Together in Education-Welcome Back!
WELCOME BACK LIONS.....2020-21 - HERE WE COME!
MESSEAGE FROM YOUR ADMINISTRATIVE TEAM
A WARM WELCOME BACK!
Lancaster is committed to a safe and healthy return for all, focused on the well-being of students, staff and families. We're so happy to be planning and preparing for the return of our students! Below you will find some general information to get you started with preparations for returning to in-person learning. We will be finalizing class lists next week once we have added new registrations. Families will receive class placement emails on Friday, September 3rd. In this update you will find information about our return to school. Our central team at LDSB are continuing their work with provincial guidelines and our local Public Health Officer to determine best practices as we begin the 2021 school year. All newsletters and updates will be emailed through our School Messenger system, posted to our Twitter feed on our website, and tweeted on our Twitter account.
We may not have all the answers right away, but we will work together with the School Board, our Public Health partners, and school personnel to find answers to your questions. Families will play a very important role this year in keeping everyone safe and healthy. We thank you in advance for your support and cooperation as we work together to ensure a great return to school for everyone.
Staff Organization Updates
This September we welcome back staff from the Virtual School, Ms. Greenlees and Ms. McQuillian. We also celebrate with Ms. Tidman who will begin to transition back to school in the fall after an extended leave. We will be staffing Ms. Tidman's classroom to be shared over the course of the first term as she gradually returns to full-time. New on staff this year we have Ms. Hewitt, the ECE joining Ms. Powers who has shifted over to form our new Kindergarten team. Ms. Wright will take on the role of our classroom teacher in the Primary Autism Classroom. Ms. Honcoop joins us in our primary core French position. Ms. Dudley returns to our intermediate team from her self-funded leave last year. Mr. Bruder also joins our staff in a new role as our junior and intermediate planning time teacher. Ms. Dowker prepares for her maternity leave and her position will be filled through the staffing process over the next few weeks. A warm welcome to these staff as they join our learning community at Lancaster.
Looking forward to our journey together this year,
Ms. Fox, Ms. O'Hearn and your Lancaster Team
School Messenger APP
If you are new to our school, please take the time to download the School Messenger App to stay connected and report student absences. If you wish to receive our weekly family updates, please follow the instructions for selecting email as one of your preferences.
RETURN TO SCHOOL SAFELY
As we return to in-person learning, we will start out cautiously to practice and consolidate routines and protocols for a safe return to school. This will include:
- Daily Covid 19 screening of staff and students.
- Hand-washing and hygiene routines.
- Required masking of students in Grades 1-8 indoors and on school buses.
- Masks are strongly encouraged for kindergarten students.
- Assigned entrance/exits for classes
- Signs and visuals to promote physical distancing and to guide traffic.
- Class cohort zones on the yard for recess and outdoor DPA.
- Physical distancing outdoors as students are not required to wear masks outdoors
- Outdoor learning opportunities and additional outdoor breaks
We will continue to add to our plan in consultation with Public Health and the Board as we begin to introduce students to shared spaces, extra-curricular activities and field trips. We will also share protocols for pick-up drop-off of students and the first day of school next week. For more information, please follow the link below to the LDSB Return to School Plan.
Thank-you for your patience and support.
School Hours: Our school day starts at 8:30 am and ends at 3:00 pm. We will be operating on a semi-balanced day schedule with three instructional blocks of uninterrupted learning time separated by two wellness/nutrition breaks.
8:30-10:30 - Instructional Block
10:30-11:10 - Wellness/Nutrition Break
11:10-12:50 - Instructional Block
12:50-1:40 - Wellness/Nutrition Break
1:40-3:00 - Instructional Block
Please allow staff to keep these calls brief as we will be engaging in important professional development and training and are focusing on ensuring we have details in place for staggered entry. More detailed conversations can take place once start-up has occurred and staff will communicate further class-specific information once they collect parent emails.
As is the case every school year, school organization is tentative in the first few weeks of school. Schools are staffed each spring based on projected enrollment numbers generated by school board data. It is possible that our Lancaster may have to re-organize based on actual enrollment in the third week of September. This will be communicated to families within the first two weeks of school.
Construction at Lancaster over the Summer
As was observed over the summer months, our roofing project was underway at Lancaster for the duration of the summer. All metal components of the roof are being replaced as well as some work to the skylights. Work at the front of the building is mostly complete with some remaining sections in the back and skylight areas. This will mean that portions of the paved area will continue to have some fenced off sections. We continue with project meetings to ensure the safety of students while this work is ongoing with a projected completion of October. Students will continue to have access to exit doors and cohort meeting spots will be minimally affected.
As always, our school will provide the necessary supplies your child will need for learning. At this time of year, parents are often looking for back-to-school shopping suggestions. We've listed a few suggestions below:
- Two or three comfortable masks (mandatory for gr 1-8, strongly encouraged for K)
- Labelled water bottle (water fountains will not be open, filling stations will) and lunch bag with lots of snacks
- Pencil case (You may want your personal pencils/pens, eraser, crayons/pencil crayons, scissors, ruler, calculator for older grades etc.)
