Major Family Update

École Sir John A. Macdonald: September 13th 2020

Dear Families:

What another great week! Our staff and students have use the staggered entry period to learn new routines for learning and playing, and they are doing an amazing job! Thank-you for your collaboration and support! This week we will begin full attendance with just over 700 students. As we look ahead, here are a few important reminders:

  • Please screen your child for symptoms using the KFL&A screener before your child leaves for school and keep your child home if they show symptoms.
  • Please make sure your child has what they need for school ex. water bottle, lunch, masks etc.
  • Please entire your child's absence and reason for absence using the School Messenger Absence Reporting feature
  • If your child is absent due to symptoms, please contact the school prior to returning them to school to share results of your medical consultation or testing where applicable.
  • Please continue to wear masks on the school yard if you are dropping off or picking a child up on the school yard. No dogs are permitted on school property.
  • Please do not drop off students in our parking lot. It helps if you park a few blocks away and walk your child to the yard for drop-off.
  • Parents are not permitted in the building. If your child is late, please come to the main door, ring the bell, and identify yourself and your child. Our staff will meet you outside if your child is not able to proceed to their class independently. If you wish to speak with someone at school, please call ahead to arrange an appointment.

We have appreciated the assistance of police officer for start up, and we will have a constable assisting us again tomorrow as we begin full attendance.

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Staffing Updates: Goodbyes and Welcomes

We are sad to be saying farewell to a few of our staff members who have been assigned new roles in LDSB. Congratulations to Mrs. Chesnick and Mrs. Bowen who will be two of four new itinerant literacy support positions in our board. They will begin their new positions as of September 24th in order to assist with school start up and transitions. Both of these educators have made a huge impact in the lives of students, and we know they will be fantastic supporting students across the board.

We also want to congratulate our vice-principal, Mrs. Paquin, who has been assigned as principal at Glenburnie & Joyceville Public Schools. Mrs. Paquin is an exceptional leader who will be missed. We wish her well in her new role which begins on September 25th.

We are delighted to be welcoming Courtney Bush to our school. Ms. Bush is has been a teacher, consultant, and vice-principal in our board, and we look forward to having her join the SJAM family.

The staffing process will continue to proceed this week, with our final enrollment report. These numbers will impact our school organization and staff assignments. We will share any resulting changes and reorganization updates with you when we have them, and we will continue to support our students through this transition. A reminder that requests for changes to in-person learning must be made by September 14th.

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Communication Tools

Our Board and school use several electronic tools to help communicate need-to-know information to families in a timely and efficient way. The tools are part of the SchoolMessenger app which allows us to share important school information with families via text, phone or email message. Registered parents/guardians receive these messages through contact information that is collected in our student information system.

Parents/guardians may choose how to receive these alerts by text message, email or phone call. SJAM Family Updates are sent out by email on Sundays each week.Please select the email option if you want to receive these updates directly in your inbox each week.

The easiest way to have access to all these tools is to set up a SchoolMessenger account on your desktop, laptop, tablet and/or download the SchoolMessenger app. While an account is not required to use these new tools, it will allow you to review your contact information and communication preferences, and it stores all of your messages in one place.

Learn how to:

We've Got This!

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2020 Grade 6 Grads Keep on Rockin'!

Thanks to our 2020 grade 6 grads who have continued to drop off your rocks. These painted rocks signify your graduation and memory of time spent within the community of Sir John A Macdonald School, and they are an important legacy! It's not too late to get your rocks painted and dropped off at our school. There will be a bin out front of our school for the collection of your rocks. Bring your graduation rock painted with your word of inspiration to help provide beauty to our growing gardens. Here they will remain and may they be as strong as you.

How do I get involved in Parent Council?

We have a very active school advisory council, and we welcome parent participation in the life of our school. If you would like to learn more about our parent council, please see the welcome letter from last year's co-chairs, Shayla Bradley and Christine Innocente.

What happens if my child has symptoms?

