Parent Peek at the Week

Week of September 13th, 2021

What a GREAT first week back!

I can't begin to tell you how excited we all were to welcome our students back this past week. And what a great week it was. Our school was full of laughter, smiles, reconnections and caring. Friday was extra special as it was the first day that ALL our students were together (even the Junior Kindergartens!).

As you are aware, we welcomed back so many students, we now need to reorganize our classes. I know things are a little unsettled right now with the upcoming changes, but I keep telling myself that short term pain will result in great long term gains. Smaller class sizes for safety and richer learning is always a good thing! Please see below for more information.

I want to thank you for your support and encouragement this past week. It has been so nice to work together as a team through all challenges that come our way. Thank you!

Here's to a great second week together.

Mrs. Sampson

In Case you missed it....

Important Dates

Monday, September 13 - Day 5

Tuesday, September 14 - Day 1

Wednesday, September 15 - Day 2

Thursday, September 16 - Day 3

Friday, September 17 - Day 4

  • Dance party Friday

Upcoming dates:

  • Monday, September 20th - Student Vote for the Junior Grades in the Library
  • September 29th - Terry Fox Run
  • September 30th - Orange Shirt Day

School Re-organization

The following message was sent to families this past week:

As you are aware, registrations often continue through the summer and into the start of the school year. This year, with the additional option of the Virtual Elementary School, we were in more flux than ever.

This message is to inform you that KPR has added an additional class to our school, as our current sizes are very large. This is wonderful news for our students and teachers, as this will allow us to reduce the number of students in each class, providing a richer and safer learning environment. Due to this reorganization, many students from Grade 1 – 6 will need to be moved into new groups with new peers and in some cases, a new teacher. Our Kindergarten classes will not be affected.

While we know that this is what’s best for all long term, we recognize and appreciate that the transition after school has begun will be challenging. Over the next week, we will be hiring for a new teacher, re-organizing our classes and preparing for the large number of student moves. We are aiming to have the new classes begin together on Monday, September 20th.

Once our new classes are created, all affected families will be contacted directly. While we appreciate that you may wish to get in touch to request a specific teacher, as always our classes are created in a balanced way, by a strong team of staff who know your child(ren) well. A balanced class includes:

· A range of academic abilities in each class

· A balance between boys and girls (where possible)

· Consideration for ensuring a friend is with each student – this does not mean a student’s best friend, but rather a friend that best supports their learning

· Specific information provided by parents that does not include requesting a favourite teacher, requesting favourite friends or requesting straight grade classes

· Specific individual and unique issues that we are aware of as a school team.

Our shared goal is to provide the best possible learning environment for each child. The parents of any students who will be moving classes will be contacted by email once we know the new class organizations. I expect this will be complete by mid-end of next week.

Through the ups and downs over the past few years we have so appreciated your support and encouragement. While we know the short term will be challenging as we support new transitions, we look forward to continuing to work together to best support the learning of all students at Kawartha Heights.

In addition to re-organizing the classrooms from Grades 1 - 6, we will also be adding a new Grade 5/6 class. I hope to inform all families by Thursday if you child will be moving classrooms.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we go through this complicated process.

Home Self-Screening Tool

As was the protocol last year, it is expected that each family refer to the Covid-19 self-assessment screening tool and make sure your child(ren) is well enough to attend school. If they show any of the symptoms listed below while at school, we will need to isolate them and call you to come pick them up immediately. Please help us keep everyone healthy and safe, by keeping your child(ren) home from school if they are feeling ill at all.
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New Morning Routines

One thing we've learned through Covid is that protocols can change at any time. Here's our first change of the year!

It has now been decided that our students can interact outside the school before the day begins, instead of coming directly inside. When your child arrives between 8:45am and 9am, the following routines (starting tomorrow - Monday, September 13th) will be in place:

All students who are in the Primary hallway (Mrs. Rutherford, Ms. Gunning, Mrs. Beaton and Mrs. Rees/Ms. Scott's classes) are to play with their friends on the pavement area. They are NOT to go up to the top of the hill.

All students who are in the Junior hallway (Mrs. McConnell, Ms. Howson, Ms. Landry and Ms. Baker's classes) are to play with their friends at the top of the hill from the shade shelter to the basketball courts. They are NOT to go down to the pavement.

