Bear Blast

Week of October 19, 2020

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Working together; succeeding together.

Daily Screening

Please use the following tool to screen your child, every morning.

Cold and Flu Season

I want to start by recognizing how challenging the times that we are living in are. The new rules, protocols, and procedures are trying to say the least. Adding to the exasperating circumstances is that the situation is not static but fluid, in other words, the rules keep changing. Fluid situations and changing rules, create uncertainty and uncertainty can lead to fear and, as Yoda said, "Fear leads to the dark side." So, thank you to our school communities and families who continue to bear with us in these uncertain times and continue to be so understanding and supportive.


One thing that I have come to understand through all of this is that we are a culture deeply rooted in tradition and past practice. We have typically done certain things in a certain way and we like it that way. When that way is changed, there is an adjustment period and that adjustment period is uncomfortable at times. One of the areas that we have always done things in a certain way is when it comes to illness. Today in the staffroom, one of the staff put it well when they said "when our kids were sick we used to keep them home until they were over the worst of it, now we have to keep them home until they are just over it." I think that it is so true, but also creates huge challenges. We are seeing more and more that 811 is recommending that students stay at home for 48h after symptoms have disappeared. This means that many students are home for 1-2 weeks at a time far more frequently than ever would have occurred before. This disruption in their learning is, always, a major concern for us. To alleviate this, our staff is committed to ensuring that the systems we use to support students when learning at home are robust and accessible. When students have to be out for an extended period of time (more than 1-2 days), parents will be contacted to ensure they are able to access the learning at home supports. As another staff member said, "we have to make sure that our online supports are on point". We know that learning at home is no one's first choice, but we are committed to ensuring that the transition to online learning and back is as smooth and timely as possible, to limit the learning disruptions.


Cold and flu season is upon us, incidental absences are only going to increase in the coming weeks and months. So far, we have been very happy with how our families are dealing with illness, your cooperation is greatly appreciated. We need our families to know that even when your child is at home, they are still our students and we will provide supports that are as robust as they would be if they were in the classroom. As always, no matter what these crazy times can throw at us and no matter how uncertain things may feel, remember that; together, we got this!

Need Retakes?!

We have confirmed with Richard that retakes and grad photos will be Wednesday, Oct 21. A schedule will be set up for the grads.

Halloween at PPCS - Oct 30th.

We have decided that, for those who wish to, we will be celebrating Halloween at PPCS on Oct 30. It will look a little bit different to ensure that everyone stays safe, but we have tried to preserve the spirit of the day. The differences this year include:


  • Students must come to school fully dressed or be able to dress themselves. Parents are not able to come into the school and we would like to limit the amount that teachers have to assist.
  • The costume parade will be outside, students will watch from their classrooms. Please ensure that students are prepared for a brief outside walk (weather permitting).
  • We will try and stream the costume parade so our families can tune in and see the costumes as well.
  • Students will not be allowed to hand out treats to their peers. We talked amongst the staff but could not find a way to do this safely, especially amid the growing numbers again.

We are excited to be able to celebrate, although in a toned-down way.

Google Classroom and Moodle, Oh My!

Thank you to all of our families who have engaged with getting onto Google Classroom (K-4) and Moodle (5-12). These are the platforms that we will use in the event that a child has to be out of school for an extended period of time (more than a couple of days). Recently, we have seen a marked in increase in the number of students who are being advised by 811 to stay at home for a more extended period of time. For this reason, it is critical that all of our families are familiar with these two platforms (as they apply to your child's grade). It is our expectation that in the event a child had to be out for an extended period of time that families would be able to access and navigate these platforms to ensure that students do not get behind in their work. Families who are not able to access the platforms should contact the school as soon as possible so that we can assist you.

Parking Loop

Due to our staggered recesses and noon hour, students are present on the playground more this year than they have been in the past. As a result, to ensure their safety, we will be closing our parking loop from 8:30am until 4:00pm. Thank you for your cooperation in keeping our students safe.