All students and staff must self-screen every day before attending school using a checklist before arriving at school. If a student or staff member is experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, they must stay home from school and should seek appropriate medical attention and testing. If a student or staff member feels sick, or develops symptoms while at school, schools will follow the following protocol:

  • Teachers will notify an administrator if a is demonstrating symptoms.
  • An administrator will accompany children to our isolation room where we will use this tool to screen them and document any symptoms.
  • If a staff member becomes unwell, they will notify administration to self-isolate and secure coverage for the class.
  • Staff and families will be directed to consult their health-care provider and will be provided with information about COVID-19 testing locations.
  • Healthcare providers will provide next steps for families. Please document appointments/recommendations to share with school administration.
  • Staff and/or students who test positive may not return to school until they are cleared by KFL&A Public Health.
  • Staff and/or students who test negative can return to school once they are symptom-free for 24 hours.
  • Limestone schools will immediately report any suspected or confirmed cases of COVID-19 to the KFL&A Public Health.
  • Limestone schools will participate in contact tracing through keeping records of classes, transported students, and visitors to schools.
  • Please refer to the KFL& A Public Health parent guide below for more detailed information.
Thank-you for working with us by following these safety protocols.
KFL&A Public Health COVID-19 Parent/Guardian Guide

Please refer to this tool from KFL& A Health Unit for information for parents.

What if my child develops symptoms of COVID-19 at school?

Emotional Regulation Workshops

The Maltby Centre is offering a virtual emotion regulation workshop to parents and caregivers of children 0-6. There are two dates available, including an afternoon and evening session. Please follow the link below for more details.

Director Burra Visits SJAM

We were happy to see Director of Education, Krishna Burra, drop by our school on Thursday. He chatted with some staff and visited a few classes. Mme Norris let him know how impressed she was with our students during the staggered start. So proud of our Majors!

Medical Plans

If your child has any significant health conditions such as asthma or allergies or if they require medical procedures and/or medications to be administered at school, it is imperative that we receive updated medical plans. For families who were at Sir John A Macdonald for the 2019-2020 school year, an email was sent out in early July with information about forms required for this school year. New families to Sir John A Macdonald will receive an email and information as they register, if their child has any health conditions listed in the registration or if you have contacted the school to request these form. Thank-you to those parents who have already submitted this information. Please send forms by email to:

Allergen Aware & Scent Aware

We have many students and staff who have severe allergies that pose risks to their health and safety. Thank-you for working with us to reduce the risk by making sure that you avoid packing any foods that may contain any tree-nuts or peanuts. As well, we ask that you avoid sending any strongly scented products such as scented sanitizers with your child.

What if my child is registered for the LDSB Virtual School?

If you have chosen the remote learning option for your child, please check your email and phone messages for information from SJAM teachers and from the LDSB Virtual School as we continue with phase 1 until September 23rd 2020.

  • Students can engage in the learning activities provided by their home school teacher at their own pace.
  • To access help with the work assigned from home schools, call 613.817.9322 from September 8-23 on school days between the hours of 9 a.m. and 3 p.m. and request telephone support or support through a virtual meeting.
  • Students will be provided some opportunities to join larger virtual learning meetings beginning the week of September 14 in addition to learning activities assigned by the home school.
  • LDSB Virtual School staff will coordinate with home schools to ensure students who require a device are able to get one from the home school and ITS will explore new Internet connections for students where required and available.
  • To access technical support, call 613.417.3559 or email.
  • Phase 2 of remote learning will begin September 24 and will see elementary students placed in virtual classes with other elementary students from across the district. Students will then follow a regular timetable for learning as they would in in-person school with online classes beginning at 9 a.m. and ending by 3:20 p.m., Monday to Friday. Please read more about the LDSB Virtual School.
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September 13th is National Firefighters Memorial Day

Coming Up:

Monday, September 14th Day 2
  • All students attend today!
  • Last day to opt back in to in-person learning
Tuesday, September 15th Day 3

Wednesday, September16th Day 4

Thursday, September 17th Day 5

Friday, September 18th Day 1

  • Red Friday!

What are the procedures for arrival and dismissal?