All Kindergarten students are to enter and play with their friends on the Kindergarten yard.

No students will be allowed on the climbers or in the far field before school.

When the bell goes, primary students know where to line up by class on the pavement closest to their entry door. Junior students will wait until the primary students clear, and will then come down to the Junior doors one class at a time. As soon as students line up to enter the school, masks will be required.

There will be supervision by our support staff and Mrs. Sampson during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding as we get used to this new routine!

Drop Off and Pick Up

This year we have TWO school busses supporting our students in getting to and from school. Because of this we have an expanded bus loading zone, as marked by 2 cones. Please ensure you do not park in this area. We are also kindly requesting that parents arriving to pick up students by foot do not wait on the grass and pavement in front of the bus loading zone. This helps us to make sure we get all our students safely on the bus! Thanks for your support.

Hot lunches are returning!

Many of you will be thrilled to hear that (as of the current protocols) hot lunches are returning to Kawartha Heights this year! Once again they will be run through Lunchbox Orders online. Our ordering calendar will officially launch on September 28th with the program starting at the school on Tuesday, October 12th. Stay tuned for more information - we know how much you love this program!!

From the Kawartha Pine Ridge Board Office....

To All KPR Families,

It is wonderful to be reunited with students and staff, as we share in the excitement of a new school year! We love the energy and enthusiasm in our school buildings and virtual classrooms!

Students and staff have been settling into the back-to-school routine. Thank you to all families for your patience and support during what has been an incredibly busy transition for everyone. Schools and staff have implemented many changes in response to COVID-19, and they have done their best to help students experience a sense of normalcy while continuing to follow COVID protocols.

I also offer sincere appreciation to students, parents and caregivers, who have had to navigate through almost three years of unprecedented changes and challenges. To all families new to the KPR family, I offer a heartfelt welcome, and to those who are returning, welcome back!

This update provides further information for families as we embark on a new school year. I continue to wish everyone a healthy, successful school year!


Rita Russo
Director of Education


Vaccination Clinics

Walk-in vaccination clinics for students, families and community members have begun and are continuing across KPR. Clinics are coordinated by local public health units. No appointments are needed. If not yet fully vaccinated, we encourage all eligible students, staff and families to take advantage of the clinics. We have shared details on nearby clinics via School Messenger with local school communities. For clinic dates and times, please visit here.

Daily Screening

It is very important that families complete screening every day, for every child in the family.

The provincial government has updated the school screening tool. It now includes shortened COVID symptom lists that are specific to students versus employees and visitors; a reduced timeline for isolation in case of possible COVID exposure (10 days instead of 14); and guidance for individuals who are fully vaccinated. The screening tool is available online at

If your child is ill, please keep them at home. If your child has any of the symptoms listed in the screening tool, please follow the directions provided about isolation and testing.

Daily Protocols

We also remind everyone of the following protocols in place:

  • Grades 1-12 students and all staff must wear masks indoors and on school buses; Kindergarten students are strongly encouraged to wear masks. Please send students to school with an extra mask in case one gets dirty.
  • Frequent handwashing or hand sanitizer use, respiratory etiquette and enhanced cleaning are emphasized at every school.
  • At this time, no assemblies or high-contact sports are being held indoors. Outdoor gatherings can take place, with health and safety protocols.
  • Because of the increased traffic flow during student pick-up and drop-off times, and the increased difficulty in maintaining physical distancing, we are asking family members to wear masks while on school property at these times.

Should there be confirmed cases of COVID in schools, the health unit will oversee case and contact management, and identify steps students and staff must take, such as testing, self-isolation or self-monitoring. If exposed to COVID, fully vaccinated individuals may not have to isolate if they have no symptoms; local health units will make these decisions in each case, and communicate with those directly affected. All families and staff will be informed of confirmed cases, as soon as possible. If you have not yet done so, we encourage you to review our Return to School Plan .

One more thing....

In starting off our new year, we are once again focusing on building connections with each other, strengthening relationships and being kind. Here are a few back to school reminders for everyone - and some great conversations to be had at home on how we can all work to make the days as wonderful as possible for all.
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