- Outdoor clothing for a variety of weather conditions. We will be spending a lot of time learning and playing outdoors.
- Backpack - not too big! We're trying to travel light this year.
- Indoor Shoes
Your child's classroom teacher may have some additional suggestions when you arrive.
Our main office will be open as of Monday, August 30th for emails and phone calls. If you need any assistance, please call or (613-634-0470) between 8:30 am-3:00 pm or email the school at email@example.com and we will get back to you!
SCHOOL REOPENING UPDATES
Please continue to check the LDSB microsite 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.
LDSB Website https://www.limestone.on.ca/
LDSB Twitter https://twitter.com/LimestoneDSB
LDSB Facebook https://tinyurl.com/wbhjtku
LDSB Instagram https://instagram.com/limestonedsb?igshid=1epyma6c0g5qd
NUTRITION BREAK AND OUTDOOR PLAY
We recognize that it will be beneficial to all students and staff to have as much outdoor time as possible. Where appropriate, staff will take students outside for learning purposes, body breaks, wellness breaks and targeted instruction. To ensure that hallway movement, along with doorway and hallway congestion, is minimized, we have had to be creative with outdoor play times, and our traditional nutrition and recess break schedule.
During the wellness and nutrition supervised break, students will be washing their hands, taking their time to eat, and choosing quiet activities at their desk. Masks can be off while eating. The supervised break will end with handwashing.
- Lancaster will still run on a semi balanced day with supervised wellness and nutrition breaks from 10:30-11:10 and again from 12:50-1:40 in their classroom cohort.
- All students will continue to get outdoor time on either side of their balanced day break under the direction of their teacher.
- There will be designated play areas for each classroom cohort on the school yard. Cohorts will rotate through the designated play areas.
Youth Vaccination Clinics
Youth aged 12 and older are now eligible to receive COVID-19 vaccination in Ontario. KFL&A Public Health will continue to offer vaccination clinics for youth who are eligible.
How to book a first dose appointment at Youth and Family Vaccination Clinics
- To make a vaccination appointment, please use the link below.
- Youth clinics will be held beginning on June 8 to June 28.
- Please note you will need to be born in 2009 or later to be eligible - students who are 11 but turning 12 this year now meet the criteria.
SCHOOL ADVISORY COUNCIL (SAC) - New Opportunity! Be a "Lancaster Ambassador"
Parent Council meeting are held throughout the year on the second Tuesday of the month. All parents/guardians are welcome to attend meetings or contact our school council chair firstname.lastname@example.org if you have thoughts, questions, or ideas to share. We will be looking for parents who would be interested in becoming "Lancaster Ambassadors" for the 2021-22 school year. In this role you would be offered as a contact for families that are new to Lancaster to share insights and help them with transition to a new school community. More information about this opportunity can be accessed through the email above or the school council Facebook page:
Join the School Advisory Council Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497663423888404/
Looking for Yard Supervisors for 2021-22
As we begin to plan for the next school year, we are looking for people who may be interested in being a Paid Yard Supervisor. Some of our supervisors come every day, and others commit to a few times a week - the schedule can be flexible!
If you are interested, please email the school at email@example.com
Click here to see our virtual store for student clothing. More options coming soon!
Parent Session - Helping your Child with School Anxiety
Dear Lancaster Families
In these last few weeks of learning students have been engaging a wide variety of learning activities - class spirit days, math challenges in break out rooms, making a vidos of creating a favourite sandwich, adopting a class pet, exploring virtual field trips, working hard at procedural writing, student presentations and guest speakders, and various assessments in the form of quizzes, tests, and 1:1 reading evaluations. There is a lot of learning going on! We encourage families to find a balance that works for getting outside and enjoying the wonderful sun, and engaging in studies to continue the learning momentum. We all need time to connect through learning and laughter, and time to "disconnect" into nature and personal downtime.
Please continue to complete attendance for your child if you know they will be away. We are still doing call-outs as attendance is taken each day. Please make sure your child checks-in with their teacher in some way throughout the day so that they are not accidentally marked absent. If this does occur please call the office to have the attendance modified. Thank you in advance.
Last Week for Government Supports for Students:
If you received a payment through the Support for Learners program, you do not need to apply. Starting on April 26, 2021, we will begin issuing additional payments of:
- $400 for each child or youth up to Grade 12
- $500 for each child or youth up to age 21 with special needs
If you missed applying for the Support for Learners program, you will have the opportunity to apply for this new round of payment. Applications will open from May 3, 2021 to May 17, 2021.Learn more on the government’s Support for Learners webpage.
Ms. Fox, Ms. O'Hearn and your Lancaster Team