**Please ONLY come to the school with your child if absolutely necessary.

**Dogs are not permitted on the school yard at any time. **

**If your child is in a before school program, please use the designated entrance for your drop off.**


  • Walkers go straight to the front door by the gate where a supervisor will take students straight to class. Students arriving by bus will be met by supervisors and accompanied by supervisors to enter by parking lot door. ECEs will be in classrooms to receive kindergarten children at 9:00 am.
  • Our start time is 9:15 am and supervision begins at 9:00 am. Walkers and students being driven to school should try to arrive as close to 9:15 as possible.
  • If you drive your child to school, please consider parking a few blocks away and walking from there.
  • Parking lots are not to be used for dropping off children.
  • When students arrive, they go directly to their class meeting spot at their assigned zone to line up.
  • Parents should not proceed onto the yard unless absolutely necessary.
  • If you must come on the yard to drop off your child, please drop off and leave quickly. Due to our large numbers, at our site, we are asking parents to please wear a mask if you must come to the yard at this busy time when physical distancing may be challenging. Please do not congregate!
  • All staff on duty will wear orange or yellow safety vests.
  • Staff will assist students arriving by bus in getting to their assigned meeting spot. It helps if little ones have a label or tag indicating their name and their teacher's name.
  • Students are to line up in their zones.
  • Teachers will meet their students at their zones to begin staggered entry into the building at 9:15 am to allow for social distancing in the hallways and stairs.


  • kindergarten students on buses are taken directly to their buses or loading zones at the end of the day.
  • walkers can be picked up at their designated meeting spots.


  • Staff will escort students out of the building using a staggered exit to allow for physical distancing.
  • Students who take the bus will go to line up at their bus meeting spot and be supervised by staff.
  • Classroom teachers will take walkers and students being picked up by parents to the morning meeting spot and will dismiss them from there when the bell rings at 3:35.
  • Parents who must pick up their child, should come to the meeting spot and then leave the yard as quickly as possible. Due to our large numbers, at our site, we are asking parents to please wear a mask if you must come to the yard at this busy time when physical distancing may be challenging. Please do not congregate!
  • Bus loading will be supervised by staff
  • Parking lots will be closed to parents for pick up. Please consider parking a few blocks away and walk to meet your child.
  • Students attending the Before & After Program will be escorted to the designated meeting spot.

**Please respect physical distancing at all times if you must come to the school**

What if my child is late or needs to leave early?

If your child is late for school, please come to the front door and ring the bell to speak with a staff member. Parents will need to wait outside, physically distanced from other families, until staff arrive to sign your child in and welcome them inside school. We will make sure that young students get to their classrooms safely.

In order to limit the number of parents on school property, we ask that students leave early only if it's absolutely necessary, e.g., for an appointment. If you are picking your child up early, please come to front door and ring the bell to speak with a staff member. We will bring your child to the door to meet you. If you arrive early to pick up your child, we as that you wait off property until dismissal at 3:35 pm in order that we may stick to our safe dismissal routines as much as possible.

School Hours

Our school day schedule is as follows for primary and junior classes:

9:15-11:15 - 120 mins

11:15--11:55 - recess/nutrition

11:55 -1:35 - 100 mins

1:35-2:15 - recess/nutrition

2:15-3:35 - 80 mins

Kindergarten recess/nutrition breaks will vary by classroom as we have created additional nutrition/recess breaks in the morning and afternoon to stagger access to the two yard zones in the fenced in kinder yard.

How do I return borrowed technology?

Please send your child's technology with them on their next day of school if it can be transported safely. If not, please email or call to arrange for a drop off time. email phone: 613-650-5478

Main Office Hours

Our main office administrators, Shelley Shaw and Laurie Stevenson will be happy to assist parents and families. If you have any questions, or need to speak to a staff member, please send us an email or call or (613-650-5478) between 8:30 am-4:00 pm.
Frequently Asked Questions

LDSB updated FAQ's

Stay Up-to-Date

Please continue to check the LDSB website for updated information on the Director's messages, Frequently asked Questions, Family Reference Guide, Wellness Resources & Supports, Remote Learning info, Public Health info and Ministry of Education information. This area is updated regularly as information becomes available or changes.

School ReOpening Microsite

Limestone DSB Frequently Asked Questions

Wellness Resources & Supports

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