Lancaster Start Up #2

August 28th, 2020

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New Registrations: Families wishing to register their child/children may do so online at - click on the "Register Your Child" tab. Please call the school at 613-634-0470 to make an appointment to come to the school to finalize registration details. Walk-In Registrations can not be accommodated at this time. **Please note that we are only accepting new registrations from families within our school catchment area.** You can find out which school is your home school by visiting and clicking on the "Eligibility" tab.

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Dear Lancaster Families

Lancaster is committed to a safe healthy return for all, focused on the well-being of students, staff and families. In this update you will find information about our return to school. As we get closer to re-entry and more information becomes available, we will continue to share with familes. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we do our best to serve our community. 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.

Yours in education,

Lani Fox and Sara O'Hearn


LDSB schools and school board use School Messenger to send key messages, alerts, and general communication to families. Lancaster uses this platform and will continue to use our "TIE: Together in Education" newsletter to provide updates to families. These newsletters are where we will share school-specific information and highlights of student work and events in the building. This newsletter is sent out via School Messenger and on our school Twitter account. Our Twitter feed that can be found on our school website or directly on our Twitter account @LancasterPSLDSB

SchoolMessenger App: Download the SchoolMessenger App to stay connected. Use your mobile device to download and install the free SchoolMessenger blue app from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store, the SchoolMessenger website portal, or from within the LDSB mobile app. *New families will be able to create their account after the first day of attendance.

The first time you use the app, you must select Sign Up to create your account. Please ensure you use the same email address your student’s school has on file. If you do not use that same email address, you will not be able to create an account.

Daily Schedule

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.

Grade 1-8 Schedule

8:30-10:30 - Instructional Block

10:30-11:15 - Wellness/Nutrition Break

11:15-12:55 - Instructional Block

12:55-1:40 - Wellness/Nutrition Break

1:40-3:00 - Instructional Block

Kindergarten Schedule

8:30-10:30 - Instructional Block

10:30-11:15 - Wellness/Nutrition Break

11:15-12:55 - Instructional Block

12:55-1:40 - Wellness/Nutrition Break

1:40-3:00 - Instructional Block


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 10:30-11:15 and again from 12:55-1:40 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.

Classroom Placements and Staff List

Classroom placements will be communicated with families prior to the beginning of the academic year. Please expect to receive a phone call or email from your child or children's teacher on September 1st or September 2nd. At this time, the location for where your child will meet as a cohort on their first day will be communicated. These locations will be designated "muster spots" identified on our schoolyard for arrival and dismissal times.

Please allow staff to keep these calls brief as we will be engaging in important professional development and training on those days 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.

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Arrival and Dismissal procedures

Morning Yard Supervision: Staff begin supervision on the yards at 8:15 am. Please do not drop off/send your child/children before this time as there is no adult supervision. For the duration of our staggered entry days we will allow parents of new or younger students to come on property wearing masks to ensure their child finds their correct meeting location. Parents should not linger or wait with their child, a quick drop off and go is essential. After these dates, starting on Septemeber 14th when our whole school population returns, parents will not be permitted on the yard as per health and safety guidelines.


  • Drop off as close to 8:30 as possible to avoid having students stand in line for a long time.
  • Open play will not be permitted when students arrive, they are to meet at their cohort line up spot and wait for the bell to ring for student entry.
  • Please expect delays and be patient.
  • Obey all additional signage.
  • If possible, parents are asked to remain in their vehicles and drop off students in the designated areas or park a few blocks away and walk your child to one of the school access points where they will be greeted by staff.
  • Late arrivals are highly discouraged as students will have to be permitted entry one by one and socially distanced before they can gain access to the building
  • .**Please follow physical distancing guidelines.**


  • Families should use the staggered entry days to develop a family plan for pick up. For most families this will mean arranging a meeting spot at one of the walkways that lead into the schoolyard, a location in the back field of the school yard, or having an older sibling or student walk their child home.
  • Due to health guidelines, we cannot have families gathering on the school yard before the dismissal bell to wait for their child. If you are waiting please wait in the back field area or at your family meeting spot.

**All students and parents need to leave as quickly as possible after dismissal to respect public health guidelines. Please do not linger for play at the climber or on the playground**

Parent Drop-off and Pick-Up During the Day

  • At this point, access to the school building and yard is only for students and staff.

