Fairfield ES Update

Friday August 28, 2020

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Welcome Back!

A Message from Fairfield ES

Dear Families,


As we work towards the new school year, we are happy to welcome back our returning students and our new families who will join us this year. We have been working to plan for a safe and successful return to school based on new Ministry and Public Health information. We recognize that school routines will look very different this year, but what will remain constant is the joy, care and compassion that all of our educators have in welcoming kids back to their first days of a new school year. We can't wait to see our students! Our team will be reaching out in various ways to welcome students and share any information specific to their classroom early next week.


We have worked as a staff to create a supportive plan for students and families to enter the new school year in a positive and safe way, under the health and safety guidelines we have been given. Staff have done this with consultation from the LDSB and with KFL&A Public Health Unit. We will plan to navigate unforeseen challenges as they come our way. Thank you for understanding that this is new for us all and a very unique start to our school year. Health and safety, along with wellness and mental health of our school community, is our number one priority as plan for our September start up. Please continue to make your own wellness and the wellness of your family a priority.


Provided for you are the first 2 of a series of 5 videos created by our LDSB Educational Services professionals for helping to prepare our kids for a return to school. Click below to learn more about preparing our kids: Module 1: Resilience and Module 2: Back to In-Class Learning. Future modules will be posted on the LDSB website as they are launched.


Further below, we have broken down some key areas that require new safety routines to be put in place. Please take the time to inform yourself and talk about these with your family so that kids and adults are more prepared for being welcomed back to school with new routines.


We know that school re-opening comes with its share of worry and stress for many. As the caring adults in the lives of our students, it will be important for us to support them by supporting each other. Staying positive, calm and flexible, while following the safety guidelines set out for us all, will be our best approach.


As always, we look forward to a wonderful year of social, emotional, physical, and academic growth for all our kids.


Yours in education,

Hilda Barrett & Deborah Thompson, VP & P

and the Fairfield Elementary School Team

LDSB School Reopening: What to expect when students return to school

Getting Ready for School

Positive Messaging: Children will be looking to adults to determine how they should react to situations, to provide reassurance and to answer questions/concerns they may have. Do your best to share positive messaging about the challenges ahead and be mindful about what personal worries and concerns you share.


Begin Practicing: Begin or continue to practice mask wearing and physical distancing in the community and in social gatherings. Students will need time to become accustomed to these protocols and will need to develop stamina for wearing a mask. Continue to establish and practice hand-washing/sanitizing routines at home before/after transitioning to new places and spaces. We will be washing our hands a lot during the school day!


Seek Support: Reach out to other families to share ideas and strategies for preparing students for the new normal of school. Access community resources to support your child's mental health and well-being or to access support for yourself. Email or call the school if you have specific questions/concerns related to your child - our whole team is here to help!

Resources and Information about School Reopening

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

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.


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.


All families should have received a phone call/email/text from the school on Monday of this week indicating your child's cohort and staggered entry dates. If you do not know which days your child should attend, please contact the school by email or phone (contact info below).

Fairfield staff will be reaching out to all families next week starting on Tuesday with teacher and class information.

Technology Return

Please return any borrowed technology before school begins if possible. The office is open on Friday August 28th from 12:30-4pm, and 8am-4pm on Tuesday and Wednesday September 1st and 2nd. Please come to the front door, ring the buzzer, and we will meet you. Please be sure to include the charge cord. It is important that we receive these devices back to Fairfield ES so that we can thoroughly sanitize and redistribute for in-school use. Thank you!

Bus Information

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 walk directly to their designated class cohort line up spot (below). Staff will be present to support students in finding their line up and to supervise the lines. Kindergarten students and students with special needs will be accompanied by a staff member. Students will wait in their class cohort line until the bell rings at 8:55am and then be escorted by their teacher into the school directly to their classroom.
  • Should a bus arrive at 8:55am students will be accompanied into the school and be brought directly to their classroom
  • Students are asked to respect physical distancing guidelines
  • A/B cohorts will practice this during the staggered entry


Departing on the bus:

  • Students will be escorted by a staff member to their bus
  • Physical distancing protocols will remain while going to the bus

