme Vicki, Mme Matthews, Mme Bettas, Mme Morawiec, Mme Salter, M Cameron, Mme Gazdik
  • Friday, December 4: Mme Kennedy/Mme Sparkes, M Himada/M Ohayon, Mme Price, Mme Walker, Mme Lieberman, Mme Meyerman, Mme Carlone, Mme Frappier

A mountain of food!

This December, we are once again joining with Partners in Mission Food Bank for our annual Food Drive. This year we are trying to build a Mountain of Food! We are pleased to accept all non-perishable food donations from now until December 16th. Classes will collect food and bring it to the foyer in COVID-safe cohorts, to ensure safety. We are so lucky to have such a generous school community, and know that we can make a huge difference in the lives of other Kingston families.

Winter Clothes-line

As well as our food drive, we will be collecting new socks, hats, mitts and scarves again this year. Our Student Support Counselor, Krista Mather, will arrange for these essential items to go to local charities, such as Lionhearts and Interval House, to ensure that your donations help local Kingston families this winter.

Attendance on inclement weather days

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As we look ahead to the coming winter, we would like to remind families of our practice for reporting absences on Inclement Weather Days. All parents/guardians are asked to report their student’s absence regardless of the reason including during bus cancellations. Often, bused students find alternative ways to school and we want to ensure we know the whereabouts of every student to ensure their safety and well-being. Knowing who is supposed to be at school will allow school office staff to best ensure all students are accounted for.

To record a student absence in Safe Arrival on an Inclement Weather Day, select:

  • Bus cancellation as the reason for absence if your student is bused
  • Inclement weather as the reason for the absence if your student walks but chooses not to attend

If your student is marked absent and the absence hasn’t been reported in advance, our SafeArrival system will attempt to reach the student’s priority contact (parents/guardians) by telephone to confirm the absence. The SafeArrival system makes it easier for you to report your student’s absence, reduces the time it takes for our school staff to verify student attendance, and responds to unexpected or unplanned student absences. This time savings makes it faster and more efficient to account for all students and their safety.

On inclement weather days, sometimes the daily plan is amended but learning continues as many students can, and do find alternative ways to school (Kingston Transit, family drop off, walking). In schools where there are significant walk-to populations, an inclement weather day doesn’t usually affect the curriculum plan. In others, almost all students might be (school) bused. In these cases, educators make the necessary adjustment to adjust their lesson plans for who is in attendance.

Dress for winter!

It is getting cold outside! We are still trying to take learning outdoors when possible, to increase distancing and to give students and staff a mask break. Students also have 40 minutes of outdoor recess every day. Please make sure that students are dressed for the weather, including coats, snowpants, hats, mitts and boots as necessary. We follow Public Health guidelines in extreme cold, and will keep students indoors if the temperature drops below -20 degrees (-27 wind chill), but otherwise plan to go outside!

School Council News

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Our next meetings are scheduled for Wednesday, January 20 and Wednesday, February 24, at 6:30 p.m. We are planning to meet virtually through a Microsoft Teams meeting. A link will be shared with all School Council members and posted on the school website so all interested parents/guardians can join. We are also looking for a new Indigenous Family Rep for our SAC. If you are an Indigenous parent/guardian of an Indigenous student at Rideau and are interested in getting involved in School Council please let us know at the office.

School Council is also pleased to be partnering with Indigo this December for a gift card fundraiser. See below for more info, and go to to purchase your gift cards (link in image below is not live)

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Grade 5 & 9 ActivPass

IMPORTANT NOTICE: Due to Covid-19, the Grade 5 and 9 ActivPass has been postponed until further notice. Visit Kingston Gets Active to find alternate ideas and resources on getting active during this time, both at home and outdoors. The Limestone District School Boards values this unique partnership with the municipality and other community partners to provide students with free access to indoor and outdoor facilities. We look forward to its reinstatement when it is safe to do so.

safe arrival

Please remember to report absences through the Safe Arrival Website/App, or by phoning

1-855-257-9349. Even if your child is just going to be late due to an appointment, please report them absent for the day, and we will change it when they arrive. Thanks for your support!

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spirit days

Upcoming events

  • December 3/4 - School Photos
  • December 11 - Spirit Wear/School Colours Day
  • December 18 - Red, Green & White or Winter Sweater Day!
  • December 19 - January 3 - December Break
  • January 4 - Welcome Back!

Check our school calendar on our website for the most current listing of events!