  • We are asking that students stay on school property for the duration of the day, and refrain from going home or out into the community at our nutrition/wellness breaks.

  • If you need to pick your child up early from school or drop them off late, please use the buzzer at the front door of the school and speak to Mrs. Davies or Mrs. Asselstine in the office. Your child will be received at, or brought to, the front door. No parents are permitted inside the building.

  • Please find parking on the street outside of our bus lane at the front of the school. Our parking lot is for staff only and we thank you for your cooperation.

What to Bring

Along with their excitement, creativity, imagination and positive energy, students may like to bring a few other items in their backpacks. We ask that all toys remain at home and only necessary items are brought to school. At this time, students will be required to keep their belongings with them in the classroom. Lockers in grade 7 & 8 will not be in use. This is to avoid hallway congestion and congregation areas. All items should be able to fit in the child's backpack.

  • Refillable labeled water bottle. Fountains are closed, but water refill stations are open
  • Masks are required for all students and staff with exceptions made for medical conditions. Additional masks will be on-site for students who misplace or are without a mask that day. Lancaster will be providing students with a paper bag for storage of their masks while eating.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in each classroom and at each door, but students may like their own. Please refrain from sending strongly scented sanitizer (Bath and Body Works, etc.) as this can trigger adverse effects (headaches) and does not support our scent-free environment.
  • Individual supplies: Parents may wish to provide their child with some of the commonly shared items used in school (pencil sharpener, scissors, pencil crayons, glue stick, etc) The school will continue to provide access to these shared items which can be sanitized for students as necessary.
  • Bring a healthy lunch and snacks for two eating times. Many parents find that labelling items as "lunch 1" and "lunch 2" help ensure that students have food for both nutrition breaks.
  • Wear appropriate shoes for running and playing (no flip flops). While weather is nice, we will not be needing to change shoes but students may bring additional shoes in the case of wet weather.
  • Students will be spending more time outside even into the cooler weather, as such please ensure your child comes prepared with appropriate clothing.
  • Please clearly label all student items, including masks.

Kindergarten Specific Information - New Pick-Up and Drop-Off Process

Arrival and Dismissal Routines:

  • Note for returning and new families; student drop-off and pick-up process has changed. Student drop off and pick up will take place at the gate at the front of the school. Please do not walk down the pathway as the back gate will be locked.
  • Parents will line up with their child on the yellow social distanced lines marked from the gate along the front of the school. A staff member will receive your child and direct them inside or to the school yard to join their class cohort.
  • Parents must leave school property directly after dropping their child to school staff. Please do not linger around the kinder fence as per health guidelines.
  • A similar process will be used for student dismissal. Parents will line up and staff will bring your child to the gate entrance to head home. Classroom staff may communicate further information around timing for student pick up at the end of the day.

Other Specific Information:

  • The two kindergarten classes are considered separate cohorts and will not be using the kinder playground at the same time.

  • Students will be encouraged to wear masks during inside time aside from nutrition breaks. Please practice this as much as possible with your child. Lancaster will provide a paper bag for safe storage while at school.
  • Encourage your child to practise being independent with lunch and snack materials. You may want to include a small pair of scissors in your child's lunch bag to assist with opening packages.
  • Please provide one set of clothing in a labelled, ziploc bag.
  • If parents need to pick up or drop off your child during the school day you will need to call the office to inform them of your arrival. A staff member will bring your child out to the gate or meet a parent there to receive the student.

Remote Learning

A number of our families completed opt-out forms and will not be joining us in person at Lancaster Drive School. We know this was a difficult decision for you, and although we will miss seeing your wonderful children each day, we understand that this option may work best for some families. To support families in preparing for the move to online learning, here is what you need to know at this time:

  • We will be reaching out to gather information about your technology preparedness, wireless access and remote learning options in the near future.
  • Families who choose remote learning may not be able to easily move back to in-person learning at Lancaster, and vice versa. We will do our best to accommodate requests, but school staffing is funded and completed based on student numbers. Moves back to in-person learning may be dependent on space availability and other factors.
  • While efforts will be made to accommodate requests for a change, families should expect that they might need to be wait-listed and bus transportation is not guaranteed.
  • During online learning you will not necessarily be connected to a teacher or students from our school.
  • If you decide to change your mind and return to Face to Face Learning or opt in to Remote Learning, the deadline to let us know is September 14th.
  • The start date to return to Face to Face instruction is September 21st if you have opted back in.