Requests to Stay Inside

In the past, parents have occasionally written notes asking if their child can stay in at recess and/or noon hour. We have always been able to and happy to accommodate this. COVID restrictions (including sanitizing schedules) make this more difficult. For this reason we would like families to consider the following before making a request...

  • Is the reason for the request due to an injury? In these cases, we will do our best to accommodate the request.
  • Is the request due to the fact that the child is not feeling well or is recovering from a cold? In this case, we would ask you to consider if the child is well enough to be at school. Pehaps one more day at home would be better to ensure that they are completelyt well.

I know that many people believe that getting cold can cause you to get a cold. Science largely says that this is false (although my Mom would disagree). There is no solid research that says that being out in the cold will cause you to get a cold. In fact, even getting cold and wet is not a direct cause of getting sick (contrary to what the movies and TV would tell us). In fact, cool fresh air can reduce swelling in brinchioles and releive the symptoms of colds, this expediating recovery.


In the end, we will always look out for the best interest of our students and their families, but we ask that families do all they can to assist us in ensuring that we can continue to provide the safest environment possible.

Thank you to PP FIre Dept

Murray and Corey came and visited with our kids on Friday. The kids always enjoy the tour of the fire equipment and got some great information about kitchen fire safety and fire safety in general. They were challenged to check and make sure...

  • their home has a working smoke alarm
  • their home has a working fire extinguisher
  • that they have an evacuation plan for their family in case of a fire.

Huge thanks to Murray and Corey, it was a great presentation and the kids thoroughly enjoyed some normalcy in these times of normal for now.

It's Getting Colder

The SHA strongly recommends that students are outside as much as possible as the risk of transmission drops greatly when outside with natural airflow. For this reason, we will try to maximize the amount of time and the length of time that students are outside. Please make sure that they are dressed for the weather. We have many students arriving in just a thin sweater or hoodie and they are finding that they get cold very quickly. A noon recess can seem extra long when they are cold.

It Is So Nice to See Student Work Back on the Walls

Pick Up

We have had some questions about pick up at the end of the day. The best place to pick up is in our big parking lot. We close our parking loop to keep our students safe. Our high school students are dismissed early and as such have cleared out of the parking lot by the time the elementary are released.

Upcoming Events

October 21 - Retakes and Grad Photos

October 22 - SCC Meeting - Contact Dan (mielke.daniel@nesd.ca) if you are interested in attending.

October 26 - No School (School Improvement Planning Day)

October 27 - Opioid Presentation - Grade 10 Wellness

November 11 - No School (Remembrance Day)

November 16 - Block 2 Begins

November 17 - Block 1 Report Cards

Playground

In order to help our staff out at the end of the day, we are closing our playground from 3:25-4:00. School-age children are asked to leave the playground and return after 4:00 pm. Thank you for your cooperation and understanding.

Youth Group (Beyond Discovery) Starting at the End of the Month

Youth Group is starting Oct 16. Masks are required. Stay tuned for more details.

Nipawin Bible College is coming Oct 23, stay tuned for details.

School Messenger App - Update

We continue to have a great deal of trouble with the Messenger App. We appreciate your patience but understand that communication between teachers and parents is key component of a child's education. We are working on a better solution, but in the meantime, we will be utilizing the old messenger program that we had been using which sent messages directly to your text and/or email. Please make sure that you have opted into our messenger service.

How to Opt In - send Y or Yes to 978338

This will ensure that you can remain up to date on everything that is occurring in your child's class and at PPCS in general.

To contact teachers, for now, please use methods you used in the past or call (306) 278 2288. All teachers can be reached through email as well...all email addresses have the same format (lastname.firstname@nesd.ca).

Sorry for the inconvenience and thank you for your patience.

What is different at PPCS?

PPCS COVID-19 Parent Guide

Please read the attached document which outlines the start-up and safety plans for PPCS (and all NESD schools). There is some school-specific information at the end of the document.

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