Parent Peek at the Week
Week of January 17th, 2022
A little note from Mrs. Sampson
Well families - here we go! I know there are LOTS of questions and LOTS of uncertainty, but there is one thing we do know. Our community is one amazing team!!!! Things won't be easy over the next while, information will change regularly and we'll all experience our own bouts of frustration. BUT - we have an amazing community team, full of kindness, caring and empathy. Let's focus on the qualities that make us so great and we can get through anything!
This Parent Peek at the Week is FULL of TONS of information. This may be the longest edition yet! I've tried to provide info to you in a variety of forms. If you'd like to watch a video of the key messages and information for this week, please see the link below. If you just want a quick overview, then the "key messages" poster might help. And finally, if you want every little detail about every little thing....keep reading! Hopefully you'll find your favourite way of processing information in this edition.
As we begin this new chapter together, please feel free to reach out any time. Our community team will be just fine - as I like to say....."We've got this!"
Mother Nature doesn't seem convinced that we should return to school tomorrow!
Just a reminder that if it's a snow day & busses are cancelled, schools will remain open this year. If you drop off your child in the morning (when they are normally a bus student) you will also need to arrange to pick them up at the end of the day.
Students who are unable to come to school and are at home may choose to log on to their Google classroom to work asynchronously.
Please watch Twitter, Instagram and Edsby - as well as the STSCO.ca website - for details on any bus cancellations. Stay safe everyone!
Please join us in welcoming......
We got to know Ms. Jacobs a little before the break, but we're thrilled she is back full time now so we can get to know her better in her EA role!
We are excited to welcome Ms. Rundell to our support staff team as an EA. We look forward to working with you!
Our most recent new addition to staff is teacher Tania Kerr, who will be supporting our Grade 6 cohort. Welcome to our great school!
Our most important tool to keep schools safe is daily, active screening of all students and staff. Anyone who has symptoms suggestive of COVID-19 or is a confirmed positive case must self-isolate, regardless of vaccination status.
The COVID-19 provincial school screening tool must be completed by EVERY staff and student daily: https://covid-19.ontario.ca/school-screening
Students (every single one in every family) have to also now complete an attestation form daily at the following link: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSdAYRB8qFPfPEbx1knMWBEN1XyoSHQ42WOvW9XzTYn6gpur4w/viewform
If ANY signs of illness are present (Covid or not) staff and students are NOT to attend school. Completing the provincial Covid screener will give you the info you need to know your next steps.
If you'd like more of an explanation on the Covid School Screener....below is a short video to support.
Knowing when you or your family members have to isolate can be tricky! When in doubt, complete the provincial screener and at the end it will tell you exactly what to do. Generally, this is what you need to know. Isolation occurs:
If student/staff tests positive on a PCR or Rapid Antigen Test
If student/staff is experiencing at least one symptom most commonly associated with COVID-19 or two or more symptoms less commonly associated with COVID-19
If student/staff is identified as a high-risk contact or household member of someone with symptoms or a positive test
If one person in the household has symptoms, all others must isolate. If on day 4 of family isolation (as an example) a second family member comes down with symptoms, the whole family restarts isolation at day 1.
Communication with Families
PLEASE NOTE: Kawartha Pine Ridge DSB has shared the following information:
As part of our commitment to support student and staff safety and open communication, when we are informed of possible COVID exposures as a result of positive Rapid Antigen Tests or PCR tests, we will share that information with affected classes/staff and/or buses.
So Principals WILL notify families, by way of a letter, if a positive Covid case has been detected in a classroom.
NOTE: I can only inform you, if I know. So if your child does test positive (on a school provided test or other means if it's available to you), please email or give me a call. Your information will be kept strictly confidential, but this way I can notify other families in your child's class so that they can pay extra attention and screen with extra caution. I ask for your understanding that if a letter does not come home, it means that I am not aware of a positive case.
Continuity of Learning
One of the biggest questions I've been asked this week is about school work when not at school! There are several different reasons why students might be working from home:
- student is isolating, but is well enough to do some school work
- families are not yet comfortable having their child(ren) return to school and want them to work from home for awhile
- families are waiting to have their child(ren) transfer to virtual learning
In all situations, we will do our best to support!
Our teacher's primary responsibility will be to teach face-to-face in the school building. However, if your child(ren) is home for one of the above reasons, they will continue to have access to their Google Classroom daily. Work is completed and submitted asynchronously (away from the teacher and class) and then your child's teacher will provide feedback.
If you have any questions or would like to talk through your specific situation, please just let me know.
Moving to virtual learning
For any families who wish to transfer to virtual learning, the Virtual Learning Portal is now open to accept transfer requests.
Virtual learning requests will be accepted for elementary students from January 13 - 21, with students transitioning to Virtual Elementary School (VES) February 1.
While students wait to begin in the VES, they will continue to be connected to their current class and will access asynchronous work from Google Classroom. They will also stay connected through email and/or phone with the current class teacher until the move is made.
Some of the ways we will be ensuring safety through cohorting includes:
- students entering the school upon arrival, going directly to their classroom. This reduces mingling between cohorts outside before school
- class bathroom breaks scheduled hourly (as we did last year); students will always have the chance to go to the bathroom if it's an emergency - we'll arrange this on a case by case basis when no other classes are in the bathrooms
- class specific recess locations (one class in one location at a time); these locations are changed up every few weeks to ensure that there is some variety
Because some students want to know before Monday - our initial recess yard locations are listed below.
Mask wearing for our students in Kindergarten - Grade 6 is now mandatory (it was highly recommended in Kindergarten before the break). When sending your child to school with masks, please ensure they fit well. A good fit seals around the mouth and nose and is tight to the skin. Baggy masks do not stop aerosol spread!
Masks will be worn outside (just like we did last year) as we know our students do not understand keeping 2 meters apart when playing. However, for students who want to take a mask break outside, we will teach them how to do this safely. This will include moving away from the playing group to have a mask break, and then putting their mask back on when re-engaging.
We know our students will go through several masks a day (especially in the cold weather), so please make sure you send several extras with them daily. We do have a small supply of extra masks if needed at the school, but not enough to support all students all the time.
If you would like to read the board Mask Protocol, it can be found here: https://www.kprschools.ca/en/MaskResources.html
Our school has received a set of RATs to send home with students and families this week. A huge thank you to our board office staff who spent the day on Friday preparing the kits for all schools in KPR!
Each child will be sent home with 2 RATs for you to use IF symptoms occur. This is different direction than before the break, when the RATs were used as screeners. Due to the limited ability to access testing right now, these tests are intended to be used as a diagnostic tool (NOT a screener when asymptomatic). We will continue to provide these tests to children and staff as supply allows.
The use of the rapid tests is for symptomatic individuals, who will be required to take two rapid tests 24 hours apart, and with two negative results can return to school.
Any student who borrowed technology for home learning, is asked to return the Chromebook and charging cord on Monday (or as soon as possible).
Technology will be handed to the classroom teacher (not the office) so that Mrs. Sampson can properly sign it back in and log it for the IT department.
If you are a family that is choosing to move to virtual learning and still requires technology, please let Mrs. Sampson know.
Along with answering questions, our main focus will be discussing our next Virtual Paint Night (yeah - we received funding again this year after it was such a great success last year!), as well as updates from Admin, staff and our Council. If you have time to join us virtually at 6:30pm, here is the link:
Hope to see you there!
Hot Lunch Program
As soon as we're able to get it back up and running, we'll be in touch. If you have ordered meals for the next two week, lunchboxorders.com will be in touch to provide you with next steps.