School Visitors and Volunteers

While we typically welcome visitors to our school, we are required to limit visitors this year in order to adhere to health guidelines. All visitors who have been granted permission to enter the school must report directly to the office and follow all health and safety protocols. If you are dropping off a student after the entry bell, you will need to come to the front entrance and buzz the office to speak to a staff member who will guide you through the Late Sign In procedure. Please follow physical distancing measures at all times.

No volunteers are permitted in the school at this time as per KFL&A's protocols.

Remote Learning Device Return

We are so glad you were able to use the school Chromebooks for the past 6 months. Please bring the device back to the school on the first day of school. We will need to gather devices so that they can be properly sanitized and provided to other remote learners or put back into our Chromebook carts. Don't forget the power cord! Thank you!

Physical Education Class and Outdoor Time

We recognize the importance of outdoor time and the need for physical activity for students. The "Oval" in our backfield area has been designated as our new gym space. A physical education class schedule has been organized so that cohorts have access to this space for outdoor physical education classes. In addition to regular phys-ed and DPA breaks, classes will be provided additional time throughout the day for outdoor learning and community walks.

Prevalent Medical Conditions

Please be aware that we have staff and students who have SEVERE allergies to foods as well as environmental allergies. Some of these allergies are life-threatening.

With this in mind, we ask that all staff, students and visitors refrain from sending/bringing items to school that contain or have come in contact with any nuts. Classroom staff may communicate further information on specific allergens in individual classrooms.

*A separate S'more newsletter message will be sent to parent(s)/guardian(s) outlining the process for updated Plans of Care for your child for the 2020-2021 academic year.


Students will notice signage throughout the school supporting them with reminders on how to travel through the hallways safely. Some of the signage examples are below for you to share with your children.

  • Staff will practice this with the cohorts during their first few days in the building.
  • Class cohorts will have a designated entry/exit door. Sanitizer will be at every door.
  • Handwashing breaks will be ongoing throughout the day
  • Educators will be taking their class outside as often as they can to allow for a masking break and to do outdoor learning activities.
  • Bathrooms will have a maximum occupancy capacity based on the square footage of the bathroom. Students will always be allowed to use the bathroom, but may need to wait to ensure physical distancing in the smaller space
  • To begin the year, shared spaces such as the gym and library will be closed. PE will be outside.


Visit to view route numbers, pick up times and stop locations. September is an very busy time for Tri Board Transportation Planners so there may be delays in receiving information about new bus requests. **Please note that busing is not provided for addresses outside of our school catchment area**

Students who arrive/depart on the bus will need to follow the guidelines set out for wearing masks and sitting with family units in designated seats. This is not an option for students and they will need to listen carefully to their bus driver. Our buses will continue to disembark and load in the designated bus loading zone. The protocol below will be reviewed and tweaked as needed in the first week to ensure the safest and most efficient plan:

Arriving on the bus:

  • As students are welcomed off the bus by a staff member, they will follow the path around the school to their designated class cohort line up spot (below) They will wait in this line until the bell rings at 8:30 and then be escorted by their teacher into the school directly to their classroom.
  • Class locations will be marked for easy identification
  • Students are asked to respect physical distancing guidelines
  • A/B cohorts will practice this during the staggered entry

Departing on the bus:

  • Classes will be escorted down to their line up spot and supervised
  • Once buses have parked, individual classes will be called to board the bus to allow for distancing and departure in an organized manner


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Staggered Entry This September

The Ministry of Education recently announced that school boards were permitted to adopt a staggered start to the 2020-2021 school year to allow additional time for students to adjust to new routines, and health and safety practices. In Limestone, the first day of school is Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020. Elementary schools are organizing staggered entry based on an alternate schedule of A/B days until and including September 11. See Lancaster's plan below.

Monday September 14th: All students in attendance and regular school schedule begins.

Why a Staggered Entry?

The staggered entry has been approved and encouraged by the Ministry in order to support a safe re-entry to school by having the time to teach and orient groups of students to the new routines and safety practices that have been put in place. This will also be an opportunity to support students in feeling secure in their new school experience.

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LDSB Re-Opening Information Continues

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.

School ReOpening Microsite

School ReOpening Reference Guide

Limestone DSB Frequently Asked Questions

Wellness Resources & Supports

LDSB Website

LDSB Twitter

LDSB Facebook

LDSB Instagram

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