Bel Ayr Elementary School
February 2022 Newsletter
There were many changes to your child's education during the month of January. Thank you for the incredible amount of support and understanding shown to us as we transitioned from at-home learning back to in-person learning. We are happy to have students back in our building learning with their peers. We are looking forward to the day when we can finally put pandemic measures behind us but also realize that what we are doing now is necessary for adding additional layers of safety for students and staff in our school.
Mr. Marsh and Ms. Rossi
February 1 - African Heritage Month Begins
February 1 - Lunar New Year
February 1-28 - Registration Month
February 16 - SAC 6 PM (Virtual)
February 18 - PD Day - No Classes
February 21 - Heritage Day - No Classes
March 14 -18 - March Break - No Classes
African Heritage Month
The theme for 2022 is entitled, "Through Our Eyes - Voices From African Nova Scotians". This theme highlights that when we listen to others’ perspectives, interpretation, and views on the world, particularly those from marginalized communities, we will gain a more meaningful understanding on how to make our world a better place.
During the course of the school year, students in various grades learn about African history, African countries, languages, music, beliefs, art, literature, and geography. Students also learn about local African heritage and the many positive contributions made by Black individuals in our area to our region and the rest of Canada.
We are excited to engage our students with Daily Facts over the announcements and to highlight the learning experiences in individual classrooms on our bulletin boards.
African Heritage Links for Families
Lunar New Year
Also known as the Chinese New Year, and as the Spring Festival in China, this day marks the end of the Year of the Ox and the beginning of the Year of the Tiger. Congratulations to all of our Bel Ayr families celebrating this event!
Registering for School
Do you have a child who is eligible to start Pre-Primary or Grade Primary this fall? It’s time to register for school!
HRCE begins the registration process in February so that schools are ready to welcome your child in September. You can find everything you need to get started here: hrce.ca/registration.
Children who are enrolled in Pre-Primary do not need to re-register for primary unless they intend to register at a different school. Please let us know in the main office.
Please share this information with your friends and neighbours with children who will be 4 or 5 years old by December 31.
To limit non-essential visitors to schools, families are required to register online.
Need help with online registration? Our Parent Navigators are ready to support you!
· Missy Searl: firstname.lastname@example.org or 902-464-2000 x4362
· Zachary Garcia: email@example.com or 902-464-2000 x4361
What’s Pre-Primary all about?
Check out our Welcome to Pre-Primary site.
What does Grade Primary look like?
Visit our Welcome to Primary site.
2022-23 Grade 7 Registration
Absences and Student Work
Absences in schools have increased with the onset of the Omicron wave of COVID-19. Our teachers will reach out via email to let you know how you can access language arts and math assignments if your child misses a lot of time due to illnesses and/or COVID-19 related situations. Please understand that teachers are currently delivering education within our building and thus any work sent home will not include the instruction that preceded it. The Homework Hub (gr. 4-6) is an excellent resource for students requiring access to a qualified mathematics instructor when they have questions about their work at home.
If you are comfortable in doing so, we would encourage you to send your children back to school as soon as they are feeling better (without symptoms) so they can benefit from full, in-person learning experiences. The provision of these work packages or assignments by teachers is not intended to replace in-person learning and should only be considered on the short term. Students will not receive additional work if initial work packages/assignments are not returned to homeroom teachers in a timely manner. Further guidance on the assessment of work sent home will be released by the Department of Education to teachers later this week.
If you do not plan to send your child back to in-person learning for the remainder of the school year, or even an extended period during the month of February, please contact us at the main office. We will listen to your family's unique circumstances and help you access other avenues for your child's continued education.
The following health measures are in place at our school:
** Vaccines are our best defense. Please book appointments through Public Health.
1) COVID-19 Screening - Families should reference the NS COVID-19 Daily Checklist each morning before school to ensure students do not come to school with symptoms. Students who begin exhibiting symptoms at school will be screened by office staff, given a clean mask, and sent home right away.
2) Mask Wearing - All students and staff are required to wear a facemask with three layers of cloth or a properly fitted surgical mask with three layers. All masks should cover the nose and mouth areas and form a tight seal around the contours of the face. Please ensure that your child has an extra cloth mask or a few surgical masks in their backpacks. "Over the nose is where it goes!" Students have received two three-layer masks since January 16th.
3) Hand Hygiene - Students and staff clean their hands before crossing any threshold within the building. Hand sanitizing will also occur before eating and before using technological devices and books or other resources.
4) Cohorting - Students are cohorted with their classmates during inside time and outside whenever operationally possible. Homeroom teachers will supervise students or other designates at recess and during dismissal to minimize interactions between cohorts and to reduce movement within the school. When family members drop off students in the morning after 8:30 we would ask that they leave immediately afterwards to minimize close contacts with students.
5) No Supply Sharing - Common consumable items such as pens, pencils, erasers, markers, etc. are kept with individuals.
6)Traveling Specialists - Music, band, French and library classes will occur in homerooms as opposed to students going to different locations for these experiences. Physical education will still be held in our gymnasium with activities modified to reduce proximity between students.
7) Staggered Entrances/Exits - Our students are already used to having entrances assigned to their homerooms. To add another layer of safety we will be implementing a staggered entrance and exit procedure. Teachers will come outside at 8:40 and enter one class at a time with 3 minute intervals.
8) Water Bottles - Please make sure your child brings a refillable water bottle to school. Our water refill stations are working but students are not permitted to use the fountain because of the risk of spreading germs.
9) Rapid Testing - All students and staff have received rapid testing kits. More will be available as provincial supplies increase. Any family who needs a rapid test can phone the school to check for available tests before seeking them in other locations. We still have a limited supply for students who exhibit symptoms at school.
Lunch Monitor Shortage
We resumed our breakfast program on January 17th. Our pizza and milk programs are on hold until we are able to supervise them properly. Lunch staff shortages, restricted access for our volunteers, and student cohorting has made these options unsafe at this point in time.
The time of year has come when we are wearing hats, and with this cases of head lice can appear more frequently. Please check your child’s head regularly for either live lice or nits (eggs) weekly. The following link, provided by the Department of Public Health, may be a resource to support you should your family experience a case of head lice. http://www.novascotia.ca/dhw/publications/Public-HealthEducation/07135_HeadLicePamphlet_En.pdf.
Thank you for your vigilance in this matter.
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 on school grounds or dropped off before this time.
Paper Newsletters - If you wish to receive paper copies of our newsletter please fill out this form or send in a note to your homeroom teacher.
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.
Allergies - 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.