Bel Ayr Elementary School

September 2021 Newsletter


Dear families,

On behalf of the staff I would like to thank you for your support during the first week of school and the kindness you have shown us as we begin the 2021-22 school year. Our students are settling in nicely and teachers are busy building new relationships and getting to know their students as learners. We appreciate your support for continued COVID-19 screening, hand hygiene, and masking until September 20th. Students will be supported to wear masks beyond the 20th if they choose to do so. It has been a long haul for both students and staff but the positive energy and excitement in our classrooms far outweigh the inconveniences of our health protocols. Bel Ayr Elementary is a special place. Thank you, again!


Shawn Marsh



  • September 7 - First Day of School for Students

  • September 9 - Stand up Against Bullying Day

  • September 16 - Curriculum Night (Virtual)

  • September 22 - SAC Meeting (6 PM)

  • September 24 - PD Day PP-12 (No classes)

  • September 29 - Orange Shirt Day

  • September 30 - National Truth and Reconciliation Day - No School

  • October 5 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Reading and Writing)

  • October 6 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Reading and Writing)

  • October 7 - Picture Day

  • October 11 - Thanksgiving Day (No classes)

  • October 13 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Math)

  • October 14 - Grade 6 Provincial Literacy Assessment (Math)

  • October 18 - Picture retakes

  • October 22 - Provincial Conference Day PP-12 (No classes)

COVID Screening/Health Measures

COVID Screening

We are extremely appreciative of the work being done at home to screen students for COVID 19 symptoms before they come to school. Please remember to use the document in the link below to screen your child(ren). It is the same one we use at the school.

** Students who have a cough or two or more of the other symptoms on the list will be sent home and office staff will ask families to book a COVID test for their child. A student can return to school after being symptom free and receiving a negative test.

Health Measures

We are following the 2021-22 Back to School Plan ( All students are required to wear masks on the bus and inside the building. Exceptions to mask wearing occur when students eat, drink, and engage in physical activity in the gymnasium. Students sanitize their hands after crossing thresholds, before and after using devices, and before having snacks or lunch . Masking requirements will be lifted in schools on September 20th but wearing them in the building will still be supported.

Important News and Events

Paper Newsletters - If you wish to receive paper copies of our newsletter please fill out this form or send ina note to your homeroom teacher.

Curriculum Night (P-6) - Curriculum Night will be hosted virtually this Thursday, September 16th between 6pm and 7pm. Our teachers will email and provide you with a Classroom Communication Plan beforehand. You will also receive a virtual link to join a video conference so you will be able to ask questions and have conversations "in person". Please note that Curriculum Night is not a forum for talking about individual student needs or achievement. This should be done over the phone or by booking a separate meeting with a teacher. Additional information from your classroom teacher(s) is coming soon.

Orange Shirt Day - Our school will recognize Orange Shirt Day on Wednesday, September 29th. This is a day for all people in Canada to remember and acknowledge the pain and suffering of Indigenous families resulting from the residential schooling system. The following day is a national holiday to honor Truth and Reconciliation nation-wide on September 30th (no school).

School Insurance Program (SIP) - Your child is automatically covered for accidents and injuries that happen during the school day. If you want to have 24/7 coverage including the summer months it only costs $14.00/year for a gold plan.

Fire Drill/Lockdowns/Hold and Secure - This week we will have our first fire and lockdown drills. Please read this letter to learn more about the purpose of Lockdown and Hold and Secure Drills.

Lunch Monitors - We need lunch monitors! If this interests you please phone the school or send an email to Mr. Marsh ( Lunch monitors work 1-3 hours per day supervising students outside and in their classrooms. The wages are $13.41 per hour.

Drop-off Times

Please note that the drop-off time in the morning for preprimary students is 8:50 am. Preprimary staff are not available until this time. The drop-off time for all grade primary to grade 6 students is 8:30 am. Staff will not be on duty until 8:30 am so it is important for students not to be dropped off before this time.