Parents Drop Off & Pick Up

Grades 1-8

  • Parents are asked to drop students off independently where possible. For younger/new students, parents may come on to the school yard to drop off/pick up their child, but must leave immediately and may not congregate. Social distancing will be expected.
  • All climbers and equipment are CLOSED before school and students are not to be on it
  • Drop off as close to 8:55am as possible. Supervision does not begin until 8:40 and students will be expected to go directly to their class line when they arrive on the school yard every morning. In the event of inclement weather students will enter the school at 8:55am and not before as we cannot have students gathering in hallways.
  • Students will walk directly to their class cohort line up: during the staggered entry especially staff will be on the yard (wearing bright vests) to help direct children
  • After staggered entry, first period teachers will meet their class at the line up at 8:55am and will do an orderly entry into the school, one cohort at a time, maintaining physical distancing.
  • Students with special education needs will be met and supervised by staff
  • At the end of the day, bussed students will be walked to the bus line-ups by staff. Students who walk or are picked up will be dismissed from their specific door (see below). Students will be dismissed at 3:15 when the bell rings.
  • Students in JK-Grade 5 will be handed off to a parent at the dismissal doors. Students in Grade 6-8 will be dismissed at their door at the end of the day.


Kindergarten:

  • Kindergarten families are asked to walk their child onto the yard to the Kindergarten doors and lineup area, where a staff member will greet each child and help them line up with their cohort. We request that families adhere to social distancing protocols.
  • Please try to arrive at 8:55am as that is when the school day begins
  • At the end of the day, parents and caregivers will need to adhere to social distancing protocols when picked up their child at the Kindergarten doors. Children will be dismissed one at a time to their parent/guardian.
  • Families are encouraged to leave the school yard and not gather on the playground


Please see the map below for a visual of where each class cohort will line up at the beginning and end of the day, and for recess entry/exit. There are 2 images below to help orient you to the correct location.

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A friendly reminder that dogs and pets are not allowed on the school grounds at any time.

Recess Cohort

To ensure students remain in their cohorts, we have been advised that recess locations will be designated for each class. To ensure that each class cohort has lots of space, we are doing a "staggered" recess/nutrition break. Some classes will go out for recess first, while other classes will have their nutrition break. After a 20-minute recess/nutrition break, the students will switch. Class cohorts will use designated exterior doors, so that no one is exiting/entering at the same time. Classes wil go to their designated location on the yard for recess. Classes will be going outside throughout the day where possible and will have opportunities to be in other parts of the yard during those class times. Staff will practice this carefully during the smaller groupings during the staggered start. Maps showing the yard zones.


Kindergarten students will maintain their traditional nutrition break/recess schedule and each class wil have a designated section of the Kindergarten yard.


Please note that classes will switch locations on the yard between AM and PM in some instances to share the use of equipment and space. On the image below (1) indicates recess at 10:35am and 12:55pm followed by Nutrition Break and (2) indicates nutrition break first followed by recess at 10:50am and 1:15pm.

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What to Bring

Along with their excitement, creativity, imagination and positive energy, students may to wish to bring a few other items in their backpacks. We ask that all toys, electronics, valueable and personal items 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. Hooks and cubbies will not be in use. This is to avoid hallway congestion and congregation areas.


What to bring:

  • Refillable water bottle. Fountains are closed, but water refill stations are open
  • Masks are mandatory for students in Kindergarten-Grade 8. We encourage students to bring their own mask, however, if they don't have one, they will be provided one.
  • Hand sanitizer is provided in each classroom and at each door, but students may wish to bring their own - scent free please!
  • School supplies are provided (pencils, erasers, crayons, etc) but students may wish to bring their own
  • Bring a healthy lunch and snacks for two eating times - no nuts or peanuts please
  • Wear appropriate shoes for running and playing (no flip flops).
  • Appropriate clothing wear for outdoor play or waiting to safely enter the building

Hallway Traffic Flow

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 A/B cohorts during their first few days in the building.
  • Class cohorts will have a designated entry/exit door.
  • Students will wash their hands upon entry to the classroom - all classrooms have sinks with warm water, soap and paper towels.
  • 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

All Staff Will Wear Masks

Even though we will all be wearing masks, we will be smiling! Clock wise from top left: Mr. Grimwood, Head Custodian; Mr. Brash, Evening Custodian; Mrs. Barratt, Vice Principal & Student Support Teacher; Mrs. Thompson, Principal; Mrs. Pacheco (Ms Kassie), Office Coordinator.
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