Allergy Alert

Please be reminded that we have students who have life threatening allergies to peanuts, tree nuts, sesame seeds, and eggs (ingestion only). We would ask that you do not send food items in lunch bags containing peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds as these can contaminate surfaces.

Forms Sent Home

This week we sent home important forms with your child. Please review and fill out the Media Release, Emergency Contact, and Registration (Verification) forms and send them back with your child so their homeroom teacher can forward them to the main office. Please check to make sure that all fields are filled out on the registration form.

School Pictures

The school photographer has scheduled our school for Thursday, October 7th. Background selection cards will be sent home with students near the end of this month. Families are asked to have their son/daughter return the background selection card to their teacher showing their name & grade and the selection of one of the six background options by Tuesday, October 5th. Our picture retake date with be Monday, October 18h in the morning. Students should bring their previous picture proofs with them if they were present on the first picture day.

Student Technology and the Provincial Network Access and Use Policy

It is important for all of our students to have access to technology. We know from the previous two years that being ready to continue your child's education even in the event of school closures is extremely important. In Nova Scotia we use Google Apps for Education (GAFE) to help students access the tools needed to create and save digital work. All staff and students are bound by the Provincial Network Access and Use Policy. We would encourage you to review this document and to talk to your children about their responsibilities for demonstrating proper digital citizenship.

School Cash

Our school will post items for purchase and assign school fees relevant to your child (eg. milk orders). You can make all purchases and payments from your phone, tablet or computer.

We would like families to register as soon as possible.

To get started, please register for SchoolCash Online. It’s free and takes less than two minutes. You will receive an email once items are posted for purchase.

Visit and click Register to get started.

Need support? Connect with the SchoolCash Online help desk at

We hope that SchoolCash Online makes paying school-related fees more convenient!

Electronic Devices

Please remind your children that electronic devices such as phones, ipods, ipads,

Nintendos, etc are not permitted at school unless a teacher sends home a note to bring them on a particular day for educational purposes. Students who have chrome books or laptops can bring these devices to school for educational purposes with the permission of a classroom teacher. The school will not be responsible for any theft or damages to devices brought from home.

Head Lice Prevention

Not only can colds and flu bugs be spread at school, so can head lice. Head lice are tiny insects that live on the head. They lay eggs (called nits) close to the scalp. Head lice spread through direct contact among children (head-to-head), or indirectly on items such as hats, combs, hair brushes, headbands, helmets or toques. Head lice do not jump, fly or hop but they crawl very quickly. We encourage you to remind your children not to share anything that could cause a transfer of head lice. Check your child’s head regularly for either live lice or nits (eggs); once a week as part of your routine and after every sleepover. Keep long hair tied back or braided. Head lice spread easily, so if one person in the household has lice, others may have it too. Check everyone in the household on the same day.

If your child has contracted head lice, we ask that you contact the school and treat your child with a medicated lice treatment such as Nix. Once your child has been treated, he/she may return to school as long as there are no live lice. It is important to carefully follow the directions on the treatment package so that re-infestation does not occur. All family members should be checked and treated as required. For more information, please click the link below to read the pamphlet “How to Prevent, Find & Treat Head Lice”. This pamphlet was written and reviewed by Public Health Services, Nova Scotia Health Authority


Violin will be offered at the grade 4,5 and 6 level this year. If you have a child in grade 4 the following information may be important if you were not already aware of this program:

Dear Grade 4 Families,

Did you know that HRCE has a free string program? Your child can learn to play the violin (sorry, beginner cello class is full), taught by qualified HRCE / HRA string teachers. Beginners start in grade 4, and after their first year they can opt to continue each year, all the way to the end of grade 12!

Here is a short clip that includes some grade 4 students in concert before Covid:

If your child is interested, click on the attachment so you can see which program offerings are closest or most suitable to you. Registration is open NOW at

More information will be sent to you in the coming days via the email address you provide in the registration.


Pam Paddock

Department Head, Halifax Regional Arts

Director, HRA Symphonic Band


Community News

Looking for something fun to keep you active this winter??! United DFC is so excited to announce that winter registration is NOW OPEN

You can register by going to or if you need more information contact Gloria via email